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Okay. New year’s here again.

I got a decent amount of stuff done last year. Read a lot of books, wrote a decent number of reviews. V and I sold our first house and bought a bigger one to have room for all of us. I showed off my home bartender skills (twice!). We reconnected with some folks in my home town, and took some of the kids out there for their first ever visit to my parents’ house. I lost some friends, and made others.

And now, here we are in 2023.

I’m hoping to get more writing done this year. It’s been way too long since I let myself just dive into a creative project, even just quick poetry. While I’m looking forward to a lot of book reviews, I want to actually tell a story again. On a related note, I want to do more drawing this year too. I know that part of the difficulty I’ve had with creative ventures is the fact that I’ve had to split my attention with work and school and parenting and other work and other hobbies. Most of my original work in the last six months was dedicated to crafting cocktails for amateur bartending competitions. That was fun, and I hope to participate in one again this year, but it shouldn’t be my only outlet. It’s an expensive hobby, after all.

I’m planning to continue in my current position with the library, although I won’t say no if the right opportunity for advancement comes along. Last year, I participated in a leadership training program my employer provides, and so I’m feeling a little more prepared for that than I was before. The combination of that and my MLS makes me more valuable, I guess, depending on what openings are available.

As things currently stand, I’ll be returning to my position at the Colorado Renaissance Festival again this year as well. I’m looking forward to another summer of piracy and not sleeping enough. I may see about using some of my vacation time in the middle of the season this time around, though, rather than just working 7 days a week for 2 months. I think that V and the kids would be grateful. Honestly, so would I. I love doing the whole thing, working the festival, but it’s exhausting and stressful for the whole family.

There’s a lot of books to look forward to this year. As it stands, I’m most excited for the following:

1.) Lost in the Moment and Found by Seanan McGuire. Every January, I’m 100% here for the next book in the Wayward Children series. These novellas are beautiful and heartbreaking, and I can’t wait for this one. It’s out next week.

2.) Don’t Fear the Reaper by Stephen Graham Jones. This one is a sequel to 2021’s phenomenal My Heart is a Chainsaw, and a slasher spectacular in its own right. It drops on February 7th, and is shaping up to be the exceptional middle child in a horror trilogy.

3.) The Witch King by Martha Wells. I’ve read all of the Murderbot Diaries, but I’ve not tackled any of Martha Wells’ fantasy titles before. This one comes out in May.

4.) Alecto the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. We don’t have an official release date for this one yet, but I’m hoping that it will still publish on schedule around September. I need to know how The Locked Tomb Series ends, and I need to fall in love and get stabbed in the back by Muir’s prose at least twice along the way.

5.) The Archive Undying by Emma Mieko Candon. I’m absolutely hooked by the concept of this one. AI deities and dead cities and Evangelion references, oh my! Look for it at the end of June.

I’m pretty pumped for a lot of movies this year too. John Wick comes back to theatres, we swing back across the Spider-Verse, and Nicolas Cage plays Dracula. I’ll probably stick to DVD/streaming releases for most things, but the timing of John Wick 4 might just be enough to tempt me (albeit masked) back to the theatre.

Then there’s the video game side of things. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom comes out just in time for my birthday, so you can bet that I’ll be revisiting Breath of the Wild between now and then.

Anyway, I’m coming up on twelve years of posting here, so thanks to those of you who have been around the whole time, and welcome to those who are just starting to pay attention to my ramblings. I’ll have book reviews starting soon. See you then.

So, we moved.

Sold our old house and bought a new one across town (and it took a minute, too, because the housing market here is fucking ridiculous). Got more room for me, V, and the kids. Commutes are still well within workable times/distances. We’re in the process of unpacking, and it’s probably going to be a bit, but that’s okay. We’re planning to stay put for a while now.

It’s a little weird, honestly. I have a tendency to be very much a stereotypical Taurus and get very set in a place or a set of behaviors, and in the last couple of months I’ve been upending a lot of that. Now that I’m not in the same house I was in for the last five years, a lot is starting to change for the better. Granted, I’ve been doing new things in old ways, so there’s that. Old habits, etc. But I’ve been trying to get myself into some new rhythms. A new work schedule, more time at home with the kids. Time to get some yard work and other home improvement tasks done on the weekends.

Right now, it’s a lot of figuring out what goes where, and with my and V’s combined book collection, that takes quite a bit of doing. Not going to lie, this was the worst move I’ve gone through in the last fifteen years. This was mostly because we had two weeks of limbo between vacating the old house and getting access to the new house. I couldn’t just load one box of books, move it, unload it, and then reuse it. Stuff had to get moved into storage, then out again later in the month. It was a lot more logistically difficult, and quite frankly, I burned myself out really hard by doing 90% of the lifting/hauling by myself (my many thanks to my father-in-law and my friends who helped with some of the boxing of stuff and the lifting of my desk). V and the kids helped as much as possible too, but the timing made it difficult for V to take off of work when I was able to. I’m done doing the self-moving, though. Next time, whenever that may be, I’m hiring pros. Insisting on doing as much as I can by myself is another one of those habits I need to kick.

But hey, the house is coming together really well, and we’re all feeling much better about the whole thing. I’m getting some more reading and writing done, and looking forward to the years we have to come. It’s going to take some time to get decorations and whatnot in place, but it’s great to be building a new home for me and my family.

Today, I’m sitting in my recliner with my toddler, listening to his nonstop chatter about the Duplo car in his hands.

Tomorrow, I am hoping that the weather will cooperate enough for me to make a painfully short trip back to my home town.

Wednesday, they will bury my grandmother, my Oma, my father’s mother. Both of his parents are gone now, reunited in the afterlife they believed in. I do not want to miss her funeral. I was a pallbearer when my Opa died, and I will be honored to do the same for his wife.

Thursday, my wife and her parents will celebrate Thanksgiving, a rare occurrence that they get to spend that particular holiday together, though hopefully more frequent in the years to come. I hope to be there, again, if the weather cooperates, and my travel from home is not impeded.

On Friday, I will go back to work, putting in as many hours as I can to prepare things for the inevitable arrival of our second child together. I am hoping that he doesn’t attempt to make an appearance too early. Because right now, that’s my big fear. Not the impending blizzard, not being able to get to my parents’ house in between waves of storms. I’m afraid that if I go, I’ll get stuck, and new baby will decide that’s the time to show up.

So, yeah. I’m going to make the most out of today, because there’s a lot of joy and sorrow to be found in the days ahead.