January 1, 2009
what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: old journal
A busy year, mostly writing. Far steadier than last year as far as good/bad things go; though friends had difficult years, ours was a definite improvement on 2007.
last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing
- I actually completed some writing projects (see below)
- completed the Canada Council grant
- friends and family put up with my whining about turning 50
- new writing laptop
- Jim and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a lovely writing retreat at La Push that was a definite highlight to our year
- visited Chicago for the first time
- helped run my eight Clarion West workshop and it was a great one
- survived Seattle's snowcopalypse quite well, though I did really miss my parents' usual trip to visit us over Christmas
- Sophia decided that Atia is okay and Titus is tolerable
This year's favourite musical discoveries:
My favourite discs I got this year:
- Natural History Museum
- Tychonaut / The Tycho Brahe / The Plague Monkeys
- Bella Hardy
- Brooke Waggoner
- Claire Diterzi
Best not-yet-released album: Natural History Museum. I played the hell out of "Jackdaw is the Kingpin," "The Man I Love," and "You Fucker" here. I would include "Little Match Girl" too, but it's new. Don't much care for the George Harrison cover, but that's probably just me because I'm so fond of the original.
- Veda Hille - This Riot Life - Brilliant! when I first got this I couldn't think how I would like the hymn-like sounds, but grew to adore the whole thing.
- Camille - Music Hole - Smart, irreverent, creative, and tons of fun but with depth. Great music
- Jorane - Vers á Soi - My favourite of hers since her first.
- Portishead - Third - It's brilliant musically, with the combination of incredible percussion here (worth listening for, even in the less obvious places) and of course Beth Gibbons always-mournful vocals. Brilliant song construction. Gorgeous, unsettling, and not to be missed.
- Psapp - The Camel's Back - I love this every bit as much as their previous albums. Playful music and gorgeous vocals. Love it!
- Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals - I played this over and over and over again and couldn't get tired of it. It always picked me up when I was in a bad mood or tired. I know nothing about this band other than how much this album was a part of this year for me.
- Sigur Rós - Með Suð I Eyrum Við spilum endauluast - Brilliant and cool as always, plus a little more rocking.
- Katie Stemanis - Join Us - One of the most powerful debuts ever. Bossy music, but that okay with me.
- Claire Diterzi - Tableau du Chasse - Oh, I love this! Creative in a similar way to Kate Bush, playing with vocals and stories.
- Emily Jane White - Dark Undercoat - Dark and moody, blues-influenced folk, and yes with a Cat Power flavour.
- Gabriel Yacoub - de la nature des choses - Another folky, delightful album.
Best Show (extravaganza style): Sigur Ros (but I didn't go to many this year)
Best Show (whacky style): Veda Hille at Radio 8 Ball
Best Show (intimate style): Veda Hille at the Art Bar in Olympia
last week's listening § next week's listening
My favourites of the novels I read this year:
Children's and Young Adult:
- Ysabeau Wilce - Flora's Dare
- Meg Rosoff - how i live now
- Sherman Alexei - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian
- Kathe Koja - Kissing the Bee
- Christina Meldrum - Madapple
- Melissa Marr - Ink Exchange
- Graham Joyce - The Exchange
- Cory Doctorow - Little Brother
- Siobhan Dowd - bog child
- D.M. Cornish - Lamplighter
My two favourite reads this year were definitely Tender Morsels and Flora's Dare, but these lists aren't in any other order.
- Margo Lanagan - Tender Morsels
- Paul Park - Roumanian Quartet
- Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series
- Nicola Griffith - Always
- Robin McKinley - Chalice
- Elizabeth Bear - All The Windwracked Stars
- Marilynne Robinson - Home
- Kate Story - Blasted
- Pat Barker - Life Class
- Jo Walton - Half A Crown
- Patricia A. McKillip - The Bell At Seeley Head
- Gregory Frost - Shadow Bridge and Lord Tophet
The poet is discovered this year is Mick Imlah. I love The Lost Leader! [Edited January 12, 2009 to add—Apparently Mick Imlah just died. What a sad loss!]
last week's reading § next week's reading
- completed the Canada Council grant work (though not the project entirely) I have a total of 30 poems for this project (some in very early draft form, but I was excited by how much I got done)—
- completed and submitted new poetry manuscript, The Walk She Takes: An Idiosyncratic Tour of Scotland
- completed the first draft of the second novel (which still hasn't a title)
- 9 batches of poems submitted (most of these are still out)
- 2 poems accepted
- 3 poems published (1 in Strange Horizons, 1 in The Malahat Review, 1 reprint in the WOM-PO anthology)
- 2 stories submitted; 1 story reprint submitted (all rejected)
last week's writing § next week's writing
Transcribed my journals (well, mostly Jim's journals) of our trip to Scotland in June 1994 and then my own through to July 1995.
last week's old journal § next week's old journal
Last Week § Les Semaines index § Next Week
Email comments, questions, and complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org § Neile's main page
1685 people have wandered through this week with me