Rhys on Friday...thinking ahead to the new year and deciding that I must actually be an optimist. I realized that when I took down the tree today (it was bone dry--think artificial next year) and checked carefully to make sure there wasn't a small present tucked away among the branches that we had overlooked. I do this every year. I've never found one yet, but I keep looking.In the same way I always count my money at the ATM, hopeful that for once the machine has made a mistake a slipped in an extra twenty. My husband always counts to make sure the machine hasn't cheated him. Difference between optimist and pessimist, I guess.
Anyway, on this optimistic note, these are some of the things I hope will happen this year:
Someone does something about health care. Why not make medical school free for the brightest students, who in return have to work for four years at a reasonable salary at a community clinic. That way there would be free basic health care for everyone. And also let the government set a sensible price for all drugs by buying in huge bulk from the drug companies, so my unemployed daughter wouldn't have to pay $200 for eight pills of her migraine medicine.
Impose a "pay it forward" tax on all celebrities and CEOs who make millions a year. A baseball star might have to pay a million to a fund to keep sports programs in the schools. A CEO would pay his million to keep small businesses afloat, or provide literacy programs.
And on a more personal note: in case you haven't noticed, waaaay too many books are published each year. This recession may make publishers cut back their lists, which would be a good thing, providing we at JRR are the writers they keep!
So I start out the year looking forward to publishing two new books, In a Gilded Cage and later Royal Flush. I look forward to being Guest of Honor at Left Coast Crime in Hawaii. I look forward to the presidency of Obama and a renewed spirit of optimism in the country. I look forward to the end of war in the world, the greening of the planet and brotherly love among all factions.I guess I'm just a cockeyed optimist!
HANK: I saw an article in the paper today about hopes for the New Year. "World peace" was number 7.I'm with ya, Rhys. Lots of soldiers should be coming home. Right now.
I hope for the demise of greed, the source of most of the mess. I hope for little Molly (4) and Georgia (2) who live next door--their reality is emerging as incredibly different. For worse, sometimes, but also for much better.People are smiling at each other again, even in this adversity.
I hope that all of that "hope" that seems to be floating around out there turns into joy and reality.
JAN: I hope that the economic downturn helps more people focus on what really matters. I hope this is the end of artificial waterfalls installed in people's back yards,$15,000 sweet sixteen parties, and $700 high heels.I hope that the country gives Obama the time and support he's going to need. I hope for once, people take a break from speculative criticism and that both right wing radio shows and far left liberals LAY OFF.I'm writing a screenplay about the 1976 murder of a Harvard Football player in Boston, which I consider an incredibly important story in the history of the city. I hope and pray that I can do it justice.
RHYS: Jan, my next door neighbor has been having his front yard terraced and a waterfall created for the past six months. It has to have run up to at least $100,000 by now and is nowhere near finished. I think this sort of desire for status and material possessions is why I enjoyed a Christmas market cruise in Austria a couple of years ago. The Christmas markets had simple wooden toys, gingerbread goodies, mulled wine. I got the feeling that this was how Christmas should be.