Let’s try something new as 2015 draws to a close: Blogging about me. I write about everything I read, I write about events I go to, I write for a living at times, but I don’t write about me, but this year has been really good, so it seems a fine place to start. So, hello. If you only know my book reviews and event recaps, here’s a little about my year.
2015 was the year when everything kind of started working out. The University of Stirling publishing Masters course lured me back to study. I got distinctions in every module, including a dissertation on comic books, and won the Routledge Award for the Most Distinguished Student. I’ve been on a swirling route towards publishing for the last few years, and doing so well felt like everything was clicking into place, and I’m still really happy about how it has gone. (I would also highly recommend it to anyone interested in publishing!)
It’s the year when muddling away at stuff has finally turned into jobs. I’m currently the publishing & marketing assistant at Bright Red. I get to play around on social media and code to my heart’s content with a brilliant company. I also joined SYP Scotland’s committee as social media officer, so I get to tinker online even more, and set up and run their blog. It’s basically another way for me to write about publishing and books, in case I didn’t do that enough.
Upset Magazine launched, and I somehow was asked to write for them (I’m not going to question it!), which rebooted my enjoyment of writing about music. Admittedly, it had died down for a while. I’ve gotten so many features in print that I’m still thrilled about, and topped my year by interviewing Henry (freakin’) Rollins. I also started writing for Rock Sound, and even squeezed one in with Alternative Press. One of my reviews was also published in a brilliant new Soundgarden book. Basically, 13 year old me would be very surprised to know that, it may have taken 10 years, but my bucket list got completed.
I went to a lot of conferences and book festivals, which has been chucked into a Best Of blog to spare anyone persevering with this ramble a repeat. The Saltire Society Awards is one I was particularly happy to be involved in beyond actually attending the awards. I do like a project so organising their first shadow judging panels was something I was happy to be asked about, and really enjoyed.
This is exceedingly professional so far. I’ve had a few years of ups and downs with jobs, so I think when anyone asks about 2015, my mind immediately goes to the fact that this year has been surprisingly great. It kind of all came together, and I’m really lucky.
But outside of all that, this year was a fun one. I met Dick and Dom (at an industry event – seriously, I love what I get to do), and had a Harry Potter-heavy year with the train ride up north, return to the studio tour and a stay in the Harry Potter hotel. I also went to over 30 events at Edinburgh Book Festival, which is always a feature of my year-end look back.
Most importantly, I got a puppy. Luna is mental but lovely, and it feels strangely adult to have someone depending on you. She is fascinated by the QI opening credits, and as of December 30th has discovered a fondness for digging so is slowly destroying our house with mud. Luna is also open to posing next to any books if anyone would like to donate some for her to sit beside *cough*.
I saw Slipknot and Eagles of Death Metal, Motley Crue and some others. I met Alice Cooper and Mark Hoppus again, Alan Cumming and Paul Merton at Edinburgh Book Festival, and spent my year surrounded by books and wonderful people. I don’t take nearly enough pictures. I should probably fix that, but I say that every year.
When I stop and look back, 2015 has been rather unbelievable. I suppose 2016 will be me trying to keep it all up, and read more books. In the meantime, I have a snoring puppy who doesn’t realise she’s tripled in size since we got her lying on me as I write.