Happy New Year!

Sydney fireworks with Opera House and Harbour Bridge

Hey, remember me? Your friendly neighborhood blogger who pretty much fell off the face of the earth in 2017? Well, fear not, I was actually just sitting in my car for most of the year. I had kids spread across 4 different schools in 4 different towns and between the driving and the admin (OMG, the admin!), I wound up with zero time to do anything else. (Seriously, do not ever do this. I have no idea how any of us survived!)

Mother driving lots of kids around

Actually, it’s not entirely true I did nothing but drive and precision-plan logistics on a military scale. I did chicken scratch my way through lots of poems. You know the type – lines jotted on the back of receipts at the grocery store, stanzas scribbled on medical brochures. I even won the Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Award, which was fun, as my work doesn’t usually dovetail so neatly into activism. I also did some blogging about things that got under my skin, and had a good handful of pieces accepted for publication in various Stateside journals.

Additionally, we moved house, my husband changed jobs, and I had a good ride on the rollercoaster that is autoimmune disease. At the moment, I’m in a Graves flare, which makes me feel like I’m in a video game climbing towers and leaping over ravines whilst being chased by flame-throwing zombies. On the plus side, since I no longer sleep, I now have plenty of time to read.

Woman scaling building

Here are 5 books I’ve gotten through since Christmas (in a Celtic Cross spread because I’ve been reading Tarot cards again, too). I enjoyed them all in different ways, with Counting by 7s being my favorite. After reading each, I then spent some time perusing reviews on Goodreads, which is something I’d recommend to other writers as I learned a lot about how different readers respond to voice and story. I also came to appreciate just how much personal bias affects the way readers perceive something eg. most of the criticism levelled against The Thing About Jellyfish was sadly because a secondary character happened to be gay, rather than because people disliked the book itself.

Books - Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin, The Things I Didn't Say by Kylie Fornasier, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler and Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

 

The Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti with Barbara Moore

So what does 2018 look like at WordMothers? Well, I have some new resources pages coming. The existing ones get a lot of use from visitors and I thought it would be helpful to add some more. I’m planning to write up some tips gleaned from the 300+ interviews I did (here’s a teaser: yes, you really, really must have an author page on Facebook!) and I’m also toying with the idea of doing some reviews.

Please let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see on this blog, and best wishes to you for peace and productivity in the year to come! (And presents! Why call it quits just because Christmas has come and gone and the tree died in a heat wave weeks before, amiright?)

Christmas tree with presents beneath

Cheers,

Nicole