My Realistic Resolutions for 2014

First of all…OH MY GOD IT’S 2014 WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK WE WERE SUPPOSED TO DIE TWO YEARS AGO TAKE THAT MAYAN CALENDAR. (Except not really because science says that was all bullshit to begin with.)

Anyway.

Welcome to a new year, a new start, a flashy new set of resolutions to uphold. If you’re into that of course. I, gigantic holiday fanatic that I am, love celebrating the new year and thinking about ways to make it better than the last. And a big part of that is, naturally, New Year’s Resolutions.

“Sam, Sam, Sam, what are these mysterious ‘resolutions’ you speak of?”

Well, I’ve got a few. This year is going to be a year of change. High school graduation, starting college (most likely far away from where I am now), getting a job, hopefully finishing my novel, family moves, and my little sister starting her first year of high school (what, I’m not panicking AT ALL). So I’ve got quite a few resolutions, partly because I love lists and partly because with all this change going on, I want something to focus on. This year is going to be crazy enough, and I want to have something solid to think about when everything around me is going nuts. So here are my resolutions.


Res1

Develop healthy eating habits.

I’ve been making some really bad choices lately in regards to what I put in my body. My diet isn’t healthy or balanced and I’m not treating myself the way I ought to, with regular meals and veggies and fruits and some semblance of exercise. So I want to make a conscious effort to make time to eat properly this year.

Res2

Spoil myself rotten.

This year I will make some of the biggest decisions of my life, and with those decisions will come a lot of really difficult situations that will be hard to get through. So whenever I can, I want to focus on living and having fun and doing what I want to do.

Res3

2014 Jar of Memories

This year Julia and I decided to engage in a terribly romantic, terribly cheesy activity. We each bought a large jar for ourselves and for the next year we will write down good things that happened in our relationship in 2014. They can be funny things we say or do, dates we go on, movies we see, arguments we have, places we go, etc. And then at the end of year, we get together with our jars and go through them and read each memory to each other and reminisce like the sappy fools we are.

Res4

Be an awesome girlfriend to my lady-love.

This is pretty self-explanatory. But I’m making it my mission to spoil her rotten.

Res5

Call my family more often and be more involved in their lives.

My family is very scattered, and I’ll be even further away when I go off college in September. So I want to make a conscious effort to call them more, send more cards and books and presents throughout the year. I haven’t been able to be very involved in their lives, but family is extremely important to me and I want them to know how much I love them.

Res6

Complete my reading challenges.

As of now, I’m participating in 4 challenges for 2014. They are as follows (with levels in bold):

  • 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge (hosted by Bookish) — Could this be love? (41-50 books)
  • A Year in Re-Reading Challenge (hosted by caffeinatedlife.net) — Occasional re-reader (1-4 books)
  • 2014 Reading Retellings Challenge (hosted by me!) — I Like A Challenge (13-19 books)
  • 2014 Reading Challenge (on Goodreads) — 100 books

Wish me luck!

Res7

Get to and maintain an 80% feedback ratio on Netgalley.

I’m at about 60% right now, which I’m happy with, but ideally I’d like to get up to 80% by summer.

Res8

Go outside my comfort zone. Try new things. Meet new people. Find out what I’m really capable of.

This is pretty self-explanatory, but as I’ve said, this year will be full of massive changes in my life. It’ll be challenging of course, but it will also allow me to stretch my limits and learn more about myself.

Res9

Keep blogging!

I’m still very new to book blogging, but I love this community so much. Blogging gives me a way to express my love for books and meet other awesome book lovers, and it’s also motivated me to keep reading, which is just brilliant. High school put me in a reading slump and I nearly forgot why I love to read, but blogging has been a way to get back into books and writing. I’m really looking forward to further growing my blog in 2014 and meeting more of you spectacular people.


I’m so excited for the new year, and I hope you are as well. Whether or not 2013 was a good year for you, 2014 is a new chance to begin afresh and explore the world and yourself. I wish you all the best for this year, including but not limited to books, family, friends, good health, and happiness!

Happy New Years!

Love, Sam

 

Thoughtful Thursday: Retellings + Reading Challenge

Thoughtful Thursday

I have been obsessing over a few retellings I’ve found in the past few weeks, especially Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin. I’ve always loved these kinds of books, but recently a lot of great ones have come out that I’m really excited about. In fact, I’m so excited that I’ve decided to start a challenge devoted to reading retellings.

But first, I want to explain why I love them.

There’s a lot of classics and obscure books and myths that don’t get the attention they deserve, often because stylistically, they’re very different from what today’s readers are accustomed to. So I think it’s an amazing idea to “modernize” these stories to appeal to an entirely different audience. How many people have seen that “Romeo + Juliet” movie with Leonardo DiCaprio? How many people have seen the one from the sixties (which is my favorite btw)? A lot of people wouldn’t know about stories like Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast without Disney. We wouldn’t know about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table if it weren’t for all the films and TV shows and books written about it. The fact that we are managing to keep so much of the past alive, albeit in an often heavily altered way, is a huge achievement, and it’s introducing older, “dated” material to a new generation of readers so that they can see beyond the current literary world to what has come before it and, in many ways, created our current reading culture. I love the idea that after reading a book like Bridget Jones’s Diary or Ophelia, a teenager will be able to see the relevance of Pride and Prejudice or Macbeth in today’s world and appreciate the story more than they would have otherwise.

It really just makes me happy to know that older stories aren’t fading away for the most part. If anything, they’re becoming even more prevalent. It’s a little bit awesome.

But anyway, gushy feelings toward retellings aside, because of the huge array of retellings out there, I’m hosting a teensy little challenge here at The Nighttime Novelist to read more of them in 2014, and you are welcome to join me!

2014 Reading Retellings Challenge

Rules/Information

  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. I will post a wrap-up post at the end of each month with a link to my retelling review(s) for that month. Each retelling read MUST be reviewed in some way.
  • Novel-length (150+ pages) fiction only
  • No more than 2 re-reads
  • All formats allowed
  • Anyone can join at any time in the year, although books read prior to joining do not count.
  • You don’t have to have a blog to join; reviewing on Goodreads or Amazon is fine as long as everybody can see it.
  • Books don’t have to be stated in advance; it’s up to you!
  • ARC’s are fine, but try to read some that aren’t new releases.
  • Retellings can be anything from a contemporary version of a Shakespeare play to an interpretation of Sleeping Beauty. As long as there is evidence it is a retelling of some kind, it will most likely count. But you can’t just start reading a random book and go, “Oh! This sort of reminds me of blankety-blank.” There must be some sort of statement that this is based on a prior work.
  • The retelling can have an oral origin. Not all legends/myths were traditionally written down, but if it’s a legitimate story, it works. For example, most Native American folklore was not written, but a retelling of some Iroquois tale is perfectly valid.

Levels

  • Easy: 1-5 books
  • Not So Easy: 6-12 books
  • I Like A Challenge: 13-19 books
  • I Eat Easy for Breakfast: 20+

I can’t wait to get started on this! I’m aiming for the I Like A Challenge level, preferably at 15 books, but we’ll see how it goes. If you’d like to join me, feel free to leave a comment. What challenges are you joining for 2014?