Ten years ago I met the new millennium in the East End of Glasgow, watching distant fireworks as computers across the face of the world spectacularly failed to send us back to the dark ages by crashing. I did not, at that time, think I would be seeing in the next decade drinking endless glasses of champagne in a fancy restaurant in India. I have quite an active imagination, but that was slightly beyond the scope of it.
Yet that’s how I spent last night, with my wife and other splendid forms of company, and an excellent time was had. There was soft shelled crab, and New Zealand lamb shank, and scallops, and strange, tasty things that came and went over many courses. There was a flautist and a band, and some slightly confused fireworks, and nobody quite knew whether it was 2010 yet or not, so kissed and hugged anyway. I think we got it about right.
I has originally planned to break down the last ten years, take them one at a time, and pick out the best and worst from them. In the end though, there’s too much of both. Marriages, good and bad, children and heartbreak. Day jobs of all kinds, from acting to bookselling to my current occupation, which has brought me halfway across the world. Towers falling and tsunamis blowing, Bombs and wars, and remarkable acts of solidarity and courage. The internet and pausing live TV. Computers shrinking, televisions expanding, and more, and more, and more.
Through it all, my one constant has been writing. Other loves have come and gone, but writing stays with me. From the publishing side, the last ten years have seen performed or in print:
Which leads me to my new year hope. Over the last decade there have been many ideas that never made it all the way through the process to being a full, written story. Many are on my hard drive right now, as fragments, and notes. In 2010, I intend to sift them, delete the bad, and finish the good. How far I’ll get, I can’t tell you, but there are novels, novellas, short stories, and stranger projects, all existing in a half-life form, crying out to be completed, and that’s my new year hope. Clear the decks.
It’s not a resolution. In ten days or so I’ll be halfway through my thirties, and know myself too well to call something a resolution. Me having a resolution which I must absolutely must not break is a bit like putting my daughter in front of a big flashing red button that makes ringing noises, and telling her that she absolutely must not to push it. Hence, new year hope. Let’s see how far we get.