The new year began a few days ago, but I delayed crafting resolutions.  Instead, I spent time with my step grandchildren encouraging their creativity and geeking out with Lord of the Rings and StarWars marathons; exercising my sprained ankle by walking the dogs; working culinary magic in the kitchen; photographing the wild beauty all around me; and reading books.  I broke down and turned on the heat in the house in advance of the first hard frost of the winter.

#Ztylus more frost!

I worked, too, but balanced the work with spending time with the grands.

Kiddos went home last night, so I read late into the evening to finish Stephen King‘s “Revival“.  My mind was so jazzed, sleep felt far off, so I started Rene Denfeld’s “The Enchanted“.  I also set a reading goal on GoodReads: 30 books in 2015.  If I finish “The Enchanted” tomorrow, as I suspect I will, I’ll be two full books in this new year toward the goal.  I’m also reading “The Game of Kings” by Dorothy Dunnett, but this first in a series of books called the Lymond Chronicles will probably take me a bit more than a weekend to finish.

And, of course, the goal setting made me think that maybe I ought to set some other realistic goals for the new year.  So, as I wait for the northern California sunshine to warm the morning before I take the dogs out for a walk, I set my mind to the task of crafting resolutions.

In 2015, I will:

  1. Read at least 30 books.
  2. Write:
    1. Post at least one blog entry each week.
    2. Resume Morning Pages daily journalling.
    3. Begin revising one NaNoWriMo draft novel – perhaps the first one.
    4. Write another novel in November 2015 NaNoWriMo.
  3. Move more:
    1. Walk at least 10,000 steps each day.
    2. As soon as my ankle will support it, get back to Zumba and Pilates at the gym.
  4. Take a photograph each day and post in a 2015 Project365 Flickr album.
  5. Treat myself to at least one Artist Date a month.

Accomplishing these resolutions requires a balance between work and my personal life, but I feel I’m ready for the challenge.

It’s time to focus on all the bright possibilities of 2015.  Happy new year!


Portable Art

Writing is a portable art – one of the things I love most about it. Last year, when I travelled to Michigan to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends (as well as some time working with my counterpart in the east), I finished my NaNoWriMo draft well before the end of November. I attributed this timely completion, in part, to writing on the road (or in the air).
I know that my posts in the coming days may be short as a result of my busy work schedule, but my intent is to maintain my daily writing habit. A few words written is better than no words.
The act of writing, and reading, for that matter, makes long flights feel shorter. Successfully blocking out distraction with the use of noise-cancelling headphones and Bach, I thought I might craft my blog while also trying to ignore the less savory aspects of air travel – cramped conditions on full flights; people in nearby seats coughing and sneezing; the ever-exhausting fight for armrest real estate.
With beautiful music, a good read (in this case, Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch”), and an activity to complete – writing, for example – I find myself better able to keep travel-related frustrations at bay. I know I am an antisocial traveller – when travelling alone, I choose more often than not to tune out rather than engage in idle chat. The exceptions always arise when a fellow traveller asks what I am listening to, what I am reading, and/or what I am writing. It may seem silly, but anyone who asks these kinds of questions is probably someone I should get to know!
Photography, digital scrapbooking, even doodling for me are also portable forms of art. This trip, though, I made the choice to leave my DSLR at home. I know I won’t have the time while working to take the camera on exploratory hikes, so I will make due with the camera on my phone. I am sure it will suffice for the few opportunities this week I might have to capture photos from the road. Who knows, one or two might even be worth posting.
Whatever free time I have in the evenings before sleep finds me, though, I plan to use writing.