2016 was a difficult year for the world, filled with loss and change. In some ways, it was difficult for us too but it was also a tremendously special year and I’m grateful for all the wonder and happiness that entered our lives.
My husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary in September. We welcomed our second daughter in May. And we moved into our new house in October—all very wonderful things.
I also formatted and designed a book for a fellow artist and writer from my community, Elizabeth Doxtator. We launched our books together at the Woodland Cultural Centre in November of 2016 which was a really great experience. Our friends and family came out to support us along with local MPP, Dave Levac who also gave us a very kind congratulatory certificate to mark the occasion.
I continued my language learning and started to make comics in the Cayuga language with my husband.
I bought some recording equipment and began learning how to record some of the piano music I’ve written.
I set-up as a vendor at three events: The Six Nations Language Conference, The Grand River Champions of Champions Powwow and The Everlasting Tree School’s Healing & Wellness event.
And finally, I finished the first year of my doctorate program and started into the second year.
Needless to say—it was a busy, busy year and 2017 shows every sign of being just as busy!
Looking ahead to 2017
My goals for 2017 are to do more of what made 2016 as great as it was. To spend time with my husband and daughters. To write more. To paint more. To record my piano music as well as my books. To learn more language. To read more about Indigenous language revitalization. To read more legends and do more research. To be a healthy creative person who eats well and exercises regularly. And to share the positive energy I gain from creating things with the world.
I have specific goals, too. They are:
1. To write 500 plus words a day
2. To edit for an hour.
3. To write two novels, one novella, two short stories and three essays.
4. To publish three books.
5. To read 25 books.
6. To record an audio book of Spirit & Intent.
7. To make a short album of piano music.
8. To continue to learn more about writing and publishing.
9. To continue working in the area of language revitalization.
But my big goal in has everything to do with art. Over the last few months I’ve realized that while I have a lot of writing and publishing goals—I have just as many goals when it comes to drawing an painting and illustrating. There is a lot of art that I want to create. Art for essays I’m thinking of writing. Art for my book covers. Art for Cayuga language books I want to write for myself and my girls. Art on canvas. Art for print. Digital art.
I have so much to learn when it comes to art that it sounds weird to say that I have a dream of being an illustrator—but it’s true. I have a dream of being an illustrator. So 2017 marks the start of a more intensive concentration on my art practice. I’m not ready to define my goals here yet but overall, I'm looking to amass a body of work that I'm happy with and to learn new techniques and experiment with more tools. I’m very much looking forward to sharing what I learn and I'll be sharing my work on my Instagram so come check it out!
Phew. So there they are. My goals for 2017. I am super excited for them all and for the wonderful new space we have to work on them all in. Building our house was a long and challenging process but having a home of our own is something I am immensely grateful for every day.
Here's one last thing before I go. Since 2013, a few key words have helped me to really determine the direction I want to move my life in. I thought I would share them with you, because although they’re just words, but they really did help me quite a lot. So here they are—in picture form :).
What about you? What are your goals for 2017?
Til next time, happy writing & creating!