I stole Lisa Dempster’s title for this post. I’m also stealing the layout of Lisa Dempster’s post. And idea.

Dear Lisa,
Stole everything,
Much love,

I very much enjoyed reading Lisa’s post a few weeks ago, which outlined her wondrous 2010. She’s had a wildly successful year – I can’t hope to match the scale of her achievements (well done, Lisa!), but I feel like I’ve had a pretty amazing year myself; one worth outlining the great stuff in.

Earlier this month at the Express Media Awards Extravaganza, Bel Schenk talked about how we don’t often enough pat ourselves on the back and say, “You know that thing I did? That was pretty great”.

So feel free to flag this post as the love-fest (of myself) that it is; I’m taking this chance to put it out there: You know all that stuff I did this year? That was all pretty great!

January: I committed myself to a very very large undertaking: the 100+ Books Challenge… Current count stands at 53. That’s 1.019 books per week, every week this year. While it’s a pretty far cry from 100, it’s still an impressive list of books. Next year I’ll aim for more than this year. Perhaps not a hundred, just more than this year. In Janurary, my blog got linked on the Wheeler Centre’s website – might not seem like a huge deal, but I went crazy.

February: I reached 1000 hits on LGWABP since September 2009. My first big blogging milestone! I was invited by Misha Adair to join the book reviewing team on channel 31’s Yartz – Ralph Mclean provided a bounty of support, and the Yartz crew became my Saturday family. I stayed with the show until about September or October this year. I had a ball and learned heaps. I started participating in the Teaser Tuesday meme – there have since been about 30 Teaser Tuesdays on LGWABP.

March: I started my course at RMIT. The fact that I got into this course (very small intake of only 40 in my year-level) floored me. The course is SO supportive and SO helpful; I couldn’t be happier here. Reading back over that post, I was skeptical about whether the course would stay good – it has. I started contributing to L!MP – a publishing collective which has since become Ex Calamus. I spent time writing with people from Streat.

April: Not much happened in April. I realized how behind I was on my way to 100 books.

May: I discovered slam poetry – enter Dead Poet’s Fight Club. The poetry-minded of us Creative Writing students found ourselves a (location suppressed) to slam in. I took part in Express Media’s Connecting Voices workshop, where I met some fantastic people and learned how to run writing workshops.

June: I interviewed EZB and Lisa Dempster for Yartz.

July: I signed up for LitLife’s Comment July Challenge, and did pretty well for most of the month. I think I bowed out in the last week – but the first three weeks were fun. I started the Admiration/Inspiration Thursday meme, which was short-lived, and has given way to interviews posted whenever they’re relevant. I interviewed Sage Francis. In hindsight, it’s not the best interview it could’ve been, and that’s my fault. But I am impressed with myself for interviewing SAGE FRANCIS!

August: I was on the radio! “In Other Words”, on SYN, interviewed me about blogging. Ricochet Mag published my poem, “Tick-Tock Polka”. Benjamin Solah interviewed me about being a student and a writer. I had poetry scrolling across the ticker-text at Fed Square as part of “Poetry 4 U” – a project run by the Melbourne Writers’ Festival and RMIT.

September: I had more poetry up at Fed Square, this time as part of the Overload Poetry Festival. After blogging about the Overload Lentil Poetry Slam, the Overload people asked me to take a media pass and blog about the rest of the festival – I was super-excited that LGWABP got that sort of recognition! (Day 7, 9 and 10 follow the above post). My poem “Dancing on Architecture” was published in Voiceworks issue #82, Hunger.

October: Quiet month, was October. I read a lot. That’s about all.

November: I competed in the Australian Poetry Slam heat at Balwyn and came runner-up! I went on to compete at the State Library of Victoria, which was amazing. My story, “Hold On” was published in the 2010 issue of Page Seventeen. A comic I wrote in collaboration with Tohm Curtis went up on the project website, “12 Moments”.

December: My poem, “Dancing on Architecture” was nominated in the category “best metaphor published in Voiceworks in 2010” at the Express Media Awards Extravaganza. I didn’t win, but somebody liked it enough to nominate it. It means a lot that it wasn’t me.

What a year it’s been! 2011, here we come.

Yartz’ very, very dedicated and supportive producer, Ralph Mclean, passed away on the 25th of December. Ralph played an important part of what made this year so successful for me, and he was a delight to know. Thanks, Ralph, for your support and laughs; for being so immediately accepting. Thanks for helping me improve – I did, indeed, “thank you for it later”.