Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Ramblings

I have never quite understood the hoopla of New Year's Eve. The date seems rather arbitrary for one thing. It would make more sense to have it at Winter Solstice. The days are as dark as they're going to get, the light is beginning to lengthen. Or perhaps the Vernal Equinox would be a good time to start the New Year. At least in the Northern Hemisphere. The Southern Hemisphere is opposite, so the Solstice/Equinox system wouldn't make any more sense than January 1st.

Making pious resolutions while celebrating by getting very very drunk doesn't make much sense either. Starting off the new year with a hangover? No, thank you.

I don't remember the last time I stayed up to count down the last minutes of the old year. I'm an adult; I go to bed whenever I want, so staying up to midnight is not a thrill. No matter how late I stay up, I wake up around 5am. That really takes the glamour and fun out of late nights.

I started The Artist's Way last fall. If I had done one chapter a week, as the book suggests, I'd be done now. But some chapters have taken two weeks, chapter 7....I think I might be in the third week. Nanowrimo and holiday production took a toll, and then I went and added writing for to the mix. So, I'm a bit behind. But the process has already caused significant changes to my life. I would not have jumped into writing a novel without it. I would probably not be writing at all without it.

I remember wanting to be a writer more than anything, from the time I was very young. So why did I spend so much of my life not writing? Because I have a terrible case of perfectionism. There are no telethons for perfectionism, no medications. Just a lot of soul crushing, time wasting, vicious self-criticism that kills the creative spark before it has a chance to become more than a faint ember.

The Artist's Way and NaNoWriMo probably saved my creative life. "Exuberant imperfection" is the credo of Nanowrimo. Being given written permission to suck was liberating. The willingness to be bad at something is infectious; it's spilling over to other areas of my life.

I have no idea what to expect from 2010. Not having expectations is probably a good thing. I do have some plans, but nothing set in stone.

  • edit novel into a decent read by May 1st, so that I can take advantage of's free printing offer.
  • set up a schedule with my accountabilibuddies to make sure I edit novel into a decent read by May 1st
  • write enough articles for to get paid at least once in 2010. (at 1 cent per page view with a $25 minimum for payout, it's going to take a while. Writing is more about the love than the money).
  • use the recreation center gift card Bevin gave me to finally take a fencing class, something I've wanted to do for years.
  • find a balance between writing posture (butt glued to chair) and life-in-general posture (butt up and moving).

So here's to 2010 - the Year of Exuberant Imperfection. May we all find the courage to follow our hearts and dreams, no matter how silly we may look along the way.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Madness 2009

I really miss NaNoWriMo; that adrenaline-fueled rush to the deadline was exhilirating. Even if I somehow stressed myself to the point of getting shingles (which was not even close to being entirely NaNo's fault) it was worth it just to pass that goal and reach "THE END". Now begins the months of editing. I entered a drawing for a free spot in an online editing workshop. Cross your fingers for me.

While perusing Craigslist for a part-time job, I came across an ad for writers for an online paper called The Examiner . I applied for the position of Dessert Examiner, and pending the outcome of the criminal background check, I have the job. Although it may be called Baking Examiner instead. I think Dessert Examiner is sexier. The pay is minscule, but it's a start. As soon as I'm approved and my page is active, I'll post it all over the place. The more readers I have, the more I get paid, so......hint, hint. The really cool part (aside from being paid to write) is that I can write about whatever I want, so long as it falls within my category.

The kitchen is very busy (it's that time of year) but thanks to my wonderful assistants and the two tempering machines, there have been no meltdowns. It's going very well. Knock wood. I am rather disappointed that Chef has decided not to do Buche de Noels this year. Oh well, I have guests coming for dinner on Solstice, so I'll make Buche de Solstice. It's a skill every pastry person should practice at least once a year.

Last night we had a laidback Chanukah dinner with roast chicken, latkes and pound cake with whipped cream and drunken strawberries. Our guest is half Jewish, and we haven't seen her in a long time, so we had the Chanukah part of SolstiChrismakah. I don't think we'd seen Kendall since her mom's funeral a couple of years ago. Our moms, Annyce and Mira, were really good friends. It's weird to think think that if I had made different bad choices, I could have had a child Kendall's age now. She's 24.

I'm a bit shocked to realize that I'm 46. I don't feel anything like my concept of what 46 should be. So, clearly the sane thing is to throw out any preconceived or socialized ideas of what 'acting my age' should be, and just be who I am. It's not as if I can be someone else anyway.

Saturday night I've been invited to a Solstice party with mummers. I have no idea what to expect. It's a potluck, so I'm probably going to be reckless and try a recipe I've never used before: Cranberry Macarons.

On the actual day of Solstice I will be up well before sunrise for the annual Drumming Up The Sun at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Followed by the traditional breakfast at Sunrise Sunset. Vegetarian Benedict and coffee is probably not how my Celtic forbears celebrated the Solstice, but you have to adapt.
Then my friend Judy is coming for Solstice dinner. That same night. There's going to be work in between. Hello, crockpot my old friend......

Christmas - the traditional hanging out in pajamas until it's time to go to the movies. This year - Sherlock Holmes, with the oh-so-attractive Robert Downey Jr. Sigh.