Not only is 2013 going to be a year of focused writing for me. It's going to be the year I start reading like I used to before I had kids.
The bulk of the reading I've done since my first baby was born has been children's books and technical documents and IT certification manuals. I prefer the children's books.
This week I have an academic advising appointment for graduate school. I may be able to start taking classes as early as this month if they have an opening. If not, I'll be back to school in the fall. My guess is they'll be expecting that I remember a good percentage of the reading I did as an English major.
But it's been a long time - 22 years - is that possible? In the last 22 years I haven't slept much. I had one bad concussion (that I remember). The details of the literature that I love were replaced with first aid for babies, programming syntax, class libraries, three versions of the .Net framework, SQL query language, SQL analysis services, CPT codes, ICD-9 diagnosis codes, the hospital billing system, charge pathways, and on and on until the only things left are shreds of memories of the literature I love.
So, today, right now, I'm making a reading list. Actually I started it yesterday using Goodreads. My reading list is kind of hilarious. There are children's books like Peter Pan, non-fiction books on Appalachia, women's fiction, dark comedy screenplays, a lot of Faulkner and Steinbeck, plus a book or two that some of you have written.
Mostly, I intend to read classic literature that I've already read to overwrite the bad sectors in my mind. I'm hoping the reading will go quickly since it's all stuff I've read before at least once. I wonder how long it will take before I have a good data restore.
This might prove I'm crazier than the rest of you, but I dug through my bookshelf and found a fresh copy of The Norton's Anthology of American Literature - Volume D. It covers the approximate time period of my current novel and includes stories my characters would have been reading if they weren't isolated on a mountain.
The time period of the anthology is 1914 to 1945. It includes some of my favorite authors and poets - F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, E.E. Cummings, Eugene O'Neill, T.S. Eliot, Zora Neale Hurston and more. (Note: The only name in this list that spellcheck didn't recognize is Zora Neale Hurston.)
The thought of reading their works again, even snippets of them, gives me goosebumps. It's definitely going to be a good year.