Sunday, 5 January 2014

Sunday Summary: Resolutions, Sherlock and Bout of Books 9

Well hello to you all, and a happy new year. Again.

2014 seems to have got off to a positive, if sleepy start. I'm blaming the weather for getting inside my brain. Apparently there has been a little sunshine, but if this rumour is true it is unverified by me, as I've been working when it has shown its face. So far, however, I haven't let the bad weather get to me this winter; I've been enjoying being wrapped up in a duvet reading, watching DVDs and internetting the evening away. (Oops to the last.)

I seem to have gone a bit overboard on resolutions this year, in an attempt to reclaim my life and really make this year worthwhile. Last year had some wonderful moments, but it also had some long stretches of dreariness, and I'd like to look back over each month this year and say, "Ah, yes, this is when I did such-and-such." Let's see how well that goes...

My resolutions for 2014

  • To do something new each month. Create new memories, go on adventures, do things I've never done before. I've got one thing lined up already: my friend Hannah, who is a photographer, put out a call for models to feature in some fantasy-themed projects, and I've volunteered to take part. Exciting!
  • To write every day. After far too long battling writer's block, I came up with a great idea for a novel, and if I can write 500 words each day, (weekends off) that's 10 000 words per month. Hardly NaNoWriMo, but it's the length of a university dissertation in a month., Write or Die, and Written? Kitten are all great websites to help boost the word count. I use as a place to brain-dump and warm up my brain before getting to work on the novel itself.
  • To be more active. I'd like to get into a habit of swimming regularly (NOT in the sea at this time of year; I'm not that brave) and to go to the outdoor gym in Ventnor which is both free and less intimidating than joining an indoor gym. Also, my sister bought me Miranda Hart's Maracattack DVD. Maracas make fitness fun! 
  • To give more. I don't have much money, but I'm better off than many people, and it doesn't take much to help out: a click of a button, an extra few groceries for the foodbank, buying a Big Issue. 
  • Not to let my outgoings exceed my income.
  • Except when it comes to books. I want to read more books than I acquire and get my to-read pile down. A tracker on the sidebar of my blog is an attempt to keep me accountable for the books I buy versus those I read and/or give away.
  • To be more positive. Not to grumble about work (outside of working hours, and also to keep it off the shop floor.) Not to worry what other people think of me, and in turn to be kinder to others, less judgmental, less snarky.
  • To challenge myself to leave my comfort zone, but also to know when I need to stay inside it. To be kind to myself as well as to others.
Sherlock: contains spoilery talk

New Year also saw, at long last, the return of the BBC's Sherlock. Who else saw it? After the end of series 2 in January 2012, all the talk was: how did Sherlock fake his own death? Series 3's opener, "The Empty Hearse" was more about this question, and the big reunion with Dr Watson, than it was about the usual genius deductions and big mysteries. The main plot reminded me a lot of V for Vendetta. But what of the answer to the big question? Three solutions were provided, some more preposterous than others in a clear nod to all the fan theories that have been all over the internet for two years. But do we believe Sherlock's answer? Anderson, to whom he revealed his secret, picked holes in the revelation, and declared it "disappointing." I'm inclined to believe that Sherlock did not tell the whole truth, but is this all the answer we're going to get? Much of the internet says yes, citing the episode's use of the language of prestige, that "a magician never reveals his tricks." True. But I'm inclined to hope that the truth will be revealed eventually, probably at the end of episode 3. Sherlock is not about the unexplained; his method is to wow us with his incredible, complex but often quite mundane methods of deducing the truth. Writer Steven Moffat (also head writer of Doctor Who) has attracted a lot of criticism over the last year or so, and yet I retain my faith in him as a master storyteller, in command of every plot thread. And he did not write "The Empty Hearse," Mark Gatiss (also the actor who plays Mycroft Holmes) did. Yes, Sherlock is a joint project between these two writers (and some others) but I have a feeling that Moffat would want to write the big reveal himself. Did he write episode 3? Not sure, but as he's only co-written episode 2, I suspect he probably did.

Bout of Books 9.0 starts tomorrow; probably the most popular bloggers' readathon, and a chance to get through some of those books I really ought to have read by now. I've been reading N0S4R2 for about a week now, which really does live up to the hype! Written by Joe Hill (son of a very famous horror writer) it is a real page-turner: a serial killer, a take on the vampire genre (and not the sparkly sort) and a girl who can find lost things. I've also got Mindstar Rising, a science fiction/mystery book borrowed from my friend Jamie, Something Borrowed, sequel to Never the Bride, which is a library book I keep on renewing, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This book is my least favourite and I've suspended my Potter reread in favour of my Christmas books. Umbridge is so unpleasant I can't even love to hate her; she just makes the book feel oppressive and hard work. But I'd like to finish the series before reading The Cuckoo's Calling, and I want to have read that before it's published in paperback.


  1. You have some really great resolutions! I have had the same one for two years now (say yes more) and it really has been working for me (I moved to London!) so I'm going to keep that one going. Good luck with them :)

    And OMGSHERLOCK! I actually have no words. I am bowled away by the general awesomeness that is Sherlock, once again.

    Have fun with Bout of Books, I'm going to do a last minute sign up because I just cannot resist a week of bookish goodness :D

    1. Saying yes more is definitely a good resolution (although for some people, saying no is also a good thing to do. Knowing when to say yes or no is wisdom I have not yet acquired, but am trying to get the balance right this year.) And yay for London! (Foyle's!)

      BBC Sherlock always makes me want to return to the original books. I think I got up to the penultimate one two years ago - time to read His Last Bow, I think. I do love Sherlock! :)

      And YAY, YOU'RE JOINING US! I feel like it's maybe a bit soon after the Reading Cram, but I need a kick up the backside to stop internetting and start reading. Um. Not sure a readathon will stop me internetting... :S


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