ReFabbing in 2012

Yay, it’s a new year. Because the old one sucked.

So what are my New Year’s Resolutions? I don’t do resolutions. The last thing I need is something else to feel guilty about. But I do have Plans. One of them is actually Krissie’s Plan. She e-mailed me on the 29th and said:

I want to do a blog like Lani’s, though only for a year, and I want it to be about personal transformation. Losing weight, getting healthy, changing my reality. I want a place where I can post daily, get support, keep myself honest, and I think a community and feedback would help me in the process.

I need another blog like I need another dog, but the idea of journaling change appealed to me. Also, I whined WAY too much here on Argh last year. Honest to God, there should have been a cheese plate, there was so much whine. So I figure if I check in once a week over there and say, “Here’s what’s working, here’s what’s not,” I can keep the self-absorption away from here and not look like such a solipsistic bore.

Of course, I immediately began to design the other blog while brainstorming titles with Krissie. I like making things. Making things is my chief pleasure in life. So Krissie and I decided to call the blog Reinventing Fabulous (because we were already Fabulous to begin with) and I came up with a design and showed Lani. Lani said, “Uh no,” and redid my design. I said, “Uh no,” and came back at her with changes. Well, we both knew that was coming.

So for two days, Lani and I e-mailed back and forth (yes, we live in the same house, what’s your point?), hammering out this blog design with poor Alastair in the background making changes and tearing his non-existent hair out. At one point, I kept making changes to the design and then seeing them change back; it took me a good two minutes to realize that Lani and I were working on the site at the same time. The thing is, Lani likes making things, too, so we were both enthralled, while Krissie kept saying, “I like that. I like that, too. That’s good. Whatever you guys want.” All she wanted was a place to journal, but Lani and I were obsessed. And since our tastes are the exact opposite in everything but pajamas, it took some negotiating.

But the blog is done and up and now I have a place to whine while being an adult here. Okay, not an adult, but not a self-obsessed, high-maintenance, too-lucky-to-be-complaining spoiled brat. That’ll be over on Reinventing Fabulous. Or ReFab as we like to call it. Like re-habbing a derelict cottage, we’re Re-Fabbing our derelict lives.

Lani and Alastair and I are re-fabbing Pop D, too: we’re going to start doing the mystery podcasts this year, theoretically every Monday. The first one is The Thin Man, the podcast for which should go up on the 9th. So PopD is back and newly fabulous, too.

And I have two books that have over 60,000 words each, and I should finish them. So I’m going to be blogging a lot more here about both of them, which means you get to see the seamy underbelly of writing Crusie fiction once more. Really, I don’t know why anybody reads this stuff. I should be more empowering but it’s just not in my wheelhouse. (What the hell does that mean anyway?)

I think I want to do more interviews, too. I owe the Fabulous Laura one from about two months ago, so that’ll probably be the first one. Oh, and Lani and Krissie and I did some chats and we might keep doing those. So more Playing Well With Others, coming right up.

You will notice that none of this stuff is resolutions. I resolve to never make another resolution again. There are enough people in the world willing to beat me up for falling short, I don’t have to join the queue. But I have Plans because Plans are infinitely better than resolutions because Plans contain both promise and flexibility. You can change Plans. And in 2012, I’m all about Change.

So what are your plans?

65 thoughts on “ReFabbing in 2012

  1. So,um, will any of these plans include more books like Agnes and the Hitman? Because really, you hit a home run with that one. For me it’s the best place to find where I wrote all my reminders because I’m always reading it Again.

    I love your romances, especially Fast Women and Faking It. They have reminders in them too, but Agnes…well that one is special. The combination of killers, preachers, cooks, and crooks is so well done in that book. And really – what woman wouldn’t want a man like Shane? And what man wouldn’t want a woman like Agnes? They are complete people in and of themselves and when they join together they are just that much more.


    1. I love that book, but I can’t write anything like it on my own. That book is 50% Bob and he is essential to the mix of sex and violence, food and testosterone that propels Agnes. We both have a full slate of solo books to write, so I don’t see it happening any time soon. But yeah, that’s one of my faves, too. Thank you!


