A New Year

Another New Year’s Day has arrived and now passed and I’d desperately like to fill my blog with the same enthusiastic, optimistic words that I am sure so many other writers and bloggers are posting.  However, the last month has been a challenging one on many fronts and I cannot deny that there is a definite cloud shadowing my views of this coming year.

First and of most impact would be the sudden fight my wife and I are helping our dog Boomer wage against cancer.  He is scheduled for surgery this coming Tuesday, but the doctor indicates this may be only a stopgap, a way of gaining him less than a years worth of life.  Regardless, we are moving ahead with the surgery. hoping for a miracle of some sort.  In the meantime, we are administering palliative care in the form of intravenous fluids to hydrate him and medicines to assist him in dealing with side effects of  the cancer.  It is tough, because like a very young child, he cannot comprehend of the cause or reason, knowing only that we are doing something highly unpleasant to him.  It’s heart-breaking on a nightly basis.

Following as a distant second would be my own disappointment at being unable to finish my novel either by December 1st or (now) January 1st, two broken deadlines I set.   I could legitimately say that it’s been a hard month, difficult to finish my manuscript because of the holidays and the recent crises and that would be completely true but would not diminish my disappointment one jot.  At least with this issue, it is easy to dust myself off and move forward.

Another slight disappointment would be with a home my wife and I were bidding on.   The offer fell through, which is a disappointment.  It was a nice house, with lots of space for family and friends (and possibly fledgling new writers) so it is a minor sadness.  Again, this is a simple sadness to move past and we are already looking at other properties.  Still, it was a very nice house.

Challenging days are the gears that generate creativity.  I recognize this and also realize there is more than a little bit of me that is allowing these things to bring me low.  Grief and sadness are some of the hardest obstacles to face because they are so adept at hiding and waiting, re-emerging at unexpected times.  Hopefully by the middle of next week much of the shadow I feel will at least be more easily quantified if not outright removed.  I’m hoping this next week goes better than the previous two, a depressing statement given that the last two weeks included two of the most happiest of calendar events.

On the upside, I have still been productive, if not to the measure I had been hoping for.  If I can push past the mire I’ve sunk into, I could see myself finishing the 1st draft within the next month or two.  After that, it’s editing and sending the rough editing draft to my beta readers to brutalize.  My hope is that I will be in a position to publish by late summer, early fall and will then begin my next novel by September or October (or during NaNoWriMo).  I have been researching self-publishing and other outlets for using social media, so if all goes well, I should be putting that into play by the spring.

Additionally, my wife and I are still looking for a new home and time is always on our side at this point.  Now is a slow time for selling a home and while we are hoping to leverage that to our advantage, the downside is that there are less houses on the market to select from.  Still, spring will come soon enough and more houses should be available at that time.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, my wife and I have elected to both remove cable television -which will limit much of our viewing habits- and stick entirely with Netflix and HBO (Game of Thrones, ‘natch) as well as join a local YMCA together, although we will no doubt end up visiting it separately, due to our different schedules.  We can still spur each other on, which is vital as we both need to focus more on our health and fitness.  I’m hoping between the two of these actions that we can develop a more active lifestyle together as a couple and that it will aid me in having more free-time for focusing on my writing.

Grasping onto these promising resolutions and holding onto what hope remains in my heart for Boomer, I go forward into this new year with faith that it will develop better than it has begun.

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