Dear 2015:

Well, hello, 2015, you brand spanking new year, you. What have you got to say for yourself?

I know what you’re thinking, 2015. You’re thinking, “Hey, lady, I hope you’re not planning to launch a list of New Year’s resolutions like the rest of the blohgosphere when  you’ve obviously forgotten to compose a 2014 in Review post, you lazy slag.”

See, we’ve only been acquainted for a matter of hours and already I know you better than you know me, because for your information I totally didn’t forget the review post. Not doing isn’t the same thing as forgetting, let me remind you, and not doing is exactly what I did. Or didn’t. Um. That could use a bit of an edit. (Also something I’m not doing.)

It’s not that my year was a write-off. I’m actually quite pleased with it on a number of fronts. I finished the first draft of my first not-utter-shite novel. I took two writing workshops that inspired and improved my writing. I started writing poetry again. I went on the first real vacation I’ve taken for years.

Other aspects of 2014, though? So very much not something I choose to relive, however briefly. Those aspects will remain stuffed away in a trunk in my own personal dark attic, waiting until I need them to inject their special misery into a particularly nasty story that I’m trying to make particularly nastier. (And the plot bunnies start breeding like mad…)

So, there you go, 2015. You can stop staring at me with that j’accuse expression, and you can also fold up your worry pants and tuck them away in your dresser, or chest of drawers, or highboy, or lowboy, or wherever units of time choose to stash their emotional wardrobes these days. (I’m not drunk, not even drinking, I swear.)

As for the resolutions, well, they’re pretty simple: I will write more and I will get my literal and figurative houses in order. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know the trend in goal-setting is for specificity and measurability and time-boundedness, but guess what? I couldn’t give a rat’s nethers. When my life turns into a corporate wonderland, I’ll start composing resolutions  that fit the S.M.A.R.T. criteria. Or shoot myself. (One of my resolutions was going to be that I’d think fewer cranky/shitty/unkind thoughts, but then I wrote the last couple of sentences and realized I had to either delete it or fail right out of the gate.)

And there we have it. Lovely to meet you, 2015, and I look forward to spending the next twelve months discovering what you have in store for me, for those I love, and for the planet. Be kind, okay?

22 Things Creative Change Challenge

The lovely Angie Richmond (@write_me_happy on Twitter) is hosting a 22 Things challenge on her blog, and I’ve been meaning to finish my list of things for a few weeks now. Just what is a 22 Things challenge? I’m so glad you asked. Angie describes the challenge like so:

22 Things is a Creative Change Challenge. By signing up, you are announcing to the world – and more importantly yourself – that you are breaking free of the long standing idea that in order to make changes in your life, you have to do BIG things. 22 Things is about making a list twenty-two small steps you can take – right now – to change your life. 


The appealing thing about this challenge is that it focuses on the achievable–22 small steps towards getting where I want to go. I can do that! Here’s the list I’ve come up with: 

  1. Stop being such a grumpy pants — cultivate a more positive outlook
  2. Approach conflict with curiosity
  3. Spend a Saturday or Sunday thrashing out the plot problem in the WIP
  4. Get back to writing 500+ words a day on the WIP and registering the word count at #WIP500 
  5. Blog more regularly (hey! I’ve blogged 6 days in a row now!)
  6. Figure out WordPress and move the blog over there
  7. Start taking more photographs
  8. Buy a notebook (ooh! notebook!) with unlined pages for doodling, plotting, visual outlining
  9. Cook/prepare something new, and quite possibly delicious, once a week
  10. Sing more often; in fact, sing every day
  11. Write poetry; bad poetry is fine; spectacularly bad poetry is even better
  12. Get back to reading The Ode Less Travelled and do the exercises
  13. Finish knitting the lacy scarf
  14. Start getting rid of the accumulation of stuff that’s been piling up in the house over the years
  15. Meditate
  16. Remember creative visualization? Yes! Let’s do that!
  17. Get a fake bluetooth earpiece so it doesn’t look weird when I talk to myself when I’m out in public
  18. Make random acts of kindness an everyday activity
  19. Investigate local writing groups
  20. Join the gym near the new office
  21. Get the piano fixed
  22. Take risks–with writing, at work, with relationships, with life
This list of 22 Things will be a work in progress. I’ll be revisiting it on a regular basis to tweak, delete and add goals as the spirit moves me. 

Have you signed up for 22 Things challenge yet? Come on. You know you want to!

The fine art of procrastination

It’s amazing the lengths a person will go to in order to avoid plunking her butt down in the chair and getting down to writing, isn’t it? It’s only May 5, and already this year I’ve:

  • Taken up knitting again, even though I suck mightily at it and have to unknit almost everything I start at least fourteen times
  • Started watching an excess of TV again–even the shows that bore me rigid–with the automatic, zombified devotion of a born couch potato
  • Bought and partially read at least seven books on writing
  • Subscribed to six podcasts on writing, not to mention another half dozen on topics ranging from philosophy to news quizzes to the indie Canadian music scene
  • Enrolled–albeit briefly–in an Italian course
  • Created an even greater degree of chaos and clutter in my writing space than the already mind-boggling degree of chaos and clutter with which I began the year; there is now, in fact, no available surface on which to plunk my butt should I be so inclined and a scant few inches upon which to rest my laptop

There’s nothing wrong with knitting, of course, or with watching TV in moderation, or with taking the time to find out how others deconstruct and elucidate the writing process, or with striving to improve one’s mind with the odd helping of Spinoza or Mark Kermode’s film reviews. And let’s face it,  Italian is a beautiful, roll-off-the-tongue-like-butterscotch language — who wouldn’t want to spend a few hours each week learning it?

But.

Knitting, staring at the tube, reading about writing, overdosing on podcasts,and learning how to conjugate Italian verbs leave very little time, as it turns out, for excavating my writing space from the chaos into which it has descended. It’s time to reassess priorities: a little more discipline, a lot less self-indulgence, no more excuses. Excuses, oh, yes. I have a bazillion of those–but that’s for another post.

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