(Audio at the end of the post)
Happy New Year and welcome to 2018 my dear friends and YA Bookcasers!
I’m sure we can all agree that 2017 was a big learning curve for us all, regardless of country/culture/color/creed/etc., yes? What we learned will depend on our own individual stories. And that’s what makes our world have hope and beauty in it – people progressing through their own stories and building, piece by piece, a new narrative into their lives. And I’d like to talk about where we go from here…The world can be a crazy, upside down, thrill-bringing, amazing, and terrifying place. But that’s what makes it human. And that’s what art breeds from. Some people say that now, more than ever, we need art. But I believe we have always needed art “now more than ever.” Every generation, every era has had its conflicts, joys, and woes, and each time we hit a trough, a peak is due to come. As creators, readers, artists, and people, I think we have a duty to keep creating the best that we can. Whether we create books, art, love, compassion. We need to create from 2018 onward the world we want to live in.
For me, that means many things. I want to create my novels. To touch someone’s heart the way someone’s words have touched mine. Personally, I want to see epilepsy represented in fiction, so that’s what I write into my work. Is this a big change in the world? Perhaps not. But it’s a change that matters to me, and I hope will one day matter to someone else.
I also want to go into 2018 and create more happiness in the world. No matter what happens in our world, political, and personal circumstances, I want to focus my energy on doing my little bit of joy. Will I always succeed? Perhaps not. Will I always try? As best I can.
Already, my year has started in a complex way. I’ve spent time with my Greek family, found the lucky coin in the cake, had a family passing from my partner’s side, celebrated 3 birthdays, and one anniversary, and had a blip in the medical condition I so want people to understand more fully. So yes, these two days in have certainly been full! And do you know what? I’m happy. Happy that this planet gives us so much to think about, so much to learn from, so much that makes us relate to the very human beings standing right next to us.
Yes, of course, there is deep sadness in our house, but there is profound happiness and gratitude also. And from all of this, I will create. I will make my stories and explore these emotions – good, bad, ugly, and beautiful. I will go into 2018 and try my best to bring my slice of reality into someone else’s. And then I will pick up books, movies, listen to people talking, connect with the world, and try and put myself in the shoes of others.
So, where do we go from here in 2018? Simple. Into life.
Where will you go?