    2. I loved Agnes … but this time of year I always re-read Santa Baby, then google all the versions of Santa Baby, the song. Eartha Kitt is the best, I think.



  2. Happy New Year to you and the gang down by the river! I’m due with my 2nd child in May of this year, so my 2012 plans are to write like mad with Offspring Number One in preschool and then just hang on tight and ride the roller coaster once new baby and summer vacation happen at almost the same time ;-). Definitely taking it day by day from there on out.
    I know that you and Lani are done, done, done with romantic comedies, but would you ever consider comparing No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits? I know. Ashton and J.T? Hardly my idea of leading men either, but I watched No Strings Attached the other day on Netflix. Maybe it was just b/c Ashton didn’t have to act much (he plays the dopey lovable nice guy type) or I just went in with low expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised. I liked all the things the script didn’t do if that makes sense. I don’t want to spoil it (can one really spoil a romantic comedy?) but I kept expecting a lot of rom com cliches you had discussed to show up and they never did. That doesn’t mean it was cliche free or a 5 star movie by any means. But it was better than it had to be, IMHO. It made me curious to watch “Friends With Benefits” to see what they had done differently with the same plot.
    Anyways, I’m sure you’re sick of dissecting romantic comedies, but it’s a thought if you ever decide to go back to them. I love mysteries too and can’t wait to see what you say about them 😉
    (Goes to sit quietly in the corner again.)


    1. I finally saw FWB over the holiday and was also pleasantly surprised. I then wondered about the Ashton version and had a little dread because in my experience, when two like movies debut at the same time, one of them usually sucks a lot more than the other. This season had FWB, NSA, and Crazy Stupid Love (which I loved against my will), so maybe we all just got lucky?


  3. Forgot what I was doing because I got carried away looking at the photo. Okay, so…plans.You have a new website which I took a quick look out and it is FABULOUS! Will go back over in a minute.
    My plans? I’m getting off the fence and submitting my three linked books to e-Publishers. If there are no bites, then I’m hiring a freelance editor and a graphic artist and publishing them myself. The hardest thing to overcome will be being a guppy swimming in that giant pool with sharks, but I figure I’m a brave, quick, and very smart little guppy, so I’ll survive. ; )


  4. Plans sounds much better. It’s more positive, more forward. Good thinking, Crusie.

    I’ve updated and backed up all my gizmos, so it’s a clean slate start. My “plan” for this year is to learn how to use the “b” key on my iPhone to reduce confusion. That’s where the bulk of my problem is. I hit “space” instead which starts a new word, leaving the old one incomplete. Otto C., bless his compulsive little bytes, goes behind me and “fixes” it. Unfortunately, Otto never checks for context.


  5. Oh, this news made me all kinds of happy because I’m ReFabbing in 2012 too! I made a big decision about doing something for myself in January and have been musing whether or not to blog about the transformation as I go through the process. I wrote to Lani about it and have continued to muse. Just the other day I decided that, yes, I would blog it because A) It will be good for me to get my thoughts and feelings out about the topic and B) I’m sure there are probably other people out there considering making the same decision and hearing first hand info might be helpful.

    Lately, I’ve been kidding with a slightly younger friend that I’m sort of the canary in the coal mine for my younger friends. I was the first to have a colonoscopy, first to have a sleep test, etc. I can demystify the experiences for them and let them know they aren’t so bad.

    Knowing that some of my favorite authors are ReFabbing and blogging about it makes me smile because, well, you’re fabulous people and fabulous writers. More stories from you just adds to the awesomeness. Thank you in advance!

    Other plans for 2012 include my first ever blog tour. I want to see if this will help perk up the sales of my repubbed books. It’s been fun answering the interview questions and writing the blog posts. I’ll be on 10 different sites between Jan 3 and Jan 13. Kind of cool!

    Finally, I’m actually going to write and finish another book this year. Last year was more about getting the backlist up, redefining myself and getting back in touch with myself as a writer. This year is put up or shut up time.

    I feel like 2012 is filled with opportunity, enterprise, and excitement.


  6. My plan is to finish Level III of the Master Hand Knitting program before my 50th birthday, which is at the end of March. Also, I plan to start teaching online again. I have other things I want to do, too, but that’s enough for the first three months. Then we’ll see how things go from there.


