The Obligatory New Year’s Post

by Fox

2015 was A Year.

My debut released, I held the most wonderful, affirming book launch, filled with many of my favourite people and celebrating all the things that we wish for.

I saw my book on shelves, and heard from readers. Oh, the readers! You guys make my heart sing and my world go round.

I visited the US and met my US editor and publishing team, some brilliant authors and wonderful librarians. And then my book came out in the US, too.

I spoke at a whole bunch of conferences, festivals, and schools. Every one of them amazing.

I ran creative writing courses for some incredible young people.

Last Leaves was well received critically (5 starred trade reviews?!) and even appeared on the Carnegie nominations list. (Whuuuuut?! :D)

I read great books, ate some great food, hung out with some of the best friends anybody could have.

I slept beneath the stars, and curled up by a fire.

It’s. Been. Amazing.

But it’s also been hard, and I got to the end of 2015 feeling more than a little battered.

It’s been a year of deep, hard reflection, upon myself, my identity, my journey. It’s been a year of carving out a space for myself and standing up for the real me.

It was a year of continued chronic illness, of learning how to live with that, and (working on) accepting that it might be around for a while.

I’ve consciously, actively put my self into public view, because if I’d seen someone like me growing up, maybe I’d have figured everything out a whole lot sooner. Maybe I’d have felt safer, more secure. I’m so glad I can do that. But it isn’t easy.

It’s been a year of Life Stuff, which I won’t talk about here, but which has affected me in all the ways that life stuff does.

And amongst all that, I wrote my second book; a book which I love wholeheartedly and am extremely proud of, but which nearly broke me. At one point I thought it had. I almost gave up. And I’ll forever be grateful for my friends and CPs for not letting that happen.

And at the end of this hard, brilliant, awful year, I got a permanent reminder of the power and importance of stories. A reminder to keep going, because the next story might just keep somebody’s heart beating good and strong.

King Mansolain is sick, and the only thing that might keep him alive, is stories - a new one every day, to ensure his heart beats strongly. His loyal subjects answer the call.
King Mansolain is sick, and the only thing that might keep him alive, is stories – a new one every day, to ensure his heart beats strongly. His loyal subjects answer the call. (From a childhood favourite, THE KING OF THE COPPER MOUNTAINS, Paul Biegel, illustrations by Babs Van Wely)

2015 is done. I’m here. I made good art. I met good people, and, I hope, fostered hope and creativity in others. And much as I’d like an easier ride this year, I’m ready for anything. And I’ll be telling stories regardless.

2 thoughts on “The Obligatory New Year’s Post

  1. I love you, you wonderful, creative, uncrushable, shiney YOU…Please will you be my extra special Fox – and keep on writing? Even shopping lists. You would make THEM worth reading…

    • Aaaah, thank you! I love you too! And yes (although honestly my shopping lists are entirely uninteresting and I’d skip those if I were you).

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