Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: Year in Review

For those interested, here's a look back at my writerly-related 2013.

Books

The following are the books, or plays, I finished reading, or rereading, in 2013, 25 in total. I was hoping for thirty, but I greatly surpassed my goal for short stories and that makes up for the books, I think - and I was finishing up my master's thesis! Some of the books were read for school, some for pleasure. Some books I read this year that I didn't finish and so are not listed. (Underlined is my favorite book of the year. I wrote a post about the "experience.")

Exodus (Bible)
Origin of Species by Darwin
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Crane
My Ántonia by Cather
The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald
The Crying of Lot 49 by Pynchon
The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway
Dispatches by Herr
Billy Budd by Melville
Beneto Cereno by Melville
Red-Burn by Melville
Moby-Dick by Melville
Murder in Amsterdam by Buruma
Choice Theory by Glasser
Norwegian Wood by Murakami
Hamlet by Shakespeare
I, Robot by Asimov
Leviticus (Bible)
How We Decide by Lehrer
Macbeth by Shakespeare
Animal Farm by Orwell
Kokoro by Sōseki
To the Lighthouse by Woolf
Middle Passage by Johnson
The Word for World is Forest by Le Guin
A Scanner Darkly by Dick

Stories


I greatly exceeded my number goal for stories this year: 30. However, being how most were for school, by classmates, I won't list them. Instead, the following are the other stories, or famous papers/letters, I read, or reread, this year, about 21. (Favorite story, obviously doesn't include non-fiction, is underlined.)


"Computing Machinery and Intelligence" by Turing
"Beautiful Boys" by Goss
"Pale Horse, Pale Rider" by Porter
"Cock-a-Doodle-Doo" by Melville
"Letter from Birmingham Jail" by King
"Nightfall" by Asimov
"Ceiling" by Adechie
"Refuge" by Stumacher
"Robbie" by Asimov (I, Robot)
"Runaround" by Asimov (I, Robot)
"Follow that Rabbit" by Asimov (I, Robot)
"Reason" by Asimov (I, Robot)
"Liar" by Asimov (I, Robot)
"Little Lost Robot" by Asimov (I, Robot)
"Escape" by Asimov (I, Robot)
"The Evitable Conflict" by Asimov (I, Robot)
"Mastiff" by Oates
"Coming Sun. Mon. Tues." by Delillo
"The Adjustment Team" by Dick
"The King of Norway" by Oz
"Town of Birds" by Monley


Writing

I wrote a lot poems. In fact, I recently self-published a chapbook containing nineteen previously unpublished poems entitled Remember Me like This. I wrote several stories. Currently, there are two under consideration by editors. One recently got accepted. And still others need revising, thanks to the comments received in workshop my last semester. I'm still working on my first novel. I will have a completed forth draft this year and who knows? In addition, I have a second novel I've already written the first quarter of (the first draft).

Readings

I did one reading, my first, this year. It was for Say What! Productions. It was a great experience. Another classmate (not former classmate) was there reading, too, coincidentally. I read my story "I Love You More," which is a rather creepy story about a guy who loves his mom, inspired by a news article. Everyone seemed to have liked it. "Haunting" was a word I heard a lot. 

Predictions

For fun, I like to do this and demonstrate how, sometimes, just guessing works. I do this in honor of the SGU, who promote skepticism.

Last year's predictions:
  • Celebrity death (old): Clint Eastwood
  • Celebrity death (young): Seth Green
Both are still alive, unfortunately. :( That means I was wrong twice.
  • Realistic prediction: Another substantial terrorist attack in Europe
  • Unrealistic prediction: Absolute war between the US and Iran.

Luckily, I was wrong about the second one. Actually, we are moving closer to peace as of late, which has certain Republicans really upset. As for the first prediction, unluckily, I was right. The recent terrorist attacks in Volgograd, Russia confirm this. (Volgograd is west of the Ural Mountains, which traditionally separates Europe from Asia.)

Final score: 1 out of 4. Given how people tend to remember hits and forget misses, I think I did really well.

This Year

I want to read at least forty books.

I want to read at least thirty stories.

I want to do well in the GRE Literature test.

I want to write a fourth draft of my first novel. Finish at least two stories. Write, say, at least half a dozen poems. Maybe a complete draft of my second novel. Then explode like Murakami unto the literary scene with the publication of my novels!!

Predictions:
  • Celebrity death (realistic): Miley Cyrus 
  • Celebrity death (unrealistic): Chuck Norris (unrealistic because, really, he can never die)
  • General prediction (realistic): Worst hurricane-caused disaster (in monetary terms) ever (because global warming is real!)
  • General prediction (unrealistic): Obama tells the American people that the current doings of the NSA are unconstitutional and ensures that measures are put in place to prevent suspicion-less surveillance on everyone (phone calls, texts, email, Web searches, Web use in general, you name it). Oh, and he stops spying on world leaders.

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