While it seems everyone in the blogosphere is posting best of, worst of, and the ever-popular New Year's resolution lists, I find I'm ambling around the internet, looking for something else to help me say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new.
I'm not sorry to see 2008 go. From the starting gate, it was the year of fear. Too much hatred, too much ugliness. Far too much heartbreak. In the midst of it, a few masks were ripped off and showed us what was really underneath, which no one wants to see even when they suspect it's there. Sometimes I thought "At least it can't get any worse" and then, of course, it did.
But I saw a lot of love and hope in 2008, too; far more than I expected. Tough times are hard, but they also bring out the best in people. Whenever we most had to pull together, someone held out their hands to help. Whenever we needed courage, someone inspired us with their own. It didn't make the bad stuff go away, but it made it easier to bear whenever it hung around and tried to get at us.
I guess for me it was the year of not hiding under the bed. I wanted to -- nothing much bothers the dustbunnies -- but some excellent things kept dragging me back out: the online writing community, my friends and readers, and the work. You all encouraged me to catch all the lemons instead of dodging them, and make them into lemonade. That I was a smartass and then sold the lemonade back to the people who threw them, well, that's what Zen revenge is all about, right?
I'd like 2009 to be better for my family, friends and colleagues, but it's going to be a year of change and challenges for all of us. Not a time I think we can make like the dustbunnies. May we all find reasons to come out, work together, and help each other get through whatever else the next twelve months will bring.
PublishingTrends.com has some very good news for e-book authors: 2008 Year in Review
For everything else that happened while we were writing, check out Newsday.com's backlook linkfest: Year in Review 2008
If you must resolve, check out the best ways to make it stick: How to keep up with those New Year's resolutions, researchers find commitment is the secret of success
Added: one last limited-time freebie of the year (reported as being advertised on the sidebar of my Scribd page for Incarnatio, oddly enough) is The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen. The Adobe .pdf version being offered doesn't download for me, so you might have to read it online, but hey, free book. *Note 9/3/10: Since Scribd.com instituted an access fee scam to charge people for downloading e-books, including those I have provided for free for the last ten years, I have removed my free library from their site, and no longer use or recommend using their service. My free reads may be read online or downloaded for free from Google Docs; go to my freebies and free reads page for the links. See my post about this scam here.