Thursday, January 3, 2013
Lucky 2013 - The Year of the 5
It didn't occur to me until halfway through my phone conversation with a friend that the cat was black - and if I was an overly superstitious person, I might have envisioned all kinds of doom and gloom for the year. But she was a beautiful little thing - as far as cats go - and she acted more like a guardian angel than a harbinger of death.
Of course, she also made me think of the protagonist in my thriller series, Cait Willis, a skeptic reporter with a knack for debunking urban myths - and getting in trouble. I'll be writing a lot more about Cait in the next 12 months - her second story is one of the five projects I hope to complete in 2013. Ambitious? Perhaps, but it's part of my resolution theme centered on the number five.
Well, some of it has to do with the fact that my bestie turns 50 this year. While she struggles with the number, I'm going to honor her awesomeness by making this The Year of the Five.
I have a strong contingent of amazing writerly and readerly friends who have contributed to my career - from serious mentorship, to beta reading, to simply feeding my sometimes needy ego (we ARE a sensitive bunch). But the leader has always been Jamie. From the beginning of this often rocky journey, she has been my biggest fan. My first - and fastest - reader. My most honest critic. In the words of Stephen King, she is my Ideal Reader - and often, the person I most want to impress at the end of the book. If the IR isn't happy, I know I've missed my mark.
The number five also is symbolic for several resolutions (writerly and otherwise) I always make, and seldom achieve.
I try not to beat myself up over missed New Year's resolutions - I have enough life/work pressure without tacking on more. But, like November is to my NaNoWriMo obsession, January is to making promises to myself. A superstitious person might argue that 2013 may be an odd year (literally and figuratively!) to push for resolution success, but maybe I'm a little like Cait and declaring this a lucky year, no matter what the numbers say.
So, in honor of my dear friend (who does not look a day over 30), and to debunk the "unlucky 13" myth, here are my five 2013 New Year's Resolutions:
1. Write 500,000 words. Sounds daunting, I know. But break it down and it's 1,300 words a day. I'm not pinning the words on any specific project - novels, screenplays, short stories, and even poetry (ha ha, just kidding...I can't write poetry) all count. (Blogs, sadly, do not. Neither does non-fiction writing unless it's the documentary I'm writing - so all day job writing is out.) Sounds like a lot of rules, right? But actually, it's the most flexible I've been. Words towards any project is still words - and that can only better my craft.
2. Lose 50 pounds. Yeah, it's a big one. But honestly, I've been trying to lose the same 50 pounds for several years. This year I'm getting serious. I've enlisted the help of a trainer who will either motivate or kill me. 50 is the target...but it may end up that I only need to lose 25. Regardless, I'm striving for better health.
3. Take 50 pride-worthy photographs. I have a really nice camera. I have extensive photography experience. Heck, I was a photo journalist for seven years and took some damn good photos once upon a time. I miss it. So, by the end of 2013, I'm shooting for (ha!) 50 photos I'm proud of. Maybe I'll make a calendar or something ;-)
4. Read 50 books and watch 50 movies. 2012 was a defining year for my career. I entered the world of television and movie writing, and decided it isn't as scary as I once thought. In fact, it's fun. I am represented by the amazing Anna Archer of Lucas Talent (one of Canada's top script agencies) and one of my projects was optioned for development of a TV series. Exciting, yes! But my first love will always be books. I spent more time watching TV than reading last year (hey you, Sons of Anarchy, you kind of rocked my world. Likewise Revenge, Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Dexter, Game of Thrones, True Blood and...well, you get the idea) and I'm feeling it. SO MANY BOOKS CAME OUT THAT I DID NOT READ! And as the story goes, you can't write if you don't read. This year, I'm gunning for 50 books (half of last year's goal, and twice as much as I actually read), and, because I need to keep understanding scriptwriting and storytelling for the screen, I'm throwing in 50 movies.
5. And lastly, 50 moments of pampering. Sounds luxurious, right? Well, my 50 pampering moments may not include a spa treatment, but they will include things I do for myself. Maybe it's register for a cooking class. It might be going for a long drive, or buying a new CD. Perhaps I'll indulge in a gelato, or treat myself to a latte from the Italian Centre. It might even be just spending time with a friend. Regardless, by the end of the year, I'm logging 50 things I did for me.
That's it, friends. My resolutions for 2013. You making any? Here's to wishing we all meet our personal goals, and that this year brings you health, good fortune, happiness - and luck.
* Though it's doubtful I'd ever own a cat (or that my three dogs would not eat said cat), I DO like OTHER people's cats, especially kittens!
The Book In My Bag: An Abundance of Katherines, John Green