Today is the last day of 2017. Can you believe it? I’m thankful, but I still can’t believe it. In my head, I’m stuck somewhere around dandelion season and every time I walk outside the freezing temperatures remind me it’s winter.
I’m happy we’re saying goodbye to 2017 tonight. Nothing fancy for us. A cheese and salami plate. Some champagne. A sparkler or two.
My post last week recapped the books I’ve read in 2015. In that post, I was excited to try to reach my goal of a book a week for 2016. With that in mind, I’ve created a reading challenge because I think they’re fun. I’ve based it on the alphabet =). Here it is:
Read a book with Animal characters.
Read a book by a best-selling British author.
Read a book with Cooking in it.
Read a Dystopian book.
Read a book with a character who’s an Engineer.
Read a book about Freedom.
Read a book about a Gift. Alternatively, read a book you received as a Gift.
Read a book about a character with memorable Hair.
Read a book where a character is Innocent.
Read a book written by an author whose name begins with J (first or last).
Read a book a King has read.
Read a book with a Long title (more than five words).
Read a book your Mother recommends.
Read a book by an author you’ve Never read before.
Read a book that has a character crossing an Ocean.
Read a book Published in 2016 and one Published the year you were 16.
I keep a ‘Did it!’ list to remind me of my accomplishments throughout the year, because I tend to forget them. Despite all of my good intentions, I’m an emotional creature and the events that happen throughout the year that pull on my emotions stick with me way longer than anything else.
2015 was a tough year for us as a family. Our children began the year at a school we can only describe as atrocious. We finally got them into a new school, but had to overcome the transitional challenges. In the process, we discovered our daughter had autism. We’re still fighting our way through the system to get help and support. Last year, my husband also started a new job that required him to put in a tremendous amount of effort, from late nights to little or no vacation. We’re exhausted because all of these things took up, and continue to take up, most of our physical and emotional energy. Many of my own personal goals were pushed to the side and as 2016 dawned, I really, really, really looked forward to a new year.
But when I went back over my ‘Did it!’ list, I realized I did a lot this year. Read more
It’s been said that if you want to write fiction well, study poetry. When I think about that advice, two things strike me: (1) I want to write fiction well, (2) I have not studied poetry.
I’ve read poetry. I’ve read Longfellow and Tennyson, Yeats and Keats, Frost and Owen. I’ve considered poetry, both classical and modern. During literature classes at University, I studied a little poetry. I spent an entire year with Dickinson digging past the dashes and sparrows to discover hidden gems of insight, sorrow and hope in her words. I’ve even analyzed poetry from a Swedish poet, Gunnar Ekelöf. By the way, studying poetry in a different language, trying hard to understand unfamiliar cultural influences is tougher than it seems. But for all that, I generally don’t spend much time with poetry. I can’t think of the last time I sought out a poetry book to read. Read more