And 2001 in summary

Can I say, “Thank God it’s over, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” to this year? It has been brutal from start to finish, with personal losses, financial struggle, The Book That Would Not Die (having tossed about 300 pages of manuscript the first time and about 280 pages the second time, I’m now about 320 pages into Version 3.0, having started from scratch yet again), and national horror on a previously unimaginable scope and scale. Especially that last — nothing in my life, not even the earthquake I was in as a kid in Guatemala, has affected me like that.

No book that came out this year, either, for the first time since 1992 (though that is just one of those weird scheduling quirks, since two are coming out early in 2002.)

And yet this year has had some bright spots. The community passed its first birthday, and has developed a personality and character that makes it a great place to spend time. It has become what I hoped it would eventually become — only I figured it would take several years to get there. Good people, good conversation, and a lot of writers writing.

Becky graduated high school and turned eighteen, in that order. My older son, at the age of fifteen, wrote two 60,000 novels in two months. My younger son stopped being a baby and became a little guy. Matt and I had some fun. The people I love are alive and healthy and a year older. I’ve learned a few things.

Here’s to 2002. I’m glad you’re finally almost here — consider yourself the most welcome new year in my life.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.