2017 in Review


Before charging into the next year (which better be awesome for the world in general or I might cry), I want to take a quick look back…

Books Read: 78 (goal was 87)
— for reference: I read 40 books in 2016

I read some really awesome books this year. I read poetry, picture books, fiction, and memoir mostly. I’ve especially been enjoying reading fiction novels and non-fiction comics about or set in Japan, both written by Japanese authors and authors who have visited the country. I’ve been working my way through reading fairy and folk tales from various countries as well.

I would LOVE to hear some recommendations from my readers for picture books or poetry books especially!! (My stack of to-read fiction is massive and takes longer to get through.) I am mostly restricted by what I can get through my local library for now, but please, recommend away!

Some of my favorites I read this year:

Picture Books:

not quite narwhalNot Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

Kelp the unicorn grows up thinking he’s a narwhal. This is a sweet story of fitting in and acceptance, and I love love LOVE the illustrations. I need a copy of this book for myself.



The Girl Who Loved Caterpillars by Jean Merrill

An awesome story of a girl in imperial Japan who loves caterpillars and other such creepy crawlies, much to the dismay of her parents. Why can’t she be like the other ladies who are much more interested in silks and suitors?




Today Means Amen by Sierra DeMulder

So many poems in this smacked me right in the heart, brain, or gut and sometimes all three. The poem that shares its title with the book is especially powerful. If you only read one of her poems, read that one. Wow.



Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly

I’m really loving the micro-memoir style of writing and how much can be packed into a single page, often just a few lines. I’d like to experiment with this myself one day. Even the memoirs in here that I couldn’t quite relate to in circumstance still felt relatable in emotion most of the time. Looking forward to reading more of her work.


Submissions Sent: 44 (goal was 50)
I also sent entries to 1 contest, 1 fellowship, 1 residency, and competed in the first round of Madness Poetry as an authlete, making that my second time to compete.
— for reference: I sent 18 submissions and 3 contest entries in 2016
(I count multiple poems sent at one time to a single journal as a single submission)

I need to get my head past this writer’s block somehow or another. I have so many words that the funnel they come through to reach the page is all gummed up. Perhaps a better problem to have than no words at all, but still a problem.

I suppose I could let myself get down that I didn’t properly hit either of these goals (or any of the other goals on my list), but I’m going to look at it a different way. In almost every goal I was MORE successful or productive in 2017 than I was 2016, including the many personal goals not listed here. I’m calling that a win. And in the spirit of that I’m not setting any major goals this year either (though I’ll keep my Goodreads challenge at 87 just for fun). I just want to see myself be more successful and productive in 2018 than I was in 2017.

I think I can do it. I’m certainly feeling hopeful.

What are your thoughts on goals/resolutions and do you have any?


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