Scorched and Clobbered on my way into 2019

Yeah, that’s what I look like in my head – but less blonde.

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

Yeah, so I’m a little behind, but no blog of mine would be worth its collective weight without a farewell to the old and promises I plan to keep break for the new around this time of year, right? Like here, two years and change ago, when I made the decision to go to grad school…again… Or here, where I acted like a big-time fancy pants writer and announced a book cover on the blog, promising to keep to a deadline. Y’all have met me, so stop laughing and keep reading.

This past year has been a different beast. I lost my dad in April. I lost my mind, more or less, in the summer. I lost my office around November. I lost the regular and pain-free use of my right elbow somewhere during the fall semester. For once, as I said in a very maudlin post on Facebook, I was not desperately clinging to the previous year on New Year’s Eve and was ready to kick that biz to the curb. Roll on, 2019!

For the however long New Year’s Eve took, I was standing between two realities, in a way. New year, new me, right? Sort of. I’m not making specific resolutions, save the generic ones like, “Enjoy life more and read more and so forth.” I’m going to live my best life (so far) in 2019 because really, that’s all we can do, right? That’s all I have been doing, trying to live my best life – perhaps the resolution is to let less of the stuff of life get in my way.

Oh, and to the writerly stuff:  I will have a Clobberpaws book coming out in the spring/summer of this year and at least one Orana Chronicles novel out by May, if the scorching and clobbering process (that is writing and editing) doesn’t kill me first, that is.

Let auld…what was it again?

Here’s my quickie recap of the year, now that the ball has dropped and there are fireworks waking up my Daisy Mei Mei…

This was the first year since 2005 that saw me remaining in the US all year. This was the year that Clowny died.  This was the year that Bryn arrived, only just. Throughout this year Daisy remained and remains now, happy and healthy and still the most perfect greyhound girly ever.

I attended three greyhound events and sold my books at all three. I finished three 50k+ word manuscripts at three separate Nanowrimo events. I’m staring down the beginning of my third year at Clemson. In a way, I’ve settled into my life here.

But at the same time the wanderlust that is such an integral part of who I am screams from that deep and dark place in the back of my mind, next to Algebra and the conjugation of Spanish verbs, urging me to leave what is comfortable and move on to the next adventure.  That part of me is at war with the shy and awkward part that occupies the prime real estate in the forefront and begs me to retreat further, spend more time pounding out useless manuscripts and hold up where I am. Draw the curtains is met with unfurl the sail, and the battle wages on.

I won’t make plans for this year.  I will take what comes and hope for trips to the UK, more furry babies to join our family (and maybe a human one?), and upward motion in my career and Simon’s.

Happy New Year to all of you. Make it a good one.  As for the Dunnes, we are off to bed.

What a long strange…year…it’s about to be.

Starry, Starry Blackberry Wallpaper

I’m not going to do my standard “Year in Review” post today.  I’m also not going to list resolutions for the new year that I will certainly break.  What I am going to do is tell you my plans for the year, so that this time 2014 I can look at this post again and see how close I got to getting it all right.

A short disclaimer:  This optimism is destined not to last, so enjoy it while it is here.  I’m sure I’ll be back to my regular emo ray of sunshine self very, very soon.

This year is going to be very lucky for me and mine.  We have a house.  We will have a fence and a deck soon.  Our basement floor will return to normal.  We will get all our boxes from the overseas move unpacked before summer.  We will have guests from the UK and the US and Canada and wherever else we have friends to come stay with us. I will be having a Eurovision finals party at my house in May. Daisy and Clown will maintain, healthy and happy, as they are today.

Our family will grow.  We’ve gotten downright scientific about this whole process, and while we will definitely increase the canine population of the house with a larger and fuzzier newcomer, I am confident that we will also add to our family of humans.

