Today is the first day that I’m back at work. I am glad no one was here to see me coo at these little fellows who greeted me once I got my computer hooked back up. That would have been awkward. It was an exuberant cooing.
(This is a snapshot of my computer screen. Sadly, I was not present to take the original photo, and I would give proper credit to the person who had the good fortune to be near enough to these little guys to take the picture, but the photo/website has since been taken down, so the world will never know the identity of this lucky, lucky person.)
Seriously. Look at the face! And the puffy, stubby tail! I love everything about red pandas.
Anyway…back to the topic at hand…
Last year, I finally admitted to myself what I want to do with my life. I want to write. I want to be published. I want to spend my days staring at a computer screen and writing terrible first drafts and editing like mad and watching those terrible first drafts become something I would actually let another human being read. So three of my five 100s are related to this goal:
1. One hundred books read
Just as I would not trust a pastry chef who never ate cake, I also don’t trust writers who don’t read. It teaches me. Reading Elmore Leonard is how I learned to write dialogue that didn’t just sound like my characters puppeting my own voice. Reading poetry is a reminder to be picky about word choice, particularly when editing. Reading is vital to writing well.
2. One hundred thousand words written
I will finish Fishbowl this year. I will finish Fishbowl this year. I will finish Fishbowl this year.
I am committing to writing at least 100,000 words toward fiction or poetry – projects that, ultimately, I would like to submit for publication. This might seem like a lot, but really, it’s only double the goal for NaNoWriMo, and I’ve been known to do that in just one month. It’s less than 10,000 a month. It’s 275 words a day. This post is going to be longer than 275 words, and it will only take me about half an hour to finish it. An average of half an hour a day spent on fiction or poetry is not a lot. So surely, I can reach it.
3. One hundred blog posts
Now that I’ve actually managed to start keeping up with a blog again (and by “keeping up,” I do mean “I have posted at least once a month for a year.” Don’t get your expectations all raised.), I remember how helpful it is to have a place where I speak in just my voice, not through the voice of a character. It helps me differentiate between the two. It helps me edit.
It also keeps me connected to people, which is important because I sometimes forget to do this on my own. I don’t have a lot of followers, but I do have a faithful few. And I appreciate you all!
So those are my word-related goals. If you want to follow my reading list, you can follow/friend me on Goodreads. I will try to post an update here once a month in order to keep track of the other two goals.
Next, there’s my health situation. Last year was a healthier year than the one before, as I successfully avoided the emergency room, but there is still room for improvement. I still don’t know what’s going on with my digestive system (my doctor has suggested a full scan, so that’s a fun thing I get to do this month), but we’ve narrowed it down enough to identify some things that trigger my episodes, and the main offender seems to be lactose. Sad times. I love me some lactose – specifically, cheese. Fortunately, most of the time, if I don’t overdo it, I can offset the problem with a couple of enzymes in pill form. There are, therefore, very few items I have to give up entirely. Cheesecake is one of them. Never again. Cheesecake is delicious, but there’s not a cheesecake in the world that is worth what I went through last month, and there’s not a pill in the world that can compensate for the ridiculous amount of dairy in a slice of cheesecake.
But even though taking a pill is an option, I don’t wanna. I don’t want to have to take a pill every time I eat something. That’s not what a proper solution looks like to me. So my fourth resolution is:
4. One hundred vegan recipes, tried and successfully eaten without taking a pill or getting sick
This will ensure at least 300 meals, snacks, or treats for which I will not have to medicate. I estimate an average of three servings out of most recipes, as most of them are written for at least four people, so an average of three will offset the count for the relatively few recipes that are single-serving. To keep track of this goal, I have created a Pinterest board where I will post pictures and recipes that I have tried and successfully managed sans pill assistance.
And last but not least, my One Word for 2014 – beauty. I am looking for it. I’m not sure what I’ll find. I’m not even sure what to call it when I do. Pictures of beauty? Examples of beauty? Ideas about beauty? I imagine that I will be writing about beauty, but I don’t want to stifle discovery by limiting expectations. I want to remain open to whatever I need to learn from it. So here’s the last goal:
5. One hundred moments of beauty
I have also created a Pinterest board to track this goal, so we’ll see how that works out. My first wordy post about beauty is on the board, along with a picture of one of the beautiful things in my apartment that doesn’t get much use as it was originally intended but is still beautiful nonetheless.
So that’s my year. What do you hope for your year to be?