I’ve written before about how inspiring I find authors who didn’t find commercial success until later chapters of their lives. I love this list. The only fault I can find with it is that it didn’t include author Harry Bernstein who first published at age 96. I discuss him and his work in earlier posts. I loved his books. If it took him that long to get the courage to write his story, it was well worth the wait. I’m surprised he isn’t more well-known. I found his work comparable to Frank McCourt. I dare say that Bernstein’s work had a depth lacking in Frank McCourt’s novels.
What do I wish for 2012? I hope to finally move on with my life, whatever road that may take. It would be wonderful if Brian and I could finally get started on our careers in a real, tangible way. I also hope to move forward with my writing and reading. My reading goals this year include reading at least 25 e-books and 60 books in general (the e-books definitely count towards the 60 total). My goal for 2011 was to read 48 books throughout the year. I missed the goal by 5 measly books. I know I can do 60. I’m convinced the only way I have a shot at even becoming a mediocre writer is to read widely, both good and bad. It is amazing what I’ve learned thus far and the authors I discovered for myself along the way.
If anyone asked what book I enjoyed most in 2011, I’d be hard pressed to give an answer. I have yet not to finish a book or come away feeling as though I’ve wasted my time reading. There is no way I could pick one favorite book. That said The Help by Kathryn Stockett left a huge impression on me, as did the books of Harry Bernstein and Frank McCourt. I also enjoyed meeting in person Michigan author Mardi Link, as well as reading her true crime books. There are many more books and authors I could mention here. This is precisely why I continue to read as well as write.
In addition to continue blogging and writing, I plan to get back to journaling in 2012. Also, I can’t wait to help my Mom continue with her series of children’s books. I love them. Even if her books are never published, I will always cherish them. There is so much of my Mom’s personality contained in them I can practically see her reading them to classrooms of small children, creating a myriad of voices along the way. That, in a nutshell, is my Mom at her best. There is no doubt we share a common vision for her books. I hope that 2012 is a better year for everyone.
It’s been an interesting summer for several reasons and now is a good time to reflect. I, like so many others, was taken aback by the death of Amy Winehouse. It wasn’t so much that her death was unexpected or surprising, it was easy to see that someone needed to step in, but the simple fact that so much talent was lost at such an early age. I still plan to discuss it in a full blog post. It angers me that more can’t be done to help those with serious drug and alcohol problems. I see it every single day and already lost a very good friend to those very issues.
Other hot news items this past summer, mostly political in nature, are too painful for me to comment on at this time. I am deeply angry and anger isn’t particularly constructive. I know that not everyone sees the political landscape as I do, but I truly fear for the future of my country. What saddens me the most is having enough firsthand knowledge and experience to know that the United States, even in its current embattled state, is the best thing going. I hope and pray that we as a country get back to what is truly important, growing and creating, instead of deconstruction, increased regulation, and incentives for keeping the status quo.
On a happier note, I escaped the dreary economic and political news by reading some wonderful books. I finally read Angela’s Ashes, Tis, and Teacher Man, all by Frank McCourt. I also discovered author Harry Bernstein, whom I discussed here earlier. I read both The Invisible Wall and The Dream. I look forward to reading his final book The Golden Willow: The Story of a Lifetime of Love, if and when I can find it. The mere fact that he became a published author in his nineties continues to inspire me.
In August my reading unexpectedly turned toward Latin America. I read Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago and The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. Once again, I inadvertently expanded my reading lists. Both books were so good, so compelling, that there was no question that I wanted to read everything else written by both authors. Both books also left me with additional ideas, techniques, etc. that I plan to eventually use in my own writing. Once again, I found myself reading more than writing.
It is time to get back to writing and blogging. I stated earlier this summer that my friend Cheryl Hedlund will serve as a guest blogger here at Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde. It hasn’t happened just yet, but I am still looking forward to her contributions. I am also looking into possibly participating in a blog tour. Currently you won’t find any book reviews here. I will shortly start publishing book reviews on Blog Critics. They will be reposted here. All book reviews pertaining to blog tours will be published here exclusively. Stay tuned as there is much more coming soon!