Category Archives: Life

Farewell, 2014

It’s been a weird year. To be honest, every time I try to think of something exciting that happened this year, I almost invariably think of something that happened in 2013.

That’s not all true. I’ve had some amazing, exciting experiences. Inhuman Condition got funded by the Independent Production Fund! I had my first professional pitch! I was a Teaching Assistant at York University, and through that got my first taste of teaching! In the Spring, I helped run a panel on webseries with other York grad students! Plus, this year I finished a script I’m really proud of (More), as well as taking on more screenwriting work and cementing myself as a working screenwriter. I also dug back into fanfiction, a hobby I left behind when I was a teenager, which is nice because I’ve felt disingenuous defending it for years without writing it myself. So this year has definitely had bright spots.

But really, it’s been a year of waiting. Waiting for my thesis idea to finally click (it took until September, after a wasted summer lingering on something that wasn’t working). Waiting to see if Inhuman Condition would get funded (it did!), then waiting to get back to working on it (now). Waiting to hear back from fellowships that I knew I wouldn’t get (I knew I had weak, rushed samples), from contests I wasn’t going to place in. Even when I’m working, I’m waiting on something else. I think I’m restless. It doesn’t help that the world seems to be going to hell in a handbasket.

Next year is going to be amazing. Part of why this year was so underwhelming is that I’ve spent all year prepping things that are going to really kick off next year. Inhuman Condition, of course, but also a handful of other projects with heartening developments. If half of what I’m working on goes, 2015 will blow my mind.

Of course, it’s so typical of me to judge a year by professional milestones instead of happiness, because – in terms of sources of joy, this year, I’ve had a few. I’ve met some awesome friends, gone out for social beers more often than I have in years, spent a lot of time with family – and saw my awesome oldest sister, who lives in Newfoundland, for the first time in two years! I joined Tumblr (and in doing so rejoined fandom), and even though it’s terrifying, it’s also one of the warmest communities I’ve ever spent time in, give or take political infighting and unnecessary drama. And the books! After years of barely touching the things, this year I read a whacking 56 books, and enjoyed most of them. At the macro 2014 has been a bit of a lame duck for me, but at the day-to-day level, I’ve had some pretty great days.

So all in all, 2014… I didn’t love you, but there were bright spots and happy threads. I’m proud of some of the things I accomplished, I had a lot of fun even though there were extended stretches of dull grey.

I think I’m ready for 2015. Onwards!

Happy Holidays 2014!

Seems like 2013 was only weeks ago now, and yet we’ll be hitting 2015 in only a few days! Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess.

I’ll be doing my typical annual wrap-up again, but for now, a few things I’m thankful for as the year moves towards its close…

  • Family. Without family, I’d have been in trouble for a lot of this year. Whether it’s a safe spot in times of turmoil, emotional support, or just knowing that there’s a bunch of people out there in the world who love me, and whom I love too… I couldn’t do half of what I do without my family.
  • Writing: Writing is my lifeblood, my soul’s source of sustenance. If my words ever leave me, I expect I’ll last about a month, and then collapse in a mound of tired dust
  • Friends: Like family, friends are a powerful source of joy and help fend off the loneliness inherent in a solitary writer’s life. They drag me out of my bubble and remind me that there’s more to life than writing and food.
  • Social Media: I spend more time on social media, likely, than I do on my Internet browser. Powerful and illuminating conversations; news as it happens; fascinating links to resources I’d never have found on my own; all that and a warm sense of online community. Twitter, Tumblr, even very occasionally, Facebook.
  • Books: This year I got back into reading in a huge way, and I feel like it’s been really good for me. I got used to particular story rhythms and experiences that desperately needed shaking up.
  • Music: I couldn’t function as I do without it. It helps me escape myself and think in new ways, feel in new ways. I can’t imagine trying to be a writer without it. I’d be useless.

What are you thankful for this year?

TV: On Identification and HBO’s “Looking”

“You’re a pervert now. You gotta wear those colours with pride!”

I’ve watched the pilot for HBO’s Looking a few times now. Not because I planned to review it, or because I’ve watched it with other people, or out of particular fondness for a member of the cast.

