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Point of View: The Future’s So Bright…

man wearing sunglasses - deposit photos

Last week I took a look back at the year that was. This week, I’m casting my gaze forward, to the year I hope will be.

I’ll start off with the personal.

Mark and I have just come through a bout of covid (not awful, but not much fun either) which follows a truly hellish period of very little sleep and painful PT following my broken arm at the end of June. It has NOT been a great health year in the Guzman-Coatsworth household, but things are looking up. Mark tested negative today, and me last week, so I am hoping 2023 will be a healthier year, with all of my bones intact. Oh and I’m close to full use of the shoulder again, so things really are looking up.

I’m also hoping things continue to normalize on the pandemic front. We seem to be at the point (barring another horrible variant) that covid is becoming just another winter illness, for which we will be vaccinated annually.

Mark and I caught covid because we finally let our guards down and ate in a couple busy restaurants over the holidays. Lesson learned, but at least we can now let go of the what if fear.

So I’m hoping 2023 is a return to a more normal life, even if we are never entirely free of this virus.

On the writing front, it’s shaping up to be a great year. I’ll publish not one but two novels in 2023 – the first two of four in my Tharassas Cycle sci-fantasy trilogy.

Yeah, long story there LOL…

The first one, The Dragon Eater, will be out in March from Water Dragon Publications, and The Guantlet Runner will follow in September.

I also have a new audio book coming out – Skythane will hit Audible.com in February, with book two, Lander, coming later in the year.

And I’m finally going to dive into book two of the Redemption Cycle, writing the sequel to Dropnauts. Coredivers will follow some of the original characters (and a few new ones) on adventures on the repopulated Earth, into the Lunar core, and as far away as Mars. I can’t wait to get started on this one.

I also plan to squeeze in some new short stories throughout the year.

On the Other Worlds Ink Press side, we’re soliciting stories for our tenth annual flash fiction contest – this year’s theme is Rise. And we’re also taking subs for our third Writers Save the World anthology Transform the World. We will continue to put a little light into the world where we can with hopepunk spec fic stories.

And out in that world, I am hopeful that we have finally started to turn the corner on climate change. The US passed into law a big down payment on the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy in the Inflation Reduction Act, and there are signs that the rest of the world is starting to take this huge problem more seriously, even if it did take a war to convince Europe to begin the shift in earnest.

Autocracies around the world are facing serious challenges, and here in my own United States, the voices who pushed election deception the loudest lost their elections across the country. While we’re not out of the woods in terms of danger to our democracy, there are hopeful signs.

Even Twitter’s spectacular ongoing implosion has brought us something good. We switched all of our social media accounts Twitter to Mastodon, and have found a welcoming, engaged, friendly LGBTQ+ community there that reminds me of the early days of social media, before trolls and restrictive algorithms stole much of the joy and fun from the whole experience. You can follow me on Mastodon here: https://mastodon.lol/@jscottcoatsworth

And my hopes for 2023?

In short, that it will be a year of change and growth, and not a re-run of the dumpster fire shit shows of 2016-2022. I hope for the progressive base to continue to grow, and for the friendly people to outnumber the bigots. I hope that the arc of history will continue to bend toward justice, and that the countries of the world will work together to fight climate change. I pray for life to get better again instead of worse, and hope a time will come again that I am not afraid to watch the news or go out to a movie theater or open my bank and retirement statements. And I hope that our businesses will improve.

If I had the power, I would gift each and every one of you with serenity, dignity, and love, and the knowledge that whatever you can do when you really try is enough.

And in that spirit, I’ll do the little bit that I can, and will continue to shine my own little light for whomever is in sight.

Happy 2023 to y’all. Love you much.

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