Because I am completely empty of blog post ideas, and because this month I came across many postings titled ‘Most Read post/story/article of 2016’ on many a blog and magazine website, and because (I think) I am going to try to write more personal posts in 2017…
…I’ve a) decided to highlight my most read blog post of 2016, b) share what was going on in my life at the time (my About page was most read three years in a row, which tells me that folks are curious about the person behind Diaspora!), and c) riff off of 2017’s most read post and write a daughter post related to it.
a) the most read blog post of 2017 (and runner-up in 2014), is Permanent Hager Fikir. Clearly, tattoos in general and Ethiopian tattoos in particular are a favourite topic among the much-appreciated-by-yours-truly readers of this blog (who could probably all fit into a medium-sized tattoo parlour!).
b) To know specifically what was going on in my life on December 16, 2013, I’d have to consult my journal. Lacking an entry for that date, I’d have to disclose what is written in an entry dated closest to it. But that is whole other level of exposure which I’ll reserve maybe for 2018 or thereabouts, once I’ve got a better handle on this sharing thing.
Generally though, December 2013 was my first full month back in Toronto after an 18 month absence, by way of China>Southeast Asia>East Africa>U.S. Northeast. Because the tenant in my condo still had 11 months on her lease, and because I was too karma-shy to bounce her out before her time, I was renting part of the top floor of a townhouse and learning to live with the sounds and smells of my three sets of neighbours spread throughout the townhouse. That was also when I became a huge fan of Dexter. Whether the two facts are directly related or not is a matter of debate.
Writing-wise, I was in the earliest stages of the stories that would eventually become What Grows, Animals in the Garden, and The Twelfth Juror. My novel Vase Life was an infant, merely 1.5 drafts old and a total hopeless shapeless mess. It surprises me that I’ve stuck with it as long as I have, considering. But that’s the way with one’s babies, I suppose.
On the love front, I’d developed a crush on one of the regular drivers of the bus I took daily from in front of the townhouse to the subway station. He was chiseled chocolate, vaguely reminiscent of a ’90s Rn’B star, and wore shades way too cool for his job and a uniform one size too small. Alas, he never got off the bus, and I always did, so that ride didn’t go anywhere (harhar). What that little flirtation did do was make life in the boonies of Scarborough a tad more bearable, and kept my Dexter-inspired ideas on how to deal with my neighbours at the idea level.
c) I already riffed on this blog a couple of months ago, in Cross-eyed. Therefore, one might assume I can’t possibly milk it any further, that doesn’t need a sibling, especially in the current economic climate. And one would be entirely correct.