2019 recap- books, Shakespeare, snippets, and other things…

Hello! So, I’m not dead, but by now you’ve probably realized that I have a habit of disappearing for long periods of time and not being dead. “Maybe she just takes really long naps?” you may think to yourself. I WISH. I need that kind of nap.

But anyway! I’m here to tell you a bit about what happened in 2019! So, without further ado:

Books

Just a smattering of my favorites:

Looking at these all next to each other just now, I realized that most of them basically revolve around sibling relationships of some kind. Which explains why I love them so much.

Music

So, I disappeared off the face of the blogosphere at the beginning of August which means I didn’t really get a chance to scream about The Search, which came out at the end of July.

SO HERE I AM, SCREAMING ABOUT THE SEARCH.

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This album is pretty intense. It deals with anxiety, depression, OCD, and trauma with unflinching honesty and it can be  hard to listen straight through the whole album. But it’s so good.

Favorite tracks: THERE ARE TOO MANY. But here’s a few:

So yes. The Search happened.

Also this!

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I’ve been listening to Hadestown, but at first I was listening to the Live Original Cast Recording and then I started listening to the Original Broadway Cast Recording and things are different and now I’m just confused. The intro part of “Wait for Me” starts and I shout “Eurydice?” and Orpheus shouts “Mr. Hermes!” and I don’t know when I’m finally going to catch on.

Favorite tracks:

A few other songs I’ve discovered/listened to too many times this year:

Also this exists. You’re welcome.

Theatre

I took a Shakespeare class this past semester. We read a bunch of plays, but also plays are meant to be seen, so we watched several film and stage adaptions. And may I just say, the Royal Shakespeare Company is phenomenal? Highlights:

Love’s Labour Won (Much Ado About Nothing) 2015

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Beatrice and Benedick are witty and hilarious, but they’re also so very endearing. The acting, direction, and design of this production are all superb. I especially love the scene between Beatrice and Benedick after the whole wedding fiasco. There’s been so much banter and exchanging of insults between them, but when it really comes down to it and something bad happens to Beatrice’s family Benedick is like, “What can I do? How can I help?” And I don’t usually melt over romance, but my heart may or may not have melted a bit over that scene.

Hamlet 2016

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So yes. Hamlet is my favorite Shakespeare play. But that doesn’t mean I automatically love every adaption of it (I didn’t care much for the Kenneth Branagh film). But this! I loved this production- all three hours of it. Paapa Essiedu is phenomenal as Hamlet and I love the design of the production. As Hamlet is going crazy/pretending to go crazy, he starts spray painting everything and the stage just gets more and more chaotic (as shown above), and it is wonderful.

Aside from Shakespeare, I also watched Red by John Logan on PBS Great Performances.

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You know those plays that are just two people talking for an hour and a half and it’s wonderful? They talk about painting and life and fame and murder. What more could you want? The design is so effective with the lighting and the way they move the paintings around to suggest different scenes/days. Also the priming the canvas sequence (pictured above) is so cool to watch.

Aside from watching filmed theatre, I also saw/participated in several community theatre/college productions. There were pirates, trolls, tap-dancing, fake piano playing, fake spaghetti, a bathtub, and a sharkhead. Good fun.

Writing

At the beginning of the year my friend and I started writing a story together about Pirates and flying ships and legendary spoons. We’ve both been really busy throughout the year so it’s slow going, but it’s great fun. She writes about a little girl who sees the pirate ship out her window and decides to build her own flying ship to follow them, and I write about the pirate captain and his cabin boy.

flying wooden spoon snipI must admit, there are moments where Captain Holm’s behavior is suspiciously Howl-Jenkins-like…

So in July I planned to do Camp NaNoWriMo…but I didn’t plan what project I was going to work on. At the end of June I was scrambling to decide, but I wasn’t feeling very inspired by any of my ideas. I wrote a few scenes for one story at the very beginning of July, but it really wasn’t working. So I stopped.

Halfway through July, Lo and Behold, I suddenly had a new idea for a story. So I decided, why not go for it? Since it was already halfway through July I cut my wordcount goal in half (25,000 words instead of 50,000), because I don’t hate myself that much.

