As often happens, this holiday season has been a bit crazy. Between going to Wasilla to spend Christmas with family and having guests for the New Year, I decided the best I was going to be able to do was a mid-season blog post. I don't think I'm even going to manage to write a few words for this week's Visual Dare and Five Sentence Fiction challenges (the links, however, will take you to my past stories if you haven't read them all already).
I hope you had a very merry Christmas, happy Hannukah, blessed Yule, or whatever you choose to celebrate. I know, if nothing else, I was grateful for the winter solstice, the passing of which brings more daylight to my life. My energy levels never fail to rise significantly over the next month or two.
Of course, I was also grateful to get to spend Christmas with our mothers and other family. The moms and I had decided last Christmas that this year we would only give each other one gift, but it had to be handmade. As late December neared, we all got a bit grumpy about this decision, because, of course, we'd all procrastinated on our gift making. Ah, well, we succeeded to one extent or another.
I was thrilled to receive a set of beautiful hand-woven placemats from my mother-in-law. Meals are so much better when served up with brightness and cheer, not to mention underlaid with love.
Mom also had my best interests in mind: she made me a lap quilt in a pattern called "bookcase." She figured it would be perfect for snuggling up with while I read a good book. The Kindle Paperwhite Thane gave me allows me to have a library at my fingertips, so now all I need to do is find time to settle in for a while.
Now that Christmas is past, I have the New Year to look forward to. I took a moment to go back and look at past New Year's posts I'd written. In 2011, I was bold enough to suggest that if we were going to set resolutions, they should be SMART resolutions: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound. Last year, I confessed that I'd failed miserably in meeting the goals I'd set for 2011 (I'd refused to set resolutions).
For 2012, I reached for lower heights, simply desiring to create more art and write more. I think I've managed to do both of those things, although never as much as I'd like to. I took a few workshops in both art-making and writing, including acrylic painting, watercolor field sketching, and nonfiction creative writing, and I attended the Katchemak Bay Writers' Conference. Of course, I at the beginning of the year I was also looking forward to traveling to Bhutan, a trip I enjoyed thoroughly in April.
What does 2013 hold in store for me? Definitely more art and writing. I've been enjoying writing snippets for Visual Dare and Five Sentence Fiction challenges so much that I signed up for a fiction writing class through Gotham Writers' Workshop. My goal is to submit at least one short story for publication. I have no control over whether or not it will get accepted, but my fingers will be tightly crossed. I also intend to attend the K-bay Writers' Conference again, and this time will volunteer to read a piece aloud for the attendees. I don't have any art workshops planned yet, but I'm sure something will come up.
Many people have asked me what travel plans I have for the year. I'm not sure anything can top Bhutan, but I'll go somewhere. I'm currently thinking a solo bicycle trip down Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina, about 600 miles or so. I'd like to go in the fall, both to enjoy autumn colors and to give me all summer to train, a definite necessity! First, however, I'm relieved to be heading to Hawaii mid-January with my family, including both moms. My vitamin D levels definitely need recharging!
Well, what about you? Comment on this post and share your plans for 2013 now that we've all survived the end of Mayan time. Be warned, though, I may steal some of your ideas!