Happy New Year!
I’m not sure I really get January 1st as New Year’s Day. It feels like just another day somewhat shy of the middle of winter. The first day of Spring as the beginning of the new year makes a lot more sense to me, and the Medievals celebrated it that way at times. Yes, the month is named after Janus, god of new beginnings, and Julius Ceasar was deified on January 1st, but I’m not a Roman, and I feel no affection for any Ceasar.
I also quit making resolutions years and years ago. I think I figured out that if I know what I need to do, I’ll either do it or I won’t.
So I’m thinking about the things I want to see happen instead. I think it all comes down to, “Create great things with great people.”
The great things with great people I’m working on now are a couple of edited anthologies. I’ve very grateful for the fantastic contributors I’m collaborating with on these:
- Rock and Romanticism. This edited anthology in development explores the intersections of rock and roll and Romanticism as a literary movement. Contributors are really excited about this one and having fun with their essays. I’m having fun reading them.
- Interpretation: Theory: History. This edited anthology, also in development, reads literary (and other) theorists against their historical backgrounds to see how history influences our reading practices and how our reading practices might influence history. Essays should start coming in this summer.
- Exhibit: Ohio Rock and Roll. Cool thing I’m working on with Lee Fearnside. We will see what happens.
The stuff I hope to create on my own:
- The Pretenders — this book will explore the music of the Pretenders’ first two or three albums against the background of the Cleveland rock scene of the 70s and the London rock and punk scene of the 70s and 80s.
- Tripping the Light Ekphrastic. I want this to be my first collection of poetry. Hasn’t happened yet. I hope it does.
- Maybe a second collection of poems too? Or another one instead?
- I want to write an essay about Ex Machina that I’ve had on my mind for awhile now. Very soon. In the next week.
- I have three book reviews on the docket. One is about eighteenth-century thing theory, another one about an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century bookmaking family, and the third is about the element of surprise in fiction and poetry from Milton to Austen. I’m looking forward to learning from these books.
I want to learn a Nirvana song and a Stones song on guitar. Or maybe EITHER a Nirvana song OR a Stones song. Or maybe just play scales without goofing up the strings.
I’d like to see my son Penn start playing guitar, if he winds up interested.
I want my literature classes to be more self-consciously devoted to student writing and creating — creating stuff in response to literature.
I want to plan my next monograph, finally, and get a proposal for it accepted by a publisher.
I want to finish all coding work for the Mitford poem Watlington Hill and see it go live on the Digital Mitford project website, or at least get it very close. I’m close on this one.
I’d like to create some of my own visual artwork. I have some ideas.
I want to spend more time with my kids and parents in Florida. And with my kids here right now with them at the same time.
I’d like to see what I can make happen for some other people. No idea what this might be yet, or even who they are. I’ll just be open to it.
I want to meet more talented, creative people and be a resource for them.
That’s what I want to see happen in 2016.