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Posts Tagged ‘All the Things’

It’s the time of year when I get particularly reflective and spend more time than usual considering what has happened in my recent past and looking at where I think I’m heading.

So then, 2015, what am I thinking?

Overall, 2015 was a wonderful year for me. After quite a few mixed to not-good years, this was an extremely welcome change.

Writing:

I completed four drafts of my YA London novel, thereby breaking my streak of writing a novel every other year, so that was very satisfying. But of course, the big news of the year was signing with my agent Kirsten Carleton, a goal I’d been working towards for several years. The blog had its highest traffic day of all time this year, and I sold my first piece of paid nonfiction. So yeah, on the career front, this was an amazing year.

Travel:

I did the least amount of writing-related travel I’ve done since I began attending retreats and workshops and cons. I think I needed a break! I went to ConFusion in Detroit last January and the Rainforest Writers’ Retreat in Washington in February, and then I stayed home for several months. Luckily several of my writer friends happened to be in town this year, and between their visits and my local writer friends, I was able to have enough writer talk to keep me happy.

For fun travel, I spent two weeks in Bali this fall, which was an extremely positive experience. And I popped over for a few days of Disneyland before the end of the year.

Entertainment:

I kept myself very busy this year! I read sixty books, which I talked about a few weeks ago. (Yes, I got to sixty! Whee!) I saw sixteen movies in theaters. My favorite, excluding Star Wars because that is kind of its own thing, was probably The End of the Tour. I also saw TWENTY-FIVE plays and musicals, which I’m pretty sure has never happened before. I think my favorite was Mr. Burns at ACT. Or maybe If/Then. And I saw fourteen concerts, and I don’t think I can choose a favorite, given they included The Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie, Hardwell, Marian Hill, the Crystal Method, and Muse.

I played perhaps fewer board games this year, but I still had several favorites. And last week I got to try two new games, both of which I enjoyed: Dead of Winter and Mysterium. In TV land, I continued my first watch of Star Trek: The Next Generation (I’m now halfway through season five, so two and half seasons to go!), re-watched some Gilmore Girls, saw half of the most recent season of Game of Thrones before konking out, really enjoyed Sense8 and part of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and have been catching up on The Office, which I never saw while it was airing.

Dancing:

I am giving this its own sub-heading because that is how excited I am about it! 2015 is the year I started dancing again, and my ankle cooperated, and my knees cooperated, and I am very very happy. Granted, I had to take several months off when I sprained my toe this summer, but the toe is finally feeling much better, and I am very much looking forward to a lot more dancing in my future.

Social Stuff:

A good barometer of how happy I am with my social life is how little traveling (relatively speaking) I did this year. I continued to meet many new people, but also spent a lot of time settling in and spending quality time with the friends I have. They are great. I really like them. I feel very lucky. Perhaps particularly heartening was that my social life didn’t dry up and disappear after I sprained my toe and was laid up for several weeks. I also threw a big birthday party for myself this summer, and then finally got over my planning burn-out and arranged several group game days and movie outings.

And of course, I began dating the Boyfriend in the summer, and we’ve been doing many exciting and fun things and learning a lot from each other. And Nala has been doing well too.

Other Firsts:

I went to the Walt Disney Family Museum for the first time. And also the Sutro Baths. I ate at the French Laundry! I did my first escape room. I drove a Tesla. I went to my first dancing convention. I went to Cars Land at California Adventure for the first time, and got to ride on a Star Wars-themed Hyperspace Mountain. I got my arm signed by the famous Ferrett Steinmetz. I watched a Terminator movie for the first time. I tried star fruit for the first time. I found out the Japanese market down the street from me sells divine cream puffs. I did blues dancing on the beach at night. A monkey crawled up my leg, and a baby sea turtle touched my finger. I went to my first comedy festival. I brought a vanilla chai into a shop at the mall and they didn’t yell at me. I got to hear Margaret Atwood speak, which was a real privilege.

Yes, I really liked this year. Which is why I decided to give my 2015 photo book this title:

20151228_152334

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Now that 2014 only has a few days remaining, I guess I can talk about it more or less authoritatively. For me, the year was mixed in that it presented many challenges, several of which I’d rather not have faced, given my druthers. But I did learn a great deal of important lessons from these challenges, so I can’t really wish they never happened either. And the news has been on the bleak side for the last several months.

