So, What Kind of Year has it Been?

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So, what kind of year has it been?

Looking back, as I do at this point of the year, I see 2022 as an okay year. Good things happened; few bad things happened. And all mostly went according to plan.

I didn’t write as much as usual, although I did manage to complete the second volume in the Above the Ground trilogy over the summer. Book one actually had a bound galleys to share for publicity (I think that’s a first for me) and the digital edition rolled out in November. So far, not much in the way of reviews but the four and five star ratings are gratifying. Sadly, the pesky supply chain delayed the print edition until January.

I did also write several short stories for various books, including the second Phenomenons anthology for Mike Friedman. I also penned numerous essays and introductions, notably for Jump Set Go, a look back at Japanese anime in America from editor Jim Beard. I also wrote a piece for a book looking at the Clown Prince of Crime, coming in April from editors Lou Tambone and Rich Handley, and published by Crazy 8 Press.

For France’s Urban Comics, I have been busily writing the text pieces for their The Batman Chronicles. I wrote about Detective Comics for their 1987 and 1988 volumes along with one for their Batman 1988 book. I also contributed to a book collecting Grant Morrison’s Animal Man stories. Of course, being in French, I can only hope they translated well.

Then there was the Kickstarter campaign for Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2022. I cut the timeframe down to 21 days and we once again sailed past the goal and all the stretch goals. Like Ado Annie, I couldn’t say no to inviting more and more colleagues to contribute until the book swelled to 29 stories. Even after one dropped out, the book weighs in at 438 pages and has becoming more expensive to print and ship.

That said, I gotta say, the book, designed by Aaron Rosenberg, looks spiffy. When the galleys went to the authors, there were several rounds of compliments over the look then another round as authors couldn’t help but read what their peers wrote and then compliments flew fast and furious. I hope the backers and other readers share that belief.

Meantime, Predator: Eyes of the Demon finally arrived in August, and I was pleasantly surprised to find many reviews mentioning my story as a particularly good one. That pleases me, given the struggles I had to make it a good story and still satisfy the needs of the franchise.

I got to interview actress Lynda Day George, best remembered for her work on Mission: Impossible, for RetroFan, coming out next month.

Beyond writing, I’ve continued to edit pieces for SFWA’ s blog, enjoying being able to give back to an organization I am proud to be a part of. As for the other organization, the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, I’m part of a team working on a 2024 project.

As an editor, the long-delayed Art of Luis Garcia, which I did for Dynamite, finally arrived and looks lovely. I also worked on Sherri Cooke Woosley’s Ashes of Regret novel, now available.

And I continue to consult for DC Comics’ international team, which keeps me connected with the company.

Of course, the bulk of the year was spent in the classroom. After all this time, I have yet to contract Covid in any form, which is a minor miracle. The second semester of the 2021-22 year wrapped up fairly well and the first semester is winding down of the new year. The challenges are much the same as the students effectively missed the full middle school experience and are making up social emotional learning gaps, which has impacted their ability to keep up with the rigors of high school. I’ve grown very fond of some of this year’s freshmen and as the class moderator, have been working with them to fully integrate into the Pallotti family. It’s been rewarding and stressful in equal amounts but the break this week is most welcome.

My freshmen, gearing up for the 2nd Quarter Class Competition.

On the home front, I was returned to the HOA Board of Directors after a one year hiatus. Since then, I have been working diligently to bring the property into the 21st century, getting the website revamped and overseeing the creation of an app. Mock HOAs all you want, but when one runs as smoothly and efficiently as ours does, it’s a point of pride.

Deb and I did manage to see more than a few plays and concerts including the world premier of the wonderful A.D. 16 which I suspect you will hear about in the coming years. Our favorite concert may have been Brandi Carlisle/Indigo Girls/Alison Russell or the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. We saw movies, binged series after series across a selection of services, and have been sufficiently entertained. Deb was eligible for her company’s sales club trip to Florida and I got to play hooky as her plus-one which was a delight. We also traveled south with friends, driving through the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Mountains, meeting up with other friends in Asheville, NC. While down there, we visited Bel Air, the inspiration for Mayberry RFD.

There were the usual local conventions: Shore Leave and Baltimore Comic-Con, each of which was a unique delight.

We have our health, which says a lot now that we’re in our 60s. We’re watching friends retire and enjoy themselves, while other friends and some family have been dealt cruel health challenges.

So, it was a packed and busy year. A good, if unexceptional, one.

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