I realize this is unrelated to literature or reading, but I promise I’ll sprinkle some literary aspects throughout. I just feel like, with it being the last day of 2011 and my first year writing a blog, I should make some sort of list to reflect on where the heck this year went. Just to warn you, it’s kind of long.
What did I do in January? Gosh, that was so long ago. I moved into a different dorm room (up three floors, away from one problem roommate and into another, even though I didn’t know the second roommate was crazy at the time!). I realized that two of my best friends had the same birthday. I’m terrible at remembering birthdays. I finished reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and felt that emptiness that all readers feel when a series suddenly ends.
Hm, I don’t think anything significant happened here.
I know I have something interesting here! I went on tour of the midwest with the band (that is so not as cool as it sounds, I play the flute in a Wind Ensemble) and reread Pride and Prejucide for the…sixth?…year in a row. I always read P&P over my spring break, so I read it over tour week. It never fails to amaze me how deeply I get drawn into that story when I read it. Romance, gossip, balls – what more can I ask for? I read Everything is Illuminated on that trip too. I remember finishing it and immediately texting the friend that had recommended it to me. I think my text read something like “olaewd;lkjfa;lk. WOW.” I also remember I read Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence for a project and loved the subtle irony she used to critique society.
So, my college does this weird thing called May Term. We have one class, every day, for three hours. I signed up for a “Writing Metropolis” class that ended up going to New York City for ten days. Before the trip, I don’t even know how much we read about the city. So much. We made it through the entire Writing New York anthology. I also frantically read The History of Love by Nicole Krauss before we went on the trip, because we got to hear her read at Hunter College. I got her to sign my copy of The History of Love, but was disappointed her husband didn’t attend the reading too. What kind of husband doesn’t support his wife by attending her reading and therefore disappointing dedicated college groupies?
(I’m not that obsessed, I promise. I just think they’re both brilliant and that it’s unfair that they get to be married to each other.)
While in New York we also got to talk with Zoraida Cordova, who has her first book coming out in March. Before talking with her, my dream of writing was waaaay in the back of my head, but after meeting and talking with her, I realized that it is possible to write books while still in school, with lots of dedication. We also talked with Benita Hussain who writes for Matador Sports and Travel and a few other fantastic people. New York City got in my blood when we were out there, I can tell you that for sure.
New York obsession continues. Jonathan Lethem, more Nicole Krauss, Hubert Selby… I also became an intern at the fabulous Coffee House Press here in Minneapolis and read lots and lots of good and not-so-good work while starting to seriously write stories of my own.
I ran my first 5K! Which is significant because I have asthma and never knew I could run three miles without dropping dead.
My internship ended, my soccer season ended (the team I coached took first place, woo!) and my online class ended (note to self: never take an online class again). Suddenly I had free time.
I moved back into college, this time with two great roommates, and began to read a lot of memoir for my nonfiction writing class. I also read way too much Camus and Sartre and Neitzsche for my taste in my modern fiction class. Also, lots of Chaucer and Spenser and Herrick and so many names I can’t remember for British lit.
I went back to New York City. And I also started this blog. So I’m not going to report what I read, because hello, go back to my October archives. Oh, and I read the Hunger Games series which led to one of my roommates pulling an almost-all-nighter because I convinced her to read the books too.
Also an extremely significant month in my life, not just in 2011. My only grandpa passed away from a heart attack. He had COPD from smoking. So, if you smoke and you’re reading this, QUIT NOW. I read an insane amount of free romance novels on my Nook because I needed to be distracted. Nothing was particularly good…in fact, I don’t remember what I read at all. Doesn’t say much for the quality of free romance downloads, does it?
Side note, I don’t read a lot of romance. I can’t handle it most of the time. But it’s quick and easy (pun intended?) and takes your mind off things.
Aaaaand here we are. I went back to CHP for a couple days a week over break, so I’ve read a few more hopeful manuscripts. I also have been reading a lot more political articles on nytimes.com in hopes to save myself from becoming an ignorant voter next year. Those are not so much fun. Currently, still reading Middlesex, and also just started Juliet by Anne Fortier, you know, on the side.
There were, of course, many other things that happened in my life in 2011 that I don’t quite feel like sharing, but overall it has been a good year. I really dove into the literary world, what with my internship, blogging, and my own fiction writing. Hopefully, your year has been pretty good too, and I haven’t made you yawn while reading this post (I really am sorry that it’s so long).
See you in 2012!