30 Dec

Do you know what I discovered this week? Another year is approaching and it’s time for me to skedaddle (isn’t that a fun word on the tongue?)—at least for a while. My editor is in the South of France, and I promised her I would have my third book completed by the time she returns (only eight more chapters to go—hallelujah!), or she can rightfully hand me my head on a platter. Therefore, I will be stepping back from the blogosphere for a season (except to post a goodbye letter to the Obamas) to finish off my “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” trilogy and get it to the publisher in February (launch date: March 2017). In the meantime, I thought I’d post what I imagined a conversation between former years at a New Year’s Eve party would read like. I have a feeling 2016 will have a lot to say as it exits, and that 2017 will be in a state of shock at the daunting task ahead because—hang onto your hats, Bubbies—2017 is going to be a bumpy ride!


Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star


(Scene opens on a standing room only party at the home of Father Time. Every year has shown up since the dawn of time, except for those ten years that I call the lost decade in my own life, and don’t nobody have time to hear about them.)

1914:     Hey 2017, how’s it hangin’? You ready for your debut? I hear you’re in for some adventures. Although it couldn’t possibly be worse than my year—the start of WWI.

1939:     Of course it could, 1914. I was worse than you. Anytime you kick off a world war which culminates in the attempted annihilation of a people group, you win the prize for “worst year ever!” And why are you asking 2017 questions? You know he can’t talk yet, nor does he have anything to say. Check in with him at the end of next year. He’ll be able to give you an earful. In case you haven’t noticed, every year has its own place in history—some worse than others—and every year, many people hope and pray the current year will end quickly.

1619-1865:   Hello! Can I get a witness here? How about slavery in these here United States of America? Our span of years go down as some nasty-ass shit.

2015:     Personally, I’m avoiding 2016 because apparently, he opened the door to Death too many times this year, and Captain Death took the souls of more than 150 celebrities. Yikes! Even took a daughter and her mother within one day of each other. Now that’s cold. You know how people, especially Americans, feel about their celebrities—their “royalty.” The country is packing 2016’s bags for him to get him going, gone, and out as fast as they can before he allows Death to snatch Betty White into Glory. The majority of Americans are talking about how much they hate 2016—the year racism, sexism, xenophobia, misogyny, and stupidity were born again. I sure wouldn’t want to be the year that killed off Princess Leia and elected Donald Trump—I’ll tell you that.


2016:     I heard that! Are you all talking behind my back?   I have no control over Death—you of all people know that, 1939.

1998:     No, you don’t have any control over Death, however, it is still your responsibility to try and keep him contained the best you can. If given his way, Death would kill off every living creature on the planet. That’s just his MO. Speaking of responsibility, how in the hell did you allow a much coveted Christmas toy (the Hatchimals) to not do the thing they were supposed to do to entertain little kids—hatch on Christmas day? Do you know how much this Christmas toy insanity cost? I heard that two sets of seven Hatchimals (14 toys total) were selling for $20,000 on the Black Market. Don’t know if it’s true or not (those stories could have been fake news), but parents were camping outside of stores, driving across state lines, taking out second mortgages, and paying whatever was necessary to get these toys for their kids. But now the big scandal is that some of the toys are not hatching no matter how much you tap and rub them. You are so screwed, 2016! All the children in Aleppo can be buried alive by Russian and Syrian bombs, and Americans will hardly blink an eye, but let their kids’ toys fail to perform on Christmas day, and they will cut a bitch.

4BC:       Eiyie-yiee-yi! What’s all this stupidity about a toy? All I remember the Christ child getting for his birthday was gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Remember him? Whose birthday are we celebrating on Christmas anyway? Hope came to a fucked up world. Can we all say amen?

1998:     4BC, you ain’t even heard the best yet: the hatchimals that did hatch allegedly swear. While they are sleeping, they allegedly say: “Fuck me . . .” which would be apropos considering the type of world they are hatching into. (Personally, I think they’re saying: “Hug me,” but then who’s to know since I’m never going to pay that kind of money just to prove a point for a foolish toy that will be forgotten about in two months or so.)


Hatchimal: Courtesy of


2016:     All you years act like you’re all that and a bag of chips. There has never been a year in history that was totally fantastic—ever.

2013:     Me, me, me, me! I was. You can read about it in Think Progress. The writer, Zack Beauchamp says that by the time my year came to a close, people lived longer, fewer suffered from extreme poverty, war was rarer and less deadly than years before, violent crime was in freefall, and there was less racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination in the world as was proven by the two-term election of our first Black president (I added that last part). Although he did have a caveat: we needed to build on that momentum in the years following me or we could slip backwards.

1924:     And then along came Trump . . . Looks like Mr. Beauchamp is going to have to rewrite his assessment, because 2017 is going to be something else. Ever since I gave the world Stalin, I’ve been keeping an eye on Russia. Imagine my surprise to see the budding bromance of Trump and Putin. Nothing good can come of this—mark my words. Putin is a nasty son-of-a-bitch. A chip off the old Stalin block. What a scandal, 2016!


