Thanks a lot, 2022

by | Nov 28, 2022

Trees above The Manor on Thanksgiving 2022.

So anyway, the best way for me to put 2022 in my personal context is this: I’d planned to publish two novels this year, but only got halfway there. Ta Nupa came out in April, and I’d hoped to have City of the Dead on sale before Solstice. That ain’t happening — although I’m close enough to the end now that wouldn’t be surprised if I have a first draft before the Longest Night arrives.

And maybe that’s 2022 for a lot of us: Not great, and with plenty of disappointments. But it could have been a lot worse.

Yes, there were great things, too: Our son Luke married Sarah Rosene in a beautiful and moving ceremony last June, and much of our family — my side and Janet’s side — showed up to celebrate. A lively, quirky, rambling, romping, breezy Thanksapalooza here at The Farm. We hosted family from New England and the Outer Banks for a couple nights this summer, which was hot, sweaty, and sweet. Janet and Paige enjoyed an epic Chicago experience. Fire-pit season with the rest of the Upstate Progressive Drinking Caucus.  Holding the Senate and watching the Red Wave fade to a trickle earlier this month was a schadenfreude-overdose high, as is the continuing public self-immolation of The Former Guy. I’m thankful for all that.

Talking multiple story arcs in Beaufort.

But it was also the year when Russia invaded peaceful Ukraine, and my father, former preacher, professor and lobbyist Pat Conover, fell over and died. I’d published a few books before, but until I put out The Goddess Daughter trilogy, he’d never read anything but my casual Facebook posts, which he enjoyed rebutting. He read and reviewed all four of the books in the series, and seemed to like them, which was a pleasant surprise.

Other people in our lives and family suffered quite a bit this year. Health crises. Emotional struggles. Tough choices. Chronic pain. Cancer. Goodbyes. Funerals.

And yet we keep rolling on, and the good days of 2022 remain as indelible and clear as these blue November skies. The whole Sasser-Conover-Edens clan holed up drinking in a mountain house overlooking Sylva. A date with Janet at Haus Heidelberg in Hendersonville. Road-tripping with Luke and Sarah. Hunkering down with my siblings after Pat’s memorial service in Maryland. Day-drinking with Lindsey and Phil and the Younger Generation up in Black Mountain on the day Pisgah Brewing shut down for the Winter. A long, lonely, blue-highway drive from Easley to Beaufort, SC, by myself, meandering down forgotten South Carolina one cross-roads town at a time.

Thank you, everyone, for your support and friendship in this sad, beautiful, memorable year.

A path between a field of tall grass and a wooded treeline.

The Farm in Fall.