Out With the Old and In With the New

Candles Sitting on Snow by TreeHappy New Year, everyone!  I’m sure you’re tired of hearing it. Heck, I’ve already mastered the skill of writing 2013 on the dates on checks, but this is my first blog of the new year.  I didn’t make a lot of resolutions, but I thought I’d share how I do spend this time of year.

It may be a carryover from growing up in the snow belt of Ohio, but even here in Florida, the days are pretty short. I absolutely watched the clock and celebrated the winter solstice on Dec. 21st.  What’s really odd is that in my latitude and longitude, the minutes of daylight actually continued to get shorter until, well, about today.  By Saturday we’ll start gaining 1-2 minutes of daylight every day.  Yes, I’m already counting the days until beach weather.

I spent New Year’s Day in my traditional manner: glass of wine (actually, this year it was Champagne), brie, baguette, and 4 hours of tossing papers that have been cluttering my office.  Old water bills. Magazines. A coupon from October.  Hey, I even found an old check register book from 2002.  THWING!  I love to throw away useless stuff.  I’m eyeing all the paperwork (and there’s a mountain of it) from when we sold our former home in California.  I was told I should hang onto that paperwork for 7 years. I think I can toss it, but it makes me nervous.  What if I toss it, and suddenly find I need it?  It’s definitely earmarked for next New Year’s, and maybe I’ll get brave and toss it sooner.

I also told you all we were on the hunt for a new car. We sold our 18-year-old minivan right before Christmas.  Then yesterday, we bought a new Mazda SUV. I got to drive it home.  It’s got a serious Bose stereo, hooks up to my iPhone via Bluetooth (Liz is shaking her head at me and my gadgets), and some nice safety features like a rear-view camera and side radar that warns you if there are vehicles in your blind spot.  We (okay, I’ll admit it–it was my husband mostly) spent countless hours researching and test driving vehicles, and I’m so glad we agreed on what we both wanted.  It’s like welcoming a new member of the family. Hopefully, we’ll have years of safe driving in this vehicle.

You may also remember that I’ve been training for a run/walk half-marathon.  I will repeat this, because people are always congratulating me for running a marathon. It’s a RUN/WALK, HALF-marathon.  Still, for someone who hadn’t jogged in 20+ years, I’m pretty impressed that my husband and I can go walk/run 10+ miles without thinking twice about it.  Our “race” is this weekend. Wish me luck!! We seem to be injury free, and though we’re both battling seasonal allergies, I think we’ll be fine.  Oh, and the weather is supposed to be gorgeous, so thank you, Weatherman!  I promise to post pictures and deets from the event in two weeks when I’m back.

And last, but certainly not least, I finished off 2012 by publishing a print edition of AMBERSLEY (finally!).  Huge thanks to Laura Morrigan and Cathryn Leigh for their design help.  It was a joy to finally hold print copies of the book in my hands.  And now I’ve signed up to participate in my first book signing event at a small conference (Olde City, New Blood—Feb. 8-10). Plus, I’m looking forward to attending at least 3 other conferences this year.  All of this is putting the pressure on me to finish (again–finally!) the sequel to AMBERSLEY.  It’s time for me to move onto the next book.

the bryce canyon national park, utah,All in all, I’m looking ahead to a year full of opportunity and adventure. There are new horizons out there calling me. I wish you all the same!

How about you?  Are there things you shed or hope to shed this winter?  New events and activities on your horizon? Share your new year’s news!


About Amy Atwell

Amy Atwell is a storyteller at heart. After fifteen years in professional theater, she turned from the stage to the page to write contemporary capers and historical tales that combine romance and adventure. Her books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. When not writing, she runs the online author communities WritingGIAM and Author E.M.S.
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8 Responses to Out With the Old and In With the New

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    I did taxes one season for HR Block, and 7 years is how far the government can back audit, which is why the 7 year rule. (It was a while ago, so I hope that’s still correct.)

    The 1/2 marathon is a BIG thing. Congrats on the achievement! I met my goals last year as far as books published. I have similar plans this year – with some extra. I’m also eating more healthily. I’m giving myself 3 weeks of strictly sticking to this mostly vegetarian way of life. I want to see how I feel, and discover what works and what doesn’t. I started yesterday. I’m looking forward to a healthy, happy and productive year.

    • Amy Atwell says:

      Yep, I’m pretty sure it’s 7 years. I still don’t trust it, though. LOL And how cool that you’re testing new eating habits. I’ve been trying to be better and eat less dairy, less gluten, less bread in general. I love pasta and all things dairy, so it’s hard. I think you’re very brave!

      • Liz Kreger says:

        Yeah, that seven year rule is pretty standard, Amy and Edie. Same thing with legal material. We gotta hang onto this junk for at least seven years. Even then, Mac has a hard time letting it go. Susan has no such problem. She whips through old files and disposes of them post haste. 😆

        If you’re uncomfortable getting rid of stuff earlier, scan it if you can to a disk.

  2. Misty Evans says:

    Happy New Year, Amy! You were a huge help to me last year, answering so many of my questions, so I want to say thank you and wish you many blessings in 2013!

    Congrats on the new SUV. I’m glad you found a vehicle that fits with your family. 🙂 Good luck with the HALF marathon (I’m one of those people who keep forgetting) and I want to say that I’m very proud of you and all you do!

    • Amy Atwell says:

      Thanks for all the well-wishes, Misty. Plus the nice card you sent me! I’m hoping to have fun this weekend. There will be thousands of people at this event, so it will be strange running with so many people around. LOL

  3. Congrats on getting Ambersley into print, Amy!! And I’m still so impressed by all of your running…way to go :).

  4. Liz Kreger says:

    Hey Amy. Same as Marilyn … congrats on doing the half marathon. I find that very impressive. I used to walk 3.5 miles every week day with a friend before the hip began giving me trouble. Now? Not a chance. I’m lucky to walk the length of a mall. When the Komen Walk comes to Milwaukee, my sister, her friend, and my daughter do the walking while I wait for them at the finish line. Did it once in a wheelchair … never again. The most uncomfortable experience of my life. Well, nearly the most uncomfortable.

    Happy New Year to you! I’m afraid my plans for a New Year’s evening was dislodged by the nasty reaction I had to my latest chemo. I had plans for shrimp, champagne and movies. Usually hubby and the little darlin’ have these grand plans of making it to midnight but never achieve that. Well, this time I was the one in bed by 7:00 p.m. How pitiful was that?

    One tradition I started for myself several years ago is that I always begin my new year by “cleansing” myself. I’ll stand in the shower with the water running as hot as I can stand it, close my eyes and just imagine all my problems and worries of the previous year washing down the drain. I always feel refreshed afterwards … like I’m making a whole new beginning.

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