February … my favorite time of the year! I love the energy I experience in tackling my New Years' resolutions with gusto. By May, I'll be tired of them, but February? I'm just getting started!
My biggest goal this year revolves around the Arizona Authors Association. It's such a thrill to see the website coming together, and knowing that I have a role in making it happen. The site is humming along … if you haven't checked out your authors' page on Arizona Authors.org or .com, please do so. If there are any typos or errors, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get to them pronto!
While the new members' pages only allow for one book cover, I think you'll find that the website is more inviting now, and will attract more visitors to your webpage. Overall, it's a more professional look for you as you grow your reputation as an author. All of the text links to your books are clickable, so visitors may easily see all of your books, not just the one pictured. Please check out the site and let me know what you think. I welcome your input.
Last month, I added all of the newsletters from 2019 and 2020 to the website. Now you may easily peruse the archive of old issues. There is even an issue from 2015 on the resources page, for those who wax nostalgic for the old days. (Okay, not so old for us fogies, lol, but fun to look at anyway. Ah, for the good old, pre-pandemic days!) I will be updating the archive at least twice yearly, so that we will have a record of our progress as an association in the years to come. I'm sure a decade from now, some of us will look back at the current issues and think, "Wow, we've come a long way since then!” I hope to be around to make that observation along with the rest of you.Another of my New Year's resolutions is to finish the series of historical puzzle books that I'm working on with my son, Kevin Gundlach. He conceived the idea when he was working in a Glendale high school as a math teacher. He discovered that in order to teach any subject, whether math or history or language skills, you first had to ensure that your students knew how to logically tackle the subject. Without honing their logic skills, all other subjects proved difficult. He designed logic puzzles geared toward that end, to first teach a teen to reason, and then to teach them the other necessary skills.
He broached his idea with me, and I came up with a storyline to mesh with his historical puzzles. Together, we created Tryn, a superhero, alien, time traveling, high school teacher. Tryn travels through earth's history to fix the little messes that his rebellious, genius students make, in their desire to perfect the present by tinkering with the past. The books combine real history with language and logic skills, geared toward thinkers from 12 to 92. (I've done the puzzles and I love them; other seniors might get a kick out of them, too.) So far two are finished, The Altered Alphabet and Alexander the Late, and I'm currently taking up my pen again to create the third.
Have you started on your New Year's resolutions yet? February's a great time to start! What books will you write, or at least start, within the next couple of months? What will you leave behind in 2022 that, in ten years, will make you smile and say, "My, I've come so far since then!"?
It doesn't have to be big, but it should be significant. It must be something that you can look back on with pride. What stirs your fancy? Make a list, check it twice, cross out things until you get to that one doable, special, wonderful thing, and then do it. Finish that resolution, move forward, and grab your star. You'll be stepping into the future not with merely a sack full of excess baggage, but with a portfolio full of accomplishments. That's what New Year's resolutions, and Februarys, are for!
Kathleen Cook is a retired editor and the author of more than twenty books. A former copy writer/editor for Demand Studios, she also served as the Fictional Religion Editor for the ODP (Open Directory Project) in the internet’s early days. She is currently the Arizona Authors Association Editor as well as the new Secretary and Webmistress.