Happy New Year! No matter where you are in the world, and whether you celebrate it or not, the new year is something everyone acknowledges. Whether we’re celebrating into the wee hours of the night, or scoffing at those who are, or quietly spending the evening cozy and asleep, there’s one thing we all consider this time of year:
Now, I know not everyone makes a resolution. I get that. But don’t we all consider it, at least on a superficial level? We think, Well, I could do THIS….. and then either resolve to do it or laugh it off and move on. I even know some people who, instead of making resolutions, make a theme they’re going to live by, a theme embodied by a single word: Hope. Perseverance. Submit. A word that’s supposed to remind them of their focus for the new year.
I decided that since this is Speculative Chic’s first New Year, I wanted us to do something special. Resolutions was the first thing to come to mind, but I wanted something more than, I won’t buy a new book until I’ve read three from my TBR, or I’ll read 100 books this year. Mind you, all of these are good resolutions, and when this post is over, I’d love to hear your book-related, writing-related or spec-fic related resolutions for 2017!
However, for Speculative Chic, I wanted to challenge myself, as well as anyone else crazy enough to take my challenge. So I asked my contributors:
What’s something you’ve always wanted to read/watch/play/attend that you keep putting off?
Of course, it had to be related to speculative fiction, and then I upped the ante: for everyone participating, they have to talk about 1) what they chose, 2) why they chose it, and then during the course of the year, once they complete the resolution, they have to post about it.
But what happens if, as with any traditional resolutions, someone breaks it? Doesn’t complete it? Well, at the very end of the year, we’re going to do a round up. For those who did complete it, we’ll provide links to their entries. For those who didn’t, they get to tell you why it didn’t work out!
Sound like fun? Then gather around to hear what content Speculative Chic is promising to provide in the new year, and then tell us: what are your book-related, writing-related or spec-fic related resolutions for 2017?
Shara: I’m choosing to read Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Within my writing circles, Mitchell has always been cited as an author I NEED TO READ, and Cloud Atlas is a title my mentor for Seton Hill highly recommended. The premise of so many souls traveling through so many lifetimes, inevitably linked to each other, is so up my alley. But this is also a very, very literary book, so while I actually do own a copy and it’s sitting patiently on my shelf, it intimidates me, because I know it’s gonna take a lot of focus, and focus is in short supply these days. But for 2017, I’ll sit down, gather my willpower, and read Cloud Atlas, and if I’m feeling feisty, I might even throw the movie in as well, but my goal is the book.
Casey: I’m going to finally read House of Leaves. I seem to be evolving into one of our Horror Chics, and I’ve never read this particular work. I’ve been carrying it around and eyeing it for over ten years. I’ve started it a few times and not finished it (once becoming fantastically frightened while reading on a work break in a deserted, creepy, knock off dollar store that I was unfortunately working at). I am determined to finish it this time. I’m very fascinated by the novel’s disjointed style. Writers that I admire cite it as being on their favorite lists. I’ve read that other people find it to be one of the scariest things that they have ever read. I have treated myself to the hardcover, full color edition. I am ready to have my face frightened off for the public’s amusement and entertainment.
Kelly: I’ve never read The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien. How can I even call myself a nerd? I’ve always been a reader but for a long time, I wasn’t a fan of fantasy or science fiction. The Lord of the Rings films were the event movies of my college years. Many of my friends were obsessed, especially with Orlando Bloom as Legolas and Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn. Don’t judge: I went to a women’s college, and we had to take our sexy heroes where we could get them. My parents even bought me the complete set of The Lord of the Rings trilogy for Christmas one year. I started the first book but couldn’t get into it. I eventually lost or gave away the book set. I started to become more open to fantasy books after reading all the published books in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire because I like Game of Thrones the TV show. In 2015, I did a reading challenge that required “a book that your mom loves.” After much pestering, my mother decided that Tolkien’s books are her favorites, so I read The Hobbit. The writing transported me back to the magic of Peter Jackson’s movies, and I also enjoyed how action-packed the book was. I think I am finally ready to tackle the granddaddy of all fantasy series.
Sharon: Somehow I’ve managed to get through life without reading The Chronicles of Narnia. Everyone has read at least The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, right? Well, I’m tired of going mute when this subject comes up. I’m going to willingly out myself and admit that the only C.S. Lewis book I ever read was The Screwtape Letters. What makes make this worse is that I am, in fact, a Christian, and I’d probably enjoy this series immensely, even though I’m clearly not a kid anymore. Will I get to all 7? Ask me next December.
