Friday, December 28, 2012

Failures of 2012

Many if not most periodicals do some kind of year-end review of the most significant events, or of people who passed away in the course of the year. It's much like a family's Christmas letter which summarizes what everyone has been doing since the last letter. Some folks dislike these letters because they see them as brag letters, but I find them helpful as a method for staying in touch with what is going on in others' lives. For some strange reason I woke up thinking it might be more interesting this morning to write about my 2012 failures instead of a blog about my achievements.

Throughout the year I kept a log of my daily blog posts from Jan 1 through today. This log/list began informally with the following entries...

Jan 1 best of 2011 interviews part 2
Jan 2 11/22/63 part 1
Jan 3 Fellini Quote as lead in to Dali Museum story

Preceding this list of dates and entries I had a short "to do" list of projects and goals for the year. It's a surprising list because when I reviewed it a couple days ago, I realized that I had accomplished not a single one of these projects or goals.

I received an email from another writer who said her goal for 2013 was to "Fail more, care less." For me, 2012 was my year of failures in some regards, and I don't mind so much because of all the great moments in between the stints of pushing my boulder up the hill only to watch it roll down again. (cf. the myth of Sisyphus)

2012 has been all the more interesting because it followed a 2011 in which I achieved something that surprised even me, I found a young partner to form a publishing company by means of which I published a novel and three books of fiction. (Feel free to follow N&L Publishing on Facebook.)

My expectation was for a continuation of that trend, so I was surprised to end the year with a list in which I accomplished not a lick. To be honest, this list was not written in its entirety on Jan 1. It was expanded during the first months of the year as I slid forward through time.

1. Promote books
2. Book on How to Teach Writing
3. Find agent for The Red Scorpion as film
4. Ralph Kand story as book
5. Paint Kennedy/Oswald Series
     Six pictures on illustraton board
6. Create a Dylan exhibit for Dylan Days
7. September Red Mug Show
8. Book of Interviews
9. Book on arts with Ann K
10. Write a Steampunk Short Story. Begin with Whisk Biscuit.
11. Intergalactica book

Fail.... Fail... Fail... 

Number five on the list was influenced by visiting Dallas in 2011 and then reading Stephen King's book over New Years. The Red Mug show was offered at one point in late 2011 but good heavens, I was tired just thinking about it. I still think my novel The Red Scorpion would make a great film, with a strong potential for a sequel, but someone else will have to champion that. These things aren't easy to do when you also have a full-time career that pays all your bills and puts food on the table. Short stories are easier to finish, and for now I have two really very interesting ones going that are getting me jazzed.

There were other failures as well, more personal and laden with lessons.

And so, on the threshold of 2013 I look ahead uncertain as to what will unfold, but knowing that it will be an interesting year. I'm guessing that some of the writing projects will move forward as some of the art goals fall by the wayside. For now, my painting will remain something therapeutic on an as need basis. Or at least, that's how it appears from today's vantage point.

I'd like to sing more, too. But you can't do everything. Or so they say.

Here's a poem that I published at several years ago that perhaps touches on this theme tangentially. It's called Falliing Too Far.

Falling Too Far

Like Icarus
I have flown too high
to heights that I
cannot sustain
propelled by love
to touch the sun
and burn my wings

Have a great weekend. Reflect on your year, and embrace the possibilities of Tomorrow. 

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