Self-aware. Self conscious. Self induced.

Water Dragon to Water Snake

Technically, this particular year-shift doesn’t take place until February 10, when the Chinese New Year swings over, but I don’t mind a little overlap. We’re not big on superstitions in our household, and that includes installing a new calendar on the wall at one arbitrary point that obeys neither arbitrary seasonal dictates (December 21 is the beginning of winter and the shortest day of the year – what happens on December 31?) nor paying attention to the Chinese zodiac. On the other hand, we’re not total sourpusses either and we do like a bit of tradition, which is why, if we ever buy lottery tickets, we do so on our anniversary (spoiler: we’ve never won… THE LOTTERY!) and why, on New Year’s Eve, we eat pickled herring (herring: check). On New Year’s Day, we eat lentils (check) and black eyed peas with greens (check). All in the service of luck and wealth. The herring, I must confess, I eat under duress. I find it’s best to get a small one and swallow it whole so as to minimize both the texture and the vinegar fish flavor, which otherwise threatens to gag me.

Last year was the year of the Water Dragon. We understood that to by emblematic of change, and while not much of substance changed with us, there were a great deal of plans afoot that will be put into action in both 2013 and the year of the Water Snake alike. Based on this dude’s reading, I’m calling the Water Snake for tumult. I hope for more change and less tumult, so maybe we’re a year off.

Unsurprisingly, 2012 was a good mix of a year. I’ve been in physical therapy twice, wrapping up into 2013 with some rotator cuff issues that are preventing me from pursuing any serious carpentry until I’m in better shape, and I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I drafted two novels and self-pubbed two more, which is more of an indication of intensity than of quality, but all things considered, I’m quite pleased. In the spring, my eldest niece had a baby boy, my brother’s first grandchild, and this winter my uncle, my mother’s last living sibling, died in hospice, so we wrapped the last days of the calendar year with family, memorializing.

2013 is off to a bang. The fantastic Michelle Painchaud is coaching me through PitchWars and January will bring notes (from her) and revisions (from me) and I’m still baffled and honored that she chose my work. Also delighted, even though I convey that less effectively on Twitter than she does. In addition, Lisa and I made the cut on a residency, so we’ll be spending a few months this spring working on a project together in Berlin.


It’s a gamble – like all things, really, but with more unknowns at the end and more excitement at the front.

Here’s my new year’s resolution – I’ve been making the same one since I was eighteen:

This year is going to be better than last year.

So far so good.

Best wishes to everyone and thanks for reading!

Factoid Update: On Jan 2, 2012, the earth reached its “perihelion,” the point at which we are closest to the sun. That would seem to be as good a reason for marking a “new year” as any, not that I know if there’s an actual connection. Article here.

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