Sunday, January 1, 2017

Reds New Year wishes for 2017

JUNGLE REDS: Well, there it goes. Buh-bye 2016.

And here it comes. 2017 has arrived, and we are looking forward to it with endless fascination, hope, and crossed fingers.

One wonderfully good thing--we have two new Reds!  Look at our swell new masthead!

We are so lucky to welcome amazing authors and friends Jenn McKinlay and Ingrid Thoft. And you will hear all about them tomorrow.

But for now, let's send out New Years good will out into the world--what do you all wish for in 2017?

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Isn't it fascinating how difficult a question that is? On a micro level, I can answer easily.  My new book, still untitled and more to come, is due on Tuesday!  AH! And I am hoping, smiling now, that I can figure out the ending. On a macro level, it feels like there is such a momentous time ahead. I wish for sanity, and love and peace and thoughtful understanding. And patience and bravery. 

LUCY BURDETTE: I love your list Hank, sanity, love, peace, patience, bravery--and I'll add the wisdom to take stands when they are needed. Less important on a personal level, I wrote to Santa and asked for three book contracts in 2017. I'm hoping he comes through!

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: With The Sailor transitioning from A school to his first real-live duty station on the USS Gonzales, my greatest hope for 2017 is peace, abroad and at home. I hope The Smithie will find happiness and a career-starting library job. I hope I don't strangle The Youngest before she turns seventeen (mothers of teen daughters will know what I'm talking about.)

I hope people of good will find a way to band together and make a better America, one that meets the needs of all our neighbors without appealing to hatred and division.

And, perennially, I hope the Red Sox win the 2017 World Series. Spring training is only 45 days away...

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Julia, yes, baseball! Can we get the Texas Rangers into the playoffs, at least? Otherwise, I am seconding everyone else's lists, especially Hank's "sanity, love, peace, patience, and bravery." And adding that I hope people will take the time to talk to each other, and to talk to people they don't know, with interest and empathy.

HALLIE EPHRON: Can I please have time  slow down. Just SLOW DOWN please so I can savor my grandchildren. Julia, I so share your wish that we can all be our best selves and make unselfish decisions. It would be nice if longer skirts and flat heels would be in the ascendance. Hey, plaid flannel shirts came back, so why not?

And hoping for a fortuitous book launch for YOU'LL NEVER KNOW DEAR, & can I please finish the book I just started?

RHYS BOWEN: All of the above, except teams other than the Giants getting into the playoffs. Especially TIME, Hallie. I am so conscious of the great clock ticking and wondering how much time I have with John, with older friends.... how much time I have, period. How long will I keep writing? How long will I be able to travel?

I'm going to try and be calm in the New Year. Not freak out about my darkest fears with the new administration and the precarious state of the world. I'm telling myself that John has an Irish passport. If the worst comes, we'll move to Ireland and live in a cottage. So I wish for sanity and reason and kindness and tolerance throughout the world.

And I also wish that our two new Reds have a lovely time with us and make lots of new friends and fans.

JUNGLE REDS: What are your hopes and wishes for the 2017? (And how long will it take us all to get used to writing 2017?)


  1. Two new Reds . . . how exciting! And I love the new masthead.

    For 2017, I wish for peace and happiness. I wish for more kindness in the world . . .
    May the new year bring everyone all the best and may a special dream of yours come true in 2017 . . . .

  2. Welcome to the two new Reds!!

    For 2017, I also wish for peace and happiness around the world, and here closer to home. Patience and sanity are also greatly needed.

    Hope to continue to interact with you here and via the printed page in 2017!

  3. Happy new year Joan! Thank you for always being here to help us sort out the morning. XO

  4. What a beautiful lineup of Reds and a good time to make changes when we are primed to expect them.

    I hope that I will have enough understanding to know where I should put my energy and direct my talents so that I not add to the disharmony in the world. In that very small way, maybe I can pass something along to others.

    However odd it might be to give the calendar the power of new beginnings, I feel positive in starting this new year having made it through the past year.


  5. I'm with all of you, and with Lucy/Roberta in having the wisdom to know what stands to take, where to put my energy to do good in the world. Other than that, I'm wishing my sons continued love with the strong women in their lives, and myself the strength to write the three best books I've written to date (gulp).

    Peace among us, and justice for all. And lots of good reading!

  6. Happy new year! It is such a joy and a treat to see you all… What reliable wonderful dear friend you all are…
    Reine yes, it is interesting that the universe gives us this particular day to reflect, especially, and set our intentions.
    It is crisp and cold and beautiful here in Boston, and I have to say, New Year's Day is always a little weird… Every time I hear Auld Lang Syne , it really touches me.
    Love to you all! And now, two days to finish my book. :-)
    Welcome welcome welcome Jenn and Ingrid! Much more about them tomorrow… !

  7. Woohoo, two new Reds! I will miss the former Reds' input and contributions, but it's always fun to make new friends. And of course, read more books! I look forward to getting to know you both better, Ingrid and Jenn.