  7. ReFabbing sounds fabulous! Of course, anything where Krissie and Crusie are involved pretty much sounds fabulous to me–I’m easy that way.

    I don’t mind your whining; I pretty much find it amusing. Did I mention how easy I was? (You’d think I’d get more dates…) But I look forward to seeing whatever else you have to say. Can I put in a personal request for a post on how menopause impacted your writing? I think I remember you saying something in response to someone’s question about why you started writing with a partner (aka Bob)… I’m really struggling with menopause brain these days, and I’d love to hear how you coped. [Sadly, a Bob isn’t an option for me. But still, there might be something helpful in there…]

    I don’t do resolutions either. Usually I do goals (and then drive myself into the ground trying to achieve them). This year I’m trying to ease up a little, while still moving forward, and I’m doing “Intentions” instead. The easing up is part of the intentions, of course, but the big ones are “joy” and “peace.” Wish me luck with that…

    Oh, and I’ve stolen “Nothing but good times ahead.” Sorry. But there you have it. Two minutes into the new year, and I’m already a criminal.


    1. Yes, menopause brought me Bob . . .
      Poor guy.

      No guilt over “nothing but good times ahead.” I stole it from Molly Ivins. God, I miss reading Molly Ivins. She’d be having such a good time now.


      1. Wouldn’t she? A place that can create Molly Ivins and Anne Richards can’t be all bad, even if some of the other exports seem a little strange.

        I will look forward to ReFabbing. I’m going to do some big changes, too. I bought a house in AZ and am really going to get serious about retiring, even if it is so very scary. But I’m doing okay with Grandmothering and have done 19 years of widowhood so I should be able to structure my days without an external stimulus, right?

        Nothin’ but good times ahead.


        1. Google.
          Molly Ivins on gun control:

          ” I am not anti-gun. I’m pro-knife. Consider the merits of the knife. In the first place, you have to catch up with someone in order to stab him. A general substitution of knives for guns would promote physical fitness. We’d turn into a whole nation of great runners. Plus, knives don’t ricochet. And people are seldom killed while cleaning their knives.”


        2. Oooohhh… You still have the joy of discovering Molly Ivins before you! Go buy her books! she is a really funny columnist from Texas. And so very practical as well. Go forth and read. Can you imagine the columns she’d be writing with this election? Quite honestly, I don’t think we have anyone even near her class writing about politics this year. Yes, I really miss Molly.


        3. Molly Ivins was a newspaper reporter. I think of her as one of the great muckrakers of our age, but she was always cheerful and funny with it, so she was a pleasure to read. She was based in Texas, so she was reporting on Bush Junior before most of the national media was.

          I remember her story about the first newspaper that hired her down there, and how they promised her $5,000 a year (which was a pittance even then) plus the chance to say whatever she wanted, in print, and have them back her up. She leaped at the chance, slept under her desk, and, as she put it, “had more fun than the law allows.” And when she wrote political criticism, and the newspaper received a lot of letters demanding her head on a platter, the newspaper rented billboards and put up the phrase “Molly Ivins can’t say that, can she?” and kept right on letting her write whatever she wanted.

          Your local library should have several collections of her columns. Great stuff.


  8. I mentioned one resolution on another blog, and got a heap of people telling me why I shouldn’t do that, and telling me what I should do instead. I think a better approach might be to /not/ tell my plans. Next New Year’s Eve, I’ll come over and tell what they were. And how brilliantly I achieved them.


  9. Love the new picture! I love the idea of plans over resolutions (plans can be changed!).

    My plan for the year is to take back my house (I have pictures to prove there used to be one here) and get all my bits back to the point where I can once again be a runner. It’s going to be a long, hard year but I’m at the point of now or never, by golly.

    I’ve always enjoyed your blogs. Even the whining. It makes you human just like the rest of us!!! But I will go visit your ‘other’ site ’cause, well, it’s you! Good luck with your plans for the New Year!


  10. Happy new year! And congrats on having goals and plans for 2012. I’m fascinated by the PopD site – I apparently watch enough old noir and mysteries that Netflix has created a category for me: 1940s Crime Drama. I am touched.

