Back to work

The first Monday in 2011, and I'm at a loss. After a delicious Internet break, I didn't want to come back. But alas, that is no longer an option. Today has a long list of to dos - starting with my 2010 Annual Review, submitting the proposal for Taylor Jackson #8, getting the winter newsletter together, writing a big fat hairy non-fiction essay for publication, and getting back to this blog. Three things knocked off already, hallelujah! 

I read two books while I was gone - American Gods and How I Became A Famous Novelist. Both are highly recommended. Golf was a struggle, but it was good to get some fresh air.

My week off gave me some time to reflect on what I want from my interactions in cyberspace. I'm really happy with how things are going on Facebook and Twitter, and plan to continue using this blog as the main force of communication to the two fun sites. I hope to write more here: shorter, pithier journals of what's happening with my writing and my world. But mostly, I plan to share the things that make me happy.

Several things have touched me since I got home:

  • Friend and fellow scribe Jeff Abbott has started up his blog again. This is a Good Thing.
  • Neil Gaiman has dog pictures, and a view of his new Narnia-esque lantern in the woods.
  • Louise Penny's blog 17 is a reminder to all of us that we have the strength to overcome anything. We are the light. We are the way.
  • And this beautiful wish for 2011 from Neil Gaiman makes me smile:

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

I couldn't agree more.

One last housekeeping item - an informal poll: If you are coming from FB or Twitter, can you weigh in on whether you like the prefix on these new blog announcements to read "New Blog" or "New Tao of JT"? I've added Murderati's feed to my sites, and that one will always say "Today on Murderati", since it's updated daily. I want to be sure to eliminate confusion.

Welcome to 2011, chickadees!

My Wish for 2011: A Smile, Freely Given

Well, hi! Long time no chat! I'm still in the midst of my online vacation, but a little birdie told me I have a new article up on AOL Opinion that I wanted to share with you. It's about what I wish for 2011. And yes, the title is a dead giveaway.

I was inspired by the following quote by  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. I hope it inspires you as well.

"I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de- humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming."

Many thanks to AOL and Red Room for giving me the opportunity to smile at you from afar.


And here's wishing you the most spectacular of New Year's Eves. Have fun and be safe!