‘Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful soul to solitude retires…’
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Edward Fitzgerald translation, first edition.
Ok my apologies, wordpress ate this post, which I had scheduled on it as I had to be away.
It’s been a time, a happy time, of seeing my kids and their wives again, of (surprise) eating too much, and (double surprise) a degree of intestinal discomfort, of the ‘oooh I ate too much’ kind. Of noise, of conversation, of laughter, and, well, for someone who lives more than a mile from his nearest neighbor, lots of people. I gather this is typically true even for people who live like tinned sardines, (close-packed, nose to tail, not necessarily in oil).
A new year is traditionally a time of starting things afresh, even if this really is nothing more logical than an excuse or rationalization to do so. After all, we could have the ‘start’ to the year at for example, the beginning of spring, which would make a whole lot more sense. But then, I’m a writer. Not long on sense, so let’s go with it. Much of this starting afresh, at least for me, is a desire to do a bit better on projects I’ve started on, or in some cases finally start on them (like this getting fit and losing weight thing I have threatened for a few generations).
Part of my list involves getting a few more books done than last year and possibly making some money, a substance of which I heard, but sometimes wonder if exists. I’ve got the edits of CHANGELING’S ISLAND, and the next KARRES book to write for Baen in the near future. Then, before I can write what I swear will be the last HEIRS book, Eric has to finish his input on the one I turned over to him last year. So the three new sf/fantasy novels which I’ve been working on (in bits) need to get done. And the Bolg stories (yes, the next novella is largely done) need to get woven into a book, with some more material. And no doubt other stories will demand to be told.
Some folk may even get demanding about me writing a few. It happens. In between which I will have to continue my chaotic self-sufficiency with its associated adventures into the sea and the night with a rifle, or day with a shotgun. And then there is working toward the home of our own, as well as various ‘improvements’ that need doing – to smokers, pigpens, boats, nets etc. It all takes time, and a measure of determination.
And mostly, that rests on not losing heart. ‘It’s a good life if you don’t weaken’ is nowhere more true than in writing. My kids will be going off to their homes soon. I’ll miss them, terribly. Life will slowly sink back to its normal tenor. I’ll have the solitude I need to write, so long as I muster the discipline. I’ll have that if I muster the determination.
So: who is with me? Are we going beat 2015 into suitable submission (or many submissions)? It is a good land. Grape vines grow wild there, and the fields are full of self-sown wheat.
My target for 2015 is 300 000 new words published (or at least as far as the publishers), if the Skraelings do not drive us to retreat (which is what I managed last year. More would be good) and to see what advance I can manage on that.
It’s a lot. Longer than a couple of PhD dissertations, and less boring, and possibly more factual. Putting it up here is something of a public challenge to myself.
So: what sort of goals are the rest you setting? Maybe I can draw some inspiration from that.