I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see the back of 2011. Really — I can’t. It was a year full of professional milestones, and I had a wonderful time teaching my first classes at Wooster this fall and getting to know the town and college, but it was harder on the personal front. I’m looking forward to 2012 with optimism and anticipation. I fully expect the spring to be crazy — I’m teaching three classes rather than two, and my senior IS students will be finishing their projects — but I also hope it will be rejuvenating. I’ve been amazed by how widespread this sentiment about the new year has been. I can’t think of another year when I’ve heard so many people express relief at the passing of the old year and hope for the new one, in a way that seems heartfelt rather than rote. I guess it’s just been a hard one for all of us. May 2012 bring positive change for you, too.
Also, mysterious Mayan calendar predictions aside, isn’t “twenty-twelve” just so much more satisfying to say than “twenty-eleven”?
I didn’t get as much work done on Killingly this year as I meant to, mostly for the above-mentioned personal reasons, plus that whole “first semester of teaching” thing, which is pretty time-consuming. But I did get some work done! And I’m delighted to say that I’ll have a student assistant helping me to dig up more research material this spring. If all goes well, I hope to finish the book in summer 2012. I’ve also been writing some nonfiction, partly inspired by the reading I’ve done with one of my IS students.
In March, I’ll be back in Austin briefly to give a reading at UT before zipping down to San Antonio to present a paper at ASECS 2012: “Delarivier Manley Understands the Ladies Better than You: The Female Wits and Feminocentric Satire.” I’m also hoping to attend Wiscon this spring. Anybody else planning to be in Madison?
I meant to post a multitude of things in the last month or so, some still open in tabs from the first time I read them. (I prune my tabs regularly, but still, it’s no wonder my Firefox loves to give me the spinny rainbow wheel.) Here are a few of them:
- Lev Grossman on what fantasy is.
- An insightful post on Anne McCaffrey and her work.
- The Guardian’s obituary for Russell Hoban.
- Kristin Cashore on reading like a writer.
- Katha Pollitt on Christopher Hitchens.
- NPR’s top 5 YA novels of the year.
- A call for papers on Georgette Heyer at the Journal for Popular Romance Studies.
- A Vintage Smith College tumblr.
- Diana Peterfreund on love triangles in YA and love diagrams of Jane Austen novels.
- The Band of Thebes Best LGBT Books of 2011 list (with recs from me).
- Rachel Signer’s piece at OccupyWriters, my favorite there so far.
- What Middletown Read.
- Miette’s podcast of “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas.”
- Boing Boing’s 2011 gift guide: a little late, okay, but still full of interesting stuff, including many books.
- Shauna Ahern’s basic ratio method for converting wheat-based cookies to gluten-free, plus a molasses cookie recipe I’m planning to make soon. (My mother and I made date pinwheel cookies and quinoa flake jam cookies for Christmas.)
And finally, something that makes a dreary January day a little brighter, at least if you grew up with the Buffy kids and still like a good vampire show now and then. 2011 would not have been possible without yoga and Netflix streaming.
A very happy new year to you all.