Tuesday, December 31, 2013

the annual year-end post

And then I wrote ...

36 published concert reviews - by far my most ever - for my two professional outlets, plus one CD review and 5 preview articles. One book review and one drama review for Mythprint.

One big research article, still in press, on Tolkien and his contemporaries, for A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien forthcoming from Wiley Blackwell. Completed from beginning to end in a month; I'm not sure how I did that. I've seen the copy-edited version, and they haven't screwed it up.

And what occupied the rest of the time not blogging: co-editing Tolkien Studies, volume 10, and compiling its bibliography.

Looking over the blog, I see lots of book and movie reviews as well as additional concert reviews, several obituaries, and my biggest blog project of the year, five installments of "The Greatest 20th Century Symphonists You've Never Heard Of" (index on the last post). I have at least two more of these in mind, but first I need time to re-listen closely to do them justice.

And then I went ...

Here's the annual list of cities I stayed overnight in when not at home:

Bedford Park, IL
Valparaiso, IN
Glendora, CA
Solvang, CA
Napa, CA
Williams, CA
Portland, OR
Trout Lake, WA
Madras, OR
La Pine, OR
Yreka, CA
Ann Arbor, MI
East Lansing, MI
South Bend, IN
Seaside, CA

(One state visited without staying in it: Ohio, where during one busy afternoon in Toledo I researched my most popular post of the year.)

These trips included my first-ever overnight stay for a pair of concert reviews, as well as two public Tolkien/Inklings conferences, both conferences in the same part of the Midwest, as a result of which I was able to visit South Bend twice in the same year, six months apart, once with snow on it and once without. Since I don't live in snow country, this is the first time in many years I've had that contrast in close proximity.

Apart from those conferences, however, this is probably the first year since I started attending science-fiction conventions 37 years ago that I did not go to a single one, either at home or away, and since I'm not likely to travel out of town to any again in the future, that leaves me more space to fill with Tolkien conferences.

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