I'm writing this at the cabin in WV and looking at the laundry, heaped with Life is Good socks and Duluth Trading Company shirts, thinking that together, my husband and I are only five Humanities Degrees of separation from owning a closet full of Ed Hardy gear. But this is my bubble, and I like it here. And isn't it funny how bubble shaming is already over? After a year like 2017, I guess not.
And yet, 2017 was awesome to me as a writer and a professor, so I have a big sentimental urge to go all Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation, trap myself in the attic and watch home movies that curate reality.
Last New Year's Eve I posted this to-do list:
Tonight--finish off the xmas stew. Watch Sense8 special.
1/1 make breakfast casserole. cook out for dinner.
1/2 get on the car train to florida
1/3 visit mom
1/5 kayak with manatees
1/7 drive back or grab the train
1/9 celebrate 30th wedding anniversary
1/10 figure out where I work and go there.
1/12 book launch party
This New Year's Eve the list is more modest:
Tonight--finish off the xmas stew. Watch Black Mirror.
1/1 Hit the road for PGH to visit in-laws
1/2 Stop back at cabin on way home—check pipes, fuses, etc
1/3 Pay the contractor for the bedroom renovation
1/4 through??? Put the house back together
1/9 celebrate 31st wedding anniversary
1/11 go back to work
No manatees this year. No mom-trip (yet). No book launch, either. 2018 will be all about writing the next book in the New Royal Mysteries, and I think I've already got a good start. Alma Bell picks up Professor Murgatroyd from prison with news from the 1980s—a mysterious blue glove has emerged as part of the evidence in the unsolved slaying of Bell's college friend.
That said, good starts never survive, so who knows what will really show up on page one? Just as there's no telling what 2018 has in store for us. Except a novel becomes a thing with an identity and intent, whereas a series of days is just one "what now?" after another.
Stay safe, all. I hope 2018 is kind. I hope the new Doctor is brilliant. I hope you will consider kayaking with manatees. Or swimming with them, even. Seriously, Weeki Wachee is hiring.