Les Semaines

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


2008 in Review

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.

My 2008:

  • 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
last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing


This year's favourite musical discoveries:
  • Natural History Museum
  • Tychonaut / The Tycho Brahe / The Plague Monkeys
  • Bella Hardy
  • Brooke Waggoner
  • Claire Diterzi
My favourite discs I got this year:
  • 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 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.

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

  • 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
My two favourite reads this year were definitely Tender Morsels and Flora's Dare, but these lists aren't in any other order.

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


Writing events:
  • 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

Retrospective: old journal

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

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