Sunday, December 30, 2012

That (Not This) Time of Year

Thinking about your New Year's Resolutions?

Not me. I set goals for the coming year. My friends and I will get together sometime next week and recap  2012 and look at what we want to do in 2013. This is always a fun time.

I've had some successes: I now call my parents at least once a week. I was horrible about this prior to last year.  They won't be around forever. A weekly telephone conversation really helps keep us connected.

A couple of years ago, I added "Monthly date with TV Stevie" and this, too, has been a success. We usually go to a movie or something, but knowing that we're doing something together, not as parents, but as a couple, has added a nice dimension to our lives. Baseball games and work-related functions do not count. (I admit that I stole this from Kris Fletcher. That's the great thing about setting goals with friends: they sometimes have ideas that make sense to you.)

This year's list includes the usual: lose weight; exercise more; writing-related things.

In 2013, I am going to reclaim my music, so one of my goals is to have my guitar re-strung and play for at least an hour a week.

If you're not into resolutions or goals, author Holly Jacobs has come up with a fabulous idea: Word of the Year. Author Samantha Hunter has also adopted this. Check out their blogs to see how this works.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Before Television

Yes boys and girls, there was life before television.

I don't mean before working in television, although there is that, as there is life after working in television, too. No, I mean people had things to do before watching television became the American norm.

Here's a short list of things people used to do before watching television cut off other forms of human interaction:

  • talk
  • read
  • community bands
  • parades
  • Christmas caroling
Just because you don't understand it doesn't make it a bad thing, and there's no need for mockery or name-calling. Some people are happy and want to share their happiness. And that's a positive thing. We need more  joy in the world. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Especially This Time of Year?

A couple of weeks ago I started writing a blog complaining about the phrase "especially this time of year." I loathe and despise that string of words. Tragedy is tragedy, joy is joy. Helping others shouldn't depend on a date. The Salvation Army used to say, "Hunger knows no season." True. We have to do the right thing year round.

Yesterday, 20 students and seven adults were murdered in a school in Newton, Connecticut.

I waited for someone to say "especially this time of year," and I wasn't disappointed.

I heard it on the news last night. I saw it posted on FaceBook this morning.

So if these people--the adults as well as the children--were murdered in April instead of December, that would be better?

For whom?


Sorry, I disagree. Their deaths are an outrage, a travesty, and a deep, lingering sorrow that will never go away for their families and friends, and that doesn't change whether it's Christmas, the Fourth of July, or Arbor Day.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Working Weekend - The Writing Life

I'm taking this weekend to work at my writing job. Too often, especially this time of year, the physical act of writing gets shunted aside by other obligations, and when writing is a person's second job, it isn't always given the respect it deserves, much less the priority it needs.

Being a writer isn't only about writing. There is a lot of maintenance, even before one is published, that needs nurturing: websites, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. It's enough to make a woman want to give up her dream. But it must be done. Even during the holiday season. So I'm taking this weekend to not only reach the 1000 word mark on a novella project and rewrite (for the 2000th time) chapter two of my current work-in-progress, but here I am blogging. I need to freshen my website. I'm tootling around a bit on Facebook.

And I need to work on my goals for next year. I need to think about every part of my life and what I want to improve. Are the areas I identified last year still relevant for the coming year? What other areas should be addressed?

A lot of things to fit into two short days. When Monday morning rolls around and I'm back at the Day Job, I want to know I didn't fritter away my time.