Friday, December 31, 2010

2010, Adieu adieu adieu

Year-end roundup:

Books Read:
Henry James The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Novels
Ernest Hemingway The Old Man And The Sea
Elizabeth Strout Olive Kitteridge
Peter H. Wood Strange New Land: Africans in Colonial America
Carl Bridenbaugh Myths and Realities: Societies of the Colonial South
Richard Hofstader America at 1750: A Social Portrait
C.S. Lewis On Stories and Other Essays
Michael Bond A Bear Called Paddington
D.H. Lawrence Women In Love
Stephan Budiansky Her Majesty's Spymaster
Joshua and Anne-Lee Gilder Heavenly Intrigue
Cormac McCarthy The Road
Federico AndahaziThe Anatomist
H. Porter Abbott The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative
Michelle Davidson Argyle Monarch
Michael Bond More About Paddington
Jhumpa Lahiri Interpreter of Maladies
David Benioff City of Thieves
Mary Ann Samyn Beauty Breaks In
Victor LaValle Big Machine
Chinua Achibe Things Fall Apart
Haruki Murakami Sputnik Sweetheart
Colum McCann Let the Great World Spin
Agatha Christie Murder on the Orient Express
Mikhail Lermontov A Hero of Our Time
Rick Daley The Chronicles of Christmas
Agatha Christie Evil Under the Sun
Edgar Allen Poe Collected Poems and Stories
William Shakespeare Hamlet
Agatha Christie Halloween Party
Jorge Luis Borges Labyrinths
Nadine Gordimer Get A Life
Michelle Davidson Argyle Cinders
Jonathan Franzen Freedom (abandoned at pg 350)
Richard & Florence Atwater Mr. Popper's Penguins
Paul Harding Tinkers
Davin Malasarn Bread
Helene Hanff 84 Charing Cross Road
Laurence Sterne The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Michel Houellebecq Atomised
James Woods How Fiction Works
Roy Peter Clark The Glamour of Grammar
Richard Rive (Ed.) Modern African Prose

That's only 43 books, and I whine constantly that I have No Time To Read.

Only 9 nonfiction books are listed here, but I know that I've done a lot more factual reading than that in 2010. So huh. But a lot of my reading/research comes from JSTOR (an academic online periodicals library), and none of those materials are listed here.

Books Written:
In February I finished the first draft of a novel called Cocke & Bull, which I'm currently revising. In October I finished the complete rewrite of my Shakespeare-meets-scientific history novel Killing Hamlet. In November I wrote a basic outline of my next novel, tentatively titled Nowhere But North, which I'll be writing in 2011, good Lord willing.

Publishing Stuff:
I wrote some short stories but made no real effort to get any of them published. Why? Because it's a lot of work and my focus is on novels and if the five literary journals I actually read pass on a story, I stop shopping it around because why would I submit to a journal I don't even read? It's not polite.

But better news is that in November I got a new agent, the fabulous Weronika Janczuk. Weronika is patiently waiting to see some version of Cocke & Bull.

I wrote some good stuff over at the Literary Lab blog, and so did my colleagues Davin Malasarn and Michelle Davidson Argyle. Some day we'll pull together an anthology of our best writing tips, but for now we're all too busy and we keep revising our own ideas of what good writing is anyway. So don't hold your breath.

Other Stuff:
Progress was made toward finishing the upstairs of the house I share with Mighty Reader. Progress was interrupted when it became necessary to spend great gobs of money on a new furnace and having the fireplace rebuilt. Progress will continue in 2011 and I swear that at least the north room--the planned New Designated Writing Room--will be finished (complete with reclaimed cork flooring) by the end of 2011.

Progress was also made on learning some nice Mozart works for violin. We did not manage to buy a piano this year. Mighty Reader managed to alphabetize all of our books (no small feat), which means that my "to be read" stack is now scattered all over the house and I no longer remember which books I bought but haven't read. So some flaws in that plan, but it's nice to know that all the Hemingway is shelved together and that we know where it is.

Progress was not made on planting a tree in the front yard nor on building those raised beds I promised to construct. But we did get a ping pong table, thanks to the quick work of Mighty Reader.