Friday, December 31, 2010

Year's End: Hopes

So, reading back, Wednesday's post was kind of awful, wasn't it? Rambling and slightly depressing. I'm sorry. I don't know what I was thinking. Though it is true that I'm not looking forward to next year more than any other year, and that I'm not holding out hope for awesome things. This is largely, I think, because I prefer awesome things to happen on their own because my hopes get dashed otherwise. I've been burned a few times with the WIP, for instance, going "okay, now it's done!" and then it isn't. At all.

That said, here are the things I want to happen next year:
  • Finish the WIP. 
  • Start on the Gnostic Urban Fantasy in earnest.
  • Query agents.
  • Get an agent.
I'd also like to say "get a book deal", but think that might be pushing it. I'm probably pushing it as it is. 

I have no goals for reality. Reality is marvelously stable and awesome and I want it to stay that way.

The other thing everyone in the writing community seems to be doing these days is a reading tally. I've been wanting to join in that, because for the first year in five years, I've kept a list of everything I've read and it's the longest it's every been. I attribute the higher rate to working in a bookstore and having a decently long commute.

So without further ado:
  • 55 books read for the first time
  • 2 re-read books (both in the Vorkosigan Saga)
  • 2 books started in 2009 and finished in 2010
  • 2 books started in 2010 and not yet finished
Out of the 55, because including the re-read novels would skew things:

  • Best Urban Fantasy: Poltergeist (Greywalker, book two)
  • Best Non-Urban Fantasy: Beguilement (The Sharing Knife, book one)
  • Best Science Fiction: Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, volume one)
  • Best Mystery: Grave Goods (Adelia Aguilar novels, book three)
  • Best Non-Genre Adult Fiction: Jane Eyre
  • Best YA Fiction: The Book Thief
  • Best Non-Fiction: The Years of Extermination
  • Most Original Urban Fantasy: Moonshine (because it wasn't quite as thrilling as Poltergeist, but I still couldn't stop reading, and it gets definite points for being set in the 1920s)
I've chosen these books because they either blew me away or made me not want to stop reading or both. Great hooks, solid writing, phenomenal research, emotional punch… These books have them all and I totally recommend them. Which is not to say that Seanan McGuire's novels aren't excellent, or Gail Carriger's, or Lois McMaster Bujold's, or any number of other books I read this year, because they are too. There were a few misses, a few books that could've been better or were quite good but I wasn't the right audience, but those are always going to crop up, I think. And the list is skewed a little in that I only read … six? non-fiction books this year, seven YAs, and three mysteries that weren't urban fantasy. The rest all falls under the speculative fiction heading.

I just realized I only read one non-genre adult novel this year. Eep. I shall try to do better in the new year. It's not like my TBR list is wanting in that department. I'm also going to try to read more than that, but I'm betting that's about where I top out.

What are your plans for the next year?


Jami Gold said...

You said: I've been burned a few times with the WIP, for instance, going "okay, now it's done!" and then it isn't. At all.

You too? *sigh* Yeah, I've been at that point more times than I care to admit. (I think I've done about 100 editing passes on my WIP, some superficial word-smithing, some deep re-imagining.) I've changed over 90% of the words in the last year and a half.

Every time I think I'm getting close, I learn some new way to make it better. I love that I'm learning new things and improving my craft, but there's never an end to that (I hope), so when do I call it done? *double sigh* :)

Shannon said...

Love the idea of actually keeping a tally of how much you've read through the year, your favorites and such. That seems like a new years resolution I can actually do!

Shari Green said...

LOVED The Book Thief! I think I need to re-read that one soon....

I'm not very good about reading outside my fave genre of contemp YA, but I really should make an effort. I'll have to jot down some of the authors you mentioned so I at least have somewhere to start!

Good luck with your WIP. My main writing goal right now is to finish, polish, and start querying agents with my WIP, too, so here's to both of us reaching our goals! Happy New Year. :)

Anassa said...

Jami - Oh good, it's not just me. That makes me feel a little better about jumping the gun all the time—not that I've gone so far as to query before I was ready, thank goodness. I hope you're nearly done with your WIP! Sounds like you've been through more rough patches with it than I have with mine.

Shannon - Excellent! I find having a tally is a pretty simple way of one-upping myself in the following year. I'm going to try to read more books this year, and more the year after that…

Shari - It was fabulous, wasn't it? Haunting, lyrical, powerful emotionally … One side of my family went experienced a lot of the same events (bombing, food theft, death of friends, etc.) so it was pretty amazing to see stories told on paper that I'd only ever heard out loud.

Good luck on your goal this year too!