2016 started with so much promise.
If I recall correctly, I was looking forward to not just one, not just two, but three albums. Considering how little I buy new music, this was truly a wealth of goods.
Two of the albums, Anthrax’s For All Kings and Megadeth’s Dystopia, were thrash metal albums released by my two favorite heavy metal bands. The third album I was looking forward to was the latest and, it would turn out, last David Bowie album, Blackstar.
With the sudden and very shocking announcement of Mr. Bowie’s death a mere couple of days after the release of that album, what was a cause of celebration, hearing another of his works, quickly soured. The album was damn great, mind you, but it was hard to listen to it with the gut punch of it being tied to his death.
As for Anthrax and Megadeth’s albums, I liked them but…I dunno. They were perfectly fine works but didn’t have the same something or another their other, better albums had.
But things weren’t all bad. I knew in 2016 I’d finally release my new novel, Foundry of the Gods. I put in so much work on it in 2015 and by the time 2016 rolled around figured the book could be done by February.
Boy, was I wrong.
The book took far longer to finish up, ultimately taking me through November and its release just as we had what, to my mind, was one of the more depressing bits of news ever: The election of Donald Trump to President of the United States.
Yesterday word came that Carrie Fisher had died after suffering a heart attack on board a plane traveling to L.A. The news wasn’t shocking considering what was described of the heart attack and her apparently being out and unresponsive but of course, it was shocking.
Between Mr. Bowie’s death and Ms. Fisher’s passing we’ve had a year full of deaths, from Muhammad Ali to Gene Wilder to Don Hendley to Abe Vigota to…it seems to go on and on and on and as I write this it is December 28th and there are still 3 more days left to this year and one wonders if we’re in for any more nasty surprises.
(UPDATE: So now comes word Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher’s mother and a remarkable actress in her own right, passed away one freaking day after her daughter. This incredibly cruel year just can’t end soon enough.)
I said above this was about “selfish thoughts” and I’ll get to that now: Going into the year, I was filled with the optimism I noted above. A new book just about ready. Three albums I was looking forward to buying and listening to.
And then things went so very bad.
Despite the added length of time it took to finish up Foundry of the Gods, I (pardon my language) fucking love the damn book and consider it one of the best I’ve written to date.
Yet as much as I love the book and as much as I cherish my own personal accomplishment and the fact that for the first time I’m seeing so many people pick up my latest work as it is released (thank you all very much for that), the novel will be forever linked to what could well be one of the shittier years, at least in terms of downbeat news, I’ve ever witnessed.
2017 is right around the corner and a part of me hopes things will get better yet another part of me recognizes a Trump Presidency -and all the lunacy I fear will come from it- lies just around the corner.
I work on, hoping for better times yet worried 2017 might be just as turbulent and depressing as 2016.
For my very own selfish reasons, if I do manage to finish my new book before the end of 2017, I hope its release doesn’t tie it, at least in my mind, with any more depressing news.