2013, the year that was

So, it is almost the end of 2013.

This has been a year that has been very much interrupted.  Looking back at my goals for the year, I have achieved very few of them.  I’ve made progress, which is something, but completion?  Not so much.

The Australian Women’s Writer’s Challenge 

I aimed to read at least ten books and review at least six.  Looking at my Goodreads page, I read and reviewed nine.  Which looks on the surface as though I didn’t complete the challenge.  But!  In my reading for the Aurealis Awards, I’ve read far more books that technically count for the challenge (though I didn’t formally review them).  As of today, I have completed reading 44 books, of which 26 are (on a quick skim) by female writers.  So, challenge completed?

I’m actually not certain if I’m going to sign up for the challenge again next year.  I’ve done it the last two years, and I’ve enjoyed it, but I’m not certain how much energy I want to devote to reviewing work.  I really like being able to promote good books, and I’ll keep on tracking my reading through Goodreads, but I’ve gotten somewhat disillusioned with reviewing in general (and in the nature of some of the types of reviews I keep seeing posted to the site).  We’ll see, anyway.

Writing

Looking at the bare bones of the year, I didn’t accomplish as near as much as I’d wanted to writing-wise.  Health issues interrupted me several times (nothing that ended up being serious, mind, just flare-ups of the usual chronic illness stuff, with a few new things that got investigated).  I’d planned on getting at least one novel to a submittable/publishable level, and that didn’t happen.

However, I did spend a good five months working on something that was entirely for fun, and not for publication.  And it made me really step back and look at the career that I want to have, and what I want to achieve with writing.

Long story short, I have a whole lot of Plans for 2014.  Not sharing them in public yet, but I feel like I have direction now, and I’m hoping that I can get a lot accomplished next year.  It helps that the kidlet’s going to be going into kindy next year, so I’ll have a few days of undisturbed time to work in.

Reading

If you care to, you can see all of the books I read over at Goodreads.

There will be more added by the time the new year officially comes around, thanks to Aurealis reading, but as of right now, I’ve read 222 books, which is the most I’ve managed since I had the kidlet.  Kids getting older and being able to entertain themselves more = awesome.

I can’t talk about any of the Aurealis books yet (well, I can with disclaimers, but I’m not going to), but I can mention some of the books I particularly enjoyed out of that group.  And yes, you will see a lot of mountaineering books in that list if you go and look.  I developed a bit of a fascination with the sport and the people who do it over the year.  I have a story forming with the men in the basement based on it – either a novella or a novel, I’m not sure yet.

My picks of the year’s reading:

Joe Hill – NOS4R2

Laurie Edwards – Life Disrupted

Mira Grant – Parasite

Helen Marshall – Hair Side, Flesh Side

Nancy Kress – After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall

Neil Gaiman – The Ocean at the End of the Lane

M.T. Anderson – Feed

Paul Cornell – London Falling

Rainbow Rowell – Eleanor and Park

Kate Forsyth – The Wild Girl

Karen Healey – When We Wake

Andrew K Host – And All the Stars

Kaaron Warren – Through Splintered Walls

One thing I did fall down on was keeping up with my reviews of galleys from Netgalley.  I want to keep on top of them a bit better next year – and especially give myself permission to just put a book down if I’m not grabbed within 50 pages or so.  I want to extend that permission to reading in general.  I have more than 1000 books on my to-be-read pile (both real and virtual) and I’m not going to have all the time in the world to read everything.  It’s time to give myself permission to not like things that other people do, and not have to justify to anyone why I didn’t finish it.

I have a lot of goals for 2014, but I’m not going to share them in public.  I’m looking forward to a more productive year, however.

 

2013: A Year in Writing and Reading

Thinking today about goals for the new year (and also, how the hell did it get to be 2013??).

I’m not usually one for resolutions. Most people end up making them too vague (like: Eat better, get fit, get thin) or just chucking them all after a week.

I would like to make some goals for writing and reading this year, however. And so, ten goals:

1. Write up my full story bible for The Crossing trilogy (books currently entitled Shaede, Daemon and Fae).

2.  Fully outline Shaede.

3.  Outline Daemon and Fae – at least a skeleton outline, but preferably full outlines worked out.

4.  Draft Shaede, deliver to beta readers, and redraft to get a stage where it is ready for submission.

5.  Outline Wintersun.

6.  Either write a first draft of Wintersun or a second draft of Never (after getting feedback from beta readers.)

7.  Write and submit at least one piece of short fiction.

8. Track my writing progress every day.  Aim for 1k per day, but any progress is a positive.

9.  Keep tracking reading in Goodreads.  No goal for numbers of books read.  Add short reviews for everything finished.

10.  Return to the much-neglected Her Words and Worlds project by reading through the work of Angela Slatter.  Choose future victims subjects.

Attempting to get myself back into blogging

For 2013, one of my goals is to complete a photo-a-day project again.  I’d also like to get back into regular blogging again (Public blogging, that is.  I ramble way too much in private.)  And so, thought I, I shall combine the two!  I’m not sure if I’m going to cross-post everything.  We’ll see.

This project is for 2013, but I started early, because this photo opportunity was too good to pass up.  These corellas (which I think are Little Corellas, feel free to correct me, anyone, if I’m wrong) were making a racket this morning dancing in the sprinklers across the road.  I don’t blame them, since it was over 30C at something like 8am this morning.  Heat wave.  Ugh, summer in Perth can be horrible.

Corellas

Corellas dancing in the sprinklers. Click to embiggen over at Flickr.