For me, the New Year always starts the day after my birthday. Today, in fact. January 6th. Which this year happens to coincide with the release of Afterparty in paperback. (Today!!!!!)
This gives me plenty of time to get birthday'ed out -- which I did in spades, in Montecito with my husband, tooling up and down the coast and revisiting old haunts -- before I start wallowing in resolutions.
Given that last time I was on this blog, my plan was to get a life in a mere 100 days as an antidote to the binge writing I'd fallen into for, say, the previous five years, (and 150 days later, I didn't) I've kind of reached the conclusions that binge writing is my life and that coming up with resolutions might not be a plan.
So here I am, resolution-free, unimproved and not flogging myself to improve. Feels great.
There was something about the birthday trip to Santa Barbara, though. I dragged my husband to the restaurant on the pier where I used to eat with my folks (great view, vile chowder) and it hit me that if, during my Santa Barbara adolescence as an irredeemably weird person, I'd had any idea that one day I'd be back with a really nice husband of decades, two lovely grown children I'd managed to shepherd through teen years during which they were notably un-weird, a (literal) room of my own that also qualifies as a room with a view, a dog, and a career as a goddamn writer (!!!), it would have saved me no end of angst.
Of course, without all that angst, it might be more of a challenge to write YA. But I would be more than willing to make it up. To have avoided it in real life.
Because this trip to Santa Barbara, maybe because I'm so much further away from it in terms of years and in terms of how firmly entrenched I am in a wholly unexpected life, I started to think about all the really bad stuff from when I lived in Santa Barbara. The stuff that just makes it into my writing in tiny little flashes, but that I don't address directly. The stuff I don't remember fully or vividly beyond tiny little flashes.
And I'm thinking, maybe this new year, as an author, I'll go there. Maybe I'll get closer. (Given that the literary structure I came up with for addressing it while fooling around on Butterfly Beach yesterday was a lot like Murder on the Orient Express, I might have a long way to go.)
Anyway, I'm here to say I have no idea whatsoever what 2015 in Authorland will look like for me (except for the binge writing), or what book I'll have written by the end of it. I've got most of a very old middle grade or a very young YA almost good to go, and a piece of non-fiction I love that I've been working on and will happen if the principals are good with it, and a thriller that's coming out, but there's something else brewing and I'm not even sure yet what it's going to be.
I am so happy and incredibly (all right, credibly) grateful that this ended up being my career. And that as screwed up as things might have been during a period of intense and angsty weirdness, that's not my life anymore. But even if it were, that's not baggage, it's material.
Happy New Year!