I had just woken up in my hotel room in Sydney when I heard the news that Carrie Fisher had died, four days after she stopped breathing on a flight from London to Los Angeles. While 2016 saw the passing of many iconic figures, this one probably hit me the hardest.
Like most of the world, I first saw Carrie as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy.
But the hilariously honest way in which Carrie wrote and talked about her battles with addiction and bipolar disorder made me admire her all the more. So I got her likeness tattooed on me in February 2015, and I’ll treasure that for the rest of my life.
I want to cry but I'm in shock. Some people know I have Leonard Nimoy's Spock tattooed on one leg and Princess Leia on the other leg and now they're both gone? But in addition to being a kickass self-rescuing princess, Carrie Fisher was a brilliantly funny and honest writer who promoted mental health awareness, and all of those things were part of why I wanted a permanent reminder of her on me. Thanks @jessicaholmestattoo for making it happen almost 2 years ago. 🌟 #ripcarriefisher👰 #carriefisher #princessleia #starwars #tattoo #tribute
If you spend half as much time online as I do, you’ll know that 2016 was widely dubbed the “worst year ever”, in part due to the deaths of so many beloved famous people. I was fortunate enough to see Prince live at Perth Arena early in the year — which would turn out to be just eight weeks before he died. No photos or recording devices were allowed, so I can’t show you anything from that concert, but by the time I left the building, he was in my top three live acts of all time.
On a more personal note, someone close to me was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, but as I write this, they seem to be doing well. So I’m quietly hopeful that 2017 will bring good news for us.
While it’s easy to focus on the negatives, last year had its highlights too. I returned to full-time study with the goal of qualifying as a library technician. And after a few false starts, I began writing what I hope will be my second novel during NaNoWriMo. (I’ve had some rejections for my first novel, but I will keep trying to get it published.)
I also flexed my writing muscle for other websites:
- I reviewed two plays for Perth Walkabout: The Blue Room Theatre’s production of [PORTO] and Black Swan State Theatre Company’s A Perfect Specimen.
- I was asked to write an article on ethical shopping hotspots in Perth for So Perth and Visit Perth City.
- Shortly after the release of The Force Awakens, I wrote about the top 7 places to find Star Wars merchandise in Perth City, also for So Perth and Visit Perth City.
Other highlights included:
- Seeing 1927, my favourite Australian band, four times — bringing my total tally to 16.
- Attending the midnight premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I don’t watch many movies, so actually going to the cinema is usually an event anyway.
- The 50th anniversary of Star Trek and the release of what I consider to be the best of the “Kelvin Timeline” reboots, Star Trek Beyond.
- Spending the holidays with my Sydney family, which includes my brother, sister-in-law and nephew.
In 2017, I hope to keep writing and improving as a writer, as well as continuing my studies. While 2016 wasn’t entirely awful for me (despite the rather dramatic blog title), I know some people who had genuinely horrific years, and I hope for a better 365 days for them too.
Happy New Year.