embracing the new and reviving the old

I don’t buy into the whole “new year” thing much, since really, it’s an arbitrary date.  I prefer to honor things like the winter solstice, since it marks the turning point from dark days toward ever-increasing sunlight.  I dig that.

With that being said, I still appreciate the attitude of renewal that people attribute to the rolling over of the calendar.  I love resolutions, even though they are usually broken.  I just like the spirit in which they are made, that feeling of wanting to better yourself, do more, weigh less, whatever it is – it’s a hopeful act, no matter what the resolution itself is.   There’s always a positive “let’s try this again, and see if we can’t do a better job of it” feeling to New Year’s Eve.  I’d like to see more of that side of people all year long, but it’s fun to see it in such concentration during a short period of time.

My own goals are pretty modest.  I would like to return to routine this winter.  There has been much upheaval in my life, which is fine, but I am a creature of habit, and I miss my habits.  I tried to go running again the other day, despite the recent guff my “bad toe” has been giving me.  (I did some serious damage to my left big toe a few years back, involving the loss of my nail, from which it has never fully recovered.  It suddenly started acting up again several weeks ago, and has been trying to cramp my style ever since.)

Anyway, I hadn’t been running since the shingles episode from autumn, and it felt great to get out there, even though the air was bitterly cold and I am out of shape.  Wouldn’t you just know it, though – I came down with a mysterious vertigo-inducing illness immediately afterward, which kept me dizzily couch-bound for 4 days.

goodies from the winter market

goodies from the winter market

These are all minor issues, of course, so I can’t even satisfy myself by complaining about it.  Other people in my life have had a much more difficult and tragedy-filled start to their winter season.  I have really been having a great time of it, exploring the towns around my new home with my husband, and checking out the wonderful indoor winter farmers’ markets in the area.  Buying local food from new and familiar faces has been a very enjoyable constant throughout changing weather and an otherwise chaotic life.

this is how I got through NaNoWriMo.  It was intense.

this is how I got through NaNoWriMo. It was intense.

What with the recovery process after National Novel Writing Month, and then the holidays and the time-consuming project my husband and I are still working on, I have neglected one of my favorite routines – my writing.  I was all written out for a while, but then just like when you stop exercising for a while, it has been tricky getting back into it until long after I was actually ready.  This poor little blog has not seen much of me, nor has my book review blog.

To give my brain a break, for the past 2 months, I have only been re-reading short books that I own and know well.  This has meant that I haven’t had any new reading material to review.  I started a new book yesterday, which I am enjoying, so I am looking forward to reviewing it when I have finished.  It’s been a while since I wrote a review, and I miss doing that.  (For those interested, I’m reading Wallflower in Bloom by Claire Cook.)

So, that’s what I am looking forward to in the coming months – a return to my old, comfortable ways – writing in my blogs, taking care of the house, and taking care of my physical health.  There are still some serious doings afoot, so it will be a while before I’m settled back down again and back in full swing, but I’ll do what I can to insert some more regularity into my days.

I also have to figure out what to do with that little book I wrote in November.  I’m feeling optimistic about its potential, and my one lofty goal for 2013 is to see it in its completed form on a shelf in a bookstore before the year is out, or at least very much on its way to that.  The director of my local library is very excited about my writing and has told me he plans on holding a book signing for me when the time comes.  His blind faith in my ability to produce something worth signing and putting on display at the circulation desk is very encouraging.  I can see myself as a local author in my mind’s eye, and I’d love to make that happen before the next NaNoWriMo – at which point I plan on writing my sequel.

What are your own hopes for this year?  Are they huge challenges, or realistic baby steps toward a better life?  I’ve missed the input in the comments of my posts as much as I have missed writing the posts themselves.  I’d love to hear from you again, dear readers!


Seeking focus

When I started this blog, I didn’t have any clear direction in which I wanted to take it.  I hoped that it would be an outlet for all the things I wanted to talk about that weren’t book reviews, but I have recently been thinking that my idea is too vague.

English: Female Jogger on Coleman Avenue in Mo...

photo credit: wikipedia

I had begun to move in the direction of writing about running, but obviously there is only so much I can say about running when I am not actually doing it.  I hope to start again soon, as I am rapidly gaining strength and energy, but I don’t think I’m dedicated enough to have a blog entirely about running.

I had some fun food-related posts for a while at the beginning, but once I got sick, I stopped doing any real cooking, just as I stopped running.  I was too tired and in too much pain to stand in the kitchen, chopping and stirring and cleaning up after myself.  I am finally starting to get back in there, but nothing too exciting has happened yet.

Typewriter adler3

photo credit: wikipedia

This has left me with few options, it seems.  I talk about writing often, so should this be a blog about the process of writing?  Do I have enough to say about it?

Can I get away with randomly philosophizing without a specific theme?  Well, I’m sure I could get away with it, but I’m less sure that it’s something people want to read.  My enjoyment of the act of writing is most important to me, but I also would like it if what I write is pleasing to others, leading them to want more from me.

I’m just not sure where to go with this.  I thought I would seek some outside advice about this blog’s future career.  What do you think I’ve been doing well, and what would you like to read about more often?

I’ve created a poll for you to take, because polls are fun.

Please feel free to elaborate on your answers in the comments.   I’m interested in what you have to say!  This could inspire me to try something completely new, or to really focus in on one of the topics I’ve been writing about.

I don’t often ask for feedback, although that’s one of the cardinal rules of blogging.  I aim to do better with that, and now’s as good a time to start as ever!

I am going to do some pondering about this on my own, and won’t be relying solely on any response I get for guidance.  I do want to know what keeps you coming back, though, and what you hope to find when you stop by my blog.  I really appreciate the fact that I have followers at all, and value your input.  Thank you for putting up with my meandering!

my complete review of Eat & Run

I finished reading Scott Jurek’s Eat & Run several days ago, and today I finally got around to reviewing it in its entirety.  (You can find my thoughts on the book from the half-way point here.)

Since I also maintain a blog dedicated to book reviews, that’s where I posted it.  Due to the fact that it’s a book about running, and I post about running on this blog (not to mention the fact that I’ve already brought the book up in another post), I thought it was relevant enough to share it here as well.

Here is the link to the review on my other blog:

Finally, a review of Eat & Run.

To those who are probably annoyed with me right now, I’m sorry for double-posting on both of my blogs today.  I just wanted to make sure that what I wrote reaches the people who might care about it.

Thank you, and good night!