Before I launch into the post below, if you have a spare 30 seconds I’d love it if you would do this blog survey for me. A lucky person will be picked at random to win a copy of On The Many Shapes Bodies Will Take when it is released. The results will really help me shape what I will deliver here next year. Thank you!

Waitomo, NZ


Favourite book?

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson.

Runner up: The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood.

Favourite short story?

I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t read a lot of short fiction this year – but what I did, I recommend wholeheartedly: Sisters of the Revolution, edited by Ann and Jess Vandermeer.

Favourite movie?

Thinking back, I think I’ve gone to the movies twice this year. I saw Star Wars Episode VII and Hell or High Water, and while I enjoyed them I don’t think they rank in the ‘favourites’ charts. This means I’m going to have to expand the category to movies I’ve seen which aren’t necessarily new releases. Following that train of thought, that winner would be Foxcatcher. I was riveted. Close behind is The Big Short (very smart) and The Wolf of Wall Street (devilish fun).

Favourite TV show?

Westworld was captivating, but the latest season of Orange is the New Black was remarkable.

Favourite place we visited?

Mount Maunganui in New Zealand.

Favourite scary thing I did?

Launching my first crowdfunding campaign and launching ‘The Creative Life’ podcast.

Where The Creative Life peaked in the charts
The Creative Life peaked at #31 on debut week (like how I’m listening to Problogger for inspo at the time!?)

Favourite gift to myself?

Giving myself permission to get piano lessons again.

Favourite experience?

That evening at Hot Water Beach at the Coromandel Peninsula. Digging a hole in the sand to sit in near-boiling water seeping up from underneath while the cold, creamy surf washes over the top of you is amazing. Add to that a starry night. I’ll never forget it. Zip lining and surfing were also cool.

Favourite failure?

As a parent, I’ve experienced a few moments this year that were quite challenging. Maybe it’s a sign I’m getting wiser (or at least getting a handle on my anxiety), but I’ve been working very hard on accepting these moments as they come and learning the lessons they can teach rather than push them away. One situation in particular made me realise that I’m really at the beginning of the next phase for the kids, where I have to let them be more independent.

I also began training for a sprint triathlon but injury spelled a temporary postponing of that ambition. I also call that a favourite because in the brief weeks I did train I realised how much about swimming I’ve forgotten. All knowledge is good. I can work on that in the future.

Favourite song?

Beyonce’s ‘Formation’.

Favourite Instagram photo

I’m told these are my best because they were the most liked.

Instagram best 9

I like this one.

Evening chill #readingtime

A photo posted by Karen Andrews (@karenandrewsau) on

It’s us <3

I want to take this opportunity to mention my wonderful mother-in-law, who we lost in 2016. She always got so much joy from Christmas. We love you.

This is the last post I will write for the year. Happy holidays. I look forward to being back in 2017.

karen andrews

Karen Andrews is the creator of this website, one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Her latest book is Trust the Process: 101 Tips on Writing and Creativity