Happy New Year!

2010. twenty ten. Occasionally I am still writing 2008 on my cheques.

Happy New year everyone! Hope the holidays were great! When I was growing up, my parents told me that every day of the year is a new year (same went for birthdays as well – you can imagine how that went over), and so I am wishing you a year of days that are new, exciting, stimulating, constructive, and filled with health, peace, contentment – the adjectives can go and on and on but I will stop before all you writers cringe in pain!  

I had thought to work on a short, revise, finish, and begin sending out about now. Instead, I got grabbed by the holiday world wind and that was that. Beginning to breathe, slow down, and thinking about the next steps.  unfortunately I have begun creating in the middle of the night again, always a sign that I need to get back to work asap, sick kids or not!

When I was not cooking, eating, cleaning, entertaining, or having a play date in the last while, I managed to knit my daughter a hat (yay!! I will try to post a photo later in the day for those of you interested. When Kayla wrote about a scarf she had knitted on a road trip and I was longing for a picture ).

I took the photo this morning. It looses a lot in the photo, especially the colour, but my 3 year old is happy. Now, it just has to be lined with fleece.

 And, I  read two books.

Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger.

 

Has anyone read this book? I almost wish I was part of a book club to discuss this book. I adore Time Traveler’s Wife, and cannot bring myself to share my thoughts on this novel here on my blog without biting my tongue. Suffice it to say, that after a rocky beginning of awkward pov switches and bizarre almost clichéd characters I was engrossed, untill I reached the end and was unsatisfied. This was one of those were I re-wrote the ending in my head. Hmmm, don’t think I bit quite hard enough.

Lost, by Jacqueline Davies

Set in NY in the early 1900s in the Jewish ghetto. Sad tale, heart wrenching at times, and I was shocked this book was YA, 12 and up it states on the inside flap. The hardship and loss it deals with seem too strong for kids. I was trying to imagine myself at that age reading it, and knew it would have gripped me, but in a different way. Somehow, when I was that young tragedy was still romantic.

Anyway, those are my literary endeavors during the holidays. I have new novel ideas brewing, yet do not want to begin writing quite yet as I wish to focus on editing. As for the reading, Outlander, and The Road. Odd combination, but somehow works.

How about you? Updates? I look forward to catching up on all your blogs!!

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41 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. Welcome back, Jennifer. I haven’t read either of the books you named, so I can’t discuss them, sorry. I dropped everything to read Anne Tyler’s new book Noah’s Compass and loved it.

    I’ve actually had a burst of steam since the holidays. I’ve written or revised three stories and, after a couple false starts, I’ve started work on my next novel. I continue editing my last novel.

    I hope you get all your children well at the same time. And I hope you have an enormous amount of time for yourself this year … which I know will be hard with a new little one.

    • Thank you, Linda – what a wonderful wish! And it is nice to be back after the holidays, nice to get back to some routine.

      Wow, 3 shorts! Great! And your new novel! OOh exciting!

      Still haven’t read Anne Tyler. Would this be a good one to begin with?

      • I’ve liked them all, some more than others, but you might want to start with the one she won the Pulitzer for, Breathing Lessons or her well-known Accidental Tourist. I think Anne’s own favorite is Dinner At the Homesick Restaurant and Cynthia’s favorite is Ladder of Years which I just reread and it’s a good one.

      • hmmm, thanks LInda! I think I’m even more confused now! LOL. I’ll have to just pick one up. I think I am reluctant because I was compared to her by one agent (we talked about this no?) and it kind of scares me…

      • I don’t remember talking about it, but why would it scare you? I’d be thrilled to have someone say my writing reminded them of Anne Tyler’s. The only published writer anyone has compared me to, I’d never read and when I did, I wasn’t really happy about the comparison.

  2. Yay, I’m glad you’re back, too!

    I skipped the last half of this post because I’m in the middle of Time-Traveler’s Wife and just bought Her Fearful Symmetry – when I finish reading them, let’s discuss! 🙂

    Thanks for the shout-out – so fun to hear you knitted a hat for your daughter! I actually wore the scarf in my photo today – it protected me from the so-called ‘Arctic Blast’ we got here in Texas. You guys up north would probably laugh at everyone making such a big deal about the cold here!! They closed schools yesterday because it was 25 degrees out and there was a bit of ice.

    Anyway – sounds like you had a nice, productive, relaxing break! Happy 2010!

    • Kayla, when I read 25 I was thinking Celcius! Ahh, us Canadians! I just google searched and I see that is about -4. We’ve been holding at about -5, -6 c the last week but no sun at all. Today we are at -7.6F with the wind chill factor (-22C) but with sun so I’m happy anyway. During the holidays Edmonton had -58F without the wind. Can you imagine that? I cannot at all! Must be fun to have the schools all closed!

      You know I missed that photo you posted of your scarf – I will have to go search for it. You must have added it later and I didn’t see it. I just added the photo, it’s my third hat, and 5th knit.

      I adored Time Traveler’s Wife. I hope you like it. Let me know!

  3. Welcome back 🙂 Sounds like a lovely break and yay for knitting! I wanted to get into some, but my hands are going wonky with this pregnancy so I fear that idea is out the window.

    I hope 2010 brings everything you want it to, and maybe a bit more even 😉

    • Thank you JC. Same back to you!!

