Arrivederci 2014, Benvenuto 2015!
Goodbye last year, ring in the new year!
It's been almost a month since my last blog post, post-NaNoWriMo, so this a long, but good one, and...it's New Year's Eve! The perfect time to reflect on the outgoing and the incoming, made even better by an afternoon walk around the lake where I live.
Thirty-cold degrees two hours from moonrise. Crisp, windless air numbed my cheeks, nosetip, and balm-streaked lips. A thick whiff of pollution-grey from an clunky red Chevy diesel filled my lungs as it passed. A few deep breaths from a fallen cedar branch under my nostrils cleared that assault right up.
Ahhhhh, equilibrium restored.
This was my final December walk and the last one in 2014. I had to make it count, and so I set aside the disturbing Tarot reading from the day before* and with each step, I focused on my message for this post.
* The card reader clearly saw creative heartbreak in my past and said I must resolve to mend it. Easier said than done. More on that in a future post.
Post-walk, I added more logs to the already-roaring fire in the bedroom, grabbed an electrolyte-loaded water bottle, and then settled down with the freeloading tuxedo purrballs to pen the following bon mots.
All in all, it was a very good year for this author. Here are just a few gems:
Lots more writing, and even more new story ideas, both short and long, including 45,000 words (40K for a historical novel, 5K for children's novella) during NaNoWriMo alone!
Fantastic writing retreats and workshops (Hedgebrook, here's looking at you), plus one new writer conference and association that I never thought I'd join (RWA, looking forward to more in 2015)
Reveled in the unexpected joys of experiencing serendipity through research (blowing kisses to Italy, WA and OR states, and my beloved Vancouver, B.C.)
Welcome new mentors (some don't even know how perfectly they mentor me)
Hello new writing friends, and sayonara to some old but good writing buddies
Improved my craft on several levels, especially the focus on fiction in historical fiction, and the underrated power of humor
Set, and mostly met, realistic goals (don't judge me ;-))
More appreciation for the art of revision when done well (thank you, Margie and my fellow Immersioners!)
Reaped the benefits of regular offerings to the muses
Felt the burn of BIS and the bliss that often accompanied it (notice how BIS burn and bliss both include the letter B?)
Phew! That's all great stuff and such, but what's on the horizon for 2015?
Fueling my creative fire (no excuses!)
Querying agents and publishers
Attending three conferences
Blogging more about Friuli
Contracting an illustrator for my children's Christmas novella set in Italy
Finishing the outlines for Book Three and my 1930s noir novella
Researching final details for my mystery series set in the Pacific Northwest
I'm going to leave it there. I think that's plenty challenging when trying to hold down a full time job and completing existing writing projects. Check out my News & Events page (under Bio) to see where I'll be and if you're there, too, well be sure to seek me out and say hello.
A little note about the photograph at the top. These are my feet across from the likeness of the Italian poet, Umberto Saba. His bronze statue stands in a busy piazza not far from the Jewish ghetto where he grew up in his hometown of the port city of Trieste. On my annual research trip to Italy this past September, I paid homage to the statues of three famous Triestine writers--Umberto Saba, Italo Svevo, and James Joyce--taking pictures of my feet next to theirs. I felt that by putting my feet near their feet, there might be some osmosis of sorts, a transmission of their writerly goodness. After my pensive walk today, I thought this photo was most appropriate.
Much of Umberto's poetry speaks to me, but a translated phrase from his poem, Ulysses, is a fitting tribute to my writing life in 2014. I hope you like it. You can probably tell where I adapted it to suit my needs :-)
I , to dark broad seas, Am thrust by an indomitable spirit, By the excruciating love of (a writing) life.
Tantissimi auguri a tutti!
Here's to an adventure-packed and story-filled 2015!
Onwards and upwards, one and all.
If you're a writer, let's agree to write to our heart's content and then share it with the world.
If you're a reader, read only the best and spread the word.
Drop me a line in the Comments about what book grabbed you and held you in its tight grip.