And I Oop—

It’s July 1 and today is a celebration of two of my identities: Canada Day and Somalia Independence Day!

Writing these monthly posts is how I’m trying to keep myself accountable and if you’ve noticed, I’m a bit behind. The delay is a combination of fasting for Ramadan and also dealing with a bout of depression and extreme stress/anxiety. I’m currently working off of a rare occurrence of productive energy and I’m hoping going back to therapy will give me the perspective and coping skills I need to get out of this head space.

April was pretty quiet. In May, I attended the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) and moderated some panels. There were:

  • Creator Resource’s Short Stories & Zines panel & social
    • You can listen to the panel here. It’s full of great tips, advice and resources on making comics yourself or submitting your short comics to anthologies.
  • Been There Dundas: Fives Years of Toronto Comics
  • Queer YA Comics from First Second

I planned on taking this year easy after the intensity of last year but the opposite happened! It was a great time and I had a fun time tabling the Bleating Heart Press table with my pal Megan Purdy. I also had previews of my zine, We Need to Talk: Examining Women of Colour in Superhero Media, which will come out in full digitally at some point this year.

In June, I got to tour the Toronto Public Library’s Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation & Fantasy which is very cool. I recommend checking them out and maybe support them by joining the Friends of Merril Collection.

I also attended Raincoast Books’ TeensRead Fall Preview event at the Ampersand Inc offices. We found out about Wattpad publishing books now as Wattpad Books.

For more on this, click here.

Below are the books I’m excited to check out from the preview:

My 2019 April/May/June reads:

  1. Love From A to Z by SK Ali
  2. Diary of a Murderer: And Other Stories by Young-ha Kim
  3. The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter
  4. The Breakaways by Cathy G Johnson
  5. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell and Mariko Tamaki
  6. Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse
  7. Hicotea by Lorena Alvarez
  8. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
  9. Angry Queer Somali Boy by Mohamed Abdulkarim Ali
  10. A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott
  11. Albert’s Quiet Quest by Isabelle Arsenault

On whether or not I’ve hit my reading resolutions in the past three months:

I’ve read one translated work by a Korean author and debating if I should continue reading a novel by another Korean author (not pictured). I’ve read kids, middle grade and teen graphic novels. Does it add variety to the graphic novels/comics I’ve been reading? I don’t think so. I think I need to get out of the superhero/contemporary fiction bubble and read more stories about adults. I did read a book by a Somali person and want to read more.

Until next time…

Published by Ardo Omer


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