I keep rewatching it because I identify with it, so much so that it’s forced me to reconsider my view of what it means to identify with a piece of fiction.

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2014 Incoming

I try to get these posts done pretty soon into the new year. Last year it was out on January 4th, after all. January 2014’s almost over and I’m just trying to write this now, I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted, last year… But that’s not just it.  I hadn’t had a webseries pilot shot or a professional project released. I hadn’t been to Banff for the World Media Festival or co-founded Compass. I was, in a lot of ways more than now, master of my own destiny, because everything was a lot smaller than now.

This is the first year where big things feel like they’re on the way. Which makes it a lot harder to predict where I’ll be, come December 31, 2014. Will I be in the same place or fall even further back, disillusioned and disappointed? Will everything have changed and evolved into something amazing? It sounds the height of arrogance to expect that, but the past year has been so eventful, it’s hard to know what to expect. What’s realistic.

Either way, if 2014 is half the year 2013 was… It’ll be one hell of a year!

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ABOUT THE BLOG: An Update and a Few Thoughts

The Diversionist has become that most hoary and yet consistent of blog cliches: once the writer’s beloved home base and regular publication, only to devolve into a quiet hole where the only posts are the occasional apology for the ongoing silence. In the past three months I’ve posted a grand total of twice, a shameful record.

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PERSONAL: Summer Blitz

I have neglected The Diversionist. As happens to many blogs, life has carried me away. That, and a general unease with acting like I know what I’m talking about since really entering the industry and realising exactly how little I know… I’ve had very little impetus to blog.

That, and a thousand projects capturing my attentions, making me feel guilty for even my occasional sidelong glances at my blog. As the wise ones say, you should be writing. So, I have indeed been writing.

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PERSONAL: Building the Desk

Back in October I bought a desk. I just put it together tonight. It’s gotten me thinking about a lot of things.

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PERSONAL: Morning Person, Night Owl

I’m a bit of an odd duck, in that I love nothing better than to stay up all night writing, and yet at my heart, I’m a morning person. I love watching the sun rise, coffee in hand, even though on a typical day I can barely drag myself out of bed before noon*. There’s something really special about being up early, tossing off a blog instead of rushing to get ready for the day. Pressing pause.

I usually experience the morning as the ending to an all-nighter, if anything. Sometimes that can be nice. The summer before I started university, knowing it was my last chance for a long time, if ever, I lived during the night. I’d wake up at dinnertime, enjoy the meal with my family, watch TV or read all night, and then cap off my day by watching the sun rise at the local Tim Horton’s with a coffee and a book. Then I’d grab my mum some wild flowers on my trek back and sleep it off. That summer is one of my greatest memories. A gentle hedonism, burying myself in both my beloved quiet night and the reverent silence of a beautiful morning. I loved it.

Now my time is so precious, I spend it running around trying to get things done. Even on my days off, seeing the early morning is a rare treat for me. A delicacy rewarding the discipline it takes to get out of bed when I’m unused to awakening so early. I love being so busy, so inspired, but at the same time it’s important to remember to take a moment to just enjoy what I have.

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PERSONAL: Skills Lust

Every time I see the option to add another language on LinkedIn, I get a pang of longing. Being able to speak French, or Spanish, or Mandarin, would be really cool. I love communication, after all, and being bilingual would open up a bunch of opportunities. It’s just one of many things I wish I could afford to spend the time and effort learning to do. I get skills lust all the time, the desire to broaden myself with a new skill or ability. I never have the time, or the energy, or the focus to ever go through with it.

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PERSONAL: Not Dead, Thanks

So! It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted, and really, posting’s been light all month. Why is that? To be honest, this summer I’ve been fairly slammed, either with projects I’m not ready to discuss publicly (the feature I’m writing, Knockout) or projects I’m focusing on elsewhere (The Writersroom). In fact, I’ve been devoting my writing time to these two projects pretty much exclusively.

Well. Not exclusively.

In lieu of any professional topics I’d like to discuss, a personal update instead…

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