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farewelltoscandalI was googling around to see if people during the Regency might have made New Year’s resolutions and found confirmation in a delightful post from The Snug Blog. The author found a 1792 etching “A Long String of Resolutions for a New Year – Design’d by G.M. Woodward” including satirical sketches of people making various resolutions including the one shown here.

I imagine they probably had a similar success rate to what people have now. Googling further, I found statistics saying that about 8-12% of those making New Year’s resolutions end up succeeding. Maybe it’s not so bad–at least those 8-12% made it, and for the rest, there’s always next year.

The problem is that starting a new calendar doesn’t mean I’ve left the baggage of the previous year behind. All the things that hindered me in the past may still be there. Any resolution that doesn’t take those things into account isn’t going to go far.

Also, if I feel the need for a change, I don’t want to wait until the New Year to start it. And if I backslide, I’m also not going to wait until the next year to start over. It’s only through setbacks and recoveries, by stringing together small successes day by day, that my larger goals have ever been met.

So I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions as such, although I do think it’s good to take time to reflect on how life is going and whether I’m living as authentic a life as I can.

The small steps I’ve been taking recently toward creative recovery include going to a coffee shop a few times a week to work on a new novella. I’m nearly done with the first draft and more importantly, I’m enjoying it.

Baby steps.

How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions? Have you made any? What helps you succeed?


Snow 01/02/2014Happy New Year! I hope everyone is safe and warm despite the recent storms. It is so pretty in my backyard and I’m glad I haven’t had to drive anywhere.

I’m not much into New Year’s Resolutions. I get the appeal of the idea of starting fresh. The problem is that a year is an awfully long time to strive to be good. Frankly, I can rarely make it through a day without messing up in some way or other. I think it’s better to try to start fresh at any time. Even, say, halfway through a bag of potato chips I hadn’t intended to eat. Though admittedly hard to do!

So while I think it’s a good idea to take stock now and then, I prefer plans to resolutions. I want to change something, I make a plan and I try to make it fairly specific. Once things make it onto my To Do List, there’s a good chance they’ll get done eventually. At the very least they aren’t forgotten.

This year, one thing I want to do is see if I can learn to write faster. My writing time is still constrained by being a stroke caregiver and mother of teenagers (one of whom is headed for college SOON!) but maybe I can make that time more productive. I’ve heard some prolific writers imply that slow writers like me just need to work harder. In my case, I think it’s more about working smarter. I write quickly once I get my ideas together, but it takes me a while to connect (or reconnect) with the story and the characters. Part of that is having to write sporadically–which I can’t help–but I also think part of it is being so driven that I don’t refill the well often enough. After each spurt of creativity, I struggle for a while.

I did The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron a while ago. I’m still good about doing the Morning Pages (daily journaling) but like many, I’m not so good at the Artist’s Dates (weekly activities intended to be fun for the muse). For me, this would be things like taking time to play the piano, do crafty stuff, get out into nature, watch more movies and read for pleasure.

So this year my plan is to put an Artist’s Date on my To Do List each week. It may seem counter-intuitive to getting more writing done, but I’m going to try it and see what happens.

LDMAudioSmallHow about you? Any resolutions or plans for the New Year? I’ll be giving away 5 free download codes from Audible for Lady Dearing’s Masquerade. Comment on this post between now and next Thursday, Jan 9th. I’ll announce the winners on Friday, Jan 10th.


As usual I’m about a week late with everything but I’ve been thinking a bit about new year’s resolutions. If I make them, which I don’t, it’s something like:

  • Write more regularly
  • Maintain a life outside writing
  • Eat less/better, exercise and all that good stuff
  • Write real letters to people

All of which are pretty basic and ongoing. So what do I anticipate happening in 2012? First, I have Dedication coming out from Loose-Id, a rewritten version because everyone complained about the breakneck ending and with more sex, although the original had quite a lot. It was originally published as a trad Regency by Signet in 2005 and astonishingly had two bondage scenes and some fairly grown up sort of sex–well, what did they have to lose?–the line was ending.

I’m currently working on revisions of Hidden Paradise, an erotic romance about an Austen scholar who participates in a very glamorous, sexy and cleaned-up Regency living experience, with a cover that proudly proclaims purple passion. After pondering all the fascinating options available to Regency women at a country house party (croquet! embroidery! viewing the family portraits!) I figured out that the only really interesting activity was sex, so that’s what the book is about. That will release in November.

I also have some self-pubbed projects in mind although you can pretty much count on the bottom falling out of the self-pub industry as soon as I come on board. More about those later…

I was thinking that traditionally the old year/new year is represented by extremes of youth and age, so here’s a picture that does just that. My father, who is heading for 101, my brother, and a very new baby that belongs to a neighbor’s daughter. My father didn’t eat the baby although he looks as though he’s going to. I love this pic because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photograph before (and certainly not in my family although we’re not big photo takers) which includes two people a century apart in age.

So happy new year everyone. If you’re planning new year’s resolutions, good luck with them.

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