Due to a calendar quirk, here in the UK the winter solstice is a day later than usual. But now it’s here, so today is the shortest, darkest day of the year and the beginning of the road back to summer sunshine. I’m writing this at 8am and it’s still pitch black outside; it’ll be like that for a while yet, and it’ll get dark early again today. But tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, it’ll get a little bit lighter. And the light will stay a little longer.
This year’s second half has felt darker than most. There have been a lot of sadnesses in the last six months, sadnesses that have made it hard to do some of the things I’d planned to do this year. I’ve spent more time in hospitals and clinics than I’d have liked. And as someone who’s both trans and not a nazi, it’s been a frightening year politically. That’s likely to be the case in 2024 too.
But there has been a lot of light too. I’ve been exceptionally fortunate this year because I’ve been given the opportunity to go to interesting things and talk to interesting people. Whether it’s launch events, festivals or just hanging around bookshops, I’ve had an absolute blast spending time with book people this year. I can’t go into details just yet but there will be more book things with more book people in 2024, many of which will be themed around joy.
There will also be more music. I’m writing the best songs of my life, so much so that it’s become a problem: we’re supposed to be making an album but every time we agree on a track list I write more songs. So I’m going to force myself to focus and to actually release something in the next few months.
It’s been a hard year for many of us, I know, but we’re still here. And that’s something worth celebrating.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, if that’s a holiday you celebrate. And I hope that your 2024 is full of light, of love and of laughter.