Happy New Year!

This is the moment of embarking.

All auspicious signs are in place.

~ DENG MING-DAO

I’ve been on vacation for about a week now, and the relaxation is oozing through my system like a drug of high delight!  My purpose for this impromptu post is to wish you all a happy and prosperous 2019, to share my vision of where I’ll be headed next year, and to offer a peek at what I’ve come up with so far.

So, the vacation was a wonderful idea.  I’ve had this blog on a schedule, which means deadlines, and deadlines mean work, whether you’re getting paid or not.  Virtually everyone takes and benefits from a vacation from work now and then, and this blog appears to be no exception.  I expect to be in the feet-up position through the month of January, and I mean that almost literally.  Dearly Beloved has arthritis to the point that she can’t really enjoy going out anymore, so the days are filled with Xbox and TV, binge-watching old TV series, curling up in front of movies old and new, and reading books, blogs, and podcasts.

Going forward, I plan to blog a lot less.  This site will consist of two things:  Promotion of good reading, as I have been doing for a while in my Other Voices feature, and my ramblings on The Craft of writing; I may not do it anymore, but I haven’t forgotten how, and if my “insights” help ease anyone else’s journey on the path, that’s time well spent and brings an enjoyable sense of satisfaction.  Other extraneous stuff will be eliminated, and possibly some earlier names changed to bring them into line for ease of reference.

And as to writing, which is how I got into this mess in the first place . . .  Call this a New Year’s Resolution if you wish; to my mind it’s something I happened to think of around the new year, but every day from now on, I will set aside a block of time to get out my story materials and ponder on them.  No distractions.  No internet, no video games, no TV running in the background, no none of that.  I’m going to aim for an honest two hours each day.  I certainly have that to spare in my life of retirement, and I vow to put it to good use.  I’m still blocked, and may never recover, but if I don’t, it won’t be because I just gave up and never returned to it.  I’ll provide monthly progress reports, should there be any.

So here’s wishing all my friends, most of whom are fellow authors, and who have stood by me during this awful period of writer’s block, a most happy and prosperous new year!  May the Great Bird of Happiness dump all over you, and success touch everything you put your hand to.  I love you guys, the few I’ve met and the many I haven’t, and I cherish your comments and observations on my humble work here.  Above all, be safe as you head out to enjoy the World-Wide Party tonight; I’m not finished with any of you, and would be saddened beyond measure should anything untoward befall anyone.  Allow me to leave you with a poem that I saw about fifty years ago.  I didn’t write it, and there were many stanzas, but this one has stayed with me.  I don’t recall the source, but it’s actually a song parody that I think most of you will recognize . . .

Oh, you’d better watch out, you’d better not drive,
you’d better stay home, I’m telling you why:
Sodden clods are painting the town.

Blithe New Year’s drivers pickled
in alcoholic brine
will gaily bounce off walls and trees
to the strains of Auld Lang Syne!

So, you’d better watch out, you’d better not drive,
you’d better stay home, I’m telling you why:
Sodden clods are painting the town!

A Happy, Safe, and Prosperous New Year to Everyone!