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Archive for the ‘Our Own Creative Exploits’ Category

Well folks, I didn’t even get to 50 this year. AND I’m a bit late publishing my list. But it’s about quality, not quantity, right?

But I enjoyed the many books I did read, and I began a number of larger works I hope to finish in 2016. My favourites of the past year – difficult as it was to choose favourites – are in red text in the list below.

Happy new year!

# Title Author Publisher, Year Subject Category Why did I read this? How did I get it?
1 Meeting the Other Crowd: The Fairy Stories of Hidden Ireland
Eddie Lenihan with Carolyn Eve Green Tarcher-Penguin, 2004 Non-Fiction (Short Stories) VPL second-hand book sale
2 The Heart Laid Bare
Michel Tremblay Talonbooks, 2002 Fiction (Novel) for work (ebook production)
3 MaddAddam
Margaret Atwood Vintage Canada, 2014 Fiction (Novel) finale of series
4 The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman William Morrow, 2013 Fiction (Novel) found in mobile library near Heather and 16th, Vancouver
5 Mambo Italiano
Steve Galluccio Talonbooks, 2004 Fiction (Drama) for work (research)
6 Hidden Bounties: Memories of Pioneering on the Magdalen Archipelago
Larry Rowdon Nine Pines, 1994 Non-Fiction (Memoir) intended to read for many years
7 Birth of a Bookworm
Michel Tremblay (trans. Sheila Fischman) Talonbooks, 2003 Non-Fiction (Memoir) via work (ebook production)
8 The Trouble with Brunch: Work, Class, and the Pursuit of Leisure
Shawn Micalleff Coach House, 2014 Non-Fiction (Essay) press, reviews, publicity
9 What’s True, Darling
M.A.C. Farrant Polestar, 1997  Fiction (Short Stories)  gift from GTM in 2013
10 The St. Leonard Chronicles [manuscript]
Steve Galluccio Talonbooks, 2015 Fiction (Drama) for work (copy-editing)
11 Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell
Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham Vintage, 2015 Fiction (Mystery) series fan
12 Pastoral
André Alexis Coach House, 2014 Fiction (Novella) publisher catalogue
13 Get Me Out of Here
Sachiko Murakami Talon, 2015 Poetry for work (proofreading)
14 The Hatch
Colin Browne Talon, 2015 Poetry for work (proofreading)
15 Fifteen Dogs
André Alexis Coach House, 2015 Fiction (Novel) gift from HW
16 Dead Metaphor: Three Plays
George F. Walker Talonbooks, 2015 Drama for work (proofreading)
17 Shadow Scale
Rachel Hartman Pengun Random House Doubleday Canada, 2014 Fiction (YA) second in a series, first of which won Sunburst Award
18 Fairy Ring
Martine Desjardins Talon, 2001 Fiction (epistolary novel) via work
19 The Miner’s Son and the Farmer’s Daughter: The Story of D.H. Lawrence and Jessie Chambers
P.K. Ridgway unpublished playscript Non-Fiction (Drama) attended a rehearsal, wanted to read the ending
20 Holy Cow
David Duchovny FSG, 2015 Fiction (Novel) tweets & general publicity
21 in event of moon disaster
arbitrarily Archive of Our Own, 2013 Novella-length Fan-Fiction (Mad Men) browsing a shipper tag
22 The Divine
Michel Marc Bouchard Talon, 2015 Fiction (Drama) for work (proofreading)
23 That Summer
David French Talon, 2000 Fiction (Drama) for work (ebook production)
24 The X-Files: Goblins
Charles Grant HarperCollins, 1994 Fiction (Mystery) got excited about the #XFilesRevival, pledged to read the original tie-in novels
25 Cosmophilia
Rahat Kurd Talon, 2015 Poetry for work (proofreading)
26 The X-Files: Whirlwind
Charles Grant HarperCollins, 1995 Fiction (Mystery) got excited about the #XFilesRevival, pledged to read the original tie-in novels
27 The X-Files: Ground Zero
Kevin J. Anderson HarperCollins, 1995 Fiction (Mystery) got excited about the #XFilesRevival, pledged to read the original tie-in novels
28 Winners and Losers
Marcus Youssef and James Long Talonbooks, 2015 Non-Fiction (Drama) for work (ebook production)
29 Monkey Beach
Eden Robinson Vintage Canada, 2001 Fiction (Novel) intended to read for years; finally got around to it
30 Takeover in Tehran: The Inside Story of the 1979 U.S. Embassy Capture
Massoumeh Ebtekar (as told to Fred A. Reed) Talon, 2000 Non-Fiction (Memoir) for work (ebook production)
31 Rom Com
Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli Talon, 2015 Poetry for work (typesetting)
32 Darcy’s Story: Pride and Prejudice told from a whole new perspective
Janet Aylmer Harper, 2006 Fiction (Novel) bought as gift for CS
33 Sila: The Arctic Cycle
Chantal Bilodeau Talon, 2015 Fiction (Drama) for work (proofreading)
34 Mend the Living
Maylis de Kerangal, translated by Jessica Moore manuscript [forthcoming from Talon, 2016] Fiction (Novel) for work (cover design)
35 In a World Created by a Drunken God
Drew Hayden Taylor Talon, 2006 Fiction (Drama) for work (cover redesign)
36 Cerulean Blue
Drew Hayden Taylor Talon, 2015 Fiction (Drama) for work (ebook production)
37 Moss Park and Tough!: The Bobby and Tina Plays
George F. Walker Talon, 2015 Fiction (Drama) for work (proofreading)
38 Jabber
Marcus Youssef Talon, 2015 Fiction (Drama) for work (ebook QC)
39 Men Explain Things to Me
Rebecca Solnit Haymarket Books / Dispatch Books, 2014 Non-fiction (Essays) publicity through Consortium Book Sales and Distribution
40 Prophet’s Daughter: The Life and Legacy of Bahíyyih Khánum, Outstanding Heroine of the Bahá’í Faith
Janet Khan Bahá’í Publishing, 2005 Non-fiction (History/Religious Studies) Bahá’í community & personal study
41 The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary Simon Winchester Harper Perennial, 1998 Non-fiction (History) Enjoyed other work by the same author
42 Sugar Blues
 William Dufty  Warner Books, 1976  Non-fiction (Wellness)  Re-read
43 Practical Magic
 Alice Hoffman  Putnam, 1995  Fiction (Novel) I have a soft spot for the movie, and I’d never read Hoffman, so I figured I’d give her a try.
44 A Credit to Your Race
Truman Green Anvil, 2011 Fiction (Novel/YA) Free book!
45 Her Son’s Hero
Vicki Essex Harlequin, 2011 Fiction (Romance) Recommended by SD
46 Hild
Nicola Griffith FSG, 2013 Fiction (Historical novel) Bookstore browsing
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Precious readers, I am working on getting all my ducks in a row, as they say.

