Today I have one of my Facebook friends reviewing her very successful 2013. Here’s the lovely Angela Readman to tell you all about it.
2013 has been a great year for you. Do you have a favourite memory professionally?
The best thing for me this year was winning the Mslexia Poetry Competition. If I’m honest, I’d just about given up my poetry ambitions (I know, I’m probably not supposed to be honest, but writing life has lows as well as highs, you get floored sometimes- cry a bit, then get back up, grab a pen.) I changed my attitude to poetry a few years ago; I didn’t have a publisher and had to ask myself why. It could only be because I wasn’t good enough. It was hard. Then I won the Mslexia Poetry Competition. It’s wasn’t just a win for me, it has challenged my whole belief system.
And how about a favourite moment from 2013 generally? (e.g. Royal baby, etc)
I desperately wish I could think of one, if I think of the year, I see poverty, food banks, libraries closing, people freezing, families forced out of their homes. I haven’t felt this sort of constant worry about ordinary people since I was little and worried about war. I did love the November 5th protests though. There was one photograph of a couple in Guy Fawkes masks kissing. That nails it for me, in the end, it’s all about is about people, it’s a shame our society has kind of forgotten that.
Favourite book in 2013?
This year I read a short story a day. My favourite books were Aimee Bender’s new short story collection ‘The Color Master‘, and George Saunder’s ‘The Tenth of December‘. I love all of Bender’s collections, but Saunders was new to me. I read ‘The Tenth of December’, then read all his work, ‘Pastoralia‘ blew me away too. These are the stories I know I’ll have to read again. I’m read already dipping into ‘The Tenth of December’ for the second time!
Favourite film of 2013?
The one I was most looking forward to was Kickass 2, but the one that stuck with me is Blackfish. I haven’t seen as many as I’d like yet. Every year between Christmas and New Year we hire as many films from the year as we can and just have a filmfest. It’s amazing. I can’t wait to see Violet & Daisy.
Favourite song of the year?
I’m funny with songs, sometimes I listen to one again and again, I become interested in a narrative beyond the lyrics, a secret story I must unravel. My favourite album this year was Neko Case, but my story songs are by bands I don’t know. One song I loved this year is ‘Bird in Another Tree‘ by The Good Mad. It makes me smile. Another is Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker’s ‘Fire and Fortune‘. There’s something haunting about it that scares me a little, I have to keep listening to it to try and understand what it is!
Any downsides for you in 2013?
It’s felt slow. Last year, I was doing flash fiction and getting it around, but this year I’ve had to step back. I started the year with this huge secret of being short listed in the Costa Short Story prize for my story ‘Don’t Try This at Home’. As wonderful as it was, it meant I had to step away from Twitter. I didn’t want to blurt it out or see anyone discussing the stories! I’ve missed a writing community though, and the affirmation of getting work out, but it felt like it was time to concentrate and finish a short story collection. There are times to just write. I had to accept finishing a book requires quiet time. It’s been just me, a keyboard and a cuppa.
Are you making resolutions for 2014?
Every year I make the same resolution: To just try, to keep writing, even when it’s hard, and just be better- a better person, a better writer, a better being.
What are you hoping for from 2014?
I hope to get some of my longer stories out there, and hope people will enjoy them. I hope people won’t be mean. I also hope to learn to make Rosehip jelly and fiddle about with bits of wool more.
If Santa was to bring you any one thing you wanted on Xmas morning, what would it be?
Respect, I’d ask Santa for people to respect me as a writer, and people to have more respect for other people generally. That’s all, that and maybe a doggy.
You can read Angela’s blog at http://angelareadman.wordpress.com/