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Welcome to 2004. The year started while I was asleep, as I predicted; after a minor DVD-marathon (yeah, yeah, yeah; I’ve been a Buffy-fan for years, but somehow never made the spin-off leap. I’m now… somewhat intrigued, though not enough to find out when the current episodes air) and several bowls of my not-quite-famous-but-still-pretty-darn-good chicken and sausage gumbo, I was dead asleep by 11 pm.

Which was frankly fine by me. I’ve never really taken to New Year’s Eve, much as I’ve never taken to Valentine’s Day; enforced festivity, much like enforced romance, has always felt to me like a contradiction in terms.

But yesterday — now, yesterday was a celebration: I spent the day in my office, working. On my own projects. Reading, thinking, editing. And the best news is that I’ve got a little over two more weeks of the same ahead of me.

Despite its grayness (and yes, for you MLA-goers, things are a bit grayer here in the Inland Empire than they were in San Diego), despite the potential for post-holiday let-down, despite the need to prepare for the impending new semester, this part of January is one of my favorite times of the year: I get a fresh calendar, and thus literally and metaphorically the time and space to imagine a new future.

Paralleling, then, Liz’s call for retrospective blessings-counting, is my own call: I’d like to hear from you, on your hopes for 2004. I’m not much of a believer in the New Year’s resolution as a form (like New Year’s Eve’s enforced festivity, and Valentine’s Day’s enforced romance, the enforced drive toward self-improvement embodied in the resolution just doesn’t do it for me — or for many others, judging from how few such resolutions actually get kept), so that’s not what I’m after. What I’d like to hear about are hopes and dreams, future possibilities, worlds you’d like to see come into being this year.

My own hopes:

To get R. home, and keep him here a while.

To find a publisher, and put the old project to bed.

To find some clarity on the new project.

To make a dent in the growing masses of unread books I’ve accumulated.

Most of all, to find myself, this time next year, in a world substantively more peaceful, and in a country substantively more compassionate, than the one I find myself in today.



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