I think I just rambled, Life

things that i will totally do in 2018

There’s nothing I love more than lists. Lists are amazing. I hardly ever complete them, (TRANSLATION: nope. I never complete them) but we have wistful relationship. Sort of like my relationship with my violin – full of longing and missing talent.

Last year, I didn’t complete a single resolution. Not. One. So I thought, hmm … let me learn from this. Let me try to set achievable things. Let me … WRITE THE LONGEST TO DO LIST YET!!

Ah, yes. I really learn from my mistakes.

*ah-hem*

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BOOKS I WANT TO READ

  • A Dickens (WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF?!!!!)
  • The Candy Machine: How Cocaine Took Over The World by Tom Feiling
  • Two indie books
  • Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis
  • My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand
  • Nine Day Queen of England by Faith Cook
  • Pride and Prejudice (I’ve tried, but have yet to succeed)
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
  • A book by P.G Wodehouse (this will be a GREAT hardship)
  • Two books by Georgette Heyer (SUCH HARDSHIP)

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BLOG THINGS TO BE DONE

  • Two posts a week (HAHAHAHA)
  • Two Heyer Recountings
  • A Dickens Recounting
  • Two Guest Interviews
  • A few ‘Terrible Movies I’ve Loved’ posts
  • Greater interaction on other blogs

WRITING THINGS I’D LIKE TO ACHIEVE

  • Finish The Elf Stew
  • Edit and republish Our Intrepid Heroine
  • Enter a short story competition
  • Submit an article/short story for publication in a magazine/e-zine (is that what they’re called nowadays?)blur-1869579_1920

OTHER LIFE THINGS

  • Skate the Rideau Canal
  • Arrive back in England in one piece with sanity intact (WHAT SANITY?!)
  • Maintain daily devotions throughout the year
  • Strive to be kinder

I think – in order to encourage myself – I will cross off this list as I go. So be sure to check back. It’s a riveting sport.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t really mind if one thing or everything or nothing gets crossed off my List To End All My Lists – what matters, I think, is put most succinctly in this verse from Micah 6 v 8:

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

(Though, of course, if I don’t manage to read a Dickens, I shall be BITTERLY disappointed.)

Life

resolutions that i didn’t keep in 2017

Look, I think I’m allergic to resolutions. Terribly, awfully allergic to them. I had resolutions made last year – heck, I wrote an entire blog post on how “I’m giving myself goals that I know are possible for me to achieve.”

Oh. Ha. Ha ha ha HA!

In my defence … I was working very hard in order to come to Canada. Please picture someone slaving day after day, taking up every single shift possible, coming home in the wee hours exhausted and drained … and then going back to do it all over again the next morning. Seven days a week. Four weeks a month. Twelve months a year. Ten years a decade …

(That’s not how it went, but it’s how I’d like you to imagine it went. Thank you.)

This is how I did …

1 // READ A DICKENS. JUST ONE. SURVIVE IT.

I didn’t read just one. Oh no. I outdid myself: I didn’t read any.

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2 // READ LORNA DOONE

I tried, but the book I had was a) very thick (I’m not kidding – you could clobber an intruder with it. It might not be completely effective but … you could), and b) the text was  too small and uncomfortable to read. If I remember correctly, I had it out on my desk for a few months, in painful hope. I managed to read a few pages … or paragraphs. So I suppose, in a way, I did read Lorna Doone.

Just, you know, not all of it.book-2572013_1920.jpg

3 // FINISH THE LIBRARY LASS

This didn’t quite work out very well. Why? I wrote too much and then there was nothing and then stage fright sprouted and “this is the way the project ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.

“Marriage is a give and take situation – the husband gives the money, the wife takes it.
– by Authors Numerous, CYNICS THROUGH THE YEARS

(I liked to pepper The Library Lass with quotes by fictional people. It was enormous fun.)

Maybe I will return to it, maybe I will not. Maybe I have commitment issues with my projects. Maybe I don’t. Maybe I’m indecisive. Maybe I’m not.

4 // PUBLISH SANDWICHESbooks-2596809_1920

Oh. I think that this was a dream too lofty. Though this story has a special place in my heart, it needed plenty of work and I did not have the time or the urge to complete it. I did not have the ‘umph’ as we say in my family.

5 // WORK ON THE SALT PUN

I worked on it – I did. I swear I did. I had a wonderful name for it, I had character pictures and background information and went through the ENTIRE manuscript with highlighter pens for every story arc. (I know. It was like, the ultimate level of commitment!) But then, in September, it suffered a major blow – I moved continents and left my hard-copy-scrawled-with-irreplaceable-notes manuscript behind.

Put a bit of a spanner in the works, to say the least.

It is now waiting for me to return to it, this September. (I miss you too, my love!!!)

Join me, later on in the week, when I draw up a list of goals for this year. Oh yes, my friends. You know what they say – once bitten, twice DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN FOREVER AND EVER AND LEARN NOTHING!!!!

I think I just rambled, Life, On Writing

resolutions that we can keep

This evening, I’m feeling a little weary. I’m a people person. I love people. I like people. I find people fascinating. In small doses. Eight hours of them? Non-stop? I run out. Like a battery prone to coughing fits and accidental slips of tongue.

