*Sweeps away the cobwebs, checks if the lights still work around here.* I used to do an annual â€œyear in reviewâ€ post. But maybe all I need to say about 2017 is that I still have my 2016 in review post sitting in my drafts folder and never got around to finishing it. Yeah, 2017. Shitstorm. Completely hijacked by feelings of â€œwhy bother?â€ and â€œwho cares about the thoughts and miniscule endeavors of one middle-aged lady fiction writer when the entire world is falling apart?â€
I spent a lot of last year feeling weepy and doomed, then realizing it mattered very little what I felt and the thing to do was just roll up oneâ€™s sleeves. Yet when I write I always sink back into the bog of my feelings. So Iâ€™ve had very little interest in blogging or tweeting or posting of any kind. Stillâ€”at the risk of revolting self-absorptionâ€”Iâ€™m going to try to chronicle something of the passing year.
Iâ€™m still working on â€œThe Shadow Clock,â€ the novel I thought would be done by now. What a quaint little hope of mine. Iâ€™m not sure what to say about this except I am doggedly putting one foot in front of the other. With any luck, it will see publication in 2019. I bemoan my slow progress, but really my pace is my pace. When I stop whining about stuff outside of my control, I realize I actually like this book a lot and think it will be fun. Iâ€™m stretching, Iâ€™m learning! But boy will I celebrate when itâ€™s done.
My reading was a bit different in 2017. I subscribed to the Economist and tried to read that cover to cover each week (not always successfully). I started a new job with a couple days a week of very long commute. So now for the first time Iâ€™m listening to audiobooks. The first one I tried was a complete winner: Victor LaValleâ€™s â€œThe Changeling,â€ read by the author and amazing in every way.
Spotify continues to be an essential crutch getting me through my day. Just a few things I enjoyed:
Kendrick Lamar, DAMN
Tyler the Creator, Flower Boy
Father John Misty, Pure Comedy
Charlotte Gainsbourg, Rest
Of course I also listened obsessively to Future, â€œMask Off.â€ Sigh. Future.
I know I saw other movies, but at the moment, I feel like I only saw one and it was Lady Bird, and it was so amazing! If I had to see only one movie in a year, Iâ€™d be totally content with Lady Bird.
Except I forgot Get Out! Geez. In my personal Oscars itâ€™s like a tie between those two.
Aside from the excremental political scene, the emboldened resurgence of odious ideologies, new nightmares in gun violence â€¦ well, life continues. I lost my admirable and kind father-in-law in November and witnessed the rallying decency of small-town Iowa when we traveled back for the service. Was able to spend the month of July working remotely from Tucson where I saw my parents every day, sank with gratitude into the cozy â€œFather John Mysteriesâ€ on PBS, and took my daughter to swimming lessons at the heavenly UofA pool. My son went off to the Canadian wilderness for a month, learning how to classify rapids and find the best downed limbs for firewood. Grant published â€œPep Talks for Writersâ€ and retreated for a time to the glories of Aspen. I celebrated my 50th by going to the Mokuleâ€™ia Writers Conference and having a delicious week in Hawaii by myself.
Looked at a certain way, it was actually a stellar year.
A happy, peaceful, and productive 2018 to all!