Friday, January 4, 2013

A Better Year Ahead?

Photo Copyright, 1998, L.K. Rettstatt
How can we make 2013 better than 2012? I think we'd all agree that a lot could be better. Some of us make resolutions--things to which we commit ourselves for next year. Several ideas have floated around Facebook in the past weeks about ways to move forward into 2013. I’m not one to make resolutions because I rarely keep them and then just feel like a failure and a weakling for not following through. Some of the ideas I’ve seen posted, however, appeal to me. One suggests that we find one positive thing in every day, jot that down on a slip of paper and tuck it into a jar or box. Then as we approach the next New Year, we remove those slips of paper and read them, reflect on the ways in which the previous year was good.

Another movement started on Twitter by TV personality Ann Curry, following the horrible massacre in a Connecticut school, suggests each person performs 26 random acts of kindness to honor those who died. This was expanded upon by someone to question what would happen if we all did this on a daily basis.

We faced impending doom as the Mayan calendar came to an end. Only to discover that it was not an end, but a new beginning--much like turning the page to a new month, a new era. Rather than total destruction, we find ourselves at a new starting point filled with possibilities. My writer’s brain loves possibilities and new starts for that is where new stories are born.

As writers, we create worlds and story lines and characters that are intended to entertain our readers. Our stories have the ability to carry readers to a new place, to lift them out of the day-to-day and ordinary, or to make the ordinary extraordinary.

Though I don’t make resolutions, I have made a few promises to myself and to my readers. I promise to be more mindful of ways I can either focus on the good that is around me or act to make something good happen. In my writing, I promise to continue to offer my readers stories of strength, love, humor and hope. And I get to kick off the New Year with a new book release on January 7 when A Falling Star is released in ebook.

I grew up in a small southwestern Pennsylvania town in a former coal mining region that has fallen prey to the dwindling economy over a period of years. But Brownsville is a town rich in history. It even has a castle! It's a place where, on every holiday, a parade rolls through the main street of town past all the boarded-up store fronts. some would say that's crazy. I think it reflects the spirit of the people in my hometown. They believe in possibilities and in the future, all the while holding onto the best of their past.

I set A Falling Star in Brownsville (under the name of Clarkston) and let myself dream of a hero who would come home and not only save the town but would renew a relationship with his first love. In the process, his priorities are tested, tried and readjusted.

I look forward to 2013 with three books coming out from Champagne Books that I hope will give you something to think about, dream of, hope for and will make you smile. And I hope it’s a better year for all of us in many ways.

Linda Rettstatt


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I'm from that other coal mining town, NE, PA, Wilkes Barre.

I like your people's spirit. A parade. Goals are better than resolutions.