December is a good time to think about things I want to do, even at times when I’m not actually doing them. Like, right now, it’s 10 ’til 6, and already very dark outside, and pretty chilly. I’m wrapped up on the couch watching an American Experience documentary about John Lennon’s post-Beatles career. I’d like to be more involved in watching this, but it’s all very earnest and I know things aren’t going to go well. I may have to give up and put on the last disc I haven’t watched from the Darkness on the Town box set so I can dance some more.

Meanwhile, noting some things I could try to accomplish: The Do Some Damage Blog has a
Flash Fiction Challenge to write a 600-1000 word hard-boiled or noir story on the theme of Christmas, which is the sort of idea that’s hard to resist. I’ve never even attempted to write hardboiled or noir but now it’s tempting!

I also found the 2011 Shakespeare Reading Challenge which I really ought to try. My original thought was to do the “6 plays (which can include 2 performances” level, but someone pointed out that 12 plays is just one a month (and 3 can be replaced by performances). I’ve got no doubt I’ll take in 3 Shakespeare performances next year (way more if films count) but it’s relatively seldom that I actually sit down and read the stuff. I have read most of it (by no means all) at some point in my life, but college was fifteen years ago. Now in theory I think that watching a production is as good as (often better than) reading what’s on the page. Pretty much any production cuts something, though, and most cut a lot, so it’s helpful, in understanding a production’s choices, to realize what was there to choose from. Also, you know, I’m an enormous nerd.

And now I’m at the part of the documentary when they’re talking about getting into the studio with Phil Spector and recording a record, instead of Jon and Yoko mailing out acorns to try to create world peace, and I’m suddenly intrigued. It’s the process geek in me that enjoys that kind of thing, even when (never having been in a music studio myself) I don’t understand exactly what they’re talking about. [ETA: okay, that quickly turned into a discussion of how drunk John was at various times, but that’s the other part of music documentaries I like, because. . .well, I really can’t justify this.]

So I’m turning back to Lennon & Co. in a minute but meanwhile, tell me. What are some of your ambitions at the moment?