DSC_0196Christmas is almost here, and as usual, I’m not sure I’ll be ready in time. I never seem to start early enough. In a cartoon strip called “Drabble”, there’s a woman, the mother of the title character, who always finishes all her Christmas shopping by August. I don’t want to be that early, but it would be better if I weren’t still shopping on December 22nd. Now’s the time for gift cards!

But what I’m thinking about now is the coming year and making New Year’s resolutions. There’s no real reason to start doing things differently just because it’s the beginning of the year. One can start that any time, but this is what we do: a clean sweep, a new start. Giving up things that aren’t good for us and doing things that are: this is the New Year’s tradition.

The ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, although the year for them didn’t begin in January but in mid-March when the crops were planted. In ancient Rome, Julious Caesar changed the calendar in 46 B.C. and established January 1st as the beginning of the New Year. Named for Janus, the two-faced god who looked back into the previous year and ahead into the future, it was a time to offer sacrifices to the god and make promises of good conduct.

An early Christian tradition looked back on past mistakes and resolved to do better on the last day of the old year or the first day of the new. So, I’ve made a few resolutions for 2018. My first is to spend more time writing. I’ve gotten lazy about putting in time on the keyboard, and my latest book has taken nearly two years to complete and is still in the editing stage.

It’s called REASONS TO DISAPPEAR and is the third in my Andi Battaglia-Greg Lamont mystery series. In it, Captain Bradley, the hard-driving and apparently upright boss of the Burgess Beach Police Department, suddenly disappears along with a lot of city money. It’s up to Andi and Greg to discover the Captain’s secrets and then find out who is murdering people with ties to him. I had hoped to have it done to publish in January, but . . . .  Hence, New Year’s Resolution No. 1.

Resolution No. 2 is to work harder on my blog on Ladies of Mystery, which you are reading right now. I have even missed a couple of months because I was away and didn’t get them done on time.

Resolution No. 3 is to make more efforts at self-publicizing myself and my books, not sitting around waiting to be discovered. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I am, unfortunately, not the author of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, a book which suddenly (apparently) catapulted to number one on the best seller list. My first self-publicizing venture will be a podcast with Laura Brennan, Vice President of Sister in Crime/LA. I’ll be talking about my writing journey beginning late in life. I’ll keep you posted.

There you have it. A New Year and a New Me! How about you? Do you have New Year’s Resolutions to make and keep?


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