The Rather Fabulous TaDa Award!

ta-daIt’s the beginning of award season with the Bafta nominations recently being announced and the Oscars just around the corner. In the blogging world the talented ReGi McClain decided to kick off 2014 with the TaDa Award and I was one of the lucky recipients.

ReGi is a writer of fantasy and has recently been posting chronological snippets of her latest work in progress Queen of Bears on Wednesdays over on her fabulous blog, ReGi McClain’s Fortnight Stories. It’s well worth checking out. ReGi has also posted her own answers to the TaDa Award which you can read here.

So without further ado here are my answers to ReGi’s questions:

1. What was the best experience you had on purpose last year?

Finding out at our 12-week scan that I had a wriggly little baby on board with a good strong heart-beat.

2. What was the best experience you stumbled into last year?

Teaching at Bath Spa University (where I did my Creative Writing MA). I’d never taught before and it was completely unexpected. Emma Hooper, who I knew from the MA, had been teaching the course but ended up moving to the music department and so they needed someone to replace her in the middle of the year and she suggested me. I happened to know and had worked with the course leader previously and so thought I’d be in with a chance of getting an interview but was simply offered the job over the phone. Cue a huge amount of nerves – I can’t tell you how ridiculously nervous I was before the first class – but it was too good an experience to turn down (see question eight).

3. What was your greatest intentional accomplishment last year?

Finally publishing my novel, The Butterfly Storm. It had taken nine-years from first starting to write it to launching the book on the 12th June and I couldn’t be happier with how things have gone and how the book on the whole has been received over the past seven months.

4. What was your greatest unplanned accomplishment last year?

My greatest unplanned accomplishment was finding out I was pregnant. Although this was something we’d most definitely planned, these things don’t always happen when you want them to, and so became hope rather than a plan. For us it’s been a very long and difficult journey to reach this point. We decided in 2008 that we wanted a family and so started trying in 2009 only to be referred for fertility treatment two years later when we’d had no success. By May last year we had three failed cycles and one early miscarriage behind us and to be perfectly honest I knew the chances of cycle number four being a success were slim. But against all odds the pregnancy test on the 18th June was positive and that wriggly little thing that we saw at the 12-week scan is now a kicky and ever-growing baby who’s due in less than six-weeks time.

5. Did you spend time with someone you adore last year?

Yes, my lovely husband Nik.

6. Were you nice to someone you don’t like last year?

To be honest I can’t think of anyone I know that I don’t like.

7. What was the most amazing thing you learned last year?

That self-publishing is a viable and very satisfying option to being published traditionally. That first 5-star review for The Butterfly Storm from someone I didn’t know was truly amazing.

8. Who did you teach last year and what (G-rated thing) did you teach them?

Between January and May I taught the Lifewriting course at Bath Spa University to Creative Writing undergraduates. It was my first experience of teaching and it was both terrifying and exciting. There was a group of 20 or so students ranging from the age of 19 up to someone in their 50s and apart from a varied reading list the classes focused on teaching interview techniques, doing creative writing and work shopping each other’s work. Oh, and marking 40+ creative writing papers.

9. What events did you attend last year?

In March I went with my Mum to see author Hilary Mantel give a talk during the Bath Literature Festival and I also attended a fantastic day-long workshop called New to Teaching Creative Writing. In June I went to local author Lucienne Boyce’s book launch and then later in the summer, along with Elaine Jeremiah we headed to Bath for a talk about self-publishing. At the beginning of August there was a surprise 80th birthday party for my Great Aunt and finally in December a Christmas meal with work colleagues.

10. Did you travel anywhere? Even just downtown?  

There was no travel abroad this year but Nik and I did eventually get away to Norfolk for a few days (after the nightmare of our car breaking down), and we also visited my brother, his girlfriend and our little nephew at their beautiful home in Wales, once in the summer and the second time at the beginning of December.

*       *      *

I won’t nominate anyone in particular but I will instead pass on the TaDa Award to anyone who follows my blog and fancies writing about their year in review – or simply let me know what you got up to in 2013 in the comments below.

Bookmark the permalink.

10 Comments

  1. Whoa! Busy year for you. :-) It sounds like you enjoyed teaching. Are you still at it?

    Knowing more of the backstory, I’m doubly excited for your baby. :-) I’ve gathered that fertility struggles are downright painful. One friend had such a terrible time… :-(

    • It was pretty busy! I did enjoy teaching although I was terrified too. Sometimes you’ve just got to make yourself do things you’re not quite comfortable with but by the end I genuinely enjoyed it. Not teaching this year because of being pregnant and not being able to do the whole three terms, although hopefully there will be an opportunity in the future.

      The past couple of years have been horrible and some of the worst times of my life with fertility struggles but we’ve got through them and feel so blessed that it has worked out for us as it doesn’t for so many people. I never thought having a baby was going to happen and I can’t believe we’re so close to getting to meet him or her now! :-)

  2. What a wonderful year you’ve had Kate! You’ve achieved so much – congrats on the success of your book and soon-to-be baby. It’s really interesting to me to read about the stuff I didn’t already know!

    Looking forward to seeing you soon. xx

  3. It does sound like you’ve had a great year. I’m so excited for you and Nik to be welcoming a very wanted bub soon. All the best for that. Did you get a copy of the scan? Bruce and I treasured our grainy black and white scans, watching them often and trying to imagine what our children would look like. Fast forward 7 years, my daughter was excited to see herself when she was in my tummy. Her disgusted response upon watching it recently – “What do you mean that was me?!?” I have no idea what she imagined it looked like. Smiling and waving no doubt!

    • Thanks Raewyn, it was a great year and this one’s going to be even better! We’ve got scan photos from 7 weeks, 12 weeks and 20 weeks and it’s incredible to see a tiny jellybean shaped thing at 7 weeks turn into an actual baby by 20 weeks. No video like you’ve got – that’s pretty special. Love your daughter’s disgusted response. Our baby had a hand in a dramatic pose in front of his/her head at our 12 week scan. So cute. :-)

  4. Congrats! Loved your greatest unplanned accomplishment. :-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *