Monday, January 4, 2010

Re-New Year

So, as usually happens around this time of year, I've been saddled: Resolutions for the new year. And let met tell you, I have never been so happy to be done with one year and launched into the new.

Some of these goals are the standard fare, and all of them have been about restoring something lost in 2009. Give more to charity. Pay off all my debts. Lose 10 pounds before summer. Be inside to the gym at least once this year, just to say that I did so. Accessorize with jewelry and/or make-up at least once a week. Y'know, the usual stuff.

And some resolutions were "suggested" - resolutions that started off with, "Oh hey, y'know what you could do...?", or with, "We should..." or, "If you do X, then I will do Y."

And all the resolutions seemed to come together on Saturday, January 2nd.

Resolution #1: Relax. Result: I slept for 12 hours! I haven't done that since the flu! Best of all, it was one of the first nights in weeks when I didn't have snort-awake dreams! (Ask my mother: I sleep like on my stomach, mummy-like, unmoving and silent, and then, without warning, I'll snort awake and arch my back, look around, grunt some unintelligible comment, then roll over and snore myself back to sleep again.) I was relaxed and full of energy.

Resolution #2: Redecorate. Result: expenditures! Bargains! Door crashers! Mady and I had planned on going out shopping for sweaters and we bought everything but sweaters. Not only did we sniff every candle in one plaza, but I bought a Victorian-age bicycle-shaped clock for half-price, and $100-worth of vintage advertisement posters for $42 - and best of all, I bought a 16-piece dish set for about the price of a large gingerbread latte.

We walked in to Benix, cooing and pointing and oohing and ah'ing at everything we didn't need and probably shouldn't buy. High-energy Mady kept me in-line, reminding me what I didn't need and what would look like crap (hence, why I didn't buy the dishware that looked like blue Pyrex camping gear). For three hours, we were girls, squeeling about this, Ooh-ooh-oohing about that. That afternoon, I was shopping. We were having a ball. Then we spotted the dish set. It was $18.99, down from $50 or higher. It suited the all-new colour scheme (yet to be painted), it was inexpensive, and, because there's only four of everything, it would strongly encourage me to wash them more often. So, five minutes before closing, I set the dishes down on the counter to be rung up. "That'll be $5.64, please," said the lady behind the counter, deadpan. I must have looked like I'd been whacked with a pillow. (In my head, an Ikea commercial was playing: "Start the car! Start the car!") My honest-to-a-fault, big fat mouth opened and asked, "I'm sorry?" The lady at the counter pointed at the stack of boxes, from which I'd drawn my prize. "Door crasher special. That really is the price." If I had a tail, it would have been wagging my whole body. Mady grinned and disappeared, saying, "Well, in that case!" and she bought a set too! It wasn't about the purchases at all: it was about getting outside with exuberant friends, absorbing their good-humour and energy, and doing something that involved neither work nor writing. It was about giving life a bright, fresh coat of paint.

Resolution #3: Restore fun. Result: The movies! Leading up to the trailers, I kept saying, "I'm going to watch a movie! In a theatre!" I couldn't believe how excited I was, just because I could watch a movie! I had to stop and really think about it: when was the last time I watched a movie in theatre? Then it occurred to me: it was Wall-E, in the summer of 2008! A year and a half! And the other question that occurred to me: when was the last time I had fun for the sake of having fun?

Resolution #4: Remember the excitement of a good story. Result: James Cameron's Avatar, in 3D. For two hours and forty-five minutes, I gaped, grinning, open-mouthed at the screen as floating glow-bugs drifted just out of hand's reach. Sure, we were brow-beaten by a time-worn plot of Grey Owl and Dances with Wolves, and of the noble savage against money-grubbing capitalist gunslingers - but who cares? The imagined world was believable, the technology (brought to you by Apple, makers of the 2009 Starship Enterprise) was very credible, and the attention to detail was impeccable - an astonishing eye for detail. Best of all, the action made the heart race, and the 3D made the audience dive left and right out of the way of arrows and rockets. I was a kid in a candy store, and I blinked twice during the whole movie (both times during kissy-scenes). When I came out of the theatre, my face was sore from smiling and cheering and gawking, and my eyes were watering, they'd been open for so long. Sure, it's an old plot, but any movie that makes the audience walk out saying "YAY!" is a good movie - and a good story. And that's the kind of story I want to write. I walked out of the theatre inspired.

Resolution #5: Write. Result: you're reading it, for a start. But I have big plans for the year (along with painting the apartment, accessorizing and going out on one date): finish Helix (the "four-book trilogy" - Wyrd Dreams was a "last minute" addition to the set of three), work on the radio plays, edit more Mummer stories - and best of all, get right back to my roots and working on the fantasy series Allua. Now that my imagination is reset to 3D, Allua is going to be awesome.

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