We’re all taking stock because it’s the end of the year. As I look back by the light of the dumpster fire that is the current administration, I grasp at moments that shined in 2018. I had a few. You may have too. Some of us plateaued all year long. While others are just white-knuckling it through the last few hours of 2018. I’ll spend time thinking about all of that today.
But here are a few times 2018 made me feel good, in no specific order.
Drake’s “I’m Upset” video was basically a Degrassi reunion, and I nearly cried with joy. I spent many a hangover day watching Degrassi: Next Gen marathons. If something can be formative through the haze of one’s twenties, than that show was it for me. So much so, I once spent over a month hand-making a Degrassi calendar. I created my own memes and added some of the most important plot points in as holidays. It weighed nearly five pounds because I mod-podged everything into it (I’m a doer, not a planner). It was a gift for the only other person I know would love it as much as me. And she’s the one that messaged me the morning that vid dropped, “You need to see this.” And when Spinner entered the scene, my fist pumped the air as tears filled my eyes, like that one gif. You know the one.
I read some really great books this year. For me, standouts were The Hate You Give, Educated, and The Wild Robot. I’m finally getting to Children of Blood and Bone right now and I already know it will be on this list as well. There There and Becoming are on deck. These books are wildly different in genre, but in theme they’re all hopepunk. And that’s my reading style. I like to read across genre, so that I’m good at recommending things. Plus, I think it’s important for my job. Which is a nice little segue into my next paragraph…
2018 was the year I became an editor for a small press, Filles Vertes Publishing, and my debut novel was released. It’s been a positive learning experience on both fronts. I’m feeling challenged and uncomfortable in new ways almost every day. You can find info about my book by clicking around on this website, but if you’re interested in what I like to see in my submissions box, here’s a quick blurb:
Jess adores young adult, middle grade, and rom-com women’s fiction. She loves any book she can describe as, “delightfully weird,” and is always on the hunt for those books that stick with her long term. Get Jess to care about your character at chapter one, and she’ll probably advocate for them the rest of the way through. If your work is own voices, witchy, or just full of a quirky loveable cast, send it her way.
To submit send your query + first chapter pasted into an email addressed to email@example.com. Please, put ATTN: JESS: TITLE in the subject line of your email.
But also, SEND ME YOUR HOPEPUNK.
Mrs. Maisel returned for season two. And she’s fine, but IMO Susie is the real fucking star.
Into the SpiderVerse was seriously as excellent as I expected it to be. Miles Morales will be the Spider-man my kids grow up knowing. YES.
My family is healthy and happy rn.
A mug that keeps coffee hot for long periods of time exists, and I was gifted one.
This next one didn’t necessarily make me feel good but I did laugh about it later. And it got me thinking about life and being more present. I stepped in dog shit twice this month. The second time, it was such a big pile that it splattered up onto my pant leg. But both times, I was out walking for some exercise and fresh air. I wasn’t really paying attention, probably checking my phone. My brain tends to be the real wanderer. When splat!
This article, from Politico Mag, about Connie Shultz got me fired up. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/12/21/connie-schultz-sherrod-brown-donald-trump-democratic-primary-2020-223416
And lastly, I used to teach elementary school. Reading and writing were my specialties. So, I was volunteering in a kindergarten classroom this month when they handed me a picture book and asked me to read to multiple groups of five-year-old kids throughout the morning. If you haven’t done this, find a way. Because literally, their reactions were divine. They gasped. They giggled. They threw down predictions. That entire day was nothing but laughter and hope because I got to see the sparks that story creates in even the smallest among us. It was amazing. Highly recommend. 10/10.
I know there were more things that I’m not thinking of atm. It’s early. The sun hasn’t quite come over the trees yet. My kids are waking up, and I need to get offline. So, have a safe eve.
My notifications for WordPress are kinda awful, but I’ll turn on the comments because I’d love to hear about your 2018 feel-good moments too.
Happy New Year to all!