    My goals, hopes and dreams: Sell our house so that my husband and I can move to the city we’re both working in; sell the non-fiction book I finished a year ago, and finish the novel I’m writing right now (47,000 words!). I also want to keep building my online audience at my blog, where I tell Kansas’ story in a few hundred words at a time. Losing a little weight wouldn’t hurt, either.

    Happy new year to all of you!


  11. Happy New Year.

    I also have plans. And I started following them early from 9 December, to get a head start and get into the habit! I had an outstanding New Year’s Eve party and morning of New Year’s Day.

    At one point, I kept making changes to the design and then seeing them change back; it took me a good two minutes to realize that Lani and I were working on the site at the same time. The thing is, Lani likes making things, too, so we were both enthralled, while Krissie kept saying, “I like that. I like that, too. That’s good. Whatever you guys want.” All she wanted was a place to journal, but Lani and I were obsessed. And since our tastes are the exact opposite in everything but pajamas, it took some negotiating.

    The three of you are like some kind of Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Two at opposite ends of the spectrum and McCoy in the middle.


    1. Really. Which one of us is Kirk?
      I kind of love this.

      “For the 2009 reboot film Star Trek, writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman saw McCoy as an “arbiter” in Kirk and Spock’s relationship.[21] While Spock represented “extreme logic, extreme science” and Kirk symbolized “extreme emotion and intuition”, McCoy’s role as “a very colorful doctor, essentially a very humanistic scientist” represented the “two extremes that often served as the glue that held the trio together.”[21]” (Wikipedia on McCoy).

      Now I’m trying to think of Krissie’s catchphrase. “I”m a writer, not a referee.”


          1. People. Crusie is CLEARLY McCoy, who had that dry deft turn of phrase, who mocked with the best of them and could make cranky hilarious. [I say this while being 2000 miles away from Crusie’s smack to the back of the head.]


      1. In this instance, Krissie was definitely McCoy.

        And this is why I said “some kind of” – similar but not replicas.

        I agree with the Bones as arbiter role to some degree. But he was vital in his individual interactions with the others – he’d remind Spock of his human side, and pull back Kirk from his emotions.


  12. Happy New Year! I love your stories about the power of three (you, Lani and Krissie) – plus one! I hope 2012 brings wonderful adventures to you all!

    For me, I hit a scary round number birthday in 2012. To take my mind off it, I intend to write until my fingerprints wear off. Even if I don’t end up writing a masterpiece (I’d settle for a book I could sell), it will be a useful distraction!


  13. Thought you should know somebody hacked your blog to put in place of your lounge beauty portrait a picture of a Renaissance Madonna. Kinda nice. I like it.


  14. Gosh I didn’t make a resolution. Um…finish my second book by the end of January and start the 3rd…that’s the plan. Take part in the RWA Australia conference. That’s just 2 hours up the road. (don’t have to fly and watch my ankles balloon.) Meet up with friends I haven’t seen in a while. Excellent. Biggest event this year, waiting for grandson/daughter around July. Daughter is aiming for the 18th, her birthday and her Dad’s. Don’t know how I managed that. First daughter was born day after fathers day. Wonder what would Freud say about that? 🙂


  15. My first plan is to figure out the new computer I bought myself. Yes, I did, but it does stuff I don’t understand like zoom when I’m trying to scroll and whatnot. I’d love for it to be a Mac (because I understand Macs) but it’s not so I’m trying to cope. It’s WAY better than the ducttaped computer so I’m not complaining. Except while I was writing it reverse zoomed and now what I’m typing is so small I can’t see it. I want it to stop!

    Okay that’s better. Next Plan – write more. Fix the two books and move on.

    I’m also getting rid of stuff this year. I have way too much junk. And after I do that I plan to plan how to fix my life. Because I want to write more, dang it.


