Daily Archives: December 21, 2012

Stephanie Butland’s Review of 2012.

Another of my Twitter pals who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting is here to share her review of 2012. Stephanie Butland, along with being a bloomin’ lovely lady, is a true inspiration.

Stephanie Butland

2012 has been a great year for you. Do you have a favourite memory professionally?

I have two and I can’t choose between them! Standing on Grainger Street in Newcastle listening to my agent tell me that Transworld were buying my first two novels, ‘Surrounded By Water’ and ‘Breaking Bread’. (The funny/lovely thing about agents is that they think you’re actually a proper grown-up writer so they tell you these things as though it’s completely normal while you are talking so squeakily that only bats can properly make you out.)
And ‘Thrive: the Bah! Guide to wellness after cancer’ being published. I put my whole heart into it: I believe so passionately that people who have danced with cancer need more support than they get when the music ends.
And how about a favourite moment from 2012 generally?
Late in 2011 we discovered that my husband had a long-lost brother. In February 2012 we met him for the first time. It was such a special occasion. http://bahtocancer.com/2012/03/cancer-free-friday-brothers/
Favourite book in 2012?
Oh, no. I refuse to be pinned down to one!
I was lucky enough to be sent a preview copy of ‘Born Weird’ by Andrew Kaufman (who wrote the brilliant, brilliant, BRILLIANT ‘All My Friends Are Superheroes’) and it’s delicious. Funny, quirky, sad, strange, but, when it comes to what it means to be human, utterly true.
‘Florence And Giles’ by John Harding: a brilliant narrative voice and a horribly involving tale.
”Teach Us To Sit Still’ by Tim Parks: a clever, literate examination of the power and the discipline of meditating.
And ‘Bring up The Bodies’. Of course. Although it surprised me how much I loved it, because I really struggled with ‘Wolf Hall’.
Favourite film of 2012?
I really loved ‘Anna Karenina’. I went to see it with some trepidation, as it’s one of my favourite books, but I though it was terrific: I loved the theatricality of it, and the way it captured the artifice and need for show that dominated the Russian aristocracy of the time. And Matthew McFadyen as Stiva was a joy.

Favourite song of the year?

I’m not sure I can choose a single song either! I can give you the two CDs that I’ve played most though: Out Of The Game’ by Rufus Wainwright and Pink Martini: ‘A Retrospective’.
Any downsides for you in 2012?
Yes… our ancient moggie Mr Whiskers died in April this year – I wrote about it here – http://bahtocancer.com/2012/05/goodbye-mr-whiskers/ – and in May we brought Flora the kitten home. She was the most sociable cat I’ve ever known, and she even charmed my husband – who claims not to have the pet gene – into loving her. Then she was hit by a car and killed on the road outside our house, at the beginning of November. http://bahtocancer.com/2012/11/just-sad/
Bah to cancer
Are you making resolutions for 2013?
Call me crazy, but I think a day when you are probably hung-over, dehydrated, overtired, and have a digestive system struggling with too much of everything over the last fortnight, probably isn’t the best day to make decisions about your life! But I will keep on trying to do the things that I am always trying to do: look after myself, keep a sense of perspective, love and serve the people that mean a lot to me.
What are you hoping for from 2013?
I hope to reach my remission date (in November) without any lumpish incidents or cancerous nastiness.
I have two more books in my head and I hope someone will like the ideas of them enough to want to publish them.
I hope I keep on appreciating how lucky and blessed I am.
I have read both of Stephanie’s books – reviews are on this very blog – and found them massively insightful, honest, funny and full of heart. Even if you or a loved one isn’t “dancing with cancer”, these books are worth a read – they are positive and life-affirming – Vic x
Download ‘How I Said Bah! to Cancer’ here: http://amzn.to/O4FcAM or order your copy here: http://amzn.to/Sr9yBK
Order your copy of ‘Thrive!’ here: http://amzn.to/NsCIKh or download your copy now: http://amzn.to/OBFmjK