Hello 2023

A lot of people are writing morose bits about 2022 and how they hope that 2023 won’t be worse. I dunno: I had a good 2022 and I expect a good 2023.

To be sure, when I paid $111.00 for about $50 worth of groceries earlier today, that was disappointing. And gas is getting back above $4 a gallon here. So, yeah: I know that some things really sucked in 2022. But I had a good year.

I put out Shadow Army and Kings and Queen. I had hoped to get Heirs out in 2022 but, believe it or not, I’ve had the hardest time finding appropriate cover art for it. I know, sounds silly: but it is important. And let me tell you, for all the really first rate art there is to buy out there, I was surprised to find that getting a couple pictures of young men looking heroic for a fantasy novel cover was hard. I think I finally found what I need: of course, it’ll have to be modified. Not for me is the wealth that would allow me to commission original art – I buy art on the market and then have it modified to suit.

And I recently received a note from a reader who found Kings and Queen to be first rate. I’m happy when I get that feedback. If I can bring just a little bit of joy to someone’s life, then the whole thing is worth it. Right after that note, I did have to read Kings and Queen again to make sure that nothing in Heirs contradicted Kings – and as I read it, I had to agree with my reader: it really is a first rate novel. Lots of fun; I hope a bit moving in places. Heirs I also think good, and Empress is the best of all so far, in my view. The Crimson Blade needs some work on the ending. Home World also need a bit of work on the ending. Home World gets us back into our world for a bit of fun and adventure, Ghost Tower is shaping up nicely…and I was suddenly inspired again and got a start on Antaki, which will be book XII. I’ll be at this for a while!

And, of course, just before Christmas we released Aleste and the Icecrystal Dragons. While I hooked the story into the Mirrors series, it is a stand-alone story and it really is my granddaughter’s story. As I was one day explaining the Mirrors series to her she got a thoughtful look on her face and observed that my story had no dragons in it. And so I told her to invent some dragons for me – and then I just took her Narrative and put it into book form. It is an excellent little tale suitable for about 8 to 12 year old kids, probably more favorable to girls (imagine that: a ten year old girl comes up with a story that little girls will like!). It is clean (of course) and its got dragons, magic, a princess, an evil witch and lots of fun. If you’ve got a youngster in your life, I recommend it: you can find it on Amazon.

I took some vacation time to the beach: Del Mar and La Jolla in San Diego, to be exact. I had introduced my wife and granddaughter to it a couple years ago and they’ve fallen in love with it. The shining memories I have is my granddaughter building a sand castle in just about the exact spot on Torrey Pines beach where I did when I was 8 or so…and then taking an hours walk on the beach with her. Just Pop and her…with her asking me every question under the sun about oceans and seagulls and starfish and sea lions and on and on and on.

We all heard that Pope Benedict passed today, the last day of the year. Hard to be sad when someone passes away at 95. But it was a bit of a wrench. I am not one of those Trad-Caths who abhors Pope Francis. I have my disagreements with some non-doctrinal things he’s said and done, but on doctrine he’s been as solid as Benedict or John Paul ever were. I do believe that the Church was getting at risk of being too rigid – starting to get into a habit where the form was more important than the substance. I dig the people who want the Latin Mass (I prefer the Novus Ordo, myself) and there is a need to hold fast to the past…but there is also a need to recognize that we’re no longer defending Christian civilization. That is dead and gone and if we pretend otherwise, nobody will listen to us. We have to take people as they are and bring them along: not demand that they immediately be like a Catholic or other Christian was in, say, 1923.

It does suck that China Joe is still in office. Also sucks that we lost the Senate. I’m not thinking we’ll have a good political year in 2023 for the Right. Unless things really go south. Which they might.

It also continues to suck that Russia is being Russia, China, China all the while our political and military leadership is incompetent if not bought by foreign powers. But, leaders comes and go. And we have made lots of progress at the State and local level. We get a Republican governor here in Nevada on the 7th. the North Carolina Supreme Court will be Republican dominated at least until 2029 – thus putting an end to Democrat efforts to fraud North Carolina from Red to Blue. And that is the real key to the future: hold what we’ve got, make it legally impossible for Democrats to fraud us out…and then build outwards into the purple and blue areas of the country. So, we do have some reasons for optimism.

And, also, crying won’t help. You can, if you wish, drop into a funk about it all – but why being miserable seems a good option is a bit beyond my experience. I prefer to be happy, and have a good New Year.