New Year, Same Me

It’s New Year’s Eve as I write this. I’m feeling slightly nauseated, not because I’ve been drinking—I mean, it’s only 11 o’clock in the morning after all. No, it’s because Ken decided to run some errands, and right before he left, he made himself a cup of coffee because he obviously HATES ME. The smell has permeated the house, reaching right into my office, and now I understand how the woman feels who posted this ad on Facebook Marketplace:

I don’t know what her husband did to her that he no longer deserves a wet/dry shop vac, but I’ll bet it involved a percolator. So right now, my house smells like a skunk died in the kitchen, and I’ve taken futile refuge in my office to think about the new year ahead. I never make New Year’s resolutions, as I’ve said before– mostly because if I want to change something about my life, I do it when I think of it, not on some arbitrary and imaginary date line. But still, the moving forward of time does give one pause, and by “pause” I mean “let’s stop and think about what the f*ck we’re doing and do we want to keep on doing that?” So here are a couple of things I will most likely be doing in 2023:

1) I will finish the book I’m currently writing by the end of February. I have to, because I quit my job at the antique market to focus on it. Also, the antique market was no longer a fun place to work, and Ken and I promised each other that when we retired, we would only work at jobs we enjoyed doing. Not that I didn’t enjoy the work I did BEFORE I retired, but moving forward, I will only work at things I really, REALLY enjoy, like driving a forklift around the neighbourhood helping people move picnic tables or whatnot, or petting kittens and puppies. And writing. Writing is definitely something I enjoy. The new book is called Charybdis and it’s a gothic thriller that takes place in two different time periods involving a little-known reclusive Victorian poet and the modern-day graduate student who’s researching her life. What horrors will she discover? If you know anything about me at all, you’ll know there will be several! And then, once Charybdis is done, I’ll be starting on the third book in The Seventh Devil trilogy. Book 2, The Devil You Know, will be out this summer, and Book 3 will be called The Devil You Don’t. And of course, there’s At The End Of It All, which will be out in February and I can’t wait for you to read it. I love writing short stories, and I already have some more stories in the planning stages, which is to say I have notes on my phone like ‘laces where joints are supposed to meet’ and ‘Glitter for Brad’ and I have no idea why I wrote that down but it’ll make a great story once I figure it out.

2) I will travel more. I will have to do this spontaneously, because whenever I PLAN to travel, I instantly regret making travel arrangements and would rather just stay home.

Me: But what’s the use of being retired if I can’t travel?
My mind: Where do we want to go?
Me: I don’t know. Somewhere fun.
My mind: Home. Home is fun.
Me: No, NOT HOME! We need to see more of the world!
My mind: We’ve already seen plenty. The world is too scary now.
Me: Sigh. You have a point.

3) I will buy more clocks if I want to. You can’t stop me, KEN. In honour of clocks, I promised to show a picture of my favourite:

But I WILL make Ken a deal. I’ll stop buying clocks if he stops drinking coffee (at least in the house). Tick tock…

Anyway, Happy New Year. Let’s hope 2023 is a little more sane that the last few years.

62 thoughts on “New Year, Same Me

  1. Ha, now I’m wondering what kind of coffee smells like dead skunks, and now I’m also imagining a post-apocalyptic world where zombies still crave coffee and they’re all wandering around stuffing long-dead and decaying animals into coffee makers and letting it “perk”. (Just in case that comment causes controversy…yes, I’m a dedicated animal rights activist and advocate and I’ve been consistently vegetarian since 1992, and I would never dream of putting a nonhuman animal into a coffee maker. In the zombie apocalypse, I wouldn’t be doing anything survival related, I would be running around liberating as many animals as I could from pet shelters, homes, aquariums, etc. Ha!)

