Friday, 31 December 2010

A Review of 2010

Ethel Louise Mabry
The end of another year is upon us and I am reminded of my grandmother’s claims that time speeds up as one gets older. As a kid, in Idaho, I was dumbfounded by this idea. Science was never my strongpoint, but I knew, somehow, as the interminable years of my childhood wore on that such a statement must go against some law of physics. ‘Don’t go wishing your life away,’ she’d tell me as I itched to break free of high school classrooms, anxious to join the world outside my small town. Even in grade school, at the age of nine or ten, I kept track of the school days, crossing them off one by one, willing each of them into the past so that I could be released into the freedom of summer. I was in a hurry to be somewhere else, do something new, start living my life. Anxious for time to pass.

Grandma was right, of course. She always was. Time does speed up as a person gets older. It’s a fact. Physics be damned!

And though I always find myself feeling sombre at the crest of a new year, I have no time for regrets (yes! I’m still in a rush): I must get back to my dissertation. In order to assuage my feelings of time wasted and time lost, and to assure myself that I’m moving forward and not back, I’ve compiled a list of the work I’ve done in the past year. I wish it was more.

Progress on Dissertation
· Completed outline of novel
· Written another 30,000 words of first draft of novel
· Completed 10,000 words of critical work

Conferences, Presentations and Events Attended
· Publishing Panel, UoC, 29 April 2010
· Research in Progress Conference, UoC, 15 May 2010
· Anxieties of Identity Conference, University of Portsmouth, 21 May 2010
· Small Wonder Short Story Festival, September 2010

Papers and Presentations
· ‘Voices of the American West: striving for authenticity’, Research in Progress, 15 May 2010
· ‘Indianness and Identity in the Novels and Short Stories of Sherman Alexie’, Anxieties of Identity, 21 May 2010

· ‘Bastard’, in In Our Own Words, MW Enterprises, April 2010
· Review of Freedom and Madman of Freedom Square, London Magazine, April/May 2010
· Review of Sherman Alexie’s Ten Little Indians, The Short Review, November 2009
· Review of Sherman Alexie’s War Dances, Western American Literature, Spring 2010
· Review of Belle Boggs’s Mattaponi Queen, Short Fiction in Theory and Practice, (pending January 2011)
· Review of Linwood Laughy’s Fifth Generation, Western American Literature, (pending Spring 2011)
· ‘Cowboys and Clowns’, Award Winning Tales, BL Coffield ed., (pending Spring 2011)

Shortlists and Awards
· ‘Gathering Fragments of Light’, Honorable Mention in the Carpe Articulum Novella Contest, April 2010

Miscellaneous Other
· worked as Additional Support Tutor at Portsmouth College, Jan – June
· three weeks cycling in France, July
· provided mentoring and student support at University of Portsmouth, Oct – Dec
· ongoing development and administration of the THRESHOLDS short story forum

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