Through a series of random events, I was able to get my hands on an advance copy of “Shades And Shadows: A paranormal Anthology”. As a fan of seasonally-appropriate fiction, this bundle of strange and scary short stories was a good way to spend an evening.
The stories range in skill level and scope, which makes the entire thing a more interesting read. The high point for me was “Cost of Custody” by R.M. Ridley, a well-paced story about an arcane detective who takes one last sob story case for the day and gets more than he bargains for. The author is very aware of the space he has in the story: a lot of writers can lose track of the limited room a short story has and end up spending too much time on extraneous details about weather and their character’s food choices. Ridley has prune the superfluous out of the story so every paragraph pushes the narrative towards a satisfying conclusion. And I’m a sucker for a polycultural magic system-why use one civilization’s magic and myth when you can throw them all together in a spellcasting stew? All in all, the ebook anthology is well worth the cost.
Packed full of pie and turkey, I’m reflecting on the overall wonderfulness of my life, starting with the baseline of living a healthy and comfortable life in a great country. On top of that, I’m surrounded by supportive and kind people who want me to explore and enjoy my life. And as if that wasn’t enough, I have a super-smart and delightful son, and a motivated and inspiring wife who both love me completely.
As I was whirling around the kitchen cooking this afternoon, I thought about just how lucky I am to be able to chase my dreams. I get to spend my work day writing stories. It doesn’t bring in much money at all, true, but it’s not about the money. (Please note: though creativity and art aren’t about being paid, I will gladly take an increase in money. Foods not free).
And this freedom to scratch this creative itch is all thanks to my dear wife. So, really, if I have to pick the one thing I’m most thankful for today, it’s the wonderful (and unfortunately under the weather) woman who I share my life with. I am a lucky man.
I have the same sense of time passing that a dog does. My focus is on the present, the moment that I’m swimming through right now. If you grill me on the date and the number of years since a specific event happened, I’m going to answer you with some head-scratching and confused looks.
So it’s strange when I realize that a significant amount of time has passed since a life-changing event. 9 years ago, my lovely wife Kristen and I exchanged our vows and started our married life together, and I’m still thrilled to be with her when I wake up every morning.
Maintaining a partnership for any length of time is a challenge. Adapting to and weathering the storms of life puts any couple under a tremendous amount of stress: events like job changes, the birth of your child, the trials and tribulation of family drama are a lot for any 2 people to deal with.
A lot of people would buckle down, handle the changes life brings to you, and call that success. But not us. We decided to push a little farther and chase the potential of who we could be. I found a surprising passion for politics and civic engagement, along with a dream of writing my first novel. Kristen discovered a drive for competition and fitness, and a love of volunteering and community. We talked, we listened, we started chasing our dreams, and our partnership grew stronger.
We’ve experienced some wonderful and inspiring moments over the last 9 years, and I can’t wait for the next one, and a million more after that. I love you, Kristen. Happy Anniversary!