And now for 2007 . . .

Last year I made five resolutions on this blog. I said, “I’m going to make a public record, thereby opening myself to ridicule and pity if I don’t follow through.” So . . .

  1. In 2006, I will finish at least one novel and one novella. No, really.
    The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes (with Eileen Dreyer and Anne Stuart, started out as a novella anthology and became a collaborative novel, in stores July 2007)
    Agnes & The Hitman (with Bob Mayer, in stores August 2007).
  2. In 2006, I will lose twenty pounds. I’ll still be overweight, but twenty pounds is doable. And I’ll be healthier.
    I can’t remember how much I weighed when I made this resolution. But I’m nineteen pounds down from my highest weight, so maybe?
  3. In 2006, I will get my office cleaned.
    I’ll discuss this one in January. No, really, I’ll do a whole blog on offices. Let’s call this one a draw for the time being. Yes, I cleaned the office. In fact, I moved the office. And now that office is kind of . . . I’ll show you pictures in January.
  4. In 2006, I will be a kinder, gentler person, even while on the road.
    If you’ve read the He Wrote She Wrote Blog, you know I failed miserably at this one. I won’t even try to say, “Well, part of the time . . . “ Just cross this one right off.
  5. In 2006, I will stop trying to do everything at once. Patience, grasshopper.
    Yeah, this one went down in flames, too.

So, I got maybe two and a half? Sigh.

Let’s try this again. New Year’s Resolutions, 2007.

  1. In 2007, I will write a solo novel. All by myself. Just me.
  2. In 2007, I will get the revisions done on at least one of my last two old categories so that if the publisher finally decides to reissue them, they’ll be ready to go.
  3. In 2007, I will lose twenty pounds which will put me at the weight of a plus size model which will mean I’ll be healthy.
  4. In 2007, I will clean my office, making sure there’s a place for everything in it, and keep it cleaned. No, really.
  5. In 2007, I will post to Argh Ink at least twice a month. Because it’s good for me to think about things here.

That last one is really important. This used to be the place I came to think, and then my life went completely out of control and I started running so fast the landscape became a blur and I forgot to stop and smell the vultures. Worse than that, I became incapable of stopping to smell the vultures. I forgot to how to laugh there for awhile. That was very bad. I don’t regret anything I posted here (Miss Snark had it coming, although looking back on it now, that post needed cut by about a third), but I regret things I didn’t post, like the bizarre time I had painting my bedroom (I may return to that one yet), or my meditation on hotel bathroom shampoo (not nearly as deep as I’d hoped so you’ll never see that sucker), or my post on “Plastic Alligators: Why?” I started them all and then life came and grabbed me by the sense of humor and I got lost again. But the one I regret not posting the most . . .

I have this daughter. Incredible woman. Everything she does is magic. She’s designed all my websites, all my blogs, the CherryForums—have you see the CherryForums? most amazingly warm and welcoming forum on the internet—she’s my partner in Argh Ink and runs the business like a Swiss watch, but what astounds me is that she has managed, in spite of having me for a role model, to create a beautiful and fulfilling personal life for herself. She’s found a great guy and kept a terrific relationship going with him for eight years, a solid, steady relationship built on trust and love and friendship that has grown deeper over time. And when they were ready to get married, they found rings they loved, and she bought a beautiful white dress and a brown cardigan like her grandmother had worn, and he got a killer blue pinstripe suit, and she put on her favorite shoes, and their two good friends came in from out of town to be witnesses, and they took the subway in from Brooklyn and got married at City Hall in Manhattan and then bought ice cream before they took the subway home. And it was a perfect day.

I can’t write love stories that good. Nobody would believe them.

Congratulations, Mollie and Josh. The best thing that happened in 2006 was your wedding, and the best thing that happened to me ever was you.

Happy 2007 to everyone. Nothing but good times ahead.

Flamingo Jill and the 2007 Indulgences

Another cold has laid me low, a gift from the universe that has forced me to stay off the roads and away from my family for fear of giving them the plague for Christmas, and it’s turned out to be a very good thing because it’s given me a day of complete quiet to look back on 2006 without thinking of my 2007 resolutions. Those would be the resolutions I have to make later this week along with sauerkraut and hotdogs (my German family’s nod to the gods for a good new year), the resolutions that will make me a Better Person in 2007. But tonight I’m just curled up, staying warm, blowing my nose and contemplating 2006 and my Christmas gifts, among them Flamingo Jill.

Jill is supposed to be Cerise, the flamingo from Agnes and the Hitman, but as you may have noticed, she’s not pink, nor is she cerise. She’s a pretty violent purple, not quite Magenta (although I wouldn’t turn down fishnets for her if I could find some to fit her skinny legs). So I named her after the lovely woman who gave her to me. Just as wonderful as Flamingo Jill herself are the nine outfits that came with her. She’s wearing her Santa costume as you can see, but there’s also a witch outfit for Halloween that will come in handy for promoting The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes, and you’re not going to believe the bunny costume for Easter. However there are omissions. There is no Valentine’s Day. There’s no back-to-school for September. There is no Miss June. If Easter doesn’t fall in May, there’ll be no Queen of the May for our Jill. So of course, I began to plan to make them (maybe a fuzzy wig with a little apron and cap . . . sorry, it’s just once you’ve said, “Magenta,” it’s hard to go back).

Where was I? Right, making little flamingo costumes.

Which was when I realized I could. I will have the time to waste on ridiculous fun things. Because for 2007, I will not be working 24/7, criss-crossing the country like an insane person, trying to collect a Dasani receipt from every airport on the continent. The Year From Hell is over. Of course, that doesn’t mean that 2007 might not turn out to be just another flavor of infernality, but at least it’ll be a change of taste. I will be driving to the very few conferences I’m doing. (Except Australia and New Zealand. I would if I could but I can’t. They don’t have a ferry yet.) I can pack all the liquids I want. I can take one of my dogs if I want; Wolfie loves to travel. I can take Flamingo Jill if I want. But mostly I am staying home. I am writing a solo novel in which all the conflict will be on the page. I can do frivolous blogs here about painting my bedroom and the zen of purses and the latest addition to Flamingo Jill’s wardrobe. Honest to God, I want to wriggle all over like Wolfie does when he hears the lid to the dog biscuit jar clink open. Nothing but good times ahead.

Or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

And that made me start to think. I’ve got the serious resolutions coming up next weekend, the ones where I promise to cook more and take a yoga class and do all that stuff, but it’s Christmas and I want to be good to myself, so what if tonight I made kind resolutions, the things I really, really want to do but never get to, the stuff that I’d kill to do but never get to because it’s too ridiculous and I have to be Serious About My Life and Career, what if I made my Five Indulgences of 2007? (I decided to limit them to five so I wouldn’t feel greedy.)

Well, that seemed like an excellent idea. I decided they had to be specific so I’d actually accomplish them (not that “Go back to painting” or “Start sewing again” garbage) and after much deliberation, this is what I came up with.

Indulgence #1. Do the paintings in one of the books I’ve done, The Cinderella Deal or Faking It or Nadine’s book that I’ve been thinking about. I’ve always wanted to do that and always meant to but . . .

Indulgence #2. Sew the collage kimono tops I’ve been collecting fabric for. I’ve got the perfect pattern for them, and I’ve got a fabric stash that’s ridiculously gorgeous. Plus I’m a collage freak. It’s time.

Indulgence #3. Draw or paint or collage every day. Remember why I used to love it. Remember what it used to be like to create things just for the joy of creating them.

Indulgence #4. Spend a week in New York without working on anything. Go to museums, plays, see my daughter and my friends, walk through the Village, and not write a novel.

Indulgence #5. Take a course in something with my daughter. We took an art glass class together several years ago that was terrific and billards lessons that helped me write Welcome to Temptation. I’d love to do that again. I don’t even care what kind of lessons, as long as we take them together. Of course this depends on her cooperation but she’s a good person and she lives in New York so there must be a week-long course there in something we could take.

There, that’s pretty good. All things I’ve been wanting to do and putting off because there have been deadlines and a million things I had to do, a million things that were more important than selfish pleasure. Now that I’ve made my promises to myself, those things are more important, too. Along with reading for pleasure which I can justify because it’s really good for my career and making more outfits for Flamingo Jill because . . .

Uh . . .

Because she’s good blog material which is good for my career because . . .

Oh, hell.

Indulgence #6. Make outfits for Flamingo Jill because I want to, that’s why.

Make your 2007 Indulgences today, people. Because tomorrow, you’re going to be stuck making those damn Resolutions and after that it’s all diet and exercise and no flamingo bunny ears in sight.