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I tend not to make New Year’s Resolutions, although the last one I made, some years back, was to stop biting my nails finally. Missing accomplished.

As 2023 approached, and with it hitting the 65 milestone, I began thinking about goals for the year. Two things emerged, and for the record, I am posting them here.

During the school year, I work hard. I arrive at 7 and leave between 4-5, taking work home to do on the weekends. Some of it is the sheer nature of being an English teacher. There’s just so much writing and with six classes, instead of the normal five, there’s just so much more to read. Some of it has to do with the fact that I am teaching American Lit with a brand new curriculum that I continue to develop (from an approved framework I submitted last year), requiring a lot of time planning lessons. The same with the two new books added to Honors Introduction to Lit, but at least those have been planned and delivered.

We invested time and money into turning our loft into a library and I long to get more use out of it. Few things make me happier than sitting with a hot cup of coffee and a book in this space.

What that means, though, is there is not a lot of “me” time between the moment I walk in the door at home and turn off the lights. During the week, I tend to do the dinner prep and cleanup so that takes time, plus Deb and I catch up as we walk the dogs as dinner cooks. I try and glance through the Washington Post while we watch television after dinner. But time for comics or a book? Not so much.

Every now and then, I manage to carve out time for a book, but it tends to be for the faculty book club, less so of my personal choosing. But what I notice is how much happier I am having that time to sit in the library with a hot cup of coffee and a book.

So, this year I am going to try and make more time for that.

The home office remains my happy place where I can listen to music and get work done. We have since renovsted and repainted but you get the idea.

The other thing involves my writing. I’ve noticed in the last few years; fewer publishers are reaching out to me with work. Everything seems to be coming from a small circle of peers for their anthologies or related projects. And that’s cool, but sometimes it’s not what I want to be writing but do it out of loyalty to these friends.

Right now, 2023 has a few potential short stories for similar books along with the third and final installment in the Above the Ground novel trilogy (sidenote: the print edition of book one got delayed—again—to January 24, but people swear they have seen finished copies). After that obligation is delivered, the goal is to devote my writing time to things that personally interest me.

The problem seems to be that every time I think about what that means, I look at various projects that never came to fruition and consider which of these speaks to me. Other times, I think about generating something brand new. But there’s never been a long enough stretch of time for me to seriously think about what moves me to write, what topics or themes or characters speak to me. So, I am hoping to have the time for those little voices in the recesses of my mind to make themselves heard anew.

There, Two promises in public. Let’s check back in six months and see where things are.

ADDENDUM: I wrote the above during the first days of January but the moment I returned tot he classroom, I could never finish this. So rather than being the first blog of the new resolution, it’s the second. I hope this gets better.


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