Hence Be It Resolved

I know you’re going to tell me that the New Year is an arbitrary day, a chance of calendar, but humans live by ritual and symbols as much as by concrete things.  If the world were all logic and what matters logically, we wouldn’t have any special dates, and no one would ever do anything extraordinary because “it’s just the practical that counts.”  And no one would attach any importance to the myths and stories.

I don’t know about you Tovarish, but me I use the rituals and the dates and the symbolic turning points as a fixed point off which to rappel and change my direction.

I don’t often do New Year’s resolutions, mostly because I view them as “things to break” and these aren’t quite so much resolutions as things I say are changing and will endeavor to change in this direction.

This means if I don’t do it on the 1st of January I didn’t break them already, but I’m starting to tack my ship in that direction, and it will get better as it goes.

You see, there is a dreadful weight of inertia to human life.  Things-as-you’ve-always-done them become established in your mind and you end up doing them the exact same way over and over again, even if you hate it.  It’s kind of like trying to swim in a soaked overcoat.  And in this case, the habits formed during this year are the kind that, like that soaked overcoat, will be the end of me, if I don’t change them.

So I’m going to hold onto this here buoy of the New Year and try to change my direction in the following ways.


–          I’m going to try to walk three miles a day, even if it’s very cold.  This is why G-d gave us padded leather overcoats, after all. No more wimping out on the “Argh, I’m freezing” escape clause.  There will also be an appointment with an endocrinologist (don’t ask) and I’m going to try to eat by the method of “It was out when I walked past the kitchen) since I have it on good authority that living of cheese sticks and the occasional spoon of peanut butter is bad for me.

–          I’m going to try to write no more than 4 original/non repeat, not link-fest links for this blog per week (other than the chapters) and fill in the rest with stuff the huns will enjoy.

–          I’m going to try to write all the blog posts for the week in advance on Friday, so they don’t impinge on the other writing.

–          I’m going to try to change my subscribers’ content at least once a month (there’s new stuff up, btw)

–          I’m going to try to finish Through Fire and Darkship Revenge in January.

–          I’m going to try to finish The Musketeer’s Confessor in February.

–          I’m going to try to go to officeish at least 4 days a week, to facilitate the above goal.  (Trying to write while running this madhouse is for the birds.)

–          I’m going to try to take at least one drawing course, because it feeds the soul.

–          I revolve to read at least two new novels a month (no, I’m not that slow, but I read a lot for research/re-read a lot. New stuff tends to suffer.)

–          I’m going to try to be a better friend and more assiduous correspondent to the various ones of the huns who are regular correspondents.

–          I’m going to try to get the rest of my back list – Musketeer’s Inheritance, Musketeer’s Servant and (revised) Heart of Light, Soul of Fire, Heart and Soul – up for sale, both paper and ebook.

–          I’m going to see about getting Basset’s antho done, even if it’s by barflies for barflies.

–          I’m going to try to get permission to do a fan-story antho for the shifters (if Baen doesn’t want to publish it in paper, they can publish it in webscriptions, and Goldport will bring it out in paper.)

–          I’m going to try – very hard – to take my indie stuff if not as seriously as Baen, at least seriously enough that I finish A Flaw In Her Magic and A Fatal Paws (the first orphan kitten mystery) at last.

Yes, that’s a lot of stuff, but most of it is in various states of completion, and I really think that if I’m not hampered by the dead weight of the blog, and if I can stop getting sick, it WILL get done.

130 responses to “Hence Be It Resolved

  1. While I think what a lot of the holidays stand for are important, New Years is one that has that has never meant much more to me than, “dang, I need to find a store that is still open to sell me a new hunting license, because it expires at midnight.”

    Still and all, I seldom do much to celebrate those holidays I consider important, other than think about the importance of their meaning while I go about my daily business. So your plan of action sounds like a good one to me.

    Oh, and thanks for mentioning the subscriber content. 🙂

  2. masgramondou

    If you do 3 miles every day you’ll actually do more total distance for exercise than I did in 2013…

    • Yeah. I did it 2012, burp last year I got wussy about cold. Also I can’t run, yet.

      • What I don’t liked is wet and not cold enough to be snow. It is throughly uninviting to outdoor activity like walking. Makes it hard to develop good exercise habits. So far we have had a lot of that in the piedmont of NC this fall and early winter. (Silver lining, we are certainly not in drought.)

