Some random thoughts from Portsong on the year that was.
- Woke up 365 times – I will never take that for granted.
- Celebrated 21st anniversary of marriage to Mrs. Perfect, the most patient woman in the world.
- Got to build three theater sets at Lambert High School, where the kids call me #PartyMark and mercifully treat me like I’m not too old (even though I usually don’t have my hearing aids in while I’m working, so I can’t even hear them).
- Although I’m not in marathon shape anymore, I cranked out enough 10 and 12 milers to know I could get there again.
- Made a friend named James while working with a homeless ministry that provides blankets, socks, and gloves any night the temp goes under 30 degrees. I pray for you daily, brother.
- Published my first book, Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption. Reviews are positive thus far, some from people I’m not related to!
- Got Shadowbanned by Reddit – really means nothing, but it sounds so cool.
- Started this blog in October, which has been viewed 1623 times by people in 36 countries, and somehow has 90 followers. Finally hit the last continent with a reader from Brazil in December. Being a geography nerd, this little map thing makes me so very happy!
- Held a Virgil Gives Back event where December proceeds were so donated to Heart for Africa. Sales were so embarrassingly low we had to round (way) up to make the donation worthwhile – but it was fun to organize.
- In pursuit of readers, I joined an amazing group called Clean Indie Reads, interacted with a book-reading ape, and have made cyber-friendships with talented writers from all over the world.
- Built a following of 1626 on Twitter, almost exclusively made of people trying to hawk books just like me.
- Am one of the only men on Pinterest, the only grown-up on tumblr, and I now have a cursory knowledge of MS Word formatting, Digg, Stumbleupon, and Bitly.
- On a personal note, I’m thrilled to have accomplished the goal of printing my first book. It is something I’ve always wanted to do and the third I’ve written, with the others locked away. I don’t enter this world of publishing with expectations of fame and fortune, but I do have an expectation of experience. Thus far, I’ve not been disappointed. On some level, we all want to be heard. If you’re still reading this, thanks for hearing me – I hope I can return the favor.
Blessings for a wonderful 2014!