    What everyone else said. Some days this blog roots me in sanity, the world has been so crazy lately. But we need to look ahead, steel ourselves for the challenges, and meet them face forward, head-on, and with clear eyes. Today I will participate in a writing workshop for action, and we will choose our strategy for change. Wish us luck.

    Happy 2017, to some of my very favorite people. Wishing you all luck, love, warmth and comfort in this coming year.

  8. Just rising and taking in our lovely new Reds, official now. We've been keeping them secret, but many of you already know Ingrid and Jenn because they've been commenting for weeks. We are THRILLED!

    Interesting how many of this year's holiday cars are about peace. Paired with sanity, let's hope, for the year and beyond.

  9. Happy New Year Reds and readers, old and new. I look forward to starting each morning of 2017 right here with all of you.

    Congratulations to Rhys and Deb. You both got kudos from Louise Penny in her January newsletter. Impressive imho.

    We are beginning the new year with sunshine and relative warmth up here on the tundra. Whatever happens has to be an improvement on 2016. I plan to make a huge pot of Hoppin' today, and make sure everyone I know eats enough to guarantee good fortune for the next 365 days. Obviously I failed in this last year, but we learn from our mistakes.

    For those of you who are Southernly challenged, Hoppin' John is a fragrant dish of black-eyed peas, ham, okra, rice, onions, peppers and appropriate seasonings, served up with corn bread. Tradition holds that one gets one day of luck for every pea eaten on New Years Day.

    Bon appetit ya'all!

  10. Welcome Jen and Ingrid! Wishing all my Reds a great year of success with whatever projects you tackle--Rhys, Louise Penny gave a shout-out to your new stand-alone in her January newsletter. Looking forward to a great year of reading!!

    Like you, Julia, I pray for peace and saner heads to prevail in the world. My youngest two nephews are both registered for the draft--two voices of reason belong to my US Senator Sherrod Brown and US Rep Marcy Kaptur, so I'll be giving them all the support I can this year.

  11. Welcome to the new Reds! Can't wait to meet you.

    Julia - I know EXACTLY what you are talking about.

    On a purely selfish front, I'm wishing for an agent/publisher acceptance this year. Oh, and for the Pirates to make the playoffs AND make it out of the Wild Card (pretty please?).

    On a slightly more expansive front, I'll add my voice to the wishes for peace, sanity, patience and wisdom as we moved into a new administration. We have to stick together and come to understanding if we're going to have any chance of making it a better world.

  12. Happy New Year to you all! Thank you for your contributions to 2016 and I look forward to learning all about the new Reds. Welcome, ladies.

    I am hoping 2017 is not the disaster I fear it will be. I hope I am able to rid myself of the need of hibernating with books and tea. Wait, that's not really a bad thing, right? And I'm hoping I can finally work on last year's resolution to clean out my email inbox.

    Best wishes to you all.

  13. Happy New Year to all, and welcome to the new Reds! I wish for the world that we humans live up to our potential of smart and compassionate living -- every day, with everyone. And if we can't be smart, how about we be kind to one another? I hope to have less fear about the world, more courage in my daily actions, and greater generosity of spirit towards strangers.

  14. Happy New Year, everyone! And welcome to Ingrid and Jenn. I look forward to getting to know Ingrid. Jenn I already know and adore - SO excited to have her here to play!

    New Year Poem
    by May Sarton

    Let us step outside for a moment
    As the sun breaks through clouds
    And shines on wet new fallen snow,
    And breathe the new air.
    So much has died that had to die this year.

    We are dying away from things.
    It is a necessity—we have to do it
    Or we shall be buried under the magazines,
    The too many clothes, the too much food.
    We have dragged it all around
    Like dung beetles
    Who drag piles of dung
    Behind them on which to feed,
    In which to lay their eggs.

    Let us step outside for a moment
    Among ocean, clouds, a white field,
    Islands floating in the distance.
    They have always been there.
    But we have not been there.

    We are going to drive slowly
    And see the small poor farms,
    The lovely shapes of leafless trees
    Their shadows blue on the snow.
    We are going to learn the sharp edge
    Of perception after a day’s fast.

    There is nothing to fear.
    About this revolution…
    Though it will change our minds.
    Aggression, violence, machismo
    Are fading from us
    Like old photographs
    Faintly ridiculous
    (Did a man actually step like a goose
    To instill fear?
    Does a boy have to kill
    To become a man?)

    Already there are signs.
    Young people plant gardens.
    Fathers change their babies’ diapers
    And are learning to cook.

    Let us step outside for a moment.
    It is all there
    Only we have been slow to arrive
    At a way of seeing it.
    Unless the gentle inherit the earth
    There will be no earth.

  15. Love the new masthead! Welcome to the two new Reds looking forward to getting to know you.

    2017 wishes, I'm signing up for Hank's and Lucy's - Kaye, what a wonderful poem!

