Favorite Things, December 42nd

I’m not the first to make the observation that it hasn’t really felt like a new year (see the not-very-original “December 42nd” joke in today’s title). Everything in day-to-day life has been the same as it was before January 1, and the world certainly isn’t looking improved or new in many ways yet. However, though this last week was incredibly discouraging, there were some great things too. To mark the new year, I wanted to start compiling my favorite things from each week–a sort of exercise in gratitude, since that’s supposed to help keep depression at bay–and it actually wasn’t that hard to come up with a list of good things from last week.

For instance, in BOOKS, there was the release of Volume 4 of Beth Brower’s Emma M Lion series. It’s a historical speculative fiction series, set up as the journal entries of a young woman in a somewhat fantastical and utterly charming (fictional) neighborhood in London in 1883. Intriguing gentlemen and rogues abound.

(Cover of Beth Brower’s book THE UNSELECTED JOURNALS OF EMMA M. LION: VOL. 4. Title is printed on a background of red, bordered by a floral decal in each corner.)

There was also Girl Gone Viral, one of Alisha Rai’s Modern Love romances which was the perfect mind cleanser after such an intense week.

(Cover of Alisha Rai’s book GIRL GONE VIRAL. Title printed large over a background of seafoam green with an illustration of a phone screen showing an Instagram post of a man and a woman together.)

In MUSIC, I fed my ears with Yaeji’s “Raingurl” (brought to my attention by my husband).

(Musician Yaeji stands, looking toward the left, wearing a transparent raincoat and holding a transparent umbrella that is lit up with LED lights. Screenshot captured from her music video “Raingurl.”)

And Boy Pablo’s “Hey Girl” (recommended by a friend).

(Boy Pablo sits on soccer/football field and stares off into distance. Screenshot captured from the music video for his song “Hey Girl”)

In TV, I’m currently a little obsessed with the HBO show Insecure. It’s witty, and engaging, and painful in the best way. Also, I love Issa Rae’s makeup and clothes and basically everything about her.

(Creator and producer of HBO’s INSECURE Issa Rae looks to camera. Photo credit Michael Owen Baker for the New York Times.)

Other things I’m loving this week:
– Not being a white supremacist
– The officers who put their lives on the line to keep people safe at the Capitol
– The political leaders who value our constitution over their own political goals
– GEORGIA! And all the people that did so much hard work to get the votes for Warnock and Ossoff so that we can hopefully have some progress in our legislature instead of the maddening standstill that’s been going on for so many years.

(Founder of Fair Fight Action Stacey Abrams elbow-bumping Senator-Elect Raphael Warnock. Both wearing cloth masks over their mouths and noses. Photo credit Stacey Abrams’ Instagram account.)
(Founder of Fair Fight Action Stacey Abrams elbow-bumping Senator-Elect Jon Ossoff. Both wearing cloth masks over their mouths and noses. Photo credit Stacey Abrams’ Instagram account.)

Must. Find. Motivation.

I LOVE writing, but some days it’s just so hard to get up the energy to enjoy doing it. I’ve started accruing some cool writing quotes to help motivate me. (Does anyone else use this method? Have any to share?)

Here’s a little sampling of of the ones I’ve collected. And okay, so they’re not all about writing, per se, but they help get me pumped to write.

“Most of us are called on to perform tasks far beyond what we can do. Our capabilities seldom match our aspirations, and we are often woefully unprepared. To this extent, we are all Assistant Pig-Keepers at heart.”
― Lloyd Alexander, The Book of Three

(I pity anyone who hasn’t had a little Lloyd Alexander in their life.)

“Get to work. Your work is to keep cranking the flywheel that turns the gears that spin the belt in the engine of belief that keeps you and your desk in midair.”
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

One of my favorite writers of non-fiction.

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”

― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

(I’m trying to believe you, Anne.)

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
― William Faulkner

 

“Sometimes heroism is nothing more than patience, curiosity, and a refusal to panic.”
― Leif Enger, Peace Like a River

Sometimes trying to be a writer takes a certain amount of heroism. (Truth: Peace Like a River is one of the most beautiful books ever written. If you haven’t read it, you should.)

Awesome. I’m pumped. Time to go write.

(A bowl of Lucky Charms couldn’t hurt either…)