Can you believe that the first half of the year is already gone? Well, I can’t, unless I consider all the boxes clogging our living room, for our coming move to a new house that we hadn’t started looking for at the beginning of this year.
On the writing front, as you can imagine, there’s nothing glorious to report. I have tried to maintain a regimen of writing something (a blog post or my diary – 45 words minimum) every day; and I mostly managed it thanks to my commute and the WordPress app on my phone. But I can’t say that I have written a word of fiction. I wish I could try escapist fiction, but it’s very difficult for me to be creative right now. As a minimalist exercise, I have taken to the “6 words diary”. I’ve never tried poetry but trying to find the most memorable moment of the day with a strict literary constraint is fun (and saves me from spiraling on and on about to-do lists).
On the reading front, I think the first semester has been quite interesting with a good number of awesome books. These are my favorites for the first part of the year:
- Nora, by Colm Toibin
- The Heart, by Maylis de Kerangal
- The Dinner, by Herman Koch
- Real People, by Alison Lurie
- Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout
I had set a few goals for this year: read more short stories, read more from our bookshelves (now in boxes!) and so read less from Netgalley, and read from a list of 10 pre-selected books I’ve owned for years and never came round to start. You could think 10 books would be nothing, but I am so, so bad at sticking to book lists! I have indeed read more short stories, and I want to read even more of them. I have been better at managing Netgalley this year, because I’m less impulsive with my choices. From my 10 pre-selected list, I have read 4 1/2 titles (and 2 of them are in the above list of favorites), which could be taken as a positive if you didn’t know that I started with the easier ones and left the heftier and more difficult ones aside. I have started Bulgakov’s White Guard and I can’t say I “get it”… yet?
In June I was lucky enough to get to see (nearly) all my friends from last year’s writing retreat. We had a fantastic dinner in Paris near Notre Dame and the bookshop Shakespeare & Co. It was so refreshing to get out of my to-do list and into a more creative and literary discussion!