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  • SMorrisAuthor

2024, Here We Go

Well then, 2023 has certainly been a year. As in many previous years there have ups and downs, peaks and troughs, lots of laughter and in this case...a hell of a lot more tears. This one has been pretty rough for many reasons ranging from mental health issues to family losses and more. But there have also been many, many positives.

It's a bit of a tradition for me now to write up a review post as my final post of the year. As I'm sure many of you will remember, I ended up losing all of my previous posts here and was unable to pull them from my old blog (because I stupidly deleted it) so there aren't any previous posts to look back on. Fingers crossed that doesn't happen again - might be time for me to look into a different website provider after that mess!

I've done a lot this year to be honest and sometimes it feels like I've been almost too busy. What's the old saying? The Devil makes work for idle hands? Something like that. Either way I've finished a book this year and sent it off to the publisher. That's right, guys. The Most Maligned Women in History is complete and will be winging it's way to all good bookstores in 2024 - I'll keep you all updated on release dates and preorders and the like. I'm also going to be planning a launch party so again, keep your eyes peeled!

I've spent time with friends this year - back in April I went to Insomnia Gaming Festival and got to hang out with friends I'd not seen for a long time, and meet international friends for the first time which was honestly brilliant. A lot of fun was had, along with a LOT of alcohol - they sell mega pints at the NEC. Very dangerous. I've also had the opportunity to interview some wonderful people for upcoming projects including Donna Burke, who played Angela in Silent Hill 2, and Lena Scissorhands who fronts the heavy metal band Infected Rain.

Going into the new year, I'll be looking to arrange interviews with more heavy metal musicians ready for the Heavy Metal book, as well as working hard on the Silent Hill book. Deadlines are already starting to wave at me - Silent Hill is due in October which, although it seems a while away, really isn't...

There was a lot of loss and pain this year. A lot. I posted briefly about some of it on twitter, when my brother and sister-in-law tragically lost their beautiful little girl. In August I was down in Cornwall for my little nieces funeral - Elsie Jean Morris, born sleeping. Sleep tight little Elsie. We love you. Friends of mine also died very suddenly this year and family members have gone through some horrible diagnoses. There have been a lot of tears but, those we have lost wouldn't want us to keep on being sad. So we smile and remember, or think on what could have been. There is always sunshine after the rain. Always.

In the closing months of 2023 I also came as close to death as I probably ever have done. Back in October I was walking to the day job one morning and came to a pedestrian crossing. Now, there were roadworks going on and there were a set of temporary traffic lights. You know the kind - the ones with the heavy metal bottoms. I was stood there waiting to cross and next thing I know there's this massive crash as a taxi speeds past. He's hit the traffic lights which then smashed into my legs. My first thought, even as I fell backwards, was 'shit, my legs'. Then as I sat against the wall, shaking and crying, I realised that had I been stood any closer to the road it would have been ME he hit and instead of being sat on the floor crying, I would have been in a body bag. Thankfully a lot of kind people stopped to see if I was ok and made sure I didn't need an ambulance. Thankfully nothing was broken, though I had some nasty lacerations on my shins. In all the adrenaline and shock I was able to walk to my office, with one of the workmen making sure I didn't just keel over on the way bless him. My boss took one look at me and my legs and packed me off to the hospital. Thankfully my legs were just very badly bruised. Outward bruising has thankfully gone but they do still ache. The accident has also affected my back and I've got to get physio for it, so that's fun, and of course it's affected my mental health. Definitely not the biggest fan of pedestrian crossings any more! The best part of the whole sorry tale? The taxi driver didn't even stop. I'm super grateful for all the help given to me by the local council and local police in the matter. More so, I'm grateful to be alive and to be able to get back to my martial arts training in the new year.

I've also gone and gotten a role in a video game this year, which is exciting. And I've also taken on a role as writer for an indie video game studio. So lots of exciting things coming there. I'm planning on taking some big strides in 2024 both personally and professionally. My first job is to get back in the dojo. Then the writing commences again, and I'm going to try and get my name out there more and more. I'd like to write more for history website and magazines (like this article on Empress Wu that I did back in January), and perhaps even finally start writing the novel I've been thinking about doing for years. I'm planning on getting back out to Portugal to see my parents and my partner and I are planning on getting back out to Europe for a holiday also - I'm eyeing up Slovakia to see Cachtice Castle as part of my research. But we'll see on that front.

As 2023 draws to a close I'd like to thank each and every one of my readers once more. I know I've been quite quiet this year especially here on the website as well as on social media, but I hope that you can understand my reasons. I'm planning on being around more going forward - for writing updates of course, some history posts and life stuff if you'd all be up for it. You are all absolutely wonderful and I wouldn't be able to do this writing thing without any of you. Here's to a very happy new year, for all of us.

Much love


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