2018: Hope is like the sun

Happy New Year! For us Debs that means… our year is here! At last!

This is both exciting and, well, terrifying. My book comes out in 105 days, and that simultaneously feels like it will never get here and like there’s still so much to do in so little time. I’m a high-functioning bundle of nerves on a good day, so I can only imagine how tightly-wound I’m likely to be by April. I want everything to be perfect, but I’m a pragmatist as well. If anything, I sometimes worry that I’ve moderated my expectations too much and have thus managed to de-psych myself about this incredible thing that’s going to happen. I’m living on a very particular and strange sort of tight-wire.

So, I’ve thought a lot about how to prepare myself for this year. Here are my resolutions, writing and otherwise, for 2018:

  • Give From Unseen Fire the very best launch possible. The marketing wheels are about to get into gear, and I intend to throw myself as fully as possible. I can’t let myself get upset about things that won’t happen, but I don’t want to miss a single opportunity, either.
  • Finish drafting Aven Cycle Book 2 so that the process of turning it into a book gets started.
  • Finish drafting the space opera, tentatively titled Three Suns, so that my agent has something new to take out on sub sometime in the not too distant future.
  • Continue providing regular content for everyone supporting me on Patreon. This will get particularly exciting after From Unseen Fire’s release, when I can share supplementary content that just wouldn’t make sense until after folk have read the book.
  • Lose some weight. Cliched, I know, but for a variety of reasons, I had gained more weight than made me happy over the past couple of years. Before Christmas, I had gotten halfway to my goal. I’d like to get all the way there soon, so that I’m happier with and more comfortable in my body.
  • Figure out where the hell I want to live for, at least, the next few years. Part of this will depend on how my grad school applications go, but it may also be a lot about me feeling things out and trying to make better life choices than I did in 2017.
  • Find more and better outlets unrelated to writing, reading, publishing, anything in that entire world. For a while last year, I was taking adult ballet classes. They were fabulous. Low pressure, because clearly no one there was going to become a professional ballerina, but a fabulous workout. The 90 minutes I spent in those classes was the only time in any given week that my brain turned off. I had to be so much in my body that my mind had to take a break. I was physically exhausted by the end of each class, but mentally so refreshed! I had no idea it was possible to give your brain that kind of a break! Seriously. Meditation is not a thing that has ever worked for me, because I can never get the rush of thoughts to quiet down. Having to be so completely present in my body, though, managed it. So I need to find more things like that for my life, wherever I end up.
  • Be a better friend. 2017 has been a lonely year. I have wonderful friends, but they’re far away from me, so it’s easy to just sort of let things slip to the point where the friendship mostly manifests in liking each others’ posts on Facebook and Instagram. I want to be better about reaching out and really talking to my friends like I used to. Even if I can’t see them three-dimensionally as much as I’d like, I can still find ways for us to be present in each others’ lives. (Side note: I miss LiveJournal. It was so much easier to still feel deeply involved with faraway friends on that platform that the superficiality of current social media makes it).
  • Not lose hope. 2017 has battered me, and there’ve been times it’s been hard to see the sunlight. (Literally. My apartment has no exterior windows. It looks out onto a “courtyard” that is really just cement blocks. I can only see the sky, through frosted glass, if I lean halfway out the window and look straight up. Do you see why I’m moving?). But it’s too important to lose sight of. “Hope” has to be my focus word for the year. I had it tattooed on my wrist as a daily reminder — in Aurebesh, along with the Rebel emblem, to remind me to hope and to fight. As our General said, “Hope is like the sun. If you only believe in it when you can see it, you’ll never make it through the night.”

I’m going to try really hard to hold myself to all of the above, and I’m hoping that having shared all those thoughts publicly will help with that accountability!

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Cass Morris lives and works in central Virginia and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a minor in history, from the College of William and Mary in 2007. She reads voraciously, wears corsets voluntarily, and will beat you at MarioKart.

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