Happy New Year! (Mary Strand)

The official theme at our YAOTL blog this month is “out with the old, in with the new.”

In other words, HaPpY nEw YeAr!

Nail Gaiman has made an art form (appropriately enough) out of clever words to greet the New Year, so I’ll post one of my favorites of his:

(I always like the kissing part in particular. No wonder I love writing YA.)

Truth is, I love new starts: annually, of course, but also monthly, weekly, and even daily. I write a somewhat ambitious “list of 100” goals each year, and I’ve noticed in the last five years that I manage to accomplish between 37 and 40 of them every single year. But hope springs eternal! My list this year includes getting a motorcycle license, learning to box, and performing onstage at First Avenue. (Yo! A girl’s gotta dream big!)

My list of 100 contains my bigger dreams, but I also scribble out to-do lists every day and every week, in a desperate attempt to keep myself on track.

Along with a lot of my writer friends, I also choose a word of the year. It’s on a post-it note on the door to my office, theoretically to inspire me each day. For 2022, it’s “FRUITION.” As in, I’ve been working on a ton of different things, especially in writing and music, and I’m hoping they all come to fruition in 2022. Or, well, at least 37-40 of them. No! Maybe I’ll nail 50 of them this year. You never know!

Okay, my true confession is that I’m an utter realist trapped inside the body of someone who SOUNDS like a crazy-ass optimist. (As in, hope for the best but prepare for the worst.) But at the beginning of each year, and even each week, and first thing in the morning most days of my life, I’m indeed an optimist as I scribble out all the things I plan to accomplish.

My hopes often get blown to smithereens. But the next day, the next week, and definitely the next year I’ll try again.

And I hope. Even despite the last couple of years we've just endured, I always hope. I hope you do, too.

Mary Strand is the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Push-Up Bras and three other novels in the Bennet Sisters YA series. You can find out more about her at marystrand.com.


  1. I like your optimism and hope you get to 52 fruitions, one for each week.

    1. Thanks, Berek! 52 fruitions sounds pretty good! :-)


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