- Completing my “final” book of fiction. The middle novella and end pieces are entirely new and quite a departure for me. The other two-thirds are major revisions of two novellas now linked by Jaya’s imagination. Look for The Secret Side of Jaya at Smashwords, available for preorder now.
- New wheels. I probably jinxed the old one by a Tendrils posting early in the year, but my Camry fell victim to rusting serious enough to keep it from passing state inspection. There were enough other problems to make me concede it was time to move on (and downsize) a bit before the odometer rolled over to 300k miles. Wound up with a three-year-old Chevy Sonic I call the Scooter.
- Recovering my swimming distance and time. I try to swim a half-mile every weekday, but one of my cardio meds kept taking a toll. Getting to a quarter-mile was an effort, and my speed was way down. But at the checkup on my one-year anniversary of the stent implant, my doc decided he could switch to something less potent. Hallelujah! I’m back to normal, or something like that. The nosebleeds and bruising have lessened, too.
- Downeast, Maine. We got away for an extended weekend in May and were astounded by the desolation and poverty of much of the easternmost corner of the United States. But we’re also enchanted by the natural awe and community and have been returning. Somehow, it reminds me of the Pacific Northwest, where I lived for four life-changing years. I’ll be posting a lot of photos in the coming year that reflect our discoveries. Hey, it’s still New England and far less well known than Boston. And, oh yes, we bid on a piece of property with an ocean view, though the sellers turned it down and still have it. Please stay tuned!
- Beekeeping. Yes, you’ve been reading about it.
- And the rabbits. This time, I took the lead in our pet situation. They’re evermore cute and entertaining.
- Backing off from the choir. I’m a charter member of an amazing community chorus in Greater Boston, but the weekly commute to rehearsals is getting too demanding. The trip to and from occupies a half of a day, for one thing, and keeps me up later than usual, for another, plus the mileage and tolls add up. When my carpooling buddy’s new job meant he could no longer fit our music-making into his schedule, the time for change had arrived. Still, I had an opportunity to sing behind Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame at an outdoor concert in September. That said, I really do miss the group and our shared high. We’ll see what happens ahead.
- Shifting into “author” mode. With my books now in place, my focus should be shifted away from drafting and revising new work, which is essentially solo time, and into more presence in the literary world. At the beginning of summer, for example, I started reading and reviewing ebooks at Smashwords that touched, one way or another, on subjects in my novels. It’s been refreshing.
- Closing out my IRA and getting serious about downsizing. It’s not like there was a huge amount, but it had grown to the equivalent of two years’ salary at my maximum income. We realize the house (and barn) are really too much for two people to sustain, and some costly work is needed before we put it up for sale. After all, we’ve accumulated a lot over the years, especially in our two decades together. And we’ve taken on a lot to manage, sometimes too much, as I often feel about the garden, or at least its weeds. If we relocate to another house, it will have to be somewhat smaller and definitely more economic to heat and maintain. We realize something has to go sooner or later, so we’ve started. Unlike a diet, this brings us to stages of reflection, not always easy. Many of the items are infused with memories or dreams.
- Our younger daughter’s engagement. Saving the best for last, we finally get to call him “son” officially. Yay!
What’s been a highlight of your year?