Well, I've recovered now from both my hangovers. Yes, that's right, I had two. Some friends I didn't get to see on New Year's Eve invited me over New Year's Day and I ended up crashing. Two mornings running where I tottered around moaning quietly and demanding a) coffee, b) toast and c) a quick and painless death.
OK, it wasn't THAT bad.
I'm kind of hoping things will get better in '09, but I ain't holding my breath. 2008 was a funny year. It was shitty for the world on multiple counts- the economy, Bush not being dead yet, the Iraq slaughter dragging on... not to mention a seriously high mortality rate among good and talented people.
Just a few of the lights that went out last year were:
Paul Newman (actor)
Forrest J Ackerman (former editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland- one of the all round greats of sf/horror fandom)
Bettie Page (ex-glamour model)
Harold Pinter (playwright, poet, Nobel Prize winner and anti-war activist)
Paul Newman (actor)
Adrian Mitchell (poet and anti-war activist)
Studs Terkel (historian- author of Hard Times and The Good War, oral histories of the Great Depression and the Second World War by the people who'd lived through them- activist, talk show host, and defier of bullies and thugs right up to the end. One hell of a guy, who I really wish I'd had the pleasure of meeting.)
There are a lot more, but you get the idea. There was a serious fucking cull this year of people this last year. And just when I was hoping it was over, the crime novelist Donald Westlake (who also wrote, as Richard Stark, the 'Parker' novels, including the classic Point Blank), died on New Year's Eve.
And a guy called Tommy Tee died as well, on the 23rd. He'd managed my favourite band, New Model Army, for 20-odd years.
And an old friend of mine passed away with cancer.
So on the one hand, it was an arsehole of a year.
But the weird thing is that for me, personally, it wasn't so bad.
I know I'm tempting fate in a serious way saying that, but I don't mean to. In a way I guess I'm giving thanks, because it could have been a hell of a lot worse. Two of my friends have lost their jobs- hell, one of them's staying with me now. I still have a job, despite working in the financial services industry by day. I'm bloody lucky.
Also, 2008 was the year I got a book deal. My first novel will be out in November 2009 (assuming the publisher's still there. And the bookshops.) It's called Tide of Souls, and it's a horror novel featuring loads of zombies.
All of which puts things into a little perspective, next time I have a hangover.