2015 was a year of risk. I sent out over 300 submissions to literary magazines, and sat back and let the rejection letters pour over me.
Somehow, I managed to get 27 (yes, 27!) poems published, and wrote about 20 articles for a few different magazines.
Amar and I spent Valentines Day/ reading week in Los Cabos, I presented a paper at the Quebec Universities Undergraduate English Conference in Sherbrooke, QC, and I spent a weekend in Vegas with my lifelong BFF as an overdue celebration of our 21st birthdays!
I reconnected with my Nana Joan after 10 years, which was an amazing moment.
My honours thesis is almost done and through writing it I discovered the two most amazing thesis supervisors; Larissa Lai and Harry Vandervlist (thank you for everything).
For the last 3 months I’ve been applying to grad school and after-degree programs. I’m not sure what I’m going to do once I graduate this June, and to be honest, I’m pretty nervous about graduating into a bad economy. I realized, however, that nobody has to have the same career forever. In my lifetime I CAN be a teacher, a librarian, an academic, and a writer. Maybe not all at once, but by no means do I have to pick something at 21 years old and do it until I die. Mostly, I just want a career I will enjoy and that will allow me the flexibility to have a family and experience the world. I’ve applied to my Master’s in English, my Master’s in Library Sciences, a degree in Education, and an MFA in creative writing; I might not get into any of these programs, or I might hit the jackpot and get into more than one. The waiting is EXCRUCIATING, but knowing that my future is fluid and flexible, and that I’ll graduate from my first degree at 22 is exciting.
In 2015 I also presented at the Undergrad Research Symposium at the U of C, and became managing editor of NoD magazine. I worked at the Writers Guild of Alberta youth writing retreats Drink the Wild Air and Wordsworth, and got a job at the University of Calgary Archives and Special Collections, where I fell in love with the library.
This summer, I designed and taught a creative writing program for kids and teens on the Autism spectrum and got to see the girl I tutored for 2 years with Students for Literacy graduate!
I read 66 books this year- something I haven’t done since I was a child. Some of my favourites include:
- The Mara Dyer Series by Michelle Hodgkin (best YA of the year)
- Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman (best short story collection)
- All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (best canlit of the year!)
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (best horror)
- The Jesus Year by Jani Krulc (best local author)
- The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay (best historical fiction)
- Akata Witch Nnedi Okorafor (best fantasy)
- Cunt Norton by Dodie Bellamy (best poetry book)
I wrote countless poems and stories, and took up climbing seriously again. I spent hours from September- December at the bouldering wall and found a way to workout consistently without falling on it as a way to fit the female “ideal.”
I have spreadsheets detailing my rejections and triumphs of the year, and even though I got re-diagnosed with epilepsy and had my first seizure in 6 years, I overcame that and finally got my driver’s license!
Can 2016 beat 2015? I think so.
**Photo cred to Michelle Au ❤