2010 Wrap Up

I thought I’d blog a bit about my 2010 reading and writing journey, as much for myself as anyone reading this.

READING

Books I read:

1. After The Fall by Kylie Ladd

2. Scary Kisses by Liz Grzyb (ed.)

3. How To Be Good by Nick Hornby

4. A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin

5. Look At The Birdie by Kurt Vonnegut

6. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

7. The Kingdom of Four Rivers by Guy Salvidge

8. The Best Thing by Margo Lanagan

9. New Ceres Nights by Alisa Krasnostein and Tehani Wessely (eds.)

10. 2012 by Alisa Krasnostein

11. Siren Beat / Roadkill by Tansy Rayner Roberts / Robert Shearman

12. Angel Rising by Dirk Flinthart

13. Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan

14. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

15. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

16. Steamed by Kate MacAllister

17. Whalesong by Robert Siegel

18. Power and Majesty by Tansy Rayner Roberts

19. Worlds Next Door by Tehani Wessely (ed.)

20. Liar by Justine Larbalestier

21. Sprawl by Alisa Krasnostein (ed.)

22. Bleed by Peter M. Ball

23. The Loving Dead by Amelia Beamer

24. The Company Articles of Edward Teach / The Angaelian Apocalypse by Thoraiya Dyer / Matthew Chrulew

25. X6 by Keith Stevenson (ed.)

26. Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente

OBSERVATIONS:

58% are either written or edited by women. This was my reading goal for 2010 – to be conscious of a gender balance in my reading. Goal achieved!

58% are either written or edited by Australians. Probably representative of the love affair I’m currently enjoying with my local speculative fiction scene.

The majority of these texts would be fairly new – not more than two years. Again reflective of my current interest in a very fast moving local scene. There isn’t much time (for someone who is only reading 26 books a year) to go back to older boks.

This represents a significant decrease in my typical reading levels – at roughly a book a fortnight, I’d say that this is close to half what I’d normally read (typically around the 50 per year mark). I’m guessing this is due to a) a new job, and b) doing more writing than I’ve ever done.

Books I didn’t read (bought this year but haven’t gotten to yet) AKA ‘Summer Reading’:

1. Dead Sea Fruit by Kaaron Warren

2. Sourdough and Other Stories by Angela Slatter

3. The Girl with No Hands by Angela Slatter

4. c0ck by Keith Stevenson (ed.)

5. The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

6. Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

7. Australis Imaginarium by Tehani Wessely (ed.)

8. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

9. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

10. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

11. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

12. Glitter Rose by Marianne de Pierres

13. The City and The City by China Mieville

On top of this at the beginning of the year I identified about 60 books from my bookcases that I wanted to finally read – didn’t touch any of them!

WRITING

All the details are on the blog in various places, but in a nutshell, my writing year went:

1. A short story and a poem were published in the Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre Anthology ‘An Alphabetical Amulet’

2. Shortlisted for the inaugural Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre ‘600 competition’ (flash fiction)

3. Shortlisted for the Katharine Sussanah Prichard Speculative Fiction Award (second year running that I have placed)

4. Published in ‘Soundzine’ (and recorded the story as well)

5. Published on ‘Parenting Express’ website.

Doesn’t feel like much when I look at it like that, but I have also written a number of pieces this year (some of which are still in the submission process) that I think will find homes somewhere, eventually. It might be that they need refining, but I have probably half a dozen pieces to tinker with next year. I think I have improved as a writer as well, which is another goal I can tick off.

Another way to look at it: 2010 saw 33 submissions for 5 acceptances (of sorts), 25 rejections, and 3 still pending.

OTHER STUFF

1. I recorded a story – The Guardians – for Tehani Wessely’s Worlds Next Door website.

2. I wrote a review of Galactic Suburbia (podcast) for Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus.

3. I had my WIP novel professionally edited.

4. I started this blog… to date I have placed 29 pieces of flash fiction up (See TOC here), and since starting in February 2010 I have had 4,685 views – not including YOU, intrepid reader!

2011 GOAL

To finish my work in progress novel by July 1st 2011.

To polish my existing short stories and find a home for them.

Thank you to everyone who comes to read, everyone who comments, everyone who joins in the competitions, and everyone who has supported me with books as prizes, or advice, or help!

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8 Responses to 2010 Wrap Up

  1. guysalvidge says:

    Interesting list of books read, Dan. I try to hit about 50 books a year, and 2010 was strange in that I was up to 40 by around half way through the year, and now I’ve slowed right down. Currently on my 53rd book, and I suspect I’ve tried to read at least another 30 or so. You’ve been championing Twelfth Planet for a while now (you mentioned them to me at the KSP awards) and this is reflected in your books read. I’ve got a few of those to read over the summer myself.

    Anyway, good work and enjoy Xmas with your family. And we’ll do it all again in 2011.

  2. dansimpson says:

    2010 was definitely my year of Aussie Spec Fic. I’ll try and broaden back out again next year but its hard! There is so much good stuff going on.
    What I like about folks like Twelfth Planet, Ticonderoga, Fablecroft, and Jonathan Strahan, is that the work comes from people who day-to-day share a geographical experience of the world with me.

    This isn’t the be all and end all of identity, but my relationship to Western Australia, whether it be through childhood adventures, adult milestones, or whatever, has always influenced my reading, my writing, and just my living I guess.

    And of course there is the shared isolation thing…

    It sometimes seems a bit naff to say this kind of thing, and I don’t suggest it is the be-all and end-all of who I am, but it does matter, at least in some way.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bartholomew Heaven, Daniel Simpson. Daniel Simpson said: Wrap up of my Reading/Writing year 2010: https://dansimpson.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/2010-wrap-up/ […]

  4. Mark Welker says:

    A respectable reading list Dan, far more extensive and varied than my own. If this year was the year of “getting back into writing” perhaps next will be “hitting my stride in writing”.

  5. Anthony says:

    I love reading this type of stuff, Daniel! I may post my own up here for comparison – you’ve certainly read a lot more than me. Sounds like a very productive year all up. Hope you achieve all your goals in 2011.

  6. Matthew says:

    Aw come on, no time for older books? But if it wasn’t for those who came before us, we wouldn’t even be trying to write our own stories and forge our own paths! Ah well that’s your choice and I’m not gonna try to convince you otherwise. As for me I try to find books that are interesting to me, old and new at least. My GoodReads list is over 1,000 books and I have no doubt in that it will continue to grow.

    The one thing I hate is that I haven’t been reading as much as I want to, which is because of school of course. Still I want to get through what books I have, though my biggest challenge will be reading Infinite Jest by D. F. Wallace; I won’t read any other book of his until I’ve read that one.

    Take care, and I hope the holidays will be good to you,

    Matthew

  7. Adam Wieland says:

    Great list. Hope 2011 is another good year!!!

  8. Amber Hunter says:

    Wishing you the best for 2011, Dan!

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