Tuesday, 27 December 2016

2016 in a non-nutshell nutshell

Ahh here we are at the end of a year.

Another one.

This year has been incredibly challenging on a personal level (as it has been for many) but here's the thing about challenge - you grow. I am hyper reflective, typically with the need to improve the way that I approach things. This list is my effort to channel that need to reflect in a positive manner. It might have been a challenge but projects were secured, friendships made and sights seen.

What happened in 2016?
  • Launched a new project in the Unladylike Podcast with good friend, Kelly Gardiner. Throughout the past six months we've unleashed twelve conversations between writers who happen to be women. I have read fantastic writing, conversed with gifted wordsmiths and heard from listeners. It has been amazing.
  • My wisdom teeth were removed. This sounds small. They weren't.
  • I chaired my first session at Sydney Writers Festival which was enormously fun as I shared the stage with a former Inky Awards teen judge. I also interviewed Rainbow Rowell, Amie Kaufman, David Levithan and Meg Rosoff on stage at my sixth Melbourne Writers Festival.
  • Persnickety Snark, my former blog, crawled past the one million visitor mark. Mind blown!
  • In 2015 I found out I was the fortunate recipient of a Melbourne City of Literature travel grant. In April I travelled to the US to see public programming for YA readers in action at the Romantic Times Convention (hear more: podcast), Texas Library Conference and YALLWest. 
  • I was reunited with Libba Bray which resulted in this rad photo (below). She's cooler than I could ever imagine myself being.
  • I got much better at the aunt-from-a-distance thing. However this didn't result in a reduction of picture books purchased.
  • I visited NASA.
  • I spoke at the International Board for Books for Young People (IBBY) Congress in Auckland on the topic of teen readers online. It went pretty well and I have been invited to speak at the School Library Association of NZ conference next year (woot).
  • I am pretty sure I've nearly worked out Snapchat.
  • I got to guest on Radio National with one of the Inky Awards teen judges. Ben was incredibly impressive and we had a blast talking about the Awards and why teen perspective in reading choices is so important.
  • I went to Fiji for a week and fell in love with a hammock.
  • I am nearly at the six year mark at the Centre for Youth Literature and I have been working on heaps. Between Reading Matters 2017 (Australia's largest YA conference and program), 10th anniversary of the Inky Awards and the redevelopment of our teen reading website Inside a Dog, we're undertaking a lot. But it's all awesome :)
  • We found out we received an impressive grant to help outer-metro teens connect with creativity over the next two years. 
  • I just found out I was successful in getting into the 2017 Shared Leadership Program via the Public Libraries Victoria Network which is an incredible opportunity.
  • I crossed a visit to Alcatraz off my bucket list.
  • I was lucky enough to fly home on multiple occasions to see my family but more importantly to celebrate the important milestones my niece's 1st and my mum's 60th birthdays. Adelaide has never seen so much of me.
  • I have met inspiring people - from Rose Brock in Texas (and then Auckland), Stephanie in Portland, Claire in Las Vegas, Rob in Auckland and Kimbra in Sydney (via Shanghai).
  • I was able to advocate for myself more strongly. This was huge. 
  • I read over 220 books - young adult, junior fiction, poetry, literary fiction, commercial fiction, romance, new adult and picture books. This year was my greatest reading year in a long time, and the most varied.
  • I used a reading log all year long for the very first time.
This year though challenging, and sad, and fury inducing has had its positives. Dark cannot exist without the light and I've had some bright moments. And these moments all involved people - my family, friends, co-workers, interview subjects and the young people I work with completely made my year. Also, brunch.

I hope everyone is finishing the year surrounded with people they love and/or their passion. I look forward to hearing our community's achievements and our goals for the new year.

I am hoping to be kinder to myself, read more discriminately about politics and the world, give more, and journey to Iceland. (Also, be patient in waiting for season two of Sense8.)

Be well.

Check out more of my year on instagram if you're keen.


Luna & Saturn said...

This is such a nice wrap up post! Saw you at the Melbourne Writers' Festival interviewing Amie Kaufman and Rainbow Rowell - that was so cool. Alcatraz and NASA, woahhh. Congratulations for all of your achievements!
~ Pendragons

Danielle Binks said...

I love you and I'm proud of you! Shared Leadership Program is especially amazing - congratulations!