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Seasonal Nice Stuff 2017

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Happy holidays!

If you’re anything like me, you’re caught in the mad scramble of seasonal preparations. But I wanted to take a moment to reflect on Nice Stuff.

Personal Nice Stuff in 2017:

*I self-published a book – No Limits is out in the world, hooray!! (and it’s on sale right now on all ebook platforms, if you’re interested) This has also led me to a community of fantastic, supportive self-publishing women (you know who you are – you’re all incredible, but especially you, Alison Croggon)

*the Reading Matters conference was fantastic and amazing, as always

*I continue to get so much support and conversation and advice and All The Things from the amazing YA community – especially writer friends, but the whole extended community rocks

* I met AS King, who is a wonderful human being

*I also met Kylie Scott, who is awesome, and now she is reccing me romance reads – sweet

*Begin End Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology was published this year – I contributed to it, and it has knocked everyone’s socks off. It made Number3 on the ABC Book Club’s penultimate list for 2017 and now it’s on the curriculum in various high schools, which is all kinds of incredible

*I got glasses, which I’ve needed for a while, and now I can see properly, which is always excellent. Plus, I dyed my hair (which…the dye won’t come out now. Oh well)

*we have a new budgerigar – welcome to the family, Ella!

*I started writing a New Thing, which has turned into a 3-book series called Circus Hearts, which I’m planning to share with you in 2018

*my family has continued to be wonderful – and my son’s health condition has become more manageable this year, for which I’m truly grateful

*I successfully quit cigarettes two years ago this coming January, booyah

*I spent time teaching at Latrobe with amazing human Kelly Gardiner, which was a great experience, and I also got a job teaching Indonesian at Langley Primary (so now I can say I work at Langley, and everyone thinks I’m talking about a job with the CIA)

*we found a turtle on the road, and have adopted it – welcome to the family, TinTin!

*I sent my next book, White Night, off to the printer – hooray! It will come out in March next year

*we got a new cooker, and it is a thing of beauty

*I started a newsletter, which you can join if you want updates on new books and upcoming events (see links at the Home page and elsewhere)

It’s pretty normal to have regrets at this time of year too. There are things I’m pretty sure I can do better at – we all get that – but here’s a few things I want to improve in 2018.

Things I Would Like To Suck At Less in 2018:

*I’m learning heaps about self-publishing, but the landscape is always changing: I still have more to learn and I need to write more books!

*The whole work-life balance thing continues to elude me. I really want to get better at this next year

*Finances are my weak point – I’m shit at keeping records. I started using a transaction tracking app, but I would like to get significantly better at managing money next year

*I have three potential book projects to write for next year, but I can’t write them all – I have to narrow my focus. Not sure how yet, but I’ll figure it out

*My self-care needs work – I’m bad at getting to bed at a reasonable time and exercising regularly (see work-life balance, above)

Looking at the news, you would be forgiven for thinking that in 2017 we’ve all descended into madness. But good things have happened this year, and they are worth celebrating and remembering.

World Nice Stuff:

*Australia now has equal marriage – at last!

*Denmark became debt free for the first time in 183 years

*A plane full of puppies was rescued during Hurricane Harvey

*Portugal decriminalised drugs, and the benefits have been enormous

*Tim Tams became available in the US

*An Australian high school student, Macinley Butson, has invented a way to make breast cancer treatment safer

*Both polio and the Guinea Worm parasite have been almost completely eradicated worldwide

*A caterpillar that eats plastic has been discovered

*A German researcher invented SkinGun – spray-on stem cells that heal burns without scarring

*80 bystanders formed a human chain to save a drowning family

*Scientists have found a cure for haemophilia

*New studies have shown that eating six bars of chocolate per week can reduce your risk of developing a heart flutter ( I myself made this discovery many years ago…)

*Researchers are developing the concept of floating wind farms in the North Atlantic, which may meet much of humanity’s energy needs

*And if that doesn’t work out, nuclear fusion generation is closer than it’s ever been before

*A new drug has been discovered that not only treats breast cancer and diabetes, but atherosclerosis

*Gene therapy is now making life-saving skin grafts possible, as well as a host of new therapies for hereditary diseases

*A new form of matter, called excitonium, has been discovered

*If research of neural bypass systems continues to progress at the current rate, paralysis from spinal cord injuries could become a thing of the past

For me, 2017 has been the start of something good. I hope it’s been a good year for you too – even if there were pitfalls and obstacles, I hope something worthwhile emerged for you this year. I’m going camping with the fam over these holidays (as is our wont), so I won’t be updating further until late in January. Until then: may you and your family have a joyful and peaceful holiday season, may all Nice Stuff happen for you in 2018, travel safe if you’re travelling, and have a lovely New Year!

Leaving you now with my list of books I’m taking on holidays with me, some of which I wanted to read earlier in the year and never got around to, some of which I’m reading for circus research  – now, the perfect moment has arrived!

Holiday TBR:

*The Power – Naomi Alderman

*Lincoln in the Bardo – George Saunders

*Small Spaces – Sarah Epstein (ARC copy)

*Spellslinger and Shadowblack – Sebastien de Castell

*The Royal Road to Card Magic – Jean Hugard

*The Tree of Yoga – BKS Iyengar (re-read)

*Unearthed – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (finally managed to wrest it off Son3)

*The Black Echo – Michael Connelly

*Real – Katy Evans

*The Roanoke Girls – Amy Engel

…and I will probably add on a bunch of books at the last minute, cos that’s how I roll. Hope you find some reading material for yourself (or maybe receive some from Santa).

So that’s it! Happy holiday and happy reading, see you in 2018!



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