Fat Books & Thin Women

September! Autumn! Blog Stuff!
September 1, 2011, 11:33 am
Filed under: Blog Stuff

September 1: it’s the first day of school in Macedonia, the market is about to be taken over by red peppers, and people are going to be preparing for winter soon, making ajvar (a roasted red pepper spread – abundant in Macedonia, available in some speciality stores in the States and worth the $5 you’d spend on a jar) and yufki (noodles similar to pasta) and pickling vegetables.

I only have about nine weeks left in Macedonia, so this fall is going to be a strange one for me. Instead of heading in to school today (it’s registration day) I’m starting to go through my drawers to find and organize all the games and supplies I’ve made for classes over the past two years. I’m picking out the clothes I want to take with me to Albania and the ones that I want to give to my family or other volunteers, trying to drink all the tea I’ve accumulated since I moved into my house, and am returning books to the Peace Corps library rather than checking them out.

This month also marks the one-year anniversary of this blog, which I started on September 4th because none of my friends wanted to hear me talk about all the weird edits to Judy Blume’s Fudge books, and I was desperate to think about books again and reverse the disintegration of my English. In the great tradition of blog birthdays, blogoversaries, whatever you want to call it, there’ll be something special here. To avoid sullying Sunday’s short story with a post not about a short story, we’ll do the birthday stuff on Monday. Check back on September 5th to see what’s what.

On Wednesdays I’ll start running a new feature, similar to the Sunday Stories, focused on longreads. For a while I’ve wanted to write more about non-fiction on this blog, but I often don’t review the non-fiction I read because those “reviews” tend to be more summation of the facts than actual review. Starting on September 7th I’ll start digging through the absurd number of articles and essays I read to (I hope) provide you with some good reading material for your lunch break. (Because we all know that you’re not surfing the internet during work, right?)

Oh, and it’s autumn – and I love autumn, the relief from sweltering heat and no air conditioning (or even a fan – what can I say, I’m cheap) – and everyone’s been talking about this reading challenge, R.I.P. VI, which runs from September 1st through October 31st. I’m not much of a challenge person but I’ve been won over by the crazy enthusiastic posts people are writing about this one. I’ll be reading House of Leaves and some other novels to be determined later on. We’ll also see about focusing the short story posts on horror, so if you have any recommendations let me know.

And, finally, to preserve last month’s 30 Day Book Meme I’ve added a link in the sidebar to a page with all the meme topics and my responses. I’ve enjoyed seeing other people pick up this meme (which I stole from Gillian) so let me know if you decide to do this on your blog.

Somewhere in all this I’ll fit in the regular reviews, one or two a week as always. Right now, time to get back to organizing/discarding the two years of my life I’ve jammed into every available drawer and cupboard, never thinking there’d be a day when I’d actually be preparing to leave Macedonia.

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Happy Blogiversary!

I hope you have fun with the R.I.P. challenge!

Comment by Kailana

Good luck with your packing, Ellen. Also, happy one year blogiversary! I am excited to see you are participating in the RIP challenge. It’s a great one :)

Comment by Brenna

Happy Blogiversary. I’m so glad you’re joining the R.I.P. challenge. I can’t wait to see your picks. :)

Comment by yourmovedarlyn

Happy blogiversary … yours is a lovely addition to the litblogosphere so thanks for being here. And, I love your idea of reviewing essays and other non-fiction. I’ve reviewed a few essays in my blog and enjoy doing it though as you say they offer different sort of challenge in reviewing don’t they?

Comment by whisperinggums

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