New Year’s day is really only just another day. On the other hand, it does signify a new beginning, a chance to leave behind the baggage of the year past and look to the future with optimism. Miraculously, it also suddenly frees us from the introspection and retrospection that the last weeks of December invariably bring. Given all this, it is perhaps the best time to draw up the courage and look back…
In every way 2008 was a mixed year. We called 2007 the “Curse of the 1976-ers” and 2008 was supposed to be a good year because we deserved something good. Well, there was some good, and some not. At the personal level there were significant “endings” — some were painful, and some a relief and a chance to move on. But there were beginnings too, new territories charted.
For a year that raced past, it seemed interminably long at times. The IIT Kanpur Literary Festival seems an age away — was it only nine months ago? Of course, 2008 will always be the year I finally visited Scotland, traversed the Loch Ness, saw David Tennant and Patrick Stewart on stage, and generally holidayed by myself in a strange land. In ways that are difficult to articulate, those were perhaps the most important three weeks of my year.
Work-wise it was again very mixed. My decade-long relationship with Sage came to an end. Giving up the journals that had always been part of my working life and had provided new perspectives to my fairly blinkered existense was hard. But it was also the year I joined the Minerva team; finished my third book; and had a literary agency sign me up.
In a completely egoistical way, I always consider my birthday as the start of my new year. And also, I detest new year resolutions. Then again, there’s really no bad time to make a list of things to do, is there?
- Do more Web design: Release at least one free design per quarter.
- Finish at least one of my “under construction” writing projects, preferably Kinnel’s Prison.
- Redesign Writeside.net and the Halvard Casle Data Network.
- Write more book reviews for my site. (The Martin Beck one is almost ready.)
- Submit my tax return. Argh…
So here’s to 2009… with hope in our hearts, as the song goes.