Thursday, December 29, 2022

The Year in Review


Holiday greetings from Castle Schadenfreude! This past summer marked a return to more normal activities after the worst of the covid pandemic, so of course The Beloved Spouse™ and I both got it. The rest of the year was mostly quite nice. Here are the highlights.


·       January

o   Spent a few days in a lovely house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina owned by Corky’s niece and her husband. January is a slow rental month, so they let us stay for free. We had a very relaxing few days, highlighted by lunch with Mark and Ruth Sharpe Bergin.

o   My short story, “The Box,” appeared in Mystery Tribune magazine.

·       February

o   We are retired and old enough to know not to go out in February.

·       March

o   The Suffolk Mystery Author’s Festival was virtual again this year. I moderated a panel and we’re both looking forward to attending in person in 2023.

·       April

o   Attended the Left Coast Crime conference in Albuquerque. NM. (I mention the state so no one confuses it with any other Albuquerques.) We saw several friends, found some great Detroit-style pizza, and I snared a panel.

o   Spent a week with The Sole Heir in New Orleans. Highlights included a swamp tour on an air boat, the World War II Museum (parts of it; we’ll be back), invigorating walks in Audubon Park, a trip to the zoo, and, as always, great food.

·       May

o   I joined our neighborhood Homeowners’ board, a decision I’ll live to regret. (Frankly, I regret it already, but someone has to do it.)

·       June

o   Back to New Orleans for The Sole Heir’s graduation from her residency at Tulane, and to help pack the truck for her move to Florida. She’s a bona fide doctor now.

·       July

o   Down & Out Books released the seventh Penns River book, White Out..

o   A brief tour of North Carolina and southern Virginia which included

§  Reading for a Noir at the Bar event in Hillsborough NC.

§  A day touring Williamsburg VA.

§  Another reading, this time for Noir at the Voir in Midlothian VA

§  We’ve reached the age where we don’t buy many souvenirs, as the house is full already. All we brought back this time was covid, which stowed away, taking up so little space we didn’t know we had it until we’d been home a couple of days.

·       August

o   The covid wasn’t too bad, but the post-infection fatigue kept us pretty well stationary through the month.

·       September

o   Re-established our confidence about being in the world again.

·       October

o   Attended the Creatures, Crimes, and Creativity conference in Columbia MD. Saw a lot of old friends; I hosted Noir at the Bar, moderated one panel, and sat on two others.

o   Back to Hillsborough to attend the Halloween Noir at the Bar.

·       November

o   Mostly we gave thanks for getting through everything else in good shape.

·       December

o   Spent Christmas in Tampa with The Sole Heir. Alas, we missed The Sole Son-in-Law except for one day, as he was deployed for a couple of weeks.


In more general, non-date-specific news:

·       We’re both in good shape with no major heart, lung, or cognitive issues. My vision remains stable.

·       We both started to not just talk about regular exercise but do it.

·       The Sole graduated from her residency and passed her boards for certification. (Not the homeowners’ board Dana belongs to. These are people who know what they’re doing.) She may be close to an exciting career opportunity; we hope to have details next year. The Sole Son-in-Law is a lieutenant in the Coast Guard and a helicopter pilot. You might have seen him on the news in September, or at least his chopper, as among his tasks was evacuating people from Sanibel Island after the hurricane.


Summing up, TBS and I had a pretty good year, albeit with a few bumps. We hope this past trip around the sun has been at least as good for all of you, and the next trip brings more of the same.

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