Plans for a Victorian in the New Year

 

So, it’s the new year.  A new decade, okay not technically a new decade, but it still begs the question:  what is a half-luddite, Victorian-obsessed gal doing in the year 2010?   Since I have lots of other things to do today, I won’t even attempt to try to answer that.

Regarding the new year, I’ve never been one for resolutions.   Kelly over at Mysterious Musings recently wrote about concentrating on progress rather than goals.   That is something I strongly agree with, as too many people who make firm goals tend to criticize themselves too harshly at the end of the year if they weren’t able to achieve said goal, rather than looking at how far they may have come.  This does not mean that I think having goals is a bad thing.  Certainly not.   Just don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t accomplish the goal in its entirety.   If you strove and made progress, that counts for a lot.

 So I’ve simply been musing on things I want to work on.  It comes down to continuing growing as a writer, and improving my German.

So, the plan is:

1. continue  daily writing on my WIP

2. Along with my normal studies, read twelve novels in German to increase my reading comprehension.  I’ll be making a page highlighting which books I’m reading in that language.   Surely of little interest to anyone else, but it will be there if you do happen to be curious, or well, just bored or procrastinating.

There it is.  Nothing fancy.  Really nothing I’m not already doing.  (except increasing the quantity of my German reading).   But it’s all about continued progress, learning, and growth.

And, lest I  forget:

3. Find Sput a hobby so she gets over this rather peculiar obsession with regaling me non-stop about the wonders of her city.  (not that it bothers me, I just worry about the poor dear)

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Published in: on January 4, 2010 at 8:23 pm  Comments (19)  
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  1. Goals, resolutions, progress: aim for those things that push you farther and build up your life.

  2. Indeed, Ralfast!

    Much luck to you on making progress and reaching your goals. 🙂

  3. I gave up on making resolutions, I generally forget them within half an hour 😉

    That’s a great idea for improving your German. My German skills were never good to begin with, I’d have to start over with children’s books! But I’ll be interested to see what you’re reading.

  4. Hey DD,

    How long did you study German? It is hard, no doubt!

    There’s a hiliarous article by Mark Twain called, “That Horrible German Lanuage”. Well, hilarous to anyone who has studied it, and can nod in sympathy: http://www.kombu.de/twain-2.htm

    Here’s a bit from it. “Personal pronouns and adjectives are a fruitful nuisance in this language, and should have been left out. For instance, the same sound, sie, means you, and it means she, and it means her, and it means it, and it means they, and it means them. Think of the ragged poverty of a language which has to make one word do the work of six — and a poor little weak thing of only three letters at that. But mainly, think of the exasperation of never knowing which of these meanings the speaker is trying to convey. This explains why, whenever a person says sie to me, I generally try to kill him, if a stranger.”

    and: “Now observe the Adjective. Here was a case where simplicity would have been an advantage; therefore, for no other reason, the inventor of this language complicated it all he could. When we wish to speak of our “good friend or friends,” in our enlightened tongue, we stick to the one form and have no trouble or hard feeling about it; but with the German tongue it is different. When a German gets his hands on an adjective, he declines it, and keeps on declining it until the common sense is all declined out of it. It is as bad as Latin. He says, for instance:

    SINGULAR
    Nominative — Mein guter Freund, my good friend.
    Genitives — Meines guten Freundes, of my good friend.
    Dative — Meinem guten Freund, to my good friend.
    Accusative — Meinen guten Freund, my good friend.
    PLURAL
    N. — Meine guten Freunde, my good friends.
    G. — Meiner guten Freunde, of my good friends.
    D. — Meinen guten Freunden, to my good friends.
    A. — Meine guten Freunde, my good friends.
    Now let the candidate for the asylum try to memorize those variations, and see how soon he will be elected. One might better go without friends in Germany than take all this trouble about them. I have shown what a bother it is to decline a good (male) friend; well this is only a third of the work, for there is a variety of new distortions of the adjective to be learned when the object is feminine, and still another when the object is neuter. Now there are more adjectives in this language than there are black cats in Switzerland, and they must all be as elaborately declined as the examples above suggested. Difficult? — troublesome? — these words cannot describe it. I heard a Californian student in Heidelberg say, in one of his calmest moods, that he would rather decline two drinks than one German adjective.”

