(Video originally posted by Caniad at Dwell in Possibility)
It's that time of year, the time when the year is ending and everyone finds some excuse to pass presents around to each other :). It's Christmas in our house (though admittedly not as a result of any deeply held religious convictions on the divinity of Jesus Christ), and we've been running around all day - and will run more tomorrow on Christmas Day! I have a little end-of-the-year-and-christmas business that I hadn't done, so I wanted to pop on quick and get to it.
First of all, I did get my present from the Book Blogger Holiday Swap. My Secret Santa was Sennebec, a librarian from, I believe, New England, who very kindly sent me an anthology of crime fiction from New England - I think he is one of the authors in it. It was very kind of him to think of me. Otherwise, just wanted to thank Amanda, Ms Amy, Ms Ana, Mr Chris, Ms Debi, Ms Eva, Ms Jen, Ms Jenn, Ms Jill, Ms Kelly, Ms Lena, Ms Lenore, and Ms Nicole, who have worked very hard to coordinate and organize the swap. Being incidentally married to one of these organizers (hint: it's not Mr Chris), I know the organization and coorination can be a headache, and I wanted them to know I appreciate all the work, and putting up with all us book bloggers - heaven knows we can be a cantankerous lot!
Also, a quick thank you to Ms Debi and Ms Nymeth, who both sent Amanda and I such wonderful presents. Ms Debi crocheted us a beautiful snowflake which is now hanging on our tree, putting our sometimes quite ugly other ornaments to shame :). Hopefully Debi will like me for another 75 years, and we can eventually cover an entire tree in her beautiful ornaments :D. Ms Nymeth sent us some beautiful handmade bookmarks and Alice in Wonderland bookplates. I'm almost afraid to use them, as the only bookmarks I ever don't lose are, say, gas station receipts and dental appointment cards (which I manage not to lose until I look for them in order to write the appointment down on my calendar), so my beautiful bookmark from a beautiful person would end up in someone else's book, and if Nymeth's bookmark were used so someone could read New Moon, I'm not sure she'd ever forgive me :P. Thank you both of you, I don't think I've ever had anyone send me a present that was not in a situation were they were to some degree obliged to by social convention, and both presents are very dear to me, especially from two such wonderful people. Hopefully Amanda never wises up and divorces me, because the custody battle over the snowflake and bookmarks would be very messy...
And finally, a big thank you to my wonderful wife, who bought me such lovely presents today, and didn't look horrified at any of the ones I gave her :).
I've been meaning to sign up for several challenges, but had not gotten around exactly to DOING so, so I will do it here. I know I'm terribly late, and all you challenge holders out there, I apologize, I'm a terrible participant, prone to forgetting to update, etc. But there are a few challenges that are so meaningful to me that I can't bear to pass them up. I'm trying to limit my challenges this year, because there are other things I'd like to do with my reading that don't really have much to do with any challenges that I know of (that is, I have some interests that are probably boring to most folks...). So, I have five challenges that I'll be joining this year:
GLBT Challenge - I don't have a list made out for this one, but I can say there will be some Sarah Waters involved, and I have a number of other books I'm looking in. I'll be trying to help out a bit with this challenge to - not that the wonderful Amanda NEEDS help, but if she does ask, I might chip in here and there.
Women Unbound Challenge - I was going to fill out the meme for this here, but they are such BIG QUESTIONS! I'm afraid that will have to wait until a seperate post to address them, but I promise I will. In the meantime, let me just say that while I'm a terrible ignoramus and likely will say 10000 stupid things in the course of a day, this is a really important issue to me, and one I'm really looking forward to the challenge, to help me focus some of my little ideas, and maybe add something to such a hopeful, forward-looking dialogue.
Woolf Readalong - I read the major works of James Joyce this year, and that sort of immersion in an author was a really beautiful way to experience them. I'd love to do the same with someone this year, and I'm eyeing good Ms Woolf, intently. At any rate, I'd like to revisit the books in this challenge that I've alreay read, and then read The Waves, which I'm very excited about.
Graphic Novel - This is my trying-to-be-brave challenge. I don't know a thing about Graphic Novels, and my few attempts have had mixed results, but all these wonderful people with excellent taste keep telling me to try them again. So, I will. I don't know what level I will do the challenge at, I guess it depends on if I can find my 'groove' and figure out how to read them... but really HOW BAD can any challenge being thrown by Mr Chris and Ms Nymeth be? :)
Really Old Classics - I'm going to go ahead and do this challenge, because there are SO MANY lovely, very old books I'd like to read - this is actually the only one I've gotten started on already, as I finished Silence, and I'm looking forward to some of my other reads for it, as well!
Since you all work so terribly hard in the blogging community, I thought I ought to do SOMETHING helpful, and the place I saw a hole is in poetry - I don't THINK there is any poetry challenges for 2010, so I thought perhaps I could be of use for that? I know Ms Lu has thrown one in the past, and didn't have a lot of participation, so I'm curious if this is even something people are interested in? If not, I'll just make myself one and be done with it - I'm a bit nervous about throwing one anyway, since I'm afraid it will make more traffic on my blog, which makes me nervous. But, otherwise, if people are interested, maybe Ms Lu and I (if she's still interested?) can come up with something.