Kalendae Januariae: Year of the written word

Dear Internet,

Happy New Year.

I knew my brain had fizzled out on me when I stopped doing two things: Reading books and listening to music. I’ve really, really missed being able to finish a book or listen to an album. Since the music part is covered by Automusicbiographically, I had to find a way to get into all the books, comics, magazines, and other bits that have been floating around here forever. So for 2013, I op to:

Read all the books/comics I own before buying more.

According to GoodReads, I read (or attempted to read), about 17 books in 2012. I used to read about 10 books a month. Touching on the “Buy Nothing in 2013” moto, no more new OR used books/comics are to be purchased in 2013.  I get this means I’ll probably be missing out on a lot of awesome new releases but I just can’t keep up at the pace I’m at now (and this is why Amazon wishlists are for). I don’t have a set goal to read by end of 2013, but if I can read at least one books a week, I can cut through my TBR stack pretty quickly. I’m also adding in that I need to do 50 word reviews on GoodReads for books and do reviews here under Bagged  & Boarded for comics (which will appear Wednesday when available).

  • This also includes Kindle/digital purchases (Yes, including the free ones.)
  • I’m not allowed to source books out from the library until my current stacks have had dents made into them. Which, as a librarian who works in a library is EXTREMELY difficult.

Second on my list under this theme is:

Writing.

Back in August, Anne and I worked worked on our own personal SWOTs – her for going into business herself, me for writing.  Since I did my SWOT by hand, I pinned (or rather taped) the pages on the wall above my desk. The ultimate goals were simple.

  • Write 10 hours a week  (Does not include blogging)
  • Write 250 word blog entries 5x a week (Get proficient enough to knock it out in 1/2 hour).
  • Keep notes on everything.

I’ll also add in the following:

  • Write a short story a month.
  • Write a poem a month.
  • Get something published by my birthday in June

You can participate by signing up to be a beta reader to help a girl out.

I was talking to Kristin about how to best track our goals, because as this list continues, it seems overwhelming about how much I want to do in 2013. So for the first few months maybe the goals will be more to get one short story finished rather than write a short story every month or write thoughtfully online twice and build up to five entries a week.  I have put together a schedule (daily and monthly) for writing online that will help, but much of that is going to stuff that’s built up over the course of a week (Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes) or can be stacked weeks in advanced. The soul will still be bared, but I want less thought provoking content up as well.

x0x0,
Lisa

Kalendae Januariae : 2013 will be the year of creativity (even if it kills me)

Dear Internet,
To continue kicking of 2013’s ass, next up is:

2013 will be the year of creativity, even if it kills me.

I have a lot of hobbies. Well, let me rephrase that, I start a lot of hobbies and never finish them. I also have lot of projects on the burner that I start and never complete. A pattern develops! A big push for the “Buy Nothing in 2013” was realising I spent a lot of time researching / buying supplies for a project, not a lot of time working on the actual project to get it to completion. Something I have said numerous time to people is an example of this is I learn how to play Chopsticks, I think I can then play Wagner.  My brain cannot fathom why it does not know how to play complicated when it learned the base, for it thinks that single base is all it needs. I don’t have the skillset on what it takes to learn how to practice. Which sounds grammatically wrong, but is so true. Throw in the ADHD (impulsivity, unable to focus), and you can see where this is becoming a mess. The idea here is to take one of my many hobbies/projects, pick a month, and start working on that said hobby. When the next month rolls around, continue with hobby/project A and then add in hobby B. Continue until all hobbies/projects are exhausted. Some are one-offs, others will be life-long learning.  Here is that list:

