Books Magazine

2018 - My Year of Reading

By Justwrite @must_write
I’ve been thinking about my blog a lot lately, about how neglected it has been. It is sad and lonely without me, and in need of a little update I think. Many thanks to those who still visit.
I still consider myself a writer, but I am so much more. I am writing, on and off (I never completely stop), but nothing major, nothing large. I am mostly writing poetry and have been attempting to put together enough for a collection. In fact, I had finally motivated myself to making a goal to submit a manuscript to Five Islands Press - a spectacularly reputable publisher of poetry - during their submission period in November, only to discover at the eleventh hour that they had decided to “retire” this year with the manuscripts they already had and were closed for submissions now and forevermore. I admit, this bummed me out big time and I did all the usual pulling of hair, woe is meing, what is the point of it all etc etc... it wasn’t pretty. But then I remembered there were other things I enjoyed doing and kept doing them.
I’ve been making a lot of art. I LOVE color. Colours. All of them. I have been learning new ways of making art, using new techniques, new products. I am quite in love with art jornalling right now and am forever trying to be more spontaneous and messy with it...I can be a bit controlled in my approach - a bit of a perfectionist, really - which is weird, because as a writer, I have always been a pantser and never a planner. If you are a writer you will understand this and probably swing more one way than the other.
Anyway, you’re here for my “Year of Reading” update, so here you go...

Trent DaltonI gave myself what I thought was an achievable goal of reading 60 Books this year. Due to a rather large amount of lethargy and a particularly bad winter with my ongoing depression I didn’t quite manage it. I read, but much less than usual. My memory being what it is (or isn’t!) lately, luckily I record my reading on goodreads. were some great latecomers in the last quarter of 2018. Wintering by Krissy Kneen, A Superior Spectre by Angela Meyer, and The Fragments by Toni Jordan. As usual, I read quite a bit of poetry and sought inspiration in the pages of some great art books. I finally read Robin Hobb’s The Fitz and The Fool trilogy and I was absolutely blown away. I cried buckets. Another amazing standout was Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe. Simply spectacular. I devoured every single scrumptious word of it. Trust me, you need to read this book. Honestly. Just do it!
2018 - My Year of Reading Another change in my world is the very late diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder. A short while back it would have been called Aspergers, but my diagnosis came after the latest changes to the terminology. The diagnosis didn’t come as any surprise to me, I sought it out after all, knowing it was more than likely given my son’s autism and my lifelong struggles with most everything, but especially social interactions and sensory issues. I have always, always, been weird. Funnily enough, even with the lack of surprise and the welcoming of the diagnosis, it took me almsot four years to settle into it. Almost fifty years of life pre diagnosis, takes some time to look back on, analyse, and assimilate. So many aha moments. So many what ifs. So many events and incidents. But I’m here now, and I’m getting a handle on who I am. I’m thinking of making a bit of a change to this blog - or perhaps even starting a new one on a different platform. Rest assured there will always be books, for books were my first friends and teachers, but I will be adding some art and craft and conversation. Join me, won’t you?
As for 2019, I have dedicated it, the year of the kindle. I have so many unread books gathering dust (haha!) on my kindle that I think it’s high time I read them. So, for the duration of the next twelve months that is my plan. Like every other year, I will read as many books as possible, but only from my kindle. If I absolutely ’must’ read a new release during 2019, I will buy a digital copy of it, otherwise all new physical books can wait until 2020.  I can see already that I will miss reading poetry, but perhaps to fill this need I will endeavour to write more. Time will tell. Enjoy your new years celebrations. Health and happiness to you all.

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