Thursday, December 31, 2020


It’s the last day of 2020, the end of a trying year. For many it’s been a downright shitty year. Losses, in one form or another, upon more losses. It's time to take inventory, to take stock in what’s happened and what might in the near and distant future. And that’s what I’m doing this week.

For me, Dec. 31 is a day of reflection each year. This year, despite some defeats, I’m very grateful. To date, my family has remained healthy. My sister, my wife, and I all work in education. No one has taken ill. Likewise, my mother, who has 19 heart stents (yes, 19; not a typo), diabetes, and beat lung cancer, has secluded herself at home with her Kindle, reading four or five novels a week to remain healthy. I had a perforated colon in 2017 and spent about a month in the hospital and had two seven-hour surgeries. So I know better than to take my health for granted. I’m grateful to be healthy right now.

But tomorrow marks a new year, and it’s time for resolutions. More than resolutions, it’s a time to be resolute. I’m all about controlling what you can control. I published two academic papers this fall, and that was great, but fiction remains my love and crime my passion. I’m hoping to start a new series. That begins with small achievable goals that lead to something larger.

First, I want to write every day. I can control that. It might not be at everyone’s ideal time –– typically 4 a.m. or 11 p.m. –– but I can write every day (I got an hour in before my 12-year-old awoke on Christmas morning).

Second, I want to finish the novel I’m working on by May 31.

Third, I want to have a new short story completed and submitted by July.

New Year resolutions? I try to control what I can control and let the chips fall where they may. Here’s hoping 2021 is a better year for everyone.

No comments: