Jan. 2nd, 2014

Hello 2014!

Jan. 2nd, 2014 11:22 am
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I'm pretty happy with 2014 so far. Admittedly I had to work both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, but we closed early on NYE so I still got an evening of champagne, board games and really great friends (my favourite kind of New Year's Eve). And then the next day I got to serve CHINA MIEVILLE in the shop and then spend the rest of the day chatting with my colleagues and doing some research for my sections, so that wasn't so bad (no deliveries and not many customers = we mostly stand about having interesting conversations about books and swapping bizarre bookselling anecdotes). And today I have the day off, and am mostly sleeping late and wandering around in my dressing gown and catching up on various bits of correspondence. Later there will be a book and a cup of yuzu tea. Now, there will be a couple of paragraphs of pontification about 2013.

2013 was the year I applied for (and got!) my first Canada visa, finally got the piercings in my right ear I've been vaguely thinking about for years, attended the London Book Fair as a translator rather than an exhibitor, started a translation blog, went to a translation masterclass, got a permanent job in a bookshop (and learned what it is like to genuinely look forward to going to work every day), wrote my dissertation, attended the translation summer school for the second time and enjoyed it even more than the first, got paid for freelance work (several times, in fact!), wrote some reader's reports (but did not get paid for them), finished my MA, entered the Kurodahan translation contest for the first time, passed my driving theory test, and applied for my second Canada visa.

I finished my second year of Korean study and started my third. I translated work by Ekuni Kaori and Kakutani Mitsuyo (among others), and I tried some Yoshimoto Banana for a friend but in the end I didn't really have time to do it justice and also it was really hard. I tried to take myself seriously as a translator, but it was difficult because despite everything I've written above I didn't do as much translation work as I wanted to this year, and I still feel a bit lost in the industry as a whole. I didn't really have a holiday, at home or abroad (in fact, for the first time since I was about seventeen, I didn't leave the UK for the whole year), but I planned a really spectacular one for next year. I missed out on quite a bit of social stuff due to work, but I also spent lots of time with friends, including reconnecting with some I hadn't seen since my wedding. I learned that there will never be enough time to read all the things I want/need to read (translated literature to broaden my horizons, untranslated Japanese literature to improve my Japanese and make me a better translator, Canadian literature to give me a chance of working with books in Canada, all the new SFF to make me a better bookseller and also for fun, etc etc...). I managed to achieve most of my 2013 goals, and although this little summary seems somewhat lacking in fun stuff, I distinctly remember having a lot of that as well. It was a good, hard-working, self-development year, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to spend it studying things I really love, and thinking about the things that really matter to me, life-wise and career-wise and all the rest of it. I think I know where I'm going now - I'm still not so sure I know how to get there, but it's good to have an end in mind, at least.

Big goals for 2014: There's really only one, and it is so big it kind-of blots out everything else I might be thinking about doing. Finally, finally, this is the year we move abroad.


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