Another year is upon us. Seems the older I get, the more thankful I am for having the simple privilege of making plans.
You see, I’m still here.
Others I know, others you know, weren’t so lucky.
So with that gratitude in mind, let me share a bit of what I hope to see unfold in this fresh-out-of-the-box 2017…
On the political side of things, we saw one heck of a 2016, did we not? A contentious, at times shocking, endeavor that pitted one political outsider against perhaps the most inside of political insiders to run for president in generations. She was also the first woman to be nominated as a presidential candidate by either of the two major parties.
And yes, regardless of what side of the political fence you chose to stand behind, it was both entertaining and historic.
And in the end, despite more than a billion dollars spent against him, and a constant barrage of negative media attacks, this brash, outspoken, New York personality that is Donald Trump, proved the professional pollsters and political pundits wrong and emerged victorious.
2017 looms for Donald Trump just as it does all of us.
I pray he’s up to the task. This country needs some help. Those of us truly paying attention can feel that, can’t we? Things aren’t right, and haven’t been for some time. This sickness goes far beyond a singular political figure, or moment. It’s an unsettling malignancy that has spread throughout the entirety of the country’s political body that dates back beyond Barack Obama, or George W. Bush.
Let us hope these Democrats and these Republicans, and this new president, can find a way to find a way.
ALL Americans deserve a chance at health and happiness and success, and when given said chance, it is up to each of us to make the most of it.
Which brings me to my own plans for 2017.
At this very moment, I am busy working on the 3rd installment of the San Juan Islands Mystery Series – “Murder on Matia.”
I hope to have it available to readers by late spring of this year.
In the meantime, the second installment of that same series, “DARK WATERS”, was published by Kindle Press approximately a month ago, though as of this writing, the publisher continues to focus the majority of their marketing efforts on the first in the series, “THE WRITER” hoping to continue building the readership to better sustain the longer term success of the ongoing series.
It’s a sometimes frustrating affair, having so little input into how one’s work is marketed, but, for now, I am left to trust that the publisher knows what they are doing, and will continue to represent the best interests of my work. I remain grateful for their help in the editing process, and their patience with my own often impatience in the continuing reality of being a full-time novelist. In the meantime, I will continue to do what I love – which is writing and then writing some more.
On a more personal note, the Little General and I are looking at the last of our two children heading off to university next fall which means that for at least a year, we will have the dubious honor of writing not one, but two simultaneous college tuition checks for a while.
If any of you have college-aged children of your own, you know the contrasting nature of both pride and pain that accompanies that occasion. College is bloody expensive!
Ah, but that is the task of a loving parent. Support them financially, at least in part, and make them feel terribly guilty about it as you do. 🙂
(To be fair, both our kids also work and do so willingly. That’s part of the deal. We help them so long as they prove willing to also help themselves. I’m a particularly demanding old bastard in that department.)
2017 will also likely prove an ongoing effort in making our way toward the same islands my most recent novels are located in. The San Juan Islands have long been my summer playground. Someday in the hopefully not too distant future, they will be my permanent residence. I have been blessed to have married a woman who loves those same islands as much as I do, and who also is just as willing to bait a hook, or a crab-pot, and venture out into sometimes troubled waters to bring back a catch.
(I’m certain there’s a life-metaphor to be found there.)
So, while that move won’t happen in its entirety in 2017, it will hopefully prove to be a critical component of that journey. In response to the double-tuition scenario I mentioned earlier, we have already downsized our boat from the classic Chris Craft we’ve enjoyed for several years, to a smaller C-Dory that I will soon christen “C-Salt”, so, if you see us putting about the San Juan waters this summer, feel free to give us a wave and a nod. Or, you might see us tied up at the docks of Roche Harbor, or Deer Harbor, (both locations used extensively in my novels) and if so, feel free to say a quick hello. I might appear at first glance a bit stand-offish, but so long as you approach with both caution and good manners, I usually prove friendly enough.
It is my sincere hope that 2017 finds all of you enjoying far more better days than not, for in the end, isn’t that the most we can all hope for? May your loved ones remain healthy and safe, and may you find the time to enjoy both.
I certainly hope to do the same.
Bring it on, 2017. Let’s see what you’re made of…
D.W. Ulsterman is a bestselling, award-winning author and socio-political commentator.
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