By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Fresh Slate, New Beginnings
Stuff ‘N Nonsense 1-11-23
Kim Van Meter

While I cringe at uttering those trite words, “New Year, new me!” like so many well-intentioned people as they shake off the trail dust from that ill-fated ride known as the Year of Our Lord 2022, I have to admit, it’s kinda true.

Look, I think we can all agree, 2022 didn’t live up to the hype.

In fact, if 2022 was considered anything other than a huge disappointment, I’ll eat my shoe.

From personal tragedies, to business failings and the never-ending pandemic, last year was a giant goose egg that I’m happy to leave behind with the rest of the rotten fruit.

But one thing I feel strongly about — and it’s something I say often — if the pendulum swings one way, eventually, it has to swing the other because the world is about balance.

While I’m all about manifesting dreams and goals, it seems prudent to use the example of 2022’s failure to tip-toe into the new year with a nonchalant attitude so as not to attract attention from any lingering 2022 juju.

Because, let’s be real, can our collective mental health stomach one more glitch in the Matrix? Mine cannot.

Okay, so here’s the situation for me as I put together my calendar for the year (don’t get excited, it only sounds organized), I am crazy busy and I don’t have time for nonsense.

I’ve signed contracts for four new books with Harlequin (wooohooo!) and I have a three-book series mapped out for my Alexx Andria pen name, an audio book deal for my J.H. Leigh pen name, and a book release for my Sorcha Dawn pen.

In between my book releases, I’ll still freelance for The Leader (can’t get rid of me yet!) and my baby, my only daughter, is graduating high school this year so I’ll need to pencil in some epic cry-fest/mental breakdown time in between all of the writing commitments because, well, priorities.

If the saying goes, “There’s no rest for the wicked,” then, I’m truly Lucifer’s bride because when I stare down the length of my calendar, I don’t see a break long enough to draw a deep breath, but I like it that way.

Sure, I’ll find time to squeeze in a Netflix binge session here and there but the stress of many commitments reminds me that I’m alive, I’m wanted, and I’m doing an excellent job of using my insane work ethic to plow over any personal problems in my life, because who has the time to deal with that?

#GenXcrew is in the house.

In all seriousness, I say this with the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed enthusiasm borne of a clean slate, knowing that by mid-year, my column will have some kind of dramatic monologue about pushing myself too hard, lamenting why bathing suits exist when Oreos taste so good, and questioning the meaning of life because my colliding deadlines are making me want to get in the car and drive away.

As my sister likes to sagely point out, it’s my pattern, and she’s not wrong.

So, here’s to a New Year, a fresh slate, and the comfort of emotional ruts to get us through the tough spots.


Kim Van Meter is a former full-time reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News; she continues to provide a monthly column. She can be reached at