Jan 16, 2010

New Year, New Resolutions

Zana’s Cat Stats

READING: Tea and Biscuits Mary Scott (1950s/60s NZ writer. Good fun)

WATCHING: Deadwood – for the second time. Brilliant.

LISTENING TO: The Essential Leonard Cohen – esp. the 2nd CD

MAKING ME SMILE: This luddite learning to blog!

As I’m bringing up the rear in our launch line-up, I thought I’d talk about beginnings.

New blog sites are like New Years. They provide a tabula rasa upon which we can make our mark. NY Resolutions are visions of how we’d like to shape our lives. All too often though, I’ve caught myself repeating the resolutions of the year before. I’m never sure if, deep down, I didn’t really care about these goals or whether I’m just very skilled at sabotaging myself.

David Lean has been on my mind these past few days (Bear with me. There is a link!).

I like making films about characters I'd like to have dinner with.

Lean understood the essence of storytelling and whether his films were black and white and intimate like Brief Encounter, or the vast epics like Dr. Zhivago, it was his characters and their journeys that touched our souls. Yet he didn’t make films for fourteen years following the savaging by critics of Ryan’s Daughter. Now they are all dead and while most of the critics have been forgotten, Lean takes his place amongst the great directors.

Why do we inhibit ourselves? Allow others to inhibit us? Somewhere between 2 January and 31 December, we lose that glorious vision of how things might be if we were just to seize life and push self-doubt aside. My resolve this year is to shift from technophobe to technophile. Hence blogging and many thanks to my fellow felines for pulling me into the 21st century!

So today I raise a glass to David Lean in recognition of all the films that he gave us and all the films he might have given us. This is also a toast to a new blog site with its new vision and to a new decade. Happy Resolutions everyone!

Please feel free to share thoughts. We’d love to hear from you and you’ll be in to win today’s great prizes:

  1. The Earl’s Dilemma, Emily May (in Fate & Fortune, with A Country Miss In Hanover Square, by Anne Herries) Quills / Regency
  2. Forbidden Frontier, Zana Bell Mira
  3. Single Father: Wife & Mother Wanted, Sharon Archer Medical
  4. Duo of Marriage Reunited: Baby on the Way, Sharon Archer, with Lucy Clark’s Bride on the Children’s Ward Medical
  5. Claiming His Bought Bride, Rachel Bailey Desire
  6. The Blackmailed Bride’s Secret Child, Rachel Bailey Desire
  7. Tonight, My Love, Tracie Sommers Spice Briefs
  8. His Housekeeper Bride, Melissa James Harlequin Romance / Sweet
  9. Tycoon’s One Night Revenge, Bronwyn Jameson Desire
  10. Stone Cold Lover, Mel Teshco Ellora’s Cave


  1. Hi all

    Congrats on the new blog site Ladies.

    I never make resolutions I try to keep happy and healthy all year round doesn't always work LOL. I like to find me time so as I can read and that is one thing I do a lot of reading takes my mind off everything and lets me have wonderful adventures around the world.

    Have Fun

  2. Ah Helen, I couldn't agree more about the adventures. One of the great pleasures of reading is being transported into other worlds. So many books to read, so little time.....

  3. Hi Zana

    How true I really need to retire so as I can have even more time to read that is one goal I really have oh but if only we could live on love alone without the need for money LOL or the love you get from books.
    I went back and read the blogs from the start Ladies great site.

    Have Fun

  4. Zana, that's a fascinating story about David Lean -I'd never heard of him before. His movies, yes, but not him.

    And yes, I think there's something in that for everyone - never let other people inhibit us. Thanks!

  5. Hey Zana and all the loveCats!

    That is so sad about David Lean, I love Dr Zhivago- and agree its one of the all time greats!

    And its so true that we mustn't let others shape our futures with their harsh words and negativity. My friend ( who also happens to by a phycologist) always says be positive stay, positive and positive things will happen to you.. I do try and live by that - but it's not always easy.

    As for resolutions - I think that some resolutions are useless - but ones like - I will have my work circulating at all times, are constructive as you can measure them as you go...and that is what is helps make them a reality - to see you are achieving something.

    Congrats on being lucky last in the intro's.

    Bye 4 now

  6. Zana,
    Great post to round up the week. And technophobe to technophile is a good aim to have any time of the year.

    Like Helen I tend not to make New Year's resolutions but I did decided to try and find more balance this year with all the things I do.

    Sometime I think it is also fear that stops us form keeping out resolutions. I heard Dan Brown took 7 years to produce the Lost Symbol because he was afraid he could not create something as good as the DaVinci code. Whether that is true or not I don't know.

    Great to have you here with us other cats.

