I’m still fighting the remnants of the Cold From Hell (possibly complicated by an allergy to blowing cedar pollen which hits a lot of people around here) but at least I am starting to feel a little more in the Christmas spirit. Not much more, but at least I am enjoying the Christmas music on the radio, and just last Monday I was inspired to go ahead and sort out the last of the Christmas presents that I wanted to give to some people I am fond of. So, all that is sorted. Our Christmas dinner is sorted also. Blondie will be out doing deliveries for Edible Arrangements until the last minute, so practically everything to do with Christmas was done in the last day or so.

Which leaves me looking out at next year, and considering what I will do, and what I can do, as the fiscal cliff approaches; no matter how you slice it, 2013 is going to be a bumpy ride. So, in no particular order of importance, I am resolved to –

Change my bank account from Bank of America to a local Texas institution – Frost Bank. Blondie has an account there, Watercress Press’s business accounts are there, and Frost has a sterling reputation. I have always put off doing this because of the sheer hassle I perceived that would come from changing my automatic deposit from DFAS and the automatic payment to the mortgage company. Apparently this will not be so much of a hassle as I had feared.

Finish and publish my next book, The Quivera Trail on schedule and well before a prospective launch date in November, 2013. Get cracking on the research for the book after that – the Gold Rush era picaresque novel, tentatively entitled The Golden Road which will star young Fredi Steinmetz and a cast of at least a couple of dozen characters, some historical and some made up.

Redouble my efforts to have a back-yard truck garden. No, really – I’d like to be able to eat more of our own vegetables on a regular basis, and this requires turning just about every spare sun-shine splattered inch of the back yard into raised beds. Blondie is wondering how hard it would to keep a beehive. I wonder about how much of an expense and hassle it is to keep chickens for eggs. In any case, keeping a mini-cow for milk is quite out of the question.

I resolve to keep better track of the readers and fans of my books, to do more focused marketing, to post more regularly on the various blogs, to carry on adding materiel to the various Facebook pages. I need to answer emails more, send out my author newsletter more often. And I really ought to get a lock on why we can’t post pictures on this blog.

I will also have to pick up more of the management and recruitment of business at Watercress Press. It was my idea to open a POD imprint, so of course I am shouldering a lot of the design and formatting work necessary. I need to get better, though; I really should become more expert with Photoshop and with Adobe Acrobat software programs. I should also do an intensive study of book design and layout; the more that I can do in-house to a higher standard professionally, the less that we need to pay someone else to do. I need to put Watercress in front of other local writers as a viable option for publishing. We need to segue from depending on my business partner’s old contacts and referrals to developing a circle of new referrals. We’re local; we can meet with people, and do more hand-holding than a distant publisher with a jazzy website.

Given the odds that prices for food items will likely start rising, we should make an effort to stockpile more staple foods; rice, beans, canned tomatoes, sugar, flour, pasta … and not forgetting dog and cat food, too. Antibiotics and medical supplies out to be on that list as well. I also ought to see about doing more home-canning, and stashing away more pickles, and preserved fruits.

Pay off the last few institutions and people where I still owe money. Look into some kind of generator which will allow us to keep power in an outage. Work harder at selling the California real estate.
From here on out, I vow to avoid supporting authors, musicians, public intellectuals, television programs, movies, institutions and businesses who have insulted my own values, standards and ethical/political beliefs. Sorry – if you have spent the last couple of years demonizing and slandering Tea Partiers, libertarian/conservatives and Texans – just to name a few, then you can do without me.

Doable? We’ll just have to see, won’t we?

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