Sunday Sesh #18 – New Year’s Double-down

Since last Sunday was a dry sesh because of Christmas, this weekend is a double-down. That’s right – two beers in one Sesh. Incidentally, Christmas wasn’t exactly “dry”, as much as I just never got the chance to write about the beers I drank while I was home. So anyway, here are the first two beers of the New Year.

First off the rank is a Matilda Bay Alpha Pale Ale.

Matilda Bay Alpha Pale Ale

This one is a big brew, and there’s not much pale about it. It’s a dark golden colour, smelling fruity and citrusy – fresh enough for summer.

It’s got some big flavours but it’s not overwhelming as you might expect. There’s a bitterness that lasts a little while, but it’s not too over-powering. They say to have this with roast meats, but I accompanied my beer with a rump steak and veg. It went down quite nicely and suited the steak well.

I will have this one again, but it won’te become one of my regulars.

The second of today’s beers is from James Squire – Stow Away IPA (India Pale Ale) – quite appropriate since we’re hosting a four test series against them this summer, but I digress.

James Squire Stow Away IPA

This also pours quite well, with a frothy but light head. You can see the big difference in these two is the carbonation, but they’re almost identical in colour.

The IPA is drier and has a lot stronger bitterness in the aftertaste. It’s not too bad though, and I could have a couple of these on a hot day. It also smells a bit like potpourri out of the bottle, as well as wet paper – doesn’t make sense to me either, but that’s what I could smell.

I prefer the Alpha over the IPA, but I wouldn’t say no to either of them if they were offered.

Today’s sesh marks the first day of 2012. New Year is normally when most of us take stock of what we’ve done with the last year and in particular, how we’re going to lose the weight we’ve gained over the Festive Season.

I plan on having a big year in 2012, but I’m not one to make resolutions. I think they’re a fast way to failure. I do, however, believe in goal-setting – something I’ve been lacking over the past year or so. I’ve been coasting a little, going with the flow and seeing where it takes me. It hasn’t been too bad this last year, but 2012 is the year I take the wheel back and start to steer for myself.

The one thing I do want to get done is a revision of my writing plan. I wrote one at the start of last year that more or less just said that I wanted to prioritise my writing. I managed to do that more than I have in previous years, but this year it will go further. One of the major changes will be to set a writing schedule, and stick to it.

I will also start introducing myself to people as a “writer” instead of an “accountant”. At some point, I’m hoping that my brain starts to believe it and allows me to start acting like a writer instead of an accountant – not that being an accountant is a bad thing, but it’s just not what I want to be when I grow up.

I’m excited about being a writer this year instead of an accountant, and I’m excited about what I hope to achieve. One of the last things I did in 2011 (oh so far away now) was to go through my ideas – books, notes, napkins, post-its etc – and write them down on note-cards. Some of them have working titles, others just start with “The one about…”. I’ve added short synopses on each of them so I know what they’re about, and because of that, I feel a bit more organised already.

The other thing I realised is that I can no longer tell anyone I don’t have any ideas. I actually have 18 of them. That’s 18 novels that are waiting to be written. It blew me away when I realised, and the thing is, I only wrote down the ones that had “formed” to a point where I had a couple of characters, plot points and a general idea. I have a tonne of other ideas that are still percolating in the furthest reaches of my brain. The other thing is, a couple of those ideas are looking more and more like they could be great as series, so who knows how many books 18 ideas can turn into.

With that in mind, and safe in the thought that at any time I feel I can’t write anything I can just pull out a new note-card and start working on something different, I’m heading into 2012 with renewed vigour and energy,and particularly, enthusiasm, for my writing.

Blog-wise, I’m still pottering along trying to balance what I want to write about and writing about a lot less on “me”. There’ll be a few changes – not least of which when Summer is over, there will be no more Sunday Sesh’s, but I’m kicking around a few ideas to take its place over the colder months – perhaps reviewing coffee in the local cafes, or even better, the hot chocolates.

I’m also looking at blogging more on writing and my journey, almost as a journal, and I definitely want to include more extracts so you can see what I’ve been working on.

I’m also considering a weekly post on something topical – politics, scandals, something to get passionate about. I’ve enjoyed writing about gay marriage this year, not least of which because it affects me directly, but also because I’m passionate about it. I’m passionate about a lot of other things though, and I want to step side-ways a little and post more on the things that make me cringe, face-palm, laugh-out-loud, and yell at the television.

Apart from that, there are a host of other things that I’d like to achieve this year, but rather than bore you with the details, I’ll let you go and nurse your hangovers, and if you didn’t overdo it last night, pay out on those who did.

Plus, I need to get back to renovating. We’re now on a fast-track to getting the house finished as we’re on a dead-line. As we speak, power tools are whining away in the back yard cutting timber and drilling holes for the deck. The ceiling has been fixed and patched, so my painting skills are being called on.

It will be great to get the house finally finished, but we may not get to stick around to enjoy our hard work for very long. As I said earlier, I think this year will yield big things, so stay tuned.

Happy new year, and until next Sunday’s Sesh,

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