Sunday Salon: One Last Time for 2013

Dateline:  Sunday, late morning/noontime, on the living-room sofa/at the kitchen desk. The windows are open, the breeze is blowing, and picture-perfect Tournament of Roses Parade weather is coming in. I’m puppy-sitting while everyone else is at the movies, because I decided to get some writing done instead of seeing The Hobbit a second time–two books need to be reviewed. The puppy is cooperating by taking a nap.  Thank you, Bellatrix (or as I sometimes call her, Trixiebelle)!
  • UPDATE: They came back, with a refund–the tickets were for an 11:15 PM show, not AM. I will still be writing, but not so much puppy-sitting, and we’ll do the movie on Tuesday night. (Yikes, that means we’ll actually be out on New Year’s Eve!)

Reading: It’s already 2014 in galley reading around here. I’m trying to finish Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books, by Wendy Lesser before my review is officially too late for Shelf Awareness, and I’ve started Jason Porter’s novel Why Are You So Sad? (e-galley via Penguin’s First to Read Program) in my Kobo app. But I’m still trying to decide what my actual First Book of 2014 will be for Sheila’s challenge on Wednesday. She suggests that 

“It should be a special one–a book you love and are re-reading, or perhaps a book you have been wanting to read for some time.” 

I’m most likely going with Option 2, but since I have a LOT of those hanging around the house I’m having a hard time choosing!

Watching:  We’ve barely turned on the TV this week–there hasn’t been much on, we’ve had family around and Christmas to celebrate, and we have been being entertained by the afore-mentioned puppy. Bel won’t be with us long–she’s traveling back to New Hampshire with Kate at the end of the week–so Tall Paul and I have been trying to spend lots of quality time with our visiting grand-dog.

Listening: I have no audiobooks underway right now, because I haven’t been commuting…but I did get my monthly Audible credits last week, so I’m open to suggestions!

Blogging/Writing: I didn’t plan on a blogging break this past week, but I’m not actually sorry I ended up taking one, and I think I’ll be extending it through the week ahead as well. I may not be completely away–I’ll be working on my 2013 retrospectives and Books of the Year picks–but whatever I do may not be on view here until 2014. We’re on the verge of a new year and many other bloggers seem to be taking it slow right now as well, so I won’t feel too bad about it. On a related note, I took the nuclear option on my feed reader yesterday in hopes of keeping up with a lighter load through the first days of January–we’ll see how that works out.

Pondering: Also along the lines of “new year, new start” and all that, I’m considering various writing and blogging directions going forward.
  • I’ve installed the DayOne journaling app on my MacBook and iPad with a goal of writing something there daily, even if it’s just some quick or sketchy notes. It may provide seeds for blog posts or other writing, or it may not, but I think it’s a practice worth testing.
  • I will continue to post my thoughts about every book I read or listen to, but I will be honest about the fact that some books, although I enjoy them, don’t actually leave me with very many thoughts. Not every read is profoundly life-affecting, and I want to let myself off the hook for writing about them as if they all are–and for choosing books with the expectation that they need to be. I don’t want this to feel like work, and it’s starting to–I want to stop that before it gets too far along.
  • I received a generous Christmas gift of “conference money,” so I’m trying to decide how I want to use it. I’ve been thinking about going back to Book Expo this year, since I skipped 2014–is anyone else already making plans for that? Let me know!

Gratuitous Photo of the Week
family portrait Christmas 2013 grandma parents kids dog
We so rarely have the whole family together that we wanted to document it. This is one of the less-goofy shots. That’s Bel at the lower left, being held by Kate.
I hope you had a Merry Christmas, and that I’ll see you in the (Happy) New Year!

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