January, where’d you go?

Joel’s Journal - January 30, 2018 - Volume 3 - Entry #30 

Snapped in one of my favourite places to write - my parent's kitchen - earlier this year. 

Snapped in one of my favourite places to write - my parent's kitchen - earlier this year. 

30 days. Just like that. 

Snap your fingers together for added affect, come on, do it with me now. 

30 days. Just like that. 

It’s crazy how fast this month has just absolutely flew through the calendar. However, there’s an odd dichotomy at play here for me. As fast as this month has disappeared, New Years Eve, and the final celebrations of 2017, feel like they happened decades ago. 

Weird, right?

Anyway, it’s been a fairly good month, and one that has kept me moving fairly consistently.

There’s been great times with M, including visiting the Guillermo Del Toro exhibit at the AGO, weekend IKEA trips, cozy trips to Ashburn, and perhaps most importantly, turning 29-years-old. To celebrate the occasion, M took me out for a nice dinner and we went to see The Post (it was amazing), before that, I had a bunch of family and friends over to the apartment to have a few drinks, play games, and watch IT, because, what else would we watch on my birthday?

Along with that, the novel has been flowing great, and I’m currently nursing a 30-day, 5:45 a.m. writing streak. Now, they’ve been generally 30-45 minute writing sessions, and only a few words at a time, but each one has kept my novel moving and kept the story flowing, pushing it to the nearly 80,000-word mark. I haven’t gotten nearly enough editing done on my other projects though, which is something I want to focus on for February. 

In terms of work, January has been a dark…DARK…month. 

Plain and simple it’s just been a rough month for the City of Oshawa. 

There was a devastating fire that killed four people, including two young kids and there was a second fire that same week that gutted an apartment and auto parts business. Thankfully, nobody was hurt there. 

There have been two homicides already in 2018 (the historic average is around 5-6 for the year). One of them was a 17-year-old kid who was stabbed to death. The second, happened just last week and saw two 22-year-olds shot while sitting in the parking lot of an Oshawa apartment building. 

With that, there has been the ongoing media attention around the murder of Rori Hache and the repeated court appearances of the man arrested in connection to her death. I’ve been at each of these appearances, and let me tell you, it’s been unsettling to say the least. It’s a lot to take in when you watch the mother of a murdered young girl stare into the eyes of the man she believes responsible. 

I do want to share a few of my thoughts on all of this, because it has been quite the chaotic month (so much so the chief of police came before council and reassured them that really, everything was okay). 

As always is the case when bad things happen in Oshawa, people are always tooting the same damn horn, "oh it’s the dirty Shwa, I’m not surprised.”

Now, this is not something I really agree with. There was also a lot of GOOD things that happened this month in Oshawa as well. However, many people have this dipped-in-garbage view of Oshawa that anything bad is exemplified, and anything good, well, it’s not so good. 

Admittedly, it appears the city has been cursed to start 2018. However, if I remember correctly, January of 2017 was ALSO a scary month. So much so that I wrote a feature story on the amount of violence and just what the police were doing about it. 

Shit, the first line of that story tells enough of how the start of 2017 went in Oshawa. 

A new year is supposed to be reserved for new beginnings, for change, for feelings of hope, but on Oshawa streets, a shocking wave of violence has left many residents feeling nothing but stunned.

So, 2017 didn’t start off well for Oshawa either, but things turned around. 

Okay, went on a bit of a tangent there. With the month winding down, I just wanted to take a second to touch base with all of you and summarize the first 30 or so days of 2018. 

For me, it’s been pretty great, and here’s to the next 11 months. 

As always, thanks for reading! Drop me a comment and let me know how January was for you. I really want to know!


P.S. As a small sidebar. I leave for Florida in four days! I'm started to get super excited for the trip and the WARMTH.

Joel Wittnebel