Good-Bye Yellow Brick Road

It’s 2018.

Last year I said 2017 was the year interesting things would happen. Some did, some remained the same, but all in all it was a good year, although changes mostly started in in May. It was day one of my vacation and I was heading to Limestone Genre Expo in Kingston, Ontario to represent Bundoran Press. DAY ONE, and I was already stressing about going back to work! In all my life I’ve never had a job I disliked so much, that actually invaded my dreams.

Day one, the first waking hour, and I asked myself, was it worth it? Even if I held out for the minimum wage pay bump was it worth the stress?

I finished my vacation and maxed out my sick days. When they called to ask when I would return and don’t forget to bring a doctor’s note for all those sick days, I informed them I was considering a career change. Until that phone call, that moment, I hadn’t made the final decision, but when I pulled the trigger I never felt so good. I made it official the next day. Yes, it was unprofessional, and yes, I should’ve given them two weeks notice but this is actually fairly common practice for this company which is a meat grinder for personnel. Anyway, as policy, this company doesn’t give referrals, just acknowledgment that you worked for them.

Did I mention they sucked?

After some personal deliberation I went back to truck driving, which is what I did before I got married. I had hoped to avoid driving again due to certain health issues and memories of working outdoors in the winter, but the pay is much better and I took my time picking the right company doing the right kind of work. So, in that regard 2017 worked out.

My writing career is more amorphous. Hayden Trenholm and I received another Aurora nomination for our anthology, Lazarus Risen. Didn’t win, but that’s okay. Far Fetched Fables bought some more of my stories for their podcast which is really cool, but otherwise no other publishing sales. But that’s okay, because I promised myself I’d concentrate on my novel which I did. So, although it doesn’t appear I was that successful, in that regard 2017 worked out.

Relating back to my new job, it has caused me to lose some weight. You wouldn’t know it to look at me. When you’ve been overweight for the majority of your life, it’s difficult to see the difference. Most times all you have is a number on a scale which fluctuates day to day, hour to hour. But that number consistently went down. In fact, I had set a goal for Christmas and reached it! I am also down one pant size. Of course, it’s the Christmas season, so I’ll probably need all of January to see that number again, but it’s all going in the right direction, so in that regard 2017 worked out.

That’s pretty much my year in review. For once the good out-weighed the bad. It hasn’t all been beer and pretzels, but whatever is?

As for 2018…I’m not much for making resolutions. I try not to make promises I can’t keep. Lately I’ve been posting a lot of anti-Trump political stuff. It’s hard not to, but I’ll be dialing that back. I am, after all, Canadian and not American. Also, this is the year of mid-term elections. If America has learned anything at all, this will be the year it shows. Nothing I say would influence that.

Instead, I’ll post more on writing and continue promoting Bundoran Press. I’ll also work on getting more stuff published this year, which means writing more short stories. Of course, there is never a guarantee on that. Publishing is a finicky business. Diane L. Walton of On Spec said to me at a panel, “We like all your stories, Mike, even when we reject them.” Nicest thing an editor has ever said to me.

So, here’s hoping 2018 is a good year for all of us, because who wishes for a bad year?





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