This is a big divisible-by-five year for me. In 2021, I mark the 25th anniversary of this website and my 60th birthday. This coincidence of mathematics gives me a chance to reflect on the past and look ahead.
As I approach 60, I’m now old enough that body parts stop working properly, and it’s just considered a “normal part of aging.” I recently developed a posterior vitreous detachment in my right eye, or commonly known as a “floater.” It looks like a stray hair with clumps in the daytime and an occasional lightning bolt-like flash at night. The ophthalmologist told me it is benign and cannot be corrected at this time, but to let her know if things worsen. I can count that along with my gray hair as something I’m fortunate that I’ve lived long enough to have.
Getting older also influences my writing. I write about characters who find themselves trapped by their past until they learn from it. Having more of a past to look back on gives me a greater perspective. I have nothing against younger authors. Wisdom isn’t a function of age, and writers can find their voice and insight when young. It has just taken me this long until I can find my stride as a published fiction author. All of us arrive at the right time and place for us.
Part of my growth comes from this website, which marks its 25th anniversary this year. Yes, I’ve been on the web longer than Google, Facebook, and Twitter. If only I knew how to monetize and control society like they do. At least I had a very turn-of-millennium masthead back in the day.
Looking back at my website, I can see changes not just in technology, but where I was in different parts of my life. When I was active in Toastmasters, speeches were the most important part of my site. When I was president of our Little League, The Little White Ball was a key part of my site. I could also see social trends emerge. My post about Cosmos and Inherit the Wind and the dangers of ignoring science proved to be frighteningly prophetic during this pandemic.
The year 2021 also offers plenty of promise. I’m finishing my final draft of The Remainders for publication and continuing work on Haunted. We can all look forward to when this pandemic subsides, and we can move into whatever form of normalcy emerges from the aftermath.
These divisible-by-five years give us a chance to reflect so we can look ahead. I look forward to many good things in the year ahead, even if certain body parts don’t function as well as they did in past divisible-by-five years.