Well, hello 2015

It’s a massive understatement to say I’m looking forward to 2015, but I am because:

1. Something is happening with my book and I’ll be able share I hope soon. It’s coming, I promise. I PROMISE.

2. but not too soonish because I’m going travelling in a couple of weeks, and it looks something like this: London, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, London. Home. I am most excited about: having a reunion with women I met while learning Turkish in Istanbul twenty years ago. We were all married to Turkish men, and while they still are I’m not. We are meeting in Prague. I’m also really really excited about staying in the same Viennese hotel that inspired one of John Irving’s hotels in Hotel New Hampshire. I am going to re-read his first novel Setting Free the Bears, which is entirely set in Vienna and is when Irving began using what would become recurring motifs: bears, motorcycles and Vienna. I haven’t read it for probably more than 20 years. I also can’t wait to explore Berlin. My daughter (major history obsessive, and I do mean major) wants to do all the war things, and I’ve found a tour company that does bunker’y things. It’s going to be so cold but so good. In all of the cold the places we will warm up with interesting local food and, apparently, beer. I’m just a bit worried about footwear. I’m a person who doesn’t really work well with shoes (other than thongs, Uggs and runners). But it’ll be okay. I have some faux Burberry-type rainproof boots that are kind of Uggy, and really thick socks. They just don’t have much support for walking. The dude in Kathmandu (when we went to buy thermals) said he was in Berlin in winter in thin socks and cheap crappy canvas shoes and that it was so cold. So anything but that, he said, you’ll be fine. I wanted to lean over the counter and shake him, and say: If I was your mother, that would NEVER have happened. SO maybe I’ll have to buy some fur-lined things. It’ll be okay.

3. but not before my daughter gets her Year 12 results and [hopefully] gets in to the uni of her choice. She also wants to live in at college. I’m supportive of that but a bit hmmm (thanks to Brigid Delaney’s WILD THINGS but also thanks to just knowing stuff about college life, also articles coming out of the US etc etc. A bit scary. Yes, she’s sensible but you know.)

4. my teaching company has lots of bookings already for 2015 so that’s good. Another busy year coming up in the old sex ed business but I don’t want it to be too busy because I’ve got other stuff on the go. Luckily we might have a casual person to help out. Maybe two casual people.

5. I have a clear writing plan for 2015. One manuscript to finish (2,000 words to go!) and one to rework completely. Am excited about both and love having a plan.

So that’s about it. This year I’ve gotten to know lots of fabulous bookish people which has been wonderful. Books shared and discussed, twitter has been a great forum to connect with other writers and readers, but like everyone says, I’ve wasted far too much time online and next year am going to try to get that more in hand. I’ve been stepping away from twitter a little more recently which hasn’t necessarily translated into energy spent elsewhere. But I do want to streamline my online activity, keep doing the same stuff but just a bit less and be more focused on producing new writing.

Happy New Year to everyone and all the best for 2015. Hope you have some good stuff coming up.

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2 thoughts on “Well, hello 2015

  1. Jenny, your trip sounds beyond perfect. I’m so much looking forward to your reports from Berlin and Vienna. I feel like I need an Irving-Vienna pilgrimage (I have done an Irving/New England trip…).
    Don’t stress about the cold too much – when I was in Berlin and London in Feb it was relatively mild. I’d bought special winter boots, designed for snow, but didn’t wear them (too hot!). Instead just got around like a tourist in runners and my ordinary winter boots that I’d wear here.
    On another note, thanks for your rec for We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – it ended up being my favourite book of 2014, squeezing out All the Light We Cannot See by a whisker.

    1. Hi Kate, thanks for reassurance re the cold. I’m taking my usual walking runners (we want to do lots of walking), my winter boots (undecided whether ankle or long) and thongs for showers. And the rainproof bootie things that are cute but possibly not good for walking. I’ll keep twitter updated with pics and stuff re trip and then do some posts here when I get back. Can’t WAIT, it’s going to be really great.

      Glad you enjoyed WAACBO – I too loved it. Stunningly done.

      I would like to do an Irving/NE pilgrimage; maybe will merge with Hemingway trip which will require visit to Boston to Kennedy library to see archives… I was thinking today, as I read Setting Free the Bears and then went and got The Water-Method Man from my shelves, that if I had to read just one author for the rest of my life, it’d be him, with no second thoughts about it. Have you read The Water-Method Man? It’s soooo good. Might be my favourite of his.

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