heathers-ducks-in-a-row

These are my sister-in-law’s ducks. She teaches violin and viola lessons, and she puts a duck on a student’s head when she is trying to get them to practice good posture as they play. So you see, the ducks have a purpose in life other than being adorable, which they also are.

This post is a quick status update re: this blog and my personal creative (ad)ventures.

It has been a bit slow on this blog for the past few months. You may have noticed. Full confession: I’m rethinking the blog almost entirely, but slowly. What I mean is, I’ve been rethinking but not redoing, as of yet. So maybe something interesting will happen to it in the future—that fabled future—you know the one—the one in which I have “more free time” and “more energy to spend” on such a project. I’m sure you are all awaiting the same future.

Let me reassure you, though, that in the present my real life feels artful. Maybe I’ve just been living the dream instead of blogging it. Some exciting things that I’m currently involved in are

  • designing a book jacket,
  • redesigning a website for a local religious community (lots of copy-writing on my end, and consultation with the team),
  • working full-time (building e-books!) and doing some freelance publishing work,
  • singing in an adorable little choir,
  • organizing a weekly study/discussion group,
  • doing some occasional creative writing (for funzies!), and
  • writing a graduate project report (essentially a thesis without the oral defense). Yikes, this is the big one.

I’m terribly lucky and grateful to be doing so many things that I love, but, as you can imagine, this stuff adds up; my time and energy are naturally being channeled in these directions.

I’m not giving up on blogging, don’t worry. In fact, I intend to blog about each of these things as I complete them or as they become public and available in some way. I just wanted to explain why it’s been quiet around here.

I hope you’ve all got exciting things going on too! What kinds of projects do you have in the works? I’d be interested in hearing about them.

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Being BFFs in the digital age means—if you are both creative types (or think you are)—that much of your friendship will be public (in that it will be accessible online). This is especially true if you do not live in the same locale as your BFF. And it may also mean that when birthdays come along—as one has now—that they are celebrated in public.

So, yes: happy birthday Samuel!

