December 31, 2013

2013: Year in Review

It has been a crazy year. And so much has happened, I feel like I’ve blogged about 50% of it. Maybe 2014 will be quieter and I'll spend the next 12 months just catching up.
Some of the big things:

I changed jobs (back to my old job, but still)
My book came out
We renovated our new apartment (note: this was happening concurrently with both of the above)
We had a major fire in our old apartment, where we were still living
We moved in (temporarily) with my in-laws
We moved into our new home
I travelled all over for writers festivals and other book-related events: Montreal, Ottawa, Eden Mills, Toronto, Winnipeg, Kingston, Victoria, and Vancouver
I won a prize! 

I blogged more than I ever have, and I read more, too. There were a lot of other things I wish I'd accomplished (more writing, for one), but as I keep reminding myself, this was an unusually busy year. I can't be too upset that I haven't finished unpacking all of my boxes or hanging all my pictures. I had a lot of commitments, as well as all the necessary preparation and pre-event anxiety that inevitably accompanies them. 

2013 book-related stuff by the numbers, as far as I can remember:

2 CEGEP talks
2 library talks 
2 book launches (MTL and TO) 
1 public lecture 
9 writers festival events
2 other miscellaneous public readings 
2 book club visits 
1 awards ceremony
1 gala
2 TV appearances
3 radio spots
10 (?) interviews
3 cover photos 
6 photo shoots 
1 nearly nude fundraising calendar

When I remember that all of this was alongside working full-time and moving (twice! kind of), I'm inclined to go a little easier on myself. I really am so lucky to have had all of these opportunities to  promote Bone and Bread, and I hope that I haven't let the book down in this regard. There are writers who are so much better at talking about their books, and just better at talking, period, that it's hard not to feel like one is constantly letting down one's novel. I hope that this is something one can get better at over time.

2013 really has been a year of highs and lows (though mostly highs). Notable best moments were the winning the QWF Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, the Arcade Fire show at Salsatheque on 9/9/9 (!!!!! times a billion), the Ottawa Writers Festival, and my trip out west to Victoria and Vancouver (if ten days can be lumped into 'moments'). 

Worst moments include the fire, losing my grandmother, and some other passing moments of doubt and insecurity that aren't worth dwelling on.  

Actually, the fire was a kind of mixed lowlight and highlight in that I've never felt more overwhelmed by kindness than I was through the generous messages and offers of help we received in its aftermath. It's probably counterintuitive for a disaster to make one feel safer, but it really kind of did. And it made me feel so grateful for what we have and for the amazing people that we know.  

I haven't made my resolutions for 2014 yet, but among them I'm definitely going to include some non-book-related travel and a lot of writing. I also need to listen to more new music and go to more shows, so any suggestions on these fronts are very welcome...

Happy New Year, everyone!

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