Or what I managed, or almost managed,
in this my 2nd years Blogging -
(Subtitled a Bluffers guide
to semi-literate blogging- Pt2).
I started The Parrish Lantern on the 2nd of April 2010, never expecting to be still here in 2012, but here I am, still here, still learning the ropes, still finding out what works and what I want to say, but still loving it! Last year, I wrote 84 posts, from Winnie the Pooh day through to World Poetry day, I posted on 10 collections of poetry ranging from poets as diverse as Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Derek Walcott, W.G. Sebald, James Joyce and Roberto Bolano. I also started a poetry anthology on Twitter @pomesallsizes, complete with it’s own page here on the Lantern. I also posted on books from Japan, Italy, Romania, The Nederlands, The Philippines, The Caribbean, Bulgaria, USA, Spain, Iran, Chile etc. But it’s not all been plain sailing, in 2011 I got ambitious, as I did so well the previous year I upped my game and entered seven, year-long Challenges, which I either failed miserably at or crawled on my belly over the finish line – so a big sorry to the hosts of those challenges. Now I’m a tad older, have pretensions to a degree more wisdom and with tail tucked firmly between my legs (held in place by an undergarment) I’ve decided to downsize this year, will only take part in a few big challenges and maybe enter a few of the smaller ones if time allows. Another big change since I started this is that I am now owner of a Kindle, which is different (strange) as in back in June 2010 I stated that that it would never replace a book for me, but due to certain circumstances this situation changed & I’ve since come to love my Kindle, although this hasn’t stopped me purchasing books.
The major Challenges
this year will hopefully be.
2012 E-book Challenge hosted by Sarah from Workaday Reads. I am starting at CD = 10 e-books, but will try to aim higher.The Eclectic Reader 2012 Challenge hosted by Shelleyrae from Book’d Out, the aim of the Challenge is to push one a little outside the comfort zone by reading up to 12 books during the year from 12 different genres. This ones a bit scary!
2012 Sci-Fi Challenge hosted by Ellie from Curiosity Killed the Bookworm.The definition is: fiction dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals or having a scientific factor as an essential orienting component.
My Final Challenge Will be one I’ve taken part in for the last two years and will be delighted to take part in again, this being Japanese Literature Challenge 6. Starting on June 1st 2012.
A Personal Literary
“Highlights of the Year” – or
the books I most liked.
Favourite Poetry Anthology – Of Gentle Wolves This collection of Romanian poetry, I described as like a good snapshot, you want to find out more beyond the image fixed on the slide.
Favourite single Poetry collection – I’ve decided to choose two here, as both collections astounded me when I read them, so The Juno Charm - Nuala Ní Chonchúir and What The Water Gave Me, Poems After Frida Kahlo. -Pascale Petit are joint favourites, both choose different paths, but both fulfil the expression “Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful”.
Favourite Short Story Collection is Órfhlaith Foyle’s Somewhere in Minnesota and Other Stories, followed closely by, Maybe This Time by Alois Hotschnig, both amazed, horrified & astounded me in equal measures.
Favourite novella (short novel) is another from that wonderful publisher Peirene press, this wonderful visceral book, had me racing through the pages as fast as its main protagonist was racing from their troubles - Tomorrow Pamplona by Jan Van Mersbergen.
Just checking my index and it appears I’ve not read a great deal of non-fiction this year. The plus side to this is my choice is easier, my favourite non-fiction book is Oxford University Press’s Very Short Introductions – Modern Japan by Christopher Goto-Jones, closely followed by Alberto Manguel’ s A Reader on Reading.
Leaving me with the book that gave me the most joy, some of you who follow me regularly will probably already know the answer to this one. I described this book as “a fantastic, capricious, incredible, wonderful, hallucinatory, delight, it made me think, it made me laugh, really laugh”. This was not just in the reading but in writing the post on it, which took me about a month of evenings and became slightly addictive, I would be heard chortling away to myself, if I created a phrase that I particularly liked - had my wife & daughter worried for a bit – The book, A Void by Georges Perec, Trans Gilbert Adair (who sadly died earlier this year).
As you can see, I’m obviously a man who finds it easy to be succinct and decisive, so I’ll go before your illusions are shattered and I feel the urge to re-write all of this with a different selection of writers and books.
My aims this year are to continue promoting Poetry, from all corners of this wonderful globe of ours and to keep writing about the books I love wherever they are from. To try to improve The Parrish Lantern, so those that have Joined will have no reason to fault their decision, for which I’m ever grateful, So a big Thank You to all who follow The Parrish Lantern and feel free to add your own ideas. As a polite introduction to a new idea, whether its a Book ,a Poem, or your favourite writer is always welcome. Thanks Parrish.
PS. Also had a poem of my own published in an E-book - What is Inspiration? (Thoughts on Life) a mini-anthology of poetry drawn from the pages of a writer's workshop called MWW (My Word Wizard)(Kindle),this year.Also featured in their magazine, The Poetorialist.