Because of some serious health issues, I have been in hiatus from this blog for a number of months. I'm glad to start 2021 back on Writers Who Kill. 2020 was a bear of a year for almost everyone I know, and I think we're all glad to see the end of it.
As the New Year comes around, I like to take stock and reflect on the past year, and then, I like to look forward to the new year and ask myself two questions. What do I want less of in this new year? What do I want more of in this new year? Then, I usually try to plan on how to get less of what I don't want and more of what I do in the year that's just beginning. My process used to be much more involved and goal-oriented, but this is what I have finally pared it down to, and I find it more useful than setting a new bunch of goals with related tasks or writing down a bunch of New Year's resolutions that I will probably break by the end of February.
What do I want less of in the coming year? Pain, fear, stress, depression, and illness-caused dependence. 2020 was pretty much maxed out on all of these issues for me. Given my chronic illnesses and permanent damage from injuries, I'm not going to be able to get rid of all of the pain and illness-caused dependence, but I have high hopes to lessen both of these in the coming year and to do everything I can to completely erase fear, stress, and depression.
What do I want more of in 2021? Writing, spinning, knitting, weaving, cooking, organizing, drawing, blogging, music, candles, Tarot, and magic. That last might sound strange, but I truly think I'm ready for a little magic to creep back into my life. I've been in survival mode for too long.
One good thing about getting older is that you learn a thing or two, and one of the things that I've learned the hard way is that, if you want more of something in your life, you have to put more of that thing in your every single day. If you don't, all of the shoulds and must-dos and expectations of others will crowd it right out. A second truth that I've learned is that, if you want to be good at anything, you need to practice it every day. This goes for being happy as much as it goes for writing or spinning or knitting or weaving--anything!
I intend to start 2021 the way I hope to finish it-- putting all of the good things that I want in life into every single day, as much as I can, in as many little ways as I can. What are your plans for the new year?
The Sixth Guppy Anthology, is about to be published. Her 11th book was Fishy Business: The Fifth Guppy Anthology (edited). Dark Sister: Poems was her 10th book and a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel, based on her popular workshop, and The World Is One Place: Native American Poets Visit the Middle East, an anthology she co-edited, were published in 2017. Every Family Doubt, her fourth mystery featuring Cherokee detective, Skeet Bannion, and Revising the Character-Driven Novel will be published in 2021. Her three earlier Skeet novels—Every Hidden Fear, Every Broken Trust, Every Last Secret—and earlier books of poetry—Skin Hunger and Heart's Migration—have received critical recognition and awards, such as St. Martin's Press/Malice Domestic Best First Novel, International Latino Book Award, Latina Book Club Best Book of 2014, Midwest Voices & Visions, Elvira Cordero Cisneros Award, Thorpe Menn Award, and Ragdale and Macondo fellowships. Her short story, “The Good Neighbor,” published in Kansas City Noir, has been optioned for film.
Rodriguez is past chair of the AWP Indigenous Writer’s Caucus, past president of Border Crimes chapter of Sisters in Crime, founding board member of Latino Writers Collective and The Writers Place, and a member of International Thriller Writers, Native Writers Circle of the Americas, Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers, and Kansas City Cherokee Community. Learn more about her at http://lindarodriguezwrites.blogspot.com