I used to refuse to make new year resolutions. Some part of me continues to balk at the prospect of writing down a list of things to do. I'm not good with lists, anyway. Once upon a time, when I was an overweight teenager, I used to make lists with the week days and the number of grams I had decided I was going to loose, each day. Of course, it never worked. To this day, when I write a shopping list, I leave the shop without even looking at it. That said, the process of writing the list has an undeniable advantage : it reminds me to check inside the fridge and the pantry to see what I need before I rush to the shop - I hate grocery shopping and usually try to get rid of the chore as fast as I possibly can. So, this year again, I will not write any list, BUT I will look inside my personal pantry and try and see what could use a little work, what may benefit from a little extra attention, what needs to be focused upon, etc. And I can also write random thoughts and wishes, as a reminder of things that I'd like to see happen or done, not necessarily within a 12 months time frame, but somehow down the line, when the time is right. Call me an underachiever, maybe. I can take it :)
I'd love to get into the MFA Vermont Program. That's a wish I've had for a while. I never completed my studies, having gone in a direction that was so totally NOT me - Law, for Pete's sake ! What was I thinking? Probably, I wasn't thinking, actually - but I've always had that longing to return to some sort of academic studies. Ever since I've heard of that course, I've felt it was just perfect for me. There are great teachers, it's low residency, which means it can be done even when one has children and doesn't even live in the US, and imagine : you get to write for children, and in the end, you get a diploma. Doesn't get any better than that, does it? If only the process to get into an American university wasn't so complicated - not to mention outrageously expensive - especially as a foreigner... Still, this is definitely on my list of things to be done, maybe not in 2008, but sometime, hopefully soon.
I need to work more on writing magazine pieces.
I need to get out of my house, more. I live like a hermit, almost. Sometimes, two weeks go by without my going anywhere, if anyone can believe that. And I need to exercise, to get some fresh air. My problem is that as soon as I get up, the urge to sit in front of the computer to check emails, read blogs, etc, becomes irresistible. With the difference of time, most emails from the US appear during the time that I sleep, and so, my inbox is usually at its fullest early in the morning. And once I'm sitting at the computer, there is always something to do - work on a translation, write, read emails, do research, etc - and before I know it, evening has come and another day is gone. Another problem I have is that the great park not too far from our house is only open until 8.30 am in the morning, and then again in the late afternoon. I could never understand that policy, but that's the way it is. And don't ask me to take a walk before 8.30 in the morning. I'm barely alive, at that time. And of course, late afternoon is the time for homework, bath, kids' dinner, etc. Still, I need to do something, because I know it would be good for my mind, not to mention my flabby body.
Last but not least, I'd like to worry a little less about anything and everything under the sun, and to enjoy myself a little more. I'm not very good at that. Carpe Diem, and all that jazz. This is probably the hardest for me. Relax, and smell the roses.
So, there : inner pantry all checked for now. The "this-is-not-a-list" is tucked somewhere in my mind. Let's see what this new year brings. 2007 was the year that my first book was accepted. 2008 will see said book out, and I'll be attending the SCBWI conference in LA, again, this coming summer. I have two picture book manuscripts doing the rounds. One project that may or may not become a novel or a short story - I need to make a decision. I'm so scared to even think that I want to write a novel. A couple of picture books on the works. And another project that may or may not become a chapter book. So, enough blabbering about what I'd like to do. Let's get down to work, now.