- Yoga every day – Nope. I’m really into getting up and stretching during work, though.
- Be kind to myself, go easy on myself, don’t let things get to me like they have – Sometimes. I’m actively working on this.
- Write more – Hardly at all. In London, I managed to do some major editing on my novel, but I haven’t written anything new since last year.
- Read more, read when I’m bored – Nope. I was never bored
- See London – YES!
- Go to Berlin – No 🙁
- Lose ten pounds by eating less and walking every day – I did this in London, but once I got home, my plans went in the garbage.
- Attract friends who are into same things as me – Jury’s still out.
- Be brave again – Kind of, not really. London was me being brave, but since I’m home again, it’s status quo.
- Play guitar – YES! I’m ready to start busking in subway stations!
- Practice German – Not really. Off and on and definitely not consistent.
I used to be so hard on myself for not completing my resolutions…ever. In 2023 I checked off a few big ticket items like going back to London. I also played my guitar almost every single day this year. That’s big. I started in 2020 during the lockdowns. I’ve wanted to play guitar since I was fifteen and through the years it was one excuse after another why I couldn’t play; the big one being: I had to sell my guitar to pay rent in 2001. My guitar is my lifeline. I took my beefy dreadnaught acoustic to London and signed up for lessons in Queens Park. My teacher convinced me to get a cozy Sigma OMT-1 and I couldn’t be happier with it. I can’t always do a full practice sesh, but I get in at least fifteen minutes a day and whattayaknow? I’m actually getting better. I’m going to hold on to that this year. I’ve been doing a thing consistently and getting better at it. Who knew? I loved taking lessons in London.
And going back to London after a failed trip in 2022 – that’s big. In 2022 I had to leave early because my beloved 19-year-old cat Matilda was dying. I got three more lovely months with her before she passed on. She was the light in my life and I took her death pretty hard. So hard I thought getting a dog would solve my grief. Our new dog Asta is willfully a handful and we’ve spent the last nine months training the basics.
In 2023, I went back to London to finish what I started, a real writing sabbatical. It was also cut short by a family health crisis. I can’t get specific, but it’s a doozy. London and I have such a will-they-won’t-they kind of romance. Life happens, as they say. Brompton Cemetery is my happy place and I know I’ll go back again soon. Should I go back this year? Adam and I are moving house, so maybe I can go later in the year for a few months? We’ll see. London is really one of my favorite places in the world and I feel normal there. I don’t feel normal in Los Angeles. I never have. My 77-year-old mother and I are talking about going to Santa Fe again this year. She wants to drive. Route 66 here we come.
Ultimately, I’m looking at this list and thinking about exercise. Turns out, if you sit on ass all day writing, your back and neck start to act up. And all those little joints in your fingers? Those too. Use it or lose it. Happily, my new neighborhood is highly walkable and shady; a nice place to walk the dog and dream. I won’t have to navigate around hypodermic needles and human poop like we do in Downtown. Exercise aside, I really want to write more – hence this newsletter – stay in contact with readers, put stuff out there. It makes me feel productive. I want to submit more, start new stories, and spend less time fretting about the course of Five South. The journal is stable, things are going well. More on that later. There’s something I should write about concerning using real names in your fiction. Other than that, it’s all systems go and I’m feeling that after four years of hard work, we’re finally in a good place. How many items did you check off on your resolutions list?
On My TV Box
We’re watching the new Frasier. Nothing will ever be as good as the 90s incarnation of the show, but it’s pretty close. It’s sweet and often laugh-out-loud funny.
What’s Smelling Good Right Now:
This Wikipedia article about Piero Piccioni, a 1950’s Italian film composer. You can listen to his music here. This Spruce article on Swedish Death Cleaning which is the new Marie Kondo. — I made the mistake of delving into OnlyFans.com and needed a palette cleanser, so I found this article on Best Classical Music Albums of 2023 which gives me hope for humanity again. Each selection contains a sample song that brought me back to Earth. Maybe not so much “Scene 5: The Outlaw.” That’s just weird.
Start A New Year
If you haven’t already gotten your old-school paper calendar for your wall, might I suggest this:
Kindly share this newsletter with a friend who also didn’t complete their resolutions from last year and likes birds.