Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ringing in the new year and all the rest of that sentimental schmooze

New Year's Eve always sees me a bit more reflective than usual. Even in my wilder days I'd get a bit maudlin and wherever I was at whatever party I attended, I'd usually go off to the side and end up staring at the starry skies. Around me, everyone else would be, excuse my Afrikaans, poesdronk, and I'd already be quite sober.

Okay, nowadays the tendency of getting maudlin is far less (probably because I've stopped drinking) but I still get reflective on New Year's Eve. If ever there existed an evening where one has the opportunity to stand on the cusp of the past and present, it's this evening where we throw away our old calendar and begin marking off on the new. 

I can't help but think of the Roman god Janus, who looks both ways. And I'd like to touch on the act of self-remembering as a touchstone of where you've been, how you've been shaped by events, and how these impact on where you're headed for the future.

This year past had its ups and downs. I've functioned under extreme pressure at my day job as a sub-editor in the newspaper publishing industry. To be quite honest, I don't really have much of a passion for it anymore but yeah... Let's just put it down to mining for salt so I can continue to keep a roof over my head.

My father passed away in February, and that really sucked. Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a parent. Everything changes, and it really begins to hammer in the realisation that there is no magical "home" where Mom and Dad are there for you. But you deal with it, and you realise that although the person is gone, nothing can take away that love you shared. Therein lies much comfort. 

I'm also happy to report that I've managed to keep up my guitar playing. I'm definitely not the next Narciso Yepes or John Williams, but I enjoy my time making music purely for myself. Often when I come home in the evenings, the last thing I want to do is slide behind a computer again.

My world is already so focused on storycraft, it doesn't leave much room for anything else. If I'm not reading, I'm editing or writing. I'm blessed by having a husband who understands this and, besides, he has his films that he makes; not to mention all his photo shoots. Even when we put our feet up on a Friday for some movies, we can't help but dissect the screenplay. That's what we do. Why does this dialogue work? What could have fixed those plot holes? Why is this actor miscast? We have glorious arguments lively discussions about this. Two artists in the house... Need I say more? 

Plans for 2014? Of course!

Will I stick to them? 

I can try.

I'll be tentative, and my plans mostly involve writing: I'd like to finish three novels, namely my current WiP, The Company of Birds. Also, my readers have been clamouring after the third book in the Books of Khepera series. Khepera in Shadow is about half-written. I really need to dig it out and finish it. So that's on the cards. Then, I need to finish book two of my Those who Return series. Most of you will know all about Inkarna. Thanatos follows on where Inkarna leaves off, and I actually do need to catch a hurry-up as Carrie Clevenger and I are busy completing our next collaboration, which sees Ash and Xan team up once again after the events that happen in Blood and Fire. Which means there's a whole chunk of back story missing. 

And oh, yes... Try to also take more time to hang out in my garden, get exercise, and just enjoy living. I've been doing a lot more of that during 2013 and it's done wonders for my state of mind.

So, whatever your plans are, be safe and sane, and I'll see you back here for another round? 

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