Monday, December 31, 2012

True Confessions: Our 2012 Resolutions Revisited

HALLIE EPHRON: We all made resolutions for 2012, and the wonderful thing about a blog archive is that I can go back to this day, a year ago, and see what we promised ourselves. So how'd we do? I had three resolutions:
Finish the damned book.
Lose weight.
Chew more slowly.

I'm two for three... if you count two pounds as "losing weight" (I do!) In April, that book I was afraid I'd never finish comes out. Look for THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN in April.  It's a doozy. And how nice to look back and remember how lost I felt about that book, just like I'm feeling lost now with the next one.

Here you go, ladies, fess up! Did you(I cherry-picked or we'd be here all year...) --

RHYS, did you...
Have adventures.
Be patient with John's "little failings which are too numerous to mention here.
Take up a new sport.

RHYS BOWEN: I guess I can count falling and fracturing my pelvis as an adventure--not one I would have chosen, but certainly one that made me incredibly grateful for all the things I take for granted--being able to walk, drive myself, dance, play with grandkids.
John's little failings... uh, I try.

Did I really say take up a new sport? What was I thinking? I guess my new sport had to be learning to use a walker! But I hiked 5 miles yesterday and maybe more today so all is well.

RO, did you...
Pay more attention to the library  in Tanzania.
Spend less time online.

ROSEMARY HARRIS: I did! And...maybe I didn't.
We went back to Tanzania in February and we've committed to funding for another year so the library is still very  much in operation. We always need books though, so that's an ongoing challenge.

In the last six months I spent less time online but that had less to do with a conscious decision than just not having enough time. Oooh, Hallie, very sneaky of you to dig these up!

JAN, did you...
Exercise LESS.
Be more productive as a writer.

JAN BROGAN: Actually, the technical resolution - in my head if not in the blog - was to play less tennis. SO YES, I DID
play less tennis. The fact that I tore my ulnar nerve was EXTREMELY helpful in that regard. In fact, I even wonder if I kept pushing my elbow into injury for just that reason. As of last July, I haven't played ANY tennis. 

So overall, I have exercised less, even though I have started running again (only a couple of times a week) and I've been way more productive as a journalist. A little more productive as a fiction writer.  The new year's resolution this year is to finish my first draft of my historical novel.

JULIA, did you...
Swim at least three times a week.
Keep better in touch.
Finish the next book.

I can't believe it's been a whole year and I still haven't finished the book! Clearly, for 2013, I need to come up with some concrete ways to a) stop procrastinating, b) better manage my writing time vs. my motherhood/volunteer/other professional obligations c) be accountable for my word production. Any suggestions are welcome.

I've been a tiny bit better at keeping in touch with my family, worse at staying connected to my friends, but a lot better at communicating what's going on with my editor and agent - so overall, I'll put this in the plus column.

Except for this summer (when we do lots of things outdoors) I have been swimming at least semi-regularly, and my knees have continued to thank me for it. So this coming year? More of the same, except with specific goals instead of those open-ended resolutions.

HANK, did you...
Banish fear.
Envision yourself differently.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Well, yeah, I kind of did! In a kind of a sometimes-fearless way. (Interesting that those were among my resolutions. Good ones!) I do think I had some realization that we only have one life and if we don't go for it now, when will we? I even had an experiment, I will confess, where I went to a party and just said anything I wanted, without a filter.

And I do envision myself a bit differently, tentatively, carefully--someone told me I had to allow myself to "get big," like cats do when they're angry. Wow. That really works.

SO I'm keeping those resolutions for the next year, too! And being fearless about THE WRONG GIRL,  which I'm very happy with. (And the new book, for which I have NO IDEA. But I am not afraid!)

DEBS, did you...
Do the best you could.
Remind yourself often that you were doing the best you could., and wish all our friends and readers and very happy and productive new year!

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Hallie, good on you for reminding us what we resolved last year. And now that my curiosity is piqued, I'll have to go back to that blog post and see what else I SAID I was going to do. I know one resolution was "finish the book," and like you, I did. By the skin of my teeth, but I did.
I think I also resolved to have more productive work habits, and to be more organized. Not sure I achieved either. But, hey, I FINISHED THE DAMNED BOOK. (And it's good, too. THE SOUND OF BROKEN GLASS, out February 19th!)

