The Turning of the Year

I had all these grandiose plans for blog posts throughout the last few months, and as one can tell, looking since August, none of them came to fruition. I even had some great ideas for posts for the end of the year, top faves in music or movies or what-have-you, but I haven’t had the energy or brain space to complete them. So instead I will give myself some grace and say I can have small, less grandiose plans for blog posts, and no guilt or recriminations should result. If I end up with a grand post anyhow, then hooray for me. But if I don’t put pressure on myself to make it perfect, then I might post more often.

Easier said than done, of course. I excel in putting unnecessary pressure on myself. A thing to work on. Endlessly.

2022 has been a strange year. It was supposed to be a year of recovery for all of us — from the pandemic, from the terrible politics, etc. And while there was some of that, the fact is the pandemic is ongoing, and there is always more bad news and more awful bigotry. Everyone is exhausted; I am not an exception to that. I think collectively we’re all trying to heal while still experiencing trauma, and some of us are managing better than others but that doesn’t mean we’re healthy yet. When I think about how life works, I’m not sure we’ll ever be. We who live through these times will have our recognizable quirks, the way other populations who’ve lived through collective trauma do. We won’t even know what they are until some other, younger, less or differently traumatized population points it out to us.

On the personal front, my mom’s health has taken a turn for the worse, and while she’s soldiering on, and is in fact better than she was a couple months ago, she is struggling with new bodily restrictions and we’re all concerned, possibly more than is reasonable. She hates that we’re worried and hates a fuss, but everyone wanted to connect just to check in. So I’ve just come home from going home, if that makes sense. I feel better for having been there around and spending time with fambly, and I do feel like Mom is managing admirably and is mostly still able to do what she wants and needs. But also it’s frustrating to know that if she does worsen, or even if she’d just do better with a little more help, I’m not close enough to do anything about it.

Through all of this, I am writing — albeit slowly — the third book in this series. I have it about 1/2 – 3/4ths plotted out, and I’m making progress with my partial scenes and pages of dialogue happening in blank spaces, unadorned with fancy things like setting or facial expressions. I hoped to be fully plotted by now, but I’m missing some crucial ideas for how to get from the middle to the end. And the end is spotty, if I’m being honest. It will likely change as I figure out how I get there. Not the ideal way to be charging through the last book in a trilogy, but it’s what I have. I plan to share excerpts from the beginning here, when I have a chance to edit it more and get it closer to what it will be on publication. The concepts of the beginning won’t change, but some details might. I’d hate to be confusing for anyone who read it here.

I feel like I won’t know what to do with myself when I finally do finish this trilogy, but that is absolutely a problem for future me. I do have other ideas, but I cannot think about them now. It’s too distracting, and I’ll never finish this book if I let my brain wander off to other pastures. I can play a little bit in my brain when I get a draft to my editor, so I don’t obsess, but I don’t get to really play with a new (or old and waiting) concept until I’m done with this one. For pity’s sake, brain.

With that said, I’m going to close this out with a wish for everyone to have a peaceful, kind, and healthy new year, and get back to that writing. Maybe I’ll get a few more pages poured out before the turning of the year.