Putin/Trump Bromance Meme: Courtesy of


2016:     Once again, not my fault. I was given a year to “carry” history—not create it or mess with it. I don’t have any power. The power is all in the hands of the humans who exist within my timeframe.

1945:     2016 is correct. We are nothing but conduits. I was given the burden of having the atomic bomb dropped during my reign. Try bearing the burden of that through all these years.

2016:     At least that put an end to the war. It gave 1946 a chance to have a different history.

1946:     You are such an idiot. Do you have any idea how horrific recovery was for the entire planet after WWII? And now on 2016’s watch nativism, nationalism, racism, sexism, and every other kind of “ism” are expanding all over the world (it’s déjà vu all over again) which is cultivating the fertile soil for WWIII. Enjoy your short-lived fame 2013 as being the year mayhem, chaos, and murder decreased because America now has a leader who thinks everyone should have nuclear weapons and he’s going to make sure we get our share during his reign of 2017 and counting. 2017—you poor schmuck. My heart goes out to you.


Cartoon used by permission: John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune



2016:     What’s he saying? I don’t understand a word of what he’s screaming. Do you?

1939:     You know he doesn’t have a voice yet. A year doesn’t get its voice until he’s about to hand over the baton to the next year. He’s screaming in baby-talk: “HELP ME, JESUS, HELP, HELP ME, JESUS!”


Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund,




I am discovering that I can either fear the future or look forward to it. Even though I suspect 2017 is going to be a rough year all over the world, I have decided to look forward to the future because of our children. UNICEF estimates that 353,000 babies are born each day around the world. If they can survive, they really are our future. Somewhere among the booger-eating urchins who just entered the third grade, the pooping and farting toddlers born several years ago, and the clueless newborns of 2016 living in squalor, there are future presidents, kings and queens, scientists, teachers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, poets, actors, activists, conservationists, and religious leaders who will course-correct the ship (the future of our planet) that has been so badly steered off-course by the adults of our world in 2016. Trump, Assad, Putin, ISIS, Alt-right, White supremacists, misguided religious leaders, and all the rest have one thing in common when it comes to their existence: their time is limited and a new year is dawning with a new generation of hope.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! See you in a couple months with the announcement of the launch of my third book! Wish me luck!


Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle



“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.”—Bradley Whitford

“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”—Thich Nhat Hanh

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”—John F. Kennedy

“Only mothers can think of the future—because they give birth to it in their children.”—Maxim Gorky



WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS? Monsters’ Throwdown and Fleeing Oz are both on sale at Amazon (Paperback and Kindle). Third book of this trilogy to launch in March 2017.




Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund,


Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on December 30, 2016 in Uncategorized


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20 responses to “I’M OUTTA HERE: SIGNED 2016

  1. aFrankAngle

    December 30, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Hey E-Tom. Do you recall that when you finished your second book, I mentioned #3 … and if you remember, you laughed at the notion, especially getting started so soon. Damn, looks like I got tht one right! … that said, I can’t believe you took time off to write this post – so get your ass back to the grind so you can meet the editor’s deadline. OK … you get a few hours off to ring in 2017 … Happy New Year to you and WW.

    • etomczyk

      December 31, 2016 at 8:13 am

      Hi Frank. You said that, yes you did. Right now I can’t imagine writing anything else after this third book is finished. I suppose it is similar to thinking that one would never want to have another baby while in the midst of giving birth…and then further on down the line, one forgets the pain. 🙂 Happy New Year to you and Mrs. A. Keep dancing!

      (P.S. I may resurface to write a farewell post to President and Mrs. Obama. I have a feeling that I will miss them very much.)

      • aFrankAngle

        December 31, 2016 at 8:16 am

        LOL … glad you remembered the exchange … and good luck on the next venture. … and the plan is to dance into 2017 … and yes, you should write a tribute.

  2. eurobrat

    December 30, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    While I’m having a hard time trying to rekindle my optimism at the moment, I nevertheless wish you a very Happy New Year! And also much success with your book!

    • etomczyk

      December 31, 2016 at 8:21 am

      Hi Eurobrat: I haven’t heard from you in ages. I know how you are feeling. I’m digging as deeply as possible to pull on my reserves of hope. Even with my horrendous childhood, I am, by nature, an optimist. But I’m also a lover of history, and when I read about us humans, we tend to do the wrong things more than we do the correct things towards each other. That is of grave concern to me as we roll into 2017. Wishing you all the best.

      • eurobrat

        January 9, 2017 at 10:15 pm

        Yeah, I haven’t been around very much and haven’t been blogging as often. The election results may have something to do with that…. Along with you, I also fear the worst parts of history repeating themselves. Let’s hope and pray they don’t. Hugs!!

