2011 was a tumultuous year to say the least. Political, social, and economic strife plagued the world in bounds, but in all honesty what is life without a bit of heartache every once and awhile? You have to take the good with the bad and grow with it. We have all seen and experienced our own ‘bad’ and ‘good’ times—let ‘em roll I say.
Personally, this year was a rise through and through for yours truly. My girlfriend and I finally found our own footing, together as a couple, and began to both get involved with one of our favorite hobbies, comic book collecting and reading. Now, one of our financial tent poles is my freelance article about our blossoming joint hobby. Personally, it gives me a great outlet and opportunity to practice the craft as well as indulge in a little R&R for my sometimes-weary soul.
I started working for the Examiner in April of 2011 and over the course of eight months I worked on over forty articles and my hobby quickly became a possible career opportunity. Along with my work at the Examiner, I also launched two blogs: “F*ck You” and “The Martian Manhunter.” Both have had successful debuts and continue to grow at a fairly rapid pace. I will never commercialize this blog. It is my baby, and I love having the freedom to experiment and toss-up random posts from the cliché ‘what’s on my mind’ to the more literary posts that I have done in the past. I wouldn’t otherwise have a means to publish most of these posts in any other outlet, so it provides a great opportunity for me to get my work out there for others to read. I give more of my soul in an off the cuff piece published here rather than a grossly edited version found sporadically in a literary journal or eZine.
Besides the numerous writing opportunities via the comic book industry, I also published my first short story (Heaven at Night) through PublishAmerica, and hopefully this is just the start to a lengthy writing career. Whether I publish regularly, or not at all, I will always write; it is in my blood and even a bad wound could not stop me from click, clack, mooing away. One of my 2012 resolutions falls inline with this idea. I need to place more vim and vigor into the attainment of publication. I have a lot of completed work that I have not even tried to send to a publishing house or magazine/paper. 2012 will see me rectifying the predicament with a renewed fervor.
Also, in 2012 Celeste and I moved to Browne’s Addition just west of downtown Spokane. It is a truly fantastic place to reside. It is one of the oldest sections of the city, and being able to take our dogs out in the morning, with a warm cup of coffee steaming out of my Darth Vader mug, whilst watching them play in a neighborhood filled with 150-year-old manors and centuries old trees is absolutely priceless (And, not in the cheesy cell phone commercial way). It really spurs the creative juices and the bulk of my writing has occurred at this apartment (or in the Tully’s and Rocket Bakery just down the street from our building). I couldn’t be more grateful.
The rest of the year wrapped up nicely. My family and friends have a myriad of birthdays intermingled with the holidays (from about the beginning of October till the New Year). So, the last three months have been filled with pictures, laughter, gifts, and great food. Not a bad way to end the year!
However, my list of resolutions isn’t any less even after such a stellar 2011. In fact, I want to make 2012 the most successful to date! I’ve never possessed the will to make New Year’s resolutions, but this year is different for some reason. I want to write…a lot, and I want to read…a lot. I have seriously lacked in the reading department this past year. I always have a stack going, but there have been numerous weeks without a single novel read and enjoyed, and that, in my opinion, is just atrocious. That is why I am launching a new page on this blog entitled, “Read of the Moment,” which will act as a virtual chronicle of my reading habits. Hopefully, having a visual representation of my reading schedule will spur me to read more avidly.
Also in tandem with my want to focus on a writing career, I am going back to school this year. No more excuses; no more worries. This fall I am heading back to university to gather my wits and top of my credits for a Creative Writing degree. There is no excuse for me not to have it by now.
Besides these three resolutions, my other goals are fairly basic and slightly ambiguous. I would like to become more financially stable. What little debt I do have has almost been paid off, but I would like to cement that sentiment by finishing off the process. I would also like to live more. There are some many events, places, and people that I have yet to experience and meet, and that it is practically shameful. You only live once and you need to live the most out of it. The soul needs nourishment as well as the body, and living a life filled with good people, wonderful music, new places, and the fantastic smells of excellent food is a way to achieve a euphoric soul.
Before I sign off, I would like to thank the people that have most influenced my life in 2011. My immediate family: My beautifully talented and inspirational mother, Chris, my hardworking and honorary Rastafarian father, Rob, my (also) beautiful and intelligent sister, Caitlin, and my joyously rambunctious and energetic brother, Riley. My best friend and spouse, Celeste Sievers, for always putting up with my random thoughts and ideas. Without her, much of my success either would not have occurred or been pointless. She is my Iris; my lightning rod to my Barry Allen. I would like to thank my wonderful friends who have always been supportive in my endeavors. The quick-witted and sly, Bradley Zook, the always interesting and introspective, A1 Sauce John McDonell, my good friends Jeff and Vanessa Yergens who always have something new to teach me, whether it be about love, life, or the beauty of music, and Brian Triplett for being an amazing writer who is seemingly always available for idea bouncing or great conversation. I’d like to give a shout out to John Waite and the guys at Merlyn’s for just being awesome. All of them keep comic books interesting and fun by always engaging in great conversation, and much of my 2011 were spent hanging around the stacks of comics on Main street. And, finally, my weirdly unusual hounds and los gatos: Norman the brave, the bold, the humorous, and the obese, Jonathan the dog who cleans himself like a cat, looks like a gremlin, and is named like a person, Mosby, cat dog, weirdo, and troublemaker, and last, but not least, Mocha, the mutely peaceful giant who keeps Mosby inline with a swift smack now and again.
I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and I hope, even more so, that 2012 provides everyone with a little bit of peace and prosperity. One of my oldest and fondest idol describes my sentiments from me to everyone out there reading this, “I have and will always be your friend.”
Peace out 2011, and welcome to the party 2012!