… not to. Resolve, that is. Resolutions seem too final, too committed. It’s fine for the ‘I’m going to give up smoking/drinking/eating cake’ sort of thing but since I don’t do the first two and I’d happily gnaw my own pancreas or watch a box set of East Enders before I give up cake they aren’t for me.
This year end, year beginning thing is also a bit of a chore, frankly. I think I realised that when a policeman tried to kiss me in Trafalgar Square, New Year’s Eve circa 1987. I mean, it’s fine wanting friendly bobbies and I go for community policing and walking the beat but this was taking sharing too far. And I won’t tell you what happened with his truncheon. Or maybe I knew it back in the early 1970s when, trapped at home with Mum, Dad and the Archaeologist we watched a whole evening of grim TV, culminating in that god-awful Scottish duo Kenneth McKellar and Andy Stewart doing wonders for promoting the end of the Union.
No, do not get me wrong; I’ve had a splendid year, my first full time away from the law in any shape or form. I’ve done lots, written loads, published my first book, volunteered at several places, skied, danced, learnt how to make my own pasta, attempted some hair raising pursuits with the Lawyer, walked, I’d estimate, between 400 and 500 miles with Dog and visited Scotland (thus putting the lie to the bit above) five times. I’ve ended the year roughly the same volume as I began it, with more hair (courtesy of my gap year beard), arthritis in right big toe and left wrist and a hernia. I feel grand and grateful.
And I started blogging. In April. Some 240 posts later, one of which, about the music festival given by the Lawyer and his friends for their much missed chum, Sam Harper, gained over 1200 views in a single day (thus rendering meaningless every other statistic). I’ve loved it, for all of the many reasons people give. You engage with a wide range of delightful people, you learn so much, it makes you polish and hone your writing, it flatters your ego, it opens up opportunities and, on one glorious day, you meet some of those electronic friends in the flesh and realise they are just as lovely as you thought them to be from their blogs. If I could resolve one thing for 2015 it would be to buy a round the world air ticket and visit some corners of the planet just to connect a little bit more with this community. I dream. For now.
I started the blog for one reason; to get me over the line in publishing my first book. I achieved that goal. Tada!! So the first non resolution for 2015 is to publish two more books. That may sound ambitious but I have already written them and it is a case of getting on with it. God Bothering is the first and (provisional title) Salisbury Square the second. They are both very different from the first. Watch this space.
A sub reason for blogging was to improve my writing. I discovered flash fiction this year – at least my enthusiasm to write it. My efforts are still clunky but improving I think. So non resolution number two is to post at least one piece of flash a week with an aim of two.
I worried that blogging would reduce my novel writing time. Perhaps it has a little but this year I started and am half way through a London based thriller that runs alongside London’s Olympics from the day the bid was won (2005) to the opening ceremony in 2012 – provisionally title ‘Legacy’. I have also managed, courtesy of Nano 62,000 words of a sequel to my first book (Dead Flies and Sherry trifle) provisionally called ‘The Last Will of Sven Andersen’. A romping comedy this one! So non resolution number three is to finish first drafts of those two books in time for Nano to give me a push towards something else.
The blog has contained more of ‘me’ than I anticipated. My ego, again, talking about my favourite subject: me. I don’t suppose that will change but I want to do more writing, simpliciter, on the blog so, and this may die an early death, non resolution number four is to post weekly, starting tomorrow a chapter from a book I hope to write in weekly chunks during the year. The first post will go up tomorrow.
And four is a good number, though this year my number is thirteen. How so, you ask? Well, I was a little miffed when I turned fifty that people started putting me in ‘old’. I barely feel middle youth, let alone middle aged. So I changed the rules. From now on my age will be the aggregate of the numbers that make up my calendar years. I turned 58, according to Time’s Unforgiving Arrow, on 30th November so that means I am officially a teenager with all the sulks and strops and an unhealthy interest in smutty jokes and bodily functions that that assumes. I plan on milking this for what it is worth.
To those kind of you to click on some link somewhere and reach this bit of the post, thank you and have a splendid and rambunctious 2015. To those of you who either binned the link or stopped before reaching here, this is for you; if I could, you too would be on youtube thus…
We used to get so much fun out of the one we had when we were the age you are now. Glad to see dog is in a warm coat and you writing like a demon. Looking forward to seeing them in print. The flashes have been great. Hope 2015 gives you more challenges and treats you well.
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Dog has his coat! 😀 And there’s a picture to prove it.
Well. You’ve had a year. Look at you with your traveling and writing and blogging and publishing a book… I don’t really make resolutions, either. If I want to better something or change something, I can do it during the year — I don’t need to wait for December 31st or January 1st.
Wonderful post and thank you for the visual of the policeman and you smooching on New Year’s Eve many moons ago and I am so glad to have ‘met’ you. I am happy you decided to flash at Carrot Ranch. Happy New Year!
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Chapeau to you Ms B. I love the way you can squeeze so much out of the 99 words. As with Larry and often Pete, you three turn out the real quality flashes week on week – and that is not to forget our hostess and her marvels with images. I have my role models for the New Year.
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Thank you, Geoff. I enjoy writing (flash) fiction but am pretty self-deprecating about my efforts. All my bios basically say I like writing fiction but am not good at it. I appreciate this.
Me too. But as long as somewhere inside you go ‘yep, that wasn’t bad’ then that’s ok. Very important to give yourself some support inside if you disparage your efforts to the outside. And really it’s not flattery (well not just flattery) it’s true.
Your tenacity to finish novels is amazing. I will set you as my role model for just do it! I have difficulty overcoming my own waffling on whether it is done or not. ‘m also amazed at where you take Mary each week. There’s not a prompt that can deter you from keeping her on a course. Thanks for the whoopee cushion! We had beans with New Year’s Eve dinner and need no such prompt. 😉
Thanks you Charli. The training as a lawyer has made me deadline orientated so I need goals to achieve. I will get the two books into the public domain, that much I will achieve. I will also try and finish the two outstanding projects. I think the biggie for me I Buster and Moo. It will be a pretty raw piece of work and one I intend approaching a bit differently to normal in that I will plan ahead quite a bit. It’ll be good for me. Still we will see. And I think your work ethic and approach is excellent. On the subject of ‘is it done’, ask yourself when you want to change something are you improving it or just doing it differently. Once I realised the editing was just keeping the story the same but saying what had to be said in a different way that seemed a better way that particular day I realised it was time to stop and publish.
At the rate your going, by the time I qualify you’ll have 10 books published! What a year you’ve had dad – so incredibly proud!
Ah, you sweet thing. Back to the revision, popsicle!
A lovely celebration of your writing year and I look forward to following your next one. I’m going to follow your tip regarding adding the digits to create my age; I’m sure my teen years will be so much better second time round now that I know what’s supposed to happen.
We both should party like it’s 1975; yours or mine?
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