2012 shimmer2012 lay back on her pillows, cozy and cossetted as a small child in her sick bed. Her skin was nearly transparent and her white hair lay spread in fluffy abandon across the pillow case. Closed eyes and a serene expression did not fool me into thinking she was asleep. She had been a busy year, too busy to waste time sleeping, even in these final hours.

I set the teacup on the nightstand and sank into the overstuffed chair next to the bed. The clock in the downstairs hallway announced the hour in sonorous tones and a muffled chuckle drifted between us.

“He always was a pompous old man, even before his joins were fitted,” 2012 said with affection in her tone. She looked up at me with bright eyes. “It’s time, you know.”

I sighed. “I know. Where shall we start?”

“Well, in a personal inventory like this, I think chronologically is best. But we’d best start. We haven’t  much time if our friend in the hall is correct.”

“And he always is.”

She laughed and coughed a little. I lifted the tea cup to her lips and she took several sips before waving it away.

“Let’s just cover the major events then, shall we?”

Nodding, I sat back in my chair. What had been the major events in my life in 2012? Well, the idea for our blog, The Brass Rag, started poking at my brain sometime in January. On February 11, 2012 I finished the first draft of Rephaim and was so excited to have accomplished that mile stone. It was two years in the making, but worth every moment.

We lost my wonderful Mother-in-law to a long illness in early March and spent time remembering her with family in New York. She was an amazing woman and we miss her. It is comforting to know that we will see her again someday when our work here is done.

Then, after a lot of thinking and tinkering, we launched The Brass Rag on March 24th. That was a pretty cool birthday present. Starting a new venture at 49 was interesting, exhilarating and just a tad scary, but I’m glad we did it.

In April I got to attend the FWA writers conference in Altamonte Springs. May brought the Serivilous Panerian’s first writers retreat. At both I learned a lot and enjoyed the company and writing time. Hoping to do the same in 2013.

August was stacked with the start of a new school year and Alice’s first birthday, both landmark events in my book. September saw me settling into a new school year, always an absorbing task, but looking forward to October. Rai and I got to attend the FWA’s annual conference; the first one for her and our first together. Fun, informative and educational does not begin to adequately describe it. Another thing we hope to repeat in 2013.

Then it was hurly burly into the rush of the silly season. Thanksgiving fluttered through, different this year as the family was scattered, but good to have a time of reflection for just the two of us (Vic and I). Christmas sort of snuck in on me this year. I’ve been working hard on a particularly difficult bit of Rephaim: Quest and finally had a breakthrough just yesterday. Christmas day was, sneaky or not, wonderful with the whole family from Alice to Vic gathered around the table Christmas Eve; laughing together around the tree on Christmas morning.

I looked at the delicate figure on the bed. “2012 was a year of firsts – Alice’s birthday, starting a sequel, retreats and conferences – and of continuation – finishing a novel, teaching, writing, living,” I said at last.

She smiled. “And now I am nearly over.” She reached out and took my hand in her frail one as the clock in the hall began to strike midnight. “Don’t forget what you’ve learned. Press forward, even when you are afraid. Put the people you love first, even ahead of the writing. The writing is your career and as such, just as important as your “day job.””

Tears stung my eyes as she began to shimmer, her outline becoming frayed and indistinct. “And time is finite. Each minute is precious and when it is gone you can’t get it back,” I whispered.

2012 dissolved into a pool of light and dark, rising above the covers and coalescing into a smaller denser form. She brightened until I had to look away, shielding my eyes from the glow of her passing. At last a soft sound drew my attention back to the bed as the clock in the hall struck midnight. A baby boy lay there, his sash slightly askew and a rakish twinkle in his eye.

“Well, 2013. Good to meet you. What have you got in store I wonder?” I picked him up and carried him with me into the living room.

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