Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A long year in review

Whew. This is the last blog for the year of 2012; and what a long year it's been for me.

I started the year with a novel on pause and working at a job that I absolutely hate; as well as being clinically depressed. I tried counseling, as well as spending a month on anti-depressants. Neither of those helped much, but the year pretty much continued fairly placidly until mid-July. I found out the hard way that the only woman to give me the time of day got married. On top of everything else I was trying to deal with, that was a very hard blow to take. Even now I still think of her on a daily basis, hoping she's happy and well taken care of. After that discovery, I took myself off of facebook for about a three month span. I have to say that was honestly one of the most difficult periods I've ever been through. One attempt at getting out of my funk only made things worse when I tried to get back into exercising and badly injured my left knee. It came to a point though, where I realized all I had really done was cut myself off from the people that cared and that could help me. I bounced off and on facebook for about a week before fully coming back. Seeing how many people missed me and were glad to see me back gave me a lot of the energy I needed to start towards the right path.

I started re-submitting my short stories, started this very blog and got back to work on my novel, finishing the first draft in mid-November. One of my short stories was accepted by Scars Publications and was scheduled to be printed in the December issue of Down in the Dirt.

I took another hit at the end of November, when my grandfather passed away two days before thanksgiving,  after an almost nine year bout with Parkinson's disease and being bedridden. It brought me down quite a bit, but it was really as much of a relief as it was sad. Even through that, I managed to power through and finish my revision of my first draft of my novel, fix the most glaring issues and ship it off to a professional editor.

December started well, with my first short story being published, despite no compensation of any kind. (I even had to buy my own copy.) The rest of the month was fairly on par for December, what with the mad rush towards Christmas. Having a weekly blog and having something actually available in print, spurred me to starting a facebook page as a writer. The response has been very encouraging, and I am rather proud to say I already have people that like me that I don't even know.

For the past few years, I've only looked at New Year's with an eye to being grateful that the previous year was over. For once though, I'm actually feeling hopeful that things will continue to look up. I anticipate working with the editor to clean up and polish my first novel, find a literary agent to represent it and get it published by the end of next year, as well as finishing up the second novel that I've started and getting that in the pipeline somewhere. As well, there is always the chance of a few more short pieces getting done and published now that I have something to put on a submission letter. I also have an idea for a third novel already stewing. I have no illusions about the amount of work it takes to make a living as a writer, but this is something I've always done one way or another and it just feels like this is the time for me to take it and actually put it to use.

I want to thank everyone that's read this far. This post hasn't been particularly informative, educational or entertaining, but I hope at the least it wasn't too boring. Everyone that's reading this at this point is reading this because they know me and they know some of what I've been through. Have I had it worse than a lot of people? God no, and I wouldn't presume to even come close. But I know this past year has been extremely difficult for me and has taken me to places I never thought I would go. For the grace of God and my friends though, I've come through it all and things are honestly looking brighter for me than they have in years. So. Thank you, one and all. From the bottom of my heart.

~ Shaun.

(I still work at that job I absolutely hate too.)

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