2009 and the oughties: reflections and stuff.

So it’s the last day of 2009, and since everyone is reflecting on the year and decade we’re about to send off into the history books, I guess I’ll jump off that particular bridge, too.

2009 was a Really Busy Year.  “Busy” has been the word around the house pretty much ever since we started with the procreation thing, but this year just seemed like it was busier than the ones before it.  I finished a novel (“Terms of Enlistment”) and a few short stories, sold a few articles here and there, and wrote about a third of the follow-up novel to “Terms of Enlistment”, called “Lines of Departure”.  I switched to longhand writing in January, so I’ve written pretty much every word of the current novel (and roughly the second half of the one before it) on paper with a fountain pen.  By now, it’s pretty safe to say that the longhand method doesn’t slow down the rate of production much for me. 

(Strangely enough, I don’t like writing non-fiction or short prose in longhand.  For articles or short stories, I break out the Neo, dust off a typewriter, or just type stuff directly into Word on the PC.  Blog posts are drummed straight into the computer as well, using Windows Live Writer.)

As far as family business goes, 2009 wasn’t a bad year at all.  Quinn turned four, Lyra turned two, I turned thirty-eight, and Robin turned *mumblecough*.  There were no deaths, no diseases, and no major sicknesses in our families, and we’re all reasonably healthy and free of lingering maladies.  I didn’t get to see my German relatives this year, and haven’t seen them in person since 2005, but the Internet and that new-fangled telephone device help a lot to stay in touch and shrink the distance mentally.

The Oughties, on the other hand, were a mixed bag.  I started the decade by being served divorce papers, and continued it with a layoff during the popping of the tech bubble.  My grandmother died in 2007, my canine buddy Sam died in 2002, and there have been the first natural deaths in our graduating high school class, which is something that’ll make you feel old quickly.  There was the unmitigated Bag of Suck that was 9/11, of course, and the financial woes of the recession.  On the plus side of the ledger, I met Robin in 2002, we got married in 2003, I became a U.S. citizen in 2004, Quinn was born in 2005, and Lyra was born in 2007, so the Oughties have that going for them.  I also finally got serious about writing, finished three novels since 2006, went to Viable Paradise, and made a ton of new writer friends.  I also started this here Interblogs thingie in 2001 (on Blogger back then), and I’ve made hundreds of new online pals, many of which have turned into real-life friends.

So, all in all, I guess the closing decade held a lot of joy and grief, much like every decade before it, and we all enjoyed the fun bits and endured the sucky ones, much like in every decade before it. I have a sneaky suspicion that this trend will continue unabated into the…what the hell are we going to call the coming decade, anyway?  The Ones? The Ought-Tens? The Tweens-N-Teens?

However the past year and decade have turned out for you, I wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2010.  Personally, I think it will be a pretty good year, and the start to a fine decade.


17 thoughts on “2009 and the oughties: reflections and stuff.

  1. Al Terego says:

    This decade past will forever be the noughties for me. Can’t say I liked it much. AT

  2. Eric says:

    And a moment of silence for the raccoon that foolishly entered Castle Frostbite and discovered just how tough dachshunds can be in 2009.

  3. poettraveler says:

    Some mumblecough decades have slipped by since I was your age but, even so, each and everyday is ‘icing on the cake’. Since the first time I ever put ink-pen to paper there continues to be much to do, much to see, much to write about, to observe and to “breathe in”, so to say. I’m glad to be able to read your interesting and very well written blog and to share your thoughts, through your writing. Well done!

    As to the coming New Year and what it portends -who knows? Right now, on this the last day of the noughties, wars continue. Revenge, hostility, politics, greed, still hold their grip on opportunity.

    Machiavelli peers out of Limbo muttering “I told you so – read my book!” Imperious, and imperial, powers are winning and losing, as each strives to maintain the status quo, overturn the status quo, get in on the status quo. Human nature remains one of the three constants.

    But despite all of these things (and more)… “Hope beats eternal”

    Happy New Year and best wishes to you and yours.

    -poettraveler- (John)

  4. Tam says:

    Here’s hoping that 2010 is the year I get to buy your book in dead tree format! 🙂

  5. Kaerius(SWE) says:

    Yeah when are we going to be able to buy terms of enlistment anyway? (If indeed it’ll be published under that name… there’s a 1990 book by L. J. Lukas with the same title, which is what amazon turned up on a search).

