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Currently Living…one year later.

This month my blog turns one year old. Happy birthday, blog. I wanted to take this opportunity to look back and reflect on what’s come to pass in the last twelve months on Currently Living.

I started the blog in spring of 2013 when I was living in Berlin and trying to wrap up my first collection of short stories. This was a very productive writing period for me. In a short span of time I wrote a whole raft of solid stories, a few of which will be published in the coming months. It was hard not be inspired by Berlin’s incredible arts scene, Kreuzberg’s gritty architecture, and the strange light that filtered each day into the American Library building onto the long desk where I wrote. I was also working on the first draft of my novel and polishing off a few non-fiction essays. It’s hard not to read these pieces now without being reminded of those magical, dreamy days in Berlin.

But I also felt, during that season abroad, that I wanted to engage with the writing world, to make deeper connections with folks back in Canada and some of the writers and artists I was meeting through Europe. Inspired by blogs like Will Johnson’s Literary Goon and Amanda Leduc’s Waiting for an Echo, I designed and brought Currently Living to life. It’s home base for news of my own writing, readings, publications, awards, and so on. But more importantly, it’s also a space where I can be in dialogue with a few of the many writers and artists whose work I admire.

One year in, and I’m thrilled with how it’s come together. I’ve had the chance to chat with many grade-A writers, some up-and-coming (like Kris Bertin, Zoey Leigh Peterson, Ayelet Tsabari, Eliza Robertson, and Doretta Lau, to name just a few) and others further along in their career, award-winners like Kamal Al-Solaylee, Anthony DeSa, and Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer. I’ve made great new friends and built solid connections with the literary world in both Canada and abroad. I’ve also been surprised with how well people have reacted to the blog. The site has been much busier than I’d expected. In total, I’ve had visitors from 93 countries (Hello, reader from Reunion Island!).

If you’re reading this, I hope you’ve enjoyed some of what you’ve found on Currently Living. Over the summer months, look for new interviews with award-winning poet John Barton, recent Bronwen Wallace Award winner Erin Frances Fisher, and debut novelists Chris Diraddo (The Geography of Pluto) and Krista Foss (Smoke River), among others.

Writing can sometimes be a hard, lonely slog. Having such an awesome community of readers, writers, supporters and dedicated editors has made a real difference in how I approach my own work, and for that, dear reader, I am grateful.