2013 in Retrospect

I usually keep this blog strictly as a platform for fiction.

Being as this Tuesday (the day I normally post new content) also happens to be New Year’s Eve, however, I’ve decided to take a moment and pay respects to the passing of one hell of a year. To assure that my readers get their weekly dose of Richard’s fiction, I’ve got something set up to post on Thursday. So, worry not!

2013 was a year to remember. Personally, it was a very big year, full of many wonderful, horrible, and enlightening things, many of which found their way into the “life altering” category. I’m just going to talk here about the things that affect me personally, because otherwise it would just be too much.

Let’s start out with why it was a hard year.

I lost my cousin to a tornado at the end of May. He was a bright and excessively thoughtful human being that was out there trying to develop better early warning systems for tornadoes to save lives, he and several colleagues lost their lives in the process. He was a truly great human being. Another indicator that the best among us suffer from the same limits on existence as the rest. Seven months later, the notion of his death is still shocking to me every time that it comes to mind. I take solace in the thought that he didn’t waste a single second of his bright, and all too short life.

I lost my paternal grandfather this March to cancer. We weren’t particularly close, but he was my grandfather, and now the possibility that we ever could become close is gone forever. He was the last surviving grand parent who I was actually related to, and I’m terrified by the thought that if I go back only two steps in my family history, the step is now empty. He did great things, he did some not so great things, but regardless of the caliber of the things, the fact that he does no more is a shame.

I almost lost another cousin to drugs. The word “almost” in the previous sentence is one of those words that remind me that all words are not created equally. I am very thankful for being able to write that “almost.” I’ll leave this one here, without further details for obvious reasons.

My brother had a close call in a motorcycle accident in June and is still in physical therapy, but is doing much better. His leg is still hurting him some, but I can think of hundreds of ways in which the accident could have been worse. In fact sometimes I still replay them in my nightmares. He, however, also has a pretty rad car now and the exercise of his therapy has given his life a turn in a healthier direction.

One of my favorite dogs in the entire universe was put down on Christmas this year. Animal was a big goofy Pit Bull with a heart of gold that belonged to my sister and her husband. He was getting up there in age, but it is still sad, and worth mentioning the passing of one of the sweetest critters I’ve ever met. It’s also hard to watch pain on the faces of people I care about so deeply as my sister and brother in law.

 

Now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you, anyone that found their way through all that above gets rewarded with news as to some of the things that made it a great year.

It was the first year after graduating college, so it was different, for a lot of reasons. My special lady friend and I have been together for almost two years now, and her company and affection are two things that made the year survivable. Without her, 2013 very well might have broken me.

We were fortunate enough to work for a few months in the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains at a place called AstroCamp in Idyllwild, Ca. I got to play every day in some of the most beautiful surroundings a man could wish for. I met a whole slew of new people, some of which I can see as being friends for life.

Aforementioned lady friend and I moved to San Diego to start the Physics Masters program at San Diego State University. We also moved into our first place together. After seven months, we can’t wait to move, but only because of the apartment and the part of town. Living together has brought us closer together, rather than driving us apart, as it does with some couples.

My sister also started her PhD in crazy brain stuff. She is going to beat me to being able to tack Dr. on the front of her name, assuming I go that rout once I finish my Masters. I’m okay with her winning that one.

My Dad, after many years, changed careers, and I’m proud of him. It was a bold move into physically harder work, but he enjoys his new job more and thus has gained all the perks that come from liking what you do, including a healthier, happier life style (as well as the big bushy beard he always wanted but the old job wouldn’t let him grow).

 

It has also been a big year for my writing.

This year I finished two novels. One is mostly edited down and ready to go, the other is still as rough as can be. I’ve written most of another novel, almost near the end of the first draft. This last one promises to be the largest writing project I have taken on to date. It sits, unfinished at 86,000 words, 60,000 of which I wrote during NaNoWriMo this year, which I thought was a pretty solid first year doing NaNo.

I, of course, also finally started my Blog this year! This one, in fact!

Posting new content once a week has been a tight deadline that has forced my creativity to not get shoved to the backseat when it would otherwise. I love the community that I have become a part of, through WordPress. Full of support, interesting people, and wonderful stories.

 

For those that have been lost, and to those that survived, I say Happy New Year, don’t let the past bring you down, enjoy the present, and make the most of the future.

Thank you to everyone that has contributed to making the year what it was. I’m ready for the next one.

May you not forget too many times that the year now ends in a four.

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