Let's be blunt. 2014 was a horrible year, overall. After the high point, Olivia's birth, things went downhill in ways I could not have thought possible. Losing a friend to cancer, falling out with particular family members, childcare costs forcing us onto a single income, experiencing disappointing sales of my latest books, making mistakes with my first foray into self-publishing. 2014 has been a day to day slugfest, and it has tried every trick in the book to break me down.
The worst part? I'm not the only one. Most people I know have had a really hard year, from bereavement to health issues and problems at work. Globally, we've seen terror groups rise up again. I've watched the tide of harassment against women in the full range of geek fandoms grow stronger with every attempt to speak out against misogyny. I've read, helpless, about men and women being brutally assaulted and killed, with no apparent recourse. I've seen victims become the targets of hate.
Looking at the year, and how the causes I believe in are suffering, and how my book sales are nowhere close to what I had hoped they'd become, I honestly feel like I'm back at square one.
But I'm not done. I am not beaten. There are still good things that happened.
Friends have found work after long periods of unemployment. Friends have become engaged and gotten married. They've had children and announced new additions to their families. Society has made leaps, both scientifically and culturally. There is hope.
I held my third daughter at the start of this year. She turns one next week. I saw my first trilogy come to an end, and everyone who's read the final chapter of the Memory Wars has told me they loved it. I became a hybrid author, with the release of Lady Raven. I got to see an anthology I'd contributed to hit #1 on the Amazon best-seller list. And you know what else? I get to keep writing. I get to tell more stories, and look forward to the coming year.
So nice try, 2014. You gave it your best shot, and I am still here.
Maybe I am back at square one, but you know what? I'm still on the board. And I will finish the game.