New Year’s Resolutions

Joshmas is upon us again. This means we’re a week away from the end of 2010. (It also means I’m now 41, but let’s not focus on that.) I don’t generally do New Year’s resolutions, but this year, I’ve decided to actually make some. Since this is the end of one year for me and the beginning of another, why not make my resolutions now?

This past year has been a very good one, but it’s also been difficult. Separating from Julie has pushed me to take a really hard look at myself. I’ve spent the past year reflecting, self-evaluating and digging in the dirt. I’ve come to understand a lot about myself, all for the better.

Part of this self-discovery has been getting inspired by creative people in a big, big way. Getting to know Tessa Gratton and Natalie C. Parker has been very inspirational. Wil Wheaton‘s very honest blogging about his writing and his struggles with insecurity has been extremely inspirational. Bonnie Burton and Jane Wiedlin are big inspirations, too.

Last weekend, Kevin Smith wrote a series of incredibly inspirational tweets that he turned into two fantastic blog posts. And my friends Laura and Gareth Skarka posted public declarations of creative endeavors that inspired me a whole hell of a lot.

So…my New Year’s resolutions are as follows: if 2010 was a year of self-therapy and sorting things out in my head, 2011 will be a year of play, a year for me to get excited and make things. I want to push myself to do more creative play, to write prose and poetry, to blog more about comics, movies, TV shows, games and the like, to make trash that is ugly and beautiful, to make mad mistakes and happy accidents. I’m going to be daring and unreasonable. I’m going to dream out loud.

The most important resolution is to DO IT EVERY DAY. Whether it’s to write a single poem or a single page of prose or a blog post or whatever, I need to do it every single day. If it looks like I might be slacking on that, feel free to nag me on Twitter, email or some other way.

The other important resolution is to MAKE MISTAKES. Lots of them. One of my biggest stumbling blocks in creative pursuits is my fear of screwing up, producing something that sucks, making something laughable. I really need to get over that. You can all look forward to me posting crappy poetry and half-cocked blog posts here. (Some of you may be thinking, “How is that different than before?”)

My harshest critic has always been the demon in my head telling me, “You can’t do this. You suck. You’re not good enough to follow your dreams.” 2011 is the year I kick that demon in the junk and tell him to STFU. That’s the reason I’m posting this here, in full view of everyone: to push myself to get over that fear of talking big but not following through, of proving to the world (and myself) that I can’t do it. Because I think I can.

I’m 41 years old today. It’s about damn time I let myself live the life I’ve always wanted to lead.


‘Tis the Season

As excited as I get for autumn, Hallowe’en and Thanksgiving, I get just as excited for the winter holidays. Sure, sure, winter is cold, windy and frequently snowy and icy beyond all reason (at least in the part of the world where I live). Sure, it gets dark excessively early in the day. Sure, the holiday season can be a time of stress, loneliness and melancholy.

But it’s also a time of lights, a time of huddling together for warmth, a time of gift-giving, a time of sharing. We’ve got Chanukkah, a festival of lights, with candles and latkes and gelt! We’ve got the Solstice, when the night is the longest, but when daylight starts making a comeback. (Solstice is also when my daughter and I exchange presents.) We’ve got Christmas and New Year’s. And most importantly, we’ve got my birthday–or as I like to call it, Joshmas.

There’s so much about this time that I love, so many things that remind me of the good times of my youth. Christmas lights, decorated Christmas trees, the scent of pine and cinnamon and nutmeg, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, A Christmas Story, Christmas cookies, candy canes, the pop culture images of Santa Claus, toys, wrapping paper, classic Christmas and winter songs–it all makes me feel like a kid again, excited about the world and the people around me. This is a time of dark nights and bright magic, a time of candy-colored dreams, and I love it!

You can keep your annoyance of over-commercialized holidays, your hatred of snow and cold, your Scrooginess and Grinchiness. Me? I’ll be decking the halls and racing through the winter with a smile on my face, lighting candles against the darkness and bouncing in excitement over the magic of winter.

Like Dr. Phil, But Awesome

The Doctor Who episode of The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson was absolutely terrific and geektastic. Unfortunately, they didn’t do the cold open that was originally planned, apparently because the show couldn’t get the rights to do the Doctor Who theme music. On the show, Craig Ferguson mocked worry and anger about the cold open rehearsal possibly being leaked to YouTube.

Yesterday, it was leaked to YouTube.

And it’s absolutely bloody brilliant.

Seriously, it’s just so funny while also being a heartfelt tribute to the core ideas of the show. I love it to death.

If there’s a bumper sticker summation of how I live my life, “intellect and romance triumphing over brute force and cynicism” would be one of the best ways to put it.

Fractured & Full

slipped with a feather
it confounded my heart
as light as a mountain
as exact as a chart

forgotten in swallow
discarded by far
your face in a mirror
you confounded my heart

this is a certain time
fractured & full
these times are uncertain
fractured & full

slashed into futures
it confounded my heart
as wet as a fountain
as strong as a rampart

flown off by swallows
defined in a chart
your face in a mirror
you confounded my heart

these times are uncertain
this life is uncertain
our hearts are uncertain
fractured & full