Every year at this time, we ask our authors to share their resolutions for the coming year. This year, eight of our authors agreed to tell us about their resolutions for 2016 – everything from more time spent writing to more time spent cherishing each moment, because life is too short. Read their interesting answers below:
There are always resolutions about more exercise and fewer carbs, but since I make them every year, those resolutions are becoming more like inclinations or dreams. Instead, I hope to liberate my kayak from the garage and get it and me out on the water more this year. Time on the ocean is so restorative and affirming and will give me plenty of time to think about how to edit my new book!
Lois Cloarec Hart
Before I started to write out my professional resolutions for 2016, I browsed my files to see what I’d written for 2015 and came across my resolutions for 2014. As it turns out, the book I had resolved to write in 2014 is the same one I am planning to write in 2016. That seemingly does not speak well of my attention span, but in my defence, I have written two other books in the interim, neither of which was even in the planning stage in January 2014.
So, my one and only resolution this year is to execute my 2014 resolution. That book—The Wheel’s Edge, the first installment of a historical trilogy set in Atlanta of the Civil Rights Era—has marinated long enough. It is way past time that it be brought to life on the printed page. As for personal resolutions, I long ago stopped making those, since they last about as long as champagne bubbles. Have a wonderful New Year, everyone!
I probably have many of the same cliche healthy living resolutions that most people make for the new year. So I won’t bore you with those. Some of my other resolutions (or commitments to myself, if you will) are to (in no particular order):
- Spend more time with my granddaughter;
- Make more time for friends (in real life, not just virtually); and
- Write about things that matter to me.
That last one probably needs some explanation. When I was writing Getting Back, I started exploring some serious themes (chosen family, our obligation to work for change, being true to your authentic self). I found that I liked writing about these kinds of things. Over the last few months I’ve gotten some strong encouragement from other writer friends to explore this inclination more fully. So, in addition to a few fun stories I’m planning, you’ll probably hear me talk about the more serious and meaningful stories and themes swimming around my brain. Don’t worry, it won’t be all doom and gloom. After all, you can always find something to smile about even when you’re thinking deep thoughts.
My first New Year resolution is simply to make each moment count. 2015 was the year my mother died, and her ability to live in the moment is my inspiration and resolution for 2016. Even if I’m only sitting with a coffee and listening to the birds, I will find the joy in that moment. I suspect finding the joy in cleaning mould from the shower will be harder, but I’m sure it’s there if I look long enough!
Writing wise, 2015 was my year of longer stories: a novella and a novel. I want to keep that trend going in 2016 (and there is so much pleasure in doing so, it won’t be a chore). My goal is to write two more full-length novels in 2016. I’m really looking forward to keeping that resolution, and the starting date is January 5, the day after I turn in the completed manuscript of my 2015 novel, Not-So-Straight Sue, to Ylva.
My big resolutions for 2016 are to write at least 500 words a day and complete my next novel, involving a photojournalist falsely accused of murder.
I just took a look at the resolutions I made last December, and it seems I achieved all of my goals for 2015, so I’m hoping for the same in 2016. I’m hoping to publish two new novels—a historical romance and a contemporary romance—and maybe a novella. I also want to translate my recent romance Just Physical into German and publish a nonfiction book about how to write a fiction series. That should keep me busy!
Seeing 2015 slowly come to an end and the thought of New Year resolutions has caused me to reflect on the various events that have occurred in my life this year and how they’ve affected me.
There have been many high points; my partner and I finally fulfilling a longtime ambition to be part of an Olivia all lesbian holiday and making a whole lot of new, wonderful friends from around the world, creating the plans for our retirement house at the coast, celebrating our 19th year together and the incredibly exciting experience of having my first book published (and people actually buying copies!).
Invariably with the highs, you also get the lows, and this year has seen a plethora of them. Missing half of the Olivia holiday due to illness, serious heart complications for myself as well as several hospitalisations for my partner; the shock of the sudden and unexpected death of friends and relatives, and having to finally put my feisty 97 year old step mother in a nursing home. Several months ago, I was confronted with the loss of funding for my job and am still caught up in the uncertainty of the funding process. Suddenly the solid ground beneath us feels unsteady.
Life has a way of sneaking up on you; just when you feel like you’re cruising, it puts a couple of speed bumps in the road. My mother used to say, ‘What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’. Well, this year I should have a gold medal for strength and yet as I look around, I feel more vulnerable and fragile than ever.
Last night I was watching the news. I listen to the reports of the thousands of refugees still fleeing Syria for a safer future and I sit in my living room watching the footage of them, some carrying all their worldly possessions in a small battered case. I try to imagine how they keep going, where they find the strength. They have no knowledge of their future, no stable ground beneath their feet. I see the people of Lesvos and other cities, feeding them, clothing them and giving them hope, and it reminds me of the quote from Tennessee Williams ‘I have always relied on the kindness of strangers’. We are all strangers to someone, and as such, we need to make sure that despite whatever we are struggling with, we keep our hearts open. I am still here with my partner. There is food on the table and love and support around us. I have started my next book, we have a wealth of friendships, and whatever life throws at us, we will eventually manage.
So my resolution for 2016 is to be thankful for love, compassion and laughter wherever they are found and to be even more aware of the ability to stretch out my hand and become a friend rather than a stranger.
I don’t generally make resolutions, but this year, one of my main goals is to focus heavily on completing the first drafts of the next books in the Tales of Y’Myran series. Beyond that, I want to learn and enjoy new crafts–I’m always looking for things to challenge the artsy side of my nature.
A happy and safe New Year to all of you, and a prolific 2016 to all our authors!