  7. Hey, Zana! Great blog! And you've made a giant step with your New Year resolutions! Zana, the brand new technophile! Woohoo!

    Now about my resolutions... not looking so good and I have to confess I didn't make any because I never keep them! But maybe I should make one... so... mine will be... Iwillbemoreorganisedwithmywriting! There I said it really fast and it hardly hurt at all!

  8. I love new year’s resolutions!! I make them every year and tend to stick to the important ones. But this year I have given myself a tough one. I’m a girl who likes her Chardonnay and a girl who is determined to get published in romance. So my new year’s resolution is no more lovely chilled white gold (or any alcoholic beverages) until I get the call. As this year includes a trip to the Margaret River, I have to get the call before October or visiting all the wineries will be an exercise in torture. So here’s to 2010 being the year of publication.
    Jennifer St G

  9. Hey Tina, what a great friend to have though as you say, to stay positive is not always easy (esp. with rejections :))

    I hadn't heard about Dan Brown, Tracie, but can imagine the pressure he must have felt. I think it's happened to other writers too. Does anyone know?

    I admit, I make fewer resolutions on NYE now but that's mostly because I know from experience that I'll probably break them! At the same time, I think giving voice to goals is a good idea. My dear friend in Texas always reminds me of the song from "South Pacific". "If you don't have a dream, how you gonna make a dream come true."

    LOL with your goal, Sharon. And there I've been envying your on-to-it efficiency! Are you telling me this doesn't translate into your writing life?

    What fascinates me most is the clever ways I manage to sabotage myself without even noticing! "Tomorrow" is of course a classic. One I have for writing is "I just need to do a bit more research...."

  10. I decided a few years back - no more New Years resolutions! I rarely keep them, so mostly I'm setting myself up for a fall. Mostly I like to have something attainable (like ah, keeping fit)
    Have to say well done Zana on your first blog post!! Go Cats, Go!!

  11. I've shifted my goal posts for resolutions - and it's all because of RWA, lol. Now I start in September - because that is the start of the comp season in RWA, and finish with the conference. So mine are all writing goals, and fit in with comps, finishing wips, subbing, going to conference and pitching.

  12. Alas, no, Zana - my writing seems to be very resistant to my organising skills! ;-) But I've put the resolution here in your comments section for the world to see so now I have to make more of an effort, don't I!

    Hey, that story about David Lean was really interesting. I've seen the films you mentioned and they were all *wonderful*. Just goes to show that we shouldn't let our critics run our lives.

  13. Wow Jennifer, I'm in awe! That's a staunch resolution - and such a good idea. Now, not only will you have more time and more brain :), you've got the best incentive for getting the books written and then out there. Keep us in touch with your progress!

    The comps do make great goals, don't they, Anita. The Clendon worked especially well for me and got me finishing a book a year for a few years.

  14. Hey Zana!
    In the world of technology, as in the world of writing, it's one step at a time. You're taking your first steps. Pretty soon you'll be running!

  15. Go Zana for getting into technology. I take my hat off to you. I tried, I really, really did, but alas that part of my brain seems to have missed the connections. However, I can understand Lean's heartache. We are such solitary creates in our writing caves, then we venture and give our beloved work to be read/watched/ etc, to acclaim or otherwise. It's the otherwise we have to be tough about, because accepting acclaim is easy.
    So best wishes with your forray into the unknown world.
    Jane B

  16. Jane, you don't have time to get into technology! Most of us are just in awe of your output!

    As for running, Gracie, I don't know. I'll be more than happy if I can get up to a brisk trot some day. However, you and Jem have been great a help in getting me moving in the first place.

  17. Hey Zana & the LoveCats,

    Good on you for taking the steps to become a techophile. It's a big wide world out there but you've got your Cat buddies to help you along the road.

    I set myself goals rather than resolutions. Like Tracie, I want to find more balance in life. Right now though I seem to be going at a snail's pace. But that's OK. I'm still going in the right direction :)

  18. Hi again cats!

    This is just to let you that my review of Emily May's historical debut - The Earl's Dilemma - is up on my blog!

    Emily - you need a website and dedicated blog as Emily May. Fast!

    You're gonna need it for all the fans, lol ...

  19. Hey Zana - great post! And i love that song from South Pacific you mentioned up above btw - always sing that to the kids :)
    Good for you for becoming a technophile!

  20. Eleni, it's a constant theme in writer's lives, isn't it - the quest for balance. Is it because for many of us we are juggling what is basically two careers/family etc. or is it simply that writing and the business of writing is so obsessive?

  21. Jane, about to whiz off to read your review. I've got Em's book on order but have yet to see it! Can't wait.

    Natalie, seems to me that you are EXCEPTIONALLY good at making dreams come true at the moment :D! What a cool song to sing to your kids while they're still impressionable. My 18 year old would be aghast if I sang it to him now. Sigh.