  3. Colleen

    December 31, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Best of luck getting the book done. Look forward to your blogs returning,

  4. Jo

    December 31, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Hi Eleanor — I will miss your posts while you’re gone, but I look forward to your next book!

    Yes, “Happy” New Year kind of freezes on the tongue, doesn’t it? It sure feels like we are entering a year that promises to be like a terrifying political-nightmare-of-a-movie that should never have been made in the first place, but I do think it will energize people to rise up together to protest against what is uncivil, inhumane, and spawned by darkness — and there is goodness in that. My hope — the voices of reason and compassion will be heard loud and clear and will triumph.

    I look forward to your farewell letter to President Obama. We will all miss him — and Michelle. In him we had a man with dignity, intelligence, prudence, and compassion — and he spoke English very well, too!

    As the poet said: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?…”

    • etomczyk

      January 14, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      Joanne: What a lovely comment. You’re so right that we won’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone. I’ve been watching all the tributes to the Obamas this week to prepare for my blog. I can’t stop crying. God helps us!

  5. Dorothy Longo

    December 31, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Go on Eleanor, can’t wait to read the final book of your Trilogy! And I want to thank you for your positive outlook on “things to come.” I believe that America’s destiny will evolve towards a more spiritual and unified society in the long run. However, in the short term, it’s likely to be a “bumpy ride.”

  6. composerinthegarden

    December 31, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Eleanor, I have been reading your post-election posts but not commenting much, mostly because I still get too upset to discuss it. I agree, we are in for a rough ride and I struggle to find my balance. However, in this Christmas season, I thought that the world was pretty rough at that first Christmas – into troubled times comes the birth of hope.

    I wish you ALL the best on your new book and will miss reading your words of wisdom and humor in the meantime. Yes, please write a tribute to President Obama! I plan to write him and the First Lady a letter of thanks before they leave.

    I wish you a year of joy and happiness my friend, regardless of how the world goes.

    • etomczyk

      January 4, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Lynn: I too have been thinking that not only was it rough for mankind the first Christmas, but it has always been rough for humans in one way or another. No matter where humans have lived there have always been other humans who refuse to do the right thing. I think 2017 might be a wake-up call for us all to rethink our sleepy approach to life as Americans and realize that even though we have a modicum of peace, a bunch of stuff, and enough to eat (for the most part), our republic is in grave danger and we need to be vigilant and fight the good fight to keep all that Christ actually stood for alive. Love, peace, hope, kindness, tolerance, brotherhood is endangered on a massive scale. In the meantime, have a healthy new year and plant an even more beautiful garden to strike a blow in the face of all this ugliness.

  7. becomingcliche

    December 31, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    I want to forget this year ever happened. 2016 gets a bad rap, but it kind of deserves it! I, too, am going to miss the Obamas. At least we get a total clown to follow them up so that we don’t accidentally overlook a decent President because he or she got lost in the shadows of the classiest FLOTUS and POTUS in recent memory.

    Good luck with your new book!

    • etomczyk

      January 4, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Hey BC: So glad you stopped by. I am still shell-shocked as I’m sure you are but becoming more hopeful every day as the resistance movement takes on its creative shape and form. I’m loving how the musicians and celebrities are refusing to participate in the inauguration as a protest, and the March on Washington by women is growing in attendance by leaps and bounds. I have a feeling that before this is all over, the strength of the voices of sanity, goodness, tolerance, love, and hope will be the ax blows to fell this horrid tree of racism and misogyny that now occupies the White House. All the best this year. Keep the faith!

      • becomingcliche

        January 4, 2017 at 9:49 am

        Thank you for this injection of hope. My natural pessimism was choking me!

  8. Dina

    January 1, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Best of luck to you for all your adventures in 2017! 🙂

  9. Judy

    January 2, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Hi, Eleanor. This is my first time responding to your post. I have read both of your books 📚 & look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy. Yes, 2017 promises to be bumpy, but I believe that Donald & Melanoma & the family will implode before the country explodes. I think we will all have the last laugh 😂 on these clowns.

    Our best to you & WW. GET CRACKIN’ ON THAT BOOK!

    • etomczyk

      January 4, 2017 at 9:02 am

      Hi Judy:

      So glad to see you in this space. Thanks for the support and I am hoping your are correct about the Trumps: from your lips to God’s ears. All the best for the new year.

  10. Calvin S

    January 5, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Some people like wild rides. I think you right, Disney’s Tower of Terror will look like a piece cake even to a wimp such as I. That said, I’ve got me Camomile tea in a non-spill sippy cup and my bestie has me all Shades of Grey hog tied in a secure meditative position. Bring it on! We’re ready Freddy!

    Happy 2017, nevertheless Eleanor. Knock ’em over with book three. Salut!!!!!

    • etomczyk

      January 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm

      Calvin: You are too much! I’m missing your blog. Hoping to finish Book III soon so that I can get back to blogging. Feel like it is going to be my main way of engaging in the resistance against this maniac we Americans have elected. I’ve got to do something! 😥


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