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  • Bryan W. Alaspa

2018 was sh*t. Here's to 2019

2018 ended and that's a good thing. Good riddance. A year which started bad, also ended bad. In between were a few (very few) highlights, but mostly it was a screaming nightmare punctuated by frantic depression and immense lows. Sure, I'm just speaking personally in this case. There were quite a few friends of mine who said they had one of their best years yet in 2018. Sadly, for me, it was a year of low output, the year I came closest to having total writer's block and then there were the unending frustrations in my personal life.

January 2018 was relatively boring, to be honest. I was looking forward to the publication of SPIDAR in February. However, no sooner did the book come out and my dad was rushed back to the hospital. I got a call from my mom saying she wasn't sure if he would make it. I took a day off, rushed out to see him, only to find he had had a remarkable recovery. I also had an interesting and crushing phone call with someone about a job while on the way. Then, just a week or so later, my wife got laid off from the job she had held for years.

My dad's health continued to decline. At the same time, my wife's time off led to months of interviews and uncertainty. I found some freelance work, but the biggest pay out led to a nightmare where the person who hired me agreed to pay a certain amount, then reduced that amount, then, once the project was finished, disputed the amount paid on his credit card necessitating more wrangling with the invoicing software I used and delayed payments and weeks of worrying and wondering and having money then losing money.

I made a new friend with another freelance job and that went well. The other problems did resolve, but I had lost the ability to write. I tried to start writing a few novels, but found myself unable to write or focus.

By June, things got really bad. My dad passed away after more than a decade of fighting heart and kidney disease. There was the rush of a funeral, but then came the harsh realities of dealing with all he left behind. The fallout from this continues to this day.

My wife did find another job just as the freelance gig I had dried up. I suddenly found myself with story ideas. I drafted one of the darkest, sickest, goriest stories I've ever written. I also wrote a crime thriller with a twist I think might get published by a regular publisher (not just me) and is with a Beta reader now.

Highlights started to emerge now. I met Allie James who did the audiobook version of my short story collection When the Night Comes Out. I loved working with her so much, I have some things in development which I hope will take my writing to new levels in 2019 and deliver stories in new ways.

I talked to an old friend from high school about a possible project which will also potentially take me in new directions in 2019.

Somewhere in the year I also wrote a couple new pieces of non-fiction, including my latest true crime tale and a book for writers to learn how to use SEO to help market their books.

I also rewrote a novel which has been sitting on my shelves unfinished for more than a year. I have three novels planned for release in 2019.

However, the year ended with one more kick to the balls. Our beloved dog Pippa took a severe turn which made the holidays a nightmare as we worried about her every day for more than a week. She passed away on the 26th and our hearts have been shattered as a final eff you from 2018. To top it off, I came down with a cold just to put the cherry on top of the sundae.

Too much death. Too many hard blows. Too many very bad things. Not enough writing. Not enough creating.

I do hope some of the things which happened in 2018 lead to a great 2019. I think the books I have planned for 2019 are really some of my best. I think you'll like them and Allie James is a talent I cannot wait to work with again.

Strong women in my life helped me get through it. My wife, Melanie, first and foremost. She has remained my rock and I do think we're stronger now than we were before. I also want to thank Allie, my friend Heather, Candace Rae, and others. Without them, the highlights, as few as they were, would not exist at all and my outlook for 2019 would not be so bright.

I do hope you had a nice 2018. I hope you will come with me in 2019 as I plan more things for you. I thank you for sticking with me during the past year. I thank you for reading. For reviewing. For following and for recommending my work.

Be well. Happy new year.

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