Like pretty much everyone, I’ve been in a bit of a funk, and the end of the year means heaps of melancholy, hooray! On that note, I’d say the absolute best Christmas song is “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” because it pokes at that holiday sadness and acknowledges loss, which we’ve experienced so much of this year. I’ve been playing that song on the piano a lot. I typically only play piano from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, so the poor thing is getting a workout.
I also have a New Year’s Eve birthday, so the end of the year is always a time of reassessing expectations and finding a way to move forward as we flip the calendar. Combine all of that with a pandemic and an exceedingly cloudy, dreary few weeks (pretty typical for this time of year where I live), and I gotta say, whew, it’s a lot.
But today, in this first week of January, I’m feeling hopeful. In just these last couple days, I got the proofs for my picture book, “Something Good,” which comes out in September. I got word from Chronicle Book’s marketing department that my novel “Rule of Threes,” out in May, will be ready to pre-order in the next few days. I saw the cover of a new translation of my debut picture book, “Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse,” this time in complex Chinese.
I felt a strange sensation that I think might be…hope? But I haven’t felt that in a while, and I’m a natural cynic. Hope can feel dangerous. There’s that worry that you’ll just get your feelings hurt, that you’ll be taken for a sucker. There’s a reason people say, “Don’t get your hopes up!”
But this year, I’m going to allow myself to get my hopes up. I have high hopes for my books out this year and even higher ones for the books I’m currently working on. I’m also very grateful to have a family who believes in me enough to get me these very hopeful Christmas/birthday combo gifts. May you feel hope, or at the very least a cautious optimism, as we enter this new year!