Introduction, of a General Nature:
Time to start gathering 2011 into a big ball to tie a ribbon around it, considering tomorrow's le fin de la fin. Often I'm keen to start picking up the stray bits before it's reached this date, so I guess that means 2011 could have been worse. That comes as close as I ever get to saying something positive. You may want (first typed "wank") to bookmark this post as proof I am not 100% glass half-empty.
As a general comment, looking back through Bluestalking from 2011 I'm more than a little disappointed with the quality of many of my posts this year. I'm also irritated by how much I've jumped around getting off-track more than I should.
So… Resolution #1: 2012 will see a separation of blog content.
My book reviewing and interviewing will remain here at Bluestalking.
Off-topic rambling concerning myself and other endeavors – some of them also literary- related, but not reviewing per se, including my participation in World Book Day, etc. – will be found here.
Photography, my painting and multi-media work as well as anything related to matters artistic will be here.
Life, as it was, in 2011:
2011 began with the culmination of a series of shots under my left knee cap, injections I elected to try in hopes they would alleviate ongoing, unendurable pain. As a bonus, what started as a left knee phenomenon spread to the other after I tore the meniscus tendon in that knee, as well. Ironically, it gave up the ghost a few weeks into my very active exercise routine, fueled by the hope I could build up enough leg muscle to avoid that very eventuality. I walked miles and worked out at the gym for hours, with the result of a ripped tendon, the absence of its protection resulting in my right knee quickly became inflamed. Then I had two knees exhibiting excrutiating arthritis I'm far too young to have. Too young by fifteen or twenty years. But it's genetic, my older brother (by six years) is battling it as well, though only in one knee. Eventually I'd have succumbed. But so soon?
Resolution # 2: Actively search out viable solutions to minimize and work around the pain, don't curl up and succumb like a big, whinging baby.
Rays of Light:
For the positive of the year, I've already expressed how wondrous were matters reading and literary event-related. The books I read were nothing short of miraculous but even that may be slightly eclipsed by the memories of authors met. One day, when I'm old and grey – oldER and greyEr, that is – it will finally hit me I really did meet these people, talk to them, hear them speak and learn more about what makes each such a wonder of humanity.
Their genius is humbling, if also a bit depressing if I'm totally honest, since it reaffirms I would need ten lifetimes to begin to approach that level of creative ability – which is why I read, review, blog and love from afar while they produce works of enduring beauty. I'm the thwarted Romeo to their Juliet but I love them no less for it.
Authors met in 2011:
Sebastian Barry (Have I mentioned that?)
Bill Br yson
Resolution # 3: Carry on meeting, greeting, reading and adoring amazing writers.
The New Library World Order:
You won't like hearing this any better than I like telling you but libraries, within roughly the next decade, will no longer resemble what you've become accustomed to. I know this because I've been reading about "advances" other libraries are making and/or planning in order to fulfill a whole new function in society. I also know the same is in store for my own library. The planning has already begun.
Roughly 50% or more of print books will be going away, the space they occupied devoted to classrooms for instructing the public on how to use up and coming technology. Other space will become private meeting or similar technology-related areas.
That is, libraries which aren't to be shuttered will be transformed. I should qualify that. As a profession, I don't think it's too soon to say librarians will gradually cease to be. And, you may recall, I received my Master's a mere two years ago.
Resolution # 4: Change, adapt, accept. Or scream, break things and swear. It's a toss up.
A Few 2011 Highlights:
Hollywood and Harry Potter
A Widow's Story by Joyce Carol Oates
Acadiana: … by Carl Brasseaux
I predicted the Orange Prize Winner!
Stones for My Father by Trilby Kent
Netsuke by Rikki Ducornet
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch
The Filter Bubble by Eli Paliser
Salem Press declared Bluestalking one of the better General Interest Library Blogs for the second year in a row
Bluestalking turns five
Fourth of July – Lisle Hot Air Balloon Fest
Lamb by Bonnie Nadzam and I Married You for Happiness by Lily Tuck and Sebastian Barry
Julian Barnes, the Man Bookers, Alan Hollinghurst. And Sebastian Barry.
Errm… Sebastian Barry
A photographic romp
Julian Barnes! and gratuitous mention of Sebastian Barry
Bit more Sebastian Barry
Dean Faulkner Wells
Partly new start, partly continuation of the status quo. In my next post I'll talk a bit about what's ahead for me, so many exciting details you may want to make sure you're sitting down. A small cocktail wouldn't be out of order.
In the meantime, celebrate the New Year well and safely. As for NY Day, the Scots believe you should do, on the first day of the year, a few things important to you, that you'd like to do much more of the rest of the year. And yes, that sounds a bit awkward but in my case I'll read a little, write a little and create – whether painting, photography or whatever – and be back here to post on the year ahead.
Wishing you all much health and happiness in 2011. And thank you, so much, for reading.