Oh, and I lost ten pounds, although that wasn't a resolution. I'm calling it the "Stress over finishing the damned book diet."

LUCY, you escaped last year by seconding Rhys's list. Sneaky. So how'd you do?

LUCY BURDETTE: Geez, that was kind of lame, wasn't it? And you guys let me get away with that? And meanwhile poor Hank was supposed to banish fear? Yikes!
So I did have some adventures--a week on a bare-bones sailboat in the British Virgin Islands, when I am a weenie about the open sea and scary sea creatures, and get easily seasick (and did!) Snorkeling I think should count as my new sport...

Let's see, what else? Two books in one year was a big adventure:).

As for being patient with my John, I think I'll add that back onto this year's list because being kind to your life partner is always a win-win, don't you think? And I'm going to take one from Hallie for this year--chew more slowly--and one from Debs--remind myself that I'm doing the best I can. If I am. (And I'll try...) Happy new year everyone!

HALLIE: So how about the rest of you? Did you do what you promised yourself, or are you pushing those resolutions into 2013... or just accepting whatever tomorrow brings?


  1. I've discovered my resolutions work on a two-year cycle; that is, I rebel the first year against doing anything anyone tells me to do, including myself. In the second year, the worthiness of the endeavor shines through and I am often able to accomplish what I set out to do in the previous year. Thus, at last a new agent, 2011's promise. But no way I'm detailing the 2012 or 2013 info here. Is it just me, or does Hallie seem to enjoy cracking the whip? :)

  2. I agree, Jack, most things that are worth resolving to do take at least twice as long as I think they're going to. Crack the whip? Moi??

  3. I am so not good at either making or keeping resolutions for the coming year. There’s always the ubiquitous “be kinder, do better” [I always try . . . it’s a tough world out there] . . . be more organized [I need to stop making that one . . . it’s never going to happen] . . . keeping in touch [oh, I try . . . and prompted by Hank’s Jungle Red card list, I even managed to get ALL the Christmas cards out this year] . . . lose weight [okay, I’ll take any and all suggestions on that one . . . I keep giving it my best effort, but I just can’t seem to get there] . . . .

    For this year, I need some of Hank’s fearlessness . . . any of those ways Julia discovers to stop procrastinating . . . . Meanwhile, I am looking forward to reading “The Sound of Broken Glass,” “There Was an Old Woman,” “Through the Evil Days,” and “The Wrong Girl.” At least my reading resolutions never fall by the wayside . . . .

  4. Joan, those are mine, too... every year... only I've resolved never to put Christmas cards on my to-do list.

  5. Oops. I looked up what I committed to, and like the rest of you, I did so-so. Tried to get more fit, and did a pretty good job of it, until I lost control of the horse I was riding and got slammed into a fence and lost my seat. Which resulted in three broken ribs, a black eye, and a miraculously not-broken left arm that was black and blue from wrist to shoulder. However, I finally joined a gym this year and have been pretty good about going a couple times a week. Need to step that up, though.

    The rest of my resolutions? Well, a girl is only human. Sigh. One thing at a time, right?

  6. Yikes, Karen! I hope you took notes!!

  7. I like Be more fearless. I'm using that one. I did manage to lose 4 of the 10 lbs but then two crept back on in the last couple of weeks.

    But really? I want to remember that my attitude toward life shapes it. I can get cranky with a person and unhappy with a situation, or I can accept what's happening and move on.

  8. Edith, you had a great year, and an even greater one coming -- and I can't remember you sounding cranky.

  9. Took copious notes. One resolution for this year: Forget about learning to jump. LOL

  10. Our family has kept a written record of resolutions since around 1980, and, at Christmas I announced that they are now on their own to write/make/break/keep whatever resolutions they want!

    As for myself, I have decided to choose a few "role models," and focus on a quality of theirs that I could do better with. For example, my dear Aunt Pat dies in the fall -- she was a cloistered nun (Sister Marie Aimee). I will try to be more spiritual in her honor.

    Good luck, everyone -- trying something new is often very challenging.

  11. What a nice way to 'remember' loved ones, Denise Ann.

  12. Yes, Denise Ann...that's a lovely idea.

    And Karen, wow, I didn't know! Jumping can wait.

    And I always like looking back a little,too, this time of year, and count blessings..

