Monday, January 5, 2015


I didn't write a year-end wrap up post, and I didn't write one to start the new year. 

Partially, it was because the whole turning the page on the calendar thing wasn't the most important part of the early days of 2015 for me. That was actually the thing that happened on 3 January, 2015, when I watched my brother Joe stand up in church with an amazing woman, Jess, and speak vows and make commitments to each other, in front of family and friends. I'm so happy for them, and I wish them calendars and calendars worth of years of happiness together.

But there was an end and a beginning, and the calendar turned over.

2014 was a strange year for me. In one way, it was amazing. I sold my debut novel, Roses and Rot, a goal I've been working towards since I came back from Clarion in August of 2008. I'm so happy, and so proud, and so excited for you all to be able to read it. The End of the Sentence, the novella I wrote with my friend Maria Dahvana Headley, has had an amazing reception, and was selected by NPR as one of their best books of 2014. I moved out of the Twin Cities, to New Hampshire, something I had been wanting to do for a while. A lot of good things happened.

But before all of that, a lot of hard things happened, too. I've never had a year filled with so much fear and uncertainty and doubt. And so I'm glad it happened, and happy to be out of it.

I have a calendar for 2015. It's the kind you hang on a wall, with squares for each day, organized into a color palette. It's soothing. I wanted a calendar where I could see each day, and each month, and mark out long term plans, which is a thing I haven't had to do in a while. New place, new way of being in this life. I wanted the organization, the goals and deadlines, to feel beautiful somehow when I looked at them, the colors flowing into each other, so easily.

It's a 16-month calendar. I have unused months, time unmarked. Where I know what happened already, but I don't have to write it down, not if I don't want to. I can let the colors stand on their own, a sunset.

I think that you can pick a day, if you need to. The day that's most important, or the day that's Tuesday. Decide that that's the day that things start again. That you step out of time, and see a wash of color, and know it's beautiful.

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