New year, new adventures

I’ve written before (I think) that there are two times during the year when I start looking forward. One is in September, the traditional start of the school year – at least in my memory. The other, of course, is January.

January in Pittsburgh usually brings cold weather and snow. I’m not overly fond of snow if I have to go out in it. I’d much rather sit in front of a fire and read. Or write. But if all I have to do is look out the window at an unbroken field of white, I can appreciate the beauty. When the snow is newly fallen, the possibilities are endless. It’s not all churned up with mud and gunk. It’s pristine, ready to be sculpted or molded into whatever the imagination can come up with. You know were I to be that kind of person.

January is kind of the same. New month. Named after the god Janus, January offers the opportunity to reflect on what I’ve accomplished (the face looking backward to the old year). But it also ushers in a new year. New goals. An unbroken field of white, ready to be sculpted and molded. That is the face looking forward.

I haven’t really analyzed my 2015 goals yet, nor have I really set down 2016’s roadmap. I know this year will bring Big Plans. I’m moving into the second phase of my querying journey for And Corruption for All (previously titled Every Other Monday is Murder). I entered another novel in a contest. There will be decisions to make come April/May that will depend upon what happens in the first quarter.

My friend Amy (I’ve talked about her before, I know I have) often talks about living an authentic life. For her, it’s distance sports. But for me, being authentic means writing. And part of writing means sharing. And after a Christmas spent thinking about what I want out of 2016, I’ve decided I want to be authentic. In my writing. In my relationships. It means changing the way I share on social media. It may lead to a change in how I decide I’m going to share my stories. Because I want to share those stories. I think most writers do and I look with a deep degree of suspicion on any writer who says, “I don’t care if anyone ever reads what I wrote.” Of course we care. I write for myself – but I write to share with others. I don’t write to make big bucks (although making a bit of cash would’t insult me). I don’t write for fame. But sharing does not equate to money and fame. You can share and not make a dime.

I guess I have thought about my goals for 2016. I want to have an authentic life. I want to be bold. I want to explore. I want to take my writing to a new level. And I want to share it with the world.

adveture

Or to quote Neil Gaiman:

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

Mary Sutton | @mary_sutton73

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Author: Liz Milliron

Liz Milliron has been making up stories, and creating her own endings for other people's stories, for as long as she can remember. She's worked for fifteen years in the corporate world, but finds making things up is far more satisfying than writing software manuals. A lifelong mystery fan, her short fiction has been published in online magazines Uppagus and Mysterical-e. She has also had stories included in Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales, Blood on the Bayou (the 2016 Bouchercon anthology), Fish Out of Water, and Mystery Most Historical. She is a past president of the Pittsburgh chapter of Sisters in Crime. Visit her online at http://lizmilliron.com, find her on Facebook at https://facebook.com/LizMilliron, or follow her on Twitter (@LizMilliron).

13 thoughts on “New year, new adventures”

  1. My authentic life is writing too — and traveling — two things I find so hard to accomplish with young kids. But I’m determined to make that happen this year.

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  2. How inspirational, Mary. Thank you! I would add that January is even better when we can slip away from the snow and boldly explore some warmer climes, if only for a short while.

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  3. A very inspiration piece well-needed in the Last Frontier where January means 5.5 hours of light and streets so slick, people go ice-skating on them on the weekends. That’s not a joke. So I’m staying in as much as possible. You’d think I’d get a closet cleaned, but no. I have started a number of paintings and am writing every day. Here’s to 2016!

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  4. Kimberly, I always thought we’d travel more now that the kids are teens. Sadly, while I can now tell them to make their own meals, the traveling is still out of reach given school and activity commitments. But some day!

    Becky, yes. I suppose all that blank space could be intimidating, but think of all the things you can fill it with. Between Neil Gaiman and Joss Whedon, I could fill an entire calendar with inspirational quotes.

    Sue, don’t I wish! Come February when I’m facing my nth week of single-digit temps, Florida is going to look mighty tempting.

    Kait, yours too!

    elllefuntiulla, I think we all want to share, even if we don’t admit it. And reading with nice blanket tucked around you and a mug of hot cocoa is nice, too.

    Keenan, I don’t doubt you for a second. Visiting Alaska is on my bucket list, but perhaps I shall do it in the warmer months.

    Cynthia, I’m motivated now. The key is to keep it up!

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  5. What great goals for the new year, Mary, and I love the metaphor of pristine snow for January! So true. Best of luck with querying and with the contest! Keep us posted 🙂

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  6. Love your post today. Good luck in querying And Corruption for All. I’m querying a new novel as well. Looking forward to hearing what you mean about different ways of sharing, too. 🙂

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