My New Year’s Eve celebration was quite modest this year. Not even a glass of champagne or wine to bid 2011 goodbye. I had been sick since right before Christmas and my combination cold/bad allergies/exhaustion-from-finals-finally-catching-up refused to go away. So I spent it simply, cuddled in bed with my partner and a close friend watching “The New Guy” because apparently I missed most of the 90’s popular culture (though we later found out it was made in 2002).
But…I now feel fully recovered and this year seems to be getting off to a good start. And I’ve come to some realizations about my life and little changes I can make for the better.
I’ve refused to make New Year’s Resolutions for years because I always end up breaking them one way or another. They usually involved me writing and reading more for myself (rather than for school), spending more time outdoors and less time on the computer, etc. However, this article has me reconsidering this idea. It goes a little overboard on the profanity but I still think the point clear: there’s more to being a writer than just writing and there are plenty of ways to be better.
Playing Sims 3 and watching the okay sci-fi futuristic flick “In Time” (guess who plays the main character? JT actually isn’t that bad of an actor, though a little over-dramatic at times) has made me a little introspective, looking at the ways I spend my time. First off, I recognize Sims is often a time-drain just waiting to happen. But its fun! when it isn’t frustrating (all those red plumbobs). But it makes it easy to escape things that need to be done and things that would enrich my life more–like drawing, or reading more books.
Speaking of reading books, I’ve actually managed to complete one from my “To Read During Winter Break” list. *self-applause* It was non-fiction, but I couldn’t put it down: Inseparable: Desire Between Women in Literature by Emma Donahue. Donahue examines text from the early 1700’s to the present, uncovering and analyzing everything from allusions to, to full-blown plots about desire between women. It was fascinating to discover how classic texts, like many of Shakespeare’s plays, contain undercurrents of desire between women. I love how open, yet specific and organized Donahue is in her analysis and comparisons. It made the fast trip through the centuries of literature fascinating and not confusing. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in women in literature, gender studies, queer studies, the history of desire, or the history of literature in general. Once I read the book I started noticing the plot tropes she identifies in many of my favorite books and movies (modern and classic).
At the moment I am reading Beyond the Looking Glass: Extraordinary Works of Fairytale and Fantasy compiled by Jonathan Cott. These are all the stories that began the modern fairytale and fantasy tropes, the ones that made these kinds of stories popular for all ages and over time. So far I’ve read “King of the Golden River” and now I am reading “Petsetilla’s Posy” which is a wonderful work of satire.
If you’re interested in knowing other books I’ve read and recommend, check out my books on Goodreads. If you have a Goodreads.com account, feel free to add me (just mention you are coming from WordPress). If you don’t have one, you should! I love organizing but when you’ve been a voracious reader like I have been all my life (except the last few years when my life has been consumed by school required readings), it’s hard to remember every book you’ve read. I just started inputting the titles of all the books on my physical shelf to create a organizable, tag-able digital one. Then Goodreads recommended more books based on my bookshelf, and I discovered old loves I’d borrowed from the library or friends, and new title that sounded intriguing. One of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, is also a member, and blogs semi-regularly. You might find your favorite authors are Goodreads users too!
Hopefully this year will be “Dedicated to the Exercise of Imagination and the Pursuit of Creativity and Knowledge.” That’s the closest I’m going to get to a resolution, because I don’t want to jinx this newfound drive (Yes, jinxes exist, just like unicorns…okay, I definitely have Sims on the brain). I bought some new graphite pencils and a pencil sharpener, bought a new box to organize all my stationary and letter-writing supplies (go snail mail!), added more books to my “to read” list, and wrote this blog post. I also called Clipper to replace my card so I can actually use the pass that comes as part of my tuition at Mills and not scrounge around for coins I don’t need to spend just to ride the bus. Yay!
How has your first two weeks of the New Year gone?