New Year's Day 2015 in South Florida: it's very still, no breeze, the smell of gunpowder still heavy in the air from all the fireworks. It's 71 degrees and very humid: the weather sites tell us that rain bands will be here soon.
What will the new year bring? First, let's look back. What did I write and create during 2014?
Poems: 52 poems, along with some false starts, poems I couldn't conclude, some scraps of ideas that didn't take flight.
Short Stories: Only 2 or 3.
Memoir: I am almost finished with a complete draft. I've made significant improvements, in terms of organizing into sections, making the writing more like an essay and less like a blog post, taking out material that wasn't ever going to work.
Book Length Volume of Poems: In February, I did a major revision.
Book Length Collection of Linked Short Stories: I put this together in March, but have yet to go back to read and revise.
Poems Published: 5, plus one reprinted in an anthology--6 poem publications total.
Blog Posts Appearing at the Living Lutheran site: 13
I also wrote a month's worth of prayers for Bread for the Day, and I wrote several liturgies for our local church use.
In terms of sending materials out for publication, I'm calling it an acceptable year. Not nearly as much as some years, but considering that in my day job, I had not one, but two office moves plus a visit from the accreditors (and 2 mock visits before their arrival), I'm surprised I managed to get any materials out into the world at all.
Other creative activities: I finished a quilt for a friend with a broken leg, plus I crocheted several prayer shawls. I helped put together a quilt for Lutheran World Relief. We made lots of candles during 3 different sessions of candle creation. We had great meals. I created seasonal displays for the porch, which I like to think of as a kind of installation art. I created 10 playing cards, collaging on a smaller scale. I made 2 thrown pots, and I helped people learn to quilt at the Create in Me retreat.
As is often the case, in a year where I thought I really wasn't accomplishing much, this year-end tally shows otherwise.
But there is still more to do. Here are my creative goals and intentions for 2015:
--Write a poem on both Tuesday and Thursday with a week-end day as my back-up day. Today is Thursday. I will need to get started on that.
--Write one short story each month.
--Finish the memoir/essay manuscript. A more specific definition: have a draft that if published instantly, I'd be proud of it.
--Send the poetry manuscript to 10 possible publishers.
--I want to make 100 submissions of individual poems and short stories--get those packets out into the world!
--Other creativity: I want to get back to fabric art that's less practical while continuing to make baby quilts and prayer shawls. I want to sketch more. That one should be easy--if I sketch once, I've sketched more than I did in 2014.
I could list other goals too, the ones which never change much: let me please eat more veggies this year, let me remember to drink glasses of water throughout the day, let me keep my wine consumption to the moderate/abstemious side most days of 2015, let me exercise a bit more vigorously (I'd like to add 2 runs of 30 minutes or more to my week). Let me be kind, let me be present, let me remember to unplug. Give me time to read and good books. Let my income streams continue to cover my bills, and let me be better at putting money aside for the rainy days that will surely come. Let me pray more frequently throughout the day.
Give me more compassion, and less reasons to call upon my reserves of compassion.
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