And so we begin …

Having given you my rubbish end of year round up, I thought I would try to end the year positively (which I admit is a little challenging today given the bout of insomnia last night, coupled with some hideous shoulder pain, that some how turned into a cold … all of which I managed to finally overcome and fall into a deep sleep, only to be woken two hours later by a suburban chorus of lawn mowers and hedge trimmers starting at 8am, before the Brisbane heat settled in for the day … 2012, you do like to kick a girl, huh?)

Things I have achieved this year
I’ve started reading novels for fun again. I know it sounds weird for someone who is meant to be a writer, but I haven’t read a novel in a good few years. That’s not to say I haven’t been reading, but everything I have been reading has been writing related either for study, or research. Now I’ve reserved a slot before bed for recreational reading only. At the moment I’m working through: Stella Duffy’s Theodora, Whiti Hereaka’s The Graphologist’s Apprentice, Vasugi Ganeshananthan’s Love Marriage, and Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula. Yes, I am catching up on the works of people I know – I couldn’t think of a better way to get back into reading than being led by my friends. Recommendations for contemporary reads are always warmly welcomed.

I attempted new recipes on a relatively regular basis. I made one resolution this year and that was to try a new recipe every week – Beloved and I have amassed a large collection of recipe books from the legendary Larousse Gastronomique and Silver Spoon, to David Thompson’s Thai Street Food, Thomasina Miers Mexican Food Made Simple, and an early Madhur Jaffrey recipe book which is either this one or this one and is the best second hand book find I’ve ever had. Incidentally, love him or hate him, Jamie Oliver writes some of the best recipe books – clear, precise, and the end result is always excellent.
I didn’t manage a new recipe every week, but on a limited budget I didn’t do too badly. There were many failures along the way, but some of the successful recipes I found online were carnitas, malai kofta (video recipes for paneer, kofta, and the curry – well worth the effort), corn fritters, french onion soup, moussaka, and rickshaw dumplings.

I wrote a new short film. I’m quite proud of it and more importantly, I finished something. Now to find someone to fund getting it made.

To do in 2013
– I’ve already started a new viewing diary on Pinterest (feed in the side column over there –>). I’ll be noting down every film I watch in the next year, sometimes with a wee note, sometimes without. It’s a good practice for me to keep and handy to reference when compiling end of year lists.

– I’m starting a new visual diary/notebook for a year. I’ve never been one to keep a journal or diary (or indeed a regular blog), but like the year of fate that I tried in 2007, this will be another experiment that may lead me somewhere interesting. Oddly the year of fate brought me back from being an atheist, to being a humanist hindu (I don’t derive my morals from religion, I still believe in the Big Bang and Higgs boson not to mention physics in general, but I also have faith in something else and don’t see the idea as incompatible … obviously, this is religion by my rules (as I think religion should be) so I still eat beef, because it is delicious)). In turn, I am curious to see where the year of forcing myself to come up with a new idea (character, story, title, dialogue) every day will lead me.

And so it is.

One year ends, another begins.

We turn over the calendar and the day begins the way it always has, with our bit of the earth turning towards the sun. Something we can’t control, something we probably shouldn’t get too worked up about.

See you in the morning.


5 thoughts on “And so we begin …

  1. I’ve had a good run of novels lately, here are my recommendations (no NZ writers eeep!):

    – “Bel Canto” by Ann Patchett, slow build, amazing finish. (I then read most of her other books too, but this one is by far the best)

    – “Tender Morsels” by Margo Lanagan, fantasy/fable. Supposedly YA fiction, it woulda traumatised me if I’d read it as a youngster!!

    – “In Zanesville” by Jo Ann Beard, coming-of-age, suuuuch a perfect voice.

    – “Beautiful Ruins” by Jess Walter, set half in modern day Hollywood, half in 1960s Italy. Writing/writers theme!

    – Sadie Jones “The Outcast” or “Small Wars” both very well written but sad!

      • Hi my dear! Most of the novels I read end up on my blog, so you can always have a gander at that to see what I’m perusing (and what I think of it :)). Lately I’ve just been blasting through lots of detective fiction – a great combination of fun and engagement for the brain. I haven’t been reading much else in novels lately though, either – the last one I read was – wow – Catch 22, back in September. (which, unfortunately, I hated.) The next one I’ve got lined up though is Patricia Highsmith, which I’m very much looking forward to.

        Ooh, do you know Stella Duffy? Cool! I actually wrote about one of her novels on my blog, ‘Singling Out the Couples’ which I read a couple of years ago. Very cynical!

        Also, it has been my practice for the past few years to make a new recipe every week, it’s great fun, isn’t it! šŸ™‚ Last week I made a Japanese White Salad and had konnyaku for the first time – it was weird to our Western palates and most of us left it on the side. But it’s good to try new things anyway! šŸ˜€

    • Thanks for the recommends! Yeah, I started Catch 22 last year, couldn’t get past the first third of the book – just didn’t like the voice to stick with it … yeah, yeah, philistine …

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