Happy New Year is a state of mind.

I love a good calendar and the smell of a brand new diary, but its not enough to make me want to hold hands with a stranger and sing Auld Lang Syne.

I find New Year, the celebration as opposed to the inevitable flow of days, problematic. I think there is something massively disingenuous about forcing myself into the party spirit simply because I’m getting a new calendar. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good calendar and the smell of a brand new diary, but its not enough to make me want to hold hands with a stranger and sing Auld Lang Syne. Aside from anything it makes visits to WHSmiths and the Calendar Shop really awkward.

Add to this personal experience. Usually, I seem to get hit by a double whammy of sickness and ridiculous work requests that makes January feel like the dumping ground for the previous year rather than start of a new adventure.

However, one of the great things about the human condition is our capacity to learn from experience and create change. Whilst a frustrating pattern has, for me, built up around New Year I still think having a period of reflection and renewal every so often is incredibly helpful. The changing of the calendar is a helpful prompt. So, over the past couple of years I have come to accept that the start of January isn’t my time for this and that’s okay. That it happens is far more important than when it happens. Consequently, my New Year is now late January to early February. In previous years, finding time to reflect on my previous 365 days on the planet and set some goals for the next 365 days has not only given me a sense of achievement, based on actual achievements, but also helped me get excited for the year ahead.

So, what about this year ahead? What’s going to get me through? This year is very much the year of the blog. Expect to see more of my brief thoughts I really want to share. And books, books will continue to be a big thing.

To be a bit more specific Christina Henry has two titles coming out this year. In early March (I want to say the 3rd) a dark fairy tale will appear in a short story collection called Cursed, alongside work from the likes of Neil Gaiman (I’m sure I know that name from somewhere) and Charlie Jane Anders. In April (21st apparently) we get the chance to return to Alice’s dark and disturbing world with the release of a novella collection called Looking Glass.

But because I believe you can get as excited about books you haven’t read as shiny new titles I’m also looking forward to:

  • Starting the final book of Andrew Caldecott’s Rotherwierd trilogy Lost Acre.
  • Having just finished Joe Abercrombie’s Half a King and started Half a World one of my goals is to get up to date with his work with Half a War and A Little Hatred.
  • I also have on order a “new to me” author Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon The Ninth.

So, whilst the first few days of this new year could be charitably described as a write off, one calmly reflective blog later and I feel confident I can finally say “Happy New Year”.  

Published by Eddie Bar

Fantasy storyteller, reader and wargamer.

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