Well, 2020 was something, wasn’t it? Looking back on my previous year in review posts brings back lots of good memories, but also some lines that, in retrospect, are…interesting. In 2016, I remarked that “[a] lot of people have been saying that 2016 was awful”. I would bet that pales in comparison to what they’ve been saying about 2020. And last year, I said, “let me zoom back in on 2019”! Little did I know how much Zooming was to come (though in fact I personally have been doing very little Zooming, since my institution prefers other platforms).
2020 was admittedly a devastating year for my country, for much of the world, and for many, many people. I have been extraordinarily lucky to have been sheltered from the worst ravages of the pandemic. I don’t blame anyone who’s not ready to look for the silver linings or who’s not interested in hearing about all the good things that happened to other people amidst a year of suffering and loss. Paradoxically, the pandemic gave me a marvelous gift I would never have otherwise had, so it’s impossible for me to say it’s been all bad.
I will say that 2020 has felt long. The things I did in January and February feel incredibly distant. But they belong to this year too. Here is the bird’s-eye view of my 2020:
- I took a lovely trip to San Francisco and Palo Alto and visited Honolulu (I remember thinking about the coronavirus in LAX, but it was before life in Europe and North America changed)
- I participated in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses (which were kind of a bust this year, but shhh)
- I had my very own Writers@Grinnell event and attended a couple more events in the author series
- I visited Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore for the first and last time
- My family returned to the Boundary Waters and literally canoed to Canada
- I went to two online events with Amal El-Mohtar
- Thanks to Isabelle, I learned how to print drypoint etchings and make many different variations on filling wrapped in dough
- I flew to Paris on March 13th for a two-week spring break and stayed for two and a half months, spending the first French confinement with Isabelle and Olivier in Meudon-la-Forêt
- I taught my first entirely online class
- I finished a new complete draft of the novel I hope will be my next book
- I had four stories appear: “Yet a Youth” in Youth Imagination, “Lómr” (reprinted) in Daikaijuzine, “Mijara’s Freedom” in The Future Fire, and “A Burden of Transmuting Metal” in Silver Blade (this is as close as I’m going to get to an eligibility post)
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we can’t imagine what the future will bring. Nevertheless, I wish you hope and connection in 2021.