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Obligatory New Year’s Post

It’s a “blustery day” here in the high desert: the wind is moaning around the corners of the house, and the sky outside my window is striped with steel gray and pale blue. Down the hill, I bet it’s raining.

In the house, I finally gave in and turned on the heater. We’ve been trying our best to go the “more clothes, cheaper bills” route, but damn it, I can barely type, my fingers are so cold.

It’s January 1st.

I don’t pay much heed to holidays. I don’t belong to any of the religions that dictate when banks and schools close, so Christmas, just past, meant little to me other than a light at the end of my retail-hell tunnel. That said, I find myself investing meaning in the turn of this year.

We make our own rituals, our own landmarks and signposts on the calendar, too. I’ve believed that for years.

So it’s the first of January. I feel it.

I haven’t made resolutions in some time, and I’m not going to start now. I have, however, set myself some goals for the coming year, in no particular order:

— Finish archiving all the music I’ve produced from 1984 through 2003.
— Record my “thanks” album, which will be cover songs of everyone from Mike Watt to ABC. This will be a limited edition of 100.
— Return to performing. My last gig was in April of 2003. By April of 2004, I’ll be doing sets of entirely new songs.
— Record a new album of originals.
— Follow Carolyn See’s advise and compose short notes to writers, musicians, and other creative people who’ve inspired me. These will be handwritten, and sent in folded paper gizmos called envelopes with a dying service known as the United States Postal Service. Ask you grandparents if you’re confused.
— Finish Brave Men Run, the novel I’ve been writing in one form or another since I was 17.
— Make my “Shaper’s World” setting available to writers, gamers, and other geeks. Mainly to put a lid on the endless world-building that’s gone into this.
— Begin writing my “Dominion Stone” books.
— Get ahead of schedule on the two columns I write.
— Fix my office so that I can actually work there instead of feeling stifled when I sit down at my desk! This involves building my own bookcases and probably moving to a different desk.
— Fix my bass. It’s got an annoying hum.
— Do assorted house tasks that I’ve already put off for a year and more. These include gardening, electrical, and painting chores.
— Keep up on haircuts and car washes. Kee-reist, I’m a grown man, already!
— Exercise three times a week. Running around like a madman peddling books, movies, and music for fifty hours a week doesn’t count.
— Continue building the residual income I’ve started acquiring through nutty schemes like FreeStoreClub, Google AdSense, AutoHits, and maybe more.

Essential to most of these is the regular, habitual use of a planner. I used to do this, long ago, and my productivity increased measurably. Time to go back to it. I prefer the Franklin Quest strategy, but their stuff is expensive, so I’m using an ordinary DayRunner. Makes me feel good to cross things off lists.

Part of the Franklin Quest time-management program is defining “governing values.” These are the things in your life that mean the most to you. Once you have them down, you plan everything you do accordingly. I’ll share them when I have them sussed out.

Happy new year.

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