I will get something published.  In the past, I have resolved to “make part of my living with my writing” and I’ve done that. Daisy’s book and my others are still available on Lulu.com. This year, however, is when that takes a step up.  This is the year that all my nano-noveling and other pecking at my keyboard will be shared with the world, as well as the year that I truly start to believe that I have a story to tell that people want to read.

I will be doing more things in the name of self-care.  There will be yoga and meditation to quiet my mind as well as a dedicated effort to start running again while my knees will still allow me to do so.

There will be travel.  Watch this space, as I will be filling all five or six of you in on my travels in a more timely manner than I have in the past.  Along those lines, and in combination with the above publishing work, there will be a photo book in the works of our honeymoon trip.  We are fairly decent photogs, me and my Mister, and I want to share the incredible experience we had with others.

I am going to be a better listener and friend, and will spend more time doing and less time talking about doing.  Of course, this blog doesn’t count…

Finally, I’m going to look back on this post on 1 Jan 2014 and smile at all I’ve accomplished this year.  Happy New Year, Lettuce Readers.  Live long and prosper, and all that jazz.

Lurve

Lurve by Nancy Dunne
Lurve, a photo by Nancy Dunne on Flickr.

Well, my bags are packed (not really), it’s early morn (in the US), the taxi’s waiting (he’s here for a neighbor I guess), he’s blowin’ his horn (not really, that’s just someone jaywalking)…

I don’t leave till tomorrow, but I am trying to go on and process it today so that tomorrow isn’t so awful. Flying days SUCK, but at least there are some bright spots this time:

I start a new job on Tuesday. More details on that later, as I’m not sure they’ve told everyone else that applied for the position.

We are an interview (and possibly a piece of documentation or two) away from Simon having his green card.

I will be living with my ClownA at least M-F and hopefully more if I can find a place to live that I can afford.

But still, something is tugging at me. This tiny island grabs hold of you with all it has when you let it, and it is so very hard to let go. One day I’ll be back for good, but for now we are ready to start a new chapter living in America. I’ve been ready to start that chapter since May!

See you guys on the other side of a big ocean and a tin bird.

So Long, Twenty Elebben!

We’re in the UK again…I thought that Simon and I would be watching the ball drop this year rather than the London Fireworks…but alas…truth be told, we didn’t even remember to watch these live because we were so caught up in watching Jools Holland.  I have to say, this is a display that, at the chiming of the hour, would make Guy Fawkes proud.  Happy New Year, Lettuce Readers.  Here’s to the end of an awful 2011 and a brilliant 2012 to come!

See ya later, autumn…roll on January.

Gradient by Nancy Dunne
Gradient, a photo by Nancy Dunne on Flickr.

Well, that’s one down, five to go in the 2011-2012 Anti-Holiday season. Thanksgiving 2011 is in the history books now.

Oh, sorry Lettuce readers, I guess you didn’t get the memo because I’ve been trying to be a bit more positive around here…I suppose the end result is that I haven’t been posting much at all and that’s why you may not have known about the Anti Holiday Proclamation of 2011.

Let me recap: There will be no holidays recognized until I’m in the same country with my husband. I’m not out to tell anyone how to behave in their own homes, mind. If you want to celebrate then I hope you have all the blessings and happiness the season can bestow. But as for me and my house, we will pass, thanks.

I’ve been told on loads of occasions and by scores of people that I need to get over it. Simon will be here soon enough. We can celebrate everything that we’ve missed once Simon has moved. Um, no thanks. I’d rather just skip it and try again next year.

And no, for those who have hinted both subtly and otherwise, it has nothing to do with the fact that I’ll be 40 years old in a day and half. Nothing at all. It has everything to do with the thing I love the most being four thousand miles away.

So that’s what’s up at the Lettuce…basically a whole lot of purposeful nothing, until our birthdays, Christmas, New Year and our 3rd wedding anniversary are over. If that’s difficult for you to accept, and you feel the need to try to convince me otherwise, can I please invite you to focus on your own holiday season? I promise, I’ll be just fine here when you get back in January. Just. Fine.