      • I guess I need to get a scarf. I didn’t used to have a problem, but now I can’t walk in the cold because I can’t stand to breathe the cold air for that long. I didn’t know until a few years ago, that a scarf, or just about anything that covers the face, lets you exhale and warm up the material, then heats the air as you breathe it in.

        Not up to that much distance in a day yet, but doing about a mile to a mile and a half, in half mile increments during breaks at work, is helping, when I’m not deciding it’s too cold.

        • Don’t bother covering your nose if you wear glasses. The scarf will just send jets of warm, moist air right onto your cold lenses. It…adversely impacts visibility.

          On the other hand, having a couple of layers of wool covering your neck does wonders.

          • William O. B'Livion

            It does wonders for staying warm, but there’s something about cold on the back of the neck that causes your body to kick up the furnace a bit.

            • Go to Walmart. Go to the huntin’ and fishin’ part of the Sporting Goods Department. Buy a camo drawstring balaclava, with a built in scarf that also covers your ears with a second layer. It will cost you maybe 10 bucks, and it will fit both men and women.

              This will keep you warm to about zero degrees. After that, you put on a hat under or over the balaclava. The nice thing is that the drawstring and built-in scarf piece let you expose as much or as little skin as you want, and the scarf wicks away the worst part of the moisture from breathing, without fogging up glasses or contacts.

            • Fortunately for me, I neither wear glasses nor need anything to kick up the furnace, but I can see the use of those points for other people.

          • I’ve got a fur-lined mad bomber hat that does the trick without the fogged-glasses problem. Granted, I don’t need it often, but boy howdy is it great those days when I really need it!

    • I would LOVE to be able to walk three miles. These days, going more than 40 feet is a struggle. Thank heaven for isometrics and some of the gymnastic training I took, or I’d be a wall of flab.

  3. It still sounds like you’re taking on a heck of a lot. Please remember to include some time just for you and the family, and that its o.k. to take a break when you feel tired or under the weather. That said I wish you a happy and productive new year.

  4. I’ve been debating with myself about the new year and symbolism versus practicality so your post this morning is very apropos. My experience with “new year’s resolutions” are they are failures waiting to happen. Then I beat myself up. I am grabbing the idea of just changing course bit by bit until I’m aimed in a healthier direction. Best wishes to all for a happier and healthier 2014.

  5. Most of your resolutions are measurable, with numbers and/or target dates that will tell you if you’ve achieved them or not. As I’m sure you already know, this is the best way to do resolutions. People who say “I resolve to lose some weight this year” rarely manage it, because they don’t have a yardstick. But people who say “I resolve to lose 15 pounds this year” have a measurable target — have I, or have I not, lost this weight? And so they generally push themselves harder to meet that goal than people who didn’t set up goals.

    Which is why my own personal resolution isn’t “I want to really memorize some portions of the Bible this year,” but rather, “I want to memorize one chapter of the Bible per month this year.” That way I’ll know if I’ve succeeded or failed.

    What specific, targeted resolutions are other people making?

    • “Clean the house.”

      Not, “make the house clean,” much less “keep the house (more) clean,” but “clean it.”

      This means that the second day of each first weekend my husband is home, I will go nuts on the most annoying room like mom is visiting.

      I don’t need to pick a specific one, because the supply will always be there with three kids. 😀

  6. Maybe the symbology of new years resolutions is a little easier for me since December 31st is my birthday. I typically do a LiveJournal Entry on new years’ recapping and reiterating my goals (I’m thinking losing weight is the only one I had some success on., I wanted to lose 20 lbs, and if you count against the five or so I picked up from that point mid-year, I lost 20, albeit only 15 from my starting point last January, but I expect the trend of the last few months to continue.)

    Yes, new years eve, my folks got the tax deduction for the whole year, and the whole world celebrates my birthday, they just don’t invite me.

    • Hippo birdies to ewe! …(is that the autocorrect version?) … Happy birthday! Congratulations on making it through another year!

    • mikeweatherford

      My birthday always came just before school started (school started the Tuesday after Labor Day). That made a nice measurement for me. Now, not so much. I hope yours was happy!

    • masgramondou

      Hmm I need to drop a few pounds too. Or at least I need to reposition a few from the waist to the shoulders. Looking into intense upper body exercises.

