Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Resolutions Revisited

Resolutions were important to my family when I was growing up. New Year's Eve was one of our few genuine, steadfast traditions. My father would hand my sister and I pens and ledgers and pour us some sparkling apple cider, then tell us to get to it. For reference, we would look back at the resolutions from the previous year. This part of the process could be a little disconcerting sometimes, especially as I got closer to teenage years and the goals got more complex. I stopped making resolutions for many years after I left home, especially the years I didn't want to reflect on. But I've been back at it for a few years now, and today I'm clinging to the tradition. Resolutions are just goals on paper, but they're also a record of events and a record of hope. Like journal writing, they are enlightening and, to me, necessary.

Before I post my 2013 list on New Year's Eve (I need to think it over), I'm going to look back. But first, to close out 2012, here's some writing news: the last acceptances and publications of 2012. 

Writing: It has been a while since I posted some writing news, but here's some:

  1. I recently found out that I will be attending the Vermont Studio Center in February for two weeks. Here, I plan to finish my novel. For real! Really finish it! I'm thrilled and honored. Thank you so much to everyone there, for the assistance and opportunity and support. I have purchased long underwear and gloves and back-up gloves, and I absolutely can't wait. 
  2. I have a short piece, Weightless, coming out in Lost in Thought Magazine. Thanks goes out to Kyle Schruder and Robert Vaughan.
  3. Another short piece, which is rather experimental for me, called In Transit is coming out in Stone Highway Review (big fan, thanks to the editors).
  4. Gorge, a novel in stories put out by Pure Slush, was released on December 21st. I contributed a short story to this collection. I have yet to read the whole book yet, but based on the excerpts from so many of my favorite writers, and imagining how we'll all mesh... it should be pretty strange and wonderful.


I'm a little afraid to look at these... 

1. Tell the best possible story each time I write
2. Do not write to publish but simply write, then publish
3. Vary my workouts and avoid backbend push-ups, no matter what
4. Eat just a little better than last year
5. Don't fall asleep in my contact lenses or on a bus (this one is worth the carry-over)
6. Make trips to see my family despite finances 
7. Be patient with my loved ones--let them make their own resolutions
8. Pay outrageous student loans without cursing, stomping feet or looking up to the ceiling and screaming, "Why?"
9. Find either a) an agent and/or b) a fellowship that will bridge the gap between the larger literary world and my working life
10. Smile more (this one's weighted)
11. Get in the habit of turning my cell phone off at work and on when I get home (a biggie) 

How'd I do?

1. Could still improve and will continue to try
2. Much better as far as this goes; the internet makes this one tough as I sometimes feel I have to constantly share new work, but truth is I'd rather write one great, timeless story in my life than publish every other week.
3. Yeah, um, I did a plank the other day, and even though my tendon has healed well, it still killed! I need to work on this one. Don't overdue it will definitely make my list this year.
4. Oh yeah. Doing this.
5. Utter failure
6. Yep
7. Trying
8. Unrealistic. What was I thinking?
9. No agent. I've sent out one query, so this is another utter failure in that I didn't really try as far as the agent, but hey, I'm going to VSC in February! Partial success! 
10. I think I did this the first few days of 2012.
11. Lost cause

When you make resolutions, if you do, do you look at the prior year's list first? Are there certain ones that carry over, seeming to be there year after year? Yeah, well, since I revisited this tradition there sure seem to be a few on my list that just can't be crossed off. But I'll keep trying. I hope if you review your resolutions, they pleasantly surprise you. But if not, hey, there's always next year. 

I have to say, this wasn't as bad as I thought. I'm almost ready to make that 2013 list.

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