Tark and Mara Do New Year’s Resolutions

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Tark and Mara were holding their AGM. Their 12,000 square foot penthouse resembled the control room of an overly optimistic mission to Mars. Every window blind was a projection screen festooned with graphs and media strategies. Every surface, including the grand piano, was a sea of printouts, computer equipment, and swatches of ruinously expensive fabric. They had twenty-four hours before their annual New Year’s Party, at which they traditionally announced the most important trends for the following year.

“You can’t just say that, darling.”

“Why ever not, my effervescent poison of choice?”

“They’re resolutions, Tark. Not ideas. I want concrete goals, and ‘make 6.5 million euro on elbow patches’ is not a concrete goal. When? How? I want dates. I want graphs, for God’s sake.”

“Fine. I am going to make €6.5 million with my new line of suede elbow patches for the New Man of 2015. Hipsters are out. Jaded Academics are in. Full beards will make way for whiskey breath and corduroys. I will revive the elbow patches by wearing them to the first anti-austerity march of the New Year, and sewing them onto Hozier when he isn’t looking. How’s that?”

Mara’s eyes would have misted over, had there been enough liquid reserves within her size minus-one frame to squeeze out the emotion.

“My husband. I have to push you, you know. Your greatness knows no bounds other than the surface I gently scratch in order to aid its extraction.”

Within 24 hours, every entertainment diarist in the country would be arriving at Tark and Mara’s infamous New Year’s Eve party, in order to learn the inside track on what was in, and what was out. What they didn’t know yet was that Tark and Mara were about to announce that In/Out and Going Up/Going Down lists were themselves to be declared outmoded. They were going to have to come up with a whole new structure for announcing nonsense. There would be no sleep for the fashion media in the early hours of 2015.

Tark And Mara Do New Year's Resolutions

“Next.” Tark was smug. Mara loved him smug. Which was just as well, as Tark was really only not smug when sitting on the toilet, or watching other people eating.

“Cars,” said Mara.

“I’ll give you that one.”

“Easy.” Mara clasped her hands above her head and stretched her impossibly thin legs over the back of the Versailles chaise longue, crossing her seven-inch Gucci gladiator stilettos at the ankle. “We’re due a few power shortages – all the best countries have them now – so electric cars will become the new must-have problem. I predict a surge of electric SUVs across the southside by the time the first February storms come.”

“Brilliant,” said Tark, typing it into their master spreadsheet. “Next up, books.”

“I’ve got that covered, too.”

“I would have expected as such, my magnificent mantis.” Tark looked up expectantly. “Blind me with your genius.”

“Books are out,” said Mara airily.

“What? Surely you’re not about to sabotage your own livelihood?” Tark looked worried.

Mara was scornful. “Hardly. For one, my main livelihood, as you well know, hasn’t come from books since I lent my name to that range of kale yoghurt. What I’m saying is that the format is out. In 2015, I will make it no longer fashionable to read books.”

“But what about your back catalogue? All your erotic gardening crime novels, which are still paying you over a hundred grand a week in royalties?”

Tark And Mara Do New Year's Resolutions

“Wait until you see the millions I’ll be pulling in for personal appearances. In 2015, the status symbol of choice will be to no longer have to do any reading yourself. Anyone who is anybody will have an author in their own house, doing personalised spoken word gigs. I’ll start small, with celebrity bookclubs – they never read the stuff anyway. By June, I’ll be the number one on the Middle Eastern circuit, personalising my stories for local royalty.”

Tark gasped.

Mara reached out for his hand, and came as close to a smile as she had throughout 2014. “I’ll see your €6.5 million for elbow patches, my love, and I’ll raise you €10 million for the twenty-first birthday of a Saudi prince, and his fictional lotus-loving girlfriend.”

Tark snatched his feather-light wife from the chaise longue and swung her in the air, her delighted giggles providing a pleasant accompaniment to the percussion of disturbed paperwork flying all about them.

“Happy New Year, my love,” murmured Tark.

“Happy New Year. Here’s to us.”

“And my blog readers.”

Mara sighed. “Oh, if you must. Them too. Pass me the Bollinger, if you insist on toasting bloody blog readers.”

And so, they raised their 18th-century Venetian champagne flutes… just for you.

