Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I'm Baaack

Hey hello hi! Rumours of this blog's obsolescence may have been slightly exaggerated.

My apologies for how long it's been since my last post. You see, there was a rather large project on my hands last year: my wedding! Unfortunately, this blog got put aside as I got swept up in the wonderful fun (and stress!) of planning. My husband and I, being the bookworms that we are, were so happy to be able to host our nuptials at our city's new, state-of-the-art library:

from ArchiPaper
We said our vows up in the top floor. The sunset streamed in through those massive windows, the city busy below us. Our friends were kind enough to read selections from Rumi and Jane Hirshfeld's poetry during the ceremony. Afterward, we drank craft beer on the patio and our laughter carried into the night.

So, what else happened in 2016? Well, I didn't reach my goal of reading 52 books. I came aggravatingly close, though: 49 of 52! The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison tied with Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem for my favorite read of 2015. It would be nigh impossible for me to choose which I enjoyed more, but it's worth noting that Jamison's powerfully raw piece, "Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain", remains one of my favorite essays ever written.

There were other lovely reading experiences, too: I finally picked up those newfangled "Harry Potter" books. You may not have heard of the series, it's pretty obscure. I loved them as an entire story of magical bildungsroman; my enjoyment of the individual books tended to vary. They're most enjoyable as one large fantastical assemblage, anyway.

Honorable mentions: The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht, Dead Spots by Rhiannon Frater, and Arachnophile by Betty Rocksteady.

Let's see, what else? Oh yeah, I did NaNoWriMo for the first time, and got to about 20,000 words on my YA novel about 90s punk witches in rural Canada. It's the longest anything I've managed to write (especially considering my start in poetry). I published a few short stories here and there.

In doing research for the novel, I eventually wound up discovering witchcraft. I've been a practicing pagan ever since! Luckily, a pretty big part of the practice is reading, reading, reading.

It was a busy, joyful, scattered year, full of good things and good reads.

2016? It's been pretty good so far. I discovered that I adore doing yoga. I've been doing witchy things, writing things, reading things. Since I've been writing mainly in the horror genre, I have very much amped up my horror reading. I'm at 37 of my goal of 100 books this year. Pretty ambitious, since I didn't make last year's 52, but I say go big or go home! Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Etc!

2016 selections run kind of ridiculous to sublime: indie publishers, commercial horror fiction, experimental horror fiction, woo-woo self-help stuff, some truly fantastic YA, some fair to middling nonfiction. Here's a peek:

Please stay tuned - I can't wait to share more with you!