Mirror, Mirror: January Reflections

“Reflection is the change in direction of a wavefront at an interface between two different media so that the wavefront returns into the medium from which it originated. Common examples include the reflection of light, sound and water waves.” –Wikipedia

lovely_fractal_196640New Year’s resolutions are not my cup of tea, but I love the idea of reflecting on the recent past. The older I get, the more I realize how easy it is to forget about the good things we’ve experienced or accomplished. Instead, we tend to dwell on the perceived failures or other negative aspects of the past. We forget to celebrate the good and shake off the negative. Whoops! Looking back to the definition of “reflection,” it occurs to me that if the “wavefront returns into the medium from which it originated,” and we dwell on the negative, then we’re pulling that negativity back into ourselves. Or, as my life coach once explained, you get back what you send out, so be careful what you’re sending.

As I wrote this post, I began making notes on how these observations could inform my characters’ development. Andy, he’s a pragmatist, but he also chooses to focus on the positive. Penelope, she’s had a rough journey so far, and could probably use an appointment with my life coach. Dante, he’s not quite done yet, so I’ll have to get back to you about him. Getting to know my characters as real people, with all the flaws and quirks and annoying habits that real people have, is what helps me create believability. Did you ever read a story, one with a fantastic hook and a great premise–but you just couldn’t connect to the characters? The people you should have been rooting for (or against!) were just, well, flat? That’s what happens when the writer forgets to make sure his/her characters “reflect” real people (see how I snuck that in?!), in all their many dimensions.

Back to my self-reflection, did I write as much as I had hoped this year? No. Do I weigh a bit more and exercise less than I would like? Yep. But it’s all good, and here’s why. In 2014, I:

  • Published my second short story!
  • Attended my fourth Crimebake convention!
  • Earned a promotion!
  • Welcomed a fabulous new puppy into the family!
  • Replaced cantankerous old vehicle with newer, reliable (and more spacious) vehicle!
  • Continued to blog with the fabulous Mysteristas!

orchid_flower_plantGee, that sounds like a really good year, one I can celebrate upon reflection. What’s next? While I can’t get excited about resolutions,* I am working on goal-setting. Here’s my attempt at goal-setting for 2015:

  • Write at least one page a day
  • Write and submit two short stories for publication
  • Finish first complete draft of novel-in-progress by August
  • Attend Writers Police Academy

Whew! Okay, that’s a lot, but not unreasonable. Do you have a list of resolutions or goals for 2015? I’d love to hear about them! As for my goals, I’ll get started. . .tomorrow.

*In case you were wondering, there is a difference between resolutions and goals. Resolutions are determinations or decisions to do things. They tend to be big, general, and lack a plan. Goals on the other hand, are results toward which effort is directed.

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Author: Pamela A. Oberg

Pamela is a portfolio manager at an educational assessment company by day, writer by night. Founder of Writers on Words (a discussion and critique group), Pamela enjoys spinning tales of murder and mayhem, with an occasional foray into the world of the paranormal.

9 thoughts on “Mirror, Mirror: January Reflections”

  1. Pamela, I don’t do resolutions, either. And I love what your life coach said. Yesterday I heard a similar idea. He called it “the High Watch,” to be aware of your thoughts and weed out the negative ones. Yes, pay attention to your real feelings, but don’t parrot the negativity you’ve been fed about yourself. Love your goals. All attainable. Congratulations on the new puppy. We got a new kitten this year.

  2. Thanks, Mary! I really struggle with goal-setting, but I’m determined to get the hang of it.

    Theresa, I love this idea of the High Watch–it sounds like a great philosophy to follow. I’ve been working on living in a more “mindful” way, and I think two ideas complement each other. (Congrats on the kitten, too!)

  3. Yay, Pamela! Awesome reflections! Resolutions aren’t for me, either. They are binding in a way that goals are not. Goals allow me to fall down once in a while. Good luck!

  4. Thanks, ladies! Sue, I love that idea that goals allow you to fall down. Kait, I’m so anxious about the registration! Lee is killing me by not posting the date when registration will go live. . .gah!

  5. I love the comparison of goals vs. resolutions. I tend to focus more on goals and actionable items. Congrats on a marvelous year, and best of luck with 2015!

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