So this week I branched out and did something new: I joined Instagram. I’ve resisted it for a long time because I wasn’t sure I could keep up with it. It’s hard enough to find time to post anywhere on social media — you, dear blog readers, are no doubt aware of my lack of free time! — but I think I’ve learned enough about how to do it and how to plan to do it that it won’t be onerous. And honestly, even though it’s been just a few days, already I think it’s pretty fun.
So if you’re on IG, pop on over and give us some love. Here I am over there. You may expect to see photos of my cats, my handmade jewelry, and my paintings, as well as whatever else strikes my fancy. Enjoy!
As is usually my wont at this time of year, I like to post with some fun statistics about my blog’s performance over the past year and with a discussion of my New Year’s Resolutions. I’ll get the stats out of the way first; I find them interesting and hope you will, too.
Even though I did not make nearly as many posts in 2016 as I’d hoped to, Sappho’s Torque was being read in 83 countries, with the vast majority of hits coming from the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Brazil, Germany, and India.
Most of my posts this past year happened during April and December, which is no surprise since those are the two months in which I have consistent daily series: the Poem-A-Day for National Poetry Month in April and 12 Days of Christmas Music (the description changes each year) in December. Look for those two series to continue, by the way, in 2017; I’m already curating them both.
But I had plenty of other posts which did well in 2016 that weren’t part of those series. Not all of them were written in 2016, but they did get a lot of attention. Perhaps unsurprisingly, quite a few of the posts contain my critiques on society and culture, although if that’s all you looked at, you wouldn’t get a complete sense of who I am or what I do or think. Here’s a list of some of last year’s greatest hits:
I also had quite a few queries from potential guest posters to my blog this year. Generally, I’m open to this, particularly in the areas of fashion, food, culture, writing, and literature, so if you want to query me to guest post, please send me an email at forest [dot] of [dot] diamonds [at] gmail [dot] com.
Now, as to the Resolutions. I’m actually not making them anymore. Not entirely. They always fail. Instead I’ve been making Goals. That seems to be more successful, I guess because of some sort of subconscious semantic baggage? I don’t know. But recently I heard a really interesting piece on the radio with some commentary by nutritionist Roberta Anding (whose daughter I used to teach). Dr. Anding made an excellent presentation on food with regards to health and wellness at our school a few years back, and I think she generally has a lot of wisdom to share on the subject. Anyway, her basic idea was that a Reset is a better way of approaching the traditional New Year’s Resolution, because a Reset is a specific daily goal that you can evaluate every evening and then set a new one — or continue the same one — for the next day.
So what are my goals for 2017? Well, one goal for every day of 2017 is to write something. We shall see. I have several projects knocking around over here at the moment so we’ll hope for the best.
2016 was, not gonna lie, a rough year in many ways. I’m at an age where the cultural icons of my youth are at an age to be exceedingly mortal. That’s never a cheerful place to be. And anyone who knows me at all probably understands how very opposite of my values and hopes for the world the toxic results of our current political system’s brokenness is. Like many creative types, the last couple of months haven’t been super awesome for artistic output. But as other authors more famous and accomplished than I have pointed out, we must endure. We must make art. It is through art that we will retain our sanity and reflect our deeper purpose. So I’m making that my daily goal. Oh, and also to become even more politically active, which I’m doing like gangbusters, yo. That feels useful. And sometimes the results are immediate and positive, which feels good.
As rough and shocking as 2016 was, though, lots of good things happened too. Among those were a visit to see my dear friend Sarah Warburton, doing several Book Fair or other author events (with significant sales at each), and adopting my lovely kitten, Salaadin. Please to enjoy these charming cat pics.
So what are your resolutions/goals/resets for 2017 or for today? I’d love to hear how it’s going for you.
Happy Hallowe’en! Since I’m not actually capable of taking a decent picture of anything — not even an inanimate and stationery object in medium natural light, much less actual living people — I have to wait on friends and family members to send me their photos before I can share them.
In the meantime, here is something delightful for you to enjoy:
And please also take a look at Scotland-based author Marie Marshall’s blog, where she has graciously reviewed my website and some of my poetry. One of my poems is also included in the review, so, you know, bonus. Thank you, Marie. 🙂