A Few Plans for 2012

Happy New Year to all of you, my readers, commenters, subscribers and friends.

I wish that 2012 will be a wonderful year for all of us!

*******

This is the year in which I will

– Buy fewer books

– Read at least three books from countries I’ve never read a book from (most likely: Nigeria, Vietnam, Portugal)

– Read fewer novels

– Read plays and poetry

2012 Fearless Poetry

I will participate in Serena’s Fearless Poetry Exploration Challenge. It’s not a very demanding challenge, all you have to do is, read two poetry collections or participate in her Virtual Poetry Circles.

– Translate poetry

– Read more fantasy and YA

– Read more life writing including diaries, memoir and letters

– Pursue some of my reading projects that I had abandoned like

  • Native American reading project. I have a huge pile and have already read one book during the last week of last year.
  • African American reading project and as part of this the
  • Zora Neale Hurston reading project

– Start the new movie series World Cinema. The idea is to take a trip around the world in movies.

– Work on my About page. This page is actually clicked a lot and I was mortified to find out that since the day I started this blog, I hadn’t changed it which means it’s still a draft version. And it almost reads like a job application. It’s embarrassing.

– Write far less reviews and drastically shorten the summary sections

– Write in different ways

– Finally learn how to upload photos. I know you are dying to see my cats, my messy apartment, the view from my windows and oh the book piles. No worries, that’s not what you will get (or let’s say, the cats, yes, but not the mess and the shamefully high piles). I’d like to explore the medium photography and here is the moment to mention one of my very favourite blogs Mrs Pearl’s aka Carole’s Pearls and Prose. All of her posts are like gifts. Not only does she share her beautiful photography, she also shares a lot of tips and tricks.

– Read less, write more. No, not blogposts. Don’t get alarmed.

– 6/12 cities project. I want to travel quite a bit this year and, if possible pair this with some reading. The planned destinations so far are

  • Stockholm
  • London
  • Paris
  • Milano
  • Istanbul
  • ?

As I’m notorious for overthrowing my vacation (and other) plans it’s possible the final list will look very different. Milano and Paris are the most likely as they are close (4 respectively 3 hours by train). Why these 5 cities? I haven’t been in Paris for over a year and ususally went there at least a few times per year. Milano – The famous cemetery and I need clothes. Or rather a style change is overdue and how to best achieve that than with Italian fashion, right? Stockholm – I’ve never been there. Istanbul – I’m sure I will love it.

These are my blogging related plans. I spare you the others, the list is three times as long.

How about you? Are you making plans or just go with the flow (which I will eventually do as well but I love plans)?

48 thoughts on “A Few Plans for 2012

  1. Happy New Year, Caroline! I loved reading your plans, which sound very exciting and wide-ranging. I’m not a great planner myself as I figure things will always play out differently to the way I imagine them. But I like to bear vague things in mind, like wanting to be more compassionate to myself, and hoping to try out some new creative projects. I hope you get all the things you wish for in 2012, and some wonderful surprises, too!

    • Thanks, Litlove, I wish you a wonderful year as well.
      I do love plans and I’m quite OK with myself if I do not achieve everything. But there are a few on the list that I would really like to take seriously.

  2. Hello Caroline and Happy New Year!
    We have a few plans in common for this year, like write more and read less, travel (if you go to Istanbul, I highly recommend you see a dervish dance, it’s magical) and read poetry.
    I also plan to eat less chocolate and exercise more but that’s always a tricky one, host a give-away or more and improve my Thai. I’m sure there will be more but that’s at the top of my list.
    I wish you good luck with your plans, may they all become reality.

    • Hello Delia, thanks for visiting. A Happy New Year to you as well.
      Nice to know, there is someone with similar plans. Thanks for the recommedation about the dervish dance. I need to keep it in mind.
      I feel it’s easier to plan to make certain things than to plan to leave out others, like buying less books, or eating less of something. It always feels like a punishment.
      Write more and read less may be one my most important resolutions.
      I wish you all the best with your plans too.

