Happy New Year, friends! I hope your NYE celebration was everything you wanted, and a fitting end to the year. I’ve been talking a great deal about books recently, so this week I’ll write more generally about my favourite experiences of 2011. In reverse order, they are:
4. Kingston WritersFest. This was my first festival as an author, rather than as reader and fan, and it’s hard to imagine a better experience. It was so well organized (I had a handler! She had extra pens slung on her hip!) and attended (great questions from younger readers) that I will be spoiled forevermore.
3. The award. The Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s inaugural John Spray Mystery Award, of course, which I accepted at a swanky Toronto gala in October, with a baby in the crook of my arm. Goodness. The whole thing’s a bit like an opium dream, now.
2. Reading, reading, reading. I just don’t feel like me if I’m not reading. (That’s why I left academia: it sapped my desire to read for pleasure, and that made me intensely suspicious of myself.) Of course, I have reading slumps, and false starts, and phases when the longest thing I want to read is a New Yorker article. But I also have glorious sprints (and marathons) when I’m utterly consumed by a book, torn between the greed of reading it and the impulse to ration it out, so it lasts longer. I had so many of those amazing episodes this year, which is especially miraculous in a year I didn’t expect to read much (see item below). You can also click here for some bookish highlights from the blog.
1. Our daughter (of course). My entire year was built around her: expecting, planning, hoping, dreaming, followed by the bliss, exhaustion, jubilation, anxiety, and all-transforming magic that she brought. She also gave me a gift: a break from writing that, while wonderfully enjoyable in its own lazy way, only sharpened my desire to get back to it.
What were your favourite experiences or things of 2011? What are you looking forward to in 2012?
Elsewhere on the internet, I was on Salon last week, talking about YA book-to-film adaptations: the worst ever, in my opinion, plus one I’d love to see (hi, Erin!).
And my dizzyingly accomplished friend, Jill Murphy, has been ruminating on Rumination, recently (say that 10 times fast). I gave her my $.02, but you should read Jill’s blog for all the other insight and wit you’ll find there.