      Too much relaxin?? I drop everything all the time, and I bump into EVERYTHING! lol. Writing going ok I hope.
      How far along are you now? I’m 22 weeks and can’t believe how fast this is going.

      • 15 weeks! and in the same boat – it’s flying past and scaring me a bit that in just a couple weeks my big girl will be starting school, I’ll have been married for two years and this baby will be half done! lol eek!
        And it’s the carpal tunnel thing for me, but thats okay, maybe I’ll get a knitting buzz after baby has arrived heh. Best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy, hope its all going smoothly! Have you/are you hoping to find out the gender, or keeping it a surprise??

      • Oh, I know JC, time flies as much as the cliche says it does. Soon this will be a memory, and the carpal tunnel behind.
        Yes, we had a routine ultrasound at 21 weeks and we saw the gender! It was wonderful to see the baby, I always feel like I am sneaking and peaking. lol

  4. I tossed a coupla YA novels whose female heroines were overly confident, irritatingly perfect, and such high-octane bastions of the female sex that the hero was lackluster by comparison. Back to British literature, where my feminist tendencies die of neglect, but at least my thirst for good writing is quenched! 😉

    • Oh Jenny! Would you kick me if I say you are too cute?? Just a friendly Montreal expression, usually used by the French. “Oh, elle est too cute!”
      Where they hard to replace?

  5. Hi Jennifer, HAPPY NEW YEAR to you too!
    I read Time Travelers Wife and didn’t enjoy it so have been reluctant to pick up anything else by Niffenegger.
    I read The Gargoyle (actually really liked it) over Christmas and started reading Sky Burial by Xinran. It’s been translated from Chinese, so I’m sure it lacks some of the imagery and subtlety of the original language, but it is a gorgeous read – albeit a quick one.
    All the best for 2010.

    • Thanks Sharon! The Gargoyle is one of my newest favorites! Goes on that all time list!
      Just so you know, Her Fearful Symmetry is nothing like TTW – nothing. Seems like a lot of people who didn’t like TTW enjoy Her Fearful.

  6. vanyieck says:

    Happy New Year. This Christmas was spent with family and friends. On the whole, it was quiet and satisfying. Over the holidays I finished “The Man Who Knew Too Much” by G. K. Chesterton. I rather enjoyed the novel, although it’s clearly dated and imperial. The character of Horne Fisher is now one of my favorites.

    Now it’s back to work on my “Rembrandt Parables”. I hope you’re able to produce great works of literature this year.

    • Quiet and satisfying sounds just right to me, Vanyieck. I haven’t read that one, so I just googled it. Short stories, detective, 1922. I came accross this site:
      http://www.literaturepage.com/read/manwhoknewtoomuch-1.html
      and I read some of it online from The Face in the Target. Sounds very dreamy, and evocative.
      “And when he became conscious of a human figure dark against the silver stream, sitting on a large boulder and looking rather like a large bird, it was perhaps with some of the premonitions proper to a man who meets the strangest friendship of his life.”
      I hoep you writing goes wonderfully.

  7. I almost picked up Her Fearful Symmetry, but got the donkey behind curtain number three instead. I got Peace Like a River and feel cheated. Seems when I buy a book it’s a disappointment, but when I check them out for free I get the good ones. So my bookshelves are filled with books I don’t like.

  8. Love the hat, my daughter would love that. I was wondering about that book. It didn’t get very good reviews so I didn’t pick it up.

    Welcome back.

  9. Jennifer, you have been missed.

    Sorry to say I haven’t read either of these books. Now that winter is here I have some reading to catch up on. I keep buying more books as a mater of fact I bought two more today.

    Love the hat! Knitting is a great pass time.

    • Thank you, Laura!
      Our library has a display at its entrance of all its new acquisitions and also staff recommendations. Between those and the books I buy I feel I am constanty playing catch-up. It’s a wonderful thing!
      Oh, yes, and Bitter, Sweet is now one of those awaiting me – it was in my Christmas stocking 🙂

  10. Happy New Year Jennifer!
    Interesting to hear your comments on Her Fearful Symmetry. I haven’t read it yet but in the back of my mind I was worried it would be a disappointment after the Time Travellers Wife, which I loved. I guess I will get round to it one day, it’s just there are so many books and so little time!

    • Thanks Helen! There are some authors that never or rarely dissapoint. I counted Gay Gavriel Kay as one of these, and the last one he wrote I found did not meet his standard. Oh well. If you ever read Her Fearful Symmetry I hope you enjoy it. It is only one opinion after all!

  11. Yes, I agree with Linda. I would be happy for my writing to be compared to Anne Tyler’s, and as for one to start with, she’s right that my favorite is Ladder of Years. I’m happy to have a minute to catch up with your holidays and your posts. I was as excited as your kids were by snow during my recent time in Vermont. And I agree. Time is flying by.

    • Also (I don’t know why my reply went up a few instead of at the bottom) I meant to say that I haven’t read either of the two books you read during the holidays.

  12. I just finished reading “Her Fearful Symmetry.” I understand your reaction. The POV switches were really blunt, like being God or something. I was unsure why the book had to be so riddled with them. I did love the writing though and I was also engrossed, and also unsatisfied by the ending.

    What a strange book. How did you rewrite the ending? As in, what did you decide happened? Maybe you should just email me so nobody’s spoiled, but I’d love to know.

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