  3. I am looking forward to your pictures, your travel tales, your trip round the world through movies (GREAT idea!), and everything else you will write about too. I have been getting back into YA and Fantasy novels, so we can compare notes there too. I hope you have a lovely first day of the year and a splendid 2012.

    • Thanks, Sarah. The year started quite promising.
      My own plans have energized me a great deal. 🙂 I already started the Movies around the world tour with a Franco-Lebanese film (Caramel).
      I visit a few blogs that review mostly fanatsy and YA and everytime I think, why do I not read more, some of the bets books in the last years were fantays. I’m looking forward to compare notes and to your photos too. They are very beautiful. I’ve still got a long way to go.
      And we need to keep each other updated on movies. Withouth you I wouldn’t have watched Valhalla Rising. That’s not one to be forgotten soon.

  4. I had the buy-less-books plan in mind, but I’ve already broken that and it’s only Jan 1st. I used to make die-hard resolutions but mine are more vague and more generalised these days. The biggest one is to read a page of French a day.

    Good luck with your goals.

    • Thanks, Guy. I think the buy less will be hard but I really want to stick to it. I’m not saying I will buy nothing as that isn’t realistic. A page of French a day is a great resolution too. A little bit of something regularly is often the way to go.

  5. Hello Caroline,

    I wish you a happy 2012.

    I LOVE your notion of “few” plans 🙂 The list is huge but it’s only the consequence of having a curious mind.

    PS: I have an idea for the 5th city. Only 3 hours drive from your home, great art museum, amazing architecture, green and full of flowers and dear to me.

    • Thanks, Emma, a happy 2012 to you too. I did get carried away but the inofficial list is so much longer that ” a few ” seemed appropriate. After publishing it I had to laugh as well… 5th city I’m confused now… Not Paris?
      Last year I made zero plans and one of the results is cat-endangering super high book piles on the floor.
      I thought I need to balance this plan with a few things to look forwrad to. 🙂
      Oh yes, curiosity. It’s a key word for me.

  6. It sounds as though you have some wonderful plans. I envy you being so close to so many lovely cities. I am hoping to save money this year and actually go somewhere–not just a boring staycation. I am very much in need of a new view–at least for a few days. I also want to read more literature in translation from countries I am not familiar with–I’m thinking of starting with the Middle East and have a couple of books on order that are translated from Arabic. And I do hope you’ll share more photos–I am always curious about how my blogging friends live and what their cities and homes look like. I guess I only share book photos–maybe next year I’ll try and expand a little, too. I haven’t set myself many goals/resolutions. Last year was an upheaval in my personal life–now I am in the mod to pare down and get rid of things and try to sort out my ‘now what do I do’ plans. Mostly I just want 2012 to be happy and peaceful. Happy New Year!

    • Happy New Year to you too!
      I didn’t go anywhere this year which is unusual for me. I had two great trips the year before Hong Kong and San Francisco. I completely messed up this year as I wanted to do things here that I couldn’t do in the end instead of going away.
      I have some books of the Moddle East too. I read quite a few already and liked them. I want to watch movies from there now. I already watched a Lebanese movie and have got an Iranian as well.
      I think the photo idea is the least realistic because it is so much hassle.
      None of laptps and computers are easy to handle. I need to find a solution. Yesterday I tried to upload an avatar and failed.
      I’d like to make my own book photos. More like still lives with books.
      You had the one or the other like that, I enjoyed them.
      I hope your year will be wonderful and that you get to travel somewhere nice.
      I got a coffee house/literature calendar and started browsing it yesterday. Many of the phtos are from Vienna… Maybe that could be my city no6.
      I was silly not to take advantage of the proximity to all those cities.

    • Thanks, Tony.
      People often coplain that we don’t have the sea in Switzerland. While this is true, we have one of the best locations to get anywhere. Pretty much in the middle of Europe.

  7. Happy New Year, Caroline! Your plans for the year are wonderful! I can identify with your plan to buy less books 🙂 I am consciously following it now – I am reducing my visits to the bookstore these days. But I have been moving more of my book shopping online and that is worrying me still. Translating poetry will be a wonderful and stimulating activity. If you do translate French / German poems to English, I would love to read them. Your mention of Zora Neale Hurston made me smile – I want to read her ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ this year. Your ‘read less, write more’ plan is quite interesting 🙂 I want to read more this year, but I also want to write more. I am hoping to write a novel this year, and I have got most of the notes ready. I am hoping to bite the bullet and get started soon.