      (OK need is a bit strong. I want to).

  7. 🙂

  8. In the words of that eminent philosopher, “Is no try–only do!”–Yoda

  9. I use New Years to look at my goals and change or revive them. It seems this days was set aside for contemplation and I try my best to do it. As for me health was a factor last year. I will have to start walking again btw and cold does affect me. If I can’t walk I will have to do something else. Anyway– I don’t think New Years is an arbitrary day, but a necessary day. I wouldn’t have accomplished anything without it.

  10. Hey, happy new year, to you and the Huns!

    The good news about writing blog posts in one shot: if you feel you need to write a furious screed and reply to something in the news or in comments, you’ll have an extra post in the buffer for later.

    I look forward to buying the revised-for-indie editions of your backlist and comparing them to the earlier printed work, to see someone else’s editorial passes. (What can I say – working with Calmer Half, I’m getting very curious about how other authors revise and sharpen between passes.)

    Have you decorated officeish? Or should we shower you with office decoration ideas? 😀

  11. Agree that we need a fresh start holiday, and this one will do as well as any. My goals are simple: write 500 new words per day, and keep my promises, to God, other people, and finally myself. This is really a resolution to be careful making promises, giving up that rush of pleasure when people say, “you’d do that? Really?”

    Still trying to figure out what I should do about old promises. If I try to keep the ones I made so recklessly, I’ll spend years catching up.

  12. And happy new year, may good health be your portion 🙂

  13. Do be careful when you set your targets.

    I had one for weight loss for 2013, set in four stages It went: If I don’t gain any I won’t absolutely disparage myself. Then, if I lose this much it will be acceptable. It continued, I would really like to lose this much and expect that it is quite rationally possible to do. Finally came the I dream of losing this much, though not impossible, experience of the last few years indicates that it is highly unlikely.

    I presently weigh a bit less than that dream goal, but I would not recommend the method by which I achieved it to anyone. Being sick for most of the year and then ending up in hospital is not the way to go. But now part of why I was struggling with weight has been addressed (yeah) so not everything about it was bad.

    Anyway, Sarah, I hope that you succeed in your goals for this year and it brings blessings beyond your wildest dreams. The same for the rest of the Huns, as well.

    • GAWD yes – I set a goal to take off the last stubborn fifteen pounds and at the end of the year ended up in the hospital with kidney failure and this disease Wegener’s Granulomatosis (over ten years ago). I don’t dare make that kind of goal again. You have my sympathies and good thoughts.

    • A few years ago I was able to get all the way down to 212. Of course, I was laid up for 10 days with a Staph infection. It came back pretty quickly.

      • Even worse, my mom lost 40 lbs in two weeks due to salmonella poisoning.

      • When I was younger, my best weight for my appearance and health was about 210, which used to be 35lbs over what the weight chart said. They appear to have raised the numbers since then, because the large frame weight for a 6′ male goes up to 192 now.

        I don’t know what my weight should be now. I’ve messed my body up by becoming well over 100lbs overweight. I’ll see what I feel like if I can ever get back in the range of the low 200s again…

        My wife picked a bad way to lose weight, too. She lost 40lbs over 3 months of chemo, followed by surgery.

  14. I resolve to, oh, hi cat. [Pause] OK, I resolve to, *looks over shoulder* yes? Now? *sniff, sniff* I’ll take it out. [pause] Right, now, I hereby “Mrrrow.” Arrrgh!

    Walk more, get three novels and ten short stories out, get the non-fiction work out, restart the research project, and write at least two novels. And for the record, I think the year should either start on November 1 or March1.

  15. Christopher M. Chupik

    I resolve to do more stuff (and writing) and maybe be a better person. Also, read lots of books. There.

  16. I resolve to finish at least two novels this year. And get decent grades next semester (yes, I know you guys mock me for stressing over that B, but I didn’t earn it! I don’t *try* for all As, it’s just that they happen.. argh) and in the Fall. I also plan to complete a short story a month, including finishing Puppies in Space for the Basset Antho. And I need to sell myself as a cover designer/artist to supplement my income, since the Other Business is faltering.

    Which means I’d better sit down and imitate you and set definable goals, rather than this “I want to…” vagueness.

    Happy New Year!

    • William O. B'Livion

      Unless there’s money or a higher degree on the line don’t sweat the grades–learning is more important.

