Sunday, January 1, 2023

Onward

Onward.

The final word of Gospel, my literary-suspense manuscript due out this year, about lost love, a Faustian pact, and coming to terms with those things which most truly author our lives. A hopeful note, against a chorus of considerable darkness and despair. At once a beginning, and an end.

Like so many things, for so many people, in so many ways. Every year. Any year. And once more now, another upon us.

I'm not here to lecture. Highs and lows this last year, like everyone. Dad passed in June, though, and that was a loss. Of the sort that no turn of the calendar can magically allay. And that's ok, really. We must go on, if not move on. Some things endure, and rightly so. 

In All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy writes, Between the wish and the thing, the world lies waiting. 'Tis the season for resolutions, but whatever your aspirations, I hope for each of you the wish becomes the thing and that 2023 is a blessed year.

Speaking of McCarthy, he finally published again, a long-awaited delight for me. The Passenger, and a coda to that work, Stella Maris. Well into the former, and it's brilliant, per usual. The greatest nod I may give an author is when they inspire me not only to keep reading, but to write, and write well, and no one does so for me quite like Cormac. So, resolutions? Fine. Write every day. Something. Read too. And I implore all scribes do likewise. The opposite road is paved with beguiling excuses. Let's take the road less traveled. Erik Larson once reminded me that what most distinguishes a professional from an amateur is completion. I'll raise a glass to that.

I reckon if I must conjure up another resolution it would be to be more "other" focused. Can be counter-intuitive for a writer, as we must be our own best promoters, but in the end, we are of course more than our vocations or hobbies or our trades. In the end we must decide what shall author our lives. While he was on one hand a larger-than-life personality, Dad made a life out of focusing on others. Giving, teaching, inspiring. In his memory, I'll give it my best.

They key, of course, is enduring change. Making things a habit, not just a resolution that fades into the rearview mirror with each passing day. In the last year--and throughout our lives--we've all had some good luck and surely some bad. Perhaps even catastrophic. And while I shall never minimize those hardships confronted by so many, I do endeavor to maintain perspective, and another McCarthy quote sometimes helps me along the way. You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from. No Country for Old Men.

And shoot, I'm traversing that old men country myself, truth be told. Get AARP stuff in the mail, at any rate. Beats the alternative, pray tell.

Alas, I've prattled on, as is my wont. Hopefully can channel some of it into some good literary production. Wishing a very happy, healthy, and productive new year to all, whatever that looks like for each of you. If you're anything like me, you'll fall short many times, maybe even fall off the horse entirely. No worries, get back in the saddle. Each day we can do so is a blessing and reprieve beyond measure. One day at a time. 

Onward.





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