Wrapping Up Wrap-up Season: I’m Moving To California…also, I read alot of books

Hey, so, it’s January 1st, 2011.

I began Wrap-up Season on December 1st, but here I am a month later with all kinds of stuff left to wrap up! I wanted to write two posts on “Books That Left Me With Somewhat Mixed Opinions” which would have included all kinds of 200 word takedowns on such eminent books as Moby Dick, The Red and the Black, Sophie’s Choice, Persuasion, and, well, all kinds of stuff.

I wanted to have a post where I excerpted from the roughly 10-15 reviews that mentioned the three stories I published this year. (Yeah, I know about pretty much every internet post that contains my first name. [For instance, Lois Tilton mentioned it in her year end summary of top fictions that have appeared in various magazines! In Locus!])

I wanted to write about all kinds of things. But I didn’t get around to it. December’s been a pretty busy month. I was racing to meet my goal of 280,000 words for the year and 25 stories for the year. But mostly, my mind just turned in other directions. Summation requires a certain joi de vivre that has been slow in coming for the last two weeks. I wasn’t really depressed, but I was feeling a certain melancholy. Melancholy is the way I handle major life transitions. There’s a sorrow for the things I am about to leave behind, and I mourn them before they pass.

So my heart hasn’t really been in wrapping up, and January 1st allows me to officially give up on the whole thing.

2010 was a really great year. It did not begin so well. The first third of it involved me getting rejected by eleven graduate programs. But selling three stories, writing 27 stories, and finishing a novel made it pretty good. Of course, as is probably the case for most of us, the real joys of the year had very little to do with writing, and are not really anything I feel comfortable talking about on a blog. But suffice it to say that my life really changed, and one of the results of that change was that I was able to commit to writing in a way that had not been possible for me before. That commitment bore immediate fruit, in terms of my sale to Clarkesworld, and the presence of this awesome, delicious fruit reconfirmed the wisdom of making those changes.

Furthermore, locking down all of that personal stuff has allowed me to do something I’ve wanted to do for awhile. I’m leaving D.C. and returning to the West Coast (probably Oakland)*. Right now the plan is to continue working for the World Bank for at least another six months, but I will be doing so on kind of a long distance basis.

I’ll be sad to leave D.C.

This is the city where I did a substantial amount of my growing up. My family moved to one of D.C.’s Maryland suburbs when I was in 3rd grade (maybe 1993?) and moved to D.C. proper when I was in 7th grade (wanna say…1997?). This was my home base all through college. My parents moved to India around eighteen months ago when my brother went to college, but I’ve been holding down the house for them. Now that I’m leaving, the place will pass into other hands. It might be the last time I’ll see it. It’ll definitely be the last time I live in it. My cat, who’s been with us for fourteen years, is moving to Delhi too, next week. And as she flies East, I’ll be driving West.

But, it’s time for some new things.

Oh, the one part of Wrap-Up Season that I will proceed with as planned is posting a list of all the books I read. I kind of wavered on this, because the main purpose of posting it is just to be all like, “Well, I read alot of books this year” (roughly 180). And boasting is not a very attractive trait in a person. On the other hand, I really do like it when people post the books they’ve read in a year (for instance, look at Art Garfunkel’s totally sweet list of every book he’s read since 1968). So I decided to post the list without comment.

