Why Bother With New Year’s Resolutions…

Distracting The Princess from the sounds of fireworks on New Year's Eve

…if 64% of us will abandon them within one month of making them? Over the years I have repeatedly vowed to get fitter and lose weight and I’m still only seven pounds lighter than I’ve ever been. Admittedly, post menopause it’s fighting hormones (or lack of them) and the lowering of metabolism, but that doesn’t mean I should give up completely, does it?

My professional career was governed by goals, so much so I sweat and my pulse rises if I think I’m going to miss a deadline. There aren’t huge consequences if what I’m working on is delayed now, but I still feel agitated with anxiety. Not that I’ll give up.

I’ve made resolutions again this year in different areas of my life, including wanting to publish two books this year.

At New Year’s Eve we took stock of the last twelve months. This is probably the most useful part of the process, to reflect on what we’re grateful for and acknowledging the losses or disappointments.

For me the highlights were seeing my daughter graduate and having my debut novel, Warm Pearls and Paper Cranes, being given a Golden Crown Literary Society (Goldie) award. They were special particularly as my daughter struggles with her mental health and I was delighted she completed her degree despite that. For Warm Pearls I had no expectations that a dual timeline historical romance would be received as well as it was, as I was writing what I wanted to read and I’m so glad that others seemed to share that.

The Sapphic fiction books that left me thinking and therefore I enjoyed the most in 2022 were, in no particular order:

Don’t Tell Me Who To Love by Emma Nichols. I love the sensuousness of Emma’s writing and her descriptions of Granada were delicious. I could almost imagine myself looking out towards the Alhambra and feel the claustrophobia of family expectations.

Zamira Saliev by Valden Bush. Valden has a real talent for writing a gripping adventure story and expertly wove in a sweet romance between two unlikely characters.

Dead Letters from Paradise by Ann McMan. It would come under the title of mystery, but I love that Ann is a master at writing about dark subjects with humour and compassion.

Curious Wine by Katherine V Forrest. This was a reread this year, as two people I interviewed for my newsletter both said it was one of their favourite books. Despite being written in the early 80s, it still holds up and the characters are as fresh as ever and her writing is beautiful.

No Strings by Lucy Bexley. This is laugh out loud at times, and again I loved the comments about difficult subjects.

The Caphenon by Fletcher Delancey. This was a re-read and one of my comfort reads. Honestly wouldn’t it be fabulous to live in a place with a strong compassionate female leader who puts the good of the country before her own personal needs?

And my favourite audiobooks were:

A Whisper of Solace by Milena McKay. I resisted this for a while as I assumed it was all hype, and honestly did the world really need another Hollywood Ice Queen? I’m so glad I did as Milena shreds the typical tropes and grabs us by the throat with the emotional journey.

If I Don’t Ask by E.J.Noyes. Okay, I’m a sucker for Abby Craden voicing Rebecca Keane. Who cares if we know the story, it was interesting to get a different perspective and more back story, this was cat nip.

Sharing New Year’s Eve with friends, I loved exploring their hopes for the next year and relished the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation about their goals, desires and what makes them tick. It was also great to play with The Princess and try and distract her from the sounds of exploding fireworks.

Have a healthy and prosperous 2023 and thank you for reading and supporting my writing.

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