Friday, 1 January 2010

Things Change. Get Over It.

A New Year, not a new decade as so many mistakenly believe - that don't start until next year. [For the mathematically challenged, you don't start counting to ten with a zero but a one: the zero marks the ten.]

So, after the pedagogical interlude, it is a time for reflection of what has past and will come.

I have achieved a number of things I can be reasonably pleased with over the last few months.

I have finished my first novel; it has been compared to the works of Haruki Murakami of Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore fame by my ex-editor. I'll take that as a yes then.

(This image is by Nick Kahn & Richard Selesnick, the former being a cousin of my daughters on their mother's side. If the birds were gulls, it would make a wholly appropriate image for the front cover of my book.)

I have yet to find an agent or publisher but blame myself for lack of effort. I sent it to three agents and received a standard rejection from the first, an encouraging refusal from the second and a dunno from the third.

Resolution number one is to end the year with the book published, or on the way to being published.

I have put the book one behind me and being getting on with book two. I am not sure of its merits but it means I have been writing. Indeed, over Christmas, in between the Duck à l'Orange and ducking to avoid the food flying from young Katie's plate, I finished a short story, The Waiting Room, which has received critical acclaim from those who have read it. (What does one do with short stories these days? I have been accumulating them and know not what to do with them.)

Resolution number two is to write regularly every day with a target of 1,000 words, though I will not beat myself up if I fall short occasionally.

Alcohol still haunts my glass; however, in this past year I made the effort to see my doctor to discuss the problem. That in itself is a small triumph. She is a wonderful woman, non-judgmental, patient, and happy to take the time to listen to me without lecturing me on the dangers, of which I am all too well aware.

Resolution number three is abstinence.

Day by day. It will not be easy but the positives are I will more likely achieve my target of 1,000 words a day; [Question: what is snot? Answer: one of a child's five-a-day, courtesy of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.] I will feel less useless, a contributing factor, I'm sure, to my bouts of depression; I will have more energy, the danger of which is I will become manic, not in a homicidal way, but enough to annoy all around me more than they have grown accustomed to. (Watch out, Emily, Rebecca, Sue & Sue.)

Resolution number four is to quit smoking.

As after this packet of cigarettes lying on the desk beside me. Rebecca and Danny, Emily's partner, have also resolved to quit the habit, so between us we should manage. I have done it before and can do it again. Besides, smoking encourages drink, drink encourages smoking.

Resolution number five is to get out of the mind numbing, expletive, expletive job I am doing.

I have a plan. It WILL work.

To all who are kind enough to read my posts, Happy New Year xxx.

At some point during the year, I mean to re-vamp this site and switch to WordPress to make it cleaner and less time-consuming to open.


liz fenwick said...

Sounda like you had a solid workable plan. Wishing you all the luck to suceed in your goals for 2010.

DJ Kirkby said...

Good luck with it all! The getting published, not drinking, not smoking, changing your job and the abstinence.

DOT said...

Always good to have goals, Liz, even if you miss them from the penalty spot.

DJ Now you've listed them, they seem a lot. Gulp.

JJ Beattie said...

Good luck with the resolutions DOT and a very happy New Year.

Girl On The Run said...

I'd say you had a pretty productive year dear friend. To finish a novel is no mean feat. It is also worthy of publishing and hopefully talent will out (onto the bookshop shelves). As for the rest, one day at a time ... X

SpiralSkies said...

Oh wow, can't believe I missed the news that you had finished your novel! well done, that is indeed quite fabulous. Sounds intriguing too, I love Murakami.

Short stories are good for competitions... Sally has a comp calender here:

Wishing you love and luck with all that you embark on.

Kingsdowner said...

So how's it going then....?

Panic-buying cream crackers yet?

Best of luck!

DOT said...

It is going well so far, I have discovered Marmite Rice Cakes, only 3 calories each, filling and delicious. Am getting through a packet of twenty a day at the moment.

I have been too manic to be able to concentrate on less than five things in any given minute, so no writing as yet.

Thanks for all your encouragement.