A Brief Look at 2020

2020 was a strange year for all of us. 

For me, it carried a big mix of sad and happy moments.

The Sad

Many of us had loved ones die and I shared in that respect. It may not have been a human but it hit me just as hard, if not more. My first born son, Elmer, was diagnosed with the cancer and deteriorated very quickly. It was extremely difficult to watch him in the state he was in but I am grateful that I got to cheat the Unbroken One with him for a few months while he was on his treatment.

The treatment allowed him to be himself for a few more months and he got to enjoy daily walks, jogs, curling up next to me while I played video games and watched shows, and special food that I prepared for him every morning and evening. Chicken! He also got to be the best man at my wedding, which I’m sure I cared more about than he did. 

He was only 8 when the Unbroken One took him, which just means he got a head start saving a few stars out there next to him for when we can all join him. 

The Happy

I’ll take a step back. Rachael and I got married on April 18th! It was exactly how we wanted things. The pandemic gave us the perfect excuse to invite only those that needed to be there and we were able to focus on what truly mattered. Us.

She has been nothing but supportive throughout the year with both the ups and downs. I am proud to call her my wife and pat myself in the back for finally making a good decision.

We had planned to get Elmer a little sister before he got ill but we decided to hold off so we could focus solely on him. I know he would have loved his little sister Nova and wish he could have met her but am glad with our choice to hold off.

She is a boxer, just like her big brother, but feistier in every way possible. She most definitely has a personality on her and I am happy to have her with us. 

The Business

Unlike many businesses, my own was lucky enough to be considered essential and we were allowed to continue operating throughout the year. We were afraid that people were going to be too scared to purchase vehicles but the opposite rang true. We had a record year with both sales and collections (although November and December were a bit of an anomaly compared to the rest of the year and previous year). So far, January is proving to be very fruitful and we have high hopes for the rest of 2021.

My wife is a teacher and her own field was considered essential as well so she continued to work, albeit from home. She got to help me close on a couple of properties in Chicago, one of which rehab has started and is taking much longer than expected, the other which is finalizing in the next couple of days. One of our tenants moved out and, in the process, conveniently forgot to pay us a couple of months worth of rent but it is great to finally see the house and its condition (We had purchased it sight unseen). It looks good and shouldn’t need much to get it rent ready for the next family.

We plan on purchasing at least 5 properties this year but hope we are able to get more.

The Leisure

Since we could not go out much (not like we do much anyway) we got to stay home and watch lots of movies, shows, read books, and play video games. 

Rachael finally made it through season 1-7 of Game of Thrones so I got to finish the last season with her and I can comfortably say that I was not disappointed in it whatsoever. I felt it stayed true to the flow of the series and everything was tied up nicely. I look forward to seeing the direction that the books are taken.

Another show that I was truly impressed by was Dark. It sucked me in from the very beginning and did not ever release me until it was over.

We replayed through some of my favorite video games so Rachael could experience them as well. We made it through the Mass Effect series together, Bioshock, but the moment I introduced her to Civilization she was unable to let go.

On my own, I played through Star Wars Fallen Order, Doom Eternal, and found myself playing free online games like Apex Legends and Warzone.

As far as books go, I finally made my way through all of the Expanse novels. For anyone that likes sci-fi, they are must reads. Great characters, great setting, great pacing and just enough mystery in the background to keep you reading but not make you feel cheated.

I enjoy reading out loud to my wife and this year we read through Pet Sematary, The Shining, The Outsider, The Luminous Dead, and a couple others that I can’t seem to recall. Maybe that says something…probably more about me than the books. I am currently reading the Last Astronaut to her.

The book I looked forward to all year was released in September and I just recently realized it a week ago. Fuck me right? I am blowing my way through it right now and I have to say that there is a reason why Joe Abercrombie is one of my favorite authors. The man can make me laugh, make me sad, angry, love people who I know I would never if I were to meet them, and force me to think about what it means to be a good human being in such a wonderful way. Joe Abercrombie is a man I would love to meet one day so I can thank for creating one of the most beautiful series I’ve ever read.

This brings me to my own writing. 

All things considered, I should have had tons of time to write this year but I found myself taking long breaks when I knew I should be writing. I focused on real estate. I focused on the dealership. I focused on my puppies. I focused on everything but writing.

What did I have to show for it? Just one short story titled A Good Life. It’s still in its first draft so there will likely be some tweaks to it but I need enough time to defamiliarize myself with the story to try and get somewhat of an outside perspective.

The story is a continuation of the post apocalyptic universe that started in Strange Weight, which will likely be retitled. 

I am currently writing the next short story in the series titled The False Prophet. I am enjoying writing this character so far and hope to finish in the next 2-4 weeks. I am considering releasing everything that I write daily but am not sure how it would work considering that I constantly go back as I write and change things up in the beginning up until the draft is done. 

Once this story is finished, I will be digitizing another story I hand wrote some time back. It’s a sci-fi horror with a hint of comedy that follows a group of troublesome kids as they uncover truths they were never meant to find. It will need quite a bit of touching up but I think the main story comes across well in its first draft. 

I would appreciate any feedback on everything I have up so far so please comment or shoot me an email!

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