Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013

If you had told me this time last year where I would be today - back in the Twin Cities, writing full time - I wouldn't have believed you. It wasn't a thing that I would have even considered as a possibility. So to say that 2012 was full of surprises is simply accurate, not hyperbole. But for all it was a year with a lot of good, there was enough bitter in with the sweet that I have no regrets as I close that door, and look forward to this new year.

I like new years, and opportunities for new beginnings. I like the arbitrary markers that we place in time to say, "This. This here. It matters. Remember this, that there was a before, and an after." I embrace the times that remind me that I can be more than I am.

I have goals for the new year, like many of us probably do. I try, when I make my goals, to have them be things under my control - as much as, for example, I'd love to see something I wrote be nominated for an award, unless I start my own Kat's Best Story Awards, that's something I have no direct control over, so it's a wish more than a goal.

My big goal is to remember that there is life outside of writing. Writing full time has been wonderful, and such a blessing. It is also terrifying - it is very clear to me how much I am responsible for myself. My general response to stress is to work more, to write all the things. To some degree, this is a good stress response, and it's less likely to kill me than others I could have. But I need to remember to have a life.

I want to say yes to more things this year. I tend to have hermit-like tendencies and I am (says the lady keeping a blog on the internet) by nature shy, and that can lead to closing myself off from things and from people that I would have loved. So I will say yes, and be brave.

In terms of writing, I will concentrate more on longer fiction, even longer short fiction - I'd like to write a novelette or novella this year. This is part of my larger, long term goal to always be writing the thing that scares me - the thing that I think I might not be good enough for, the thing that requires me to run along the tightrope. I will write with ambition.

I have reading goals as well. I'm going to continue to read more nonfiction - probably a lot on creativity. I want to read more of what gets called literary fiction, to find the strengths there. I'm also going to read more of the kind of writing that intimidates me - books that get so weighted with expectations and mythos that they are a story that has little if anything to do with the words actually on the pages. I am starting that one with Moby Dick. Apparently the Penguin edition comes with grad school flashbacks.

There are probably other things that I will decide to do, and it's fine that I don't yet know what they are, because we can all choose when our new beginning is. But there is a new beginning today, a new year, and I wish you all a happy one.


  1. Wish you accomplish your goals - more, that you find fulfillment in pursuing them.

    Oh, "Moby Dick". I had always feared that book. It looked like a challenge beyond me. Then I opened the first page - Call me Ismael, Some years ago, never mind how long precisely - and it flowed like wine until the very end. Hope you enjoy it.

  2. Totally agree with Marcos. I love, love, love Moby. I like to read slow and savor it, like a fine scotch. (In fact, I recommend reading it while sipping a fine scotch!) I never had to read it on a deadline, but I can believe it the sort of book which is ruined by compulsory education. The chapter entitled 'The Lee Shore' fills me with ecstatic joy every time I read it--like Rodney Dangerfield in Back to School when Sally Kellerman reads the final lines of Ulysses aloud to the class. But perhaps I've said too much...

  3. Happy New Year, Kat! I like your resolution to say yes to many things. And to write with ambition.

    "In a fitting conclusion to this blog post, Howard's next novel would sometimes be referred to as the modern day Moby Dick, but without whales. And with swords instead of harpoons. And without algae. But with tattoos. So, yes. Basically Moby Dick, but modern, and slightly more stylish." [From a yet-to-be-written biographical sketch...]

    1. You are the best. No matter what the year.