The Memory Project
Off the top of my head, natural (Johnny Ketchum)

One-Word Resolution
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Everything old is new again. Like a lot of bloggers, I let this space languish. But it's still here, I still have access. Granted, I had to reset the password by using an old AOL account, but, as Stephen Sondheim once wrote, as Elaine Stritch (and many others) have sung:

I got through all of last year/And I'm here.

You, too, I assume? At any rate, you're here, reading this.

I had an interesting 2015. Not always good -- I was sicker than I've ever been in my adult life for much of February and March, requiring DRIVERS to get me to readings because I was too frail to be behind the wheel -- but it's ending on a good note. I'm healthy, so is everyone dear to me. I turned a big psychological corner, thanks to some wily, loving Canadians who run a program called Precision Nutrition. The name is a bit of a misnomer. While it helps people, for a not insignificant price, learn to eat better and, if applicable, workout better, what it really does is teach you to, pardon my language, cut yourself a fucking break. Turns out I needed to learn how to do that.

I will remember 2015 for its intense highs and lows. For the gratifying response to the first Tess book in seven years (!) and the satisfaction in finishing a total butt-kicker of a book, WILDE LAKE. For marvelous teaching experiences -- my 10th year at Eckerd, my first time at both MWA U and the marvel that is Ann Hood's destination-writing course at Spannocchia. For the ups and downs of navigating a world without my father, who died Dec. 6, 2014. For my first trip to Rao's, thanks to Linda Fairstein! (In honor of this blog's motto, I'm just listing things as they come off my head, natural.) For the utter delight and formidable responsibility of reading for the National Book Award. Show Me a Hero, which, whether anyone realizes it, provided Mr. L's best reviews ever _in real time_. (Most of the acclaim for The Wire was when it was winding up, or already off the air.) Interviewing Mindy Kaling and Lee Child onstage. What am I forgetting? More in the comments box, per the rules of TMP.

Oh wait -- the Anthony Award, the Romantic Times Award and the amazing joy of sharing an award, The Strand, with a good friend, Megan Abbott. And for the lovely best-of lists I made.

So here I am, pondering 2016, a year in which my household, always travel-friendly, has already committed to three big trips, maybe four, and that doesn't count my book tour(s). A year in which I might log some more serious time as a de facto single parent if Mr. L's next project goes, but I hope it does.

Over the years, so many of my one-word resolutions have centered on self-improvement. But -- stunning thought -- what if I'm doing OK? What if I decide that I actually like the person I am, most of the time? What if I eat what I want, read what I want, go where I want -- always keeping in mind that "want" is a tricky word. Do I "want" to eat things that make me feel like absolute crap? Do I really want to go to certain parties or events? Do I want to read the book everyone is talking about? Obviously, the answer varies.

In 2016, corny as it sounds, my one-word resolution is Love.

Love my kid, love my spouse, love my family, love my friends.
Love my life.

Fine, I'll just say it: Love myself.

It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

Your turn.

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