I felt like updating this blog today. I don’t have much specifically to say. I’ve had some requests from folks to update and put up some fresh writing. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of that for you. I haven’t had much time to write, which I will tell you all about. Thankfully, I’ve been getting a steady stream of visitors to the blog even with my absence, but honestly, it has much more to do with the Taylor Mali poem I posted back in April than my fans demanding updates.
On the writing front, I’ve started a writer’s collective here in Ottawa. As of this writing, it has 113 members and it’s eating all my time. I created the group during a “lonely writer moment” and it exploded. I thought there may be 20 people with only a fraction of active members. Instead, I have over 100 and the participation and enthusiasm of this group has floored me. It’s a great problem to have so, it’s hard to complain about it. Unfortunately, between this and working full time, I’ve had very little time to actually do my own writing. This is where my time has primarily been but, as we pass the three month mark, I’m getting a lot more people from the membership to volunteer to help me. This has been a tremendous help and I only expect it to get better. I keep waiting for this thing to lose its steam, but it’s going strong so far. I’ve met some great people through this (the ultimate goal) and everyone is being so, so kind. It’s a little overwhelming but in the best possible way.
Otherwise, my life has not changed significantly. My work is all consuming as ever. I already feel like Christmas is over, but I’m looking forward to the five days I’ll be off over the holidays. I really need the rest. I’ve officially enrolled in my first Masters course at Griffith University. I’ll be completing my Masters of Aviation Management online for the next two years (at least). (If you’re feeling your stress levels increase just reading this, imagine how I feel!)
I hope to maybe start doing writing prompts or something similar here again soon, if only to get my pen to paper again. If always had great response and support from this blog, far more than I ever expected, and I want to keep up my end of the bargain better than I have been.
No promises, though.
Every year I keep a list of all the books I finished. In 2012, I finished 17 books. They are in more or less the order that I read them in. And here they are:
- Swing Low: A Life by Miriam Toews
- The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie
- Bossypants by Tina Fey
- Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
- Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
- Free Stallion by Amber Tamblyn (twice!)
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- Homecoming by Bernhard Schlink
- The Last Time As We Are by Taylor Mali
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
- Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns by Andrea Gibson
- The Madness Vase by Andrea Gibson
- Every Day by David Leviathan
A few were rereads, like Wuthering Heights, and there was some poetry in there. I think my favourite reads in 2012 was the Hunger Games trilogy, and The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie. Andrea Gibson was my favourite discovery.
What were your favourite reads in 2012? Who did you discover in 2012 that blew you away? Any suggestions for my 2013 reading list?
Get ready. I’m going personal for a second. I had this as private for months, but I want to share it now.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. For a long time, this dream was dashed because of two people. One is my first psychiatrist. He told me I’d never make anything out of myself and at first I believed him. He stopped me briefly, but only briefly.
The person who was first to really shatter me was my teacher in grade 7/8. I would have been 12 or 13. Grade school was not good to me. I had no friends, I was tormented by the kids because I was hovering close to 6 foot by then, and I held a lot of “Catholic guilt” being at a religious school. The worst part was that the adults were equally cruel to me. I don’t know what I ever did to any of them, and it’s stupid that the question still comes to my mind. I was a child, they were adults, nothing I could have done would have made me deserve any of it. It happened anyway.
I’m not going into the specifics about how each adult wronged me, how the priest made me hate religion, or how no one was ever reproached for the well known poor treatment. No. I’m just going to talk about Mr. D, and how for years afterwards, I never wrote a word.
It was a tiny thing, but I was already so fragile. I was staying inside for recess because I had no friends outside. This was a huge thing and I don’t remember how I managed to stay inside. Nearly every day, I was forced outside to the reminders of how worthless I was there. I was writing a story (one I remember as, but probably wasn’t, really great). It was very LOTR-esque, and I remember it had “chaos” in the title. I can’t stress enough how excited I was about this. I gave it to Mr. D to read, tell me what he thought. (I guess it’s important to mention here that despite everything, I was a really big fan of Mr. D.)
He handed it back to me after merely glancing at the first page, said to me, “the title is spelled wrong”, and refused to read it further. It was such a tiny thing but I remember being utterly crushed.
I didn’t write again until high school, when it was like I couldn’t hold it in anymore, and never showed a soul. At one point, I let my friend Allison read something. She loved it so much I continued.
I needed a lifeline more than anything at that grade school. It was a miracle I made it out alive, though more broken than when I went in. I don’t have one good memory there. I wish it would get torn down. I’m sure Mr. D is still there, or somewhere, tearing up dreams without even realising it.
I would go to my old hometown just to watch the place crumble. I’d gleefully spit on its ashes, dance in the rubble. I’ve never hated a place before, or even a person for that matter, but I will happily hate that place for the rest of my life.