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New Year


2015! I am so ready for the flying cars, house cleaning robots, and the slimming, monochromatic body suits we were promised. As we all sky rocket into the future, I have a few bookish goals for the year ahead.

1. Review more books.

I really skimped on my book reviewing last year. I hate writing bad reviews. I know they’re helpful to other readers, but as a writer, I really struggle with tearing down someone else’s work. I enjoy critiquing and beta reading, but at that point the work is still in flux. If the writer shares it with me, she is still willing to make changes. That knowledge gives me the freedom to share what doesn’t work for me. But a published work is complete. Just because I didn’t love it doesn’t mean someone else will. And unfortunately, I only read a few books that I really loved last year. Here’s hoping goal #2 changes that in 2015.

2.   Read more debuts.
Last year I mostly read big name, highly publicized books, partially because I’m entrenched in so many series. I enjoyed the fresh voices in the debuts I did read, and I plan to push myself in that direction this year.

3. Really enjoy the fun parts of writing.

Drafting is my favorite part of the writing process. It’s messy and free and private. Things may really take shape in the revising stage, but that part is as much work as it is fun. This year I just want to soak in the joy of creative process, instead of always focusing on the success or failure of the end product.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are off to a great new year!

Music for today: There is a Light that Never Goes Out by The Smiths

How is it possible that this is my first post of 2012? Is it just me, or is this year already flying by? I don’t want to talk about reflection on the past year (been there, done that) or resolutions for the new one (already broken). Instead my first post of the year is about watching the world change before your eyes.

I think quite a bit about how the world will be different when my children are adults. I just finished reading Ally Condie’s Matched, which I highly recommend, and I hope that my boys don’t live to see those changes in our society. We have many close friends who have moved away or will be moving away soon. When I was young, these kinds of goodbyes were final; it would take some kind of serendipity to meet up at thirty years old with someone you knew for a year in first grade. Of course now, if you remember that friend’s last name, you can look her up and try to reconnect.

Though my boys are young, before I know it they will have mobile phones and facebook and twitter accounts. They won’t have to reconnect with old friends. They will always have these connections, if they want them, at their fingertips. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the kids in my younger son’s kindergarten class. (If you want to see what a day with them is like, watch the 1990 classic Kindergarten Cop.) And just think, in a few years when I say, remember that cute little girl in your class who loved to do cartwheels? He’ll say, sure, she lives in Orlando and she’s an Olympic gymnast. I chatted with her yesterday.

Isn’t it amazing how the world is growing larger and smaller all at the same time? Instead of a resolution, I’ll end this post with a hope for 2012. I hope that this year, I will take advantage of opportunities to meet and learn from like-minded people, and that I will nourish relationships with all the people whose paths have thankfully crossed with mine.

Music for the day: Favorite cover of 2011, Mr. Little Jeans cover of The Suburbs