Tag Archives: new years

To Resolve or Not to Resolve by LV Gaudet

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Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

Here we are, on the cusp of a new year again.  The time of year where people turn to making their selves promises to better their selves out of guilt over the gluttony of Christmas, because it is their custom to make resolutions for the new year, or simply for a lark.

They count down to midnight, holding glasses to the sky and looking around for someone to play the age old cat and mouse game of “who do I want to lock lips with and who do I desperately want to avoid at the stroke of midnight, and oh no, is that person giving me a hungry I want to devour you look; eww, yuk, don’t touch me.”  Fortunately, those firmly entrenched in romantic-type relationships have a certain sense of immunity.

The new year is often thought as chance at a new start.  Out with the old and in with the new year.  And for some, their yearly resolution is to adamantly proclaim to not have any new year resolutions.

For a month after New Years’, places offering life affirming, soul searching, and body improvements are to be avoided at all costs lest you lose your sanity trying to negotiate the parking lot in endless circles in hopes a spot will open.

By the end of February, many resolutions are forgotten like that dirty underwear discarded and fallen behind the laundry hamper, nagging at the back of the minds of those who remember they landed there but don’t want to dig them out.  you can once again approach the gym without the expectation of spending half an hour or more circling in search of the nefariously impossible to find parking.

 

I am not much of a resolution maker.  I never have been.  I have never really seen the point myself.

Rather than making myself a yearly promise to better myself, telling everyone that I must dedicate myself to something I am loathe to do or give up, I opt for more of a daily simplicity.

It is easier to embrace healthy choices when you don’t make it a chore.  Vegetables are not the enemy, boring food is.  Exercise is an exploration.  Don’t think about how you have to plan it, how much work it will be, just make it simple.  Simple choices.  Chose the positives, not the negatives.

I try to make that a simple part of everyday life.  I enjoy food.  I embrace it.  A good meal does not have to be hard.  Simplify.  Healthy and delicious, rather than lazily bland and over fat inducing.  I enjoy feeling good, not sluggish.  Living, moving, not laying about while time ticks by without me.

 

If I am making any kind of resolution this year, I made it in November, during NaNoWriMo.  It is not a pledge to better myself.

My promise was more of a what do I want to accomplish over the next year.  Over the next years.  Nothing worthwhile comes without some form of compromise.  Nothing in life is ever that simple.

I made a choice to focus my effort on finishing works in progress.  Choosing a story at whatever state of progress it is in, from the first drafts sitting idle to the partially done.  It means sacrificing the nonstop ideas that come up, urgently wanting to be written.  I have too many unfinished stories, put aside when the next story begs to be written.

And, let’s face it, writing is much more fun than editing.  Creating something new, the story flowing through you with no idea where it will take you; vs. re-reading the same story a hundred times over while you work to develop it into the best thing you can make it be.

So, while the new stories clamber to be written, I will try to focus instead on the new discoveries waiting to happen with old friends as I re-explore the stories to be edited, revised, torn asunder and reconstructed, and to be finished.

 

And, just for fun, for the New Year’s Eve glorified resolutions and customs fanatics, for your enjoyment …

 

From smashing your dirty dishes on your neighbor’s door to burning effigies, to fist fights, to who steps first over a threshold, here is a list of 25 strange new year’s customs.  As with anything internet based, take it for what it is, unverified and maybe true maybe not.

 

https://list25.com/25-strangest-new-years-traditions-from-around-the-world/

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What’s With all the Kissing? by L.V. Gaudet

out with the old

It’s that most dreaded time of year, the out with the old and in with the new.  When you feel obligated to come up with some kind of promise to change something fundamental about yourself, usually to do with the assumption everyone needs to shed a few pounds or some other imagined body image issue, and face the quandary, do I go out or stay home?

 

cinderella.jpgLike Cinderella’s night on the town, everything changes with the inevitable stroke of midnight.  By eleven-thirty some will already be eyeing up the competition, and the potential recipients of kisses; while others are scouting out exit plans to avoid smacking lips with, ugh, that person they spotted eyeing them up.

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So, what’s with all this kissing stuff anyway?

 

 

saturnalia-2Some sites suggest it started with the Romans celebration of the Festival of Saturnalia with lewd parties, but that was in December.  January first did not mark the New Year until around 46 B.C. when Julius Caesar declared it so in his new fancy Julian calendar. However, apparently medieval Europe did not approve, considered New Years to be unchristian and pagan, and the Council of Tours abolished it around 567 A.D.  It wasn’t until the late date of around 1582 when the new Gregorian calendar brought January First back into popularity as the date marking the first day of the new year.

 

But this still doesn’t answer, what the heck is with the make-out fest of the stroke of midnight?

 

mask.jpgIn Europe, masked balls were held for years, the mask a representation of evil spirits from the old year and the great unmasking and kiss as an act of purification.  No doubt, they somehow worked virginal sacrifice in there somewhere, since the virgin seems to be the embodiment of purity throughout time, although I could find no such references of sacrificial acts in relation to New Years.

 

evil spirit.jpgOld German and English folklore beliefs involve more luck, and maybe a little warding off of wayward spirits, since that seems to be a big part of folklore.   In the old folklore, you must kiss that first random person you see after the stroke of midnight.  Your fortune for the coming year is set for good or bad, all depending on who you happened across.  But don’t forget to shake and blow those noisemakers loud when the stroke of midnight hits and it’s time for your kiss, because the Devil and evil spirits don’t like loud noise.  You don’t want them to possess either of you at the moment of that fated smooch.

 

Today we are much more fussy in who we lock lips with.  Gone are the days of the platonic New Years kiss with the first person you see, gender being irrelevant.  Now it is often dripping with more meaning than you can shake a clacker at.  The once nonsexual smooch now elicits visions of what more it might bring, for the amorous hoping to push his or her kiss on their victim, the jealous partner, or the unwilling or willing recipient.  A once upon a time hope for good luck for the coming year has been twisted into something that revolves around friendly relationships and sex.

 

And while you are doing your New Years smooching, don’t forget to pucker up on that significant other.  Jealousy issues aside, old superstitions suggest that failing to smooch your partner will leave you in the cold for the rest of the year.

 

labyrinth-2.jpgIf there is one thing to be said for researching things like this, is that it can open up a labyrinth of new paths to follow.  Old folklore is filled with beautifully sinister undercurrents.  There is little better to tantalize the horror writer than taking a step back in time and walking with those old lores and legends.  All of those wicked old fairy and folk lore tales, which have been tamed down for political correctness or to not scare the little kidlings they were originally meant to terrify, are ripe with ideas for the writer who has lost their muse.

 

Of course, the ideas gleaned from these tales can be made to fit any genre.

 

Now excuse me while I go mash lips with that guy over there.  He looks lucky.

We’ll talk later abou the whole silly resolutions thing.

 

Happy New Year!

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Watch for L.V. Gaudet’s books to come out, published by Indigo Sea Press:

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Where the Bodies Are – re-release

What kind of dark secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions?

Coming Soon-The McAllister Farm - twitter

The McAllister Farm – coming soon

Take a step back into time to learn more about the McAllister family.  The secret behind the bodies is revealed.

Links to purchase these and other upcoming L.V. Gaudet’s books

Link to reviews of Where the Bodies Are on Angie’s Diary:

https://angiesdiary.com/bookoftheweek-web/081-botwoct262014.html

 

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