Sherry: I’m going to read The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. I picked it up at World Fantasy in 2016 because it sounded so good, was nominated for every award, and she was there in the dealer’s room when I bought it so she signed it. I hear the world-building is phenomenal and it just sounds like an all-round great read. I’ve been putting it off for the dumbest of reasons: the type is tiny. I’m so used to reading e-books with their enlargeable font and being able to read in the dark that it makes paper books so inconvenient. (Even though I LOVE paper books). Our library system doesn’t have an e-book version of it so I’m going to suck it up and read a book the way they’re supposed to be read, or shove my excuses aside and get the e-book version somehow.
Nancy: The list of things that I want to do, but haven’t gotten around to is so long then when Shara first suggested the Resolution project, I was overwhelmed with all of the books, comics, TV shows, or movies I could chose from. Then my husband suggested that I finally sit down at play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The idea seemed strange at first, as gaming is a little ways down my list of geeky endeavors, but the more I’ve thought about it the more I realized that it makes sense.
I quite like the Zelda games. I’ve watched my husband play though several (including Ocarina of Time AT LEAST a half dozen times), but I’ve never actually finished one myself (unless you count Hyrule Warriors), if only due to the time commitment it would involve. Still, it is something I’ve always wanted to do, and would be a genuine challenge for me — but not unachievable. After all, the games I do tend to play over and over again are from the N64 era. And if I get stuck on a puzzle, I’m pretty sure I know someone that can help me out.
Lane: Okay, I was going to read The Stranger by Max Frei, but I decided to change my resolution, because reading one neglected book is not really a challenge to my brain. Instead, I’m going to do something about The Movie Situation. Which is, I’m tired of never knowing what people are talking about because at best I see two movies a year. I am not committing to seeing 12 New Release movies, because I loathe movie theaters, but I am committing to seeing 12 new-to-me spec fic movies that I’ve missed. It’ll be a mixture of ones I wanted to see but never got around to, ones that came highly recommended, and ones that are just plain popular. I don’t know whether I want to start a list now, post it, and stick to it, or whether I want to pick by whim per month. But I’ll take movie recs at any time, though horror is a much harder sell for me.
Carey: I want to reread Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story. I read this when I was a kid but I want to reread it as an adult. I started to reread it earlier in 2016 as part of a reading challenge, but I didn’t make it past chapter three because of time commitments. The Neverending Story is a book I used to reread once a year when I was younger. I loved everything about that book, from the cover to “The End.” As an adult, I want to know if it still holds the same magic.
J.L. Gribble: The anchor of my “to be read” pile is a beast of a hardcover that I picked up in the dealer’s room of a convention over 10 years ago. It’s the oldest thing in my pile, and I know I’ve avoided reading it because of it’s size. So this year, I’m going to commit to reading that book everyone else read and raved about a decade ago: Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I might even watch the new miniseries and do a comparison — but let’s not get too crazy. I only have 365 days, after all.
Nicole: In 2014 I went to RTX, a convention hosted by internet production company extraordinaire, Rooster Teeth. During their live action panel they surprised us with a teaser for a serious show they were working on called Day 5. All we knew was that sleep was killing people, you had to stay awake, and it wrapped with a camera circling a character, dead bodies all around him in the street.
I was all about it. Given that Rooster Teeth was known for their comedy and not serious work, I was excited to see something new and different.
Then the rest of 2014 went by. Then all of 2015. I started to wonder just what had happened to Day 5. Half of 2016 disappeared when suddenly there it was. Worked on, finished, and posted episode by episode on the main site for sponsors only. My plan was to wait until the entire thing was up, drop some cash, and binge watch the entire thing.
It’s 2017 and I have yet to see a single episode.
I do this all the time. I’ll say I need to watch a show, and then never see it. Or I’ll be in the middle of a show and never finish it. I still have 4 episodes of Jessica Jones to go through, and the entire final season of Burn Notice. But I’ve been waiting and wanting to see Day 5 since 2014, and damn it, 2017 is going to be the year it happens. Even if I have to buy another 6-month sponsorship (which, let’s be honest, I was going to do anyway), I am going to sit my butt down when I have a day off and watch the entire series from start to finish.