Tuesday, January 3, 2012

If You Don’t Make Them, You Can’t Break Them

By Edna Battersby from the Threadville Mystery series by Janet Bolin

It’s already January third, and if I tell you today that I didn’t make any resolutions for 2012, would you believe me? Or would you simply think I’d made oodles of them, and had already broken every single one of them?

I didn’t make any. Really.

Long ago, I resolved never to make them again, after Miss Agnew, our fifth grade teacher, encouraged us to make them, and to aim high.

She insisted that we should all try to make all A’s on our report cards, and all of us duly wrote down the resolutions we were supposed to make.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized what Miss Agnew deliberately did to us. She held all the power. She could have encouraged everyone to aim high, and to do their best. Instead, she made certain that none of us were able to keep the all A resolution. Everyone, even the top students, got at least one B on their next report card, courtesy of Miss Agnew. Maybe she thought she was doing us a favor by teaching us that life wasn’t fair. Really, though, the woman was just plain mean.

From that day on, I—well, it's not a resolution, but I have tried to encourage people, not discourage them.

Despite Miss Agnew's machinations, my friend Naomi continues to make resolutions, but she won’t tell us what they are. I think I know, though. She resolves to be a better person. It’s working so well that I sometimes wish she’d resolve not to be so sweet and good. Competing can be difficult.

In fact, I wish I could make New Year’s resolutions for people like that nasty Miss Agnew, and somehow make them stick.

On second thought, maybe that’s not such a good idea. What if someone decided I should stop telling them what I really think?

Okay, I’ll let everyone else make their own resolutions, and I’ll make mine. Or not.

Would you dare to make resolutions for others if you thought they could reciprocate?

You can learn more about Edna and how she and her friends helped Willow catch a murderer in DIRE THREADS, available in stores everywhere.

Talk to Janet Bolin on facebook and twitter.

And watch for THREADED FOR TROUBLE, arriving in stores June 5, 2012, and available for pre-order now!


  1. I wouldn't dare make resolutions for others, Edna. I have enough with breaking my own! Good luck with that, though.

  2. I wouldn't make resolutions for others. I'm not making any for me.

  3. Sounds like your teacher was a real witch (and not the kind that can cast a spell). I don't make resolutions. Don't remember the last time I did, if ever. If you want to change something you will. If not, making a resolution doesn't work.

    As for nasty teachers, when I was in 7th grade Dad - in the military - was stationed in a certain southern town. Word went out that one of the teachers told a new kid - in front of the whole class - "Yankee, go home.". And she wasn't kidding, either. No backlash to her that I heard about.

  4. Yeah, Lizzie and Dru, you're right. Resolutions are for other people to make--if they want to.

    Diane, my fifth-grade teacher got away with a lot because we were afraid of what else she might do. Today's teachers are kinder, I hope.

  5. As a mystery writer, I have to admit the wicked idea of making resolutions for Miss Agnew (or at least having control over whether she can succeed at the ones she makes herself) sounds like a wonderful concept for a story....

  6. If only we had the power.... (insert evil laugh).

  7. Oooh, The Daring Novelist, you're right! And I agree with Victoria, too, though as a character in a book, I sometimes wonder if novelists have *too* much power! Not that I let ours get away with anything...

  8. I dont make resolutions for others..and I only make a couple for myself, and I try to stick to them. =)
    Ive started Dire Threads and am really enjoying it!

  9. (Janet here.) Thanks, Melissa! And thanks for the tweet, too!