Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking back and looking forward

Goodness me. The end of 2008. And what a year it's been, I can tell you. Highlights (both good and bad) that come to mind are (in no particular order):

1. Publishing Thorn in the Flesh. Twice. Once as a paperback and once as an eBook.

2. Publishing Maloney's Law.

3. Having A Stranger's Table finally available on Amazon.

4. Leaving my writers' group.

5. Downsizing friendships that no longer fit and spending more time on those that do.

6. Beginning to come to terms with the fact that I'm far less sociable-minded that I always thought I had to be - and that's okay too.

7. Getting to grips with HRT, and therefore feeling less depressed (thank the Lord).

8. Having a major operation and coming through a cancer scare - which thankfully in the end wasn't cancer.

9. Suffering from a frozen shoulder and trapped nerve (ouch!).

10. Celebrating 15 years of marriage with Lord H.

So those are some of the things I've been thinking about today. This morning, I've added another 1000 words to Hallsfoot's Battle and I'm now just getting back to a focus on Ralph and what the hell he's going to do with those pesky emeralds. Goodness alone knows what that'll be but I hope it will be something. Anyway, I'm at 72,000 words, which is 2000 words over my end of December word aim, so I'm smiling. Who knows? This time next year I might even have a decent draft to work on. You never know.

I've also experienced a small thrill to see that Maloney's Law was very briefly at No 82 in the Amazon gay fiction bestsellers' list. I suspect it's fallen out of the list already even as I type, but it's nice to have been in the Top 100 at least once.

Today's meditation poem (and the last one of 2008!) is:

Meditation 36

All the year’s
full measurements –

the curtain, the tent,
the poles of brass –

are silent today.
What speaks

is something other –
a gift of earth

at the altar:
the blood and tears

of the people.

This afternoon, I need to make another batch of rum butter to celebrate the new year with. We're not doing anything tonight - apart from watching TV - as we're having our New Year private dinner for two tomorrow. Probably after a day's birdwatching, so no doubt we'll need it. Also this afternoon, I've been sending out more submissions of short stories, flash fiction and poetry to magazines, which give me a sense of literary purpose (much needed). In fact, over the last couple of weeks, I think I've sent out more submissions than I have over the last 18 months, so I must be feeling more together than I've felt for a long time. Ye gods and little fishes indeed. Anyway, here's the total:

1. Six flash fiction submissions (so far, one rejection).

2. One more submission of The Gifting.

3. Two more submissions of The Bones of Summer (incl one which I've changed my mind about now).

4. Two poetry submissions (so far, one acceptance).

5. Nine short story submissions (so far, one rejection).

So, I do feel pretty pleased about that - I want to take the literary career more seriously, and this seems a good way to go about it. Really, it's been great to have the time and energy to focus on it over the last few days.

I've been thinking about things I'd like to do next year too, and here's a list of those (again in no order):

1. Book a course of Alexander Technique lessons.

2. Consider going to church twice a month instead of once.

3. Attempt to get a publisher for The Gifting and The Bones of Summer.

4. Submit more short stories, flash fiction and poetry more regularly to magazines.

5. Write more shorts stories/flash fiction.

6. Attempt to keep my hormones/depression under control.

7. Look at producing a poetry chapbook focusing on some of my meditation pieces.

The first two in that list will be my New Year Resolutions for 2009. I've had a 75% success rate with the resolutions for 2008, which were (a) try to go to bed at a reasonable time; and (b) try to meditate for 20 minutes a day. I've been doing both - or trying to - over the year, but I'm afraid I can't claim it's been every day! The spirit is willing, etc etc, you know ...

Anyway, I won't blog tomorrow, but I should be back on Friday. So a Happy New Year to all, and may 2009 be good to you!

Today's nice things:

1. Adding more to Hallsfoot
2. Maloney being at Number 82 on the Amazon gay list - briefly
3. Submitting work
4. Thinking about the year that's been and that which is to come.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website - straddling the years with her usual style ...


Anonymous said...

The Alexander Technique suggestion is one I would endorse, based on personal experience. It's really an amazing process. I started taking lessons because of back pain (which it cleared up in a few weeks) and now I still take lessons to improve the way I do all sorts of things - walking, singing to name a few.

Check it out at their site:

You won't regret it!

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks for the tip, Anon! I'll mark that site. I did send an email to a local practitioner before Christmas, but no response as yet. I'll keep tabs on it!

Many thanks


S D Everington said...

Wishing you a very happy and prosperous 2009, Anne! x

Jilly said...

A happy healthy and prosperous new year to you Anne and best of luck with the resolutions.

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Jilly! You too.



Anne Brooke said...

Ooh, and thank you also, Shanta!

Love & hugs to you!


Jackie Luben said...

A Happy New Year, Anne.

Anne Brooke said...

You too, Jackie.


Casdok said...

Happy new year to you! :)

Anne Brooke said...

And a happy new year to you & yours too, Casdok!