Thursday, January 18, 2018

New Year's Resolutions: More Creativity, More Books, and More Traveling



As we shovel ourselves into 2018—and yes, I mean shovel because I literally have a mountain of snow at the bottom of my driveway and the blisters on my hands to show for it—I wanted to talk about some of the goals I’m setting for myself this year, mostly so I have something else to hold me accountable. Plus, I quite like the idea of New Year’s resolutions because this time of year always feels like a rebirth to me, a chance to start over, try something new. The energy is intoxicating, and I’ve really taken the bull by the horns this year with the intentions I'm setting for myself.

Over the past six years, my entire life has been all about writing: the next book, the next poem, the next conference. It’s been a beautiful journey and one that I don’t plan on abandoning any time soon, or ever really, for that matter, but I want to stretch my creative wings and try some different avenues this year, mostly to shake things up and continue learning the business. As such, I’ve vowed to myself that I’ll have Hysteria, Mourning Jewelry, An Exorcism of Angels, and Brothel available as audiobooks this year, and I’m happy to say that Brothel is already live onAudible, Amazon, and iTunes. The rest are in various stages of production, but I hope to have them all out to you soon as well.

Last year, I also finished a chapbook of poems that I’m currently submitting to a variety of literary markets, and I’m about a third of the way through an apocalyptic science fiction poetry collection that I’m particularly excited about. I’m shooting to sell/publish the chapbook in some way this year (possibly even as a limited edition release), and I’m working towards finishing up the other collection, too. Typically, I don’t consider myself a science fiction writer, but I’m enjoying playing in another genre and bringing horror to it as well. I’m also working on a variety of short stories to finish up my collection Inside the Skin Bouquet, and I plan to continue working on fiction as my primary focus this year.

Outside of writing (even though everything always comes back to it eventually), I plan on working on a variety of other goals that I’ve set for myself over the years, but never really finished. I’ve wanted to learn how to crochet forever, and *thankfully* I have beautifully talented friends who have been giving me tons of advice, sending me tutorial videos, and even sitting down with me and literally making my hands go through the motions so I can learn (thank you, Maureen!). I’m working on a massively chunky scarf right now and I’m finding the entire process of it very relaxing. I’m excited to keep working at this, because eventually, I’d really like to make my own clothes, or at least spruce them up with some embroidery, etc. So yes, 2018 is the year of crocheting for me, and then eventually I’d like to move on to embroidery and quilting. 

Another resolution I’m holding myself to is to read more classics. For the past few years, I’ve read 100+ books a year, but even still, there’s so much I haven’t read, and I often joke around with Dennis and tell him that I’m just going to die next to a pile of unread books, hence why I’m always in such a rush to read everything. But I do find myself falling behind as there are a lot of books that I should have read (especially as a literature professor and a horror writer) but haven’t, so I plan to rectify that. Plus, for those of you keeping tabs on the Five Books I Lied about Reading post I made a few years ago, I still have some work to do there, so it’s a work in progress.

Other than that, I plan to travel more (we're looking at doing Northern Europe this summer), and I want to get Apollo into his last round of advanced training so we can move forward with him becoming a therapy dog. I also promised myself that I would start printing out pictures from the past 5+ years and work on my adventure photography book, so that's on the to-do list as well. Overall, I think for the most part that these are obtainable goals, so I'm hoping for a year full of good books, comfy scarves, Icelandic memories, and a well-behaved puppy.

What are your plans for this year?