So that’s it for 2012. The world didn’t end. Life goes on. Et cetera. Wasn’t sure how to recap the year, so I’m doing in pictures. Here are, roughly in chronological order, my ten favourite-slash-most-significant images from the past twelve months.
1. In January, Penguin USA’s young adult imprint, Razorbill Books, expanded into Canada. This first pic was taken at the launch party, held at The Baitshop Gallery in Toronto. It’s a skate shop, bar, screening room, cafe, whatever you like (even comes with its own half-pipe—you can see a slice of it down below the footlights). Speaking on stage is my Canadian editor (and head of Razorbill Canada), Lynne Missen.
2. In May, it was the Forest of Reading Awards, where Dust City was nominated in the Red Maple young adult category. Sadly, I don’t have any pics that capture the excitement (or the noise) of the event itself, but a few days later, I was a guest at the Peel Region Celebration of Reading, put on for any kids who couldn’t get tickets to the actual ceremony. The Celebration takes place in an arena full of 4000 screaming readers. Seriously. Screaming.
3. In July, Machi and I finally pulled the ripcord and moved back to London, something we had been planning for a while. This pic was taken on a hill overlooking Aurora, north of Toronto. It’s one of the last pictures of us in Canada. Obviously, somebody just said something hilarious.
4. So yes, we moved to London, where Machi has been able to slip right back into the theatre production work she was doing when we first met. It was a crazy summer with the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, so to signify the move, here’s a photograph of a wooden Queen Elizabeth automaton, waving. It was part of an exhibit by Cabaret Mechanical Theatre at Space Station Sixty-Five, a gallery in South London.
5. Sometimes, I work at the library. Sometimes, when I get there, there’s an inspirational quote stuck to the wall. Sometimes, it’s not inspirational, it’s just cool. Like this one from Adam Ant.
6. Sometimes, I don’t work at the library.
7. In autumn, Zorgamazoo was published in Germany. I’m not a translator, but I’m sure it must rank up there with the trickiest texts to convert into another language. So hats off to Jacoby-Stuart, my German publishers, and especially to Uwe-Michael Gutzschhahn, who did the honours of re-writing the whole book in German. I attended the Berlin Int’l Lit Fest to coincide with the publication (that’s me on stage, second from the right).
8. As I write this, I’m spending New Years on the west coast of Japan with Machi’s family (plus doing research for a new project—coming soon, I hope).
On the way here, I passed through Helsinki. Running to catch my connecting flight, I snapped a pic of this guy, sitting at the base of some escalators. When I tweeted the photograph to see if anyone knew what it was, I got a response from the actual airport (which, of course, has its own a Twitter account). The sculpture is by Finnish artist Kim Simmonson.
9. It’s Japanese tradition to eat soba noodles on the last day of the year. Since they’re one of my favourite foods, we decided to go one step beyond and learn how to make them from scratch. Here’s me with possibly the deadliest (certainly the heaviest) kitchen knife I’ve ever held. My soba came out awesome, by the way. I was surprised as anyone.
10. Last pic of the year is this one, of Kenroku-en Gardens in Kanazawa. Beautiful place for a winter walk. Happy New Year.