2014: The Highlights

Crocuses in the Jardin des Plantes, Paris
It’s cold out. Have some crocuses from Paris.

2014 is over. It wasn’t the best year, but it wasn’t the worst either. Here are some of the highlights:

  • I read 28 books. Most of what I read was fluff, but hey, it still counts.
  • I made a new friend.
  • I learned how to make red curry. It basically involves mixing red curry paste and coconut milk, but I’m still excited about it.
  • I made a skirt and some cushion covers for the couch.
  • Despite not finishing any projects, I actually knit a fair bit this year. Enough that people in my French group now associate me with knitting.
  • I wrote several thousand words over three projects. Two are unfinished, but one is coming along and might have some potential.
  • I played a lot of board games.
  • I organized my pots and pans, and I got rid of old clothes and a ton of random junk.
  • I cut my hair. A lot.

Goals for 2012

Well, I rung in the new year in a manner that… was less than satisfying. Still, that leaves room for improvement for the rest of the year. So what would I like to have improve?

  • Complete drafts of three projects (including the next draft of Wolf Season).
  • Be less afraid of making writing mistakes—or making mistakes in anything else, for that matter.
  • Improve my German. I’d like to be able to have a conversation without too much trouble.
  • Continue to read a lot, and perhaps increase the variety of books I read.
  • Blog more regularly.
  • Enjoy myself more than I did the previous year.
  • Do a better job of keeping in touch with friends who I don’t see very often.

As for 2011, I did accomplish a few things, although I felt like I did more in 2010. Still, here are some of the highlights from 2011:

  • Read 38 books (2 less than 2010, but it’s 1000 more pages)
  • Finished writing and doing a revision of Wolf Season
  • Blogged fairly regularly for a good stretch of time
  • Watching the new Doctor Who and Sherlock (and introducing some other people to them)

What about you? What are your goals for 2012?

Feedback is Frightening

Well, as you can probably see, my usual blogging schedule has fallen apart completely. Still, I feel like I need to provide at least a general update.

The autumn chill appears to have settled in. It’s snowing right now. I’m really not ready for snow. Emotionally, I mean. I do have salt and my snow shovel and I just got my winter coat dry cleaned. Still, yesterday was the first day of the season that I needed a scarf, and I only started using lip balm this week. I brought in Mr. Fig last night, which I really hope was not too late.

The good thing about fall, though, is that it’s now time for hot apple cider, fuzzy blankets, hearty food, and lap cats. Bella has begun spending a lot more time on my lap, which works out for both of us, since she’s quite warm.

I’ve also got a new, slightly larger slow cooker, meaning I have a 3qt and a 4qt. I plan to put both to delicious use.

The big news for this week, though is that I’ve received my first review from a test reader. Basically, my draft was an enjoyable read, but there are a lot of things I need to work on. I’ve got a lot of food for thought already, but I’m trying not to think too much about this project right now. I still need to get comments back from my other test readers, and I really do feel like I need a proper break from it.

Honestly, it’s a bit frightening how much work I still have to do on this manuscript. And yet, not doing it doesn’t really enter into the picture. I’m just scared that I won’t be able to make it as good as I’d like.

I also wonder when I should begin my revision, since I’ve already got two active projects: a short fairy tale retelling and an unfinished draft of the Shipping Project* (a not in the least bit epic, probably YA fantasy novel).

Part of me thinks I should finish that, because you’re supposed to finish what you start.** But, I think I need to think about where I want this story to go before I go any further with it. Then again, perhaps I should work on something shorter and go back to the Shipping Project when I can devote a longer stretch of time to it.

What would you do?

*Not the actual title.
**This is what Neil Gaiman says, anyway, and he probably knows a thing or two about that.