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Resolve and Thou Art Free
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As I do here every year, I'll now look back on last year's resolutions (many are recurring resolutions):

  • Be nicer to my body. [As always this is the yo-yo resolution. But I've finally started going to the gym again, so it's a good sign.]

  • Keep in better touch with my family. [The wedding helped with this, and I felt like I kept in pretty good contact with my family this year. This resolution is always tricky, since most of my family lives about 3,000 miles away. But I feel closer to my brother, especially, than I ever have before.]

  • Write better stories. [Oh, hell yeah. I didn't write a lot of stories this year -- I spent most of my time flailing away at novel-type projects -- but I wrote "Cup and Table", which is one of my best, and one of the most challenging. I also wrote an odd story called "The Crawlspace of the World" that needs revision, and a bizarre short called "The Frozen One" that I love, but which may never sell anywhere. I can confirm that both were ambitious stories, though.]

  • Sell more stories. [Technically, I was supposed to drop this resolution for the year 2005, having decided selling lots of stories was not a meaningful measure of quality or success -- but, ahem, I sold nine or ten stories in 2005, not counting reprints or the originals in the collection I sold, so I think I did pretty well.]

  • Take my poetry more seriously. [Yes and no. I sold a poetry collection -- If There Were Wolves -- to Prime Books, so that's certainly a step in the right direction. But I didn't write a lot of new poems.]

  • Write joyfully. [Yes, again and again, yes.]

  • Become less haphazard in the management of my money. [This was hands-down the biggest success, resolution-wise. In January 2005 I started rigorously tracking my income and expenditures, and it's been an amazing change. It's not even an effort anymore -- such record-keeping is part of the everyday business of my life. I'm so pleased about this. It'll make doing taxes next year about a million times easier.]

  • Get married! [Done!]

  • Start running in the mornings. [Didn't work, for various reasons, not all having to do with my lack of willpower, though that was a factor. I've started going to the gym instead. This one really should've been a subset of "be nicer to my body."]

  • Sell another novel. [Nope, didn't do it. Kinda bummed about that. But I just didn't have Blood Engines really ready until near the end of the year. My agent hopes to send it out soon, though. I did sell a story collection and a poetry collection, though, so maybe those combined are equivalent to fulfilling this resolution? Maybe? No? Okay.]

  • Write the Bridge novel. [Nope again. But I think it'll be done by the end of January.]

And now, some resolutions for the year 2006, in addition to those above which require ongoing effort, with an emphasis on maximizing the happiness potential of an already-happy life:

  • Spend more time with my nephew.

  • Talk to my wife and figure out our life goals, and how to get started toward them. [We'd like a house of our own, and a child, and some other stuff, and we need to make plans. They'll probably be life-upheaving plans.]

  • Write a ludicrous amount of short fiction. [I have a lot of short story ideas piled up, and after the Bridge novel is done, I want to get through them. Unless I am contractually obligated otherwise, I want to spend most of 2006 working on short stories. I'm not going to tell you, in numerical terms, my goal for the number of stories I hope to write. Such hubris offends the gods and guarantees failure.]

  • Publish two issues of Flytrap. On time.

  • Publish two chapbooks. [Yeah, that's right! Tropism Press plans to branch out into publishing chapbooks by other people! I'm very excited about it. Details will follow.]

  • Get another of my other World of Warcraft characters to level 60.

  • Spend more time in coffee shops.

  • Eat better.

  • Watch more movies in the theater.

  • Be a good husband.

That'll do.

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