a weblog for readers and writers

Location: Baltimore-DC Area

Author who writes for a living and lives for writing. // WOMB: a novel in utero (Merge Publishing 2017) // TRACKS: A Novel in Stories (Atticus Books 2011) // FLIGHTLESS GOOSE, a storybook for children (Writers Lair Books 2008) // www.EricDGoodman.com

Friday, January 13, 2017

2016: A Not-So-Death-Defying Year

I'd like to announce that, at long last, the year 2016 is dead.

As others have said in recent weeks, there aren’t very many people who are praising 2016 as a great year. For many of us, it’s been a bit of a bummer.

Every year has it’s “in memory” end-of-year tributes. And there are always a number of famous people who exit the world stage who I regret seeing pictured to sad music. But in 2016, it became more personal. It seemed like a younger bunch, the heroes of my generation.

So many musicians I loved and admired. There was Prince, quite unexpectedly. Then David Bowie. Leon Russel. George Michael. And Leonard Cohen.

And the entertainers: Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman, Gary Shandling, Patty Duke, Kenny Baker. 

And in sports, Muhummad Ali and Arnold Palmer. Politically speaking, Justice Scalia, Janet Reno, Fidel Castro.

Writers Elie Wiesel and Pat Conroy, Richard Adams, and Harper Lee. Reporter Morley Safer. 

The person I shared an office with when I lived and worked in Columbus, Ohio: senator and astronaut John Glenn.

Just when it looked as though 2016 was finished with deaths, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and her mother Debbie Reynolds died one day after the other.

Then, there were the personal passings. Our family dog of eight years, Vesta. My friend and a friend to many on the literary scene, Wayne Countryman. My colleague of 16 years, friend, and former publisher Javier Bustamante. And Thom Steinbeck, the author and son of John Steinbeck, someone I'd grown to know as a friend over our years of correspondence.

Good things happened in 2016, and one has only to look at Facebook and Twitter to see that many people focus on those positive things. But with these heavy happenings, 2016 turned out to be a not-so-death-defying year.

Here’s to 2017 being a year of rebirth, instead of another troubling year of loss.

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