Looking for holiday cheer in dark times

Hello to all those who still check in here from time to time. My last report from Google said I'm averaging between 6,000 and 7,000 visits per month, so I know some of you are out there. 

I've made it a habit for the last 20 years to leave a year-end wrap-up here and send holiday greetings. My holiday/Christmas cheer is in very short supply with the dark state of the world right now. Once again, it feels like we're standing on the edge of a precipice. I fear 2024 will be more of the same with the future of the United States teetering toward a promised dictatorship should an old face reappear in the White House. 

I stopped watching broadcast news completely in 2023, especially after the Hamas invasion of Israel and the horrific images from Gaza as the Israelis conducted an expected, but disproportionate response. The images of children twisted and screaming in the rubble finally forced me to turn away. I get my news now from global newspapers that offer a varied perspective not only on the Israeli-Hamas War, but also on Ukraine and the battered United States. 

I spent three months – from mid-May to mid-August – in Ann Arbor, Michigan with quite a few side trips to Detroit, Toronto, Chicago, and Toldeo. While I was still working my day job, it was nice to have a change of scenery, a cooler summer, new surroundings to explore, and a chance to work on the new & selected collection, Wonder & Wreckage.

Speaking of the new & selected, it's nearing the finish line and the April 2024 release timeframe is still happening. I've already started booking some readings,  both online and in person, so that has lit a fire under me. That said, I cannot wait to get this project off my plate so I can move on to the next one. I started planning this new & selected just after Midnight in a Perfect World came out five (?!) years ago, so it's been a long process. 

As I write this on Christmas Eve, the manuscript is complete, including an introduction and acknowledgments, and the final cover is being tweaked. Stay tuned for a cover reveal in January. 

After Wonder & Wreckage, I'll take the briefest of breaks before I dive into co-editing an anthology I've been wanting to do for years. I can't release any details yet, but watch for a call for poems in Autumn 2024. Anthologies are a shitload of work, but the subject of this anthology (a poet in my heart since the 70s – hint, hint) is near and dear to me, so well worth the effort. And after that - fiction again, at last! 

As for my health, I had another tiny cancer scare at the end of November when a routine colonoscopy discovered a large polyp. Luckily, it was nothing, but it does mean another anal probe in three years. Sigh. In January, I'm having a little cosmetic surgery to fix my saggy mouth following the other cancer. I'm hopeful my countenance might return to something approaching normal. We shall see. 

I truly hope you are all keeping well and I appreciate your continued support. Much love and light in this darkness. 


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