2007

A year that started off pretty brightly, with work on In Bad Dreams in full swing, gained in momentum as it progressed. First was the engagement of Andreas (my brother-in-law) to Kristina, followed by Berolin (my sister-in-law) and her engagement to Ninos. There was much to do, both with Maddoc and with the company and it wasn’t long before summer came around and the almost ‘double’ weddings with the aforementioned family members took place in July and August.

 

It was a stressful but fun summer, involving both weddings, much planning, running Eneit Press full time, along with much cycling on the improved racing bike. Many mentioned that after a problematic and painful 2006, there was much to be celebrated this year.

 

Sometime in May, a decision was made that the Deniz family would travel to Australia to launch the flagship of Eneit Press, In Bad Dreams – Volume One: Where Real Life Awaits at Canberra’s Conflux 4. This would be a perfect chance to meet my business partner, several authors and friends and prove that we were extremely committed to the company (and the book.)

 

The trip took place in September and October, around five weeks in total and it was a very rewarding experience for all of us. We learned many things about the workings of a publishing company and book launch and we came away much more prepared (and enthusiastic) about future projects.

 

It was moving on, we came to November and birthdays and visits from family, and apart from my recent birthday woes; things were full of laughter and joy here too. We were only six weeks away from Christmas, meaning not only a very exciting time but me enjoying the privilege of my best friend in the world,

, spending a full ten days with us over Christmas and New Year. This promised RPGs, board games, film, TV, and music aplenty.

 

And then the year took its twist, what had been merely snippets of sorrow in an otherwise joyful, productive, positive year, came and brought with it pain and misery, the like has never been seen before within this family.

 

I lost my mother, January 2006, yet nothing, not even that (or my Grandma leaving us 23rd February 1983 – effectively my mother at that time) could prepare me for the wave that would hit from 11th December 2007 onwards.

 

My brother-in-law Fuat, who we had been lucky enough to see several times this year (Etina constantly complains that she doesn’t see him enough and in fact for two years we realised that we saw my sister, who lives in England, more than we saw him) was stabbed in the neck and on Wednesday 12th December at 11:02 was declared brain dead.

 

Today is Monday 31st December, almost three weeks since that date and things have not begun to formulate into any kind of normalcy yet. In some ways things will never go back to normal, and this is a tragedy that has hit the family far more than we have realised (or will realise).

 

I sense the impact the most when I see Etina’s pain and when I think of Fuat and Maddoc. Maddoc has lost an Uncle that cared deeply for him, thought of him often and would have done so many things with him and definitely been a favourite in my son’s eyes. The realisation that Maddoc will not remember him hurts. I have heard people say that we can keep his memory alive in various ways and I accept that. But not for Maddoc. I have talked to too many people who have lost family members early and they do not remember them, they cannot relate to them in the same way that the people who knew them as older children and adults.

 

It was a year that started off so well, progressed nicely and then came to earth with a crash. The fact that the funeral will not take place until some time in January also sets up a negative 2008.

 

I mentioned before that 1915 was the year of the sword in Assyrian culture, the year that the people were nearly wiped out in their history’s tragic genocide, and that 2008 would be the Deniz family’s year of the sword. I cannot make too many plans for 2008; the year will be a difficult one.

 

There are no New Year honours as such this year, being as I haven’t had the energy or motivation for them. However there are two best ofs that I feel I must name, due to the fact that two members of the family will receive packages based on the choices I make every year.

 

First up is album of the year – Editors: An End has a Start, which I was impressed was my favourite, due to the band’s name and that significance to my career move for 2007. However, the album becomes more appropriate for the situation with Fuat. The album is the songwriter’s obsession with death in words and music and it is a bleak, dismal, powerful interpretation of that which we all must deal with at various times in our life and with varying severity.

 

I couldn’t bring myself to do my regular top five but if pushed it would be as such:

 

2. The National: Boxer

3. The Twilight Sad: Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters

4. Kristin Hersh: Learn to Sing Like a Star

5. Efterklang: Parades

 

The best book (that I read) in 2007 has to go to Philip K. Dick and A Scanner Darkly. I saw the film earlier in the year and loved it. After the credits came up I knew I had to read the book and the day after borrowed it from our local library.

 

I was in tears by the end and have not been in a situation where I have constantly thought of a book I have a read for almost a week after I finish it. It is an extremely powerful representation of how fallible we are as human beings and how truly horrible we can be to each other.

 

It is a sign of a crumbling society on the brink of despair and the way in which he words it has a resonance today and, I suspect, long after.

 

Goodbye 2007, I will not remember you fondly but be assured I will never be able to forget you.

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About Mark S. Deniz

English teacher, writer, editor, publisher, reviewer and blogger. Founder of publishing company, Morrigan Books and imprint, Gilgamesh Press and editor-in-chief for review site, Beyond Fiction. Also cycles, plays floorball, listens to lots and lots of music, reads a ton of books and tries to fit in some TV, film and writing too. View all posts by Mark S. Deniz

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