  • Start up the podcast, AUDIOMUSICBIOGRAPHICALLY.
    • I own 100G of music, which comprises of about 1000 CDs and hundreds of artists.  Due to my ADHD fueled depression, I actively stopped listening to music several years ago. The idea is to go through my list of artists, alphabetically from 0 to Z, listen to the band, write out how I got introduced to them and my connection to their music, and then podcast about it. Goal is a new podcast every week, 20-30 minutes each episode. Length of project is going to be over years. For holidays, TheHusband got me a mic and I did a test run reading the first chapter of Pride and Prejudice
  • Learn a language, namely Anglo-Saxon and/or French/Italian
    • Awhile ago, Alice and I decided to learn AS together, but life sort of got in the way. I think I may have to poke her on starting up with me again, but I will be going at it for sure since I have all the books / mp3s and online resources. Why AS? The better question is: Why not?
    • As for French/Italian, I have the Rosetta stone in French for levels 1-5, so that would be the easiest to start with Italian, another Romance language,  is more desirable since TheHusband and I plan on one day retiring to Italy. Or maybe Scotland. Maybe I should pick up Scottish Gaelic?
  • Learn to cook
    • If you’ve been following me for a bit, I’ve posted recipes on/off for various things, but the truth of the matter is, I’m a terrible cook. I’m a most excellent baker, but a terrible cook.  This morning, I nearly destroyed the pancakes I was making. So, I sourced the interents for suggestions on how to learn to cook and they were to get Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything The Basics and Jacques Pépin’s Complete Techniques, which were purchased before my self-imposed buying ban. Here’s hoping I don’t burn the house down.
  • Finish all my knitting/cross-stich projects.
    • Pretty self-explanatory. I bought a lot of supplies for these two hobbies, got really into them and petered out. I want to move beyond making hats/scarves and finish the gifts I promised with the stashes, that would be delightful.
  • Learn to sew.
    • TheHusband planned on buying me a machine for my 40th birthday this year, but since I was having foot surgery shortly after, throw in a long recovery, the machine in question is still on hold. Because I have zero supplies for this on hand right now, this will probably get pushed out towards the end of the year as the other projects take precedence.

While it’s awesome to keep my hands busy, what about my brain? With that, 2013 is also going to be all about the year of the written word.

x0x0,
lisa

Kalendae Januariae: Buy Nothing in 2013

Dear Internet,

When I was flip-flopping on figuring out how to celebrate the holidays with TheHusband (for if we are to truly to create our own traditions, then, we must create these traditions rather than sidestepping the old simply because we didn’t feel like making them work), I had come across an article which discussed the giving of gifts on the 1st of January that begin during the reign of King Stephen of England. For some reason which I cannot remember, when attempting to retrace my steps to get back to the article to pass on to TheHusband, I could not find the originating article I had read (and my Chrome history across all my devices was also of no help), instead I stumbled upon lots of references to an old Roman festival (of sorts), Kalendae Januariae. The Kalends, the first of each month, was the day when payment of interest was due in Rome, which then started to expand to include festivals surrounding those days. While the first of the new Roman year was in March, at some point near the end of BCE, the Kalends of January (Kalendae Januariae) became associated with the dawn of the near year along with its various rituals and festivals,  which were nothing short of Bacchanal delights (apparently after everyone paid their taxes and gave loyalty to the emperor).

Since most of my cursory research on this festival has been mainly academic (and in Latin), I really liked this summary of the Kalends of January, which sums it up pretty succinctly:

This single day contains the whole year in it, so that what you do during those spare twenty four hours will determine the character of the remaining three hundred and sixty four.

For the last several months, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make the changes I needed to make to live the life I want. The ankle surgery and starting to see my therapist were two of the major steps, but now it was time to start working on the smaller ones.

Kristin, who is going to be my support crutch as I am to hers, has written up her list of how she’s going to make 2013 more powerful than ever.  First up:

Buy nothing in 2013, unless it’s necessary (food, gas, or related),
to genuinely replace, or renews an existing service (i.e. Spotify, Netflix, etc)

 No new books, music, comics, movies, DVDs, clothes, shoes, bags, gadgets, houses, LEGOS, pens, notebooks, domains, and so on. I had over 100 orders on Amazon alone this year (not items, total orders), I own over 150 t-shirt (close to 50 were probably bought in 2012 alone), my To Be Read pile has crawled from the downstairs and worked up to my office and our bedroom, and my Kindle is bursting. I own a lot of stuff. I never use that stuff, I want to use my stuff. Since I’m the queen of side-stepping, I have to continue to clarify such that if a blue cardigan dies, I do not replace it with another cardigan in its stead as I already  own 11 cardigans in a variety of colors and patterns. The end result is to save cash, make better buying choices, and ultimately, but most importantly, use my stuff.
There are exceptions to this rule:

  • I can buy supplies to make presents for other people or buy gifts if I can’t make the present
  • Supplies for my Etsy store are allowed
  • Work related expenses are allowed (except not subtly justifying a new blue cardigan as for “work”)
  • I can’t con TheHusband to buy it for me unless it’s a present for an occasion (birthday, anniversary, etc)

Items that I desire will more than likely get thrown up on my Amazon Wish List and Pinterest for TheHusband (or anyone really) to bestow me with gifts or for ideas for later use.

x0xo,
Lisa