Looking Forward

Romance Writer Weekly

And we’re back. 2021 is here. Resolutions have been made, even if it’s just a resolution not to make resolutions. We’ve waved goodbye to the hell year that was 2020 and we’re moving forward. 

The question is: beyond swearing to lose those pounds, exercise more, and not give up on things by January 19, what am I planning on doing. I wrote about my book plans for 2021, and those are still in place (Easy for the Earl is ticking along nicely). But what else?

I want to read more. I managed 62 books in 2021, ranging from history to comics to romance to science fiction and fantasy, with a number of stops between. Sadly, and with no offense meant to the authors, I look at the list and can’t remember over half of them. It’s definitely me, not them, and a sign of the general fog that was last year. I read to escape, but much of it was a rote activity, just getting through those pages and ticking off that “complete” box. This was brought home to me on the 2nd when I realized I wasn’t enjoying the book I was currently reading. It might be the book, it might be me, but something was setting my teeth on edge and I managed a few pages a night because the games on my tablet were more interesting. Much more interesting. So I bit the bullet and now have my first DNF of 2021. 

I’m hoping I’ll have quite a few DNFs in 2021 on my tracker. Books that didn’t quite catch my attention I opted out of, but also books which are on the list because I tried something new, something outside your comfort zone. Here’s the fun thing about moving outside your comfort zone. You’re going to find a lot of stuff you don’t like. But you’re going to find some things you enjoy that you wouldn’t have found unless you stretched.

Looking for a way to track your reading and gain access to all sorts of interesting information about your reading habits? Smart Bitches, Trashy Books have a great spreadsheet available for download, and Alexandra, one of the commenters, added a link to her own 2020 sheet for those who get really serious about info. (My high Input strength is going pit-a-pat.)

Lace Knitting in Blue Silk YarnBut I don’t just want to read more, I also want to knit more. I have a good deal of yarn in my stash far more than is listed on Ravelry, and I’ve been missing much of my knitting mojo for the last couple of yours. So, I’m going to try something different this year. I’m not going to push myself to do competitions (yes, there are knitting competitions such as Sock Madness and Tour-de-Sock), but I’m going to try to be more thoughtful in my knitting, enjoy the play of yarn and stitches. In short, enjoy it and not rush. I started a cardigan on New Year’s Eve, Murron by Jennifer Wood. The lace pattern appears insanely complicated, but as I’ve gotten into it, I’ve found there’s a certain rhythm to it, though I still need to maintain focus. This is not a “watch Chinese historical dramas with one eye, knit with the other” pattern. It requires a bit more focus, though not so much I can’t relax. The yarn is 100% silk, a purchase from ColourMart, a British company which sells mill ends of commercial yarn at delightfully low prices. (A sweater quantity cost me just over $30 and it’s nice yarn.) As soon as I finish setting up the back section, I’ll have pictures up on Instagram.

There will be television, of course. The husband and I cord cut in March, but with Netflix, Britbox, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+, CBS Access, and the free version of Peacock, we’ve got more than enough to look forward to there, especially since Warner Bros. is giving certain films a same day as theaters release, so I’ll have a chance to see them in that 31-day window. WandaVision starts up on Disney+ on January 15, and being the Marvel fangirl I am, I’m looking forward to that.

But what I’m hoping for is there will be a day the husband and I can go out to dinner without worrying, or I’ll be able to spend the day writing at Starbucks as I used to. I’m not rushing to do anything before I have certain level of comfort it’ll be safe (Los Angeles is not doing well at the moment), but I hope that day will come at some point in 2021, even if the holiday decorations are back up when we can. Of course, given most stores, that could be August…

What about you? What are you looking forward to in 2021? Leave a note in the comments, especially if you’ve got a cool knitting pattern you want to make, then pay a visit to Leslie Hachtel and see what she’s looking forward to.

Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy.