Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 in review

My year started in a snow covered bitter cold snap and is apparently ending in more mildish winter weather this coming week.  In between, there was surely a spring, summer, and surely a fall, but they all seem very far away.  Sometimes, regular life threatened to subsume creative life, but some really good art & writing things did come out of this year, surely more than the awfulness 2017, so I thought I'd post my annual year in review post.

As I've mentioned in some previous posts, since spring, I have been knocking my productivity levels out of the park by merely changing up my writing habits.  I don't write every day, surely, but most days anyway.   As such I have about 150+ pages of work spread across a number of different projects. Whether or not all of it will stick remains to be seen, but I am fairly happy with most of it--damn ecstatic over a couple series in particular. There are bits of three different full-length projects here among the melee, and I'll be working into this year solidifying those.

Despite writing  a lot, I fell short in my goals to actually submit work, but I did land a few publications with what I did send out and places I was invited, including Tinderbox, Tupelo Quarterly, Grimoire, Stirring, Occulum, White Stag, Rust & Moth and Eleanor.  A couple of these journals were Twitter finds, which I finally joined up with my own page early in the year.  I also have some pieces of the slender man poems coming in Mansion, another bit of Twitter-serendipity which dgp will be issuing in February.   The biggest acceptance, of course, this year would be or book #8, sex & violence, and the latter half of this year has been ironing out things like blurbs and cover art for that due out in 2020.

I've done pretty well in regularly issuing little bits and bobs for the Books & Objects series, including /slash/, how to write a love poem in a time of war, honey machine, the science of impossible objects, plump (part of the Library-created Dark Forest project), an accordian zine for the garden series, a single pager cryptotaxonomy, and the poet's zodiac scrolls.  I've also been using the internet as a means of distributing work outside the usual po-biz avenues and I've loved the results--a couple of Tiny Letter distributed series (exquisite damage and swallow.taurus, which is still available on Chanillo. Also using instagram to disseminate the poets zodiac and the strangerie series of text/collages.  I sometimes feel like these routes get so much more distance than we give them credit for. Or maybe less distance but more engagement.

There are also art piece series for zines to come--some visual elements to accompany taurus and the poets zodiac--collages and text pieces for ordinary planet and the hunger palace.  Some monoprint botanical pieces that will eventually be their own project.   Also many, many cover designs for the press that I am totally in love with. I also taught myself a few new tricks this year in terms of printmaking materials and composing digitally, which have had great results.  Exhibit-wise, I don't think I had much up on the walls this year, but I did include several collages in the Grimm anthology book project, as well as included /slash/ in a display case as part of Beautiful Monstrosities.

It's been the usual craziness with the press, and I was more behind on just about everything than usual, but I finished the year out strong and things are looking up for 2019.  So many titles (nearly 70, the highest since 2014) were unleashed on the world though, and from such a huge variety of voices that looking at the range is astounding.  I'll be scaling back next year since I feel there is definitely a maximum point of efficiency even when I am fully-functioning and mentally/physically sound, but I am glad all these books found a home and I was part of their being in the world. I did not manage to get out the format re-boot of wicked alice, but it's coming, along with the mermaid anthology, which has a title (swim) and work lined up and just needs more money and time to make it happen (but I'm determined to make happen  even with little time and less money). In keeping some things afloat others have drifted off (more paper goods, more prints, other shop things, open studio plans) but hopefully I can round these back up in the coming year.

The Library, while a wild ride the last six months in terms of having to take on more responsibilities, we managed a great year that started with all of our spring activities, printmaking workshops, surrealism celebrations, Apocalypse, USA programming, art biz panels, and the Book to Art Grimm project.  Fall brought Beautiful Monstrosites shenanigans and the 4th Little Indie Press Fest. And of course zine nights, other artmaking endeavors, and gaming events like trivia nights and murder mysteries.   In general Library stuff, I did get a chance to start writing things for the blog after years of wanting to and never getting a chance.  I also took on Interlibrary Loan after a staffing gap, which while usually pretty rote and not all that much fun, I did occasionally get a weird frisson successfully tracking down really hard to find materials (the hardest? canadian census reports and sporting articles from the 1880's the strangest?  something that had to be borrowed from the US Army's library) . In the craziness, I did fall short on getting to some of the library related writing projects I've been brainstorming, but it looks like I might be able to invest more time there this spring. Jen & I are close to being able to define "curated learning" in libraries and by god, we will make it happen.

And finally, one of the things I am most proud of this year is using this space a little more and making things a bit more easy to find.  During the rise of shorter form social media, my rate of posting here fell from 200+ to under 50 in 2016.  I miss blogging on the regular though, so I managed to climb a bit back up the past two years..I have no idea if anyone is reading but I'll keep writing (stats are decent, but who knows how much are bots.)  I've also been doing a few more frivolous fashion & design posts to add some variation to the more serious writing/art material, and working to touch on all aspects of my creative work with the press and libraries. I like Facebook for discussion purposes and link sharing, love instagram for visual art, but Twitter sort of eludes me and besides running over their to share occasionally when I remember I should, I don't spend much time there (I also hate using internet on my phone--so facebook moves a bit slower if you just check it once or twice  a day.) This space, and its predecessor at xanga, has always seemed more like home, even if much of what I used to do here happens elsewhere.

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