2013 Miscellany: A STRINGS Sale, Eating Britain, and Chomping at the Bit

With roughly twelve hours left in 2013, it's time to get down to the brass tacks of what's left. I really should be writing a grocery list for the shopping trip I should have made three hours ago, but sometimes you can't do anything else until you've cleared the gunk out of your head, and right now I really need to clean out the last bit of 2013 brain sludge clinging to my neural pathways.

First, I hope everyone has a great celebration to round out the year, no matter how shitty the preceding months might have been. To me, this is the denouement. Make it worthwhile. Some people like to suck all the fun out of this holiday by reminding us that the calendar is a man-made construct and that time is ever on the same continuum, regardless of what day we think it is, therefore such things as resolutions and goals and celebrations are an impertinent waste of time.

I say screw that. The world is what we make it, and as a writer of stories I'm a big fan of things that have endings and beginnings and narratives. Every year, to me, is a story and 2013 was an overwrought mess that overstayed its welcome, like a Peter Jackson movie. I look forward to seeing what the Year of the Horse brings us.

Maybe it'll be this kind of horse.

That would be awesome.

Anyway, in order to help folks ring in the 2014 with some newness, I've set up some great bargains in my Kindle bookstore with some freebies for New Year's Day. Grab both of my short story collections and my pulpy detective robot book Colt Coltrane free of charge. I even managed to twist my publisher's arm to drop the price on STRINGS for the day. And because I threatened his family and all he holds dear, he even set up a Kindle Countdown Deal, so the book will be on discount all damn week, starting at $.99 on 1/1 and gradually rising back to $3.99 on 1/5. Thanks Jairus!

My New Year's Eve will be spent gaming with my awesome friend and Creative Commoners co-host Chris Armstrong, who will soon be striking out for his new life in Seattle, where I am sure he will prosper and morph gradually into the espresso-guzzling, flannel wearing hipster I always knew he could be. The following day is one largely considered a day of sloth in our family, and we will be living it up with a small Sherlock marathon leading to the premier of the new episode. We will round it out by noshing on some British faves. Tea sandwiches and scones for early in the day. Then some fish and chips and a sticky toffee pudding in the evening. I like themes. One year we did a Harry Potter marathon and I made butter beer and pumpkin pasties. It was awesome. Maybe I also have a bit of a British obsession.

Finally, I just want to say this. If 2013 has taught me anything, it's that nothing good can come from battening down your hatches to prevent yourself from experiencing pain. I took no risks this year. I gave up. I was hit hard by grief and I didn't get back up the way I'd intended. In short, I was miserable because I forgot to think big. 2014 will be the year of saying FUCK THAT to the idea of sitting still. Momentum is the only thing that makes living on this spinning rock worth it. Even if you can't leave your town, you can still step out of your comfort zone by learning something new, tasting something different, and challenging your body to do something you never thought it could do. NEVER accept anything as finished or settled. Nothing is set. Everything is in flux. I was on the way to new discoveries in the early part of the year, and then I lost it somewhere in the middle. Time to get it back and not lose it ever again.

No matter what year it is, may we all do our best to get out there and be awesome, to not be ruled by fear and misery. You can't change the world from the outside in. You can only change yourself and let that make the difference. And if a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presents itself, you should damn well take it.

Now onto that grocery list.