Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Writerly Wednesdays: Kay Keppler

Hello and welcome to my brand new feature, Writerly Wednesdays. Please welcome Kay Keppler!

New Year’s resolutions. They’re a good idea, at least in theory. The end of the year is a time to reflect, to evaluate--and to hope. To plan.

In practice, however, resolutions suck. I write mine on Dec. 31 and start to feel commitment slippage by Jan 4. Total abandonment usually arrives by mid-February, accompanied by feelings of inadequacy and failure.

I can think of worse things than failing to keep one’s resolutions. Root canals. Epidurals. Allergies to chocolate.

But New Year’s resolutions--those promises to yourself that you’ll lose weight, save more money, get more sleep, quit smoking--if ever there was a recipe for failure, Resolutions R It. I’ve spent way too many holidays staring down the old year with a jaded, gimlet eye; gazing at the new page in the calendar with a tender, moist look. The look that says, this time I’ll win, this year I’ll keep my resolutions--only, by mid-February, to have that look change to one of jaded failure. Again.

Last year around this time, I was uncharacteristically contented and confident. I could make resolutions! I could keep them! I would be a better person!

And the miracle was, I did make a resolution (just one, but it was big)--and I kept it! Knowing that “losing weight” was too vague and too unlikely to happen, I picked an easy resolution to make: I vowed to become a better person.

Simple! Just about anything would qualify. Eat some brussels sprouts? A better person! Take a walk? Better person! Clean out a closet? Better!  

All through 2011, I succeeded with my resolution. I phoned home. Wrote a thank-you note. Met a deadline. All good. I even went for an “annual” physical--an event so rare that my doctor calls me her “invisible friend.” And everything I did meant that I was succeeding in my New Year’s resolution.

This year, though, not so much. “Better person”--that’s so 2011. We’re barely into 2012, and I’m already late paying my bills. I’ve eaten too many simple carbs, and I haven’t cleaned my office. “Become a better person” isn’t cutting the mustard this year. I need specificity!

So far this January, I’m much more irresolute about my resolutions. I haven’t really settled on anything. But I fear that I’ll be following in Mark Twain’s footsteps. He said that New Year's Day was the accepted time to make resolutions. Next week, as usual, was the time to begin paving hell with them.

I wish you better luck--and way more resolve--with your goals for the New Year!


 Kay Keppler has written in several genres including manga, contemporary romance, and coming in April 2012, space opera. She lives in northern California where she writes and edits fiction and nonfiction and lives happily in a 100-year-old house that's had a few plumbing problems. Now, if the duct tape holds, everything will be perfect.  


  1. I don't do New Year's Resolutions, I just try to take it one day at a time. I make little lists on scraps of paper in the morning. "Take shower, go to post office, call dentist..." That's as good as it gets, for me! If I can cross off most of them, I've done good. lol

    Love that book cover! Really nice. :)

  2. Hi J.L.

    I'm the same way. I make to-do lists, not resolutions. Easier to keep short-term goals. ; )

  3. I don't do New Year resolutions. I figure if I want to do something bad enough then I'll do it. This year though, I've decided to pursue happiness. It's an ongoing project. :)

  4. Pursuing happiness is an excellent goal! I'm going to add that to my own resolution of being a better person. I'll make a list and put it on a sticky...definitely the way to go!

  5. I don't know how I'd get anything done without my lists! Great post, Kay.