Saturday, December 31, 2005

Another one bites the dust

Down here at the Not-So-Little House on the Prairies, there isn't much excitement to New Year's Eve. So I'll send this tasteless little tribute out to all those who like silly humour. This one is for those who want something more reflective and serious.

Frankly, this is one of those days that blurs in with all the others. There aren't many New Year's Eve events that stand out in my mind, except one. 16 years ago today, I know exactly where I was and what I was doing. The place: Berlin. The setting: just after the collapse of the Iron Curtain. There was the crackle of energy in the air, the feeling that you were on the verge of something happening. I went to the wall and crossed through Checkpoint Charlie and wandered around, looking at the line-ups of people desperate to cross over to the west. There was such a sense of optimism amongst those people, like their whole world was about to change for the better.

One of the things I remember most was wandering around shops. You could tell the East Germans from the westerners in a heartbeat - the East Germans would stop and stare at the simplest things, mesmerized. And when I got a chance to look around East Berlin I could understand why.

I think that stays with me, not just because I witnessed one of the major historical events in our time, but because there really was this sense that, for many of these people, the new year would be so much better. I'm not sure that the reality lived up to their expectations, to all they hoped for, but there still was this sense that in a short span of time life could improve dramatically, do a 90 degree turn and set a new course that couldn't have been foreseen even a few short months before.

How nice it would be to think that everything that I don't like in my life could all change within the next few months. Mind you, there isn't much I can complain about. Except for the agent-publisher drama that's giving me grey hair. It isn't even so much the waiting for me, it's having others ask me all the time what's happening. Not writers - just people who don't understand the industy and think everything should happen now.

I'm not big on making promises and pledges that I'll only feel a sense of failure for dropping the ball on a week from now. But this is what I'd like to do this next year:

- read more
- write better
- laugh harder
- live forever (so far, so good)

My highlights of 2005?

- Harrogate - what a blast
- Getting Nootka - what a sweet puppy!
- Interviewing Stuart MacBride and Laura Lippman - I love talking to smart, talented people
- Everything Spinetingler-related
- The arrival of my nephew Dashiell June 28



So, wherever you are, whatever you're doing, I hope you're surrounded by those you love and have a safe and happy celebration and start to 2006. I'll see you all here in a day or two.

XO
Sandra

17 comments:

JamesO said...

"Interviewing Stuart MacBride and Laura Lippman - I love talking to smart, talented people"

I don't know Laura, but there you go with the conflicting statements again...

Only kidding. Have a great new year.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Maybe I should add in funny people - you might qualify!

Just kidding. What i like best about doing the Spinetingler interviews is that I only talk to people I want to - I don't get "assigned" to do anyone.

Although there are some I'd like to interview that I don't always get.

And James, when is your book coming out anyway? I'm of a family of major fantasy/sci fi fans...

JamesO said...

Got me an agent, but no publisher yet. But the year's young, so who knows what might happen?

jason evans said...

Happy New Year, Sandra!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Well geesh, James, quit slacking off! Seriously, fingers crossed for the big deal soon.

And happy new year to you as well Jason! I just love your picture.

Gabriele C. said...

Göttingen is close enough to the border that a lot of east Germans stormed the Christmas Market. Yes, that time directly after the fall of the old east regime was the best - soon thereafter, politicians pushed expectations way over what was realistic, and there has been a severe down for several years on both the ex-east and ex-west sides. Only now, things slowly get back to normal. Though German economics is still a mess.

Happy New Year.

M. G. Tarquini said...

What agent-publisher fiasco? Do tell.

I have three brothers. They may have done actually something like that first greeting card you have up there. I do know there was a period when they thought it was really cool to light the exudate with matches.

Men.

Dashiell is adorable. Your Nootka is adorable. You're a nice person. I'm glad I found your blog and we're getting to know one another. A happy healthy New Year to you. May your dreams come true. Mindy

Sandra Ruttan said...

Amazing that after all these years, the ripples from reunification are still cutting through the water. I think only the Germans really understand what it's meant, because they've lived through all the transition and change.

Reunification sounds simple, in theory...

Mindy, I'm glad we've met. I've "met" so many wonderful people through the blogsphere. Living in a village a province away from my closest friends does put a damper on the social outings, so this is wonderful. A community within my computer.


But the fiasco is one not for the blog, just yet anyway. There's always email...

M. G. Tarquini said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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