The year that was 2013

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So, 2013 ey?

I’m not really sure what I can say about this year.  I could do a simple hot and not type deal, I suppose:

Hot: Not dying

Not: Nearly dying

Yeah, that isn’t really going to cut it as a year-end blog post now is it? Obviously a large chunk of 2013 has been taken up by, and focussed around, the nearly/not dying thing. From end of July right through to November I was either seriously ill or recovering; even now, near the end of December, I am not fully recovered.  My energy levels and concentration are considerably affected.  I also missed out on a large chunk of summer and the holiday (vacation for you Colonials reading this) plans, which really sucked as it not only affected me but my family too.

Another impact was that my writing really suffered.  I had planned to have a novel (Redemption) finished, edited, and with an agent by now … in fact, in my head, I had planned to have said novel published to critical (and financial) acclaim by now … but that didn’t happen at all.  Even now my ability to sit and write is curtailed by the energy I have left (or don’t, as is normally the case) after ‘real life’ and work have had their wicked way with me.

My martial arts suffered as did that of some of my senior students as I wasn’t teaching (or even attending class) for a good portion of the year.  The class itself, and the junior students, weren’t affected as I have a brilliant team of instructors and assistant instructors who more than carried things in my absence.

Still, on the plus side: not dying!

That is a pretty big plus, right? :)

Other than that elephant in the year, things were really good I think.

My kids continued to grow and impress me with their growth, mentally, physically, and emotionally.  To see Mackenzie, at 6, sit and devour books by CS Lewis and Roald Dahl was amazing and to see Nathaniel, at 4, start to make writing marks and draw whole stories and unique characters made me never really need to request a DNA test; the love of comics, superheroes, and fantasy makes it obvious they are my children.

I had a BLAST with Following The Nerd for the first part of the year, as part of the team.  I even managed to interview some amazing people, like Todd McFarlane, Greg Capullo, and Paul Cornell.  The latter part of the year I’ve had a blast listening to Following The Nerd, as a fan, as I wasn’t able to be there; I will be back though, I promise (or threaten, depending on perspective).

I watched the 50th Anniversary special of Doctor Who, in 3D, in a cinema.  That was a lot of fun!

While I may not have written as much as I would have liked to, this year, I definitely had a confidence boost in terms of my long term plan to make a career out of this writing lark; the Arts Council of Northern Ireland liked my pitch, sample, and references enough to give me a grant to help fund the writing of my novel.  That sort of belief in ones work is definitely a thrill.

So, yeah, 2013 has been a bit of a mixed bag but, ultimately, any year that you can walk away from is a good one, right?

…or is that planes?

Anyhoo, 2014 is going to be a great one.  These are not resolutions, as I find them a bit pointless, so instead I am going to make statements for this coming year:

My novel, Redemption, will be finished.

I will have written one further novel, at least, as well as a minimum of twelve short stories.

My martial arts will have become a core of my life again and, hopefully, I will be able to attend another competition (forms, not sparring). In order to do this my core fitness will be improved with the help of DDPYoga.

I will celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary with the woman I love; our beautiful kids will be with us.

See, like I said, 2014 will be a great one!

…I’ll even try to not die some more ;)