Saturday, January 7, 2017
Auld Lang Syne
Well that was some shit, wasn't it?
Hey, y'all. It's been a hot minute since I've been here.
In the days after the election, I thought that I'd processed what happened and worked through my feelings. But that wasn't the case. Each time I thought I was over it, some new unexamined aspect would present itself to me, and I would freak out all over again.
I can't safely say that I'm better. I'm honestly sure I will be. I think I'm mourning the loss of a country that may not have ever existed, and I think it's probably naive that I ever thought it existed, but I did. I sure as hell have a different opinion about things now. November was...perspective shifting.
That said, I do love this country. It's a critical love, a love that recognizes that this country is not perfect, and while it has great ideals, it doesn't always live up to them. But those ideals, that potential that is baked into the very core of this country, is beautiful and worth fighting for.
Anyway, 2016 was a piece of shit that killed a lot of people that gave a lot of hope to a lot of people, saw a very negative shift, and laid the groundwork for some very bad things to come. It was a sweat-soaked pair of underwear that only became more rank and stained as the year went on, and New Year's Eve was our chance to burn it in a coffee can and get a fresh pair from the package--mind you, this new pair looks like it came from the factory slightly off-model and so it's already an uncomfortable fit, but we can try to make the best of what we have.
...that metaphor may have gotten away from me. The point is I'm under no illusions that 2017 will be easy, but at least emotionally we have a new starting point.
Can Santa save us?
December was better for me. I love winter, and I love Christmas, and I took the first opportunity to decorate my house, throw up the tree, and just generally try to indulge in as much merriment as possible. It was a smaller Christmas this year, but a nice one, and while it didn't follow the usual traditions due to some familial scheduling issues, we still got to see our family in December, and even got to spend Christmas Eve with our friends. December was a good month.
But what about your writing?
The one bad thing about December that carried over from November is that I didn't write a goddamned word the whole month long. Not on my book. Not for the blog. Nothing. I was emotionally exhausted, and every time I even thought about sitting down to write something for either, my brain would seize and start hurling ideas at me--HEY HAVE YOU WATCHED THIS CHRISTMAS MOVIE YET? WHY NOT MAKE LEMON BARS, YOU'VE NEVER MADE THOSE BEFORE! MAKE SURE TO MAKE YOUR ANNUAL BATCH OF GINGERBREAD MEN! WHY NOT CLEAN THE ENTIRE APARTMENT THREE TIMES OVER.
Unfortunately, this means I didn't hit my self-imposed deadline. Part of me feels guilty about this. It was a reasonable goal. It was so few words to hit. But I couldn't do it. Another part of me is understanding. Multiple holidays and the seasonal spike in busyness would've already been quite a challenge, but the election and the aftermath left me in a rough place emotionally, so I'mma go ahead and label that one "Yeah, okay, that was rough. No shame, friend."
I stalled out at 74,851 words, which is still incredible, especially since I didn't write for almost the entirety of November, which means most of those words were written at the tail end of September and throughout October. I'm very proud of that achievement, but that's not a finished book. So that's the goal for the start of the year--get this book done. It'll need to sit and rest, but I can start working on something else. But first things first: get that shit done.
What about your comics project?
I do have an update that I've got mostly done. I didn't add much to the actual time line--the comics I did get for the holidays were indie titles, Elseworld stuff, and Marvel. Which is totally fine. Some good shit in all that that I'll need to talk about. This update is basically what would've gone up in November recapping October, but which was pushed back because of various types of shenanigans that I've already gone into enough.
There's still value, perhaps now more than ever, in stories about individuals standing up against insurmountable odds to defend those in need. There's also still value in silly picture books about aliens punching aliens.
I'm still working through those. First and most obvious is finish my book. I'd like to read more. It's funny, 2015 was a great year readingwise for me, partially thanks to Audible. And I've still been listening to Audible audiobooks, but most of my reading and listening was dedicated to articles on news sites and listening to various amazing podcasts. Also, if the list didn't give it away, a metric fuckton of comic books.
There are some personal things I'd like to do--watch what I eat and how much; walk a little every day; drink more water; be more mindful of my spending habits. But I feel like, if I had to choose a phrase to describe 2017 and my plans for it, it can be described by my new tattoo: "Rise Up." It's a lyrics from Hamilton, but it also exemplifies everything I feel. We're knocked down. We suffered some good hits. But now is the time when we rise up, push ourselves back up from the mat, and do the work of making the world better.
I'd like to be more active in things. That starts by attending the local Women's March on January 21st, and then attending my local Democrat chapter to try to get things changed.
There's no concrete achievable goals set yet. But the idea is: don't be afraid, don't be silent, make good art, work for positive change--at home, locally, and nationwide.
Goodbye, 2016. Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.
Auld Lang Syne
J. M. Dow
2016|2017|fuck 2016|new year|thoughts|