Much of our best-friendship is accessible online. Not our childhoods, or our summer-camp years, or our amazing dinner parties, but some things. Including:

Below is another example of our hilarity that I haven’t yet had the chance to post in any kind of relevant way, and I will now be using this post as an excuse to do just that. It is a survey, put together by Samuel, and emailed to me to fill out, after I reminded him to keep me in the loop about his travels (apparently he had gotten a few too many such emails? and this was his reaction?):

With that, I sign off, because I can wish Samuel a happy birthday in no better way than by celebrating his sense of humour in public. He will JUST LOVE that.

(Samuel, please also attend the mail slot at your parents’ home this week, for no particular reason…)

Samuels are what August Fifths were made for.

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With thanks to Samuel the Also FunnyBFF, email correspondent, and collaborator on this blog post.

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Drop everything.

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Auto shows in China

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ransom negotiations

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I think me having your phone number right now is a human right.

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Object Permanence Vegetarian Potluck

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reminder about your commitment to my blog

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Imminent danger.

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Gingerbread Fortress!

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Just because I’m too cheap to text you while I’m roaming doesn’t mean I love you any less.

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Hair gel, deodorant and your heart

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my writings on food and foodlessness

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UTMOST IMPORTANCE: Predict things right now

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classy poo

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Australia redesign

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An email about a fundraiser or petition or something

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I just want to celebrate, so come make me dinner.

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Remember when you were writing that low-key story about people that just happened to also have epic robot fights?

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I feel like our obnoxiousness level has been dipping of late. We need to work on this.

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Prime Minister Batman

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You know what time it is here? Do the math.

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iBra

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Bread Problems for London

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Mongolian girls

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Dear Samuel, this is a funny thing that you should send to all of your friends when you aren’t at work. Love, Samuel

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Tasering our way to the zombie apocalypse

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So that you can fasten knives to the bottom of your feet.

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This time it’s war.

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The plot thins.

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Please tell me that for once I discovered something amazing on the internet before you.

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Clapping playlist – essential for saving the world

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Remember the photo with the poo in the background?

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future in-family jokes predicted

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CAPITAL LETTERS

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Your forthcoming membership in Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists™

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My life is such a big deal right now.

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The First Annual Epic Dry Run Bike Ride of Bonding to End All Bad Experiences for Moms Everywhere

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Bananas

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DISPATCHES FROM THE CONTINENT EUROPEAN AND ASIAN CARS GO TO TO DIE

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DISPATCHES FROM THE CONTINENT THEY TALKED ABOUT IN THAT BOOK ‘DISPATCHES FROM A FRAGILE CONTINENT’

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Dispatches from the Continent that Brought you Black People – Episode 1

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DISPATCHES FROM THE CONTINENT THAT OWES YOUR BANK MONEY – Episode 4!

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DISPATCHES FROM THE CONTINENT YOU LEFT YOUR MANGO IN

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Cadavers

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Memorial Service Black-Tie Farewell Party Vegetarian Potluck

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teeth in China

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Don’t worry, we saved the paintings.

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If you live in Vancouver, and you’re available on Thursday evenings throughout the summer (of 2012), you’re invited to join us! (If you’re into meetups, here we are: meetup.com/VancouverSpirituality.)

Here’s what we’ve been doing: meeting at a coffee shop, reading a passage (~5–10 mins.) from a certain thought-provoking, uplifting book, and then discussing it and other things that come up with the friends present (usually about five people at this point; people are free to come once or as many times as they like, but there is a core group of regulars).

I designed a poster to help publicize our little event, for it is open to all, and we will be putting this up around the neighbourhood.

The book we’ve been reading passages from is called Paris Talks, for that is what it is: a series of short talks given in Paris in 1912 by ’Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. He traveled from the Middle East to Europe and North America to support early Bahá’í communities but also to meet with the public and discuss the purpose of religion, the role of religion in society, and the process of bettering society as well as ourselves as individuals.

(In fact, this year is the centenary of ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s journey, and an amazing social-media documentary called 239 Days is covering it. I recommend taking a look; learning about this inspiring figure is absolutely worthwhile, and the project is such an innovative way of bringing history to life!)

One of the most important aspects of this discussion group is the approach: everyone speaks with humility and respect for others; everyone is free to present their opinions; everyone makes the effort to listen and truly understand what others are saying. It has sometimes been difficult to maintain these attitudes, but for the most part we have, and it has been an enriching experience.

So far, we’ve discussed a number of interesting topics, trying to think about each at both the scale of the individual life and the life of society: the relationship between thoughts and actions; diversity, multiculturalism, and pluralism; the concept of divinity and God as an unknowable essence; and causes of war and strife and paths toward unity and peace.

If you’re interested in joining us, do!

If you’re interested in reading Paris Talks, it’s available online.

Cheers!

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