Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dark Days, Bright Ideas

I have been hibernating for the last month, but unlike the groundhog, I will not wait for February 1st, Imbolc to me, to come out of my sleep and blink at the world.

In the ancient tradition of the Druids, winter began at Samhain (Halloween on the modern calendar) and lasted to Imbolc (approximately February 1). By that calendar, the winter solstice does, in fact, mark mid-winter. It is the shortest day of the year. The nights in the Northeast US can be long, dark and cold. And like days gone by, when people would retreat to the warmth of the hearth and plan for the next year, we do the same.

Winter was and is a time of re-evaluating and re-grouping… think New Year’s resolutions. In modern times, we are no different and, as I talk with many of my friends, we feel as if we are on the brink of change and new growth. Change is never easy and often downright painful. We can feel lost in the dark night of winter.

Those of you who have stopped my blog over the last year or even few months have been privy to some of the changes in my life. After years of a torturous bank merger, I resigned my position with a major national bank. I had spent long nights (and days) looking at the current environment, which did not empower me. It was and is an organization that subtly and not-so-subtly encourages their people to cross ethical lines (if not legal ones) and disrespected their customers and employees. My values and integrity are important to me and so my prospects for success and advancement were bleak.

I also briefly had an agent and after a difference in philosophy parted company with that agent. I am a supporter of agents and publishers everywhere and appreciate the work that can be done on behalf of authors when the right fit is found. It is an evolving world and lots of relationships have to be redefined or re-aligned. I will never rule out establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with an agent and/or publisher.

So, as the days grow shorter and I approach the Winter Solstice and the first anniversary of this blog (Wow, one year already!), what am I up to now.

Dark Dealings proceeds toward publication with a target of early 2012. I have been approached by several small press houses about publishing my novel, but self-publishing remains for me a very viable option.  In an effort to manage all the plans and projects to the future, I will be forming a Limited Liability Corporation in the next few weeks. In addition to the name of the company, I will also announce my decision on how I will be going about publishing Dark Dealings.  Oh and I continue to look for a day job to pay bills until my writing does that for me.

So I have not been wasting the short days and the long night. I have been planning the next harvest.

When I was in grammar school (yes, that’s what it was called back in the day) we had to memorize poems. One has stayed with me all these years. I have posted it before, but for myself and those who plan for the next cycle of growth, it is worth posting again.
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.
'We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,"
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
                                                                                                                                ~ Oliver Herford
Now I don’t care if what the mix of dark and light are, just someone find me a forty-eight hour day. How are you doing as one year ends and another is about to begin?

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