Hot and cold showers – (em)bracing for change

I think everything that happened to me in 2014 has helped me as a writer and as a person. There were good things and sad things, and I managed to only get a bit singed by the very few bad things.

A conference for which I had worked very hard over more than two years became a success against all odds. I had a wonderful team that helped me reach out for the love of story. In this case, the short story conference in Vienna in the summer. Friendships were formed, connections made. Folks will meet again, thanks to the conference. Stories will be told.

But the conference is over, so here’s to the next. May it be stimulating, caring and most importantly, inclusive. A conference is really only as good as its participants, and I was fortunate to have been able to complete a short story cycle commenced in 2002 with the Vienna conference in 2014.

I lost two old friends in 2014, one very dear.

The word “friend” also took on a whole new meaning in its different shades. I’m reminded here of wise words from another old friend from my former life in Geneva when I was working within a small power circle. “Don’t be surprised at how people treat you once you are no longer up there.” I was a bit then, but today, the comment can only provide grist for the writing mill.

Some of my work found a home in print, audio, collaborations, sharing and teaching. I was happy to have touched someone here and there. Larger works received new impetus through what I experienced throughout the year. Some of these make me fearful, but I need to go there if the writing is to be any good. I’m reminded of Peter Handke’s 1970 novel, The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick.

2015 will see family celebrations, consolidation, new projects, and, most of all, change, something which I intend to embrace.

Onwards!

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