      • Up until half-way through the semester I was in teh position of have to get all A’s, or not get in the nursing program. I was getting ill with stress, changed my degree. Now, all better, and it doesn’t matter, but that B bothered me because I didn’t earn it. *shrug* Not worth fighting the prof over it, though.

  17. Sarah,

    It pains me that my first comment on your blog is critical rather than adulatory. I assure you that’s not my nature and, were a comment mandatory on each post, mine would most often be, “Well said! Me too; with you all the way!”


    I agree with Harry: with the “try” you’re wimping out.

    Rather than making a ‘resolution,’ you’re announcing, “I’d like this to happen; if it does happen, I’ll be so pleased; but I’m not at all sure I’ll have the — gumption — to expend the effort necessary to make it happen. You’re leaving yourself an ‘out.’ After all, if it doesn’t (somehow) happen, you can always claim, “Well, I did ‘try.’ Kinda.”

    I do note, however, that you routinely make a lot more happen than do I. 🙂

    Have a happy (and productive) 2014.


  18. Wow, that’s a lot. I don’t do new year’s resolutions for exactly the reasons you stated above, I figure if I need to change something, it doesn’t really matter what the date is.
    Having said that, calendar years are still useful as benchmarks, so my goal this year is to get my own first novel published and make a good start on changing my career status to “writer”.

  19. Hmm. _Definite_ goals? OK.

    (1) I will lose ten pounds. (If I lose 20, I’ll buy myself a nice horse that I can actually ride.)
    (2) I will spend /m/o/r/e/ /t/i/m/e/ half an hour daily out of doors. (Re-civilizing the two geriatric critters in the back pasture would be a good place to start.)
    (3) I will enlarge my vegetable garden this year. (Doubling up #2!)
    (4) I will exercise half an hour daily. (No, brushing horses and pulling weeds doesn’t count, it’s got to be all new exercise.)

    Bah! Humbug!
    I’d throw in some fun resolutions, but those will actually happen without having to guilt myself into them.

  20. At least switch from peanut butter to Almond butter. Resolutions only cause me stress. I find it best to turn the type ‘a’ fixation in one direction and charge. When I come up for air, something’s done, maybe shouldn’t have but it’s too late now. Walk three miles on the river walk or if snow/muddy, go to the indoor mall three times a week. Hope everyone in the Spanish new year tradition a próspero año nuevo.

    • You realize your screen name sounds like an invitation to temporary larceny.

      • Hot dang, Now I have a possible resolution- Aw no, all the banks are insolvent and the slots are rigged against me. Sigh

        • There’s always politics…


          • No; run very fast!

          • What’cha runnin’ for?

            Coroner? JP? Commisioner?

            • I might consider a clean bank robbery or something but extortion (politics) is fighting words.

              • William O. B'Livion

                Running doesn’t mean winning. Work to shift the Overton window and have fun with it.

                • “extortion (politics) is fighting words.” was made in reference to Dan Lanes comment that I could consider going into politics as a form of larceny. Then he added “Runs” I replied that he needed to run from me very fast; because a recommendation that I would lower myself that far is an invitation to a battle. I’m a self respecting theft you know. What’s an ‘Overton window’, I could use some (a lot) more fun right now.

                  • From the top of my head, an “Overton Window” is an expression of what is politically feasible given popular opinion, and is a tool typically ascribed to progressives (vile progs). Typically, a “non-partisan” think tank will propose something that sounds really extreme. Think… Peter Sanger or his ilk, talking about how since infants are not self-aware, it should be allowable for society to eliminate them. Sort of a post-birth abortion. Or, the issue of forcing companies to provide contraception being floated at a Republican debate when no one, and I mean NO ONE was talking about it prior to that.

                    The extreme position is discussed thoroughly, covered extensively, and roundly condemned by all sides. Then someone proposes a legislative / political change that PRIOR to the discussion would have been unthinkable and also roundly condemned. But since the discussion of the new radical position has been ongoing, the proposed change looks (and is) less radical than what had initially been proposed, so people by and large go along with it, because it now seems like it’s moderate or middle of the road. Public perception has shifted. The Overton Window has moved.

                    Lather, rinse, repeat as many times as necessary to get to where you wanted to go all along.

                    > >

            • Now there’s an idea. I’m more comfortable with dead folks than live ones most times. *chuckle* That’s why I got the degree in dead things.

