It’s a small world and it smells funny,
I’d buy another if it wasn’t for the money.

Someone tell me that 2009 is ending because I can’t really believe it. This past twelve months has been my own, personal, annus horribilis and I’m fully intending to make 2010 the complete opposite, my own annus mirabilis. So what went right and what went wrong?

First, let’s focus on the positives. Blaq Books. We created that out of thin air with almost no funding – indeed we’ve gone into serious debt to both start it up and keep it running. With the help of a few pals it’s starting to do well and should do far better. There may be times when I question its future, but I’m positive that it can keep on keeping on. Friends overseas. Norm Breyfogle. Trevor Von Eeden. Alan Weiss. Alan Kupperberg. Bob Almond, Bob Shaw and many, many others. I’ve been blessed with some very good friends, some of whom I’ve failed and must do better to keep corresponding with. A new job in a place that’s far better than I came from. Strong supports and a partner who just won’t quit, nor judge me when things don’t go as planned.

What went wrong? Too much, far too much to mention here frankly. And, just as frankly, I can’t be bothered going back through it all, wading through all of that merda just to find the buono. The year was marked by death, the death of two people, one who was close to me and one who should have been closer but kept his distance until it was far too late. The year saw me lose control, on more than one occasion; it saw me being taken advantage of, being abused and being pilloried when I attempted to defend myself. My professional life took a serious nose dive, a dive that I am still trying to pull the nose up out of.

No more.

I have a few resolutions to publicly state, so here goes. No longer shall I allow myself to be taken advantage of. If you owe me something for work I’ve done this year, or last year or any year, then consider that debt wiped. However, as of the 1st of January don’t expect work for free unless I know you very well and have a set deal in place. I’m happy to work for free for some people, and they know who they are because I keep telling them, but others can start paying. I’m not talking cash, I’ve always been happy to take payment in kind. If you use my work just send a few copies of the publication for example. But if you send me a message stating that you’re not happy with slow progress, well read the email that I send back carefully. I fully intend to keep all of my professional relationships positive, but if you want, then you must give. And frankly my rates are damned cheap. Now this doesn’t apply to everyone, obviously, and those people know who they are and I’ll be sure to contact them and tell them. I just want some time to complete some projects, both professionally and personally, hit some goals and begin moving forward. I’ve been stagnating for far too long.

If you want to abuse me then go right ahead. Again, those people know full well who they are. However think very carefully as I might just start revealing some home truths – you see, over the years I’ve built up a fine arsenal of gossip, both scurrilous and otherwise, and I’ve always resisted using it. So, fair warning. I’m tired of reading about how this person, or that person, went to a show and spent the whole time telling all and sundry what a bastard I am or began to post on a forum or a newsgroup, or a message board as to how large a failure I am. If you don’t know me then don’t bother commenting on me. And if you do abuse me, or those close to me, then don’t email me down the track and think that it’s fine to use my work and everything is hunky and indeed also dory.

I’m not an endless font of cash. In fact I’m so broke I’ve had to part with a few choice pieces of art just so I can visit my dear ole ma in Queensland and get away for a week, so stop expecting me to pay for everything. Quid pro quo. I’m tired of being made to feel guilty.

For those I’ve inadvertently upset then accept my apologies. For those I deliberately upset, well, what can I say?

There’s more, but those ones I’ll keep to myself for the time being. However I fully intend to break way from some people and re-establish contact with others whose company I more than enjoy. 2009 has been awful, but it has made me realise the value of family, both immediate and extended. Without a few people I’m sure I’d not have made it to this point in time, and they know who they are, and I can’t thank them enough. Two people in particular, people I’d happily throw myself in front of a bullet for, and then get back up and do it again until the gun goes ‘click’. Others who have drifted away from me, both due to my own depression and theirs – I’ll try my best to get them back, but I shan’t beat myself up if I fail.

I want 2010 to be one of light, love and life. Let’s stop tearing each other apart, let’s stop tearing ourselves apart and begin to enjoy each other, and life, once more. No more merda, only buono


Satima Flavell said…
Yeah, Dave, I'd like a year of light, love and life, too, after a run of four anni horribili. Not that life has unremittingly dreadful, but the bright moments have been few and far between. I hope you and all my friends will join me in bringing some positive vibes into being as 2010 kicks off.
The Seditionist said…
2007 started great, ended awful. 2008 and 2009 were God-awful too but can't quite say which was worse. Occasionally hopeful for improvement in 2010, but don't really believe that. Another year rolling over is like a lottery ticket: you *can* win but it's highly unlikely.

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