New Years



One new year for an entire 365 days is not enough for me. It seems I need more than one fresh start. I need three. If you can come up with a fourth, please let me know.

The first is when our year changes – welcome to 2018. I make plans that encompass the next twelve months. While Christmas shopping, I found a gift for myself, a journal with the title Master Plan. It’s a blank journal but includes sticky notes titled Notes, To Do:, For Now, For Later, Remember. This book was meant for me. I’m hoping it will be filled with goals, steps to achieve those goals and more plans as they occur to me by the end of 2018. I love making plans. Probably more than I like actually doing.

According to my Libra Horoscope this year may be a challenge for me to keep up with my work. This is the nature of Neptune in my work zone. I should do what I think is right and ignore the comments of others. From January 21st, apparently I will be attracted to getting out and about and will love entertaining people. By the third week of February, the fun will cease and I’ll get back to work.

I already do not like nor do I agree with what is foretold. If I follow this, I’ll be wasting a good six weeks of productivity. I have to have the first draft of my nonfiction adult  book done by March. There must be hidden meanings in this horoscope. I hope.

The second is the Chinese New Year, starting on February 16th, ushering in the Year of the Dog. What does this mean to a me, a Dragon? The Dog will offer support and aid to each Dragon. The only thing which it cannot help with is inspiration. With such a down-to-earth nature, this canine is not capable of creating, which means that even Dragons who think in unorthodox ways will have to spend the whole of 2018 without major flights of fancy.

Holy Moley.

The Chinese Horoscope also says on the whole, during the period when the Dog is ruling, Dragon’s careers will have every opportunity to lunge forward.

Okay. Whew.

Apparently I need to work with other people on creative endeavors. Which is exactly what my adult nonfiction requires. And those people are in place, ready to go.

Finally it’s October first and the last of the new years. My birthday year. When that comes, my astrology  will be more specific. I will reevaluate previous plans and make new ones.

Three months later we celebrate another New Year and I start all over.

I have two projects on my desk but they’re big ones. Both will need to be broken down into sections. Taking them step by step is the only way for me to not be overwhelmed. I plan each step. I celebrate each fresh start.

I’m pretty this fixation has a lot to do with my on-going struggles battling time and aging, but there’s something optimistic and hopeful about having three new years.

Wishing all of you, constant readers, (and you two know who you are) a happy, healthy, productive, successful New Year!


Of Possibilities And Probabilities


I had another birthday on October 1st. It seems it comes every year about this time and, once again,  I’m feeling like I have a year of possibilities ahead of me. By next year I will have completed, maybe sold, projects, lost weight, trained my dog, baked a perfect pie crust, read every book in the universe and turned back time to my forties.

That’s what I thought last year, too. And I wrote down my ambitious plans. In this blog. Posted them. Like a clueless fool. I thought of them as Probabilities instead of Possibilities.

I aimed to do a last edit and a final round of queries on Alex Bullied. I did do that. I said I would use the month of November, with NaNoWriMo to inspire me, to write the first draft of my next book, My Identical Cousin. I did that, too. So at the end of last November, I was still on track. I had to finish Cousin, turn Morning of the Mermaid into a graphic novel, and edit the sequel to my first book, Outlaws, which is the second in my series about an 1860’s girl, Carrie Sutton, and self-publish it as I had the first, Riding On The Wind. And I added a new nonfiction adult project, that I thought would be easy peesy and just plain fun to do. I could do all of this in ten months, right?

Not likely.

The adult project turned out to be tougher than I’d thought it would. I knew My Identical  Cousin needed to be deeper, needed another level and I wasn’t quite sure how to reach that level.

Then my much loved mother-in-law passed away in December. In January we traveled to Texas for her memorial. This did not contribute to a sense of  creativity.

I decided to focus on the nonfiction project in February. It required an artist, so finding one and communicating the book’s needs took time. And was distracting.

In April I was pacing and moaning to Husband how difficult  the nonfiction was proving to be and how I’d never make my November deadline. He said, “It doesn’t have to come out for Christmas.” I said, “Yes, it does.” He replied, “Not this Christmas.” Hallelujah! He was right. I put the deadline off a year to my, and my artist’s, relief.

In May I heard about the Big Sur in Cape Cod Writers Workshop for children’s writers, taking place in September. This seemed an ideal way to end my year. I hadn’t finished Cousin as I’d hoped, hadn’t made the progress on the nonfiction book I’d hoped, hadn’t turned Mermaid into a graphic novel nor edited Outlaws. But Husband was leaving for six weeks in Asia and during that time I would focus on and get Cousin into shape. There would be no more distractions.

And then the After happened …

July 22, the night before Husband was leaving for Asia, we went to a BBQ and I may have had a little too much, um, fun. Later, at home, when I brought my chiweenie out for a last potty trip in the backyard, I lost my balance, pitched forward and smashed my face onto a two-foot concrete retaining wall. I was instantly covered in blood. My face felt like mush. I felt like an idiot. I managed to get into the house, and to the bathroom where the mirror revealed a chunk of my forehead hanging loose. Husband says he will forever have the image burned on his brain of me, standing at the bedroom door, drenched in blood, saying “I think I need to go to the hospital.”

Oh, I just got that — “last potty trip.”

A night in the ER, forty-three stitches and possible fractures in my nose and cheek later, we were home and Husband was preparing to go to Asia. He couldn’t not go, as people there were depending on him and he was bringing equipment and products for a trade show. Best Friend stayed with me the first night. I knew I was okay, as far as concussions went, and I would be fine alone after that.

However, I sure didn’t feel like writing. Talk about a distraction. This pretty much finished me off. Recovery took predominance over everything else. I could sit in front of an ever streaming Netflix, but I didn’t have any desire to write or read. The stitches crossed my forehead and clustered around both eyes. I didn’t have pain, but it still felt awful, I thought it must be similar to botox, tight and unmoving.

So this is the After. I will have scars. I don’t know if my eyes will look normal. As I write this, the bridge of my nose and right eyelid and part of my forehead are still swollen. The right side of my head and forehead are numb due to the severed vein that runs up above the right eyebrow. How much feeling will return to these areas remains to be seen. But I am recovering.  I did make it to the Big Sur at Cape Cod Writers Workshop (more on that later) and I am back at my critique groups. I’m self conscious in public but a cap and dark glasses covers most of the evidence of the injury. I am back to writing.

The Birthday Year has passed and another has begun. I am once again excited and hopeful for the year ahead. I’ve made a list – but I’m not posting it and I’m letting it be more fluid this time. I know I have a year of possibilities ahead. Possibilities, not necessarily probabilities. Nothing is certain. We do the best we can.

Stayed tuned.