On Unresolutions and the Importance of Giving Up: Christie Ridgway, Tanya Michaels & Leslie Kelly Share

Sure, sure, you’ve got all those resolutions that you’re absolutely going to keep. We are 100 percent behind you. But in case you’ve begun to flounder, we got three authors to tell us about that time they didn’t keep a resolution — and how well it worked out. Won’t you let the authors of the new anthology, New Year’s Resolution: Romance!, make you feel better about eating that cookie last night? We’re sure it was delicious.

A few years ago, we lost our beloved yellow Lab, Harlow, to old age. We grieved and the family couldn’t imagine adopting another dog … and not adopting one either. That new year, I resolved not to rush into adding a new pet to our household. Hearts needed time to risk loving again. And I kept to that resolution … kind of. I didn’t hurriedly adopt a new pet, what happened was, this scrawny black cat showed up in our fenced back yard. She hung around, and, taking pity on her thin state, we offered her some of Harlow’s leftover food. That was about the last time she accepted anything that wasn’t strictly her own. Within days, somehow that cat (we named her Goblin) adopted us, with all the arrogance and presumption of her kind. If you have one of these types of felines you know what I mean. We love her; she tolerates us. However, working to please the queen of the house prepared us by the end of that year to bring in another yellow Lab, our adorable, silly, loyal, pet-me-and-I’ll-make-you-happy Hank. You can guess the ending to the story. Hank loves Goblin; she tolerates him. As the cat would say, life is as it should be.
Christie Ridgway

When I was in college, I transferred between semesters to join my fiancé in his hometown, where I planned to do my student teaching and graduate. After months of long-distance engagement, I was thrilled about our being together in the same zip code. Yet, shortly after my arrival, I learned he was cheating. Our breakup made the holidays depressing enough, but constantly running into my ex (or his family or friends) made life unbearable. Feeling stranded on a hostile alien planet, I resolved to move. Immediately! I rang in the New Year packing boxes.

Reality kicked in when I realized it was too late to enroll anywhere else for the upcoming semester and I’d lose money by backing out of my apartment lease. Though my parents supportively offered to help me relocate, responsibility outweighed my resolve to escape. I gritted my teeth and found a job, my first ever writing-related position, where I befriended a woman who’s still my best friend 20 years later. By the time I graduated, I’d also met the man I did marry, a man who makes me smile every day and is a fantastic dad to our two kids.

Turns out, the people I met and choices I made there led to a life full of blessings.
Tanya Michaels

One resolution I have made but never really kept is to be more organized. I am a big picture person, and often see that picture to the detriment of the little details. I try to make myself focus on the minutiae, but I can never quite manage it. Frankly, though, I’ve reached the point where I’m okay with that, in my life and in my work. I like being free to change direction, to pick up and go somewhere with my hubby, to do something crazy and fun with my kids, and being a little disorganized certainly lends itself to spontaneity. As for my work, I have never been much of a plotter when it comes to my books — always seeing the big story arc and not the little steps that get me there. After more than 50 books, I’ve come to accept that as my ideal way of storytelling, and I’ve stopped trying to force myself to plan every step of the way. Embracing my sometimes messy, disorganized process, personally and professionally, has suited me just fine. 
Leslie Kelly

There you have it! New Year’s Resolution: Romance! is available now online and in stores. Are you keeping your resolutions, or have you given up altogether? Let us know below, and be sure to check out our Everything Romance page for more love stories — unless your resolution was not to buy any books in 2015. 

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