Tag Archives: 2011

List of My Best New Things from 2011, and a Look Ahead to 2012

All in all, 2011 was an amazing year. I have here a short (by no means complete) list of things that made this year special to me.

Honda CR-V: Yes, I still love my car and am SO happy I am no longer driving the truck. However, I think the better gas mileage I get is being offset by the fact that I no longer try to avoid driving, which is not very environmentally conscious of me. In 2012, I will try to respect my environment by riding my bike more for quick little trips. I will shoot for at least one trip by bike per week,  beginning when the temps hit 55+ degrees again.

Manuscript Submission: As my dad was overly fond of saying about anything unpleasant (hard work, unimaginable filth to be waded through, mind-numbing tedium,) “It’s good for you! It builds character!” Submitting manuscripts has been really good for me. It turns out that rejection didn’t destroy me after all. Finding agents to submit to, and sending queries out was so stressful I literally shook. All the craziest voices in my head rose in a chorus to tell me what a disaster the whole enterprise would turn out to be. I was on the verge of a collapse, and then, guess what? I got some form letters that said “not for us” and it was no big deal. I propose that in 2012, I will shoot for three times as many rejections for Hollywood University, and maybe a bunch for Sleepers as well.

Novel Revision: Speaking of Sleepers, I am really happy that I still want to work on that manuscript. I didn’t do a lot with it in 2011, but I know now that it is standing the test of time, at least with me. I am in LOVE with most of what I do, when I am doing it, but after I’ve worked on a small piece even 12 hours of  downtime between the writing and the re-reading is illuminating. Once the heat and energy dies down, I find a lot of what I’ve written to be boring and/or embarrassing. Some of it is salvageable, some is not. I still love Sleepers, although there are some kinks to work out and 2012 is the year, baby!

She Said Writer’s Retreats: So much fun! Friendship and photography and technology and old haunts and haunted houses and therapeutic conversation and giggles and shopping. And wine and food. Oh, and writing–I said that, right? More in 2012, please!

Coffee: It isn’t like I had never had coffee before, but my interest in it certainly grew this year. In 2011, coffee was demonstrated to diminish the occurrence of depression in women and prostate cancer in men. I also got a good coffeemaker. Coffee makes me feel smart and lively (and do stupid things faster with more energy!)  I still love tea and will continue to drink that occasionally, but I think 2012 will see me embracing the bean buzz with both arms.

Blogging:  Wordtabulous has been a superfun adventure. I’ve met people, shared some info, registered some opinions, figured out some things, had some meltdowns, and hopefully given cause for a chuckle or a “Yeah, sister!” once in awhile. I have also had a riot finding and following other blogs which have expanded my world quite a bit. Thank you wordpress, and bloggers and followers (and especially you commenters and “likers”–there is a special place in my heart for you!) I hope 2012 sees continued blogging, perhaps with more focus and punch (or not, as the shotgun approach seems to be my natural inclination.) I hope to see more of you, dear reader! Thanks for dropping in, and all the best to you and yours in the New Year!

 

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A Good Climb

I am not a believer in New Year’s Resolutions. If you have an idea to improve yourself, why wait? If you can’t manage incorporating the idea right now, why set yourself up with an arbitrary date? New Years Day isn’t magic, but wouldn’t it be cool if it was! Think of everything that would really happen! World peace, balanced budgets, kids turning in their homework on time, and the effortlessly kicked habits or dropped pounds. WOW. OK, that was fun, but back to reality. I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions but I do believe in approaching the end of the calendar year with an analytical eye.

It is time to start assessing 2011. What did it mean, and how have we grown? What did we try for the first time, or in a new way, and how did that work out? What activity did we say good-bye to, to make room for other things? What juicy failures brought us hard-won epiphanies? What successes raised our bar for 2012? It isn’t too early to start the review, because even though we still have over five weeks of 2011 to try, desist, fail and succeed, the tendency is to lose the lessons in the noisy, demanding, swirl of  everyday functioning. It can take some time to reflect. This isn’t a test. You don’t get an A+ if you journaled and cross-referenced exhaustively all of the above and are ready with a leather bound retrospective on December 31st. If you do that I will offer you my amazement and a referral to get yourself diagnosed. You also don’t fail if the only thing you can remember is to never, ever again send out emails when you are drunk. That right there puts you ahead of plenty of other people.

For me, 2011 has been a lot about bravery, honesty and mellowing out, but also about frustration and fear (always fear, darn it.) I know I have learned a LOT since I was sixteen years old, but I am bemused to find that I still so often see the world as I did then: as one big learning curve with no end in sight. I  am thankful this November that the curve isn’t always painfully steep, and that there are continuously new things to take in  and familiar things to perceive at a different level. I am thankful for every one of you reading this for sharing the climb, and offering me challenges along the way.

2011: What has it brought you?