I started this blog back in 2007 when I was a student, and when I was a student, spending time between classes writing in a blog was the next best thing you could do to studying. Every one of my profs insisted that good writing took practice and that blogging was a great way to hone your skills on a daily basis. The fact that I had a fledgling craft business on the side was just another reason to keep a blog.
Much has changed since then: having earned my letters in sociology, I moved from Ottawa to Toronto in search of what was to come next. Blog posts appeared less frequently around then, primarily because I felt like I had nothing to write about. I was bartending while searching for full-time employment and grappling with a depression stemming from the fact that I toiled in academe for 8 years to crack beers for the next generation of undergrads. What would I blog about? What a loser I was? How much time and money I wasted on an education that got me nowhere?
Then things started happening. I got a full-time job, and I eventually adjusted from nocturnal bartender to 9-5 office rat. It wasn’t long before I became too busy to blog… Even now that there is plenty going on in my life, enough to sustain a weekly zine! I am trying to get back into blogging, but I’ve become aware that so much has changed since I started. The small readership I once had in Ottawa has since evaporated, and if my blog were a person, he/she might no longer recognize me. So here is the Coles’ notes version of my life right now, just for the sake of reconnaissance with you, the blogosphere, my old friend that I call up now and then to propose a casual chat over coffee that never winds up happening. Here’s what you missed.
Job 1 – Market Research
9-5. Salary. Benefits. Cubicle. I think I would go insane and shoot myself if not for the extra-curriculars… more on that in a minute.
Job 2 – Bartender
Tending bar Saturday nights at Nocturne nightclub supplements my savings and keeps me in touch with what remains of goth culture in Queen St West. I’ve never been much of a drinker, so bartending is really the best of both worlds. The money is kind of a bonus!
Extra-Curricular 1 – Toronto Roller Derby
I have been skating with Toronto Roller Derby since I moved here, but last month I was drafted from the farm team (The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad) to the Gore-Gore Rollergirls. Being drafted to a home team involves a tremendous increase in levels of skill and competitiveness, and the fact that the Gores are one of the top teams in the league doesn’t make it any easier. I only see my teammates twice a week, but roller derby is really more of a lifestyle than a hobby. I reckon I’ll be blogging about this quite a bit this season!
Extra-Curricular 2 – The Rue Morgue Podcast
When my book was published in 2010, Rue Morgue sponsored my book launch party here in Toronto. Thanks to this, I was able to get the attention of a certain Stuart “Feedback” Andrews who invited me to take part in an episode of the podcast to talk about the book as part of his Women In Horror series. Since then, I have returned as a guest twice and am currently preparing for another appearance. Stay tuned for more on that this month!
Extra-Curricular 3 – More Publications
The release of my book also put me in touch with the extended horror-academic community. A professor back at my alma mater invited me to submit an essay for a book on Canadian horror film. I was also contacted by author Kim Paffenroth and blogger/academic John Morehead to contribute to their upcoming book as well. At the time I agreed to take on both projects, I had hoped they would line up sequentially, but no such luck! They are both due in the coming months, and they keep me working at my desk well into the evening (when I don’t have derby practice, that is)
I could go on: I’m helping put on some film screenings in February and I’ve applied to participate in a zombie conference in Montreal next July. I am perpetually involved in one thing or another simply because I’ve finally broken into this city and I have the opportunity to take advantage of everything it has to offer! While it is true that some nights I don’t sleep too well on account of all these things on my mind at once, I am comforted by the knowledge that I’m grabbing life by the horns and these activities (especially the publications) will undoubtedly pay off in the end.
That’s it then. If you’ve actually read this far, consider yourself caught up with the life and times of Lady Hellbat!