Not My Typewriter: A Year in Review

Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Blog posts have a short life span and they die a quick death. They appear, and then quickly they disappear. In order to give a few of my favourites from 2015 a tad more longevity, I've compiled a list of my favourite posts from 2015. Somehow, Not My Typewriter has been around for five years now, and incredibly, 2015 boasted my most posts so far. Hoping to follow this momentum through to 2016! Wishing everyone a happy and healthy year ahead.

Living Arts: (Don't) Quit Your Day Job
Two weeks ago I quit my job. I walked into my boss's office with a letter in hand, and I gave my resignation after eight years. It wasn't an easy decision.

Bookish CanCon (Juno Edition)
It's Juno weekend here in Hamilton, which gave me the perfect opportunity to finally compile the Bookish CanCon playlist I've been thinking about for a while. It won't come as a surprise, but a lot of Canadian artists reference literature in both their songs and band names.

Hamilton Winterfest
Hamilton WinterFest kicked off today at Pier 8. The festival, which is in its 37th year, runs February 7-16 at galleries, museums, and parks across the city. Today's WinterFest Kick-Off event included live music (notably Hamilton's Wax Mannequin), art installations, crafts, and a mini film festival, featuring two of my all-time favourite bits of Canadiana — The Sweater and The Log Driver's Waltz.

Doors Open Hamilton
If you've followed this blog for any more than a year, you'll know all about my enthusiasm for Doors Open Hamilton. It's undoubtedly in my top three events in the city (and I love events!) and every year it marks the beginning of spring for me. This year was no exception.

gritLIT2015: The Good, Great, and Even Better
I've had a lot of incredible opportunities as a committee member of gritLIT: Hamilton's Readers and Writers Festival, but sitting in Richard Wagamese's literary salon (and introducing him) is now firmly planted at the top of that list. The intimate crowd was captivated from the second he started sharing his experiences, among them having money for food but not shelter and devouring the wealth of material at the St. Catherines library.

A few weeks ago, on a road trip, we took the less-travelled route between Toronto and Ottawa (and later Ottawa and Toronto), taking the scenic route along Highway 7, and stopping along the way. The trip also took us to Olympic Stadium in Montreal for a pre-season Jays game.

Judy Blume at the Toronto Reference Library
Book signings are a strange but wonderful experience. For me, an anxious introvert, they mean standing in line playing conversations over and over again in my head: What will I say? What should I say? What will he/she say in response?

Fringe Binge 2015
This year, I received the chance to review Fringe Festival plays for one of my favourite Hamilton sites, Raise the Hammer.

Review: This is Happy by Camilla Gibb
I read the first pages of This Is Happy, Camilla Gibb’s first memoir, on the edge of Guelph Lake with a folk festival buzzing behind me. It was the final weekend of July, and I’d snuck away from the chaos: The sweaty bodies fighting for shade, the dancing women in flowing skirts, the line-up for overpriced beer. I found an hour of solitude as the sun began to set and hipster parents called their little ones back toward shore. This is happy, I thought to myself.

Hamilton Haunts: Quills
On the first Thursday of every month, a bright and open loft space that overlooks Hamilton’s trendy Locke Street becomes alive with the sound of typewriters. For the past few months, Quills, a stationery shop that specializes in far more than paper, has hosted the Locke Street Lettering Society, an evening that encourages people to toss aside their cell phones and write letters instead. Quills supplies not only the vintage typewriters, ink and pens, but even the envelopes and stamps, too.

Supercrawl: Day One and Supercrawl: Day Two and ThreeHamilton is one tough city. During a weekend of cold drizzle, many of us still took to the streets even though the sun refused to shine. Despite it all, we rallied, and we made the best of it, under ponchos and umbrellas.

Hamilton Haunts: The River Trading Company The carefully curated collection that makes up the River Trading Company (at 559 Barton Street East) is the pride of siblings Mary and David McGowan. It's also watched over by two cats, Walter (who Mary says chose bookstore living when he wandered into the Toronto store) and Nickel, and a dog, Thor, who greets book browsers at the door.

#GLB2015: Outline by Rachel Cusk
This year, Giller Light has enlisted the help of bloggers to highlight the five titles that comprise the Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist. Yesterday, Karen of One More Page reviewed Daydreams of Angels by Heather O’Neill. Karen is a tough act to follow, but I'm happy to be today's #GLB2015 blogger, reviewing Outline by Rachel Cusk. 


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