I don’t do resolutions, but I don’t enter a new year aimlessly. Flush that hippie drum circle philosophy of just letting life flow. The only people that go with the flow are bad swimmers. The folks who go places make plans and raise their expectations beyond their latent ability. Any progress forward is still progress, even when you’re racking your junk on the first hurdle.
What I have been doing is creating an Action Plan, which lists goals mixed with self-improvement projects. Below is this year’s action plan.
Be less of an impatient jerkoff. Really, I’ve gotten a lot better. This year I’ve logged about five grand mal shitfits followed by crow stew of apologies. I’m really doing a lot better. Enlightenment happens when you stop chasing after wisdom, and realize its running to catch up with you. There are a lot more important things to get angry about. The Dunkin Doughnuts cashier who screwed up your coffee order, being stuck in traffic or walking into work to find half the staff called out is the least of troubles. This belief that hitting a pillow or breaking something vents anger is pure pop psychology from the leech and lavender crystal tonics from the 1970’s. Walking away, sitting down and letting your anger simmer helps yourself and saves relationships. In 2011, I did a lot of sitting in quiet rooms and expect to do so in 2012
Write two more books. I have a series of supernatural-religious satire-thrillers planned. I am cautious about discussing new ideas outside my writer’s circle, but this actually began as a joke. When I’m in a creative cell and need a jailbreak, I find a writers challenge somewhere online. I found one that challenged, “Write a story starting with the first line of a joke.” Jokes are flash fiction in perfect, crystalline form. So I began with, “A Rabbi, A Priest, and a Baptist minister walk into a bar...” Around 5,000 words later, I had the start of supernatural adventure. I have nil experience with supernatural fiction except for occasional friends’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic. This will be my first whack at this.
Stop downplaying that I’m Self-Published. You choose to be traditionally published. That is matter of superhuman persistence and knowing and working the market. Someone lends you a stage, you sing and hope people will listen.
You choose to be self-published. That’s a matter of having a superhuman faith in yourself and knowing you’ve got something readers want. You sing anywhere there is free space, even if it’s during the lunch rush at the mall foodcourt.
Whatever vectors of publication I’ve taken, I’m writing and getting my work outside my brain sphere. I should be proud of this fact.
Give church a 3rd try. The first try lasted 18 years. The second try lasted fifteen minutes. I know there is a church community somewhere that lives by the book of Matthew rather than the book of Leviticus. They will not speak of loving one another, then slipping a Christian Voter’s Guide in the programme. I stopped going to church not because I didn’t believe in God, but the undeniable fact that institutional religion is by nature cruel and exclusionary. I could not belong to an organization that believed, as an article of faith, that some people have fewer rights than those who live, love or worship differently.
Religion and Diets – no matter how great you look and feel, there’s always someone who will tell you you’re doing it wrong. I may not believe everything that comes from the pulpit, but what I take home nourishes the soul. I’m open to suggestions on this matter.
Work that body. In order to exercise, I have to trick myself that I’m not really exercising. That weight needed to be lifted twenty times to make sure rust doesn’t settle. I’m not doing pushups, I just can’t decide if I want to lie on my stomach or get up. I do the office jockey guilt eraser by taking the stairs or parking my car the furthest from the escalator. So, if I have to trick myself into exercising, then I’ll do it.
Use the cursed CPAP machine. My loathing for the machine that could lower my blood pressure, help me breathe better and feed oxygen into my blood cells knows no bounds. Strapping that facemask on, looking like a wimpy version of Bane, and getting nearly strangled harshens my slumber. It reminds me of the first time I French kissed with a girl from Pensacola who kept blowing into my mouth and making me gag. I thought I was doing it wrong and blew into her mouth and a crusty booger flew out her nose and hit my cheek. Then I turned 23.
I will learn to use it accept the benefits despite having to sleep on my back. I can just pretend I’m doing that act Chris Angel when he immersed himself in that tank of water.
Pimp my stuff. More guest blogs. Publish some articles. Rent a sandwich board. Establish the fearsome name, Anthony R. Elmore.
Anthony Elmore writes from his home in Roswell, Georgia. He suffers from a rare, yet uncategorized psychological condition where he is unable to pass a mirror or any reflective surface without making a funny face. He's the author of Farting in Church, a collection of seven religiously irreverent and somewhat fictionalized tales of the author’s mistakes and occasional triumphs.