Today, in 49 BC, Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon. The act directly defied orders from the Roman Senate and started a civil war. It ended with Ceasar’s appointment as Roman dictator. Some say he declared “Alea iacta est” (the die is cast) as the 13th legion crossed the river. I don’t aspire to become a dictator, but today is an auspicious day to plant my flag and defy my naysayers. It’s not as historic as Caesar’s, not by a long shot. But I imagine committing to writing one million words this year could be a game-changer.
I am considering instituting a Double Down Day. It would be a day when I attempt to 2X my word count, but I’m unsure how to structure it. Should I schedule it for once a week, or is once a month sufficient? What number am I attempting to double? Will it be my best day ever, the week’s pinnacle, or my monthly best? In the future, do I exclude previous Double Down Days or use them to set a target? Why do simple ideas always generate so many questions?
Three hundred and eighty years ago today, in 1642, the Astronomer Galileo Galilei died in Arcetri, Italy. The Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinando II, wanted to bury him in a marble mausoleum in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence. But because of his heresy against the Catholic Church, the Pope objected to the plans. Instead, they relegated him to a room next to the novices’ chapel. Later, in 1737, they reburied him in the main body of the basilica. The details of his life are fascinating. His story feels like the stories of great mages in fantasy novels. I need to take a few notes.
Wow! Can you believe it? We are seven days into the new year, and already I feel like I am falling behind in my splendid plan to blow the doors off 2022. It’s a good thing there is more snow in the forecast for the weekend. I’m thinking about a roaring fire in the fireplace, candlelight, a hot toddy, and the dreaded blue light of my screen. Doesn’t that sound romantic? I’m all about doing whatever it takes to get my story written.
Today is Epiphany. At my house, it marks the official end of the holiday season. It also means I have work to do. Today the decorations come down and get stored away until next year. A part of me hates to see them go, but I am also looking forward to things returning to a more “normal” appearance. With a clutter-free workspace, I find I have an easier time concentrating on my writing.
The weather outside is freezing. Actually, it is below freezing and our projected high for the day is 14F (-10C). The wind is brutal, with gusts to 45 MPH that sends the real-feel temperature to -6F. I don’t mind in the least because it gives me the perfect excuse to stay inside with a hot cup of tea, a cozy blanket draped over my lap, and write.
The best thing about cooking waaaay too much food for holiday gatherings is — Leftovers. If you are strategic, you can score a second gift by remembering to pack clean takeout containers along with your hostess gift. Your hostess will be forever grateful she doesn’t have to deal with the excess food, and she may offer to help you dish up tasty tidbits.
Don’t be greedy and stuff your containers with monster size “What-diet?” platefuls. Keep your containers within everyday serving sizes portions. Be gracious, then run home and freeze them.
This week, my problem is not, “What should I cook?” My quandary instead is, “what’s in this container?” After a quick spin in the microwave, it is like opening another Christmas package without the hassle. The big payoff is, not needing to cook means more time to write.
Although next year I am hitting Santa up for Dymo Label Maker.
I love the idea of new beginnings, starting at square one and a fresh start with a clean slate. Am I naïve when I imagine embarking on an exciting journey with goals is as simple and as easy as closing a door and walking through another? But reality never seems to work quite so neatly for me. Last year doesn’t want to leave me alone. The past is a tenacious mongrel who clamped his jaws on my pant leg, and he refuses to let go.
The celebration party has ended, but there is still work to do. I’m in charge of tying up loose ends, settling all the accounts, finalizing, liquidating, and closing up the shop. I’m the last person left, the one in charge of remembering to turn out the lights and lock the door. Overseeing procedures, training, and logistics is also my job. I’m in charge of ensuring the crew knows their objectives and has the tools they need to start strong. I’ve been running since October, living with one foot in the past and my head in the future. It’s a delicate balancing act.
I’m looking forward to the day when I can shake the last vestiges of last year from my life. He will get tired eventually. He always does, and then I can start this year.
We are all painfully aware of each Monday’s particular challenges, but the drama increases tenfold on the first day back after the holidays. How quickly we forget the demands of the daily grind and the predictability of well-worn routines. Who thought waking up before the sun rises was a good idea? I did this every day? And why does it take forever before lunchtime arrives? Oh well, I guess it’s time to countdown the days until our next holiday.
Today is Day Two of the New Year, and we are off to a promising start. With very little planning and even less direction, I logged 627 words yesterday. My goal for today is nothing major. The target is a modest 1% increase from yesterday or 633 words. It seems doable.
Are you starting your year on a positive note? Are you writing today?