2017 is sliding towards 2018 with gathering speed. Parenthood doesn’t leave a huge amount of time for reflection but I’ve managed to carve out some time to note some things that went well and some that didn’t.

Things I did:

  • I became a Dad for the third time and we welcomed my daughter (known online as Spark for now). She likes making lots of noise, anything that crinkles and throwing up on Dad. We’re all quite taken with her.
  • I got myself fit again and ran three races for SANDs culminating in the Cardiff Half. This raised some money for a cause close to my heart. The Just Giving page is open for a few more days, should you want to bung SANDS a few quid.
  • I got the rewrite of TSG done and over to the editor who is helping me whip it into shape. Final adjustments are due to complete over the coming weeks and this will go out to agents in the new year. You have to be in it to win it.

Things I didn’t do:

  • While things improved on the fitness front. I am still carrying too much weight for my own good and, while I enjoy the look of people trying to figure out how my physique can carry me round a half marathon, I need to correct this in 2018 or I will start to experience the joys of my genes. I’ve managed to lose it before but I do need to make it easy for myself.
  • I began submitting stories again but targeting only pro-paying markets and largely focussing on material that never made it out of the door. I haven’t picked up a sale yet though some positive rejections. Onwards!
  • I remain too easily distracted by my phone. I got a bit better on this front towards the back end of the year, I’ve begun reaching for a paperback any time I fancy looking at my portable glass teat. However, progress remains slow going.

2017 has been a rollercoaster, from the constant tension through the first half of the year to the ups and downs of having another young baby in the house. I think we’re done now and our little family – forever fractured – is complete. The minor chord that has run through our life since 2013 is still there but we’ve tried to fill it with other notes, turning the tune into a fresh movement that brings some joy in the dark. I am grateful for what we have while remembering what we lost.

Overall, I have just tried to be more kind and calm. Be excellent to each other.