December 31st, 2014

This IS me (by schwitters)Default


It's been an interesting year. When I said at the start of it that I wanted a greater proportion of my income to come from my writing, I didn't mean I wanted my salary halved. (Be careful what you wish for!)

Still, though. Here are the things I did in 2014 that I hadn't done before:

  • I had a couple of poems published.
  • I read one of my short stories aloud to an audience (and it was voted the evening's favourite).
  • I visited Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, albeit briefly.
  • I quit a job because I hated it, without a new one to go to.
  • I published an ebook.

Things I didn't do:

  • I didn't write anything for children. I've had little success in this area, so it's easy to be tempted away into other markets that do publish me, but I shouldn't give up so easily on a lifelong ambition.
  • I didn't have a story published by a woman's magazine. I wrote one following a brilliant one-day workshop run by Woman's Weekly, but it was rejected. Again, not an adequate reason to quit trying.
  • I didn't come anywhere near earning enough from writing to quit the day job.

And now another year hurtles towards us, with all its promise, and the potential to complete some or all of those projects that have been reaching out to tap me on the shoulder whenever I blow an evening playing Doctor Who: Legacy.

Let's go!
This IS me (by schwitters)Default

My Year In Books

Thank you, Goodreads, for this charming visual!

It's fairly representative of my interests: doggies, motorbikes, aeroplanes, comedy, the 1960s, and people who simply write damn well.

It would be hard to pick a favourite. I asked for and got the new Nick Hornby, Funny Girl, for Christmas and finished it by Boxing Day lunchtime, lamenting that I hadn't managed to save it for longer. Where'd You Go, Bernadette was a compulsive page-turner as well as laugh-out-loud funny.

On the non-fiction side, Shady Characters is a beautiful hardback of punctuation porn while The A303 - Highway to the Sun is charmingly English (I passed it on to a visiting Californian scooterist), and Dispatches by Michael Herr is a stunningly good book about the Vietnam War.

For my Book of the Year, though, I'm naming The Good Soldier Švejk, by Jaroslav Hašek. Over 90 years old and never completed due to what TVTropes terms 'author existence failure', but still very funny, often in a bitter and dreadful way reminiscent of Catch-22. It's got great illustrations and provides insight into a world that no longer exists. But the reason I'll always remember it is that I read it while travelling through the Czech landscape in which it is set.
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