              • Can you you drawl: “Yep. He’s dead.” In a regionally appropriate accent?

                • Southern Appalachian, born and raised way back in a holler where the sun don’t shine but four hours a day, grow’d up eatin’ what we harvested (and canned) more often than not, pickup truck drivin’, flannel wearin’, gen-u-wine country feller?

                  Shorely nawt. Sakes alive. Lawsy do I nevuh. Ain’t ne’er herr’d uh such uh thing. Ah just don’t tink ah could do it proppa-like.


                  You think that’s bad, you ought to hear me and my folks the week after family reunion days. I swear they send out the little ‘uns with itty bitty shovels to pick up the drawl.

  21. I am bound and determined to finish the YA re-working of the Lone Ranger – by mid-summer at least, and be well on the way to the Gold Rush adventure that I have mapped out and already done some extensive reading for. My daughter says that if it turns out that the Lone Ranger reboot with all the identifying serial numbers filed carefully off is a Huge Hit, she will laugh and laugh and laugh.
    Also, to have a meaningful vegetable garden in the back yard (Been trying that one for the last two years, with mixed results) and to get the front-entryway re-done.
    I got about three-quarters of my ambitions for 2013 done, so that’s pretty good.
    However, the goal of pulling in $200 a month from digital sales of the books still eludes me. *pouts*

    • I read your dead tree books, as I can get them, if that makes you feel any better.

      While recovering after getting home from the hospital I read the two covering Margaret’s life and the one about Dolf and his English wife. I don’t have an e-book, but will am plannng to borrow The Spouse’s to read the short stories that are part of your Barsetshire with Cypress Trees and Lots of Side-Arms. 😉

  22. I can’t recall ever keeping a New Year’s resolution, ergo:

    I resolve to be more indolent, work out less regularly and nap more frequently.

    I resolve to make more off-the-wall comments on blog posts, responding more viscerally and less thoughtfully to what other commenters may have meant if you look at the post crossways and use definitions other than those first listed in the dictionary.

    Finally, I resolve to be more compulsive about finishing things.

  23. As I posted earlier in the Diner:

    I resolve to spend less time feeling sorry for myself, but for those times when I do it anyway, I will not double up on the down by feeling guilty for feeling sorry for myself because there are other people out there who have it worse than I. Hopefully, this will free up time and energy for being more constructive in resolving any troubles rather than wallowing in guilt and self-pity.

    I’m also going to resolve to keep up my walking (which should not be hard – I now have to do that in order to keep my ankles/feet from swelling), which will be all i need to do in order to lose another 20 lbs this year (Right now, losing weight is a low-hanging fruit for me, because of how much I need to lose). Unlike you writing behemoths here, I resolve to average at least 200 words per day on my writing, which should allow me to finish the current WIP in 6-9 months.

    • me too– about the swelling– have you looked into dandelion root (or dandelion tea)?

      • No… but I can do that. I have plenty around here. Do you make the tea from the root, the leaves, or the flower?

        • DO NOT make dandelion root tea if you’ve used weedkiller on stuff in that piece of soil in the last seven years. I’m not an organic-crazy person, but eating Roundup is probably not a super idea.

          Dandelion root is a diuretic. The article and comments are pretty good, and there are pictures. You can also buy dandelion root tea at the supermarket (Traditional Medicinals is a good tea brand, but there are others).


          If you don’t want to play with the roots first thing, dandelion greens also have a certain amount of diuretic in ’em, plus being nice and salad-y. You just treat the dandelion leaves like tea leaves, and pour very hot water on them. (Don’t use a metal pot, because dandelion leaves have oxalic acid in ’em, just like spinach.) If the leaves are particularly acidic and bitter (like they probably are in the winter), you put in a pinch (or more) of baking soda.

          Of course, regular tea and coffee are also diuretics, so there’s that. But greens are always pretty good for you.

        • dandelion root is supposed to be good for the kidneys (edema). Leaves are for the liver (helps with jaundice– can also help the kidneys). Flowers– I don’t know of any use for it except to seed more dandelions. 😉

          • You use the flowers to make dandelion wine, I’m told – never tried it, myself! Also, they are the first flowers in the sprint in NH and Dad’s bees loved them.

