Various thoughts on #Change and Entry into the New Year

ponytail

I’ve had long hair for thirty years. On December 30th, I went short. It was simply time. I thought it would be a sad moment, but it was a freeing experience. I’d been holding onto the long hair for a long time even though I wasn’t quite sure why. It just “was.” I think I was mostly tired of braiding it every morning. I was holding onto the idea of the braid and not enjoying the braid. It was like giving up a character defect–once it was gone,  I couldn’t believe I’d carried it around with me for so long. It was a vanity. I’m glad that the braid (fifteen inches long) will be helping someone through Locks of Love soon.

I only have one new year’s resolution each year: Take better care of my teeth. I’ve used the same resolution for about ten years because I like my teeth and I want to keep them. It seems to be working. A few of the ones in the back are gone, but mostly due to wisdom teeth issues. I like the pointy ones up front the best.

But I do like the idea of having a plan for change at the beginning of the new year. All is change, after all. Here are some things on my plan:

Finish the novel I started in the summer of 2012. I’m transcribing my handwritten journals now. Lots of work ahead.

Write some short stories in Peter Markus’ online workshop. His writing is so different than mine. I signed up because I hoped working with him would shake something loose. I’m not sure what it means to be a writer any longer.

Read way, way more. I read fifty books this year. In 2014, I want to try and double that number. I need to breathe in more books. Not analyze, mind  you, simply read. Last year, I read all of Camus’ fiction published while he was alive. This year, I have a whole boatload of reading goals, but here are the three most important:

Read twenty novels by contemporary women writers. I’ve posted about this before on my blog before and I’ll update frequently. I’m reading Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers now.

Also: Read all seven of Thornton Wilder’s novels. The only thing I’ve ever read of Wilder’s–and this was all the way back in high school–was Our Town. The man won a Pulitzer and a National Book award and hardly anyone talks about his fiction. In fact, I’ve never really heard his fiction mentioned in a class, ever. That may be my fault, but still I feel it should be rectified. Also, I’ll read the new Wilder bio by Penelope Niven.

Also: this year, I’m going to read all of Shakespeare’s sonnets. He’s the bard, yo.

Other goals of the year: more classical music. In particular, I’m interested in the symphonies of Mahler. I’m not saying I won’t rock, because I certainly will, but the classical realm has been calling me.

In my next post, I’ll reflect on the past year’s goals and add a couple more to this list.

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