    The places you have planned to visit are all beautiful cities. Hope you enjoy your trips there.

    Hope you are able to finish all you have planned. Wish you all the very best!

    • Thanks, Vishy, Happy New Year as well.
      I have to stop ordering books. I buy far less in book shops, the choice isn’t so big.
      I was planning on translating from English to German but I might as well try the other way around.
      I’ve read a few of Zora Neale Hurston’s books. Her biography is very interesting, she was quite a character.
      I hope your novel writing will work. I have written two novels, both in German and a lot of short stories. the short stories are quite good but the novels would need some serious re-writing.
      In 2010 I wrote a lot but last year, I guess because of the blogs far less. I need to re-start and concentrate on that.
      I wish you success with your book, that you manage to write it.
      I hope to travel to at least 3 of those cities. Milano, Stockholm and Istanbul are the ones I’m most tempted to see.
      If I manage half of what I’d like to achieve it would be great.

      • Thanks for your wishes, Caroline 🙂

        Wonderful to know that you have written two novels and many short stories. What are the novels about? Are they set in the contemporary world?

        Nice to know that you have read a few Zora Neale Hurston books and liked them. I can’t wait to start my first Hurston book.

        If you do get to translate some German / French poems into English, I would love to read them.

        • Yes, both novels are set in our days. I’m not tempted to write historical fiction at all.
          I’ll let you know a bit more via e-mail. 🙂
          I’ve read one ro two of Zora Neale Hurston’s books. Her collections of folklore.
          I haven’t decided what to translate yet. I’ll start with English to German. The “warm up”.

          • Looking forward to hearing more about your novels, Caroline 🙂

            Interesting to know that Zora Neale Hurston has authored collections of folklore. I will look for them.

            Hope you have fun translating poetry!

              • I think writing a long work for the first time is a lot of hard work. It is wonderful that you have done it. Also, my college professor used to say that an artist is never satisfied with his / her art 🙂 Maybe your readers will love your book 🙂

                • The first draft is easy it’s re-shaping that is hard work but even for short fiction but it depends how you write. I’m a speed writer, not to slave over every phrase and then I need to go back and correct, amend, shape, like a sculptor, everything that is superfluous gets kicked out. I’m quite pleased with my short stories but I think the novels are not that special. Maybe I will translate them and re write them that way. It’s an option.

    • All the best to you as well, Stu. I try only to do challanges that are in line with my reading and look efortless. I have already got my copy of Henry Green out!

  8. Sorry for taking such long time to finally visit your wonderful blog to wish you Happy new year and hope you can do all in your list.

    I am waiting for those photos of your cats and your travels 😉
    Now that you have mentioned it, I did rarely seen a lot of picture in your blog.

    • Thank you so much, Novroz. All the best to you as well.
      Yeah, I was behind technology wise. Since yesterday I ha e a brabd new card reader and it should be possible to include the one or the other photo. 🙂

  9. Lots of interesting-sounding plans here, Caroline, and I look forward in particular to seeing which books you choose for your Native American project. I think I only have three reading goals this year (not enough to write a post about even!), but I’ve been OD’ing on reading what everybody else’s blogging/reading-related plans are–such an interesting topic for a book geek. Happy New Year to you!

    • Happy New Year, Richard and thanks for the interest. I have a few intersting authors lined up like Leslie Marmon Silko, Linda Hogan and N. Scott Momaday. And one you reviewed, I think, Mari Sandoz. But I got some memoirs too.
      I have a few more plans, like reading through my pile of Latin American authors… That’s a bigger pile than the Native American one. 🙂

  10. Wow, you have some great plans for the year. I hope everything goes well and 2012 turns out to be a wonderful year for you. I have to say I do envy people who can travel so easily to other countries. Living at the bottom of the world has it’s limitations! 🙂

    • Thank you Violet. I hope you achieve all you’d like to do as well.
      I’m ambitious but I don’t expect I’ll do everything. It just cheered me up to see all the possibilities.
      I must admit that when I wrote the list of cities I thought I should once and for all stop complaining about living in Switzerland. It is so central. Australia is soo far and I would love to see it. One day…

  11. A happy new year to you too.

    I don’t plan my reading beyond a couple of months as new things keep coming my way. My tastes remain pretty much the same as do my dislikes. Poetry – I dip into from time to time but never stay there long.