            • The gold finches love them too when they seed. I love watching those little birds stomp on the white and catching the flying seeds. It is quite an experience. And they are so joyful about it too.

              • That’s not something I’ve seen. Sounds fantastic! Do you know if there’s any video floating around?

                • I haven’t seen one– We tried to make one once, but weren’t quick enough. You have to have a camera set up and in our neighborhood it get stolen before you capture the video. 😉

                  • Yeah, that would complicate videography. Well, thanks for the mental image, ’tis joyous. And I’ll keep a feeler out in the wilds of the internet for some footage.

              • Goldfinches also really liked my Anise Hyssop. I enjoyed watching out the window over the kitchen sink as the birds as they fed.

              • I have photos somewhere of a small flock of goldfinches on a big thistle. They are pretty nifty to watch. Here in Ohio we don’t have them in the yard, but the nesting pair of cardinals makes up for it mostly.

        • suburbanbanshee is right about the rootkiller – You might want to buy from an herbal store or reputable company.

        • Another diuretic is black tea btw.

        • masgramondou

          You can make a coffee substitute from Dandelion roots. Wash/peel, Roast and grind. Tastes a lot like French chicory/coffee mixes.

  24. Finishing ONE novel this year would make me very happy.

  25. William O. B'Livion

    My goals for the year, in no particular order:

    1) Get stronger. Since I keep a notebook at the gym this is tracked.
    2) Get faster–I need to start doing sprints and running for distance.
    3) Get better at my job. Tough metrics, but I know what I need to do.
    4) Get deadlier. Metrics on this are tough.

    • 4., eh? Depends on the deadlier. Have you taken a shooting course with a reputable instructor, like Mas Ayoob? That’s a specific goal, as is working on drawing and shooting without muzzling yourself (use a blue gun, not the real thing!) Or if you haven’t read Hank Reinhardt’s book on knives, that has plenty of exercises for improving your chances for surviving a knife fight.

      • William O. B'Livion

        Ayoob? Please.

        Multiple courses with Suarez International ranging from 0-5 foot gun-fighting and Active Shooter/Terrorist Interdiction, as well as close to 10 years military service (active and reserves) and 8 or 10 years of martial arts.

        Knife fighting is for morons (I took a year of Escrima at one point) Either you’re stabbing the f* out of the other guy or you’re running. Standing there waving d*k sized bits of sharpened steel at each other is a good way to make the trauma surgeons rich.

        Getting deadlier is–to me–getting more comfortable with and more willing to flip the switch from civilized to killer as well as getting better with a variety of tools.

  26. Calmer Half has, after a couple months of research, ordered a treadmill desk. This ought to help with the walking, as side rails provide even better support than the cane for when his legs turn traitor. I shall have to come up with other clever, ingenious schemes to get him out in the sun more. Muahahahahahahaha!

    I want to lose 5 pounds this year. It may not seem like much, especially to those who’ve seen me in person, but I can’t afford to lose any muscle while losing fat. (One day I calculated how much tonnage I was moving during an all-hands-on-desk emergency shift. It worked out to 7 tons in 11 hours. I need all the muscle I can hoard, thank you.)

    After two years of setbacks and crop failures, my gardening goals are modest this year: have the rosemary bush in the window make it through another year, and get a hanging planter for tomatoes by the front door. That’ll do. Stretch goal: add a second planter with basil, and keep it alive through June. No, I am not a farmer by talent, only by persistence.

    I also plan to move to a different department in my company, with a different career path – but if I pull that off, it’ll require moving states again, across the country. That’ll require not only moving our household goods, but all the vehicles… and if I have to move the plane cross-country, then why not enter into an air race and see how fast I can do a coast-to-coast flight? So that’s on the goal list under the decision tree… and if I don’t get the transfer I’m aiming for, I just might enter in the air race anyway, in order to feel like I’m not getting too boring.

    I suppose I could work this out to the detailed bullet point lists that Sarah is used to seeing coming out of me, but I was woken up last night by a crying teenager who walked two miles to get to the only safe place she could think of after a party went sour. It’s past noon and I think I’ll join the cat for a nap in the sunbeam, instead.

  27. I’ve found that a treadmill is quite helpful at silencing those excuses when the weather outdoors is inclement. However, in my case, it too often changes the excuses to those for not getting on the treadmill

    • To have room for a tread mill I would have to make resolutions on other people’s behalf as well as my own. (This would involve, among things, parting with books!)

