Looking Back, Looking Forward

Me and my Iron Girls (I'm second from the right)

Me and my Iron Girls (I’m second from the right)


Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. – William Faulkner


My greatest achievement of last year was completing my second novel, Learn Away the Indian and having it chosen as a finalist in the Pitch Wars competition. This year I want an agent.  Not just any agent. A reputable agent who loves my book as much as I do. However many queries it takes, however many contests and conference pitches—like Faulkner says, shoot high. Other writing goals:

  • Spend at least 30 hrs/week writing or on writing-related activities
  • Complete the first draft of my next novel (still trolling for a great story-spark)


Three words: Speed Reading Class. Then tackle last years list:

  • Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald  (Read it!)
  • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  • Artful Sentences by Virginia Tufte


I did finish a triathlon in 2013 (two actually!). I also completed a metric century (62 mi) bike ride. To train in the Vegas heat I had to get up early, really early (4:15am some mornings)—another of last years goals. This year I want to improve my race times and finished a Tough Mudder (eek!). I’ve also stolen my mother’s goal of not using a single plastic store bag, but always bringing my own.

As for the more abstract, I like to think I’ve grown less judgmental in the last year. Still, I’m far from perfect. My new goal is complementary: tolerance. I have a wonderful new group of friends who, while sharing so many of my dreams, have profoundly different beliefs. They’ve helped me see the world from a different vantage point. I cannot yield my principles, but insofar as they do no harm, I can (and should!) be tolerant of others’ principles. We are none of us drawn in a single color—black or white—but invariably a kaleidoscope of color, unique and nuanced. Tolerance is the lens through which these colors become apparent.


3 thoughts on “Looking Back, Looking Forward

  1. You are the nicest person I know. Well, maybe you and Marty are tied. I can’t even imagine you being more tolerant. And just for the record I am not trying nor will I ever try to be less judgemental. I like myself the way I am.

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