  16. I don’t do resolutions either. I think of it more as changing my mindset. Big things happened to me this past year and, instead of surging ahead, I floundered. Fear of success, prolly. Big things going on in my life suck at my energy to write. So, the plan this year? Shut the door. I’m going into my office and shutting all the doors of my mind except the one that leads to that pretty, magical playground of creativity. Going deep Zen during writing hours. I’m shutting the door on all those soul-shaking emotions–the powerlessness, the fear, the angst. They’ll all be there when I come out of my office. But living with it 24/7 doesn’t help, fix, or improve anything. In fact, there are things I simply can’t help, fix, or improve because they don’t pertain to me personally. So, I will close the door for a few hours every day, spark up some magic on this WIP, and find my happiness in writing once again.


  17. No resolutions over here either. It always seemed like an excuse to beat myself up some more and, goodness knows, I don’t need to be doing that. I thought about “goals” as an alternative but, again, the potential exists for more personal denigration than I think I need this year (or any other year for that matter). I like the idea of “plans” though– it seems to be less… I don’t know… goal-driven maybe? Less about the outcome, more about the process.

    So, in that vein, I plan to spend more time outside in my yard. I plan to get at least three trees planted, put in a few more bushes, and put together a couple of raised gardening beds to grow a few vegetables and some more herbs (other than the chives and gigantic sage plants that are hanging out in my flower garden). I’m going with the idea that I can have a functional vegetable garden that looks good at the same time– I love to work on my perennial gardens so the same principles of color and texture will apply. Can you tell that planning it is a major part of the excitement?! The seed catalogs have started arriving already. Nothing like a little taste of spring but we can’t put tender annuals in the ground until Memorial Day weekend here in upstate NY– it’s a loooooooong way away. I suspect the seed companies are torturing us.


      1. Black thumb x2. I killed my father’s jade plant. Do not know how old it was when I inherited it. Under my care it did not last long . 🙁 But I still have some of his aloe.


    1. We have received 3 seed catalogs. I live in Michigan. 5 full months before we can plant anything. A chance that even then th groung may still be frozen or at least still chance of a frost. So yeah, those companies are like stores that put swimsuits out in Feb. – too early!


    2. Okay guys, they’re not trying to torture you. They’re trying to help.

      1) Order early so you can get what you want instead of what’s left when all the last minute people are screaming for seeds.

      2) Alot of what you put in should be started early INDOORS! Like tomatoes, peppers, etc… And if you want your perennial seeds to bloom the same year, you need to start them in Jan or Feb.!

      So relax, enjoy, plot, plan, order early and start growing now!!!


  18. plans for the year? hmm… hubby should graduate and I have to do a dossier for continuos appointment (tenure like). Other than that same old life. Maybe a vacation to the pacific NW. Perhaps, I should put more thought into this year.


  19. I have a wedding to plan. and participate in. And I don’t plan to have it in a church, but I do want a ceremony and a good sized party. I’ve never done this before. Argh!


  20. I have intentions, but no plans yet. Well, nothing solid. Just a list of what to change, month by month, a la zenhabits’ author Leo Babauta. I also want to write — stories, a novel, some articles — on my own, without being required to do them by a boss or client. That’s it so far. And I look forward to ReFabbing. See you there!


  21. Looking forward to hearing from Krissie frequently in 2012. I also don’t mind hearing you whine. I wish you had less to whine about; I mean less sicknesses, etc. But you manage to be entertaining regardelss. And I am in admiration of how generously you give of yourself.
    I haven’t decided on a resolution yet. I’ll make one and keep it but the stakes are high. Last year I resolved not to step on a scale all year. It was the best resolution I’ve ever made. I know I didn’t gain weight because my clothes stayed the same. And I had one less source of self-inflicted unhappiness. I’m going to make the same resolution this year and add to it another helpful one. Just haven’t figured out what yet.
    Hope 2012 is the wonderful year you deserve it to be! And the same wish for all the argh peoples.


  22. Put away, give away or throw away one thing every day.

    Write every day.

    And maybe mess around with art projects involving hollowed-out books.


