*wanders in from 2020, tea in hand, sunglasses on*

So hey, what’s up?

2020 started with so much promise. I had an amazing year lined up: fantastic conventions, some book releases, lots of travel, a magical evening of real-life historical wonder at the palace of Versailles.

But then, as I was planning for our first convention of the year – Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, Washington – I started seeing some disturbing reports coming out of China, and then the rest of the world. By early February, we’d cancelled our Emerald City plans. By the end of March, it was clear that nothing was going to go as we’d hoped.

Even so, I count us among the lucky ones. Jim was able to push back his planned sabbatical and resume teaching for the college online, so we had an element of financial stability as we waited to see how the pandemic would impact the publishing industry. We went through lockdowns in our lovely downtown home, with enough space so that work, life, exercise and sleep weren’t happening jumbled atop of each other. Our families stayed connected and safe. We lost people, but acquaintances rather than close friends or relatives. We made it through, more or less, assuming we are near the end of all this and not merely in a lull.

Things could have been much worse. They were much worse for many, many people.

That doesn’t mean it was easy, or that we’re able to simply bounce back into the way things were before. Some of the things we enjoy – travel, hosting parties, attending comic cons – feel infused with a sense of maybe we shouldn’t really be doing this. The first con we attended post-lockdowns, Calgary Expo in April 2022, ended with us both contracting Covid, infecting the friends we were visiting, and renting a car so we could drive back to Toronto in a four-day haze of drive-through food, masking and paranoia. It was not an auspicious start to what folks were calling a return to normalcy.

And here, at the end of 2022, the last two years feel like a weird blur, like a half-remembered dream that’s left only disjointed impressions and an lingering sense of unease. I wish I’d kept blogging through it all, making a record across time that might now serve as an anchor for those experiences, but I didn’t and time, as they say, keeps marching on.

Which also means that tomorrow is another day.