When you look back at 2008, what are four or five things you’ll always remember?

They can be personal or headline news. They can be events in your family, or events in your work, or things you read or heard…

Give me a list: What were your unforgettable experiences in 2008?

Me, let’s see, for starters (and in no particular order):

  • Saying farewell to my friend Danny, as he left Seattle and moved to Los Angeles to pursue God’s will for him there.
  • Speaking twice at the Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing, to the most incredible audiences I’ve experienced.
  • Anne being nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her poem “Dog Night.”
  • Saying farewell to Anne’s cat Sophie… 20 years old.
  • The completion and publication of Cyndere’s Midnight.
  • A particularly rough landing at Denver airport. (I’ll tell you about it if I see you. I’d rather not write about it.)
  • Over the Rhine’s 20th Anniversary weekend concert marathon in Cincinnati.
  • Having lunch with Sam Phillips, and a two-hour interview about her life and favorite writers for Image’s 20th Anniversary Issue.
  • My father delivering homemade bookshelves that fill up a wall of my study, and several more for a wall in Anne’s.
  • Saying farewell to my 94-year-old great aunt Laverne, who told me that when I was five years old that she was going to save all of my letters and cards because someday I’d be a famous writer. Well, I may not be famous, but I’m glad she lived long enough to hold my first published books.
  • The privilege of introducing Bret Lott at the Glen Workshop in Santa Fe.
  • My friend Sara Zarr being nominated for a National Book Award for her first novel.
  • The arrival of Henry Samual McKay Poundstone, the second child of my dear friends Ben and Jessica Poundstone.
  • Dave Von Bieker’s redesign of this website.
  • My friend Adrienne cooking up the the foods she read about in Auralia’s Colors and Cyndere’s Midnight. Nectarbread! Yawney’s Stew!
  • Speaking and making new friends at Northwestern College.
  • Snowpocalypse 2008: Longest, wildest, whitest winter storm of my life.
  • Getting a ride home from the airport during the Snowpocalypse… courtesy of Claire Wilson, my snow-driving hero!
  • Writing about movies for Image twice a month: An unexpected pleasure, and the most fun I’ve had writing for the web since the glory days of Film Forum.
  • An invitation of membership from the Chrysostom Society for Anne and me, and getting to know some of the writers there who have had a great influence on us.
  • Being pleasantly surprised that the reviews of Cyndere’s Midnight are generally more enthusiastic than those for Auralia’s Colors.
  • Writing for Response magazine.
  • Living to see an African American man become president of the United States (even if I find some of his policies and opinions disgusting).
  • Michael Phelps.
  • The sad, sad sight of Mike Holmgren, one of the greatest coaches in any sport I’ve ever seen, end his career with the Seahawks during a year of humiliating performances. He should have had a Super Bowl somewhere along the way. But Seattle teams are spectacularly mismanaged… not by their coaches, mind you.
  • A waiter making fresh guacamole RIGHT AT MY TABLE just outside of Santa Fe. Best taste explosion ever.
  • Facebook: This was the year my social life doubled in size and excitement, due to meeting friends new and old — mostly folks who’ve been reading the books and LookingCloser.org — on Facebook.

A few moments from the movies:

  • WALL-E dancing alone in his home, then waking up and clumsily trying to put on his treads.
  • An unexpected sight in the sky during the film Syndromes and a Century.
  • Batman’s cool way of doing a 180 on his Dark Knight cycle; and Joker having trouble with a detonator.
  • U2 3D.
  • Talking on the phone with Andrew Stanton; learning that he’d already read Through a Screen Darkly.
  • The dismay of seeing the ongoing corruption of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series on the big screen.
  • Man! On! Wire!!!!

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