Another year, another set of decorations.

After seven a bit years my two reviewing partners and I have decided to shut My Favourite Books reviewing blog.  It took a lot of deciding to come to this decision and although there is a tinge of sadness to it, there’s also this sense of anticipation.

Reading books for review changes how you read.  At the back of your mind you keep wondering how you’re going to say what you like or dislike about a book and you tend to wonder about your readers, will they understand what you’re trying to convey in your review?  It’s a weird feeling, because reviewing a book is as much about the book as your ability to put your thoughts across.  And it’s weird, when I started out, I felt no responsibility at all.  It was what it was, then suddenly there were people commenting and reading the reviews and you kinda realise “oh crap, people actually READ what I’m saying and they agree / disagree / enjoy it…” and then there’s performance pressure and anxiety.

I’ve seen it with all the new blogs and bloggers I’ve met – they start because they love reading and then suddenly, they realise that they are part of a bigger thing and the freaking out starts.  But once you’re past that freaking out, and you remember why you started in the first place, then hey presto, you find your comfort zone and voice and you’re golden.  Or that’s what I like to think anyway.

Seven years reading books and doing homework on them.  That’s a long time.  The prospect that we now no longer have to do homework has energised my reading and this past few days that I’ve been off I’ve read five books.  And I’m in the process of reading two more, at the same time.  It’s suddenly as if I’ve been given the freedom of the sky.  And my reading, which has always been a pleasure, even if it occasionally felt like homework, has once again kicked off and become the one thing I can’t imagine not doing ever in my life.

I’m so looking forward to reading even more random items than before and hopefully the occasional guest review will crop up on the interwebs with my name attached to it.  I can’t not blather on about books.  I’m kinda addicted.

Artwork from Tony DiTerlizzi – http://diterlizzi.com/home/

From this rumination to the things I’m grateful for in 2012:

My friends, Sarah, Mo, Sue, Jenni, Paolo, Sharon – I’m happy to storm any castle with you guys by my side.

Mark – the best husband a girl like me could have. Patiently impatient with all my shenanigans, he’s held my hand, shouted at me, encouraged me, made fun of me, held me up to see what I’ve achieved in the past when I was ready to give up.  He’s absolutely my favourite.

Juliet – my agent.  Just take a moment. My agent. A few weeks before I submitted to Juliet, I had met up with Sue at the RFH and confided in her: I don’t think I’m ever going to get an agent.  She told me off in no uncertain terms.  Two weeks later I subbed to Juliet and she took me on as a client.  I’m grateful to her for believing in me, for holding my hand, and for looking out for me.  I’m also grateful that she is a little bit crazy, just like me.

Friends I knew and have met a few times in the past, but this year had the chance to hang out with more and I’d like to think we’ve come to know one another better: Tanya, Kim and Lou.  You guys have gone before and you are wise and I am grateful to have you in my life to help me and guide me. Brand new friends: Den Patrick, Tom Pollock – I love your enthusiasm for all things wordy and written.  You guys make me want to be better than I am.

SCBWI British Isles – one of the best communities there is.  I’m proud to be a member and a volunteer and I’m excited for what 2013 holds and from where I’m sitting: it’s already brimming with awesome things for the new year.

Street graffiti in Marrakech

Resolutions for 2013:

  • Write more.
  • Read more.
  • Relax more.
  • Hang out with my dear friends more.
  • Make more friends.
  • Exercise more (sadly had to put that in).
  • Spend less time procrastinating & self-doubting.
  • Be more frugal and use the library more.
  • Support good causes.
  • Cook more exciting things!
  • Take up photography / take my enjoyment of photography more seriously.
  • Enjoy London more.
  • Travel to new places!

Within these resolutions there are deeper and more personal ones but I won’t bore you to tears with those.  I hope that 2012 treated you well but that 2013 will be so amazing, it will be a landmark year.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God* hold you in the palm of His hand.

*I’m not prescriptive, but whichever deity or deities (or not) you bend your head to, insert name here.

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