Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturday morning musings - planning for the holiday break

It's still quite early here in Sydney. Yesterday was the work Xmas party and the end of the working year. I'm probably not alone in saying that I escaped into the break with a feeling of relief. It's not that its been a bad year, just sometimes stressful and complicated.

I will be posting over the break. This fits with the objective I have set for the holiday period, one of consolidation. This still is from Maslyn Williams 1952 Australian film Mike and Stefani.

Wednesday's post, New England writers – Introducing Binks Turnbull Dowling’s For crying out loud, was the first of a two part series on another New England child and early adult hood memoir.

Binks Dowling was born in 1923, Maslyn Williams in 1911, Judith Wright in 1915, Judith Wallace in 1932. Each writer describes different aspects of life on the New England Tablelands during formative periods in their life.

While researching the posts on Binks Dowling, I put together some of the posts I had written on the others looking for links and patterns. It's quite a complicated writing task, for (driven by the links) I find myself drawn into my own memorializing. .

Binks Dowling's book with its Armidale focus is a particular problem. I am very much younger, but I find that I know, knew or knew of nearly all the people she mentions. It's hard to avoid placing a personal slant on things in reading, but that's not what I want in this case. I need to stand back, to analyse and report.

 Looking back over the year, I find that I have achieved few of the primary goals I set myself. In my own defence (self-justification?), with travel time I work fifty hour weeks. While I do read and jot notes while travelling, my primary writing has to be fitted into the evenings and early mornings. Again in self-justification, I have maintained my weekly newspaper column and reasonably regular blog posting, but still.

So this Christmas break, I am looking to a period of consolidation and reflection that covers both my own writing and the views and reflections of others. On this blog alone, I have so far written 2,783 posts with 7,853 comments including my own responses. That's a big resource on its own, ignoring the work of my fellow bloggers. Add that, and I have a massive canvas.      

I am looking forward to my review. I don't want to be too precious about it. It is a holiday and I mean to have some fun, exercise and time with friends. Still, I will enjoy it.


Winton Bates said...

Don't forget to have a Merry Christmas, Jim, and some R&R along with your consolidation and reflection.

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Winton and thanks. Do the same yourself!