A New Year, A New Resolve

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been the sort of person who makes New Year’s resolutions.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s because, growing up, in that faraway land of the twentieth century, I witnessed so many people I knew break their resolutions by the second week of January.  The whole thing just seemed silly to me.

newyearresolutions

 

I remember, as a kid, too, questioning the wisdom of the calendar.  There was one particularly snowy and blustery New Year’s Day, in Rochester, New York, when I was ten years old.  I asked my older brother, eighteen at the time, why we began a new year in the dead of winter, when the world outside was a monochrome of whites and grays, a black-and-white landscape devoid of color, absent of growth.  Shouldn’t the new year begin in the spring, when the grass turns green and the flowers bloom?

spring

 

He just looked at me, frowned, and shrugged.  It was the kind of shrug that said, “What in the world are you talking about?  Get real.” And then he proceeded to tell me his New Year’s resolution . . .

This year, though, as I continue working on the sequel to The Eye-Dancers, as I push ahead with various and sundry projects, I have decided to make a few resolutions of my own.

1.  I resolve to stop checking my Amazon sales ranking every day.  It’s a self-defeating habit for the most part, and besides, can anyone out there explain the mathematics behind the ranking?  It fluctuates wildly from day to day, sale to sale.  I am sure there are good, solid theories and algorithms behind it, but from this author’s perspective, it’s a roller-coaster ride.  (Now, if you’ll excuse me for a moment, I need to check my Amazon sales ranking . . .)

amazonsalesrank

 

2.  I resolve to never split another infinitive–to never do that, ever again.

splitinfinitve

 

3.  I resolve to avoid all cliches in my writing.  At the end of the day, it’s originality that counts.  And you do the best you can, and let the chips fall where they may.  It is what it is.

avoidclichesshirt

 

4.  I resolve to stop making any more New Year’s resolutions . . . evidently, they just don’t work for me.

Well–perhaps that’s not entirely true.  There may be a couple of resolutions that I can feel strongly about, that I can get behind and use as motivation as the new year dawns.

The first is–I am resolving, here and now, to do everything I can to finish the first draft of the sequel to The Eye-Dancers before the end of this calendar year.  The sequel (still untitled!) is approximately half-finished.  Much has been accomplished, but much still needs to get done.  This past year was inordinately chaotic for me, on several fronts, which, admittedly, slowed down the writing process.  But in 2015, no excuses.  I aim to complete the sequel this year and, of course, discover an appropriate title!

titles

 

But there is another resolution I want to make, and would like to appeal to everyone to join in.

The world we live in moves fast.  We are bombarded with news, headlines, videos, texts, emails, shopping lists, equipment to fix, doctors to visit, bills to pay, money to earn, responsibilities to meet.  Sometimes, it seems, we’re twisting and turning, in the eye of the storm, the wind and the rain battering, swirling, unceasing.

eyeofstorm

 

In the midst of all of this, it’s easy to drift, stumble, wander along an unknown woodland path at dusk and find that, by nightfall, we’re lost, unable to find our way back home.

lost

 

And so, in 2015, at some point, hopefully far more than just once, I resolve to take a deep breath, turn everything off, and just be still.

I resolve to look up at the night sky when it’s clear–perhaps in the luxurious warmth of midsummer, amidst the hoot owls and rodents and crickets playing their fiddles from somewhere hidden, unseen in the dark; perhaps in the soft, white silence of February, my breath visible like smoke upon the air–and count the stars, ponder them, admire them, and wonder at the possibilities.

starsinsky

 

I resolve to make time, somehow, some way, to allow that wonder to manifest itself in me.

Will you join me?

Read your favorite novel at a slow, leisurely pace.  Watch a Frank Capra classic with the smartphone turned off.  Sing a song off-key with no one watching, or with everyone watching.  Flip through an old comic book you used to enjoy when you were a kid.  Learn a new craft or hobby, not because you “should,” but because you want to.  Draw a picture.  Finish that book you’re working on (note to self!).  Write a poem.  Smile at a corny joke, or tell one.  Curl up on the sofa and watch reruns of your favorite sitcom.

sa150

honeymooners

 

Do something fun.