Letters of Heloise and Abelard Abelard, Peter and Heloise d’Argenteuil
Rashomon and Other Stories Akutagawa, Ryunosuke
The Clouds Aristophanes
The Handmaid’s Tale Atwood, Margaret
The Dyer’s Hand and other essays Auden, W.H.
Sense and Sensibility Austen, Jane
Persuasion Austen, Jane
Northanger Abbey Austen, Jane
City of Glass Auster, Paul
Tell It On The Mountain Baldwin, James
Giovanni’s Room Baldwin, James
Notes of a Native Son Baldwin, James
Crash Ballard, J.G.
Lost in the Funhouse Barth, John
Chimera Barth, John
Mythologies Barthes, Roland
Simulacra and Simulation Baudrillard, Jean
Waiting For Godot Beckett, Samuel
The History of the Caliph Vathek Beckford, William
Ravelstein Bellow, Saul
Humboldt’s Gift Bellow, Saul
Mr. Sammler’s Planet Bellow, Saul
Seize The Day Bellow, Saul
Valiant Black, Holly
Manifestoes of Surrealism Breton, Andre
Jane Eyre Bronte, Charlotte
Wuthering Heights Bronte, Emily
World War Z Brooks, Max
Factotum Bukowski, Charles
The Master and Margarita Bulgakov, Mikhail
Reflections on the Revolution in France Burke, Edmund
Naked Lunch Burroughs, William S.
The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays Camus, Albert
Death Comes For The Archbishop Cather, Willa
Oh Pioneers! Cather, Willa
My Antonia Cather, Willa
Journey To The End Of The Night Celine, Louis-Ferdinand
The Big Sleep Chandler, Raymond
Stories Chekhov, Anton
The Man Who Was Thursday, a nightmare Chesterton, G. K.
The Lifecycle of Software Objects Chiang, Ted
Disgrace Coetzee, J. M.
‘Twixt Land and Sea Conrad, Joseph
Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction Culler, Jonathan
Barthes: A Very Short Introduction Culler, Jonathan
Undead and Unwed Davidson, Mary Janice
Confessions of an English Opium-Eater De Quincey, Thomas
A Journal of the Plague Year Defoe, Daniel
The Jewel-Hinged Jaw Delany, Samuel
The American Shore Delany, Samuel
Bleak House Dickens, Charles
334 Disch, Thomas M.
Songs and Sonnets Donne, John
The Double and the Gambler Dostoyevsky, Fyodor
Demons Dostoyevsky, Fyodor
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Douglass, Frederick
Year’s Best Science Fiction: 26th Annual Collection Dozois, Gardner (ed)
The Souls of Black Folk Du Bois, W. E. B.
First Essays Emerson, Ralph Waldo
The Sound and the Fury Faulkner, William
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Fitzgerald, Edward
Pat Hobby Stories Fitzgerald, F. Scott
The Great Gatsby (reread) Fitzgerald, F. Scott
Sandman: #1-75 Gaiman, Neil
On Becoming A Novelist Gardner, John
Faust, Part One Goethe, J. W. von
Tales Gogol, Nikolai
I, Claudius (reread) Graves, Robert
The Third Man Greene, Graham
The Maltese Falcon Hammett, Dashiel
Red Harvest Hammett, Dashiel
The Glass Key Hammett, Dashiel
The Dain Curse Hammett, Dashiel
The Thin Man Hammett, Dashiel
Mathematician’s Apology Hardy, G.H.
Mayor of Casterbridge Hardy, Thomas
The Blithedale Romance Hawthorne, Nathaniel
The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne, Nathaniel
Catch-22 Heller, Joseph
The Sun Also Rises Hemingway, Ernest
Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding Hume, David
Berlin Stories Isherwood, Christopher
A Single Man Isherwood, Christopher
Varieties of Religious Experience James, William
Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man Joyce, James
Dharma Bums Kerouac, Jack
Unaccustomed Earth Lahiri, Jhumpa
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Larsen, Stieg
Babbitt Lewis, Sinclair
Main Street Lewis, Sinclair
Arrowsmith Lewis, Sinclair
Elmer Gantry Lewis, Sinclair
Dodsworth Lewis, Sinclair
The Ask Lipsyte, Sam
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Loos, Anita
Of The Nature Of Things Lucretius
The Day The Leader Was Killed Mahfouz, Naguib
News of a Kidnapping Marquez, Gabriel Garcia
Chronicle of a Death Foretold Marquez, Gabriel Garcia
No One Writes To The Colonel Marquez, Gabriel Garcia
Clandestine in Chile Marquez, Gabriel Garcia
Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor Marquez, Gabriel Garcia
“The Mystery Knight” Martin, George R. R.
The Communist Manifesto Marx, Karl
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? McCoy, Horace
Moby Dick Melville, Herman
Billy Budd, the Sailor (an inside story) Melville, Herman
Damn! A Book of Calumny Mencken, H. L.
Miscellaneous Poems Milton, John
Paradise Regained Milton, John
Cloud Atlas Mitchell, David
The Killing Joke Moore, Alan et al
After Dark Murakami, Haruki
Pnin Nabokov, Vladimir
Lectures on Russian Literature Nabokov, Vladimir
The Defense Nabokov, Vladimir
Bachelor of Arts Narayan, R. K.
Zombie Oates, Joyce Carol
Scott Pilgrim: Vols 1-6 O’Malley, Bryan Lee
Down and Out in Paris and London Orwell, George
Homage to Catalonia Orwell, George
Road to Wigan Pier Orwell, George
Fight Club Palahniuk, Chuck
The Bell Jar Plath, Sylvia
Parallel Lives, Volume I Plutarch
Parallel Lives, Volume II Plutarch
The Crying of Lot 49 Pynchon, Thomas
Even Cowgirls Get The Blues Robbins, Tom
Another Roadside Attraction Robbins, Tom
The Dying Animal Roth, Phillip
Midnight’s Children Rushdie, Salman
The Female Man Russ, Joanna
How To Suppress Women’s Writing Russ, Joanna
History of Western Philosophy Russell, Bertrand
Franny and Zooey Salinger, J.D.
Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters; and Seymour: An Introduction Salinger, J.D.
Blindness Saramogo, Jose
Macbeth Shakespeare, William
Merchant of Venice Shakespeare, William
The Tempest Shakespeare, William
Henry IV, part one Shakespeare, William
Henry IV, part two Shakespeare, William
Kokoro Soeseki, Natsume
Botchan Soeseki, Natsume
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas Stein, Gertrude
Charterhouse of Parma Stendhal
The Red and the Black Stendhal
Eminent Victorians Strachey, Lytton
The Prose Edda Sturluson, Snurri
Sophie’s Choice Styron, William
Darkness Visible Styron, William
Vanity Fair Thackeray, William Makepeace
The Great Shark Hunt Thompson, Hunter S.
Democracy in America – Volume One Tocqueville, Alexis de
Anna Karenina Tolstoy, Leo
What is Art? Tolstoy, Leo
A Confession Tolstoy, Leo
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories Tolstoy, Leo
War and Peace Tolstoy, Leo
A Confederacy of Dunces Toole, John Kennedy
Fathers and Sons Turgenev, Ivan
Booklife Vandermeer, Jeff
Letters on England Voltaire
Candide Voltaire
Philosophical Dictionary Voltaire
The Secret Lives Of Men And Women Warren, Frank (ed)
Up From Slavery, an autobiography Washington, Booker T.
Double Helix Watson, James
Best Friends Forever Weiner, Jennifer
Bridge Over The San Luis Rey Wilder, Thornton
Bellwether Willis, Connie
Right-Ho, Jeeves Wodehouse, P.G.
Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak-Catchers Wolfe, Tom
The Pump House Gang Wolfe, Tom
To The Lighthouse Woolf, Virginia
A Room of One’s Own Woolf, Virginia
The Collected Stories Yates, Richard

*It feels kind of silly to talk about moving, when I talk about virtually none of the details of my private life, but I am always very disconcerted when the authors of blogs I read suddenly jump from one city to another, so I swore to myself an undying vow that I would mark my moves with a blog entry.