    And “A Bettered Life” by Marko Kloos shows up on amazon only in kindle form… I’m less than enthusiastric about kindle.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      This year, hopefully.

      I put ABL on Kindle myself to test out their publishing features, not because I expected to see it shoot up to the top of the NYT list. It’s a practice novel. I may polish it some more and send it out again at some point, but right now all my focus is on the MilSF stuff.

      • Kaerius(SWE) says:

        Looking forward to it(obviously, otherwise why would I be nagging so much?)

        As for A Bettered Life, hadn’t even heard about it until I did the amazon search on your name… I don’t even know what it’s about. :p

        I’ve been considering a career in writing myself, although I have never quite had that great a way with words, I’m good at making stories up, and I’m at least good enough a storyteller to have had several friends enthralled and kept coming back for more(though it’s been a while now), and even sort of worked(volunteered) as it on a MUD in days gone by. All this in roleplay situations mind you, interactive storytelling is quite different from doing everything yourself.

        However that’s quite a bit on the backburner… and I’m going to go back to school, for an education in computer game design first, and that is in itself on the backburner as I’m heading off to thailand to become a certified divemaster and rescue diver in a couple of weeks, which means I could get work either taking tourists diving, or on call for emergencies on future long hauls to tropical countries. It probably won’t be making me money, but at least I’ll be able to stay there pretty much for free.

        Who knows, in a few years maybe I’ll be skipping winter for the tropics every year, maybe saving some lives, and pursuing a writing career at the same time. 😉

  6. Jay G. says:

    Marko, I’m honored and humbled to count myself in that group of folks you know from online (and have met IRL).

    Looking forward to tomorrow night, and I hope the inclement weather isn’t enough to deter a hardy German from making the meet… 😉

    • Marko Kloos says:

      I’ve been looking forward to Saturday all month now, and the only thing that could keep me from showing up is a mega-tsunami washing away the entire Eastern Seaboard all the way to the Appalachians.

      Considering the suck that was the Oughties, I probably shouldn’t type that out loud…

  7. MarkHB says:

    I’ve learned a lot this decade. I won’t miss it – it’s been hard, and the growing-up process was not fun.

    That said, I plan to love the living crap out of this coming decade – I have a good feeling about this one.

  8. Desertrat says:

    An odd decade. 1920 was a depression period; we had the evil of 9/11. They had the Roaring Twenties; we had the housing bubble with Re-fi, SUVs, high living and “Party down, Dude!”

    Then both decades had an economic collapse. One wonders at the possibility of a reprise of the 1930s.

    Me? I can’t complain at all. My parents made it into their nineties with all faculties extant until the end. I survived major cancer surgery. More importantly, I met many good and friendly people with whom to swap lies and life stories. My mind seems to still be working, so why whine?

    I figure I’ll just keep on paying my bills, doing my chores, and smiling a lot. Why quit now? “The earth ain’t goin’ away; me neither.”

    Happy New Year to all!


  9. Al Terego says:

    “One wonders at the possibility of a reprise of the 1930s.”

    I don’t know, Desertrat; I wasn’t around for that. I was here for the eighties though, a difficult but purposeful period of rebirth in our country; it was “morning in America”.

    I do have hope for a better outlook in the decade of the tens…but I don’t see a Ronnie anywhere on the horizon. Maybe in three years, when our current conglomeration of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Martin Luther King, has finished inflicting himself on us.

    Maybe by the teens “Reagan in a Skirt” (no, Tam, probably not Sarah) will take her rightful place in stewardship and guidance of a proud and sustainable free Republic.


  10. Al Terego says:

    P.S. Happy New Year and a Hopeful New Decade to you, Marko, to all who frequent your literal and virtual homes, and to America herself. AT

  11. Desertrat says:

    Er, uh, the core of MLK’s message was, generally, “Take charge of your own life, be free, self-sufficient and independent–and don’t let others define your own reality.”

    That part of his shtick has been forgotten–or ignored–by those who have come along since his day.

  12. Al Terego says:

    That “shtick” is the operative word is the disappointment and the dirty truth of the motives of all four gentlemen referenced above. AT

  13. MarkHB says:

    I survived Decade 1 of Millennium 3. Enough. It was enough. I know I lost friends, and just about all my family – but I survived.

    It’ll do.

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