A LiteraryMinded New Year's Resolution

I do make New year’s resolutions. Last year I vowed to travel to Europe and move to Melbourne. Although these things were planned in November and December, I resolved to follow them through, and I did. The year before I resolved to write more, and 2007 was when I wrote Smoke & Dancing. It can be a good time to set something in stone.

My resolution for 2009 is to attend as many writers’ festivals as possible. The most I’ve attended in a year would be three or four, so more than that would be great. I love to hear writers speak about their work, be introduced to different works and ideas, and meet interesting people. It slots in with different parts of my work and career also. With Bookseller+Publisher, I can report on literary festivals and events of interest to the book industry. Here on LM I can report in depth on my experiences; and as a writer in general I can be inspired by, and learn from people I admire.

Are you making one this year? I hope it’s to read more!

And of course, the cusp of a new year makes you think about the last one. 2008 has been an unbelievable year for me. Travel, a new city, new job, Crikey picking up LM, lots of publications, making a bunch of great like-minded friends in Melbourne, finishing Uni (with first-class Honours), and reading a crapload of books. Of course it hasn’t been all shiny, but it has been one of the best years of my life. The first months of 2009 are looking positive. A few publications lined up (news to come), friends moving to Melbourne, music festivals and concerts and more. I’m also working on ’90s novel’ as some of you know. It’s set in a small NSW regional coastal town which may or may not resemble my home town where I am currently relaxing (read: zombified) for my Xmas/New Year. It’s been inspiring in an odd way to be back home, in that I remember why I’m writing about particular things, and I’m inspired by strange things like sun-faded signs in shop windows. I haven’t done much actual writing up here – a few pages – but material is being lodged inside for consideration. I have done a lot of reading. I’m up to my fourth book in a week, and plan to read two/three more in the next three days. I’m currently on The Catcher in the Rye, one I specifically bought for this holiday. My sister is sitting across from me reading Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels, which I gave her. Have any of you had a chance to read much on holiday?

Best wishes for 2009 to all my readers. I hope you’re getting your party-self on tonight! My rents have hired a smoke machine, lights and everything. We’re having a prop party, and I bought a puppet for the occassion. His name is Benedict (just because I like it). He speaks the Queen’s English. You might say he has a pole (or hand) up his arse.

It’s a beautiful, hot day at the end of an optimistic year (on many fronts). I’m sore and bruised from go-kart and slide riding, I’m salty and sandy from the beach. I hung out with one of my best friends today, whom I’ve known since primary school. We talked about change. Change is how you know you’re alive. This time last year I was all beaten up inside from a relationship ending. I’m still the person I was in primary school. I’m still me from last summer. But I’m so different as well. And I feel incredibly fortunate.

You know what? I’m going to change my resolution right now. It’s too easy, and too self-absorbed. I’m going to change it to…

In 2009 I’m going to be more charitable, more politically aware, more learned on world issues, and I’m going to do more to assist people who aren’t as fortunate as I am, including those whose voice may be repressed or restricted.

Well… the music has begun and my first JD&CZ is in front of me. Happy New Year! Rock on!

12 thoughts on “A LiteraryMinded New Year's Resolution

  1. Angela, you’re already doing a lot for books and writing, and could be earning more elsewhere – take it easy on the charity front! You will get to these things, there will be time. You are, natch, learning all the time on world issues simply by keeping those books and their writers in front of you: I still haven’t read Mr L.’s book on blogging even though you pointed me at it, tskk. (Going to read any Robert Gray while you’re in Coff’s?)

    Congratulations on a brilliant year, it has been great to meet you. Let’s chat some more in ’09.

  2. Hi Genevieve, thanks for your words πŸ™‚ I haven’t got any Robert Gray on me. I will have to pick something up when I get back to Melbourne.

    And we’ll definitely chat more in 2009. Happy New Year!

  3. β€˜I’m also working on ’90s novel’ as some of you know. It’s set in a small NSW regional coastal town…’ Sounds familiar! I was a coastal teenager of the β€˜90’s…Congrats on finishing uni, with honours.
    Holiday reading? I’ve read four so far (thanks to school holidays!)…currently reading The Flaneaur by Edmund White. After travelling to Paris this year I’ve been attracted to all things Parisian!
    I’ve enjoyed your blog in the latter part of this year…

  4. Ah! The Flaneur by Edmund White is on my to-read list also. I find Baudelaire’s concept of the ‘flaneur’ really interesting, and how we are affected by urban environments. I also went to Paris LAST year! Weird to say that now!
    Whereabouts did you grow up?
    And thanks – I hope you’ll keep enjoying it πŸ™‚

  5. The layers of meaning in ‘The Flaneur’ are startling…I also spent time, last year, in the south of France, London, Munich, Passau, a university town in Germany…
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/troym7/

    I was actually born just across the great divide from Coffs, in a little place called Guyra, but I grew up half way between Sydney and Newcastle.

  6. As far as resolutions, this year I plan to think of myself as a writer. I have other roles in life which I’ve let overshadow my love of words. This year is a perfect time for that, since I’ll be finishing an MA in English and am considering going an MFA as well. I’ve reorganized my literary blog and committed to posting regularly (another resolution, and it ties in with the first). Write on!

  7. I like it. My aim is to move to Melbourne this year and you have prompted me to work harder on that aim. With the nightmare in Gaza now we all need to work harder to care for those who are less fortunate and lets face it, when you come from a place so easy as Australia, that is not too hard.

    I relaxed and did not read much, save for a lovely short, economical novel by Ian McEwan, “On Chesil Beach.” All about lost opportunities and not saying what needs to be said. Just attempting to do the latter is resolution enough for me I reckon

  8. Hi Jo,

    Melbourne is wonderful and welcoming. I hope you do get to come here. Yes, what’s happening in Gaza is incredibly sad and difficult. 😦

    I haven’t gotten to McEwan yet. Literature and films that centre around the unsaid and lost opportunities always interest me. What is left unsaid, the undercurrents, etc. Subtext, I suppose.

    Thanks for your comment.

  9. Happy New Year LM,

    Given your March 08 review of Affluenza, wondered whether Hamilton’s ‘The Freedom Paradox’ is on the cards for 09?

  10. Happy New Year to you too Craig.

    Oh man, I’ve had The Freedom Paradox on my bedside table for an age. I really enjoy Hamilton’s work (as you know) and I love how he’s gone further into the philosophy behind consumption cycles/needs vs wants and the ethical implications, but it is taking me a while to finish. Can I answer you with maybe? I do suggest reading it though as I’ve liked and been challenged by what I’ve read so far.

  11. Pingback: Who is Reviewing Clive Hamilton’s The Freedom Paradox? « A Mind Press

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