Friday, December 31, 2010

Salted 2010 - more random than ever.

I do this annual best of the year with salt thing. Well I did. It's a random collection of good things from the year and I think I've written one the last five years maybe. This blog is my writer/reader/reviewer/lit blog. I no longer keep a personal journal though I hand-wrote a diary from 11 until 31ish. I like to get my old diaries out of the cupboard occasionally and re-read. There are some familiar passages, many deeply cringey parts, and some unexpected forgotten details that suddenly blaze a path to my past self. This blog will never be like that; I am myself here, only I rarely discuss truly personal things. That's why this year I have been so quiet.

My role as mummy has dominated a year of crisis. I've had people I thought were friends drop me and my family from their lives. I've been stung by judgemental attitudes and ignorant assumptions. I've had to prove myself over and over. I've lost heart, faith and patience. I've been told I'm not alone and then been left alone. I've been told help was coming only for it never to arrive. I've watched those I love fall apart and break. I've tried to patch them together. I've been ill and been told that stress won’t help. Ha! At one truly dark point I lost hope. Oh, there were several truly dark points actually.

In the midst of this turdy year there have been flashes of shine. Old friends have reappeared, new ones have been made. Unexpected people calmly accept situations and apparently see it as no big thing to offer friendship and support. Out of the blue an email arrives and sparkles. A phone call, a smile, a text, a blog comment - these things matter when you're hanging on by a thread. Thank you to all who have helped get me through. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Time for writing has been rare but some words have been written. I am most proud of being published in PANK, wigleaf and Neon this year. I made the final 10 in The Glass Woman Prize. I was on a few longlists/shortlists.

Other good things include being a first reader for PANK - something I view as a privilege and invaluable learning experience -  and working in a fantastic online writers group.

So, bests of the year? I really have no idea as the year is one big mash in my noggin. I've loved the Mumford and Sons album, and Eminem's Recovery. I've enjoyed watching Sherlock but can't remember much other TV. I've read thousands of short stories. Stand outs are from Kirsty Logan, Roxane Gay and Susannah Rickards. I discovered Breece D'J Pancake (and named my rescue kitty after him.) I bought the much fet├ęd Lydia Davis collection but have yet to crack its spine.

I had to cancel my Arvon trip and in the whole year I doubt I wrote a single word of the novel. In my mind it twists and changes. It can't have the ending I originally planned, can it? Short stories swim and blur. Flash fiction became a necessity. I need to write to stay sane but I have no time.

I wish for 2011 to be a year of kindness. I hope to write. I readjust my goals with the reality of my life. I wish you well.

10 comments:

dan powell said...

Sounds like you've had a tough year indeed but have come through it stronger and focused on what's important. I can empathise as in the midst of a year of great joy with the arrival of our baby daughter we had to deal with our own crisis created by lying, malicious and generally unpleasant people. All sorted now thank goodness.

Well done on getting into the pages of Pank and indeed on the reading gig and your other publications. I for one have enjoyed reading them.

I hope you don't mind if I take a line from your closing as a mantra: 'I readjust my goals with the reality of my life.' That should help me be realistic about what I can and can't achieve in 2011. Here's hoping your year is brighter and better than you can imagine.

I look forward to reading more of your fantastic writing in 2011.

Sarah Hilary said...

I had no idea your year was so turdy. Congratulations on surviving it, and keeping your sense of humour and your nerve. Keeping my nerve was a key aspect of my 2010, also, although it didn't stop a dear friend dying. But it did prevent me from throwing in more towels than I own. Thank goodness it's over. Here's to 2011. It might not be much better, but it will be different. Different is good.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Despite everything, you've won, really. The boys are lucky to have you. And you are lucky too - you can write when you want to, not when other people tell you to. You have a mind that creates stuff that people want to read, and enjoy and admire.
I send you a huge hug and lots of good wishes for a 2011 filled to the brim with the kindness you deserve.
vx

Nik Perring said...

Wishing you all good things for this year, Sara. Goodbye to crappiness

Nik x

Fiona said...

I am sorry your year has been so turdy.
Sometimes being a mum is the best and lonliest job in the whole world never mind dealing with anything else too!
Here is to a better 2011 x

Rachel Fenton said...

I wish you clarity when there's chaos and send a virtual umbrella; find a moment for yourself, put up said umbrella and let the shit bounce off. In fact, umbrellas all round.

You look like a success from where I'm standing.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

I wish you a stunning 2011, Sara.Loved reading your post. Nuala x

Ethel Rohan said...

Sara, well wishes right back at you. I wish you the best always.

Laura Wilkinson said...

Hi Sarah,
I came across you on Alison Wells' site and wanted to make contact for all sorts of reasons, but three main ones: like you I write, and I'm a mother of two sons, one dyspraxic and ADD, the other without any special needs, and finally to wish you all the very best for 2011. Just keep writing.

Sara Crowley said...

Thanks for the good wishes y'all. They are much appreciated. Here's hoping for a brighter 2011 for all.

Hello Laura - good to *meet* you : ) Nice to make a new bloggy/twitty friend at the start of the year!

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