At the Dawn of a New Year

We made it, everyone! Congrats and welcome to 2024 🎉

So much has changed. So much is going to change.

I’ve been away from the blog for a long time, and for that I apologize. I’ve been going through some life changes, culminating in a split from my wife.

I’m also been in therapy for several months now, for the first time. It’s both cause and consequence of everything I’m going through. Therapy for me is like going to the gym, but for my emotions. It’s hard, and I’m always sore afterward, but I’m stronger and glad I went. Would recommend.

Some things haven’t changed, though. I’m still living in Victoria, BC, and still feel incredibly lucky to be here. This city has welcomed me in so many unexpected ways. I’m grateful, and I can only hope I can pay it back someday.

I’m also still working my day-job as a programmer, and toiling away at my novels and short stories on the side. Still living without a car. Still trying to get the right amount of seasoning on my roasted vegetables. Still buying way too many books (I know, “too many books” is a category error. There are never enough books).

I want to start this year off with gratitude. Both of what I’ve accomplished over the last year, and for what’s to come. So, as 2024 rises and stretches, like a cat waking from a nap in the sun, let me list the things I’m grateful for:

  • My writing group, with whose help I’ve finished editing a novel for the first time. And not just finished, but synopsis written and everything ready to submit to agents, starting this week.
  • The organizers of the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, who put on such a welcoming and stimulating conference. And because of whom I was able to meet an agent that gave me the injection of confidence I needed to finish up that novel synopsis.
  • My co-workers at Cisco, who every day demonstrate to me how a non-toxic technical culture can work.
  • The folks at IRCC and BC’s Provincial Nominee Program, who gave this middle-aged guy a shot at permanent residence in Canada.
  • My D&D group, who opened their gaming table and their arms to this immigrant.
  • Dan, David, Baamonde, Alex, and Haywood, friends who have stuck with me over many years, through many ups and downs.
  • My family, particularly my mom and older sister, who have never held my lack of phone calls or texts against me.
  • The Victoria Creative Writing Group, without whom I would not have met my writing circle.
  • The Victoria Bowmen Club, who taught me what’s it like to really wield a bow (after years of me writing about it).
  • The folks on,, and, who helped me find my footing (and friends) in the fediverse.

So many gifts, from so many people. Thank you, all, for everything you’ve given me, everything you’ve taught me.

May your new year be a bright one.

Ron Toland @mindbat