Getting Started in the New Year

IMG_20171208_162057We’ve completed the first week of the new year, and I have to say I can’t complain. I hope everyone else is having a wonderful start.

Those who’ve been around a while know that I’m a folklore and mythology junkie, and I did a post a couple of weeks ago about my reading traditions for the holiday season.

We have a lot of traditions for the holiday season, and many of them originated from our ancestors’ desire to ward off the cold of winter and revitalize the world, particularly crops and animals, come spring. There are also a good many traditions whose original purpose was to protect against the creatures that roamed the darkness. A plethora of gods and demons were active during the dark, winter months, and any of these could cause difficulty for those who lived during that time.

In our modern world, we look at a lot of the superstitions of old as silly and ridiculous, beliefs of those who simply weren’t smart enough to know better, but I’ve found myself realizing that there is value in these beliefs–they offer us mystery and magic in a world where none seems to exist.

monster-773309_1920Think about it… We have TV shows like Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, and many others that offer us a glimpse into a world that our science tells us isn’t real. Yet, even though we may scoff at the possibility of monsters, ghosts, and demons, we still watch the shows. Why?

Because, at the end of the day, the possibility of these beings touches something within us that we’ve lost with our modern world. We’ve lost the ability to wonder and to be amazed. Most of us can’t even look up at the stars and wonder anymore because of city glow. We can’t walk in the wilderness because there’s little of it left. Our amazement comes from the capabilities of the newest electronic and not from the possibility of what may exist beyond our five-sense perception. We no longer connect to the parts of ourselves that lurk just beneath the surface of everyday life, the part that makes us one with the world around us.

I really started thinking about all this during the holidays when I realized that, while the decorations were pretty, there wasn’t any sense of anticipation about the holidays, it was just another day of things to do that really didn’t have much meaning beyond cooking and buying presents. Reading about older holiday traditions helped to bring meaning to this year’s series of special days.

IMG_20171201_230859So, out of all the resolutions I could make for the new year, I think what I’d like to do more than anything else is to slow down a bit, spend more time in nature, and do my best to remember why the days we celebrate matter. I resolve to find the mystery and magic again, both in the world around me and within myself.

What do you resolve to do for this year?

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs



Thoughts on the New Year

New Thoughts for the New Year

The presents were opened, the ham eaten, and Santa came for the last time – my youngest graduates this year.


Christmas Day has always been one day I was free to write. Once Santa had come, the presents were opened, and the ham eaten, everyone else was always occupied with their new gifts, so I had a while to sit in peace. I’ve always used the time to reflect on the previous year and turn my thoughts to the year ahead. This year was no different, and I spent the day looking back over my writing and marketing plan and trying to figure out what I needed to do to be successful in 2017. Truth be told, I have absolutely no idea.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I know I let fear keep me from promoting my writing the way I should. I know that I let my work hours keep me from attending workshops and conferences that would help me improve my writing and make the connections I need to make. I realize that, and I think it’s time to do something about it. I also realized that I let myself become exhausted and discouraged and that it won’t work to let that continue.

ebook-coverI have several book ideas for this year. I’ve finished the first revision of The Journey of Gwennyth Grimsbane, and I’m working on completing a story that predates Wolf in the Shadow. At two o’clock Christmas morning, I got an idea for the fourth book of The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III, so I’m hoping to get started on that one soon. I’ve also decided that I’ve made excuses for ‘the novel that never ends’ long enough, and I need to get on with getting it finished. Most of the book is written, but there are a few scenes that need to be added and a few more that need to be rewritten. Then, of course, there’s the revision and editing process. Regardless, this one needs to take priority this year.

IMG_20160901_161300I’d also like to redesign my website and make it look more like the Shadow Walker Guild Hall, at least as far as my meager skills can accomplish it. Feel free to chime in with opinions on that one. I’d also be interested in hearing your thoughts on what you’d like to see here.

So, plans made. I know what needs to be done. Now I just need to figure out how to get it all done in the time I have. But I can do this. I have my trusty planner and Galadriel, and the two of us will make it happen.

What are your goals for 2017? I’d love to hear from you.

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs