Jan. 1st, 2013

Day One

Jan. 1st, 2013 11:43 pm
karenhealey: Rainbow Dash overcome with excitement (My Little Pony) (Default)
It is probably emblematic of how this year is going to go that in order to finish this post in a timely fashion I had to deliberately stop working on something else. With an intense teaching course that has to be my main priority, plus a book to launch, plus another one to revise, plus various Secret Projects, this promises to be a very busy year for me. Fair warning, internets, you may not see so much of my blogging as hitherto.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Before I look forward, I want to look back.

I lived with my parents last year, mostly because I couldn't afford not to. This was humbling at first, but not nearly as frustrating as I had expected, and I outgrew the (futile, unnecessary) shame fairly quickly. After all, I got to live rent free in a beautiful house with views that included adorable lambs, beautiful mountains, and the sun rising over the ocean. There are much worse positions to be in.

I became, by necessity and inclination, much tidier, because my mother is one of those mothers. That's something I'm planning to bring into this year, and those following. Living in tidy, comfortable surroundings is much better for my peace of mind! Who knew?

I worked retail, for the first time in six years, and it was much better than my previous experiences - because I've grown up, and because I was working with a genuinely awesome group of people. Honestly, if the company had paid us anything close to what we were worth, I might have chosen to stay another six months.

Writing-wise, it was a prolific year for me, although the results are naturally delayed, publishing being what it is. My short story, "Mrs Beeton's Book of Magical Management" was released in the excellent YA anthology Wilful Impropriety This was my first short story sale, and I was very proud to have it be under the aegis of the excellent Ekaterina Sedia.

I made my first foray into self-publishing, with the essay collection Teen Movie Times. Available at Smashwords, the iTunes store and Kobo.com! Very cheap, especially at Kobo! I'm really satisfied with the work I did on that book. So far there have been sufficient sales to pay for the cover art and make a small profit, which is even more satisfying.

In the fading days of the old year, I packed up my every belonging (I had more of them than I expected) and moved them back to Christchurch, city of my heart. I will reside and study here for the next 12 months, and then we will see what happens next. Won't that be interesting?

It was a good year, Internets, and it put me in a good place to move on to the next stage in my life of adventure.

Karen, you say, enough of this chatter, how did you do on your New Year's Resolutions? And do you have any for this year?

WELL, let's see!

I made three resolutions last year:

1) To read the Brontes.


Success, internets, most excellent success! I read every novel by those ladies, and on the whole enjoyed the experience. I hated Wuthering Heights, and despised The Professor, but liked Jane Eyre and Agnes Grey, and adored Shirley and Villette. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, perhaps surprisingly, did not press all my buttons - I really liked it, but not as much as I'd been expecting, given its reputation for fierce feminism.

I therefore rank my Brontes with Charlotte first and Emily last, with Anne hanging out in the middle, making faces about the Demon Drink. The resolution also had an unexpected but not unwelcome effect; while avoiding Wuthering Heights, I read a lot of other old English (and one American) books in strange procrastination. Entertaining and useful!

2) To read all of Shakespeare's plays that I hadn't already read.

Failure, internets, most abject failure! I got part way through A Comedy of Errors and gave up, and that was some time in November. King John, you will have to wait a little longer to inflict your notorious awfulness upon me.

3) To blog every day.

Failure? Sort of? This didn't happen, but I do feel that my blogging this year was of generally good quality, and that was really what I was aiming for. So I will declare the resolution a success in spirit.

So, one and a half out of three! Not bad at all.

And do I have New Years resolutions for this year, internets? I do! Three of them! But since one of them refers to my sleeping habits, I must stop typing soon.

Instead, I resolve to tell you my resolutions tomorrow. See you then!

April 2014

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