Merry Samhain and Blessed Be! (Also… Happy New Year!)
I have a lot of new readers to my blog, so I’ll give a quick explanation. Samhain falls on October 31st and is considered a pagan holiday celebrating the end of the harvest and the end of the year. I am not pagan, but I have always felt an extremely strong pull — outside of Halloween decorations, costumes, and candy — to this time of year. Having traced genealogy in my family hundreds of years into the past, we know I come from Celts and Druids. Because of my history and my natural affinity to the season, I celebrate Samhain every year as an honor to my ancestors. I prepare a harvest meal, set a dumb supper, and welcome passing souls with food and a place to stay. Do souls really stop by my house? I don’t know. I won’t say I truly believe they do, but I also will never be the one to tell you it’s impossible either.
There will be no elaborate rituals or spells cast at my house, just a sense of ancestral respect. Because Samhain represented the end of the harvest and year, I also observe it as my New Year. This will be the time I make resolutions, reflect on and cast out the old, and open doors to the new. To me, December 31st is just the switching of calendars. We are already 2 months into the year by then.
So without further ado, a cliff notes reflection on last year’s resolutions and accomplishments:
0/5 new short stories written (though an existing one did get all final edits complete)
8/10 new poems written and edited (I have multiple more in various stages of completion)
15/15 writing contests/submissions completed
Have a detailed plan to finish the first draft of my NaNo 2010 novel this NaNo
NaNo 2011 novel is not complete
No more queries on “Farnuckle”, it is still in editing stages
Have not written any more picture book drafts, got focused on poetry instead
10/30 new novels read
Debt reduced at a rate I am happy with
Wedding scrapbook is not yet complete
Pack-rat habit is sluggishly going away, bit by bit
Happiness successfully embraced!
So maybe I didn’t accomplish everything. But I DID accomplish the most important thing, happiness, and I made progress with the rest. Sometimes the progress was what I planned it to be, other times it was learning I needed to take the goal in a different direction. Either way, I’ve grown a lot over these past 12 months. I am ready to let this year go, taking with me what I learned, and embrace the next year.
Goals for the New Year
1) Develop a social media plan that I can stick to. It’s time to decide what outlets I am going to use, how often I will be present, and what works best for me. Of course this means trying some new things along the way.
2) Complete 15 poems, final edits. I’ve learned a lot about poetry and me over the last year and I feel like this is a goal I can achieve. Poetry seems to be my niche. It may have taken a good portion of last year to figure that out, but I know it now.
3) Continue to slowly build my portfolio at Yahoo! Contributor Network.
4) Complete draft one of Book 1 of the tentatively-titled Forbidden series and decide whether it’s going to be 2 books or 3 when complete.
5) Submit to a minimum of 20 contests and open submissions throughout the year.
1) Finish my wedding scrapbook. Let’s try this one again…
2) Complete 2011 and 2012 year-long photo albums. I’m using the idea I’ve seen online to make a full year album through Blurb.com. I’m loving the software and it’s tons of fun to put it together, just time consuming. I’m not going to go further back than 2011, but I would like to get caught up.
3) Read 15 books. I think 30 was pushing it for me last year. Time constraints suck.
4) Continue to reduce debt, but also increase savings.
5) Have the house completely unpacked by our one-year move-in date in May 2013. (The only things allowed to still be in boxes at this time are books and other things that we do not have shelving for by then.)
6) Complete a reasonable number (based on finances) of repairs and upgrades on the house.
7) Continue embracing happiness!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
May the sun shine brightly on you during the day;
May the moon’s glow protect you at night.
May you cherish love through every moment;
May you always keep happiness in sight.