Today’s Reverb10 prompt is “Ordinary Joy,” and it asks for one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year. I don’t have one in particular, but I have had many of those, mostly linked to my dogs. I love taking them out for their walks, and seeing how happy they are as they trot along the sidewalk in front of me, tails held high, enthusiasm in every step. The way they gambol around when I let them off the leash at the park makes me truly understand, for the first time, the concept of vicarious happiness. And the ecstatic way they greet me when I come home, and when I wake up in the morning, just “can’t be beat.”
They’re a big, uniformly wonderful part of my life. As I wrote the second part of 2010 in Review, that kept coming up:
JULY: finally got some clarity on my own personal situation at the Company, by managing to persuade Bumble that I would take over the big huge file everyone was most worried about. That meant I ditched most of my management responsibilities and took on a really interesting set of policy issues. Got an agreement with the Company that saved our professional group from the worst effects of May’s bad decision. Yay me. No writing group this month but did first drafts of two new short stories and entered two contests.
AUGUST: was pretty happy with my new arrangement at work. Bailed on a lot of social events, which was silly except that I did sometimes use the time to write. Finished a short story the same day I got my first “real” rejection notice from a magazine. Won another victory over the Company over an unfair acting policy that penalized junior employees. Started lighting a fire under the paid staff of our professional association to get things done, since they were getting just a tad too comfortable.
SEPTEMBER: spent a blissful three nights at a spa a few hours from home, and got a lot of writing done. It was lovely, and I even made friends with one of the other guests, who is also interested in writing. It was great weather for the dogs and we spent a lot of weekends at the park.
OCTOBER: the Company lost a big bid, which resulted in a historic low in morale, but nobody talked about it. I spent a great weekend in upstate New York with a friend, but I still managed to produce a short story that I was proud of. Unfortunately, only one member of my critique group seemed to “get it,” which made me wonder if perhaps the group and I are simply not a good fit. How do you know when it’s them or when it’s you? One woman’s comments were particularly nasty and personal, to the point that the group leader felt like she had to come and apologize for her afterwards. I decided to take their technical comments on board, and ignore the other stuff. After incorporating some of them, I submitted the story to a contest.
NOVEMBER: worked on NaNoWriMo, but even though I limped to the finish line, the project never really caught fire this year. Still, happy as always that I did it. Only one other member of the critique group—the guy who liked my October story—participated.
DECEMBER: decided to do Holidailies this year, which means an entry every day between 5 December and 6 January. I’m enjoying it so far and it also led me to discover the fabulous Reverb10.com, which is all about reflecting on the past year and bringing on what’s next. Went to Brussels at the beginning of the month and had a decent time, a great one from a work point of view, which was the point. Always interesting to see another culture in action. Hoping to finish another story before the end of the year, and finish on a mellow, positive note.