My mom met a Buddhist psychic who told her that my new house is occupied by the spirit of a previous owner. To deal with this, Mom asked me to keep a Buddha shrine in my home and offer it water and ask that the spirit be cool with us. I'm not a believer, but I am doing the offering and the chant because I find comfort in the ritual.
As we approach the year of the Horse, Mom read that I (being born in the year of the Horse) will have to deal with a house fire and a break in. To combat that, I had to light incense to the Buddha and then go vegetarian for three days. The vegetarian rule is fun, and I'm on the third day now.
Yesterday, I also decided to do a juice fast, which was something I had never tried before. I'm not sure that it should be called a fast, because I didn't exactly feel like I was fasting at any point in the day. The juices got boring by about noon, and though I wasn't hungry, I found myself craving cornbread by 7 pm, which I didn't give in to.
Books I've read this year are listed below. I kept the list because of Scott G. F. Bailey. I was surprisingly varied in my choices this year, mostly because I read a lot more than I usually do. The Last Samurai still stands out for me because it was clever and emotional.
Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Story of the Night by Colm Tóibín
The Last Samurai by Helen De Witt
The Laws of Evening by Mary Yukari Waters
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Astrologer by Scott G. F. Bailey
Betrayal by Harold Pinter
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Light Years by James Salter
Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
Go Home, Miss America by Scott G. F. Bailey
The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto
White Noise by Don Delillo
Painted Hands by Jennifer Zobair
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
The Interesting by Meg Wolitzer
The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
2013 was not a productive writing year for me. I think balancing writing and reading was a challenge, especially given that my last job got really stressful near the end, and then I changed jobs, and then I was shopping for a new house. I was also so motivated to read more than ten books this year that whenever I had spare time I picked up a book rather than working on my own.
This year, I want to dedicate half the year to reading and half the year to writing. I haven't decided how I'll break that down yet, but so far I've been mostly writing for the last couple of weeks. I'm working on two books:
Sister Soul - a fun book I'm writing for my Sister-in-law and her sister
The Pagani Project - With this book, I've been experimenting with different points of view and different structures, but I think I'm going to stick more closely to my initial vision and just work on making that vision work.
What's Peanut eating? Pumpkin treats. He got a lot of loot for Christmas!
(Note: I edited this post slightly to include my list of books eaten in the actual post.)