  13. Jack, she absolutely enjoys cracking the whip--as you saw at seascape!

    Karen, I'm a weenie about horses as well as sea creatures so hat's off to you for riding so hard--but be careful this year! (I never get black and blue or cracked ribs from yoga:)

    Count blessings--yes! Admire what can be admired in those close to us--yes!

    thanks to YOU Jungle red readers!

  14. I had a great year. Lots of accomplishment and good results on the work front with the new book--in no small measure because of various Jungle Reds, who are SO helpful to new writers.

    I wanted to get my house organized once again, and that was a total bust. I ended up traveling so much and doing so many events with this book that my house is in worse shape than ever.

    I wanted to keep from breaking something at the cusp of the year. For a number of years, I've broken knees, fingers, feet, cheekbones, etc., at this time of year. So far, this year I've managed to keep this resolution. We have snow on the ground and more falling, and I will stay all wussy and safe inside until walks and such can be cleared.

    For 2013, I hope to continue with the book success and build on it. I definitely intend to bring my house into line--declutter, simplify, and organize so that it will better support me in my work. And I want to exercise more in order to build strength. But my big resolution for 2013 is to try to put more balance into my life. And I began by taking a break from the computer and life online for the time my kids were all here for Christmas and Ben and I celebrated our 20th.

    Happy New Year to all the Jungle Red Writers and honorary Reds and loyal backbloggers! I love this great community right here! May we all have new years full of love, blessings, and success!

  15. I've missed some good stuff here the past few days, darn it! We've been to Alabama for Christmas with Donald's parents after having Christmas here with my mom, and then our nephew's beautiful wedding in Mississippi. All lovely and perfect - but - there's no place like home.

    I love this post.

    I looked back at my blog to see if I had made resolutions, 'cause some years I do and some years I don't. Last year, I did. And they were: This was year I gave in and made some resolutions. Three of them.

    "One, to write.

    Two, to read Julia Cameron's THE ARTIST'S WAY, and do the accompanying exercises.

    Three, read David Busch's book about my camera (Canon G12) and learn to use all its features."

    One out of three?? Well, I wrote. A lot. I decided that as much as I love Julia Cameron's THE ARTIST'S WAY, actually following the structure of it is not for me. And reading David Busch's wonderful book about my camera - well, I'll do that "this" year (I hope).

    Also, this year I'm going to concentrate on getting my novel "out there."

    And to continue spreading my wings in creative endeavors. Maybe pottery this year . . . .

    Happy New Year, everyone!!!!!

  16. AND - I forgot to add one thing to my post above. I have a New Year's prediction for our Hallie. I predict you're gonna have a great year, girl. I read your THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN during the holidays. wow. WOW. oh wow. Hallie, I've loved your previous work, but this one? You wrote one of my favorite books read during 2012. I am SO proud of you!!!

  17. Wow!! Thanks, Kaye!!

    And every Red is rooting for you novel... and a pot to put it in.


  18. I don't make New Year's resolutions. For ME, making resolutions seems like the surest path to failure and disappointment! Instead, I periodically set open-ended goals for myself. I have never accomplished some of them, but life goes on anyway; there are some that I have accomplished and then realized "gee, no big deal.Why didn't I do this sooner?" and there was recently one on my list for several years that I finally followed through with, only to have it become a source of stress, so I've erased it from my list! However, I DO have a feeling of accomplishment for having given it a try! Actually,this has happened with more than one item on the list.

    My list is still pretty long, and I have no idea how much will ever get done, which can be frustrating at times. On the other hand, it's one way to always have something to look forward to!

  19. I made a New Year's Resolution once to have a good time the whole year. What happened? I got pregnant--and the good time was OVER! We had been trying for years! True story. ;-)

  20. So I'm not makin' THAT resolution any time soon.

    Seriously, Congratulations, Mollie!!

  21. Life so intervened with my resolutions for 2012 that I have to completely redo my list for 2013.

    I did, however, succeed with one. I greatly increased my daily word count with a new speech to text program. I keep my writing tool, a chopstick with Blu Tack on the tip, in front of my computer as a reminder that some things are better. This is somehow releasing me from a damaging negative outlook, and I find myself rediscovering hope.

  22. I did not break one resolution

    I also did not make any resolutions