New Year's Day (observed)

It's New Year's Day (observed). I associate this time of the year with a feeling of being at loose ends, a feeling I attribute not just to the arbitrary milestone of a new set of numbers to put on our checks but also to the fact that by now I've usually spent a lot of time—perhaps too much time—away from work, with no routine to speak of. Add to that the fact of having consumed over the past two weeks far too much sugar, fat, and alcohol, and it's no wonder that I feel a little...off.

The New Year is a time for resolutions, for change. Just look at all those new people on ellipticals at the gym, everyone signing up for #Dryuary, everyone going on crash detox diets. This has always been the way of things, but this year even more than others, the New Year seems to be bringing with it a sense of reevaluation, a need to change fundamental things about who we are and how we engage with the world. We don't want to make the same mistakes we did in 2016.

For me, 2017 is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it will be the year in which my debut novel is published, fulfilling a dream I've had since I first learned to read and write in elementary school. On the other hand, 2017 will be the first in which President-Elect Donald Trump becomes President Donald Trump, a prospect that fills me with all kinds of fear and trepidation and dread for what the world will become.

Some other things the year will hold: my wife and I will turn 34, our daughter will turn 2, I'll meet and see baptized my baby niece. Some things I'd like my year to hold: great reviews and sales for The Exo Project (ha!), finishing a second YA novel for Boyds Mills Press, selling an adult novel (by which I mean a novel for adults, not, like, erotica), reading good books, understanding the world better through good reporting and analysis.

As for my resolutions, my desires for change, this is one: communicating in more purposeful, intentional ways, in mediums suited for nuance, thoughtfulness, and reflection. That means less Tweeting, probably, and recommitting myself to writing in this space, to you.

We'll see. Most of the people on those ellipticals aren't going to last past Valentine's Day.

Either way, my very best wishes to all of you for 2017.