To paraphrase someone on Twitter, 2014 was basically what it looks like if one were to represent a garbage fire as a period of time. There were a few bright shining spots of warmth towards the end -- The Idigam Chronicle Fiction Anthology and Umbra: The Velvet Shadow were both released, and despite circumstances negatively affecting my writing the first draft of Umbra I'm pretty proud of how those both came out. But for the most part, this is one of the worst years I've had in recent memory. Certainly the worst that didn't directly involve the death of a close family member.
And what were those circumstances? The start of my 2014 was centered around my furnace failing me and the house freezing from the polar vortex winds while I was out of town visiting friends, causing multiple pipes to explode and soaking parts of the house. The furnace is in much better shape these days (the furnace's failure was primarily due to dirt in the gas lines, which we didn't know about until some time after and having replaced some parts the problem is pretty much taken care of), but it doesn't change the fact that at a time when I was finishing up the final draft on my Luna stuff for the Aeon core book and expecting to start proper work on my first draft on Umbra, I was dealing with the fallout of my house being completely fucked up.
And then the car problems. Because I'd been having issues with my garage, I was parked on the street and it got hit by someone swerving to dodge a guy who'd run a stop sign. And the person who'd hit my car had recently purchased their vehicle... and never updated their car insurance. As a result, even though my own insurance guy insisted it shouldn't work that way as long as the other driver had their premiums paid up, it was literally almost a month before they could clear things up so I could get my car looked at and get them to pay for a rental car.
(Sometimes I stop and think about the fact that at the time my car got hit, I'd been getting ready to go out and attend a LARP. If I hadn't taken the time to shave, I might've been out of there entirely before it could have been hit. There's also a non-zero chance that I could have been loading stuff into the trunk at the time, and I probably would have been killed or at least crippled. So yeah.)
And in the end, just enough damage had been done to my 8-year old Cobalt that it was cheaper to replace than fix, so I combined the check I got from State Farm with some money I got from finally unloading one of my mom's houses and got myself a recent Altima which has done right by me.
So yeah, that house. That also came up during all this mess at the start of the year. We took a bit of a hit on the house, trying to unload it, and actually hit an obnoxious snag. My mother, at the time of her passing back in 2011, owned two houses. We've got someone making payments on one of the houses, with the long-term goal of fixing it up and selling it. But the lawyer we had draw up the paperwork accidentally transferred ownership of the wrong house to the guy, so then we had to sort that out and... just ugh. But either way, we finally got rid of one house and the other's still a work in progress.
But yeah, annoyances all around, and all in all it pretty much wiped out any good buzz I got from the release of Rage Across the World right at the end of 2013. And I'm not even going to get into all of the national news and internet toxicity of the last few months. Just no.
Were there some strong points this year? A few, yeah. My writing is still a little more off-and-on than I'd like. But like I said, in the last few months of the year I had a couple of books I worked on come out and that's given a bit of a boost to recent times.
Gencon was also a delight this year. Onyx Path had their first solo booth, and I spent more than a bit of time there talking to a few folks I'd only known by internet handles and the like. Had some very productive chats, and at one point over the course of the weekend I got to play in a Trinity game (first edition, as the new rules are only now rapidly approaching open development) run by John Snead (heron61) himself and we had a very pleasant conversation on our way to the 'What's Up with Onyx Path' panels. I admit, that was a high point of my weekend and even now, recalling it, I'm getting a good vibe looking ahead into the coming year. I'm looking forward to getting the chance to write my remaining rules sections for the Aeon core (I'm covering the Chromatics and Coalition, in addition to the aforementioned Luna material) and seeing the new Trinity Continuum properly release (at least, I'm hoping that's still on track for 2015, almost afraid to ask).
But getting into a more general thing, my life's been in sort of a less-than-ideal holding pattern, but this has mostly been a year of having some revelations about what's really important in life and all that. In a few weeks, I'm going to be finally seeing a therapist about the depression I've been struggling with for years and doing what I can to move on with my life, get out of the place I'm living in now and get myself into a position (literally and metaphorically) where I can go back to school and get that sorted.
In addition, in the coming year I plan to be a little more visibly active online. I'm making plans to get a regular blogging site account, one with some more options for crossposting to G+ or Twitter or LJ. In the coming year, I'm going to be running more tabletop that isn't Pathfinder, so I'm going to be posting some actual plays of stuff I'm running. I'll get into more hard details when that time comes, but that will also hopefully get me into more of a mindset to finish little projects of my own and get them posted.
My feelings on the impending 2015 are thus: First, I think it's going to be a better year than 2014 because quite frankly it pretty much would have to be. Second, a lot of what I and everyone else has been through in this past year has put a lot of things into perspective so I'll be coming into the year with a hopefully sharper focus.
(Now, that said, there's a nonzero chance that I'll just be saying all this again in 12 months. If that's the case, you have my permission to just clobber me senseless and hope the resulting brain damage is an improvement.)