    We will be travelling in France as usual, but will go somewhere else also. Life is so busy at home though.

    Its funny how few book bloggers when publishing their plans for the new year ever say that they intend to WRITE a book

    • Thanks Tom, to you as well.
      It’s kind of a draft plan really and I’m not planning on by when and how. My readalong dates must be kept, the rest is pretty free.
      Many book bloggers say that what they are is readers and not writers. Really? I think many do not want to jinx it but would like to write.
      I feel more confident now to “talk” about it but I do lack time. I need to find the balance between “my” writing and blog writing.

  12. Happy New Year Caroline!

    The way I made myself buy fewer books was to institute a rule that for each book purchased I had to have at least read one of my existing books or given away/discarded one of my existing books. One in, one out. Harsh, but it does work.

    Why do you want to read more YA? I tend to find the focus on YA in the blogsphere a bit odd. YA is, after all, ultimately children’s fiction. I respect children’s fiction and I don’t doubt how hard it is to do well, but where’s the interest if you’re not a child?

    There’s some excellent African American fiction. I do think the best is often not the best known, but then testing ideas like that is what exploration is for (certainly I rate Chester Himes a long way ahead of Alice Walker and I flatly don’t rate Maya Angelou at all).

    What Native American writing are you thinking of? That’s not something I know well at all.

    Madrid is a rather striking omission from your destinations list.

    Otherwise, how very exciting. I look forward to reading how you get on.

    • Happy New Year to you as well.
      I’m going to reply backwards.
      I omitted Madrid because I’ve been there a few times, and in other Spanish cities as well.
      Paris and London are the only cities (with one or two others) that I re-visit, else I’d rather explore cities I don’t know yet.
      Milano is just around the corner, so to speak, but it’s one of a few Italian cities I’ve never been to.
      I saw your Chester Himes post but didn’t get a chance to comment yet. I’d like to read him.
      I haven’t read Maya Angelou but was intending to, I must admit. I like Toni Morrison, I read some Alice Walker but non-fiction, that was interesting.
      I really like James Baldwin and – if talking about crime – Walter Mosley. Last year I read Nella Larsen and thought she was very interesting.
      Zora Neale Hurston is a fascinating character.
      I wouldn’t say that YA is literature for children and many shouldn’t even be labelled like that. I had this discussion when I read and reviewed Meg Rosoff in 2010. I believe you’d like her. She commnentd on my blog and said how she felt she had the wrong label. True. Children will not get her, older people will not read her because of the lable but she is excellent.
      Then I like dystopian settings and many of the YA books use it. Not so much different from Miéville in some regards.
      I find that the writers of YA fiction often choose thought-prvoking and interesting themes and use fresh ways of story telling.
      The few I read in 2010 were great.
      We will see. Another Meg Rosoff is high on my list and some others.
      13 Reasons Why for example really stunned me too.

  13. Walter Mosely is excellent. I haven’t read any Baldwin and didn’t know Nella Larsen. I’ll google her.

    YA can be a bit of a misgenre, a classification born more of uncertainty than a real genre element (it’s not really a genre anyway).

    Thanks for the reply, and sorry for being so slow in coming back myself.

    • I like him very much bit will really have to read Chester Himes. It seems Sallis wrote a Chester Himes biography. Nella Larsen is interesting, the writing maybe less than the topic but it’s in any case better than histirical fiction trying to emulate the period and the feeling.
      Don’t worry abot hte time.
      YA is a marketing trick really. I think I will not even metnion it in the future anymore when I review something.

    • They are on hold big time… A lot of these plans are actually but I’ve progressed on other things which are not even on the list, so I’m still OK with myself.
      But, yes, I need to get to Portuguese literature.

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