At the end of last year, I wrote “I’m looking forward to 2021, and what’s gonna grow in this garden now.”*
I figured the beginning of the year would be interesting, and that there would still be months and months of drama left. But I honestly don’t know what I was imagining this year would hold by the end of 2020. It was a hell of a roller coaster – I was, by turns, surprised, infuriated, delighted, disgusted, entertained, enchanted, and flooded with grief.
I’ll start with the good stuff.
- Professional-level publication. I’m still gobsmacked at the Upon A Thrice Time book, and my inclusion in it. This was my first step towards membership in the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, which is a fantastic professional organization.
- Mentorship. I had the opportunity to be mentored by a truly kind & wonderful writer, T. Jane Berry, who gave me some marvelous advice.
- I actually set a writing goal. 50 submissions for the year. I got to 51. :cheers for self:
- I set some NEW goals. I’m aiming high, and hoping to hit 100 submissions by this time next year. I have more goals, but they’ll be in a post next week. :)
- My workplace has been incredibly generous with working from home and encouraging people to take time off for their mental health.
- And y’know, it was really great not to hear 44.5’s voice for months.
And now, the bad. (CW death, grief, US politics, pandemic)
- My father died in early June. I found myself unable to talk or write about it with anyone but my spouse and sister for a month, and even now touching that grief hurts like scoring fingernails across a steam burn. This also meant I didn’t do my ‘year omen’ thing for the first time since 2012.
- I’ve been struggling with writing burnout since then.
- Abortion rights are being rolled back across the US. This cored me out. Friends and family shared protest photos from decades past, showing how long folks who can get pregnant have been fighting to retain the rights to own what happens to their bodies.
- The US started the year with an insurrection attempt. And we’re still divided like that.
- People lost family, friends, and beloved heroes to a virus we could have managed by now.
- There’s still very little political will in many countries across the globe to help people who need it.
- Oh, right, and on Jan 1st I will have been masking & social distancing in public, aside from two jaunts at a favorite restaurant in May, for 660 days.
That’s a lot.
…. yeah, it’s ALL a lot.
But this year is still special. As horrible as some of what’s going on is? This is the year I actually did a thing I’ve wanted, a thing I’ve been fighting for, a thing I’ve been fighting myself over for 20 years now: my voice, on paper, out to others.
That makes this year not just special to me, but extraordinary.
I hope anyone reading this will be able to see the coming year in the same way. Love and love and love to you all.
* The garden meaning me, since 2020 was a year of growth and healing for me despite the world being awful.