If the doors of perception were cleaned,
Everything would appear as it is – infinite.
(Blake – The Marriage of Heaven & Hell)
Is there any feeling as wonderful as returning home after a great time away? Good memories of Christmas with grown children, their spouses and grandkids fuelled the joy of my first two nights back in my own bed.
As I usher in 2015, I’m feeling ahead of the holiday season curve. My suitcase is unpacked – that usually takes me at least a few days to attend to. I’m not down for the count with a cold, flu or cough. Most of my Christmas gifts have found a spot to take up residence. Life is good.
January the first puts me in a reflective state. Thoughts of the past year and plans for the upcoming one fill my mind. WordPress tells me, in my annual blog report, that my blog was viewed 19,000 times in 2014. Whew – that apparently represents seven sold out shows at the Sidney Opera House. Go figure! My most popular post of 2014 was a piece for my Location, Location, Location series on Dianne Gray’s book, Wolf Pear. The most commented post was Shaken Author Syndrome – haha – one of my favourites and with a title like that who couldn’t resist commenting. Three out of my top five posts were from 2013, thus proving my writing has longevity. I was viewed in 128 different countries and my day of choice to post is Sunday. Do check out your own WordPress Annual Blog Review. The fireworks at the beginning make it worth the effort.
Looking back, 2014 was a productive year for my writing. The Light Never Lies (2nd book in the Crater Lake Series) came out in February and my book of short stories, Strands of Sorrow, Threads of Hope was self-published in May. I got two-thirds of the way through a first draft on the 3rd book in the Crater Lake Series, Chasing Down the Night and all the way through the first two drafts of another novel, Maelstrom – both of which are scheduled for publishing in 2015.
I managed to squeeze in a few trips out of my lake-side sanctuary to visit with kids, grandkids and friends. Bruce and I treated ourselves to a ten day holiday travelling in the mountains of BC and Alberta. We had more summer visitors this year than we’ve had for a while and our 2014 garden was an over the top producer of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and green beans.
My small list of accomplishments plays itself out against the backdrop of community both far and wide. On a sad note, more than a couple of tragic deaths rocked nearby communities and these touched me and wove their way into my year. The world revolves around me in ways that both frighten and confuse me at times.
But still, I move on with thoughts of the coming year. Resolutions often seemed doomed to fail but I don’t think we should chuck out the whole concept. Consider the root word – resolve. Something we all need. My main resolution for 2015 is not to be making the same resolutions in 2016.
I wish family, friends, fellow bloggers and all my followers a healthy and happy New Year. May we all sow and reap a good harvest whatever and wherever we choose to plant.
Be it resolved – I will have web-less Wednesdays. It’s hard to even type those words, but necessary and they do have a certain ring to them. A day’s fast from the internet – from checking my current ranking on Amazon, from dropping into my favourite Facebook groups, from checking out my WordPress stats and reading posts by all the bloggers I follow (and by the way, find totally fascinating), from keeping up with emails, from Tweeting, or popping into Goodreads, or LinkedIn, or any of the sites that have become part of my daily agenda.
No web on Wednesday – period. Wherein lays the anxiety? What do I worry about? That I’ll miss something really important that requires me to reply online within moments of hearing?
Come on – how likely is it that George (@strombo) is going to read one of my tweets (he has over 300,000 followers – can you imagine how fast his Twitter feed must move) and then go to my blog and then follow the link to my book and read it while he is waiting at an airport or flying around the country (seemingly weekly) and then decide that he wants to interview me on his very fabulous nightly CBC George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight Show and I must respond the second he sends me a direct tweet?
Well – he did favourite one of my tweets on the weekend – I said his news website rocked, but seriously, all you guys should check it out – the guy literally has his finger on the pulse of trending.
Someone told me that if I’m going to dream, why not dream big – something like this: The popular US talk show host Jon Stewart asks me to be on his show. But come on – I’m Canadian, hey! And George and I are like connected – he follows me on Twitter. Where there is life (and a Twitter follower) there is hope. After all, I often ask myself – What would George think? (or say, or do, or Tweet, or eschew)
But back to my question – how likely is it that I would need to respond to anything that fast? You are absolutely right – not very damn likely!
A web-less Wednesday means time to spend walking, thinking and reflecting, cooking and taking time to eat what’s cooked with enjoyment, interacting with real people (and maybe even this decrepit old dog), and writing – yes – writing!
I have heard from a few people who say the very best promotion for a first book is to produce the next book in a timely fashion. Without time to just slow down and ponder, I’m not sure how that will happen. Drawing a line firmly in the sand to allow a break from the exciting and hyperactive world that is always streaming on the social media platform seems like a good start. And what’s one day – right?
If you see me on the internet on Wednesday – give me what for and I mean that!