A letter to the new year

Dear 2017

No point in beating about the bush. Your predecessor’s performance left a good deal to be desired.┬áIn fairness, I need to acknowledge that I didn’t follow the fundamental rule of performance management. I didn’t make my expectations clear, so 2016 had no idea what would get it booted out the door with a sigh of relief.

So, 2017, let’s start our brand new relationship with a few basic suggestions from me.

First, while I know the body is not as young as it used to be, I’d like it to keep working for a while longer. If I agree to be careful how I prune trees and lift loads, can you agree that this year won’t include strained and inflamed muscles, tendons, and ligaments. And a new allergy? Really? What was 2016 thinking?

While we’re discussing health, I’d much prefer my personal romantic hero to stay healthy and active, too. You know what I’m talking about, 2017. I saw you have a chat with 2016 when you passed one another in the doorway.

PRH and I ended 2016 with our 45th wedding anniversary (on the 27th of December). It seems hardly possible that I will love him more at the end of this year than I do now, but I have 45 years of experience to tell me that’s the deal.

2016 gave me a new grandchild, and she is an absolute darling. I’ve no complaints there. Keep in mind, 2017, that I need to close this year with all thirteen grandchildren healthy and happy. Thank you for your consideration.

The other gift from 2016 was Clarity 2016, the conference I attended for my day job. I enjoy my day job, but I was worn to a frazzle by the time my Christmas holiday started. I’m making your performance in this area easier, 2017, because I’ve dropped one day of work a fortnight, beginning my transition to retirement.

No. Retirement is not the right word, is it? Because then there’s my fiction writing. In 2016, the output was sparse: several short stories and novellas and one novel, Revealed in Mist. This year, I want to publish A Raging Madness (which is nearly finished, so that’ll happen), and also two more novels. Ambitious, I know. And that’s not including Never Kiss a Toad, which at around 1500 words per week, should be completed by the time you end.

Dear 2017, help me keep to my minimum 1000 words per day, and I’ll meet the goal easily, and finish the year with Concealed in Shadow and The Realm of Silence published. Plus more short stories and novellas. I’m planning to put a short story in every newsletter from now on, so that’s six, and I’ll undoubtedly give away some more made-to-order stories.

Okay, 2017, I think that’s it.

Good luck. I’ll do my bit. I hope you’ll do yours.

Kindest regards

 

Jude Knight

 

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