Time zips by. It doesn’t feel like a whole year has gone by since my first blog. I suppose in light of that, this is both an anniversary and New Year blog. Thanks so much to those who took the time to stop by and read or comment on my blogs over the past year. You are much appreciated and helped to keep me motivated to write.
A friend recently asked what the point of blogging is. I suspect the reasons are unique to the individual blogger. For me, it’s an exercise in finding ways to put my thoughts into words on a regular basis. I hope that the practice helps make me a better author, but at a minimum it’s a good way to make some sense of my feelings and observations. Maybe someone who reads my blogs gets something out of them as well. I hope.
Speaking of this blog, I’ve been struggling with what to write about recently. I’m sure that it has a lot to do with what happened in Newtown, Connecticut. I think it struck a lot of us wordless. Also, in my first blog last year I mentioned that I’m not fond of the days leading up to the New Year. I still find it an overwhelming time as the news media focuses on all the awful things that happened over the course of the year. It makes me wonder what awful things will happen in the coming year. I tried something different this year, however, and it really worked. I haven’t watched the news at all. Instead, I reflected on all of the great things that happened in my own little sphere of existence over 2012. There were many.
As for anticipating the coming New Year, lots of good things are on the horizon too. My second novel, Step Into the Wind, will be published in January. I’m working on a third novel that has as a central theme the question of faith and what that means to different people. It’s a journey I’m very excited about taking. Writing is lots of wonderful things. One of them is self discovery along the way. I long ago walked away from all religion. Nevertheless, my faith is strong in the people who I love and the world that I live in everyday. I hope to be able to express what that means more fully in my third novel.
In terms of New Year’s resolutions, I don’t make them. However, I do have subjects that I like to try to focus on or learn about. I’m hoping to finally learn to play the ukulele. I’m going to be exploring all I can about the practice of keeping honey bees so that in 2014 I’ll be ready for my first hive. I’ve already started to think about my gardens and the meadow in terms of new flowers or vegetables that I’d like to try. We’re also planning trips to Finland and Antarctica.
The big ticket matter that I want to continue to focus on over the coming year is fear. Fear does awful things to not only the individual, but societies. It’s time that we stop letting people in power, whether they are our political or religious leaders, pervert our world in order to keep us under their thumbs. Especially after what happened in Newtown, Connecticut, this has to be the year that we put our fears aside and have a rational discussion about the problems of society. Instead of instantly vilifying each other, we have to learn to talk to each other in a productive rational way. We’re doomed if we don’t. I hope to write more about the topic of fear and how political and religious leaders use it against us every chance they get.
In the meantime, I’m going to thoroughly enjoy the rest of my vacation reading, playing and ignoring the world for just a few days longer. Then I’ll jump in with both feet and do my best to make a difference. Happy New Year! Hold tight to the ones you love and peace.