We put away the last of our Christmas decorations today, tree included. Out came Valentine’s Day. New seasons; new changes. Sparkly red hearts, red garland, and heart decals. You pack each Christmas item away carefully, holding the ornaments and tinsel, wondering how your life will be different when you go to unpack them in eleven months. Or at least I do. Time is a complicated, strange thing.
Writing wise, I finished a novella recently, titled The Cellar Door. This started as a short story and developed into a feminist horror tale, set in post-war England in the early 1950s. The main character, Alice, popped into my head one day. I saw her standing by a window, half hidden by a brown curtain, looking outside to a dreary, overcast England. She was in deep thought, with shadows flickering across her eyes. Fellow writer and blogger, Mike Nevin, helped me get the English dialogue and speech right for the English characters and provided other valuable (and patient) feedback, including historical photos and documents. Fingers, toes and elbows crossed that a publisher scoops it up and gives it a big hug. If you know of any good publishers or agents wanting horror novellas, let me know.
Exercise wise: I have biked 75 miles so far this month on my indoor bicycle. It’s a goal of mine this year to take better care of myself and this is one way I do it–clear the cobwebs of my mind and body through pedaling. I have an iFit membership which I’ve found marvelous for this introvert. I tend to put on closed captions to follow along with the trainer, and listen to instrumental music.
Music wise: I’ve been listening to a lot of My Chemical Romance (the Helena acoustic is beautiful and haunting) , Taylor Swift (Anti Hero has beautiful vulnerability), Green Day (love this instrumental of 21 Guns), 21 Pilots (Chlorine) and some other goodies (Lord Huron, Sharon Van Etten, whatever I come across). I downloaded a self-care app recently and one goal I picked was to listen to a song I like every day. Voila.
Spiritual wise: I’ve been doing my daily Bible reading and journaling, and catching-up when I miss days. I have a difficult time reading the OT–it’s an honest depiction of the fall of humanity and the cultural context and history sometimes passes high above my head. It’s both frustrating and saddening. Figures like Jacob, Rachel, and Abraham run past me, saying this and that, doing this, not doing that–and I struggle to piece it together in my 21st century mind. But with patience and effort, and God’s grace, I trust He’ll guide me through this. 2022 was a very difficult year for the Saint and I. I am clinging to Jesus’ robes to continue in strength and faith, and to make changes in 2023. He is with me; He is with us.
Hope you are all well and continue to pursue your own writing goals and journey. For any readers in Ukraine, I am thinking of you and continuing to fly your flag. Take care and God bless.