  23. Robin McKinley on Resolutions:

    “I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I gave them up decades ago. If they work for you, then great for you, and no doubt your desk is tidy, your accounts and bank statements are tidier, your bathroom scales hold no terrors, and your sock drawer is the wonder of seven counties. My sock drawer might possibly be the wonder of seven counties, but not in a good way. Anyway. I don’t do resolutions. For someone like me they’re just an excuse to shake my own finger in my own face and say, Bad girl. Go stand in that corner and no Tolkien, Kipling, Georgette Heyer, Diana Wynne Jones or Peter Dickinson until you have paid for being a shiftless weeny and once again failing to write three bestsellers in six months, solve world hunger, or remember where you ran out of composted manure when you were feeding your rose bushes and had to stop till you went to the farm shop and bought some more. *

    I got tired of standing in the corner with nothing to read. The solution seemed obvious. I gave up making resolutions. ”

    I thought you might enjoy someone’ else’s take on resolutions.


  24. I can’t even make plans… resolutions? Ha. Never a good idea.
    A new blog however, with the three of you? GREAT idea! I now have a link at my place (because it wasn’t messy enough over there on that cluttered-up side). But hey, this way I’ll be able to find you!
    (I get lost on the interwebz without a trail of bread crumbs.)

    Yay for ReFabbing in 2012!


  25. What whine? What I saw was some very nice spin on some evil crap that came down in 2011, and it was good to see you handling it with aplomb. Or, OK, maybe not always aplomb, but you always seem to come back to true eventually.

    (Fun fact from my kid’s SAT vocabulary practice: aplomb comes from the same French roots as a plumb weight, meaning straight and upright.)

    ReFab does sound excellent; I’ll take a look during my winter break.

    I’m going to try and take it easy this year: until the next New Year (Jan. 23rd, BTW), I will spend 15 minutes a day doing FlyLady cleaning stuff, and 15 minutes a day moving my body (hopefully in a joyous way). Then, I’ll re-evaluate things on Chinese New Year.

    The problem with resolutions is that as soon as I get started, I can’t stop: I need to edit my NaNovel, I want to detox my body and I really need to lose some weight, the house could certainly use more than 15 minutes of cleaning a day, and my job — I really need to revamp my entire job and about 25 percent of my attitude toward it. Oh, and I need to be a better, more loving Mom who is also much more strict and overseeing when it comes to SAT vocabulary words at dinnertime.

    Argh! No. 15 minutes of cleaning, 15 minutes of moving, and then we’ll see what happens. I’m going to get a massage if it all works out over the next 21 days.

    Be good to yourselves!


  26. Happy New Year! Is there a way to sign up for Refab or am I missing something on the site. This blog sounds like a must read. Thanks


  27. Count me in on the Re-Fabbing! After a tough couple of years, my health is better, our finances are better, AND my youngest will be starting kindergarten in the fall. I’ve got handfuls of opportunity here. Fabulous is surely the only way to go.


  28. Speaking of good British tv, have you seen Zen?

    Set in Italy but filmed in English. I warn you, only three 90 minute episodes but I also warn you… Rufus Sewell. I love them and now want to get the books.


    1. Rufus Sewell? Oh.
      You’ve seen the Shakespeare Retold Taming of the Shrew, right? Amazing actor.
      Must look into Zen. In more ways than one.

      ETA: I just bought the first season. I’m trying to write a book and you are no help at all. But Rufus Sewell might be inspirational, so never mind.

      ETA Again: I just got the receipt for Zen, and evidently there’s a promotion going on because I got all three episodes for $5.00, although I can’t find any place it says there’s a promotion. Not that I’m arguing.


  29. You don’t know how happy this made me. My favourite author took a recommendation from me. Admittedly, Rufus Sewell is a huge selling point.

    $5?? Damn, that’s lucky.

    Ok, me as “no help” is weird, ’cause I’m the one going write another damn book, Jenny. But being inspired by Rufus Sewell? And that I had a hand in it, sure balances things out. This is turning out to be the view of the year. Truly, nothing but good times ahead.


  30. Congrats on the idea of the ReFab. I love it. (Your descriptoin reminds me some of the blog “Already Pretty”, which I can recommend as a woman positive place to go.)

    I’m ok with resolutions, but I also liked your idea of Indulgences.
    I need to blog more this year, get back into glassblowing, find a date already, and watch more movies (practice evaluating images rather than words – mostly because I live in SoCal and half the people here deal in the business, it seems). Also I need to keep getting the vitamin B12 shots on schedule so I have enough energy to do well at my job. Last year wan’t that bad, but Lord, it wan’t good.


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