2017-01-01

2016 Review

2016 is now history. It was a year I hope to forget but I know I can't because of all that happened. Humanity lost many people that were a part of our past -- people that will live on in our memories and in the media for many years into the future. We saw Brexit and soon we will see just how it will affect the UK. There were terror attacks, wars, police shootings and shootings of police, the standoff at the Dakota access pipeline, the tainted presidential election that has split this country and will continue to do so, and many more events I would rather forget. Based on what has happened in 2016 and the path this country is taking, I don't see 2017 being much better.

Being depressed about all the bad news has made 2016 a year to be remembered as well as one to be forgotten. I'm lucky. I live in a small community where most people seem to get along with each other very well. I work at a company that promotes equal opportunity and where everyone is treated with respect. I don't see the things that many other people see and I don't have to deal with the things that many people have to deal with every day. That does not mean that such things don't concern me, because they do. For me, 2016 has changed how I see people. I am more distrustful and far more opinionated than when the year first began. Our future looks pretty bleak and I hope things will change.

I accomplished a lot in 2016. Here is a short list:

  • Finished and released Dragonverse Origins.
  • Started and finished writing Peacekeeper Pathogen.
  • Attended Launch Pad.
  • Raised enough funds for Launch Pad to pay for the cost of one of the vans as well as provide a generous donation to help Mike Brotherton continue the workshop.
  • Revised the interiors of all my existing books to conform to today's professional publishing standards.
  • Revised the covers of all of my existing books to provide a consistent look and feel.
  • I was promoted at my day job.
  • Completed several Microsoft Access projects at my day job.
  • Completed a full revision of a complex Microsoft Access database application that had been giving inconsistent results.
  • Designed and wrote a near bullet-proof watchdog program that monitors the other programs used to keep my database system updated and generate hundreds of daily automatic reports. This watchdog program has allowed me to take vacations without worry.
  • Started work on a major rewrite of an application I wrote in 2003 (SCMS - Simulator Configuration Management System) that no longer runs under Windows 7. Original was written in Visual Basic 6. The new version will use Microsoft Access per owner's request.
  • Provided financial assistance to several family members when they were in need.
  • Updated my website.
  • I learned about Amazon advertising and successfully applied it to boost sales.
Looking ahead:
  • I will finish and publish Peacekeeper Pathogen.
  • I plan to start and hopefully finish a sequel to Off Course that firmly ties that book to Dragonverse.
  • Raise funds to support Launch Pad.
  • Attend the 10-year anniversary of Launch Pad.
  • Finish moving SCMS to a full Microsoft Access platform.
  • If possible, begin the final book in the Dragonverse series - Children of 2 Universes.
  • Learn a new programming skill - I have not yet decided if this will be learning about web technology or a new language such as Java or C++, or a combination of these.
  • I will be at my dad's in South Carolina during the total solar eclipse. This is something I've been planning on doing for the last 7 years.
  • I hope to make sure my brother and sister are both in South Carolina with me. If this can be arranged, it will be the first time all three of us have been together since the passing of my mother and it will mark the first time they've visited my dad in his South Carolina home.
Let's work together to make 2017 a better year.