Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Old Year, Happy New Year

Two-thousand and ten. Fin. 

This is the time of year when, popularly, we look back at the year past and say, "good riddance." Not me. Not this year. I like 2010. There have been years recently when I've been glad to see them go. Hell, I've opened the door for them and shown them the way with a hand to the collar. This year, though, was good to me.

I turned 40 this year and it feels right. I think maybe I've been 40 for quite a while and am finally able to live in its skin. I feel like Benjamin Buttons as his body ages backwards, yet his years advance chronologically. At a certain point he was the same age as his body and that was the time he felt he got to be himself at last. It's the same situation in the novel The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer, because it's almost the exact same story.

It was a good year professionally as well. Things clicked and my pencil did right by me. I wrote a cover story for Memphis Magazine, a cover story for The Memphis News, I was admitted to the Moss Fiction Workshop with the great Richard Bausch, I finished the first draft of a novel and am halfway through the first draft of a second, I wrote a few short stories and one of them, "Sea Change," won the grand prize for fiction in Memphis Magazine. I am currently working on a cover story for The Memphis Flyer which should appear in February. 

That's not a bad year.

I don't make resolutions for the new year, but I do look forward. I hope, in 2011, to complete the first draft of the second novel and then buckle down and get to some deep revising of both books. I hope to place some more short stories in literary magazines. I hope to keep the writing moving forward ... always forward.

At the end of 2010, life is good. My family is happy and healthy in a house that is raucous and fun - three adults and six kids, how could it be anything but? There is food in the cupboard, a stable of close friends, music on the hi-fi and the ideas come fast and furious. 

The new year has a lot to live up to, but I'm starting it with the advantage. Now here's wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year. 

Here's a view of my desk at the end of 2010: