Monday, 2 January 2017

Goodbye 2016

I’m sure everyone is glad 2016 is out of the way. It was a year where the political landscape changed, terrorism has intensified, actors, artists, musicians have died leaving a gap in many people’s hearts. Even though we don’t know these people some of the things they portray in either film or music can speak to us all on a personal level.

For me, this year was better than 2015. I’ve been making myself busy – keeping up going to the gym, road running, painting my flat, enjoying time with friends. I’ve also had a good year at work. There have been challenges but on the whole I’ve embraced them all, and I’m definitely a stronger person than what I was back at the beginning of the year. Hey, I’m not crying every hour like I was in 2015. Only one or twice a month – progress!

So here are my highlights for writing, reading and cultural events from 2016.

Writing in 2016

  • Continuing with redrafting my novel. My aim was to redraft one chapter per month and on average I’ve managed to keep this going and I even managed to redraft two in December. I’m now only 6 chapters away from the end.
  • I had five stories published. I have linked to the original blog posts so you can click through and have a read - so grab a tea and settle down on the sofa.

A Love Letter to My Slow Cooker – published at Murder and Glut
Ice-cream Van – republished in the Forge Fiction anthology
First Gear Dilemmas – published at Silver Birch Press

Reading in 2016
  • I have read 52 books this year ranging from short story collections, non fiction books about loneliness in the city to accounts of Chernobyl, and of course novels. I’ve read quite a few books published in 2016 but I’ve also tried to read a few things which I’ve been promising myself for years. This included the excellent Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout and the slightly disappointing There But For The by Ali Smith.
  • You can read all of my monthly wrap ups via this link. You can find all of my reviews via this link.
  • Here are my top reads from 2016. I’ve linked to my reviews of these books, and all of these are highly recommended.

Culture in 2016
  • Arrival, High Rise and Lobster are my films of the year.
  • Going to the theatre and seeing 1984 (AMAZING) and Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (AMAZING).
  • Emerald Street Literary festival in London. It was good but ticket holders were only allowed to attend three events, and I wanted to go to more. Hopefully it will run next year.
  • Seeing Neil Gaiman at the Word Factory event at Waterstones. Came away feeling inspired. Must read through my notes for some much needed inspiration.
  • I popped along to the Royal Academy to see ‘Painting the Modern Garden’ and really enjoyed seeing some Monets up close and personal but I really shouldn’t have left it until the penultimate day before it closed as it was very busy.
  • Harry Potter World was amazing. Fans of the films will love walking around the sets and looking at memorabilia. There was lots of insights into how they build the sets and special effects.
  • I’ve always wanted to see a ballet, and this year I got a chance to see Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall and it was amazing. I really want to see some more ballet in 2017.
  • I also got the chance to see both Jurassic Park and ET at the Royal Albert Hall. The film is played on the big screen with an accompanying orchestra. A great experience.

So, how was your 2016?

Come back soon for my ‘Hello 2017’ post!

No comments: