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So, it’s probably not surprising to hear that in the past few days I’ve been giving more thought to my Chapter 39, and what that will look like for me. As I mentioned on my birthday post, it’s one of the first years in a long while that I haven’t had a plan. Or, rather, A PLAN. Last year’s plan didn’t work (mostly) and I wonder if that’s at least one of the reasons that I’m shying away from making a plan this year. Goals are fine when I achieve them. But when they fall apart like my favorite old t-shirt? Well, yes, that smarts a little. But in truth, I also know that last year’s plan, while well-intentioned, was something that didn’t feel quite right, even from the beginning. It felt a little forced, but I was determined (hello? Aries? Where? Oh, yes, right here, through and through) and eventually it wasn’t fun anymore, but I did it because I said I would. And eventually I realized what a farce that really was, and I put my attention elsewhere. Which was, at that time, into noveling and gaming and making a financial life for myself and getting divorced and getting a new family and refinding my friends and a million other things that certainly went along with my Chapter 38 idea for learning, but just as certainly did not fit into the schedule I’d outlined for myself.

Which brings me to this year, and maybe to next year as well. Right now, my plan is to return to world travel when I turn 40. I’d also — inexplicably, because I’m well aware that these do not go hand-in-hand — like to buy a house with some land. Which means that in many ways this year should be all about the big, bad green. But I’ve never been driven by money. I’ve always been driven by passion and desire and some sense of the idea that there is no rule that life is supposed to be serious. I make enough to get by (or get buy) and to live without stress (and, truly, without much else — hello, no health insurance, no 401K, no nest egg, goodbye vehicles and fancy toys and expensive dinners). So, all of that being said, I’m well aware that my year’s goal should be something along the lines of money, but that’s just not the way I roll. Semi-sad face here.

In the end, what I’ve come to after some serious searching is that this is the year I return to the goal of this blog when it originally started. That first year (oh, so many years ago), I called this blog The Year of the Books. Because, well, I wanted to write books. And then my freelance and short story and teaching careers kind of took off and books get left a little bit in the lurch. I had a lot of upheaval in my life, and I spent at least a year just sort of checked out due to some personal stuff, none of which were all that conducive to writing longer works (or so I convinced myself). Last year, in the midst of turmoil, I finished a novel. Shocked. Blown away. I had to rethink everything I knew about my own process and the process of creating larger works.

So, this year, I return to my roots, in some ways. Chapter 39 shall be the Year of the Books. I’m not starting another blog — that’s delightful, but also a huge procrastination technique for me, and I don’t want to go that way. So, you’ll see posts here tagged with Chapter 39, and they’ll be your updates to the world that is me. I have more than one book on the back burner (some have been there for years), but at this point, I have two novels and two non-fiction books that I’ll be writing, but at least two collections to edit. I’ll give all the details soon, once I’ve nailed them down more fully, and you can follow along with me if you will.

As for the rest, the non-book part of the year? I’m just opening myself to the possibilities. My tattoo will say:

Do i dare
disturb the universe?

And the answer is yes. Always yes.

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.