The Christmas Waltz

The cold is coming!

New Orleans is going to have a hard freeze that lasts from this evening through Saturday night–which means I really need to make sure I don’t need to necessarily leave the house before Sunday, when the temperatures will be more normal for December in New Orleans. I’m just glad I am not flying anywhere this weekend–or driving. Yikes! It snowed the Christmas before Katrina–not really much of anything–which I’ve often pointed to as a sign that the horror was coming, but it’s snowed in New Orleans a couple of times since then without the city being destroyed the following year.

But it’s always in the back of our minds.

Thursday and my last day before the holiday weekend. I stopped and got the mail on the way home yesterday; I also made groceries. I also worked on the book some more, so I am hopeful that I can get some serious work done over the holidays. I am only going to take Christmas day off from writing–it’s the holiday after all, and I can swing a day to rest and do nothing and read Dashing Through the Snowbirds; it’ll be lovely reading over my morning coffee, which is really my favorite thing to do. Maybe in 2023 that can be my Sunday morning routine: coffee and a good book. Sounds marvelous, does it not?

Hilariously, I’ve been trying to remember my year of 2022 in an attempt to do some kind of end of year summary, or pick my favorite books and television programs and movies of the year, and to talk about highlights and so forth; but I’ve been wracking my brain to no avail. I couldn’t even remember when precisely I’d gone up north to visit my family in the spring, or if I didn’t go (I did, in going through the books I reviewed/discussed on here I came across the two audiobooks I listened to on my last trip, and those entries were in May; so yes, indeed I’d gone up there in the spring. I would have testified under oath not only that I didn’t go up in the spring but would have probably scoffed at the very idea). So, making a favorites of the year list would either be most likely incomplete or lacking validity in that I couldn’t remember everything. I also generally don’t like making favorites lists in the first place; how does one quantify what made me like one book more than another?

I’ve also spent some time this past year–and in the more recent weeks–thinking about my writing and my career and where to go with it next. I’ve been following a rather haphazard path since Hurricane Katrina; the hurricane showed me the futility of making plans and schedules and so forth for the distant future when nature can simply shred your plans in a matter of hours, leaving your life and your emotions in utter tatters. I know I want to make 2023 the Year of Completion; I’d love to get a lot of these unfinished projects around here done and out of the way. I do want to make a serious attempt at landing an agent in 2023; I say that every year but I’ve never really tried, so I think I am going to put myself out there in the new year and see what happens. I don’t think getting an agent will solve all of my career problems, or necessarily push me to resolve them myself–but it’s a step in the right direction, and I do think some of my in-progress works could do quite well for a publisher. Who knows? But at least having someone in my corner capable of giving me good advice–whether I take it or not is a different story, I am nothing if not headstrong–can’t really hurt going forward, can it? I have done pretty well for myself on my own, but going it alone my entire career was never part of the plan.

Ah well. Man plans, the gods laugh.

But yes, there are a lot of unfinished projects around the Lost Apartment, writing-wise. I need to get these first two finished as soon as possible, and then I am going to pick an unfinished project to work on every month. It’s an ambitious writing goal, to be sure, but I think if I focus–always an issue–I can make a lot of headway on a project. If it’s not finished at the end of the month, it goes back into the drawer and the next month will be spent working on the project scheduled for that month, and so on. Even as I typed that out I can foresee issues with it; what if I am on a roll at the end of the month? And is it that easy for me to switch from one voice and style to another? No, not really; it generally takes me a quick minute or so to get back in sync with the voice and the characters and the plot, but it does happen–writing my way through it always seems to help.

I did manage to pay all the bills and yes, I was correct–there was indeed a ridiculous amount of cash left over. A lot of bills, however, are coming due with that next paycheck, so I will have to conserve my cash to make sure I can make it through that rough almost-everything-comes-due-between-the-fifth-and-the-fifteenth period.

And on that note, I am heading into the spice mines. The traffic has been much lighter on the way to work this week–I imagine the same will hold true next week as well–and so I am not nearly as aggravated and stressed when I get to the office, which has been kind of nice. Have a lovely day, Constant Reader, and tomorrow I will check in with you about surviving the freeze. AIEEEE!!!!

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