Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Adventure Mantra 2011

Soon it will be 2011, an entire decade from the maelstrom of 9/11. The creator of facebook has been crowned man of the year. Email is rendered uncool, as it's all about texting, apps and iPads. The economy is creaking uphill, and the book industry is in a chaotic swirl. As Vampire lit is trending out, Aronofsky's luminous film, Black Swan cements the trending in of magic realism, and the subsequent blending of horror and magical realism. Conan's back, and his holiday set has been designed by a freaky New Agey guy living in the California desert and sporting a beard and a shalwar kameez.
Life in the good ole US of A. Weirdness, color and adventure.

Which brings me to thinking about dreams and wishes for 2011. I'm not really interested in New Year's resolutions, as they tend to be dropped after a couple of weeks. I'm thinking more along the lines of an overarching dream.

Adventure! Go places that fire up your imagination and inspire your writing. For me, that's traveling to places less familiar to Americans. For me, it was India, Russia, and now China. In 2011 it may be Istanbul. Take a notebook and fill it with sketches, ramblings, observations.

Pamper yourself between stints of hard work. Go for that massage, that spa visit, a day hike, a leisurely bike ride with friends.

Make a new writer friend. Have lunch, dinner, or a cuppa joe. Establish a pen-pal back and forth. Exchange ideas!

Subscribe to a foreign online paper. The Shanghai Daily? The Guardian? Expand your tight circle of where you get your info.

Make a gratitude list of all of your accomplishments of 2010. Don't fall into the trap of thinking about what you didn't accomplish. For a warning on this, check out Kelly Hashway's great post on Finding Balance:

Above all, don't take yourself so darn seriously! Have fun with what you do.

Seek adventure, take calculated risks, and more adventure! That's my mantra of 2011.
What's yours?

I'll think of you all fondly when I'm standing on the Great Wall of China, and freezing my ___ off as the Mongolian wind roars over the mountains. Cheerio!


  1. Catherine, great post and thanks for linking to my site!

  2. Super ideas. In the new year I hope to be less uptight about my writing and about other aspects of my life. Just relax and enjoy what I'm doing. Don't worry about the small things.

  3. Love this post! It's so easy to get focused on the negatives, so looking at a goal as an adventure puts a positive--and fun--spin on it!

    My adventures for the year: moving into a 230 year old home and restoring it AND signing with a literary agent. (Both HUGE adventures, LOL!)

    BTW: Wish I could visit the wall of China too!

  4. Thanks for your lovely thoughts. Yes, the Great Wall is everything it's cracked up to be, and more. Transcendent and timeless. It's the Year of the Rabbit, and I've come back over the China sea with awesome jasmine and oolong tea. Tipping a cup to you all.

  5. Wow! The great wall of China? I hope one day i'll be foturnate enough to get to see it.

    As for adventures, I just came back from one today and i'm so glad to be back home. :)

  6. I love this post because if we draw from life when we write, we need to live in order to spark our imagination. I don't have any crazy adventures planned (oh how I would love to see the Great Wall of China) but I think some hometown adventure is called for.

    And thanks for the follow and for visiting my blog. :)