New Year, Old Resolutions

They’ve been on my list for the last ten years at least – not resolutions so much, they’re more of a wish list:

  • Two kids
  • Two books
  • Two dogs

Well, the dogs mysteriously turned into cats along the way, but that apart, the last entrant on that list came into my life in 2014, when my second book, Adopted Miracles, was published.

There’ve also been, for a very very long time, another two items on that wish list:

  • Improve at tennis
  • Lose weight

The score on that front is not so great. But you can’t have everything, after all, and it is and always has been a question of priorities. And while I might not make it to Wimbledon in this lifetime, my tennis is not so bad (Davis Cup level at any rate).

So, what’s on my list for 2017?

Well, cats don’t make too many demands on their parents, apart from regular feeding, but when it comes to kids it’s another matter. You’re never quite “done” with them, are you? You can never really strike that one off the list as achieved.

But, while that part of life goes on for the next few decades, there’s another area where I can shoot at a moving goal-post: my books. The third one’s ready to hit the stands any day now. And what a journey it’s been.

The idea for Survivors rattled around in my head for a couple of years before I finally started to write it. And although I wrote it in a single stretch of about three months, as I did with my other manuscripts, in a way the germination of the idea and even some of the research for the book took place over a period of months before I started writing. I was done writing it in early 2012 and it’s the only one of my three works that have been published so far, that found a publisher within a matter of weeks. That, for a change, was the easy part.

After that, it’s been a long, tedious wait to see my book finally come to life.

And now it has! At last! It’s good to start the year with a new book hitting the stands, so no complaints on that front.

Meanwhile, however, I’ve been busy… and consequently there are another four unpublished works in the queue. No, I haven’t found a publisher yet. Oddly enough, having had something published doesn’t seem to make the search for a publisher any easier. According to my erstwhile agent, it might even work against you, if your existing books died in obscurity.

So here’s my wishlist for the coming year.

  • Edit three of my existing manuscripts
  • Find a publisher for at least one
  • And of course, lose weight and improve at tennis.

That’s a tall order. By the time I finish office work and housework for the day, I barely have enough energy left to drag myself upstairs and collapse in bed. Making time to edit my manuscripts and snag a publisher is a difficult-to-impossible task. And when I do manage to spend the time I need to on those tasks, I’m too tired to drag myself out of bed at 5.15 a.m and reach the tennis court by six. So definitely, all three of those objectives aren’t achievable in one year. And if I have to pick, I know where my priorities are (and always have been).

But, well… lots to look back on and lots to look ahead to. Whoever said “the years to come seem waste of breath; a waste of breath the years behind” (or words to that effect) should have tried writing books. (Come to think of it, maybe he did.)

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