  5. Oh my gawd, Twain is hysterical! 😀

    I took it for four years in high school, so you can imagine my grasp of it was never that great to begin with. MaryJ and I took it together, we have the same traumatic memories of our German teacher! LOL Actually it’s surprising how much of it I do still remember, even after all these years and not using it. I still try to practice a little here and there, one of my co-workers is pretty good so we trade a few pharses now and then.

  6. *phrases

  7. DD,

    Isn’t he? 🙂 Not sure if you had the chance yet to read the entire article, but if not, wait till you see what he had to say about GENDER. A turnip is a she, a young girl is an it. I was rolling.

    That’s great that you still practice, even if it’s just a little. I believe you mentioned before being an enthusiast for languages. Do you have a particular favorite?

  8. Ok what are you doing up at this hour?? 😉

    I haven’t had a chance yet to read the full article, but I will.

    Hmm, favorite language… well, I’m working more on my Norwegian these days, as I’m planning to go over next summer for my birthday and visit my relatives on my mom’s side. I took Norwegian at Portland State U. It’s a piece of cake after German! LOL Italian was fun, I took that my last two years of hs while taking 3rd & 4th years of German. It’s a beautiful language, and easy to learn. I wish I’d taken 4 years of Italian as well. I’ve studied a little French, and a teensy bit of Czech (for my story, as my MC Andrej is Czech), and even taken an interest in Finnish! Wow is that different, but it’s a fun challenge. But I guess I would say Norwegian is my fav, I know it better than any of the others.

  9. Heya DD,

    Heh. Got up at 4:30 am. Are you six hours behind me? I do keep weird hours. Love early mornings and the night. Afternoons are for catnaps!

    I don’t know much about Norwegian, but have heard that Finnish is a really beautiful language. And I also hear that they have a very good hard rock/metal scene.

    I can imagine that Norwegian is easy after German! After I conquer (or somewhat conquer German) I do want to study a second foreign language. I figure after German, the easier languages (though that can be subjective) will be even easier; and the harder languages won’t be *as* intimidating, since at least I’ll be used to working with cases and such.

    Quite cool that you studied so many different languages while in school.

  10. Egad. Love the Twain quotes. And I need to dig up some Georgian madness to share, speaking of impossible declensions. 🙂

    Now, about Goal 3: Just remember your words of wisdom. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t succeed. ;-P

    Anyway, I can sense your urge to grab a plane ticket and fly away to the magical city that is New York. PLEASE try to be more circumspect in your mad dash; I will need at least enough time to buy some good cheesecake for your visit. 🙂

    Seriously, cool goals. Good luck, lady! 🙂

  11. By the by, James Joyce studied Norwegian solely to read Henrik Ibsen. Which of course is why I first read Ibsen. 🙂

  12. Heya Sput,

    I was wondering when you’d show up. 😉

    Glad you liked the quotes. Now I’m curious about this Georgian declension madness. I just ran over to Wiki and evidently Georgian has seven noun cases? (gulp)

    Regarding goal number three, I must concede to possessing no optimism at all. In fact, I think your comment proves that for me. 😉

    But when I do get to That City, I shall look forward to some proper cheesecake. As I shall kindly bring some of our superior schokolade.

  13. p.s.

    Very interesting about Joyce. Never knew that.

  14. I’m nine hours behind you, actually.

    And Finnish has 14, count ’em, 14 cases. Makes my head spin just to think about it! But it sounds so cool to hear it spoken.

    I’d never heard that about Joyce either. Good man 😉

  15. DD,

    FOURTEEN????? (faints)

    Err, uh…have fun learning them.

  16. Yep, Joyce was a character. I guess I know who I’m blogging about next. 🙂

    Ah, and if you think Georgian NOUNS are crazy, wait till you hear what they do to their VERBS.

    Good thing I have some prosecco saved from the last party; just remembering Georgian verbs makes me want a glass! 🙂

    Then again, I admire anyone who sprechens the Deutch–any language that requires the speaker to take a breath in the middle of the word is an admirable language for a non-native to acquire.

    If one can be said to acquire a language ever. 🙂 Maybe Rilke… 😉

  17. DD–14 cases, um, *shivers* 🙂

  18. Ok, just to further blow your minds, I just found out Hungarian has TWENTY-TWO cases! And no, I’m not planning to study Hungarian. 😀

  19. Twenty-two? Good grief. The person who invented that language had way too much time on their hands. (that, and they were also diabolical)


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