Good Riddance

There’s no other way to say it. 2014 was terrible for me. I lost Chaos, who was my best friend outside of my wife, to cancer. My wife had to have surgery on her foot. Despite our health insurance, this resulted in a flood of medical bills that taxed our finances after paying for Chaos’s treatment. And then, thanks to the policies of my wife’s employer, all the work done by the surgery was reversed because my wife was faced with the choice of either going back to work too soon or be unemployed. Our year in health finished out by me learning that someone very near and dear to my heart has a terminal illness they have been hiding from everyone.

I wrote more this year than I have in any year previously. Yet I only received one acceptance. And it was for a story that I submitted two years ago. My Duotrope submission tracker overflows with rejections while my hard drive contains numerous stories written for specific anthologies that are not good fits for other markets. I want to stress that I’m not in any way disappointed with being published on Stupefying Stories Showcase. Working with Bruce Bethke was fun, and I hope to work with him again some day. But after putting so much time into writing, and coming up with what I felt was some of the best stories I’ve ever done, to have it all fly back at me like rubber balls bounced against a wall was disheartening.

Rejection letters weren’t the only damper on my writing career. Context, which was an absolute boon for me, died. I’ll be writing a whole blog post on that in a few days, cause, God damn. Columbus fandom makes me sick sometimes.

Oh, I almost forgot, The Tipsy Techie went on hiatus. I enjoyed writing beer reviews for her. Yet another avenue of creativity closed off.

I severed a friendship with someone I’ve known since I was a child because I could no longer stomach and cover for their political beliefs. That was not pleasant. Some people grow up. Others grow down, it seems. I witnessed another close friend have to cope with the sudden loss of their mother. His mom had been a good person. I remember her from the numerous times I crashed at his place when we were growing up. What can you do for someone you care for so much when they have suffered such a loss? Condolences and flowers don’t seem like enough.

Everything above contributed to my depression gaining a strength I never knew it had. For a good chunk of the year, I didn’t feel like doing shit. I stopped brewing. I stopped exercising. I stopped reading. I stopped communicating with social media. I didn’t go out much. There are huge gaps in this blog where I should have posted things. I’m surprised I kept writing at all. Yet, for as much as I did write, I know I could have done more if I pushed harder.

I think I covered all the big stuff that hit me last year. Please note I’m not going into any of the world events or political shenanigans that made 2014 extra craptastic. I’m cranky and hungry, so I’m cutting out now while I don’t feel like slitting my wrists. 2015, the bar has been set really fucking low for you. Don’t screw it up.

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