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But that’s not the point of this post. (There is a point). The point of this post is to belatedly discuss resolutions. I could sum up the whole post in one sentence, but, as I enjoy explaining things at length, I’m going to stretch it out into an entire post.

*maniacal laughter interrupted by coughing fit*

Last year, I wrote a post about the classic books I wanted to read that year. I read two of them: King Solomon’s Mines and The Three Musketeers. Two out of six is not successful. It is awful and no good. I’m not impressed with myself. To be frank, I’m disappointed in two things.

two disappointing disappointments:

  1. my lack of motivation
  2. my delusion that ‘heh, one month left in the year is plenty of time to read THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF PAGES’

This year, to be disgustingly optimistic is not my objective. Nope. I’m going to be depressingly realistic. I know me. And I know that I am often optimistic and wildly unrealistic. Just look at my to do lists – they are as missing of ticks as my future cat will be. (That sounded better in my head.)

I think we all would do better if we set achievable goals. Now, if you’re one of those sickeningly optimistic and motivated people who set goals as high as Everest AND MEET EVERY SINGLE WHITE CHOCOLATE LOVIN’ ONE OF THEM, I am not talking to you. I’m sure I would like you if I met you (hi!) and would only envy you a teeny-weeny bit, but I’m addressing people who suffer from goalfailuretitus.

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thaaat would be me. i’m addressing me

By ‘set achievable goals’, I mean the sort of goals that you know you can do. Sure, stretch yourself a bit (AND RISK PULLING A MUSCLE WHY DON’T YOU) but don’t over do it. There is a difference between saying ‘I’m going to swim thirty lengths at the swimming pool’ and announcing ‘I’m going to swim across the English Channel. Nay. THE INDIAN OCEAN!’

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This year, I’m giving myself goals that I know are possible for me to achieve. Yes, some of them are a little bit of a stretch, but these are my goals, darn it, I’ve got to let a tiny pinch of optimism creep through.

my thirty lengths* at the swimming pool:

  1. Read a Dickens. Just one. Survive it.
  2. Read Lorna Doone.
  3. Finish The Library Lass (that’s a working title. honest)
  4. Publish Sandwiches
  5. Work on The Salt Pun (also a working title. a brilliant working title)

*I’m not actually going to be swimming thirty lengths. The very thought leaves me limp with exhaustion.

And so, to conclude, to sum up, to finish, to end, to wind up, to wrap up etc etc etc:

set achievable goals

(or don’t. Set wildly unrealistic ones. Aim for the moon. Try and try and you never know, with enough elbow grease and will power, you just might make it. I’ll be here, with my two classics read, cheering you on)

happy reading!

Books, Life

Readolutions: Head loppin’, Crime and Windmills

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via Flickr

I don’t often read Classics, but as resolutions are commonly made every new year, I’ve made a list of my own.

These aren’t resolutions though, these are readolutions. (And yes, that’s a terrible, terrible pun of which I am inordinately proud.)

Lorna Doone by R.D Blackmore

It’s been sitting on my shelf for the better part of a year. No more! I shall dive into this forbidden romance. Or at least, I think it’s a forbidden romance. Does it end happily? I hope it ends happily.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

I’ve never read Dickens. In fact, singing ‘Food, Glorious Food’ or ‘Oom Pah Pah’ and quoting ‘More? You want some moarrrr?!!!‘ is almost the sum total of our association.

This ignorance will end (hopefully) this year (probably). Doesn’t this one have a guillotine? Regretfully, I don’t think the Scarlet Pimpernel will be making an appearance.

Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevesky

Other than the title’s similarity to War and Peace, I’ve no idea what this is about. Probably Russia, but I’m no expert. I bought it second hand. Perhaps it will improve my mind. Perhaps it will be a glorious adventure.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

I ordered this thinking it would be a quick read; that I could puff my chest out and announce to the mortals about me that I’d read it (‘…and did you admire the way Cervantes wrote that particular passage? No? You haven’t read it? Oh.’)

There is no chest puffing. It came in the post. I was not expecting its … volume. It was very voluminous. It still needs reading. I’ll have a chance at intellectual snobbery, just you wait. (And wait. And wait.)

It would help if I could pronounce the book’s name. (Don Kicks-oaty? Don Key-oaty? No?)

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Meanwhile, those in the know.

King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard

I might have read this in my Project Gutenberg days – or at least skipped through it. Or was that She? I have dim recollection of something of his works. I didn’t really connect with it, for the leading lady was very mysterious and beautiful. (Read of that what you may).

The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas

I was going to pop The Count of Monte Cristo here but I’ve sort of read that and to even think of reading another whoppin’ classic after Don Quixote would be quite mad. The Three Musketeers doesn’t look so daunting.

I hope.

Moby Dick is not included on this list because a) I can’t remember where I stopped reading (half way-ish?) and b) it’s always good to leave a little surprise or two.

You never know, I might suddenly put up a joyful little message that Moby Dick and I are through with each other and oh! I’ve suddenly joined a whale conservation society.

Oh well. Wish me luck, I’m rolling up my sleeves and jousting with windmills.

Happy reading!