New Year’s Resolutions for 2017: December 23, 2016

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2017? Post them here and then at the end of the year, I’ll feature this in the newsletter and ask you to check in to see which ones you’ve accomplished and reflect on your writing year.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.552

I have several New Years’s resolutions, and I wish to keep them few.

I want to publish a book, be it self-published or traditionally published, by the end of the year. It has always been my dream to do so, and I am confident that if I keep typing these short stories, I will end up with a short story anthology by the end of the year. To the best of my knowledge, such a book could not be traditionally published, so I intend to use CreateSpace to publish it online. I will certainly edit the stories, so they may differ from the ones published on this website so far.

I want to be able to begin my PhD studies this year. Although I’m getting old and my peers have already been gaining work experience, I think that breaking into research and development for companies and industries is a good idea because many of our current innovations rely on a solid body of research. The problem is I may have to switch from mathematics to computer science. I’m still exploring the latter field and I have much to learn. For example, I don’t have a background in statistics and I only know elementary things like inter-quartile range and the three averages (mean, median and mode). I wish to improve my knowledge in the area by taking MIT’s OpenCourseWare courses on probability and statistics once this term is over.

On top of that, I aim to complete my master’s studies within 2017 as I suffer from the ill effects of extending my studies beyond that which is necessary. That was in 2015. I deliberately extended my mathematics studies for an extra term because I wanted to do a project course to fulfil the requirements for the specialisation of Enrichment Stream in Mathematics at my university. Alas, since my grade-point average ended up less than 3.3 (I got 3.28), I couldn’t get this specialisation on my certificate.

If I could, I would like to read up and digest advanced mathematics so that I could complete my work-in-progress, The Sphere. It’s about a boy and a girl who navigate a decadent society. I began the story with a problematic school, but it appears from my research that it would be better to recast the immorality in the story world as part of the wider culture. That way it would be harder for our two protagonists, Claudia and Gareth, to escape.

My final New Year’s Resolution is to be able to master economics. When I was in Form 2, I observed that finance played a key role in Hong Kong society and I wanted to understand the factors behind the rise and fall of markets — and I managed to read an introductory economics book by Andre Fourçans. It was a French book translated into Chinese. However, by the time I read that book. it was already too late for me to amend the courses I enrolled in for the public examination.

I hope I can keep all these resolutions.