January 2013


My lovely wife Sarah has been working long and hard to bring a hostel to Richmond, and the fruits of her labor are starting to pay off. Michael Paul Williams did an extremely nice piece in the Times-Dispatch. Check it out: Planned Hostel Would Bring World to Richmond.

This has been a wonderful year for me, though not at all in the way I expected or hoped for, but that’s the way with good years, isn’t it?  I had just finished one novel with promising prospects, and was into another I had high hopes for.  The marketplace shrugged at both.  I shrugged back.

Then I literally was called back to teaching fiction writing in February, receiving a call a few weeks into the semester asking if I would take over an advanced fiction writing class for an ailing colleague.  I’m not sure how effective I was, but I had a great time and met some wonderful young writers.  That led to a summer workshop and two in the fall, and another this spring.  I want to thank my students for showing me a wonderful time.  The experience has energized my short fiction as well.  I don’t know the publication date yet, but I just sold a story to Lightspeed Magazine which was particularly gratifying because it’s a new, ambitious piece that represents the kind of work I most want to do now.  Besides, Lightspeed is totally cool.

I’m looking forward to attending ICFA this year again in March and returning to Readercon in July.  I’ve been asked about other events, but nothing is confirmed yet.  Now that I have finally licked the muscle pain that plagued me for a couple of years, I can travel again—not to mention sit comfortably for a panel discussion.

About that pain.  I had made the rounds of physical therapists, acupuncturists, spinal injections, etc., and though it would get better for a while, it would always come roaring back.  Finally, my new cardiologist asked if I’d tried going off statins.  I was taking Crestor at the time.  I had, but had had the idea nixed by other medical professionals.  When I quit, the results were dramatic.  Within a few weeks of being off the statins, my pain steadily retreated.  As I have stated elsewhere, I also changed my diet in response to my heart ailments instead of dosing it and I feel infinitely better.

Another reason this has been a great year is yoga.  I have always hated any kind of exercise classes.  It was only through Sarah’s persistent suggestion (some would say nagging) that I gave it a try.  (Thank you, Sarah).  When I found a really good instructor, Viktoriya Kosta, I quickly became hooked.  Mind and body both are better for it.  Namaste, Viktoriya.

I’ve started another novel—I can’t help myself—and I have a half-dozen stories in various stages of completion.  For the first time in years, there are no doctor’s appointments looming in my future.  Sarah, Ethel, and I plan on lots of walks to the river.  Life is good on Maplewood.  I like 2013 already.