Saturday, December 30, 2017

Here's What You Get for 2017

(It's me, age 46!)

Well, People of Earth, here's a little summary of what I can remember of what I did this year (because as you may or may not have noticed, I did not blog. Except for today).

Let's just get this out of the way: I spent the entire year being mad about political things in the United States, because I'm a proud liberal and I like diversity, equal rights for everyone, taking good care of the environment, and sharing our resources to lift up people who don't have enough. I'm not seeing those things getting enough support. This entire paragraph has been the most understated expression of my feelings I have ever achieved. 

Big things I did this year:
  • Attended the event formerly known as Mo*Con, which will again, in 2018, be called Mo*Con.
  • Repainted the entire exterior of a playhouse/shed in my back yard, which was a bigger project than I thought it would be! Several hours a day for over a week (the priming and multiple colors added to the time, but it looks fantastic).
  • Co-wrote a short story with Maurice Broaddus, which will be included in the Do Not Go Quietly! anthology in 2018. Click the link to see the impressive list of authors involved!
  • Traveled to southern Illinois to watch the total solar eclipse, WHICH WAS AWESOME.
  • Participated in Inktober for the month of October, creating one ink drawing each day for the entire month. You can see all 31 of my drawings in my Instagram gallery, but one of my favorites was Wednesday Addams:

I've also read 32 books this year! Some of my favorites:
  • Borne: A Novel, by Jeff VanderMeer (I also went on a short road trip to see him read from this book, and that was well worth my time. He is a great reader. Also, his outstanding editor wife Ann VanderMeer interviewed him afterward, and it was hilarious).
  • Provenance, by Ann Leckie.
  • Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel.
  • And a set of books by Leigh Bardugo: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom.
And all through this year, that kitten I got in November of 2016 (Annabelle) has been tremendously entertaining, not to mention increasingly LARGE. From a tiny, wee iddle thing, she has turned into the biggest cat I've ever had. Tall, long, solid, muscular, and around 11 pounds the last time I weighed her. As far as I can tell, she is simply a basic American Shorthair cat, but she has personality plus and she caught her first mouse when she was about four months old. I don't get mice in here often, but when one shows up, it is nice to have a team of cats to get it under control while I go and fetch the Mouse Removal Kit, which is a piece of cardboard and an old plastic storage container that is now dedicated to this one purpose only. I put the container over the mouse, slide the cardboard under, and take the mouse across the street to a conveniently-situated field. I assume none I've taken that far have ever returned since there's always been several months in between mouse invasions, so it seems the field is far enough away.

Plus, you know, day-to-day life stuff and knitting a few blankets on a really clever, twisty-shaped knitting loom I found in 2016. It gives me an easy way to make full-bed-sized blankets while watching my way through all the Netflix shows I can take in, which turns out to be a LOT. I just finished Season 2 of Travelers. It's a good science fiction show that I don't hear much about from other people, so check it out if you're interested in time travel!

Even with all this stuff I've listed above, I feel like I've forgotten way too much of how I spent my time this year. That leads me to my plan to briefly jot down what I do each day next year, and to summarize each month for myself, to keep track of it all better. I have a system in mind that I don't want to describe right away; I just want to use it for a while and see how it works out. Taking the premise of "underpromise and overdeliver" to the next level, I guess, wherein I promise nothing and you're happy to get anything. Right?! MAKES SENSE, YES???