Well, my darlings, that’s me for the year. I’m outta here, to spend the next 10 days in a drunken stupor relaxing with my family, my hobbies, my air-conditioning, and my platter of Christmas nibblies.

What do I plan in 2017? A return to writing, with a vengeance. 2016 was a lost year in too many ways, and the loss of my writing was amongst the most painful difficulties I went through. No more, I say.

The battle with my weight will continue. I lost– and kept off– several kilograms this year, but not as many as I’d hoped for, and after getting under 100kgs I slipped and have ended the year at about 105. A little bit of dedication is in order.

A little bit of dedication is in order in most things: one of the reasons 2016 became such a slippery slope of depression and difficulty was my own lack of internal fortitude. 2017 will be a return to my more manned-up self: there was a time I was a model of focus and determination. Time to get back to those days, methinks.

But, there’s some positives, too: if you’re of a mind, you’ll be able to see me taking advantage of two wonderful opportunities throughout the year, on the back of the continued respect that Magrit is according me in my little corner of the industry.

In May, I’ll be speaking, and running an all-day Masterclass, at the 2017 Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore. It’s my first visit to the island nation, so I’ll be combining my official duties with running round like some sort of insane, gaping tourist child, which means I’ll be available for shenanigans and japery as well as dispensing my usual brand of hard-won wisdom, blasphemy and outright effrontery.

And closer to home, I’ve been recently announced as the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre’s 2017 Established Writer in Residence. I’ll be staying at the Centre for 2 weeks in July, working on a new project as well as mentoring, attending groups, and generally being available to be cool and wise and elder-statesmanly and the like. I’m yet to receive confirmation on the requirement for nakedness and loin cloths….

So here’s to 2017: let it be the year we ride dragons and vanquish virgins! Wait…….

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