First of the Year

Once again it’s January, and outside of my window soft snow is drifting though the sunbeams of a clearing sky. Breaths of blue are appearing just as the sun is making its way downwards for the day. Without a doubt, it is beautiful. I know that it has not been a welcome bit of weather for everyone, but I am thankful to see it on a day when I don’t have to venture outside except for a few chances to leave some footprints in the fluffy powder.

Looking back, I realized that quite a bit of time has passed since my last post—and even as I’m thinking back to that time, it seems like a lifetime ago. For the first time, I am not returning this semester for school. I have no textbooks to buy, no schedules to arrange, no lesson plans to craft. And, at least for a few more weeks yet, I have no deadlines. I have to admit, after the bustle of the holidays faded away, I found myself wondering a bizarrely new question, What do people do when they’re not in school? Then I thought of a better question: What do I do when I’m not in school? I have been thoroughly enjoying answering that question the last couple of days, and I will continue following that line of inquiry with as much enthusiasm as cheery campfire (I would have said a firecracker, but those tend to be loud and disappointingly short-lived).

As a person whose free time is constantly eaten by hobbies, I don’t have much time to sit on my hands or have to worry about finding myself watching paint dry. It’ll be some time before my to-do list, fun and not-so-fun, is entirely crossed off. But in the spirit of the new year, I thought I’d share a few of my resolutions, some of these items on my list.

First and foremost, I am diving head-first into the publication process. With the extra time that I have that is no longer devoted to studying Irish poetry, Romantic writers, mythology, and other areas that required seminar papers and eye-watering amounts of reading, I will be preparing poetry, short stories, and essays to send out to magazines and other venues in hopes that they might find a home where they could be read and enjoyed by others. And I am totally stoked for all of that, especially sending out query letters in hopes of attracting a literary agent for my recently finished novel!

In the meantime, I’ve started writing the sequel for that work, and I hope to lose inordinate amounts of time writing new poems and stories in the near future. Part of those efforts will include updating this blog weekly. As an academic student, I learned that dedicating daily time to writing is the best way to avoid writers’ block and that awkward period of getting back into a project after you’ve left it alone for a while and it doesn’t quite recognize you. So I’m continuing with that practice outside of studies, too, and looking forward to it.

There are many projects (I warned you I had a lot of hobbies) that I’m also getting back into after a long hiatus, including scrapbooking some of my travels, sewing some clothes, drawing and painting a few illustrations, and beginning to draw a comic series in the Japanese manga style that I’m collaborating on. Outside of these, there are many other things that have made it onto the list, but as far resolutions go, they are nearly identical to ones I make every year: I’ve resolved to pursue art, to pursue time of the highest quality with family and friends, to pursue ways to help others, and to pursue learning wherever I can find it.

I hope that your new year is off to a great start, but even if it’s not, remember that we don’t have wait until January first to start over and begin afresh. Just look how a day can be remade with a gentle snowfall.

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