Happy New Year

Last year, April 27th, around 10:30 am, I almost died.  I had a burst artery in my heart, and I was losing consciousness.  I distinctly remember peering over an abyss, thinking, I’ve got to stop this.  I put my head between my legs and found the one aspirin in a bottle in my backpack and dry swallowed it.  I was sitting in this chair.  I remember that moment every single day, sometimes several times in one day.  I’ve made some changes since then, lost about twenty pounds, started running, see my life as a much shorter narrative than I had before.  We all like to think in terms of a series of trilogies.  Nobody wants to be a novella.  The quality, however, is what counts.  I love my life.  As 2010 begins, my first novel Wilderness is being reissued 20 years to the day after my agent told me she’d sold it.  The next issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction will contain a story of mine—a dream since adolescence.  And two stories I have a special fondness for, “Texas Beach” and “Healing Benjamin” will appear in terrific anthologies (Richmond Noir and Tails of Wonder and Imagination).  I wrote both these stories, both involving beloved pets, as I was struggling with the decision to euthanize Alice, a most wonderful dog I was privileged to share a life with.  I’m revising a YA novel, Cloverleaf, and have completed a draft of a thriller, The Recluse or The President’s Dog.  A favorite weird story, “The Art Disease,” will be appearing in John Klima’s excellent Electric Velocipede.  My kids are well and happy, I love my wonderful wife, and the new young pup is a joy.  Life is good, every single moment.  Happy New Year, everyone, and many more.

2 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. This post is so GOOD to hear, not that I’d expect anything any less positive from you regarding what you have been thru. I lost my husband 1/28/01, from his heart, tho he had kidney failure, on dialysis for years, and had been on methadone for years. We had been married 38 years. We had many wonderful pets over these years.

    The thought of yourr family and pets to be without you are more than my heart can take. Luckily when my husband died our dog, Roy was by his side. I was not home, but I was the first to be by his side. He was smiling. I was so glad he did not have to die alone.

    I do have his poetry and a woman that has wanted to publish it for years. She has published many educational children’s books etc and has had poetry groups for years, and she loved my husband. Now it’s just up to me to get it together. I have been working on it but also working on a manuscript that I started in 1980, and have promised to complete. But from my husband’s death I am what they “stuck.” But one good thing before he died he did have many poems published, one made into a play that was presented in Ashland, so at least he felt something in life that made him feel good about himself, something he lacked throughout his life. You know how it is to be a writer and…

    Your story makes me so happy. I have not corresponded to your blog very much, nor read it often but it isn’t because it isn’t interesting, or that I don’t want to. It is more personal and getting along in life is a full time job as you know. I am so proud of you and your accomplishments, both in your work, your ability to connect with so many people, thru your writings, teachings, and friendship and in being such a loving family member. In other words I am just one of many of your fans.

    I am not spell cking this so please excuse any errors, that stuff drives me crazy. I just moved from living in Seattle for 21 yrs to here in Humboldt County CA, and have been here since Aug and am crazy so l hope this post even makes sense. Adjustment is hard right now. I just had to comment. I have been keeping tabs on your health but haven’t commented, but today I had to cause it has been just one of those days you wonder why…well in other words Thelma and Louise look pretty good today. The Eel river is mighty full right now from the rain, but now I am at the library computer, none at home yet, so your post has made me feel good because you are well and happy. Sorry if this is sappy or out of line. Also is there any way I can get any of my books (or yours) signed? I have favorites, they change ever so often!! Ever come to Arcata, Eureka. They are just North of me, in Rio Dell.

    I recommend you to people I know appreciate excellent, creative writers. They have never been disappointed. You are a treasure in the writing world – and as a totally decent human being. Thank you for being. J

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