Tuesday, December 27, 2011
My 2011- A Very Good Year Indeed!!
Though most people get excited about Christmas, my favourite thing about this time of the year is New Year's. It gives me a chance to look back over the year and assess how it went and to look forward to what the new year has for me.
1. I had three fantastic trips this year. The first was to London in February to speak at the London School of Economics during their Space for Thought Literary Festival. See photos of the trip here. On that trip I had the opportunity to meet the fantastic writing trio of: Sue Guiney, Tania Hershman and Vanessa Gebbie. What a treat that was! A podcast of my talk can be listened to here. The trip was sponsored by Botswana's Department of Arts and Culture.
2. The second and third trips were actually combined. I set off for Lagos Nigeria in June then passed back through London on my way home to Botswana. In Lagos, I was privileged to attend the Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop run by Chimamanda Adichie and included other fabulous teachers such as Binyavanga Wainaina, Tash Aw and Faith Adiele. So grateful for that opportunity and I learned a lot!
3. The last trip to London was a result of me being shortlisted for The Caine Prize. I was honoured even if I was not the winner.You can read my thoughts at the time here. Fabulous things have happened to me as a direct result of that shortlisting. One of the most important is I met the owner of HopeRoad the publisher of my short story collection ebook, In the Spirit of McPhineas Lata and Other Stories. We spoke, I liked her, I sent her my manuscript and now we're working together. I also met the folks from The New Internationalist and will be writing a column for them starting in March 2012. I really need to thank Colleen Higgs the boss at Modjaji Books for submitting McPhineas for the Caine. At the time I thought she was crazy, I was sure it had no chance. Just goes to show what I know about these things and how wise Ms Higgs is.
4. I was lucky this year to have three books published. The first was a romance published by Sapphire titled Mr Not Quite Good Enough which came out in July. The second book, which is doing very well in South Africa, is the young adult, humorous book, Signed Hopelessly in Love , published by Tafelberg that came out in August. The book has since gone on to receive fantastic reviews including being mentioned in Oprah Magazine's "44 Brilliant Reads". The last is my ebook short story collection already mentioned above, In the Spirit of McPhineas Lata and Other Stories (all stories set in Botswana), which came out last week.
5. Personally, it's also been a great year. Both of my children are now at university with my son starting his first year of a Bsc degree. My daughter is in her second year of architecture. My husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary and were lucky enough to do that in the UK, thanks to the Caine nomination. The 11th of July, our anniversary, was also the awards dinner in Oxford. A magical day on all counts. (the photo at the top is of Mr K and I at Oxford before the dinner, taken by NoViolet Bulwayo who went on to win the prize, a worthy winner and a good photographer too!!)
6. The only downside for 2011 is that one of my goals for the year was to have my first, full length adult novel published. This I didn't achieve. I have two out there; one with an agent, one with a publisher, so perhaps that dream is meant to come true in 2012. I'll have to wait and see.
I hope your 2011 was as great as mine and I wish you a magical, prosperous and healthy 2012. PULA!!!!!!