Sunday, January 06, 2013

If It's January, it must be . . . Easter? Kate Walker

Happy New Year!   I hope 2013 will be a lovely, happy and joyful  year for you.
Today is the day that I always think of as the ‘official’ end of the Christmas holiday season. January 6th – that’s the date that I was told as a child that the 3 Kings arrived at the stable to see the baby Jesus and his mother. It was the day my mother put the figures of those three kings i9n the family crib – the one I have now as I inherited it when she died.  I’ve always loved holding it, putting out the figures. That seems to put me in touch with my mother and connects us over the years, even when I  wrap the crib figures up in bubble wrap and put them away.
But I remember that when we did have the crib when I  was a child, it was  just the 6th January – the day the Christmas decorations came down, the tree was taken out into the garden and the cards were all packed away to be recycled.   There was a longish time – or so it seemed – before the next holiday.
It’s not the same now. I don’t know about you but here in the shops it’s already beginning to look as if Easter is just around the corner.  Easter eggs, cards, Easter decorations  . . . hang on! I’ve only just put the Christmas decorations away!   I know there’s the need to prepare in advance – but this far in advance?
The trouble is that when you’re a writer, if you’re not careful, things can get a bit like this all the time. You write a book, work on revisions, get the book accepted  and scheduled, and then you’re looking ahead to the date the next book comes out.  I have June 2013 in my diary and I’m so looking forward to seeing A Throne For The Taking in the shops. At the same time, I’m planning, developing and working on the book after that, with a deadline in mind and the hope of another new title in the schedule.  I’m also planning the course I’m teaching  in Fishguard in Wales in February  - and that makes me think of the way that Writers’ Holiday is coming up in  July . . .
But this year, I’m determined not to let me days run  away with me as they have done in the past.  If I’m not careful I ended up being so busy that I’m planning, organising, thinking, of everything do far ahead that if I’m not careful I end up living in the future and never quite get to really appreciate the now. One of the things I lost out on last year was my reading.  We had  all those renovations and the building work done on the house and I ended up dashing here there and everywhere finding the right tiles, the flooring, the  kitchen cabinets. . .
It was worth it in the end  - but I did miss out on my reading. And reading is wital to a writer. You have to ‘fill the well’ of your imagination,  read stories so that you can remember how great if feels to be caught up in that magical  world of the imagination, to fall in love with  - or end up hating – the characters who may only be words on a page but become so real to you that you  really care  what happens to them.
So, although I’m not one for resolutions much,  there are two important decisions in this set of thoughts –ones that affect how I want to be in 2013.  I want to live in the present. To be in the here and now, and not always to be looking ahead to what’s around the corner.  Easter will be here soon enough – for now, I’m enjoying the space between New Year and the next holiday.
And as part of that,  I’m enjoying reading. Not just having a giant TBR pile, or a bundle of titles on my Kindle, waiting to be read – I’m going to read my way through them. I’ve been doing that today – curled up in a chair, with a cat  and one of the books I was given for Christmas.
(For some reason everyone seems to have given me ghost stories this time – but that’s fine by me as the evening gathers round the house and the sky darkens. It’s a real change from writing and reading romance – and it’s sparking my imagination in a way I’m really enjoying.)
So that’s how  I’ve been thinking as I head into the start of this new year. I Know that, inevitably, I’ll end up having to plan for the next book, the next date on the schedule, but right now I’m enjoying living in the now -  and making that now include the fascinating books I have to read. I’m going back to my chair now – where the cat and the book are waiting.   Charlie the Maine Coon has a lot to teach me on this – he only ever lives in the here and now  unless he decides he wants an early dinner!
What about you?
You can find out what I'm up to  and all my latest news by visiting my web site or my blog


Susie Medwell said...

Happy New Year Kate - I hope 2013 is a good one for you.
I know exactly what you mean by living in the present, the second half of 2012 seemed to run away with me - and I'm in danger of having most of 2013 planned up front and it turning into a race to meet goals rather than enjoying each day!
It's my 50th year, so I'm resolving to enjoy it and appreciate the time - which definitely includes settling down with a good book or ten. My reading has been sadly neglected lately, and I miss it.

Kaelee said...

Happy reading Kate. I've started 2013 off with a fizzle as I can't seem to concentrate on anything. It's already the 6th and I haven't read a book yet this year. I've been worrying about things, most of which I have no control over. I have to stop it and start living for the now. That's easier said than done though.

Kaelee said...

PS ~ Our stores are filled with Valentine's day stuff. Mind you I haven't been to a dollar store since before Christmas so they could be filled with Easter stuff. The other thing that's overflowing the store aisles are plastic storage containers. Huge sales in every store we have been in lately.

Pat Cochran said...

Happy New Year! Hello to Charlie! Like
you I'm having difficulty staying in the
present, too much hanging over from the
past year and as much coming in from the

Pat C.

Kate Walker said...

Happy New Year, Susie and congratulations on your special birthday. I hope this special year is a great one for you. I'm with you in resolving tp appreciate time - and not let it rush away from you. If we're not careful, we can let the days run away with us spent on things that we don't value.

Kate Walker said...

Oh dear Kaelee, I hope some of those worries have eased now - and that you can enjoy living in the now. Worrying doesn;t change things does it? I've been where you are and I'm trying not to go back there. I hope you find a book and can sit down and enjoy it.

Oh yes - and we have those plastic storage boxes in the shops here. I wonder what they think we are going to put in them!

Kate Walker said...

Hello Pat - and Happy New Year to you too. Charlie sends best purrs for 2013. I know what you mean about things hanging over you from the past year and looming up in the future - I'm trying to make sure they don't overwhelm me and spoil the present - becuase the present is what we really have.

Mary Preston said...

I'm not one for resolutions. I am a planner though. So goals rather.

Catherine said...

HI Kate
I agree with you about living in the present moment. That is where all the joy, pleasure and inspiration is most richly available.
I met a friend for brunch yesterday at a favourite restaurant by the Fraser River. They had a picture of an enormous hamburger heaped with every condiment and extra possible called The No Resolutions Burger on the menu!

Maria Perry Mohan said...

I got some nice books for Christmas - including one of yours, Kate. There's quite a lot in that TBR pile, but I'm determined to get through it.