  16. Welcome, Jenn and Ingrid!! I'm so excited that you are joining us! I couldn't wait to see our fun new masthead this morning.

    Kaye, thank you for the May Sarton poem. I think I'll copy it in my journal today.

    I'm making, not Hoppin' John, but Crescent Dragonwagon's Black-eyed Pea Soup with Arkansalsa (from Dairy Hollow House Soup and Bread Book) which is our New Year's Day tradition. As is taking down the tree and the Christmas decorations and the Christmas lights. All good things for meditating on the year gone by and the year to come. This morning I feel I might have come through fear and disgust into some small measure of hope and resolve--in no small part thanks to all of you here.

    Happy 2017 to all our REDS near and far!!

    1. As long as dinner involves black eyed peas, all is right with our world.

  17. Happy New Year, everyone!

    Wishing for good health, happiness, and peace to all of you.

    Watching the Midsomer Murders marathon on PBS today.


  18. What a wonderful start to 2017! I'm honored to be joining the Reds and can't wait to get to know all of you better. I've already had a taste of this wonderful community; when I started commenting regularly, you all welcomed me with open arms. My TBR stack has grown to dangerous heights due to your fabulous recommendations and the wonderful guest blogs.

    Thanks to Julia, Lucy, Hallie, Rhys, Hank, and Deb (and Jenn)! I'm thrilled to be joining a group of such smart, talented, funny women.

    Here's to books, friends, good health, and peace in the New Year! (and to figure out how to include my photo on my comments ;))

  19. Welcome to Ingrid and Jenn! I have been reading my way through Jenn's books and hope to start on Ingrid's!

    I wish for everyone to experience peace, kindness, patience; I wish for people to bring out the best in each other.

    Deb Romano

  20. My word for 2017 is forgiveness. May we learn to forgive others and ourselves. I'll add tolerance, kindness, and patience because I believe they are all intertwined. Excited to learn about the 2 newest Reds!

  21. Excited to see 2 new Reds what a win for the group. Compassion would be my wish for the New Year

  22. How exciting to start the new year with two new Reds! Welcome Ingrid and Jen! I can't wait to get started on your books.

    There's a choosing activity going around, both for New Year's and in general, to choose a word that encapsulates your goal or intent or place where you are in life. Words such as fearless, kindness, faith, balance are some being used. The project is called MyIntent Project and there are necklaces and bracelets you can buy with "your word" on them. ( They are involved with some charities with celebrities, but I'm not mentioning this movement to plug its retail business. I have been thinking about what my word might be for 2017. Actually, I usually have a word for each year, but it doesn't always become apparent until later into the year. This year, I keep coming back to the word "less." At first, I thought "less" might be a too negative a word, but the way I'm thinking about it is positive. Less clutter, less worry about the small stuff, less want for the unnecessary material things, less excuse making about exercising, less unhealthy food, less fear of unknown. Well, you get the idea. And, of course, there is a corresponding "more" to every "less."

    One of the "more" items that I definitely look forward to this year is more amazing books from my Jungle Red Writers and more Jungle Red posts to read each day. And, let me add accolades to those already given to Rhys and Debs for the shout-out in Louise Penny's January newsletter.

  23. Diana, thanks for the heads-up on the Midsomer marathon. Sounds like a perfect companion for taking down the tree!

  24. Kathy, I think "less" is a brilliant choice. There are things we can all do with less of.

  25. Less is good. Relax. Be sweet, as we say in the South. Courtesy. Respect. Compassion. Listen.

  26. Thanks so much for the lovely welcome! I am delighted to be a Red. This is definitely one of the cooler things that happened in 2016 - a year that was filled with some significant loss (my dad) for me. True confession: I am posting very late because I spent NYE whooping it up at my Hub's gig - I was that happy to end 2016 - but, yeah, moving a bit slower than usual today. Happy New Year, Everyone!

  27. Congrats Jenn!!! I am so excited for you to be a part of this!!! Congrats ♡

  28. This is my first visit to the Jungle Red Writers site, I am glad to learn there is another place for me to visit to find out about upcoming books. Best of luck for a great 2017!

  29. I'm new to this site and so glad I clicked on it. Jenn congratulations and love your books...( maybe a little sad to see your Hat Shoppe end, but I'm sure you will have more to intrigue me. Welcome too Ingrid, I am looking forward to reading your books which will be new to me.

  30. wishing for good health, eased burdens and more time to read a good book held in my hands (not digital).

  31. Jenn and Ingrid, Welcome to the best place to be! I'm looking forward to reading all your books, as well as your Jungle Reds blogs and comments.
    ~ Gail in Seguin, TX

  32. Ingrid,

    Thanks! And welcome to JRW! I noticed one of your books has a book club guide and I really appreciate that when I read a new book by a new author (for me).


    p.s. I will be at Bouchercon too (my first one!)

  33. Welcome new Reds!!! I am ready to read read read!!!

  34. Yay! Your at the cool kids table! Your awesome, Jenni! I'm new to the reds! Love your books!