      If there is anything less likely than keeping one’s own resolutions it is getting someone else keep the one’s you make for them.

      • Bang head on desk… ‘the ones you make for them.’

        • ‘Sok. I’m doing a classic facepalm, considering the difference between all-hands-on-deck (what I meant) and all-hands-on-desk (what I wrote).

          • Thank you.

          • If somebody said “all hands on desk” I’d be looking for the sinister dude with the hammer.

            • Or a teacher about to confiscate a lot of cell phones. And kids whimpering as the cell phones they “don’t have out and that are turned off I promise” slide out of their laps and onto the cold, hard floor. Not that this has ever happened anywhere that I have ever worked, mind.

              • Thing that drove me nuts about kids former high school — if you have a cell at school it could get confiscated. This drove me nuts because our life is… interesting… and I often needed to send texts. And the secretary SUCKED at delivering messages. The worst part –ours were DUMB phones. they couldn’t google anything or play games.

          • I was using the tablet all morning and last night and let me tell you, the autocorrect thinks trebuchet is the same as deviancy. Fortunately I caught it in time.

            • As a dyslexic who struggles mightily with spelling I do appreciate the concept of a good spell-check program. The vocabularies available in these programs are strangely limited, and I wish I could find one that did not seem to pull totally unrelated alternative words out of the thin air. (As your experience demonstrates, they often offer up truly bizarre ‘corrections’.) So, when I am unsure of myself, and have had a laugh at my own expense courtesy of spell-check, I end up utilizing the search engine instead.

              Or, perhaps, whoever programmed your auto-correct is a pacifist who slipped in their own socio-political judgement into the system… 😉

          • I just thought that “all hands on desk” was the corporate form of General Quarters.

  28. This year I plan on doing more planning as opposed to running from crisis to crisis.

  29. Resolved…

    1) 350,000 words this year. That’s only 7000/week (how hard can it be?). The real weekly goal is 8000-10000, but sh*t happens. This includes 2 novels in a NEW series, a 3rd novel of some kind, and more shorter works.

    2) Expand from CreateSpace to LSI. (Keep CS for Amazon and self).

    3) Audiobooks for more novels if the reviews for the first one are kind (self-narrated).

    4) NEW — begin the process of writing more short fiction and SUBMITTING it to paying publication venues first (magazines, etc.).

    5) [Re-do the roof, re-do the bathroom, finish unpacking the office & the kitchen, fix the neglect of 30 years on the electrical systems and anything else that waves its hand for attention]

    6) Think about addressing the 3600 sq ft of storage in the local warehouse which includes 100 bookcases and 800 book boxes, so I can shift the 600 book boxes out of the remote warehouse and close it down. This will require deep thought, a great deal of avoidance, and preferably strong drink to remove any actual necessity of dealing with it this year.

    [It’s important to have at least one resolution that hasn’t got a hope in hell of success. Like a sacrificial goat.]

    7) Oh, yes, I was just reminded… Find some way to evict the mouse or red squirrel who stores walnuts in-between the internal walls and rolls them around, and around, and around. Maybe a black snake and a strategic hole?

  30. I’ve never been a big one for new years resolutions. I do think that there is something to be said for giving weight to a particular day for making changes because it really does help. My husband and I are “going back on our diet” and he was talking about doing that *today* and I said no. He starts back to work tomorrow and I can make him his paleo-compliant chicken and salad lunch, but the kids don’t go back to school until Monday and I don’t go back until the 20th so it will be starting out fighting against a non-routine and that will make it harder. I need to dig out my book (don’t recall which cave-man book I bought) and read through it and think about meals and what to buy for groceries and he has to eat up his yakisoba and I have to get rid of left over holiday baking. So the “start” date will probably be the 6th instead of the first. We did this last year starting in March and were on track until getting slightly more relaxed over the summer (and summer’s stresses) and stayed enough to hold steady through the fall.

    So is it actually a resolution? It’s more like returning “normal” or something, but it’s the only new years change that I’m thinking of as a new years change.

    The rest is just to do well in school next year, keep the stress levels down, try to find a few hours of work or internship… maybe I’ll get a garden in this year because last year really was a bust.

    And I’ll say that I do feel *lighter* looking forward to this year because I realize that last year really was a horror in so many ways. It feels good to shake it off.

