It is already a bit late to be writing an ‘end of year-looking forward to the next year’ post but I can’t help it. I had convinced myself I didn’t need to bother but I am about to go back to work and the urge to mark the passage of time, is irresistible. Due to the weird hours I work, my Christmas was about a week after everyone else’s and my return to work similarly so. Today feels very much like the beginning of 2016, thus this belated post.

2015 was very much a mixed year for me. I self published my first novel. It went nowhere. And while that stung a bit, I did appreciate the positive feedback and all the learning involved. Unfortunately since then I have been stuck. I could not focus on a new project. To that end I jumped into the namowrimo experience. It was brilliant and gave me 24000 words of a new novel but I couldn’t get beyond those 24000 words. I also completed 25000 words of another novel. I like this novel, though I fear I may be entertaining myself and no one else with it. Combining rural living, hurling and science fiction may be pushing the envelope a tad too far. These two incomplete projects will however form the basis for my most fervent ambition for 2016 i.e. completing two new novels. If I fail, (and by fail I mean not complete them rather than commercial and critical acclaim) then 2016 will have been a bit of a disaster for me.

My blogging fell off a cliff in 2015. I can use the excuse that I was busy failing to write other things, but blogging, for all its self-indulgence, is where I first found myself. I owe a great deal to blogging. It is through blogging, much more so than in my creative writing, that I discover what I think. In 2015 I didn’t get take the opportunity to reflect and as a result, I now feel uncomfortable in my own skin. Ideologically I am aware I’ve shifted to the left. For the first time in my life I could possibly be described as left of centre in the political spectrum. That is rather momentous for me but I haven’t explored it, put words to it and owned it. I determined a few months ago to leave Fine Gael, but I’ve dithered as I don’t know how to describe what and where I am.

My second ambition for 2016 (early February(ish)) is to begin a new blog. I intend beginning afresh (well, I’ll be importing some older blog posts, but still pretty afresh) and being more systematic in my blogging. It will be part commentary on my own politics (which is where I think my real strength is), part commentary on the world of politics, part update on my noveling, the odd nerd post and finally links to things I have read that week that I found insightful or just interesting.

2015 was also the year I discovered I am now actually middle aged. I hate it. I really hates it. My third ambition in 2016 is start looking after my ageing, slowing and increasingly cantankerous body. That means losing a lot of weight and eating a lot of stuff that never breathed. Ick.

I have to mention what was wonderful about 2015. I got married. Last March, about 20 friends and family witnessed my marriage to Paula, in a registry office in Dublin. Nearly half the guests were people we’d met on Twitter. Appropriate considering my wife and I also met on Twitter (Possible fourth ambition, be on Twitter less). I can safely say that it was the happiest day of my life and an amazingly stress free experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Can’t believe it has been almost a year.

The second thing I have to mention about 2015 was the Marriage Equality referendum. The result was glorious, that everywhere I canvassed voted yes, was the cherry on top, but I am still holding onto a knot of anger about the lack of support and/or numbers we had down here. Anger too that people had to go door to door begging for equality. Fifth ambition will be to get over it. All that matters is that it passed and that it passed with the overwhelming support of voters. I really need to let it go.

That referendum leads me to my sixth and final ambition for 2016, repealing the Eighth Amendment. I don’t know how involved I will be in that campaign in Kerry, but I know I have to be. Though I mostly just want to stick my head in the sand and let other people face the hate, and worse, the lack of interest, at the doors of strangers.

So that’s it. Have a great, productive and active 2016.

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