And guess what?

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Ta-da.

It’s all brothers and angst and magical realism and painting and stamps. What’s great is that I saved the document as “Phoenix and Jackson” (the names of the two brothers) on my computer. So every time I hit save, a little message would come up in the corner saying, “Word is saving Phoenix and Jackson”. HAHAHA, no you aren’t Word. I’d like to see you try.

phoenix snip 2

Basically just Jackson trying to run away from all his problems…and all places and people in general. Yup. That’s my boy.

Other than that, I wrote several short stories, a bunch of poems, and a bunch of random scenes about rabbits and corn chips and secret agents.

Other Things

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Or should I say Stranger Things?

Or should I say Will’s Bad Day? My sister and I have decided that is the alternate title of the show.

So basically I started watching Stranger Things a few months ago. And I’ve watched all three seasons now. And I love it. ESPECIALLY THE BYERS. THE WHOLE BYERS FAMILY. I LOVE THEM ALL.

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That one episode where Joyce commits a triple murder because kids are picking on Will and it’s not ok

Also Eleven. And Hopper. And Dustin. And Max. AND I COULD GO ON, but I won’t because this post actually needs to end at some point.

How was your 2019? What books did you read? Did you discover any new favorites? Have you ever watched or read a Shakespeare play? What did you write this year? What are your favorite fictional families? Do tell! I’ll see you in the new year!

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15 responses to “2019 recap- books, Shakespeare, snippets, and other things…”

  1. Whoaa, the cover of The Goat is very interesting.
    Okay NF-my friends at church mentioned them, and I was like, wait a second I know NF! I haven’t listened to their whole album through, but dang, it sounds good.
    Also, scenes about corn chips? And secret agents? Any chance we’re going to be reading them anytime soon?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Goat cover is pretty great 🙂 NF’s music is pretty great, though it is pretty intense and it’s rap, so I know it’s not necessarily for everyone. But definitely check it out 🙂 I might share some snippets of random scenes at some point. Who knows? (Certainly not me anyway.)
      Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay. You’re like the second or third blogger whom I’ve heard mention Much Ado About Nothing in the past few weeks and I NEED TO READ IT AGAIN. Benedick and Beatrice are utterly unspeakably adorable. They totally made me melt, too, when I read them. And is that a WWI uniform Benedick is wearing in that production? Cuz in that case I melt even more.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy new year!! I loved hearing about all the books you loved (I STILL need to read TBWSH, like right now) and all the music and plays and everything AND YOUR WRITING, I loved it.
    Ahh, Stranger Things! I love it way too much. My friend and I were rewatching a season one episode today and we spent half the time saying “oh my GOSH they’re so CUTE and YOUNG” and it was a great time. Also, my house’s internet went out in the middle of an intense Upside Down scene and the TV turned on and off twice, which scared us both immensely but was funny after the fact. XD For a second I questioned just how fictional Stranger Things was…and then I came to my senses.
    I love that you guys have the alternate title as Will’s Bad Day! That’s so funny and accurate. Who’s your favorite character? Mine’s Mike, especially season 1 and 2 Mike.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES, you MUST read TBWSH!!
      My sisters and I are currently showing Stranger Things to our cousins, so there has been a lot of squawking about how young and adorable everyone is back in season 1 🙂 The TV turning off and on during intense Upside Down scenes is both terrifying and hilarious! Ahhhhh, I can’t pick just one favorite character! If I had to narrow it down I would probably say Joyce, Eleven, Hopper…and Will, Johnathan, Dustin, Max- also Steve is pretty great by season 3- oh and Robin- THERE ARE TOO MANY.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved the first two seasons of Stranger Things more than the latest. But I did binge S3 the first day it dropped. And I wish you get to have the loooong naps you are craving for soon. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree- the first two seasons were SO GOOD, and then season three was pretty hit-and-miss for me. I would LOVE to have some of those long naps soon, though it’s not looking super likely. But you never know! 🙂 Happy new year to you too!!

      Like

  5. *pops in several months late and a year after I was last seen* That writing is seriously awesome, Erik, and I want a dozen please and thanks.

    (also. I like your icon. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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