It seems a bit ridiculous to put the previous year in perspective; after all, what can we say but the big blue marble completed another track around the giant ball of fire? But a year is how we take stock: of ourselves, of the state of the world, of anything that matters to us as a society, a civilization, a species.
And none of it seems very good. Even if we wanted to set aside the global lunacy affecting us all on both micro and macro scales, we face problems that, to my own admittedly cynical eye, appear insurmountable. We've gone crazy, and none of us seem immune to modern dancing mania. On a personal level, even as I managed the fallout of a major personal incident that occurred a couple of years ago, new professional and personal issues required more of my energy and attention. I skipped events to ensure stability; those I attended had a bittersweet air. I missed deadlines for open calls I found interesting, and flirted with giving up writing several times; while I wrote more fiction this year, only a handful of pieces sold. The result is I begin the new year more tired than I have been in a while.
And yet, on the writing front, this has been my best year ever. I had six stories published in 2022, the most I've released in a single year, including:
I've been on TikTok for over a year now, and
For 2023, I plan editing my novel, and writing more fiction.
At this point, that's about all I can do.
Derek Austin Johnson has lived most of his life in the Lone Star State. His work has appeared in The Horror Zine, Rayguns Over Texas!, Horror U.S.A.: Texas, Campfire Macabre, The Dread Machine, and Generation X-ed.
He lives in Central Texas.