Thursday, January 1, 2015

Setting the Tone for the New Year

I guess there's something to be said for the idea of setting the tone--for an interaction, an activity, anything really. But how does one set the tone for a calendar year, which is in essence an arbitrary, human-created division of something mysterious and profound, time?

We went about it by sleeping in today, going out for a nice breakfast/lunch, and then spending a few hours on a very pleasant hike. 

Our pace was slow, relaxed. The vibe of the experience was deliberately mellow. Enjoy the moment, relish unexpected delights, that kind of thing.

Turned out to be a lovely way to spend the afternoon. I got that wonderful buzz of vitalizing energy one does from time outdoors, in the sunshine and in the shade.

The conversation was pretty wide-ranging, too.

I've been visiting the Euthyphro dilemma quite often lately, and it was fun to verbally untangle some of its knots and discuss its elegance, power, implications.

One of the reasons I think I keep coming back to it is because it seems likely a remarkably powerful conceptual tool, or set of logical implications, arising from an apparently simple clarifying question of cause and effect. 

That eternally complicated question of "how do you pick the next book you're going to review" also reared its head. In this particular case I need to select two SF books and review them for my column at Intergalactic Medicine Show. The two-review piece is due by next Friday, and I have yet, after much back-and-forth, to pick the books. But I'm confident I'll select them by the end of the day, and that the books will be read and the piece delivered on time.

Rather than allowing this to be stressful, I'm choosing to focus on the joy of reading two new SF books--the privilege of my "first world" problem to begin with--and the added joy of then being able to share my thoughts with readers. Part of that "tone" thing I was mentioning before.

And speaking of books, the 2015 reading list already is absurdly long. But I'm not worried about it either. I'm going to read primarily for pleasure in 2014, continuing the trend I started in 2013, and wherever that takes me, that's where I'll go. "Whimsy welcome" is part of my New Year's mantra. All lists are just reference guides at this point, completely optional.                                                                                                                
Speaking of reading and writing, I do want to publish a post about my writing in 2014 and what stories etc. I have coming out (so far) in 2015. I've drafted it and it will most likely go up tomorrow.                                                                                                                                                                                            
So now, time for a deep breath. The new year is *here*. It was ushered in in the company of friends and loved ones. Today has been about relaxing, the pleasure of a partner's company, taking stock of time, looking inward. As the day winds down, I'll be slipping a little bit into task mode and focusing on the practicalities of some of the weeks ahead. Logistics, travel, deadlines. etc. But I won't become completely absorbed by them. That would disrupt the tone...

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