We humans are unique in our ability to categorize, classify, and organize. Yes, other animals acknowledge seasonal changes. You won’t find many bears hibernating in the summer and few geese fly to find the snow in winter. Still, we take it to extraordinary levels and the computer has helped to raise those levels.
None is more representative than the calendar. I mean, seriously…how many new year posts have you already read? And we’re still in the first week of 2016.
But that’s just the beginning. As I write this paragraph it’s January 6th. This moment qualifies as 5:17PM, 17:17 in some countries, late afternoon, Wednesday, midweek, January, winter (in the northern hemisphere), football season, basketball season, and, of course, 2016. The day is also Epiphany, Apple Tree Day, National Bean Day, National Shortbread Day…the list goes on and on and we could also move on to other countries. You get the idea.
There’s another element to all this. The above are all agreed upon designations observed by many to all people, but we humans also have less well defined designations. Childhood, adulthood, old age, and retirement are examples. We kinda, sorta know when they occur, but their beginning and ending dates can be fuzzy.
Then there are the personal designations. I’ve had a bunch of these: the years having children, the wandering years (I moved a lot), the return to school years, the early years writing, the years when life fell apart, the lost years (when I was extremely sick), and whatever I’m in now. I could subdivide those, too. I’d like to think of the present period as the return to writing years, but retrospect may say different someday. After all, 2014 was a relatively healthy year, but 2015 was one long health setback.
2016? I’ll let you know in 2017 (hopefully).
Even so, and as many before me have written, the year is what we make it. I could also say that 2015 was a significant writing year. After all, I raised my game when I tackled 3rd Deep Voice and finished the year producing more fiction than I have in years. There’s an important connection there. My poor health forced me to slow down and reflect more on where my writing was going (the irony is that ignoring my lung disease helped trigger my health problems in the first place).
So, where is 2016 going?
One goal is to improve my health. After a long downward spiral that cost me more weight than I could afford to lose I have landed upon a plateau. Time to create an upward spiral.
I remain overjoyed that I’ve overcome my short story phobia, but the time has come to expand on that success. That means editing and perhaps marketing. I’d hesitate to market the Ontyre shorts if it’d cost me the ability to compile them later in a collection. Haven’t decided what I’ll do there.
And then there are the bigger stories. Editing awaits. Where Light Devours remains an overlong, structural mess (proper structure: another 2015 skill learned) and it needs a Deep 3rd format. Last Word Before Dying is a bigger structural disaster and perhaps not long enough to qualify as a novel. Novella? Include it with a short story collection? Lots of questions. Of course, there’s last year’s Bleeding Heritage (proper structure…whew!).
Too, I’m still always learning the craft (always will be). In 2014 I started my website and tackled social media like Twitter while coming to realize my fiction wasn’t as advanced as I wanted to believe it was, which led to addressing issues like hooks, character development, Deep 3rd, and structure in 2015.
Okay, bottom line. This year I’ll address more writing topics, edit the recent novels to reflect what I’ve learned, continue to write/edit short stories, market short stories, further refine the gaslight fantasy world the novels chronicle, and at NaNo write the next Ontyre tale, The Other Side of the Aperture.