Okay, I’m finally ready to talk about 2016.
From the beginning of this year, I’ve had to bite my tongue about 2016. It started when David Bowie died on January 10th. (By the way, this post is not about dead celebrities.) Then Alan Rickman, God love him, died on January 14th. And the Internet resounded with “Always” memes, and “By Grabthar’s Hammer” quotes, and, most troublingly, “2016 is off to a terrible start.”
Because, holy crap, guys! DON’T JINX IT!
In fact, I so much didn’t want to jinx 2016 that I didn’t want to say “DON’T JINX IT” on the Interwebs.
I joke about being superstitious, but I don’t actually indulge in a lot of magical thinking. 2016 has been a weird year not because it’s 2016, but because some reality-show-level-crazy shit happened in this election cycle, and the campaign process spans almost a year. Cultural icons died at the beginning and the end of the year, giving 2016 a bookended, day the music died, kind of feeling. That feeling is a real thing, even if there’s not actual causality.
But all that said, we—our culture, society, the Internet, the Social Media echo chamber…whatever—decided back in January that this year already sucks. And though I don’t believe in jinxes (mostly), I strongly believe in the power that expectation has on perception. Our expectation of suckage made everything bad that happened this year feel even suckier than it was.
Not that I would compare my mourning for Carrie Fisher to my anxiety over the threat to civil liberties looming with the new administration, or the race-related police shootings, or a lot of other things (because 2016, man), but still, Princess Leia made me who I am today. Grief is grief, even if it’s on different scales. I know the difference between something sad and something tragic and troubling.
But none of that is why I’ve blistered my tongue refraining from commenting on the whole “This year sucks” thing.
See, at the end of 2015, I declared 2016 to be The Year I Get My Shit Together.
And, overall, I have.
December always plummets in productivity for me for personal reasons, so that on top of all the other stuff has left me down and feeling like…well, geez. 2016, man. What a wash.
Only, it wasn’t. Maybe I didn’t get my life perfectly in order (which is impossible because…life, man). Maybe I didn’t reach all my goals. But I made some major ones.
I still don’t have money in the bank, but I reduced my debt by more than half.
I started taking freelance editing clients. (Which is, obviously, related to the above.)
And I sort of have a book coming out next year.
WHAT’S THIS YOU SAY????
Yes. Because I’m a superstitious, anxiety-prone, never-talk-about-the-good-stuff maniac, I’ve been keeping that under my hat. I’m hard at work on the next Rosemary Clement-Moore book, but in the meantime, keep an eye on my friend Kara Connolly, whose debut novel drops on July 18th, 2017. Seriously. This book is so good, it’s like I wrote it myself.
Was that too subtle? I have an alter-ego, guys. I have to get my shit together because I’m going to be writing under two names.
Me in 2017
Why a pen name? It’s a long story.
See, I had my own personal 2016, which was 2013. You can go back and read the posts from that year if you really want, but you have to kind of read between the lines because I don’t like to talk about bad stuff. Because I’m a superstitious, anxiety-prone headcase.
But kind of, after 2013.
And that, dear readers, is the reason why I declared 2016 the Year I Get My Shit Together.
And nobody, not even the PEOTUS and his reality TV administration is going to ruin 2017 for me, God bless it.
Because I have a book I’m about to finish. (I swear it, by Grabthar’s hammer.)
And Kara Connolly has a book coming out.
And because I know that no year is all bad or all good. Even if 2017 brings new challenges—to me, my family, this country and those marginalized in it for any reason—it’s possible for things to completely fall apart, and by sheer stubbornness sometimes, slowly get our shit together again.