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On the last night of 2015, I chose to stay home with my Rottweilers.

rotties on new year

Though I live in a neighbourhood where everyone has pets and every second person has farm animals – goats, chickens, geese, donkeys, horses and even ostriches – a few idiots always greet the New Year by trying to blow themselves up.

fireworks

Emmett always tries to catch the fireworks blinking in the sky; Callum struts around with his fur on end and his tail curled like a scorpion’s. And Antonio…. Antonio becomes the loudest, talkative Rottweiler in all the world. Until the damn fools go from igniting pretty sparkly fireworks to really trying to blow themselves up with bomb crackers. Callum turns into a dog that only knows how to claw and bite – and cling to mummy; Antonio becomes a shivering mess, perching on my shoulder. And Emmett calmly sits shivering against me. It’s senseless.

This year was slightly better – it didn’t last for hours on end like usually. The biggest culprits weren’t at home – they were probably harassing other people and animals at a party at someone else’s home. Still, it took a while for my boys to calm down. (We watched how Vegeta freaked out when Beerus the Destroyer slapped his wife. He awesomely defended her honour and fought a guy he couldn’t possibly defeat. *Sigh*)

While still riding the rush of adrenaline, I then typed up everything I’d written before 11pm. Late afternoon I’d stumbled across a brilliant idea in my muddled mind and immediately started writing. My right hand cramped furiously after doing this marathon at a sprint pace. After getting it all down on paper, I started plotting. [Cue villainous laugher.]

I now have the first draft of the next instalment in the adventures of Greta, Eddie and Callum the Faery Dog. [Rewriting will have to wait until the swelling in my right hand goes down – I sprained a couple of fingers while bathing my wild fur-children. At least no fingers are broken…]

Who knew that an entire Young Reader Novel was percolating in my mind while I was still working on getting over my obsession with the novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo? Huh, it seems part of my mind is capable of figuring out things while the rest of me is preoccupied with something else.

Now for my New Year’s Resolutions:

*Be more versatile and flexible in my writing e.g. try to write an actual romance novel just for the hell of it. (Writing more short stories in 2015 in various genres had proved useful in developing my craft.)

[Update: I wrote Just Deserts as a chicklit short story of approximately 5000 words. It was quite popular and was #592 in the chicklit category on Wattpad for two weeks.]

*Make notes of everything remotely interesting (because you never know when seeing hadedas in flight can come in handy in a story).

*Actually read the books on my reading list instead of just looking at them warily. (None of them are the books from The Mummy, so there’s no harm in reading them.)

*Do not kill fool neighbours (even if all domesticated animals will crown me their queen for doing so….) [Maybe watching a lot of violent TV shows has made me desensitised to violence in my own life? An AHA moment…]

*Continue to pursue a career in publishing by finding an agent who loves my writing (or who actually likes it enough to want to get it published too).

*Find out more about the world of self-publishing (not just the horror stories I keep reading on several blogs) and figure out if some of my work wouldn’t find a home there. [After all, the landscape of the publishing industry has shifted a lot. With a lot of readers finding their books online and reading it in digital formats, being published doesn’t have to mean paper books in brick and mortar stores.]

[Update: here’s a link to benefits of self-publishing by Writer’s Edit.]

 

“People are where they are because that is exactly where they really want to be whether they will admit that or not.” – Earl Nightingale

And again:

 

For further reading on things to do in 2016:

Anne R Allen’s blog where Ruth Harris writes about living dangerously.

The Writers in the Storm blog for words to live by.

 

So, fellow scriveners: what are your goals for 2016? How did your last night of 2015 go? Any word-sprints-turned-marathons that turned out to be the first draft of a novel? Perhaps advice about the self-publishing road?

Have a happy, prolific writing year in 2016.

 

*Vegeta and Beerus the Destroyer are characters from Dragonball Z.

*The Mummy is a movie starring Rachel Weisz, Brendan Fraser and Arnold Vosloo.

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