– For Liz’s birthday present, she and I took a trip to Gulfport, on Tampa Bay, to visit Donna — someone I’ve always thought Liz should meet. We saw the sights and ate great food, and I got to hear a set of stories I had never heard Donna tell as some intergenerational wisdom was shared.
– Had my first anniversary date with Caroline. To celebrate, we recreated our first date. It had been a quick year since Caroline was in Philadelphia doing a fellowship at an art school.
– Visited Teresa in LA, my first trip to southern California. I always thought I would hate it there because people generally seem to, but as it turned out it was pretty great. Besides a bit of tourism, Teresa and I used the opportunity to outline the pilot episode for the TV show we had talked about doing for a writing sample (which we would later title Rocket).
– Made the decision in about March or April to stay at Dancing Classrooms, my day job since 2007, only through the end of summer, giving me time to use up my vacation time, then leave to find part time work that would give me time to write more. It was a very scary decision but I was having so much fun working on Rocket, my forst new project after working on Obscenity for two years, that I knew it was finally time to give up some comforts to devote more time to writing.
– At the end of May, Caroline’s lease in Philadelphia ended and, very happily, I helped her move to New York. She lived with Liz and me throughout June while finding an apartment, then moved in to her own place a few blocks from mine, and WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS how happy I’ve been about it ever since. Since then, we have spent innumerable hours just hanging around, doing nothing much, and it has been the best part of the year.
– The worst part of the year was the death of my grandfather on July 1. Caroline and I had already planned a trip to Michigan and we got there just soon enough for me to read Papa a story, “The Big Two- Hearted River” by Ernest Hemingway, the day before he died. When I heard the news that he had passed away, I was at Pyramid Point with Aunt Mary, my cousin Erik, and Caroline. Preparations for the funeral basically took over the trip after that, but we did manage to get away for a few days to visit my dad and Kris in western Michigan, and go to a water park.
– Sadly, my grandfather’s death wasn’t the only death of the summer. A good friend’s husband committed suicide a few days later, and my very first friend from childhood was found dead in a park in East Lansing.
– Read the complete Sherlock Holmes in a marathon of summer reading.
– Continued my hobby of Appalachian Trail hiking. Early in the year I finished up the last little bit of New Jersey I hadn’t done, and on Labor Day, I went on a 60-mile hike in northern Virginia with Ryan.
– One week before my full-time job at Dancing Classrooms was supposed to end, my boss offered me the option to stay on part-time. I began a 25-hour-a-week schedule which allowed me time for 3 hours of writing a day. I managed to stick to that schedule for about a month and a half, which was a hell of a lot of work. I’ve been forced to cut back due to fatigue and seasonal crankiness, but I am still managing to be quite productive. The three main projects so far have been Obscenity, Rocket and The Adventures of Moriarty.
– Carsen visited to celebrate our friend Ruthie’s birthday. We also tried to hike the Long Path between Harriman State Park and New York City, but we only finished part of it.
– Many hours of blissful hanging out with Caroline — played with Raaarr and Bunnies, watched a ton of Buffy, induced vomiting in everyone around us.
– Teresa visited New York with her boyfriend Adam, giving us a chance to hang out and also finish our first draft of Rocket. The second draft is nearing completion now.
– Thanksgiving with Caroline’s family in Virginia. Was introduced to P. D. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster (the TV version, then the actual stories).
– Christmas with Donna, Caroline and my mom back in Gulfport, Florida. I imposed on Donna’s hospitality for a much-needed week and a half in the sun.
– Spent New Year’s at the apartment with Caroline, Liz and Talitha watching The Princess Bride.