Do something you love.

somethingyoulove

 

*************

I wish you all a wonderful, blessed, and creative 2015.  Let’s make it our best year yet.

2015

 

Thanks so much for reading!

Mike

58 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Human Interest
    Jan 03, 2015 @ 21:52:47

    Reblogged this on Human Interest.

    Reply

  2. amandagrey1
    Jan 03, 2015 @ 22:06:26

    These are great new years resolutions to have! Best of luck at sticking with it! (I agree with you at paying more attention to the little things, life’s little pleasures if you will) I feel like in this age of technology sometimes the simple joys of life are too-often tossed aside.

    Reply

    • The Eye-Dancers
      Jan 05, 2015 @ 16:33:03

      That is very true, and when that happens, it’s such a loss for all of us. It’s so important to take a step back sometimes and turn those gadgets off.:) Thanks so much for sharing!

      Reply

  3. John W. Howell
    Jan 03, 2015 @ 22:08:14

    Loved this. Good luck on the sequel.

    Reply

  4. jjspina
    Jan 03, 2015 @ 22:51:54

    Love this! Agree with your wholeheartedly, Michael. I am working on a blog about New Year’s Resolutions too. I need to change things because of all the emails and stuff that I have to go through daily. It is all overwhelming! I feel like I am drowning and have no time to write or read just for fun!
    Have a wonderful productive and prosperous New Year, my friend!

    Reply

    • The Eye-Dancers
      Jan 05, 2015 @ 16:34:52

      Thank you, Janice, you, too!:) And you are absolutely right about how difficult it can be to find time to write. This is why I am making it my resolution for 2015. I love to write and get lost in the story. This year, that’s exactly what I intend to do!

      Reply

  5. Donna Gwinnell Lambo-Weidner
    Jan 03, 2015 @ 23:21:25

    I’m in on the deep breath and getting through the first draft for sure. Thank you Mike for the inspiration. Cheers to your resolution! Great post.

    Reply

  6. Mary J. McCoy-Dressel
    Jan 03, 2015 @ 23:28:12

    While you’re looking up at the clear night sky, a title will come to you when you least expect it. (Or in the shower.) Best of luck in 2015, Michael.

    Reply

  7. Mary J. McCoy-Dressel
    Jan 03, 2015 @ 23:31:01

    I get so many ideas while I’m in the shower. That’s why I added “shower” above, Michael.

    Reply

  8. Bruce Thiesen
    Jan 03, 2015 @ 23:57:19

    Sound counsel all around. Good luck with the sequel.

    Reply

  9. laura kilty
    Jan 04, 2015 @ 00:29:36

    “I resolve to make time, somehow, some way, to allow that wonder to manifest itself in me.” Beautiful! I don’t make resolutions but YES, I will join you in this wonderful resolution! Happy 2015 and good luck with all your goals!

    Reply

  10. stormy1812
    Jan 04, 2015 @ 06:04:35

    Great post! I don’t do resolutions either but I have done themes. I suppose they end up working out like resolutions lol at least they have, but I feel I need to follow through this time. The theme (a one word theme) is strength – namely to follow through with it and to build on the previous themes. I figure if I have something that’s a lil’ more vague it’s a bit easier to follow through and leaves me open to things I wouldn’t have necessarily thought of so it’s all good. Anyway, looking forward to the sequel and more that appears right here on this blog! 🙂 Happy New Year!

