Every year, people like to sit down and take stock of their goals from the previous year and what goals they'd like to accomplish in the new year. As we leave 2017 behind and start fresh in 2018, we Fiction Unbounders decided to put together our own New Year's Resolutions for 2018. We are sharing our literary aspirations with you to help inspire you to create your own for 2018. We're also sharing our favorite and least favorite moments from last year, our previous resolutions, and what books we are looking forward to the most. Happy New Year!
Danyelle C. Overbo
What you liked best about 2017: On a personal level, I got a lot of writing done on my current project and got very close to launching my new business, Care Squared. From a literary perspective, we got a lot of amazing books from female authors like Ariel Levy’s The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir and Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko.
What you liked least about 2017: Our political situation/disaster.
Favorite book you read in 2017: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon and The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente
Last year’s New Year’s Resolution: Something weight related, I’m sure
Did you complete your goal? Not really, lol
What books are you looking forward to most in 2018? The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg
What is your New Year’s Resolution for 2018? To read 50 new novels by the end of the year!
What you liked best about 2017: My daughter turning two, cottonwood seeds raining down around me on the boardwalk at Barr Lake, launching a small business with my husband (Woodsong Coffee), finishing my novel (sort of), drafting short stories set in piney woods, hiking in snow, and watching a juvenile night heron fish in a marsh pond beside a roosting pod of pelicans.
What you liked least about 2017: The number of hours I spent checking Facebook.
Favorite book you read in 2017: non-fiction: You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris, fiction: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (I might have read this in 2016? My toddler’s insistence on reading a Thomas the Train book every night has befuddled my brain).
Last year’s New Year’s Resolution: Finish my novel.
Did you complete your goal? Sort of? A full draft exists, but after agent feedback and reviewing it following a four month break, I realize it’s, possibly, not-so-finished. Damn.
What books are you looking forward to most in 2018? I’m reading The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff right now, and it’s SO good, I’m going to read as soon as I finish up here. I’m also looking forward to The Potlikker Papers by John T. Edge, Upstream by Mary Oliver (this one’s been languishing on my TBR pile for too long), and God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man, which I picked up after reading the obituary of the author, Cornelia Walker Bailey, in the NYT.
What is your New Year’s Resolution for 2018? TO PARTY LIKE A FLOCK OF JAYS. Ok seriously. Read more books, look at my cell phone less, grow tulips, bake sourdough bread with bigger bubbles, take a picture of a heron in flight, and log 100 rejections on my short stories.
What you liked best about 2017: Attending the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop in San Diego, and meeting the incredibly talented next generation of SF/F writers!
What you liked least about 2017: California being on fire
Favorite book you read in 2017: The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin. Of the books that came out in 2017, Carmen Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties.
Last year’s New Year’s Resolution: Read 30 books.
Did you complete your goal? Close, but no cigar. But I wrote a lot.
What books are you looking forward to most in 2018? Sam J. Miller’s Blackfish City, Catherynne Valente’s Space Opera.
What is your New Year’s Resolution for 2018? Read more SF/F/H short stories and short story magazines, as they come out. Get a better sense of what people are reading and writing right now.
What you liked best about 2017: Milestones and adventures: My oldest graduating, my youngest starting high school, classes with my son at Rocky Mountain Swordplay Guild, adventures with students to learn about lasers in the catacombs of JILA, hiking/biking/existing in every possible way in the mountains.
What you liked least about 2017: I’m so frustrated with the amount of time I’ve been letting myself get suckered into being a spectator of the Orange One’s shock-jock, reality-television BS version of leadership. Time is something we can’t get back - why do I do this to myself?
Favorite book you read in 2017: So hard to pick. If I narrow it down to two, it’s a toss-up between The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor
Last year’s New Year’s Resolution: Read forty books.
Did you complete your goal? Finished thirty book. But the pile on my nightstand is seventeen books high, so...
What books are you looking forward to most in 2018? The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor. This is the concluding volume in the Binti trilogy out January 16, 2018. The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander out January 23.
What is your New Year’s Resolution for 2018? Finish draft of current book. Aim for at least 50 rejections for short stories. Read forty-seven books. Read more hard SciFi by authors outside of United States.
What you liked best about 2017: The birth of my daughter.
What you liked least about 2017: Being pregnant in general. Specifically, being pregnant with a daughter given the state of the world (I’m feeling more hopeful now. See you at the Women’s March!).
Favorite book you read in 2017: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Machado
Last year’s New Year’s Resolution: I did not make a single resolution last year. I haven’t made a resolutions list since the overly ambitious year where (after discovering the wonderful Amanda Palmer) I declared an intention to learn to play the ukulele. I never even laid my hands on the said instrument!
Did you complete your goal? I did know that we were going to work on the baby project--so mission accomplished. Looking back through my journals I made copious notes about my novel in progress and that is also useful.
What books are you looking forward to most in 2018? Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, Ovando by Jamaica Kincaid both of these are to catch up; and to read with my daughter, Bark Park (available April 3, 2018) by Trudy Krisher and illustrated by my very talented friend, Brooke Boynton Hughes.
What is your New Year’s Resolution for 2018? Be a good enough mom; try to be a better person than I was the day before; listen to people especially those who haven’t been heard; and because I’ve got a deadline, finish another draft of my novel.
What you liked best about 2017: Personally, the best thing about 2017 was a bag of Poore Brothers Olde English Salt and Vinegar potato chips. Poore Brothers was my first experience with kettle cooked potato chips and are still my favorite. But they are not available in much of the country so it had been years since I had tasted any. Poore Brothers salt and vinegar chips have a perfect zip to them my locally available brands can’t match, and there is something wonderful about the way they lightly tear up the inside of my mouth.
What you liked least about 2017: Everything else.
Favorite book you read in 2017: I did actually quite enjoy Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones. If you are down for an episodic, coming-of-age, Deep South werewolf novel, you will not find a better specimen than this one.
Last year’s New Year’s Resolution: Last year I thought I was finally due for some sweet abs. Who doesn't want a good set of abs on themselves if only for a short period of time?
Did you complete your goal? Some progress was made, but I haven’t given up. More to come.
What books are you looking forward to most in 2018? I’ve been getting into Brooke Bolander lately and am much looking forward to The Only Harmless Great Thing. Only a couple weeks to go before I can finally feast on it!
What is your New Year’s Resolution for 2018? I have all kinds of plans for 2018, much of it already well underway.
· This year I am reading at least one short story a day. I buy all kinds of anthologies and short fiction rags and my backlog is tremendous. I am enjoying whittling away at that pile. (It is actually several piles.)
· I am also going to read the entire 12 volume set of the third edition of The Golden Bough. The scholarship is outdated, but I’m interested in its influence and want to chase that rabbit around for a while.
· I’m a big fan of Open Yale Courses. This year I hope to work through The American Novel Since 1945, Cervantes' Don Quixote, Introduction to the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), Introduction to the New Testament History and Literature. I’ve always wanted to dig deeper into the Bible despite not being a believer.
· I’ll be learning the tarot this year, which I also don’t believe in. There is a lot of stuff I don’t accept as truth which is still interesting and cool.