On the positive side of the scale, I accomplished a lot of my goals this year, I had plenty of fun, and here at the end of it, I’m fairly happy. So: mixed, but on the whole, positive.

Here, then, is what happened in 2014:

Nala: Nala is first, because I’m so pleased with how the year went for her. She was having some real problems with separation anxiety last year. In vicious cycle territory, the more I worried about her, the worse her anxiety would get. But I’m happy to say she loves the new apartment, and she seems a lot happier. Someone who hadn’t seen her for a couple of years commented on how much more confident she seems. Also, I gave her Lamb Chop the squeaky toy for Christmas, and we haven’t yet recovered from the excitement.

Nala quickly decamped with Lamb Chop to her Pile O' Toys.

Nala quickly decamped with Lamb Chop to her Pile O’ Toys.

Writing: I wrote and revised Beast Girl, and had a focused, positive writing experience. I definitely feel this is my best work to date. I reached my target number of queries for Academy of Forgetting. I planned my next novel project, and hopefully I’ll have a rough outline done by the end of the year.

I kept the blog going with two essays per week.

I networked like whoa, attending the following events: ConFusion (where I also did panels), Rainforest Writing Retreat, Fogcon, Norwescon, Nebula Weekend, WorldCon in London, Convolution, and World Fantasy Convention. I also got to know my local community of writers a bit better, attended several friends’ readings, and made it out to the LitCrawl.

Travel: Well, I didn’t have any travel this year that wasn’t in some way related to writing, so I guess it’s a good thing I like writing and writers as much as I do. That said, I got to spend a lovely week post-move-and-rough-draft-of-Beast-Girl in Seattle, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones (and attending Norwescon, because multitasking). And I spent a week and a half in the UK after Worldcon, getting some always enjoyable London time and finally making it out to Wales for the first time.

Entertainment: This was a Year of Entertainment for me. I went see twelve live concerts, which made me super happy. I also went to nineteen movies in the theaters (as well as three old movies being screened again: The Princess Bride, Groundhog Day, and Casablanca, so make that twenty-two!), which is an extremely high number for me. I think this can be explained partly by the fact there was several movies I actively wanted to see this year (which isn’t always the case) and partly by the fact that I have more movie friends now, which means I’m more likely to go even if I care less. I went to see at least seventeen plays and musicals, including three readings. And I went to the opera! I actually don’t really understand how I had all the time to do these things, especially when I think of all the board games I somehow found time to play. I’d say the year’s new favorite game has been Hanabi, but we also found time for several games of Battlestar Galactica, two games of Game of Thrones, a game of Robinson Crusoe, a couple games of Firefly, and many others. And then when I was hiding at home and recharging from the massive outlay of social energy all these other activities represent, I read and caught up on various TV series. (Orphan Black, hooray! Star Trek: The Next Generation, more hooray!)

Social Stuff: Um, I was busy with this too. I met many new people. Many many. I said yes to a lot of invitations. I issued a lot of invitations. I went to a lot of parties. I joined two book clubs. There was a fair amount of upheaval. I have several close friends who I either met sometime this year or became much closer with over the course of the year, which makes me very happy. I lost a dear friend to cancer. I missed my friends who are far away. I had a few nice reconnections with people I hadn’t seen in a very long time. I worked on developing my filter system. I learned a lot about who I am and what I want.

Other Stuff: I moved. I love my new apartment; I don’t like how much more I am driving, which is partly caused by the move and partly caused by having more friends who live farther away anyway. I threw two parties, including my first solo hosting experience (and my second). I baked I don’t know how many batches of brownies. I continued volunteering for the play reading committee. My ankle behaved better, which means I could do more, which is perhaps partly why I tried to do SO MANY THINGS. I began getting back into good vocal shape and learned several new songs. I went to the San Jose Museum of Art for the first time. I played bocce ball for the first time. I was on a panel at WorldCon for the first time. I went to the Hugo’s Loser Party for the first time. I flew in a small plane for the first time. I had peanut butter pie for the first time. I was buried in sand for the first time. I went to a club alone for the first time. I learned to tie a tie (and by now have probably forgotten again).

After all this review, I can conclude by saying that 2014 was certainly a BUSY year. I’m not deeply relieved to see the end of 2014, but I am looking forward to finding out what 2015 holds in store.

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