  31. A list of goals is a good thing, provides a bit of focus, and you always know where to look when you find yourself with a bit of time on your hands. Keep in mind that finishing all the goals on the list simply means you made the list too short. I’d also add both that it is essential to in some form or fashion prioritize the list but at the same time you need to identify quick easily completed goals of lesser priority as if you find yourself with nothing done and no end in sight it encourages just giving up while I find that completion of a simple straightforward task is a reward in and of itself.
    My one thing today which I shared with the son and DIL when they brought over breakfast was to jump back in and attack several projects that have lain neglected over the last few weeks while I dealt with a nagging case of the crud.

  32. We follow the Southern tradition of the New Year’s dinner with ham (health), black eyed peas (luck), and leafy greens (wealth). Supposedly, the more you eat of each, the more you’re meant to have of each in the coming year. So I whined that mom keeps fixing really gross (like – to me, very bitter and stringy) greens and it’s not cheating to fix yummy green veg because we need to eat more of it, dangit! xD

    Yesterday, I carved up two mini-stamps to use on a printable calendar (I’ll switch to a proper calendar as soon as I can, but I can start with a random printout). I have a stamp for art, a stamp for writing, and a stamp for workouts. I know I have to have a minimum of two each stamped per week and the idea is to use the calendar like a customer stamp card – earn enough stamps, win a prize! Hopefully that will help me stay on track. I’m also taking down my pretty bamboo scroll paintings over my computer and replacing them with a corkboard…. when I *find* my corkboard. It’ll have my calendar and some reminder notes.

    So my changes I’ll be trying to put forth this year are to write more, draw more, and exercise more. To put up at least one new thing on Patreon every month, a new story every two, a new design on Spoonflower every three. Those are easy goals, but I’m hoping that if I can meet those, I can put the bar higher.

  33. The wee Scot who resides in our house gets completely unruly when he doesn’t get his walk in and a chance to meet his friends, so unless the snow’s too deep or the temps too low, below zero F, we walk. As for eating I’ve adopted a see food diet, if I see food I eat it, except for wheat which I’ve sworn off of, and certain other foods like kale, eggplant, and rutabagas (aka Swedish turnips I believe).

    Other than that I don’t do resolutions for New Years or any other time unless She Who Must Be Obeyed indicates it is in my best interests. She’s usually very easy to get along with though, unlike me and the wee Scot.

  34. Resolved (in no particular order):

    A. Fix the house – This one is long planned and dependent on outsiders, but all is in readiness for when the outsiders finally move.

    2. Write, a lot – This is entirely dependent on me. I haven’t worked out the details yet, but I know I need to do so. I’m thinking of setting monthly goals for myself on this. The day job has a vile bit of paperwork called a Monthly Status Report (MSR) wherein projects with funding each have the notable accomplishments of the previous month listed and the predicted / goal work for the coming month listed. Being paperwork the day job version has odd doublespeak required and quirky limitations on what counts as reportable. But! I suspect that the MSR idea could be very useful for my one woman writing shop. I can list by story instead of by project, say what I did, say what I’m trying to do next, and then see how it goes.

    III. Seek progeny – This one is very much an odds game. But if you do not bet, you cannot win. May the 12 bets in 2014 all be placed. For other people this is a no brainer, but the Incomparable Spouse and I are often sent travelling independently. We shall have to watch calendars and take vacation days to travel together.

    iv. Support the clan, including both spiritual siblings and blood relations – This is likely be to the hardest because so many are in need. I would wish for magic to make all instantly well and not needing of anything from me that I might submerge myself entirely in my preferred fictional worlds and not need to spare any attention for the present messy one. But reality ignores me.

    The tricksy and fiddly bits of these goals will be the times when they conflict. My life routine will be disrupted for Support of the Clan such as the expected week or two staying with the one needing hip replacement surgery but if I mean to accomplish Write A Lot there will need to be productive story work done in the waiting room while the Clan-member receives physical therapy and other such stolen moments.

    Wish me luck.

  35. Ah. Forgot one.

    I resolve, in 2014, to care less about what random people on the internet say about me and what I believe. Where necessary, the mental and written application of middle fingers shall be applied. (I just don’t flip people off in real life.)

    Because screw anybody who takes a holier than thou attitude while berating me for my religious or political beliefs.