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Old 01-01-2013, 09:37 AM   #1
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Happy 2013 Absolute Write Peeps!

So I'm exploiting my pseudo authority, to note:

1. Y'all are a really fabulous bunch of people. I love how you help each other, I love how you love the written word, and, most of all, I love how you all love books.

So tell me: What did you love in 2012? What books/stories/texts/Websites/places/whatevs really made you happy and glad to be alive? (Me, I'm really happy about Jo Walton's Among Others.

2. What places/organizations/charities do you really like and want to support? Personally, I'm looking really hard at Kiva.org and Planned Parenthood, and Reading Tree.

Have a fabulous 2013. You guys are amazing.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:09 AM   #2
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I might have to answer somewhat differently than you did.

1. As with most years, I found a few new (and old) writers to enjoy. Just an example since I just started it, The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. I also reread a few old favorites this year. Still didn't manage to finish a Henry James book (but I will one day!).

2. I've gotten to where I support local organizations more than the big national ones. I can see better how well my money is being used, and I also feel many of the large ones have too much overhead and too many perks for their executives.

Among the locals things I support are the humane association, two local parks (we managed to add a few hundred acres of old-growth forest to one), The Nashville Library Foundation, The Land Trust of Tennessee, and the local PKU group because I have a friend whose daughter has it (she cannot eat any protein).
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
So I'm exploiting my pseudo authority, to note:

So tell me: What did you love in 2012? What books/stories/texts/Websites/places/whatevs really made you happy and glad to be alive? (Me, I'm really happy about Jo Walton's Among Others.
.
I knew I knew that name... I just tracked it down again in the mess of papers that get stuck up on my writing-room walls as stimuli - and I found it! She wrote one of my favourite poems ("Doing laundry on the last day of the world") which I found quite by accident on a sad day. I don't remember what the sadness was about, but I remember the comfort and perspective I found reading this little poem for the first time. Which is why I printed it out. Thanks for reminding me, Medi. Must go and check out her other writing as well, now...

PS: Seconding Kiva.

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Old 01-01-2013, 10:58 AM   #4
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I might have to answer somewhat differently than you did.

1. As with most years, I found a few new (and old) writers to enjoy. Just an example since I just started it, The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. I also reread a few old favorites this year. Still didn't manage to finish a Henry James book (but I will one day!).
The prof largely responsible (culpable??) for interesting me in things literary and Medieval so very much wanted me to read Tey's Daughter of Time that she gave me a copy.

I still have it.

Also, the only time I've read anything by Henry James was because it was required. When I finished qualifying exams, I shipped off all my Henry James to a storage unit. Can't say I've missed it.

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2. I've gotten to where I support local organizations more than the big national ones. I can see better how well my money is being used, and I also feel many of the large ones have too much overhead and too many perks for their executives.
Yeah, I get that. That's why I stopped sending money to heifer.org. Those glossy catalogs are spendy. I'm liking local orgs a lot lately.

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Among the locals things I support are the humane association, two local parks (we managed to add a few hundred acres of old-growth forest to one), The Nashville Library Foundation, The Land Trust of Tennessee, and the local PKU group because I have a friend whose daughter has it (she cannot eat any protein).
Those are all impotant and very worthwhile. Thanks for helping. You're pretty OK for a feline . . . .
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:02 AM   #5
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It's kind of become something of a goal to finish at least one Henry James book in my lifetime just to say I did it.

I couldn't even finish The Turn of the Screw!
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:02 AM   #6
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Thanks for reminding me, Medi. Must go and check out her other writing as well, now...
I like a lot of Jo Walton's work.

Her Victorian SF novel Tooth and Claw is both chilling and brilliant.

She's written about the best Arthurian-but-not sequence ever.

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PS: Seconding Kiva.
I donated 25.00 years ago to Kiva. It's still circulating. How cool is that?
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:11 AM   #7
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It's kind of become something of a goal to finish at least one Henry James book in my lifetime just to say I did it.

I couldn't even finish The Turn of the Screw!
Yeah . . . I got nothing.
I'm [cough] not a James fan. You sorta hafta know his stuff if you wanna teach, but . . .

You know what? Skip him. There's nothing James does/uses in terms of literary techniques or motifs or rhetorical tropes that Virginia Woolf doesn't do better.

Go read A Room of One's Own, and/or To the Lighthouse or Mrs. Dalloway.

I learned how to make boef en croute/Beef Wellington because of Virginal Woolf, and now, you can too, without ruining it X times like I did . . .

Way more better than James, ever.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:14 AM   #8
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I've read Woolf.

The James thing is just a whim. I don't expect to learn anything from his writing.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:25 AM   #9
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I've read Woolf.

The James thing is just a whim. I don't expect to learn anything from his writing.
I was talking (ok, emailing) a fellow sufferer from UCLA's English Ph.D. program yesterday, and we both noted that were we teaching a class in the novel today, we'd skip James, Smollett, and Richardson, in favor of other writers.

Including Robert Parker, and Stephen King.

Parker and King both continue to impress me.

