2017 was incubative for me. Nearly all of my energy was spent on the two semesters of graduate school I completed, which required a level of engagement I'm not certain I could adequately describe if pressed. I've told friends if Sean hadn't cooked my meals and washed my clothes while I was studying, I'd have eaten tinned soup and worn dirty jeans, and that's the Gods' own truth. But I produced a great deal of writing during those semesters, which taught me what I was capable of, and that's a valuable lesson. I also came close to cementing my dissertation topic, and while I have a bit of tweaking to do on that score, I can tell you with some certainty that I'll be researching Canadian animal rights activists and activism. Finally, I began to see the nascent future of my fiction writing career, and I look forward to actualizing it in 2018 and beyond.
Of the good, there's much to say. Sean and I returned to Iceland and participated in a work exchange at Sílva near Akureyri, which gave us the opportunity to see the country again and spend time with the friends we made there in 2016. I wrote a story in the summer for Rhonda Parrish's Alphabet Anthologies series, which will be printed sometime in 2018. I also wrote my first academic article, a book review published in the journal Ethnologies. Finally, and most importantly, my beloved husband successfully weathered the second of two heart surgeries, this one to correct his atrial fibrillation. It's a great blessing to know that he's on the mend and will have a vastly improved quality of life.
Of the bad, there's also a bit to say, but I've already said it to my husband and friends. As part of this recap, I wrote about half a dozen versions of a paragraph addressing the challenges of the last year, but I think it important to remain circumspect about such things in a public blog. I will say, however, that I'm well-prepared to confront the same sorts of challenges should they resurface in 2018. So I've at least demonstrated my resilience, and that's also to the good.
By way of a publishing recap, here's the lot of it:
In the Spring of 2018, I'll finish the classroom portion of my PhD studies, which will allow me to begin balancing the two sides of my career. I have quite a few plans in that regard, which I hope to write about here in due course. Meanwhile, I wish you a peaceful and prosperous year.