It's been a topsy-turvy year.
- The economy - national and international - has staggered along, losing ground in some places, holding its own in others, but nowhere improving to any marked extent. The signs are that next year may bring bad news on that front.
- US politics have been discordant, fractured and dysfunctional. The left and right wings are barely talking to each other these days, and civil discourse . . . isn't. I don't know what the new year will bring, except for more of the same.
- Militarily, we're still mired in Afghanistan and threatening to get mired in other places where I really don't think we need to be - most recently, South Sudan. When will our political leaders learn that an American serviceman's life should only be put at risk when the sovereign interests of the United States are at stake?
- As far as international relations are concerned . . . need I say more? We're not liked and not wanted across much of the globe. As far as I'm concerned, that's reason enough to cut off all aid to those areas, pull out our troops, and leave them to look after themselves. We'll soon see whether we're wanted or not.
Personally, 2013 was a watershed year for me. I published three books, and had hoped to publish a fourth until I found that I wasn't as good a writer as I want to be, and needed to spend more time polishing it and working on character development. That's in hand now, and the third novel in the Maxwell Saga should be published late in January or early in February. I hope it'll be considerably improved over the first two in the series, and I'll strive for similar improvements in future books.
Miss D. and I have muddled through health issues and the stresses and strains of very demanding work environments for both of us. (Don't let anyone tell you that being a writer must be easy - it's as much hard work as I ever put in for an outside employer! When you're your own boss, you find you have a very hard taskmaster. If you don't, you won't prosper.) Still, we've helped each other over the humps, and we're happier together than we've ever been. She's definitely one of the biggest blessings the good Lord has ever given me.
So, what awaits in 2014? I don't know. I expect, at the very least, serious economic disruption, and I'm preparing for that as best I can. On the political front, I expect the Obama administration to continue to afflict, depress and demoralize this country on as many fronts as possible. I think they enjoy it. The rest of us will just have to grit our teeth and bear it until the mid-term elections. If those don't produce a meaningful result for change, I think you can stick a fork in the American Republic. It'll be done. The 'have-nots' will have taken over the asylum, and will impose their demands on the 'haves' for the foreseeable future. If that happens, it'll behoove all of us to seriously consider our future options.
Be that as it may, I hope that for all of you, dear readers, the new year will bring the blessings of peace, happiness and prosperity. Let's stick together, and encourage each other as much as possible. I think we'll all need that.