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  • Kristina Elyse Butke

Let's Look Ahead: 2023


Light colored bokeh lights on light gray background: let's look ahead, 2023
Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

I did one of these for 2022 and decided to make a yearly tradition out of these. It's nice to reflect on my hopes and dreams for the coming year! It originally came from New Year 2020s and consists of 10 questions. Read on, friends, and maybe consider some of these for yourself!


. ⋅ ˚̣- : ✧ : – ⭒ ⊹ ⭒ – : ✧ : -˚̣⋅ .


What would you try if you knew you could not fail?

I would try writing every single day. This has never worked for me in my entire life but if I knew I couldn't fail at it, I would do it.


What would you like to be your biggest triumph by the end of the year?

I would like to have Son of the Siren in a publishing deal.


What advice would you like to give yourself as you begin the New Year?

I've had a rough time with my illness for the past few months. I'd like to keep taking it easy and try to be gentle with myself as I get it together.


What would you be most happy about completing?

I would love to have finished The Name and the Key this year. And if not, I think it would be great if I have the whole trilogy plotted out.


What major indulgence are you willing to experience?

I'm not sure about this one. I usually indulge myself if I have the money to, and I did when I was in Japan. I didn't make a lot, but I made enough to survive on. Now, things are precarious. But if I could indulge myself, I'd collect every volume of Chise Ogawa's Caste Heaven in paperback once more. I'd also buy my copies of Monstress again. I had to give these books up before moving back and I regret it.


What would you most like to change about yourself?

I did a great thing by giving up soda, but I'm still not healthy. I would like to make healthier choices overall. If I could lose the same weight I originally lost while I was in Japan, I would be very happy.


What do you think your biggest risk will be?

I think publishing Son of the Siren will be. I have an agent now, and he's going to work hard with me to try to nab a book deal, but I'm not 100% certain how my book is going to get into the world. It will be risky if it's traditionally published or self-published, because once the book is in print, it's out of my hands. As I learned through beta reading, people are going to love it or they won't; they'll get what I'm doing with the story, or they won't. And that's going to be really hard for me, but something I must learn to cope with. I'm risking my heart with this one.


What brings you the most joy and how are you going to do more of that?

Honestly, travelling brought me the most joy. I didn't really do it when I lived in Ohio, except when I travelled to Columbus or Sandusky to attend anime conventions. I would like to do that again. There was a big convention in Columbus in December, Galaxy Con, that I wanted to attend but missed due to finances but also...I'm kind of nervous about attending a convention during COVID-19. I hope things continue to get better so I can get back to cosplaying, buying art from Artist Alley, and meeting my favorite voice actors!


What is one change you could make to your lifestyle that would give you more peace?

I think walking in the woods would really help. Japan is surrounded by forests and I sort of took that for granted while I lived there. Now that I'm back here, there's not too many places to go to that are close by. Plus, I'm out of shape. But "forest bathing" was a big thing that brought me peace in Japan, and I'd like to try it again.


At the end of the year, how would you like your life to be transformed?

I'm relentless about this, but I want to be a published author. I've had some poetry published (but took a break from that to write novels), but I want my books out there. I miraculously have an agent now, but what we're working for is a publishing deal...and there's no guarantee that's going to happen. But getting one would completely transform my life.

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