2013 in review, part one: me, me, me

Since this is the end of 2013 (if you follow the “traditional” calendar — I’m more of an Aztec sundial sort of hipster), it seems appropriate, nay, required! to provide you, the interweb surfer kind enough to drop in (likely because of the meta tags cute kitten puppy slipper I’ve added), with some thoughts concerning the last 12 months of literaryness.

Personally and professionally, this has been the most ass-kickingly rewarding year I’ve had as an author. While 2012 would be at any other time nigh-impossible to top — Husk debuted to fantastic reviews and end-of-year Top Ten lists; my reading at Winnipeg’s Thin Air Festival easily qualifies as one of the funniest nights I’ve ever had; I appeared at Toronto’s International Festival of Authors alongside Robert J. Sawyer, Cory Doctorow, Andrew Pyper, Larissa Andrusyshyn, and Jo Nesbø, and met (and geeked out at) China Mieville — 2013 gave me this:

MA and MA and CPR

In this photo, Corey Redekop (seated right) attempts to scan the mind of noted author Margaret Atwood (centre) via telepathy. The novice was ill-prepared to take on such as she, a Level 7 CanLit Jedi. Seconds after this photograph was taken, his skull imploded. Author Madeline Ashby (seated left) remained calm, and survived the event with only minor injuries.

Yes, at the Kingston WritersFest, I appeared onstage as a fellow author (a peer, if you will, because I will) with Margaret Atwood. Even better, WritersFest organizer Merilyn Simonds tells me that Ms. Atwood recommended me for the event. Which if true is a blast of pure electrogasm to my soul, and if false is really, really mean. Like, evil mean.

Either way, there remain two solid truths:

  1. Margaret Atwood is slumming; and
  2. I hit a career high point.

Beyond that (and believe me, that alone puts 2013 in the running for best year ever), appearances at the WritersFest and the Ottawa Writers Festival expanded my list of personal CanLit BFFs with some of the best authors this grand expanse of snow and ice has to offer. David Nickle, Madeline Ashby, Thomas King, Saleema Nawaz, Cordelia Strube, Andrew Kaufman, Jason Heroux, Catherine Bush, Douglas Glover, Carsten Stroud, Steven Hayward, Helen Humphreys, Marcello Di Cintio, Glenn Dixon, Wayne Grady, Shelagh Rogers (who hugged me, and it was as glorious a moment as has ever occurred in the history of everything)…the list goes on and on.

To find myself even remotely connected to such as these is an immense pleasure. To be considered a peer (more or less)? That is an honour and a half.

Next post: 2013 in literature, i.e. the books I read.