Three Goals for the New Year

Rodin's "The Thinker" pondering his goals for the New Year.
Rodin’s “The Thinker” sitting in Paris and pondering his goals for the New Year. Just. Like. Me.

Happy 2015 from France! I’m back in Paris for installment two of my creative writing MFA program. Again, I am struck by how a city that smells of urine and is so gloomy (especially during this cold, gray January) can fill me with such delight. I’d venture a guess that it has to do something with the rich food, the sumptuous wines, and that every turn of a street corner reveals something – an old building, an impossibly chic Parisian, or a charming cafe – that has me reaching for my iPhone to take a photo. Which leads me my first New Year’s resolution (because this is, after all, my first blog post in the New Year).

1. Take Better Pictures: I’ve had this blog for some time. I’ve been posting subpar iPhone photos for some time. I need to step up my image game. My photos of delicious dishes and cool interiors never do the original justice. So, new year, new camera. (Camera/lens suggestions would be much appreciated from those who actually know these things).

2. Write more. This is an obvious New Year’s resolution for all writers. And because I’m in graduate school for creative writing, I have some major incentive to put finger to keyboard. I’ve really enjoyed my first semester in NYU’s Paris Writer’s program, but I haven’t actually produced a ton of new writing. Part of the program is reading lots of books and writing responses to them, and I’ve reveled in these assignments. In fact, my author mentor for the first part of the program says I’ve become a better reader over the past months. Next semester: Become a better writer! I need to focus on writing more chunks of my book…somehow. I’m fairly certain this will involve finding a writing buddy and planting myself with this person in a place that has decent coffee and terrible Wifi.

3. Run a controlled experiment on the effect of sustaining from alcohol for 30 Days: You heard it here first: Mr. Dame in Spain and I, from Jan. 14 to Feb. 14, will not have any alcohol. We will chart this experiment to monitor for bodily changes, including but not limited to weight loss, improved sleep, and decreased amounts of fun. After we’ve crunched the numbers, I’ll report back. There will probably be a line graph of some kind. Why am I not starting this tee-totaling adventure on Jan. 1 like a normal resolution-maker? Well, as I said, I’m in Paris now. French wine. I’m just not that strong.

To resolutions,

The Dame in Spain


  1. All you really need is a Canon T3i and a 50mm 1.8 lens. In fact, I’ll write up a blog post on just that for you!

      1. I was going back and reading this post from last January, and I realized I never thanked you, A Heightened Sense of Things, for your wonderful advice and great blog post. Been using my Canon Rebel T5 for months and months, and I love it.

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