Saturday, January 09, 2010

New Year's Predictions, How Eerily Accurate They Were

Happy Birthday Dave Matthews! (43 today)(picture taken by yours truly!)

Sometimes I mention things I love about being a writer (other than the actual writing, which is a given). For example, hearing from old friends. Another is meeting new ones. Another is meeting other authors. Writers tend to be a friendly bunch, and mystery and thriller writers, in particular, are some of the nicest people I've met. I mention this today because yesterday I was interviewed for an upcoming feature in The Big Thrill (International Thriller Writers' online newsletter) by Lj Sellers. I'd never met nor spoken to Lj before, but I immediately felt at ease with her and wished we lived in same town to meet for coffee. Alas, she lives on the Northwest coast, and here I am in the East. But hopefully, we'll see each other soon at a writer's conference. Check out Lj's website.

Now, on to the topic of the day: New Year's predictions.

On Thursday, one of the most interesting and unexpected pieces of mail showed up in my mailbox. It was an envelope from my good friend Karen in Boston. (I realize as I write this that Karen gets mentioned a lot in my blog. See my Feb. 28, 2008 post and my July 21, 2009 post. I wonder how she feels how about that?) It was a regular size envelope, but it felt slightly thicker than a regular piece of mail and, even more unusual, it was addressed to both me and Rick. It was also unusual because Thursday was her birthday; I remember thinking, why is she sending me something on her birthday? I'd sent her a present, and had left a voicemail message earlier for her, but we hadn't talked yet.

Still, I didn't open the envelope right away because I was running out to drop off my youngest daughter Sally at volleyball practice. When I returned home, I jumped in the shower before Rick got home; we planned to have dinner out together and then pick up Sally from volleyball. (In case you haven't noticed, we spend a lot – I mean a lot – of time driving Sally to and from volleyball.)

Well, Rick apparently opened the envelope while I was in the shower; later, at dinner, he told me what it contained: a cover letter from Karen asking, "Do you remember where you were ten years ago?" – referring to New Year's Eve 1999 – and then proceeded to remind us. We had been at a New Year's Eve party at Karen's house. We had already moved to Philly at the time, but we drove up to Boston the day before, stopping in New York City to see the Times Square preparations for the big turn-of-the-century party the next night.

Karen's cover letter reminded us who was there, what we ate, what we did, etc. But here's the most interesting part: underneath the cover letter were two pieces of confetti-decorated paper, one in my handwriting, one in Rick's handwriting. At the top was typewritten, "Happy New Year!" and the question, "What do you expect your life to be like in 10 years?" Following that question were our handwritten (quite sloppily – I think we were a little tipsy) predictions. Reading mine gave me the chills:

Will have:
(1) published something, anything
(2) jumped out of an airplane (with a parachute, of course)
(3) travelled to various parts of the world – Africa, Europe, Russia, etc.
(4) obtained my instrument rating
(1) be a mom my kids still talk to and want to spend time with
(2) live anywhere but PA – preferably near a beach
(3) spend at least one New Year's Eve in Times Square – perhaps the real millennium
(4) be healthy

Wow. I wrote these things ten years ago. I think my batting average is pretty darned good.

I'm published.

I haven't jumped out of the airplane yet, but my daughter Sally (yeah, the volleyball fanatic) intends to do it for her 18th birthday (a few years off) and I have told her I will do it with her.

We travelled to Europe (Belgium, to be specific, to attend the wedding of our friends Jolanta and Ronny) and the UK, and even Africa, which plays a large part in Rescuing Olivia. Russia is still on the list.

I haven't obtained my instrument rating yet, but it's still on the list, too.

I think my kids still like to talk to and spend time with me. You'd have to ask them, I guess. :-)

We live in Florida, which most certainly is not Pennsylvania and is near the beach. To be fair to PA, I wrote my list not long after moving away from Boston. I loved Boston and didn't want to leave. But I grew to love PA pretty quickly, and I cried my eyes out when we left for Florida in 2003.

We haven't spent New Year's Eve in Times Square, but we did go to the Macy's Day Parade one Thanksgiving and, as fun as that was, I think I no longer have the need to be in a NYC crowd during a major event. I guess that means I'm getting old!

And lastly, I consider myself healthy. I don't run as much as I used to, but I eat well, don't smoke, and my only real vice is the sun, and even that I don't abuse too much any more because I simply don't have the time.

All in all, not bad. What I found most interesting about my list from ten years ago is how well I knew myself. I've always been a goal-oriented person - probably too much so. Darn it, if I want to do something, I want to do something. LOL! This attitude comes in handy in the publishing business, where roadblocks exist at every turn. If nothing else, I know how to persist.

So what are your predictions for yourself? Where will you be ten years from now? Make a list, tuck it away in a safe place, and you've given yourself a neat little present for 2020. Just remember, no peeking!

Next up: an interview with Margaret Reyes Dempsey, the author of The Benefactor.