That said, I'm dismayed that some schools have essentially "retired" Sterne/Tristam Shandy.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:59 AM   #10
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The 13th Tale by Diane Setterfield blew my hair back. It had a gothic touch and was a page turner. I loved that it was about stories and story tellers - one of my favorite topics.

Also read The Hunger Games trilogy this year and really liked it.

White Horse by our own Alexia Adams & Ready Player One - who is by the guy who also wrote the screenplay for Fanboys, Ernie Cline - were also freaking awesome. And made me excited to be a reader.

I'm completely done with Henry James. I read Turn of the Screw and it was crap. Read Portrait of a Lady, and after all that... nothing happened. I am done. I have done my duty by him.

As for the charity thing...I am a terrible person. Well, when I moved, I donated a bunch of stuff to a local ... donation place. I can never remember the name of it. It's the one mostly aimed at veterans, but they have the stores, like Good Will. But if I hadn't moved, I wouldn't have donated anything anywhere. I had to move, and it was super expensive. And I'm farther from work, and gas prices shot through the roof.... so.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:15 PM   #11
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1) I have to admit that I fell in love with King Perry by Edmond Manning. It took me back to that love of reading before writing, that WTH is going on here? and -- don't bloody talk to me, reading here. Not felt like that in such a long time....

2) I'd like to do something for the Air Ambulance (they do such a fantastic job), but I'd like to try and support AW more. It's been (and still is) a massive help over the years I've been here. Hopefully the Underground Erotica anthology will bring something in for you guys once it's set up. (*whispers* alleycat needs the cash with all those cats he has, especially if they've started drinking. )

But Happy New Year. I'm almost dreading the years passing as my daughter is itching to get on here (she's 12 now and I've told her not until she's 14). *Sighs* nothing's sacred anymore.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:24 PM   #12
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2012-2013

In twenty-twelve, I loved all the great helps I got from Tech Help, Grammar and Syntax, and kind moderators despite me being so hard-headed.

I loved rediscovering my Stephen King collection from Carrie to 11/22/63; I loved editing six new novels.

I support local organizations with service—helping to cook and serve meals for the homeless and assisting with personal protection and home firearm safety.

In twenty-thirteen, I’m looking forward to:

Stephen King’s Joyland to be published by Hard Case Crime on June 4, 2013. HCC published King’s The Colorado Kid in 2005, and it was the best mystery I’d read in a long time.

Choosing a fun series to re-read—seriously considering Sue Grafton’s ABC books from the beginning.

My own website for editing crafted as a charity project for the technology-challenged.

Paying forward kindnesses in this new year.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:53 PM   #13
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It's kind of become something of a goal to finish at least one Henry James book in my lifetime just to say I did it.

I couldn't even finish The Turn of the Screw!
I had that experience with Hawthorne. Some few pages into The House of the Seven Gables, I was thinking, "What a fine turn of phrase! Gosh, he's describing the Hell out of this, isn't he? I wonder what significance his choice of adjectives had for people at that time. Fascinating .... Jesus, how many pages to go?"

Looking back on 2012, I'm baffled I didn't achieve more. Determined to do better in 2013.

A fresh start! Happy Day, Peeps!
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:09 PM   #14
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The Turn of the Screw is really great for an unreliable narrator, though! His sentences do suck, but skim for the dialogue and the way he does the narrator thing. Just mho. I'm a sucker for an unreliable narrator

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So I'm exploiting my pseudo authority, to note:

1. Y'all are a really fabulous bunch of people. I love how you help each other, I love how you love the written word, and, most of all, I love how you all love books.

So tell me: What did you love in 2012? What books/stories/texts/Websites/places/whatevs really made you happy and glad to be alive? (Me, I'm really happy about Jo Walton's Among Others.

2. What places/organizations/charities do you really like and want to support? Personally, I'm looking really hard at Kiva.org and Planned Parenthood, and Reading Tree.

Have a fabulous 2013. You guys are amazing.
I'm having a blast following Perk's book! I haven't read it since before a lot of revisions, but I've been holding out to buy the real thing, all official-like

It's so good (kept me up), and it's so fun to see it get so much attention.

I'm still in love with our mountain Karma Krew (in my sig), but I couldn't do the yogathon this year because my back needs to be very nice to do that many hours.

I'm also really impressed with Clark Howard's work to show which charities are very legit and not, as well as his own charities. He's a family friend and a truly good, good guy. It's hard to think of very many folks as consistently great as he is (he is very cheap, though, and he knows it! No fun for a throw-caution-to-the-wind blast of an expensive dinner ).

http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clar...ng-guide/nFZZ/

Happy New Year!!!!
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:17 AM   #15
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2. I've gotten to where I support local organizations more than the big national ones. I can see better how well my money is being used, and I also feel many of the large ones have too much overhead and too many perks for their executives.
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Yeah, I get that. That's why I stopped sending money to heifer.org. Those glossy catalogs are spendy. I'm liking local orgs a lot lately.
Back in the late 90s I found out - largely by accident, rather than going hunting for information - that three or four of the big charities were paying people salaries which were as good as many regular companies. These are charities which present themselves as being staffed by volunteers - since that point, I haven't donated anything to them. There are lots of small, clever charities which do amazing things that you can go and see being done. Real changes on a small scale, and so much more satisfying to help.