  22. What a fabulous point - that the people who make derogatory comments about our work will eventually be forgotten but if we don't let them hinder us... we'll be remembered fro great storytelling. Thanks for the timely reminder about why writing matters!!!
    Looking forward to following your debut into blogland :)


  23. Hello Jane! I'm glad you enjoyed The Earl's Dilemma. Yes, it's very Georgette Heyer-ish -- I'm a huge fan of hers! An Emily May website is under construction...

    Zana, I'm far too good at guilt to make New Year resolutions any more. You're doing well at yours -- go Technophile!

  24. Georgette Heyer-ish? How wonderful. She's one of my all time favourites. All the more excited to read it, Emily.

    Thanks for the support, Rach, as I learn to doggy-paddle in blogwaters.

  25. A great wrap to the week Zana. How good to make a resolution and get runs on the board so soon with the blog. Well done!!

    I don't do resolutions. But in December I downloaded Margie Lawson's Defeating Self-Deafeating Bahaviours lecture. And that's my aim for the year... try to nail some of my self-defeating behaviours!

    The David Lean story is a perfect one for me - don't listen to the general masses! THANKS :-)


  26. Welcome to blog-land Zana, and what a great place to be. Lovecats' launch week has been fab!!


  27. I don't really have resolutions but I have some goals for this year which are receive my degree by the end of the year (4 classes left counting this term) and to walk more often then I have been doing.I also would like to be a little more organized with things than I am right now.

    Rachel - I enjoyed Claiming His Bought Bride when I read it the other day and can't wait to read your second book.

  28. Let me know if you develop any good strategies for self-defeating behaviour, Cath. We could all do with some, I'm sure.

    Thanks for the thumbs up, Becca. It's been great having all you guys drop by.

  29. Hmm, just as well I confessed to being a technophobe at the beginning of the blog. Interesting problems have arisen re identities. I'll float with anonymous for the time being.

    Amanda, how very cool to be so close to finishing your degree. Hope you really enjoy your final classes.

  30. Great post Zana and wonderful blog LoveCatsDownUnder!

    I haden't made a NY resolution for years until this one. Mine this year is to land an Literary Agent. That's the main one and probably the only one I will not fail at.

    Full stop. :)

  31. What a good quest! Best of luck for it, Tamara!

  32. Hi, I don't do resolutions either but have certainly made some goals for 2010. Mainly around wrting, submitting and trying to be published - all positive!
    On the David Lean stuff about having dinner with the characters, I would love to have dinner with either Sherlock Holmes to work out the complexities of the man or (childhood crush coming up) Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica aka Dirk Benedict, phew!

  33. I love the diversity in your choices, Susan, though I agree, both are seriously cool! Have you seen the latest Sherlock movie?

  34. Not yet but living in hope, come to think of it I could add Robert Downey Junior to that list...or George Clooney as Dr Doug Ross, particularly in the episode when he wore his tuxedo and got all wet pulling a child from a storm drain....mmmmmm

  35. Hi Zana
    Great blog and thought provoking. You are right that we shouldn't worry about critics. More people criticise than praise; with criticism there is often a long winded explanation, with praise it's usually a succinct 'well done' or 'awesome'.
    I spend more time going over the lovely writing by Heyer than I do thinking of how she could have done it better.
    cheers - looking forward to the next blog
    Judy O'Connor

  36. Hi Zana
    Lovely blog and congratulations - I'm a technophobe and am very impressed! I've never done the New Year Resolutions game, but after stopping playing the cancer-victim game I made a resolution never to turn down invitations because I was shy, expected to not enjoy them, or tired, and since then I've done some very odd and surprisingly enjoyable things.

  37. Great to see you perusing your Heyers, Judy. She's another extremely undervalued writer. I think some of her books would make cracker Sunday night BBC specials.

  38. Lesley, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Having a brush with mortality does lead to serious soul searching, I think. I certainly re-prioritised my life after an extreme car accident. I think you are wonderful to turn cancer into an opportunity to have new experiences.

  39. Hi Zana Great to see you here. Well done! I'm doing some goals which I'm hoping to achieve this year.

    A great blog LoveCats. All the best. Cheers Giovanna

  40. Hi Em

    I got your book in Aussie when I was visiting my family last week.
    It's a great read.

  41. Zana, forgot to say, my daughter's partner borrowed your historical and loved it, insisted on me finding another one of your books. I said the next one's due any minute, but then found her your children's story and said she'll have to wait for the next one to come out. You've got a fan - and she's a journalist, so she's fussy.

  42. Amanda, thanks so much for letting me know you enjoyed Claiming His Bought Bride! It was fun to write. =)