2013, 2014, and general new year reflections

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The picture above, courtesy of the Scotsman newspaper, is of New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh in 1964, at the Tron on the Royal Mile.

When I first came to live in Edinburgh in 1990, this is where everyone gathered at new year – totally spontaneously. Thousands of people, all bringing in the new year together, then walking up and down the Royal Mile, kissing and wishing each other Happy New Year. Bloody fantastic.

It’s very different now. Now it’s a very slick, organised street party with bands and catering and  people in luminous jackets keeping everyone moving along. Sometimes, in bad weather, it gets cancelled. You couldn’t have cancelled the old Tron festivities. You can’t cancel people just turning up.

It’s great now, though. Just very different.

2013 has been pretty cool. I’ve completed three novels this year (started the first one in 2012 but let’s not worry too much about that) and lost 30lbs of writerly-and-second-child-acquired flab.

And I read a LOT of great books.

I don’t maintain good reading records so I’ll undoubtedly miss some major ones, but stand out highlights include the following:

– S U Pacat’s Captive Prince #1 and 2 (will book 3 ever arrive?)

– Josh Lanyon’s new Haunted Heart series (so, so beautiful. Flawless)

– Jordan Castillo Price’s Psycop 7 (platinum, baby)

– Carolyn Crane’s new Associates series (rich, smart, fun)

– Alexis Hall’s Glitterland (hunjad puhcent!)

– As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann (an oldie but a goodie – not romance though)

– Lb Gregg’s welcome return with How I Met Your Father (fun, witty May/December romance)

– The. Magpie. Lord. By KJ Charles (believe the hype)

– ZA Maxfield’s Cowboy Heart series (so looking forward to book 2)

2014 looks promising, from both a readerly and a writerly perspective. There are so many books I’m looking forward to reading (some of which I already have on my Kindle right now). It will be odd to be not-writing about Murdo and David but I have a number of possible new writing projects to choose from. The next few weeks will be dedicated to deciding precisely what one to run with. Which will inevitably involve reflecting deeply, enjoyably, on what it is I love to read.

Because that’s the test, baby.

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