1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
I went to a couple of Writers’ Festivals (Sydney, Brisbane). I traveled to Brisbane for the first time in my life.
2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolution, and will you make more for next year?
I’m not a big advocate of the New Years’ resolution generally, but last year I did confess to wanting to take on a greater support role within my little YouTube centric community. At the time I envisaged doing tutorial videos about things, but what really happened was I just answered people’s questions when they had them. I kind of feel like I have relationships with people even if I’m not constantly creating content, that they won’t necessarily forget me if I’m not always visible.
I don’t really ‘resolve’ to do anything in particular in 2010. But I’ve been wanting to paint for a really long time and I keep telling myself ‘no.’ And there’s no good reason for it. When I was in Brisbane recently I bought some Derwent Academy watercolour pencils and a sketch book and some paintbrushes and that made me more happy than I can put into words. So I think in short I want to surrender to my own desires more in 2010. I want to do art more and think about doing it less.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not that I know of.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
A couple of people who I did not know personally but whose work was very important to me died in 2009. Everyone is aware of the passing of Michael Jackson I’m sure. This event filled me with great sadness for a number of days but then I reflected on his work and his career. At the time I felt lucky to still have his music. And when I did eventually see the concert preparations movie it gave me a rare insight into the man himself.
And then there was the passing of that great Fortean and writer, John A. Keel. Keel was a kind of childhood hero to me. When my dissatisfaction at my office job ran highest I would read The Mothman Prophecies and Jadoo and think to myself that I was doing something very very wrong indeed. I should be out on far flung mountaintops watching UFOs and interviewing snake charmers in India. I think sometimes nothing I could say about the man could give you an insight into his character. You really have to read him for yourself. Then you experience the humour and the sincerity and intelligence and insight. He was a very special man, and a very special man to me in particular. I shall miss him dearly.
5. What countries did you visit?
I’ve never been outside of Australia. But I did travel interstate in 2009.
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
I want to be able to communicate better with others. I have this writerly scholarly sensibility that can see me explore issues in great depth and (I hope) great insight, but I still struggle to have serious face-to-face conversations with people. In addition to this I sometimes lie about how I am feeling in an effort to save face or maintain my privacy, but I’m increasingly of the opinion that this isn’t helping anyone – least of all myself.
7. What day(s) from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory?
My first trip to Brisbane, the Writer’s Festivals, winning the JVC Picsio camera in the ‘Share A Moment’ contest.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I want to say really finding my feet with the JOJCAST.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Perhaps NaNoWriMo… but I want to say that is “an experience” and not a failure.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
After learning about the death of John A. Keel, I laid down on the couch and was sick for a month or so. It was really horrible. Especially to the extent that my recovery was so far from being a linear progression. I’d think I was getting better and then I’d feel much much worse. It was a horrible experience.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
The Best Of John Keel a book I didn’t even know existed before the man’s death. It’s a compilation of his stories that appeared in FATE Magazine. [Notable mentions go to Cynthia Harrison's Your Words, Your Story and various arts supplies too.]
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
It has been a particular joy getting to know Jake Garrison this year. I’m thankful too for the continued patient support I receive from Michael Meloni.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I don’t want to name anyone. But there was one person…
14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, Internet, Food, Travel.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I was so stoked to win the JVC Picsio camera.
16. What song/album will always remind you of 2009?
The Asteroid’s The Golden Age.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
ii. thinner or fatter?
iii. richer or poorer?
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Making art, in a fun exploratory non-serious way.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Well I spent Christmas with the family, at my sister’s house.
21. What was your favorite TV program?
I really enjoyed The View this year. There is just something about it. Whoopi and Joy make me laugh even on particularly horrible days.
22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
It’s a funny thing to realise but in the course of one year I’ve gone from not knowing someone at all, to knowing them very intimately, to cutting ties with them. I was disappointed by how things turned out. I was disappointed that I didn’t communicate how I was feeling. But I really think it was for the best…
23. What was the best book you read?
I read some great books, particularly on writing and creativity. Julia Cameron’s Walking Through This World was probably the best. But honourable mention to Anne Lammott’s Bird By Bird.
24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I think this year I’ve been particularly fascinated by Tara Busch.
25. What did you want and get?
JVC Picsio camera, Slik tripod, French and Saunders DVD, Vicar of Dibley DVD, external hard drive… Lots of good stuff.
26. What did you want and not get?
I fell in love with the Rode Procaster microphone. Maybe when I earn some more cash…
27. What was your favorite film of this year?
The Michael Jackson film This Is It.
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27 on my birthday and I guess I spent it with my family… I can’t really remember. (Senile at 27?)
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
My wardrobe went quite nerdy as I bought some shirts from RedBubble – things inspired by Super Mario Brothers (and Obama), Space Invaders, Doom, and paranormal pulp fiction.
31. What kept you sane?
Slowly figuring out what I wanted. Reading and re-reading Julia Cameron’s Walking In This World. Taking walks in the bush with my iPod shuffle… Playing music, writing songs.
32. Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most?
33. What political issue stirred you the most?
Internet censorship in Australia looks like a certainty. It is deeply frustrating. But I have been quite bemused by the talk about health care in America, the way that people see healthcare for all as a threat to capitalism (and an expression of communism). It just seems that so much of the world has already identified the need for this kind of cover for it’s people and that America, the world superpower, can’t grapple with it conceptually, let alone practically.
34. Who did you miss?
I miss David Kerr… only because we don’t chat as much as we used to. Though I am happy to say we are still good friends and do catch up from time to time.
35. Who was the best new person you met?
Michael Meloni. He’s my rock, dawg.
36. State a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
Trust your own intuition. You know things that you really have no good reason for knowing. You have hunches and feelings and you need to find a way to honour those because they have your back.
37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“And isn’t it good;
if we could freeze moments in time we all would.
I do what I can, do what I can.”
- We Do What We Can Do, Sheryl Crow.