Happy 2016

Today is a day, like any other. Yet it feels like it holds more power. It’s the day we flip the calendar. All those fresh squares stretch out before us, beckoning us to do something meaningful. It’s a reminder that the one thing we can’t get more of is time.

Looking ahead to 2016, the empty spaces are daunting. Although I want to do something to honor the clean slate, I don’t want to do it just because it feels momentous. So I probably won’t be dying my hair pink or bungee jumping any time soon.

In years past, this feeling has driven me to try new things because everyone else is doing it. I see others having great success, and I think I’m missing out. (Publishing articles on the listicle sites comes to mind.) Though more often than not, I convince myself not to chart a new course because I think it couldn’t possibly lead anywhere.

But I realized something important while I was flipping through my 2016 FDNY calendar. (I kid! Or not.) Many of the people I admire for doing really cool and exciting things started with the notion that no one else would be interested. Yet they were brave enough to do it anyway. And their work ends up resonating with people because, I think, they are passionate about it. Gav over at Zen Pencils comes to mind. He creates comic strips around quotes from historic figures, like TR’s “Man in the Arena” speech. At first he wondered if anyone would enjoy these comics as much as he did. The answer: a LOT of people!

All of that is to say, I’ve decided to change the focus of this blog. I’m ready to explore different topics on a deeper level. Some of you might find it interesting and exciting (I hope so!) and some might not. I might be hearing my own voice echo through the empty chambers of Chez Blog. That’s okay.

Sometimes you have to be willing to leave something familiar behind in order to make room for something new. Maybe it’s not the bravery of Rey fighting the Dark Side, but I’m ready to give it a go. (Anyone else seen The Force Awakens!?)

Hope to see you next Friday. Happy New Year! 



  1. Happy New Year! I have to get that calendar for Milton. Yes, I saw The Force Awakens. I thought it was a decent popcorn movie, but Milton seems to hate it even more than George Lucas. I can better understand George’s lament, but I thought that Milton was being fartish. You can imagine how well that observation went over.

    The start of the year seems to be as good a time as any to shift gears on your site, but you’re such a talented writer, I think even if all you do is post sections of the dictionary with your own commentary, it will resonate. I am undecided about what to do with mine once I settle into my new home, but my life has been predominantly chaos since August. I am looking forward to re-entering a rut.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We spend so much of our writing lives trying to find an audience. But if you chase an existing audience, it might be an indication that you’re not doing anything original. Agents and publishers want you to submit book proposals with detailed research showing somebody is already successfully doing what you want to do. Nobody wants to take a risk, and that probably discourages original work. I say write what you love. Write with your true voice. Let the audience follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m happy to follow you too in a new direction, Jackie! You’ve got me curious about “what’s next.” As for the Star Wars movie, it had great visual effects, but the character development was a bit “thin.” Still, it’s good entertainment. Have a wonderful 2016 and a great writing year.


    1. I’m hoping to focus a bit more on books, writing, and nature. Three big areas of interest for me — though I know they are not for everyone! 🙂
      Any new writing projects in the works for you?


      1. Hi Jackie. Yes, I’m working on a big project–another historical novel set in Boston, NY, and Detroit in the 1940’s. I’ve finished the research and now I’m plotting and drafting. Not sure what my next blog project will be. I’ll continue the Trailblazer series for a while longer. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I LOVE the idea, Jackie. Count me in! Your blog is never one I would say is trivial, or light-weight. But if you are diving deeper, I’m sticking around to hear whatever you find to say at those levels, friend. xo, and Happy New Year, and may the Force be, …you know! 😉


  5. I look forward to reading your revamped view here, Jackie. I too am contemplating on what I should do. Big Magic sparked me but am I brave enough..like you? Mmm I think not. But time will tell.

    Happy New Year


  6. Hi Jackie,

    Happy 2016! I took off a couple of months from my blog, getting ready to post for the new year, so I hear you … It gave me perspective. I’ve cut this new one down about 500 words. They take a lot of time and energy, don’t they? I love following you. All the best, Lorraine

    PS Isn’t it wonderful to see Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn on the bestseller list? Haven’t seen the movie.


    1. I’m so happy to see Brooklyn doing so well. I saw the movie about a month ago. I LOVED it, and I rarely say that about a novel adaptation. The film is very faithful to Colm Toibin’s story. (People in the theater actually clapped at the end.) I hear there is some Oscar buzz too.
      If you have the opportunity to see it, let me know if you enjoyed it as much as I did.


  7. This was such a great post! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your first paragraph as it has been something I had felt on numerous New Year’s Eve’s and Days. Awesome way to crafts your feelings. But I learned that I’m not like most people that do stuff because everyone else is doing it…I’m Doc Brown kind of person and that’s cool too. But I didn’t do anything drastic, like dying my hair either, but I would have liked to go bungy jumping again…although only in Australia. 🙂 I realized that all I’m trying to do is just be better than I was yesterday and have fun in the process, because every year that goes by I want to ask, hey how did I earn this gray hair that sprouted out? Did I earn it with fun and happiness, or stress? I’d like to say it would have been for fun…the good times noodle salad Guat fun that makes me laugh. That’s what I’m looking at, same goal, just different focus. One day at a time. And you my friend, I would follow you anywhere, because your writing rocks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that — you’re a Doc Brown kind of person. Actually you’re a pretty awesome kind of person. 🙂 Looking forward to a lot more good times noodle salad — Guatactular style.

      BTW — If I took the time to think about how I earned all the gray hairs on my head, we’d be here for days!


  8. Good for you for the introspection. I’m afraid I don’t have a direction for 2016 writer-wise. I need to get some focus going.

    I’m sure whatever direction you take, you will be great, as usual.


  9. Oh, that sounds good, Jackie! You’re such a wonderful writer, it would be pretty hard for you to go wrong.
    No, haven’t seen the new Star Wars movie, but probably will. Have you seen Brooklyn? A lovely film.


    1. I did see Brooklyn and loved it. I read the book before I’d seen the film because I’m a fan of Colm Toibin’s writing. The film is very true to the book. I enjoyed the film as much as the book (I rarely say that!) I think there is some Oscar buzz. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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