This past year has been an interesting one. I set out in January to write and published my first novel. I achieved that goal this past September when I published Coffee-to-Go on Amazon. It may not be the next “Great American Novel,” but I am very proud of the story I wrote. I am also excited by the fact I managed to complete the first draft of my next novel, Mark my Soul.

I knew going in that my first novel was unlikely to be a best seller, but the fact I’ve sold over 100 copies in the span of a little over 3 months is encouraging. I will strive to keep writing and publishing about 2-3 novels each year, for as long as I continue to have the passion and drive to do so.

One thing I could not have predicted for 2018 was how believable the immigration plot twist I added to Coffee-to-Go would become. When I first conceived of it, I thought to myself that no one would believe that immigration agents would ever act this way. Then a couple of months after I completed the first draft, all the immigration scandals erupted across the US. I know it seems like a wild coincidence, but I swear I wrote it before it hit the news. Here’s hoping my future plot twists don’t become a reality!

Besides my writing, 2018 was both a good and a challenging year.

It was good because I began my gender transition (I am now 6.5 months on testosterone). My transition so far has gone well and I’m very happy with all the changes I’ve experienced so far.

It was challenging because I also had to deal with a number of health issues. When I first met with my endocrinologist, he discovered a lump on my thyroid. That led to my going through a battery of tests and finally having thyroid surgery. In the end, the result was benign, but it was a roller coaster to get there. I’ve also struggled with chronic gastritis over the past couple of years and I underwent both an endoscopy and colonoscopy to make sure it wasn’t something worse (thankfully, it wasn’t).

I also have had to deal with my dog Joey’s health. He developed TMJ, which turned out to be caused by a very aggressive osteosarcoma (a fast-growing cancer of the bone). It was inoperable because it was in his skull/jaw. He’s now been through several rounds of radiation and chemotherapy and it seems to have helped. The tumor has shrunk significantly and his overall energy and health is good. He’s only 8 years old, and I wasn’t ready to let him go just yet. I’m glad I decided to get him treated because he now gets another year or so, hopefully without pain or discomfort.

I hope that everyone reading this had a good 2018 and I wish you all to have a fantastic 2019. Happy New Year!