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  32 comments for “Tark and Mara Do New Year’s Resolutions

  1. December 30, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Awesome! 😀


  2. December 30, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    To the best of my knowledge champagne flutes are a relatively new invention and are American. Venetians , I think, would have been drinking their champagne from bowls with a deep indentation in the bottom, said to be modeled on the breast of Marie Antoinette. I love Tark and Mara. Happy New year.


  3. johanna buchanan
    December 30, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Happy New Year Tark and Mara.


    • December 30, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      They would reciprocate, Johanna, but I’m not sure they can hear you over the noise of the Jacuzzi. I’ll just say thanks instead 😉


  4. December 30, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Have a great, crazy, smashingly successful 2015, Tara!

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 30, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      Thanks Lorraine – and many happy returns to you and After The Sucker Punch too, might I add. Here’s to a big year for all of us!


  5. December 30, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Good one! Have a great 2015 ahead.


    • December 30, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      Thank you Ashok, and thank you for all your support during the year. It’s hugely appreciated 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. December 30, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Excellent. I have the whiskey breath off pat. I will just have to grow the whiskers and get the patches.
    Happy. New Year Tara.


    • December 30, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Thanks Conor. I have some pull, so I’m sending you some of Tark and Mara’s ultra-exclusive hand-sewn chamois leather patches by carrier pigeon. Please remember not to tip the pigeon, he gets very insulted. Happy New Year and looking forward to more of your splendidly marvellous blogging in 2015!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. December 30, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    What sort of champers was in ’em then? 😉

    Wildly interested to know whether Mara actually likes a good brut… 😛


    • December 30, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      It was Bolli, Jan, but I couldn’t find the right photograph, for either coloured glass or Bollinger, so I found myself at a right crossroads at the end of the year, let me tell you. Still, a few more buckets of booze, and I’m sure I’ll be all right…


  8. December 30, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    And I’ll raise my 21st century Ikea wine glass filled with cheap red plonk to you, and wish you and everyone else an enjoyable and productive 2015.


    • December 30, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      And the happiest of Hogmanays, the sweetest of successes and the fantastic-est of 2015s to you too!


  9. December 31, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Another Tark and Mara classic, Tara! I hope 2015 brings you as much success as T&M envisage for themselves! Yes! Just off to source a pair of corduroys – I knew if I waited long enough… Happy New Year! 😀


    • December 31, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      That may be the trick, Katie B… Success for Tark & Mara by means of simply refusing to accept failure! Of course as an award-winner yourself you know this 🙂 Good luck in 2015, looking forward to seeing lots of grest things from you next year x


  10. December 31, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Ha ha ha, my first meeting with Tark and Mara. Looking forward to the next. As a relatively new reader of your blog I’d like to say thank you and best wishes for 2015. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 31, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      You’re more than welcome Yvonne- pleasure getting to know you and thanks so much for finding me this year! Very best wishes for fulfilment and success to you in 2015. X

      Liked by 1 person

  11. January 1, 2015 at 1:15 am

    Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.


  12. carolannwrites
    January 1, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Will Mara come and write my novel for me? If I wear corduroys and drink whisky? Happy New Year Tark and Mara! Keep ’em coming!


    • January 2, 2015 at 7:05 pm

      If Mara were to write your novel, Carolann, it would be a shocking affair. And filthy. Absolutely filthy. I’d skip the corduroys, if I were you, and enjoy my own legacy! Happy New Year!


  13. January 2, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Shucks, I’d nearly finished my 15,000 word erotic gardening crime novella!


    • January 2, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      There’s ALWAYS room for another erotic gardening crime novella, Hilary! Don’t let Mara put you off 😉


  14. January 7, 2015 at 3:44 am

    Sigh. If only I took after my name-sake in your story and could predict (and realize) great wads of cash for my novels in 2015–though, I confess, I do not write erotic gardening crime novellas…maybe that’s my problem?

    Thanks for the giggles, and a Happy New Year to you and yours across the ocean!


    • January 7, 2015 at 8:00 am

      And a Happy New Year to you too, real Mara! I think you should predict huge success for yourself in 2015. After all, it’s fictional Mara’s titanium-clad self-belief which appears to attract the big bucks…

      Liked by 1 person

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