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.

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.

General Life Update (5/14/11)

  • I watched part of Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. I couldn’t be bothered to finish. It’s relatively rare when that happens.
  • I went to mom’s for Mother’s Day weekend. From my perspective, it went rather well. Next time, though, I think we should do Thai food.
  • My computer is now set up with online back-ups. Must not lose the book!
  • This month’s Science on Tap was quite amusing. One of the best ones I’ve been to.
  • The book revisions are continuing as planned. Bella has been helping by sitting on my lap while I type.
  • A friend of mine performs and teaches bellydance. Check out her new section on making bellydance costumes.
  • The raspberry bushes have flowers on them. I’m looking forward to having berries. However, it looks like something is chewing at the raspberry leaves (leaving behind the veins). Some of the leaves on the lower branches are turning yellow, and I’m not sure if that’s due to lack of sun, an issue with water, or the lack of some nutrient.
  • There are tiny red crawly things on most of the plants. I’m not sure if they’re insects or mites, and I’m not sure what to do about them. Should I just leave them be?