Monday, December 31, 2012

2013: Is That a Promise or a Threat?

Twenty-Twelve was a landmark year for my family. We came to terms with many important realities, namely, that unless I can make things happen on the writing front, we’re going to continue to be pulled into the Great Metaphorical Space Amoeba of Financial Oblivion. 

Like this.

Yet, this was also the year I discovered that I can finish a book. If I can finish the other two books in that trilogy I’ll have something I can sell. Then I can finish The Crisis That Was Christmas and make my definitive statement on a season no one should dread or merely “get through.” I can get going with Cringe City, the novel I’ve wanted to write since 1982, but never knew how to fill the large gap between the already-written beginning and end.

Of course, all of this has to be rolling and rolling gangbusters before the end of the first quarter or we’re as good as killed by that giant space amoeba come summer. So far, momentum is on my side as far as getting everything finished. The main thing is to keep writing, keep finishing things.

Twenty-Twelve is also the year my wife and I came to terms with the fact that we’re too old and tired and cranky to put up with the slave-driving misery of the working world. So it’s this or nothing. Maybe I’ll learn how to write a decent blog as I go along. I’d sure as hell better: I need to get at least two more Web sites up promoting my material by the end of February, if not sooner.

So it’s back to work for your never-so-humble scribe. Fortunately, another thing I learned in 2012 is how to party and work at the same time. This newly acquired skill should serve me well after January, when I’m done with the Great Post-Holiday Detox. Yep, 2o13 should prove to be something. What that ‘’something” is depends on how well I pull off what I’m about to do next. And then the thing after that. And after that.... You get the idea.

See you next year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Music for a Cold Sky

I woke up with this song in my head. It’s been haunting me all day. I stepped out for my mid-afternoon constitutional and immediately understood why.

“Eggs and Their Shells” is from Cocteau Twins’ 1985 EP Echoes in Shallow Bay, but the best-sounding version you’ll find outside of a vinyl bin is on Volume 1 of the 2006 collection Lullabies to Violaine. Play this while looking at these photos I took along my very short, very frigid walk. Now you can be haunted, too. 

Pikes Peak through the branches

One of many attempts to capture the layers of sky-color through the naked branches

December sun angling down behind the stratus clouds


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Crisis That Was Christmas

...was no such thing here. The Christmas 2012 After-Action Report.

I’m still reeling from yesterday’s warm and easy—and even productive!—Christmas Day. Given our negative cash-flow situation, anxieties among all of us in the family where we’re going next (both children are on the brink of young adulthood), we had no right to be mildly amused, let alone jolly. We made it happen anyway.

Recycling our gift boxes - by
putting them away for another year!
It helped that we stayed home, kept the gifts reasonable, and made up our minds to enjoy ourselves regardless. We’re not homeless. We’re not gunshot, sick, dying of cancer, etc. So far, so good. The furnace works, and we’re running it. There’s ham and sweet potato casserole with monster marshmallows on top; cranberries cooked with half an orange and regular mashed potatoes with gravy on the stove. No one’s going hungry.

[Sidebar: I am astonished at my good fortune for being married to a woman who knows how to shop, knows how to cook, and likes to cook. There’s no perfume like the smell of holiday cooking in the home.]

To all of my readers, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I’ve got one down and a good head start on the next. Here’s wishing you all the best with yours.