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That said, I'm dismayed that some schools have essentially "retired" Sterne/Tristam Shandy.
It isn't often I am at a complete loss for words, but... damn.

Okay, so - 2012. It sucked. Most of it I can happily write off as one screw-up after another, but there were bright spots in there. I rediscovered a bunch of writers I haven't read in years, and became completely fascinated with some desperately under-represented writers (Nelson S. Bond in particular, who I never appreciated as much as I should have). This is something which is framing my sense of 2013 - things should be highlighted. Still thinking on this, but there is a part of me which wants to do something which is all about highlighting the cool stuff which is being ignored.

I've already made some overtures regarding my War On Mediocrity, and I am looking forward to having fun with this in 2013...

And I really, really want my bloody passport. A man can only take so much before he snaps.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:12 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
So I'm exploiting my pseudo authority, to note:

1. Y'all are a really fabulous bunch of people. I love how you help each other, I love how you love the written word, and, most of all, I love how you all love books.

So tell me: What did you love in 2012? What books/stories/texts/Websites/places/whatevs really made you happy and glad to be alive?
I really enjoyed AW's own Anne Lyle's The Alchemist of Souls. Great book and I was so happy to have been able to watch her on here as she went from unpublished to published author.

Michelle Sagara's Silence really caught me. I'm a fan and a friend of Michelle's... but this book--it's YA--was the kind of book I desperately wish I had been able to read when I was of the YA reading age.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
2. What places/organizations/charities do you really like and want to support?
Two local charities spring to mind:

Animal Friends, the local no-kill shelter in Western PA. I'm actually thinking about giving more than money, but volunteering as well.

Allegheny Land Trust, a local conservation group dedicated to buying and preserving open green space and bio-diverse properties in Western PA.

2012 was a pretty good year for me, all in all, though it was a year of some big changes. I look forward to 2013!

Happy New Year AW!
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:36 AM   #17
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Tilly The Wonder Dog came from the Humane Society of Huron Valley. As did Othello, The Best Dog Ever, about twenty years earlier. I see no reason not to continue to support them.In fact,if anyone here wants to toss them a few bucks, I'm sure they'd appreciate it and put it to good use. This is also where I always put in my spiel for AW and Duotrope too. This year I'll pass on my Duotrope plug. But if you've gotten something out of AW, why not give back financially? If you can't find the right place to make your donation, just send a pm to MacAllister or to any Mod. We'll be happy to point you in the right direction.

As far as books this year, I've learned that we have a hell of a lot of incredible writers who live right here at AW. And I've only begun to dig in. There are others I'm planning on getting to this year. So the rest of you, slow down, okay?
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:33 PM   #18
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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Happy 2013 everyone!

Commenting on Henry James before I get to this year: I've read several Henry James short stories and liked them--"Europe" is especially good--but considering how long those "short" stories are, I'm not touching any of his novels.

1. I get really high just watching the transformation of unagented, unpublished writers here into agented and published authors.

I get The Writers' Almanac each morning and enjoy the poems.

I read Thirty-Three Swoons by Martha Cooley, which gave me a weird nostalgia for all the avant-garde books I read back in the '60s.

And if I may talk about something I loved, which isn't writing related: God bless the souls of all the people who left more than 20 bouquets of flowers at our Oregon Gurdwara after the August 5 shooting in Wisconsin. Really touched my heart.

2. We give to Sikh charities, our alma maters, and the local library. We always get extra food to give to the semi-annual postal food drives. I didn't give to tree planting this year, but I often do. (Got to increase the number of trees so we can have more books.)

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:59 AM   #19
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Wishing everyone a happy 2013 and thank you so much Mac, AW Admin and everybody for making AW such a great place to be associated with, and to learn so much from.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:26 PM   #20
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Last year a I completed a book Shades of Light: Book One of the Walker Chronicles (avail at amazon and smashwords). For 2013 I'm working on the second of the trilogy.

As for supporting an organization, I'm a poor chap, so I support anyone wishing to write by using my website and knowledge to help teach and inspire.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:15 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
So I'm exploiting my pseudo authority, to note:

1. Y'all are a really fabulous bunch of people. I love how you help each other, I love how you love the written word, and, most of all, I love how you all love books.

So tell me: What did you love in 2012? What books/stories/texts/Websites/places/whatevs really made you happy and glad to be alive? (Me, I'm really happy about Jo Walton's Among Others.

2. What places/organizations/charities do you really like and want to support? Personally, I'm looking really hard at Kiva.org and Planned Parenthood, and Reading Tree.

Have a fabulous 2013. You guys are amazing.
I found a new author for Romance/YA: Kelley Vitollo/Nyrae Dawn. I will always devour Stephen King and Kay Hooper (Bishop Files series). I am a sucker for paranormal!

I support local animal shelters. Good people searching for good homes for animals. I have volunteered and even adopted. One of the most spoiled rotten animals I have ever owned!
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:46 AM   #22
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Kiva.org is an amazing organization. I'm always so tempted to send them some money. And now I am again. I also support Planned Parenthood, and I make it a point to support my local NPR affiliate.
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