    Reply

  11. teagan geneviene
    Jan 04, 2015 @ 11:51:14

    Mike, this was a refreshing post. You must have typed the HTML for the stillness vibe into WordPress.
    Believe me I understand about things getting in the way of writing. My “real job” constantly drains me of the ability to write. So last year book-2 of my “Atonement, Tennessee” still didn’t get even half finished…
    But The Eye Dancers is well worth another book. You will finish it, and it will be worthwhile and wonderful.
    Happy New Year to you and yours, my friend. Hugs! 😀

    Reply

  12. Michelle Rene
    Jan 04, 2015 @ 18:19:37

    This was totally inspiring 🙂

    Reply

  13. stockdalewolfe
    Jan 04, 2015 @ 19:12:18

    Happy New Year, Mike, and good luck with the resolutions! Best, Ellen

    Reply

  14. Andrea Stephenson
    Jan 04, 2015 @ 19:56:27

    Great post Mike, I enjoyed the humour, but also the prompt at the end about having fun and taking time to just be. I’m just back from a retreat from technology, full of dreams and ideas 🙂

    Reply

  15. fashionassist
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 01:34:49

    Take a deep breath, turn everything off, and just be still…
    I’m right there with you Mike!
    Another great post–thank you so much ♥
    Sending warm wishes back to you for a wonderful, blessed, and creative 2015 too~

    Reply

  16. Shelley
    Jan 06, 2015 @ 01:26:37

    To the moon Alice! Happy New Year and good luck with your resolutions. Wasn’t that compassionate??? 🙂

    Reply

  17. yessiesuniartie
    Jan 06, 2015 @ 03:24:45

    Happy new year, hope 2015 is an awesome year 🙂

    Reply

  18. Ste J
    Jan 07, 2015 @ 18:51:28

    I wish you ever success (and then some) for the year sirrah, I think I will watch American Horror Story all of tonight as a treat to myself as you insist.

    Reply

  19. evelyneholingue
    Jan 07, 2015 @ 22:02:50

    I liked your post but now that I have a little bit more time I want to wish you an excellent New Year. I hope that you’ll be healthy and creative and I’m looking forward to reading you through 2015.

    Reply

  20. Kitty K. Free
    Jan 09, 2015 @ 05:22:08

    I certainly will join you! And, at the end of the day, I wish you great success :). Peace.

    Reply

  21. Sherri
    Jan 09, 2015 @ 12:24:15

    At the end of the day I love your blog Mike and love that you remind us of what is most important 🙂 Wishing you a wonderfully happy, healthy and successful New Year – one with lots of that glorious time out 🙂

    Reply

  22. Lesley at Lola Rugula
    Jan 09, 2015 @ 16:20:49

    Great advice, Mike! I just sat down and devoured 2 Stephen King novels back to back – a luxury I’ve not allowed myself in quite some time. It was time well spent. Best wishes with your sequel – it will be wonderful, I’m sure. Happy New Year!

    Reply

    • The Eye-Dancers
      Jan 09, 2015 @ 19:56:44

      Thanks so much, Lesley! Very glad to hear that about the Stephen King novels.:) Of course, now you have me wondering which two you read! Happy New Year to you as well!

      Reply

      • Lesley at Lola Rugula
        Jan 09, 2015 @ 20:07:06

        Mr. Mercedes and Doctor Sleep. I have a Kindle but will only read King in hardcover (a strange habit, I admit, but I collect his books). I’d been holding out getting them but finally caved. Read them both in 2 weeks – and that’s me savoring them. 🙂

  23. Holistic Wayfarer
    Jan 10, 2015 @ 11:02:46

    Even Strunk and White have urged that we listen to the music of our language: that infinitive has been split so long and hard I just don’t see it’s operable anymore. Sounds better bisected now. =) And I almost want to throw money at the blogger who’ll avoid, let alone be conscious of, clichés.

    Reply

  24. Pooyaka
    Jan 12, 2015 @ 11:39:42

    Just FYI, in some cultures (e.g. Persian) new years start with spring.

    Reply

  25. kutukamus
    Jan 16, 2015 @ 20:21:32

    LOL Yep, I’m all for it. To never do that again, that is. 😀

    Reply

  26. A. Blake
    Jan 17, 2015 @ 05:04:08

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with fun family and friends – enjoy!

    Reply

  27. Julie Cacher
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 05:02:10

    Oh my! Did we start a new year? 😉 I haven’t been zeros for awhile. Just beginning to get caught up. I, for one, believe you will finish your book this year and it will be great, with a wonderful title. So enjoy the ride.

    Reply

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