I am already hard at work on my goal of reading 55 books in 2014. So far, I have read 5 books, and it looks like I am a wee bit obsessed with cowboys and the wild west.
There is just something about the west that speaks to my soul. I love watching the sun rise and set on my beloved prairie. And I love the rough and tumble stories of the men (and women) who fought so hard to conquer that wild and untamed land.
I am hoping to spend the next year studying and researching and learning all I can about the west and its history. In particular, I am planning to study the 1860-1910 years. I'll keep you posted on what I find.
Sometimes, like the prairie I love so much, I find myself in a drought. A creative drought. It is completely frustrating in every way.
Back in August, I decided to go back to work full-time and do my jewelry and classes part time. I promised myself that I would have plenty of time to be creative and make beautiful treasures, but it hasn't worked out that way. I feel like (to quote the old Aerosmith song) "my get up and go just got up and went."
I feel jealous when I look at Facebook and Pinterest and see all of the beautiful treasures people are creating. I feel sad when I realize that my beads have been put up since before Thanksgiving, and before that hadn't been used since about July. I just haven't felt very creative. And I hate that.
I have several large scale projects rolling around in my head, but nothing concrete, and nothing I have felt that pressing need to make right here, right now.
Maybe eventually I will get hit with a creative charge and will make pretty things. For now, I will just have to be content watching others make things.
I'm not big on New Year's Resolutions. Mostly because I have no follow through and I get bored with huge, unrealistic tasks. However, last year, after reading a post on Facebook by author Simon Wood about his goal to read 50 books, I decided to make a resolution of my own. I decided to read 50 books in 2013.
If you do the math, 50 books in one year averages out to a little less than one book a week. It seemed so easy at the time. What I forgot to do was factor in life and all of its little surprises along the way. Like working, having a family, having a small business, needing sleep...
Even though Chris and I go to the library quite often, I was kind of surprised at how hard it was to find books I wanted to read. There are a few authors I eagerly await new books from each year (Simon Wood, Vince Flynn, CJ Box, Dan Brown) and a few whose lists I am trying to work my way through. That accounted for a few of the books on my list, which left me with about 47 more to find.
My parents ended up being my saving grace on this one. My dad offered up his Louis L'Amour collection (of which I can proudly say I am now a 3rd generation Louis L'Amour junkie). My mom used her book club to send me oodles and gobs of books. She knows I love reading biographies, so she filled up my mailbox with a number of goodies, many of whom will be living permanently on my bookshelf.
There were a few surprises along the way. For instance, I had no idea that I loved cowboy novels so much. That was a pleasant surprise. I also was able to finally read Jacques Pépin's autobiography, which I have been wanting to read for a couple of years--LOVED it!
All in all, this was a great challenge. Although I didn't read the 130 books that Louis L'Amour read each year (how did he do that?!), I reached my goal and am going to shoot for 55 in 2014. I'm including my book list below.
1. The First 5 Minutes: How to Make a Great First Impression in Any Business Situation by Mary Mitchell with John Corr
2. You're Hired: How to Succeed in Business and Life by Bill Rancic
3. Naked in the Boardroom by Robin Wolaner
4. The Good Book and Good Business by Gary Hutto
5. Granny Dan by Danielle Steele
6. The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner
7. In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
8. A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
9. Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner
10. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
11. Julie & Julia by Julie Powell
12. I Shouldn't Even be Doing This by Bob Newhart
13. 700 Sundays by Billy Crystal
14. Cosbyology by Bill Cosby
15. Bark if You Love Me: A Woman Meets Dog Story by Louise Bernikow
16. Friends Forever by Danielle Steele
17. Courderoy by Don Freeman
18. Bossypants by Tina Fey
19. Inferno by Dan Brown
20. When Light Breaks by Patti Callahan Henry
21. Heart and Soul by Sally Mendel
22. Happy Happy Happy by Phil Robertson
23. No Show by Simon Wood
24. Animal Farm by George Orwell
25. Dirty Jokes and Beer: Stories of the Unrefined by Drew Carey
26. Maybe (Maybe not): Second thoughts from a Secret Life by Robert Fulghum
27. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
28. Starry Night by Debbie Macomber
29. Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L'Amour
30. I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
31. Pure Drivel by Steve Martin
32. 1984 by George Orwell
33. Horse of a Different Color: Reminiscences of a Kansas Drover by Ralph Moody
34. Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography by Rob Lowe
35. Still Growing: An Autobiography by Kirk Cameron
36. Ernie: An Autobiography by Ernest Borgnine
37. Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews
38. One Day Me Talk Pretty by David Sedaris
39. Shaking the Nickel Bush by Ralph Moody
40. What's So Funny?: My Hilarious Life by Tim Conway
41. This Time Together by Carol Burnett
42. A Clearing in the Wild by Jane Kirkpatrick
43. Essential Bible Study Tools for Ministry by David R. Bauer
44. The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin
45. Here's Johnny!: My Memories of Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show and 46 Years of Friendship by Ed McMahon
46. Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson
47. Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith
48. Si-Cology 101: Tales and Wisdom from Duck Dynasty's Favorite Uncle by Si Robertson with Mark Schlabach
49. Tomorrow Will Be Better by Betty Smith
50. Killoe by Louis L'Amour