What Kind of Year has it Been

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20141020_153748I have been complimented more than once on the reflections I do here and at school so I keep plugging ahead and what better time to pause and reflect than as a new year dawns?Overall, 2014 was a pretty good year. As with most years, it had a mix of ups and downs with the ups leading in large part to the excellent wedding of Kate and Mike.The school year wheezed to a close in mid-June and I was exhausted. It was a far rougher first year of teaching than I imagined, having been utterly spoiled by student teaching experiences in Connecticut. Grad school does nothing to prepare you for the rigors of a classroom, trust me. I filled the summer with a ton of professional development in the hopes I would better absorb some of these lessons and apply them in the coming year.The second year in the classroom began much better, just from the confidence of having done it before. While the 10th grade curriculum was new to me, I at least had a better understanding of how to prep and deliver it. Shifting from mostly freshmen to honors sophomores and juniors was also a change in population and we seem to be getting on fairly well. Still plenty to learn and adjust but year two is in much better shape.Visionary TrekAs a freelance writer, though, I logged my weakest year in decades, earning an embarrassingly small amount of money. On the other hand, I did get to branch out and collaborate with Steven Savile on the forthcoming Sherlock Holmes novel Murder at Sorrow’s Crown. I continued with my semi-monthly Westfield Comics column and wrote scads of reviews at ComicMix along with articles and essays for other outfits. I even wrote medical training modules for a new company, which was a fresh experience. So, I wasn’t idle but the return on investment wasn’t what I am accustomed to.There remain plenty of irons in the fire for 2015. I am most hopeful for approval of a new novel in a universe I have previously played in while still fiddling around with original works. And there will most certainly be new fiction written for Crazy 8 Press. Maybe not my first solo book for the cooperative, but certainly several shorter works.Kate & mikeDeb and I managed a nice vacation to Seattle and San Francisco over the summer, which was lovely. We continue to adjust to life in Maryland, finally figuring out our favorite places to eat and visit, while still slowly making friends in our community. The dogs continue to thrive here, loving their walks although Dixie is definitely showing signs of old age and that’s been sad.Our extended family gathered to celebrate Kate’s nuptials and a grand time was had by all. Soon after, Deb’s mother relocated from Florida to be closer to family so it’s been nice to see more of her.  We also got to see more of several nephews as school and business brought them to the area which has been a bonus.I have not forgotten our friends further north, getting to see many Fairfielders to celebrate the town’s 375th anniversary while making two sojourns to Long Island to see others.So yeah, not a bad year at all. May everyone have a joyous 2015. Thanks for your continuing interest and support.

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