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  2. I’ve always been puzzled by the fact that the mechanisms of evolution chose to make coffee smell like it does, unless in eons past coffee bean plant pollen was somehow disseminated by roving musk oxen. But, I hear ya’. Difference is, I like it.
    Have a happy, productive ’23.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 2022 was a disaster year for me as I lost almost everyone I know after I admitted that I was born as an intersex female and had lived my entire life as a girl. My parents sent me to summer camp as a boy, and as such, 99% of my friends came from there and were told I was male. When I returned to visit, everyone who had known me since I was 11 suddenly treated me like a stranger, basing our decades-long friendships solely upon my outward appearance.

    My wife and I agree on your point about New Years resolutions. It is our opinion that they are outdated, and like you said, if something in your life needs to be changed, then you’ll simply change it accordingly.

    My wife and I plan to write a LOT more, and I plan to take a LOT more pictures.
    It turns out that I didn’t need them after all, and I decided not to return again, as things will never be the same again, despite my wishful thinking.

    Also, as for traveling, if you or your family happens to be anywhere in Vermont, I would absolutely drop everything to meet up with you guys. Literally *anywhere* in Vermont. Let me know. 🙂

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  4. So many things fascinate me about you Suzanne. But I’m totally confounded about why you don’t like coffee? I love coffee, the taste, the smell, the smoothness. Surly you can’t deny your dear husband one thing he loves. I mean he could be selling your clocks behind your back without you realizing, lol. I’m with you, I’m not one for resolutions. I make changes to myself or life as I see fit, not only on New Years. I can’t believe you quit your job at the antique mall, I thought you loved it. Well I’m glad you are concentrating on your writing. You are one of my favorite writers!!

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  5. A gothic thriller sounds like so much fun! I can’t wait to read that one for sure–and pick up all the others I’ve missed so far–I have most of your books (and they’re all fantastic!!), but I think I’m missing one or two, so I’d better get ordering–in the meantime–Happy New Year!!!

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  6. Nice clock. Does it work?
    Pretty specific lithograph there. Revolutionary War, it appears, armed Continental soldiers/sailors, massive frigates, the blue coat is indicative of the side. The hill, though, I can’t place it. I’d expect it to exist as I can’t imagine an artist making something like that up – Bob Ross style – “happy little hill with a flag, young men carrying flintlocks, going off to die.”

    You know, you can travel & write… A writer’s voyage, what better excuse?

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  7. I like the smell of coffee better than the taste. Do you have an exhaust fan in your kitchen? maybe you could ask Ken to turn it on when making coffee? Your clock fetish reminds me of my dad. He likes making them. Probably has 20 in his tiny apartment.

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  8. So Ken is drinking civet coffee, which is the only reason I can think of that it would smell that bad. If I could I’d recommend he switch to cold coffee, which is what I drink—aside from not burning my mouth it also doesn’t permeate the house with coffee smell. I also think you’re showing great restraint in writing “glitter for Brad” instead of for Ken. Glitter is horrifying on many levels, including environmentally, not to mention its ability to stick to a target in perpetuity.
    Looking forward to seeing your new old clocks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I wholeheartedly support eliminating anything from your life that doesn’t bring you joy or draws time/attention away from your writing, Suzanne! Charybdis sounds awesome; please keep me in mind if you need a beta-reader.


  10. Happy New Year, Suzanne! It sounds like you’ve got a lot of fun (writing, yay!) on your agenda in the year to come. I love that you’ve got no particular time-dependency for resolutions but have a thing for clocks. That’s some kind of perfect symmetry. Asymmetry?

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I must have missed this update because I was just reading today’s installment and you mention “now that I’m not working at the antiques market anymore” and just left it hanging, leaving me to wonder WHAT THE HELL HAS HAPPENED? Maybe a fatal mis-hap with the scary service lift doors? An excessively freaky customer? An overload of clocks?
    Anyway, glad to see that it’s just so you can concentrate on writing 🙂
    And if you do get over to the UK in the next 18 months give me a shout and we can meet up, have a nice cuppa & you can discuss Best Tea Towels with my wife.

    Liked by 1 person

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