Skip to main content

Alive in 2018

I originally called this last of my year-end posts “Alive in…” because honestly I couldn’t think of a more general or truthful way to labeling the intention of these posts: “I was alive in 20XX and here’s what I saw.” That’s the way it’s seemed to me in the past.
Heading Across by Morgan Crooks (2018)
I had a tough year in 2018 but I survived. There are many, many things that happened that made this year difficult but I’m still alive and I hope for a better 2019.

I guess I’ll start at the top. As many of you already know, I’m getting divorced early next year. Lauren and I have gone through rough patches before but at some point this year it became apparent to both of us that we were trying very hard to keep something going that was making us both miserable.

So, in the next few months I will be: selling my house, filing a lot paperwork, transitioning to some other living situation, and figuring out where to go next. In part, although this has been incredibly difficult and I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do, the hard part is over. The change is happening and I am coping with it as best I can. Again, most of you that read these posts already know this and if you don’t the most likely reason is that I have not been fortunate enough to be in your company long enough to explain what’s going on. I’ve kept it off social media because by the time I figured out what was going on, for the most part it was already old news. I sincerely apologize if this is the first time you’re hearing about it and that makes you disappointed. I will buy you a beverage of your choice at your earliest convenience.

There was Arisia. That was a thing in 2018. I’ve already posted a couple of thoughts about the failures at the top and my own struggles to come to terms with what the allegations meant for the convention and my role within in it. I will sum up by saying, the people who messed up are gone and the people replacing them have demonstrated repeatedly that they get the severity of the situation and are working very hard to remedy them. I continue to want to be a part of that and I continue to look forward to Arisia 2019. If they’ll have me, I look forward to starting this process all over again in the summer of 2019 and inviting even more of you to the convention. Arisia will be a far stronger convention this time next year because of the struggles and heartbreaks of this year.

Back one saturday morning in February I made an either or decision. The cafe I meant to go write at was packed and I really didn’t want to write at this other place so I decided to bring my coffee to the Winchester Public Library. While washing my hands in the men’s bathroom I started hearing this screaming coming from outside. The screaming was so loud and alarming, I thought a wild dog had gotten into the building and people were trying to chase it back out. I wanted no part of that noise, so I stayed in the bathroom until it stopped. Coming out, I found that a maniac had attacked a girl with a knife, stabbing her fatally. Someone who tried to intervene was also stabbed. There was blood everywhere and when the emergency response arrived they wheeled the poor woman outside. I saw the knife.

I don’t think this year ever really righted itself after that point, honestly. I didn’t write as much for a while and I’ve never completely shaken a feeling of unease and imminent collapse. Of course I’ve talked and continue to talk with someone about this and it helps.

Talking helps. I think that’s the thing I’ll take away from this year. One life is too big to fit inside of a single person. It’s shared, passed around, given back slightly rumpled. I knew that prior to this year, but this year went a long way to convincing me to try to be as much a part of others’ lives as they are for me. To try in someway to give back to others as much as they gave back to me this year.

I was alive in 2018. We were alive together. Nothing fills me with a more a more intense or durable feeling of well-being than that simple fact. Thank you for all that you were this year and I will try to return all that you gave me as soon as I possibly can.


Popular posts from this blog

Reading Response to "A Good Man is Hard to Find."

Reader Response to “A Good Man is Hard to Find” Morgan Crooks I once heard Flannery O’Connor’s work introduced as a project to describe a world denied God’s grace. This critic of O’Connor’s work meant the Christian idea that a person’s misdeeds, mistakes, and sins could be sponged away by the power of Jesus’ sacrifice at Crucifixion. The setting of her stories often seem to be monstrous distortions of the real world. These are stories where con men steal prosthetic limbs, hired labor abandons mute brides in rest stops, and bizarre, often disastrous advice is imparted.  O’Connor herself said of this reputation for writing ‘grotesque’ stories that ‘anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic.’ This is both a witty observation and a piece of advice while reading O’Connor’s work. These are stories about pain and lies and ugliness. The brutality that happen

All Words Are Made Up

The title of this post (and the panel I’m participating in for Arisia 2019) come from a random exchange between Thor and Drax in last year’s “Infinity War” movie. It’s what Thor replies when to Drax when the always literal-minded hero doubts the existence of Niðavellir its forge. It’s a funny throw-away line and the title of this post because I think there’s always been a bit of defensiveness on my part when I add some invented vocabulary to a story of mine. Nidavellir from Avengers: Infinity War (2018) The art and craft of inventing new languages has a surprisingly long history. A 12th century nun by the Saint Hildegard is credited with one of the first (sadly incompletely recorded) constructed language. There was also a period during the Enlightenment when the creation of ‘philosophical languages,’ meant to resolve age-old problems and reshape society, were the vogue. Gottfried Leibniz, for example, tried to a create a language that was logically self-consistent. The task prove

The Meaning of Terraforming

Terraforming is the process of turning a terrestrial body to an environment more suitable for human habitation. There are three planets in our own solar system that commonly mentioned targets of this process in order of increasing viability: Jupiter's frozen moon Europa, Venus, and, of course, Mars . A considerable amount of research has gone into whether or not terraforming is achievable or practical. One can also easily find debates on whether or not terraforming is morally or ethically supportable. A significant portion of the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson revolves around just that question. Moholes, genetically engineered lichens and deliberate meteoroid strikes are all described as techniques to add a few more millibars of atmospheric pressure, a few more degrees of heat to a cold, dead wasteland. I'm less sure of the thought given to what terraforming means in literature such as Red Mars. When an author or director or screen-writer includes terraforming