Author & Teacher

Lists and Expectations

A short post today…a few lists, and a few thoughts.

Lists of things I loved in 2017

3 Books

  • Her Body and Other Stories – Carmen Maria Machado
  • Ongoingness – Sarah Manguso
  • Long Way Down – Jason Reynolds


3 Netflix/Crave Shows

  • Godless
  • Line of Duty
  • 19-2 (and perhaps related, Letterkenny)


3 Work-related Wins

  • Hitting deadlines/generally doing okay in my new position
  • Kickass writing by my students
  • Taking on more responsibility/becoming more engaged


3 Experiences

  • Writing Residency at the Banff Centre – Douglas Glover and my talented classmates shook my writing up in the best way
  • The Reversing Rapids in Saint John, NB
  • Harry Potter Studios in England


3 Trips

  • London
  • Quebec/Nova Scotia/East Coast
  • Cypress Hills, SK


3 Events (where I actually made it out of the house)

  • Bell Music Centre – AMAZING!
  • Can You Hear Me Now? Poetry Slam
  • A few great coffee/lunch/after school drink dates at 1918


3 Things I Wrote

  • CNF – Three essays (h/t Banff friends, Sonal, Amanda and Carolyn!)
  • A letter to the Archbishop (no response)
  • Fiction – A short story written in first-plural, and 10 000 words of a new novel


Last year was a bucket-filling year for me. The first third was a write-off – no energy, still suffering the effects of a devastating 2016. But things picked up with a trip to London, and improved bit-by-bit as the year progressed. I’d spent a lot of time looking outside myself to feel better about things, and in 2017 I went inward. It wasn’t a pretty journey, but luckily I have lots of beauty that surrounds me – family, friends, a home I love, and a job that I finally feel good at.

I don’t have any resolutions for 2018 beyond reading War and Peace. I’m supposed to be taking it a chapter a day, but it’s easier, funnier, and more compelling than I thought it would be. I can’t stop reading, so two days in, I’m on Chapter 15.

My fingers are crossed that this new year, like War and Peace, will exceed all expectations.

(Of course, now I’m thinking of more goodness to add to the list of lists…The Women’s March, the trip to Montreal and Quebec with my students, kids picking out universities and high schools, my niece filling up my new phone with selfies – all good things.)

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