My own private new year’s tradition is playing Tori Amos’s “Pretty Good Year” with great emotion and many missed notes on my fabulously out-of-tune piano. Now that I’ve checked that off my list, it’s time to buckle down and get serious again about this here writing thing.
I’m trying to be so, so very diligent about posting on Saturdays, yet I am totally uninspired at the moment, and Kid #1 is still awake and loudly reading Captain Underpants to himself in the next room. So I’m going with a chit-chatty, newsy sort of post about what kinds of trouble I plan to get into this year.
Happy Thing #1: One Degree of Separation–Last year, a woman I met at work, who has since become a friend, found out that I write fantasy. She told me that her landlady is a fantasy writer. I thought, “Oh, that’s neat.” Then she mentioned Katherine Kurtz. It turns out that I am colossally uneducated. Katherine Kurtz is A Very Big Deal. And my friend offered to set up a time for us to meet and talk writing. And I sort of had a happy little nervous breakdown, because KATHERINE KURTZ. So, to make a long story short, I am now bingeing on Katherine Kurtz novels like the overachieving nerd I am, so that I can hopefully not ask her stupid questions when I get to meet her very soon.
Happy Thing #2: Sword-Maidenry–Starting this month, I am taking a college-level course in medieval broadsword combat. I am geeking out about this, too, as knowing how to properly whale on people with medieval weapons is one of my childhood dreams. Seriously. When other girls were listening to Michael Jackson and crushing on Estevezes or Estefans or whatever (yeah, I just totally dated myself there), I was reading Tolkien and imagining that I was every single person with a sword, but especially Eowyn. This is research for a book, too. I love being a writer. Last year I learned to dowse (also for a book), and now I get to learn how to swordfight. Even if I never publish anything or get paid a single cent, this is still the best job ever.
Happy Thing #3: Bet You Didn’t Think I Could Write Anything Less Than 1,500 words–I’ve got some good leads on places to submit short work as I try to build a bigger, more diverse stack of rejection letters and hopefully, a few publication credits. So we’ll see where all that goes. But it’s exciting. And scary. And kind of makes me want to do a little dance…..Okay, I just did a little dance. It also kind of makes me want to throw up. But I’m not gonna do that.
Happy Thing #4:Smart People Reading Stuff– I’ve finally gotten up the nerve to send my word-babies out into the world for smart librarians and readers to critique. I don’t know why this feels just as scary as the actual critique group process, but it does.
So, basically, the theme here is that these things are completely exciting and kinda scary. I think that sounds like the makings of a pretty good year.