The end of the year is always a good time to take stock, look at what has happened and what you want to happen. This usually results in resolutions and promises to one’s self and with luck this year I will return to the gym, lose some weight, read more books, continue to get things organized around the house, and run for re-election to the RTM.But in looking back, this has been an exceptionally difficulty and rewarding year.Robbie’s illness and passing certainly overshadows everything. His absence remains keenly felt by his parents, sisters, family, and friends. We’ve all mourned and honored his memory in some wonderful ways.Professionally, this was my first full year as a freelancer and financially it was possibly my best year ever which was certainly nice. My client list was varied from ACE (Heroes Happen Here and two graphic novels), DelRey Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Stone Arch Books, Write Now!, scifi.com, highlyplacedsources.com, Rosen Books, Star Trek magazine, Bill Fawcett & Associates, Famous Monsters of Filmland, and ComicMix. I’ve also consulted for Valiant Entertainment and the New York Comic-Con.There were professional disappointments including work done for Moonstone Books that will never see the light of day and a number of proposals that are sitting on editors’ desks awaiting thumbs up or down.Both Famous Monsters and ComicMix experienced cash flow issues that required me to withdraw from day to day contributions. Today’s my last day writing regularly for ComicMix as the site retrenches just a wee bit more before it launches phase three, which I remain convinced will be very cool. With luck, I will be doing more (paying) work for both in the months ahead.I enter 2009 with one magazine assignment and lots of hope. This is the first dry spell since going freelance in August 2007 and while I intellectually understand this is part of the business, psychologically it’s driving me nuts.My work variety has certainly been rewarding but perhaps the thing I take the most pride in is Kate. Through some extraordinary circumstances, she completed college, had some time with the family, and then segued into her adult life without skipping a beat. She settled in nicely at her government job, made friends, got rewarded for her diligence and found a nice place to live. She’s learning to budget and balance all her commitments and is doing so with a tremendous smile. Somehow, though all this, we’ve done a good job with her and she’s flying high.Deb and I are hoping 2009 will be less stressful in every respect but at least we have one another to lean one when things get grim. May everyone have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve and may the New Year be a better one for all.