Today is the last day of 2010. It's been an interesting year for me and one I won't quickly forget. I've had many publishing successes, many amazing nights out, and many job stresses, but I've also gained some amazing friendships that I'm carrying with me into 2011. In fact, the picture I've posted here is one of my favorites of the year and pretty much sums it up (though it is missing one of my favorite people of 2010: Jaclyn Sullivan). I have no idea what this new year will bring. I hope for many things, but I know there will be many surprises along the way (both good and bad).
I do want to take this moment and look ahead to what I want to accomplish in the next year. My goals for last year went pretty well and I'm back here setting new ones. The nice part about a blog is that I'm presenting my goals in a more public way and I have people out there supporting and encouraging me. I don't want to let you down.
I tried to be a little more ambitious with my 2011 goals. I hope my list will inspire your own list. I also hope you all have an amazing time ringing in the new year. I will be at my favorite place, Parliament House, with some of my favorite people. Regardless of what you are doing tonight, be thankful for another year and another chance to make things better.
1. Do a poetry reading.
I haven't done a poetry reading since spring of 2008 when I was still in grad school. I did two public readings in grad school and one on the radio. I miss that public display and would love to find a time and place that I could do a reading in 2011.
2. Write another focused chapbook.
In 2010, I found the joy of writing chapbooks and longer poems. I want to at least write one new focused chapbook in the new year. Working in a longer format with interconnected poems has taught me a lot about poetry and expanded my notions of what I can accomplish.
3. Read more.
This was one of my goals in 2010, but I went easy on myself and didn't really get more specific than that. I have no problem reading poetry. Every year, I read countless poetry book and magazines, but since leaving school and having a full time job, I've read a lot less fiction. For 2011, I have created a reading list. I picked 29 books that I must read during the year, because 2011 will be my 29th year. A few of them are poetry books, but most are fiction. I will be doing another post soon that announces my list.
4. Continue my poetry group Nerve.
In November, I began a poetry workshop at my house called Nerve. We only met twice due to the holidays, but I plan to get the group back on track in January. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time and I am excited to see the group grow. You will be hearing a lot more about Nerve in the year to come.
5. Write a critical literary article and try to get it published.
This is something I haven't done since grad school, but would like to push myself to do. This blog has, in many ways, helped push my prose writing. Obviously, I am more informal on my blog, but it keeps me thinking critically and pushes me to support my ideas. I'm actually one of those crazy people who enjoyed writing nearly all of the papers I wrote for lit classes in undergrad and graduate school. I would love to write a piece and then try to get it published or accepted at a conference.
6. Get others involved in my blog.
I feel the next step in blogging for me is to get a few other people involved by doing either guest posts or interviews. In the last year, I've forged "internet" friendships with many gay poets out there and I'd love to get the chance to do fun interviews with them for my blog in 2011.
7. Keep my podcasts going.
I've been very pleased with how my podcasts have gone over the last year. I kept up with the project and got the change to share a lot of my work with my readers. In 2011, I want to continue to use podcasts on my blog, but to push it a little further. I might try doing different things on the podcasts than just reading my work. This is still in the early stages of development, but I'll keep you posted.
8. Find a new job.
That is all I'm going to say about that.
9. Try a new recipe every week.
I really enjoy cooking, which is something I probably haven't mentioned on this blog before. I do all of the cooking for Dustin and me. We eat at home about 5 days a week and those meals typically provide leftovers for our lunches as well. While I do love to cook, it can be tiresome some weeks. I know from past experience cooking new things gets me motivated. I often try new recipes, but in 2011 I want to make it a more focused goal to cook something new once a week. If anyone has great recipes send them my way. We are vegetarian, so keep that in mind.
10. Pay down my credit cards.
This was my one big fail of 2010, so let's give it another go. I figure if I keep putting it on the list, it will eventually have to happen, right?
11. Go on a fun weekend trip with Dustin.
We already have our big vacation of 2011 planned. We will be going on the 20th Anniversary Atlantis Gay Cruise sailing out on February 6th. It will be amazing, but I would also love to take a fun weekend trip at some point in 2011. Dustin and I used to do this a lot when we lived in Tallahassee, but haven't really done a weekend trip in about three years. There are lots of places nearby that we haven't been that I would love to see before we move out of Florida.
Alright, so those are the 11 goals for 2011. Keep me honest and I'll do my very best to accomplish all 11, but for the rest of today, it is still 2010 and it is time to party!
P.S. Do you like my new page design? I thought it was time for a change on Joe's Jacket.
-Stephen (Rockin' Eve)