Dear Cherished Readers:
It’s time for end-of-year lists. The top books, the most popular songs, the best movies. The important cultural milestones and the leading news events. The people we’ve lost. I like these lists so I can find out what I’ve missed and what I’ve remembered.
There’s an end-of-year list for just about everything, including my blog posts. From the 156 posts published in 2021, here are a few of the highlights, just in case you missed any or want to read one again.
Some of the more popular posts I file under the category of “self-discovery.” Yes, even at my age. Discovering who you are and what you want is apparently a lifelong journey. Going back to my childhood there was that piece of wisdom “What Mom Told Vince, She Told Me.” In “Your Strengths Reveal Your Weaknesses” I was inspired to look at my own by a friend and colleague.
Empathy is a trait I possess but need to constantly practice to keep my skills sharp: “Empathy Takes a Toll.” To anyone who knows me, I revealed an obvious character trait in “Introverts, I’ve Got Your Back.”
A tangent to the self-discovery post is the “sudden discovery” or the “meaningful moment.” I got emotional while writing “Skating on a Winter Night” and “Things Other Than Me.” For every “Just the Kind of Day You Want” and “Calm Evening on Lake Erie” there’s the anxious weight of “When Things Can’t Be Made Right.”
Naturally I included some fiction. I posted excerpts of longer fiction and wrote a few flash fictions: “Night Visitors,” “Rainmaker,” and “Time for an Important Talk.”
And like every writer, I am required to write about being a writer, and I appreciate your tolerance of my inflated self-importance. “A Book Review Makes My Day” did actually make my day on a day that needed making. “The Real Reason I Became a Writer” answers a question from Owen and belongs in a true confessions rag. “Is That Story True?” ponders the difficult-to-discern line between fact and fiction. On the somber side, “The Desire and the Need and the Wanting” flirts with the sometimes painful experience of being a writer.
I didn’t pass out too much advice in my blog. I’m hardly qualified. But my alter-ego, Ask Dave, doesn’t think qualifications matter. Case in point: he helped a former high-ranking New York State official work through his personal and professional angst.
In the everyday advice category, there was “Dad Lessons I’ve Learned,” and a refrain I can’t say often enough: “Parents: Read to Your Kids.” Maybe they won’t be so quick to cut you off.
Once in a while I get sucked into the dark voodoo of contemporary politics and the state of our country, and something spits out the other end. “Yoga Returns to Alabama”—you have to read it to believe it. “Our State Motto is ‘Friendship’” sums up my bias against Texas, and this was before the state passed a punitive abortion law. “California Dreamin’” is more like a nightmare (with a catchy song). And no writer’s blog would be complete without offering a U.S. Congressperson* a lesson in English grammar and usage: “I Was Allowed to Believe . . .” is all about you, Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Finally, I introduced my first guest blog, “7 Tips for Holiday Eating,” by the talented Julia Klein. If you’d like to contribute a post, just let me know.
Readers, I can’t thank you enough for subscribing to my blog. It’s one place where I am free to write almost anything I want, and you seem willing to put up with it. Let’s do it again in 2022, but leave out the Covid part.