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The 2015 Book-A-Week Challenge

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This year has been pretty crazy.

I edited my book, then published it, I turned 28, I got laid off from one job and just started another, I went to D*Con, and now I’m getting ready to write my second book in November.

I haven’t had a lot of free time, not even for reading (or blogging, for that matter!).

But that’s changing in 2015.

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2014 Can Officially Begin.

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I suppose it’s time I finally write my annual new years post.  I began writing them on my old blog as a way to record my new years resolutions and review the past year.  Traditionally, I’ve written the premier post on January 1st.  In the post, I recall my previous resolutions and how well those held up, as well as introduce new ones.  I’m quite late getting the first official post of 2014 written this year.  We’ll just say I gave myself a month to think about it.

I wrote a short post at the end of last year capturing some of 2013’s biggest moments for me.  I would like elaborate on each of those points to have them on record, but I’ll make individual posts for them.

Last year was incredible.  So many wonderful things happened and my world changed drastically.  For the last six months of 2013, I felt so alive in everything I did.  Electricity popped within me at every task I accomplished and every milestone I passed.  I’m convinced still that 2014 won’t hold a candle in many ways, but I don’t want to diminish the year’s light so early in.

As I was looking over last year’s post on the old blog, a few things really stuck out – things that weren’t even actual resolutions but observations or comments in passing that came to mean something later on.  Things like:

  • “I attempted to start writing at the start of last year, but couldn’t stick with it and eventually lost interest.  A resolution for this year is NaNoWriMo.”  This was part of a recap on a 2012 resolution to write more.  It’s interesting because NaNoWriMo wasn’t an actual resolution, it just happened.  I remembered it existed at the end of the year and felt like doing it.  I didn’t even remember making this comment in that post until I reread it in preparation for this one.
  • “Basically, I just sat back and expected good things to fall in my lap.  I’m a Christian, and I’d heard so many times to just “hand it over to God.”  But I think it’d be better if I met God halfway.  So this year, the mantra is, “Try Harder, Do Better.”  I want to give a better effort to things, and physically do more.  So there’s that.”  I couldn’t have possibly known what I’d accomplish or how far I would come from where I was.  I also think the “meet God halfway” strategy should stay in place.
  • In tandem with the previous bullet, “I’m on a mission this year to find a real job.  I’m tired of being a sell-out and a joke to everyone who looks at me and sees an unemployed job-seeker.  If it comes down to an unemployment agency, then so be it.”  My, how prophetic.  For it was exactly this act that led me to my dream job.

And now, a recap of 2013’s resolutions – the year preemptively described as “lucky” in that previous post:

  1. Do more.
  2. 1a.  Do less.  (i.e. Less whining, less complaining, less stressing, less lashing out, and less bad.)
  3. Lose more weight/run more.
  4.  2a.  Participate in another 5K.
  5. Take more pictures.
  6. Red Binder.
  7. Find a job.

How did I do?

  1. I like to think I accomplished a lot last year.  I went out of my way and sometimes out of my comfort zone to get the things I wanted.  So worth it.
  2. I don’t know that there was actually less of any of the examples I wanted to work on, but I did give an effort.
  3. I ran on a somewhat regular basis until I started my job.  It became difficult to balance the two, especially since I had to get up early to get ready.  I’m hoping to get back into running this year.
  4. That being said, I also want to run another 5K.  I didn’t run one last year, but I’m already looking at one for this year.
  5. At some point, I actually consciously calculated it and I take an average of 3 pictures a day.  I doubt that’s any more or less than what it’s been in previous years.  I also think the pictures mentioned in the resolution were in reference to Delilah, my big DSLR – a call to take more creative shots.  This did not happen.
  6. Yeah.  Still need to do this.  I’m tired of it taking up a resolution spot every year.
  7. Finally.

So, what’s next?

Here are the traditional 5 resolutions for 2014:

  1. Run again.  As already mentioned, I want to start running again.  I’m going to start training in mid-February for this 8K at the end of May.  I’m so excited – I’ve wanted to run this race since I moved here!
  2. Less sleep.  I made the executive decision that I need less sleep.  While some people require the exact opposite, I think I get too much sleep.  It’s a vicious cycle: I fall asleep super early, sleep through the whole night, wake up early, feel tired from getting too much sleep and acting sluggish, then fall asleep early because my body is telling me it’s tired when in reality it’s just over-rested.  I’ve already been making some strides to staying up later, so hopefully this will continue.
  3. Write more.  I may or may not do NaNoWriMo again, we’ll see how I feel about it in October.  For right now, this resolution will be slightly revised to, “edit and publish manuscript.”  I’m giving myself the month of February to edit it and create the cover.  Then all that’s left to do is publish it!
  4. Finish: Dresden, X-Files, Star Trek, KK.  This isn’t exactly a constructive goal as it’s purely for entertainment purposes.  I want to finish the Dresden Files series (up until the current book) as well as the Kingdom Keepers series, and I want to finish X-Files and watch all the incarnations of Star Trek.  I’m stupidly excited to watch Next Generation, but I feel it’s only proper to watch TOS first.
  5. Red binder.  Seriously.  In short, my mother-in-law gave me this red “binder” (which is actually a photo album) that had a lot of pictures in it from when Justin was a baby.  I wanted to scan the pictures and then return the red binder to her.  I think she gave me the binder back in 2010.  It’s time to cross this one off.

So there you have it.  That’s what I hope to accomplish/do/watch/read in 2014.  I’m sitting in my rocking chair with a red pen behind my ear, my manuscript on the floor next to me, and the sunrise illuminating my apartment.  For all intents and purposes, I can’t think of a better way to ring in the new year.

newyears

Vampire Weekend

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I got to see my mom over the weekend.  She works in a high school and was on Spring Break, so she came up on Wednesday afternoon to visit!  We spent Wednesday at the grocery store grabbing some food her little diabetic body could handle and relaxing until Justin got off work.  Thursday was super rainy, so we stayed inside and started our Twilight Saga marathon.  Recently, my mom started reading the Twilight books.  I read them back in 2010 after I graduated from college and people way too old to appreciate the story were becoming completely enamored with it.  I even tweeted about it.

When the movies started and got to be the huge thing they turned into, my mom got into them.  I kept telling her to read the books.  She just passed me right off.  Fast forward to two weeks ago.  My mom finally bought the fourth, two-part movie on DVD and was discussing it with my best friend Molly and Luke’s girlfriend Elyse.  Molly and Elyse told her that it was so different from the book.  This was the straw on the book-camel’s back.  She calls me as she’s reading the 15th page in the fourth book, where she’s started reading.  She didn’t even bother to start at the first book!  As a reader, this instantly infuriated me.  We got into a small argument where she actually told me that she had already seen the movies so she “already knew what happened” and didn’t need to read those other books.  I finally convinced her (read: screamed more than I should have) to start at the beginning, and she ended up reading all four books in 5 days.  She was hooked.  Interestingly, I had only seen the first two movies.  Now that my mom owned all the movies, she brought them with her so I could see all of them.  We started at the beginning.  Of course.

We only got through Eclipse on Thursday.  We finished up Breaking Dawn on Friday morning and then grabbed some shawarmas for lunch.  The rest of Friday was spent hanging out and passing out early on the couch.  Saturday morning was fun.  We got up and went to the Farmer’s Market.

C is for Caty: Famers Market screencap

It was incredible.  Saturday was the first full morning of the season, so instead of just being open from 10-12, the market opened at 8 a.m.  There were so many vendors and a ton of people.  The last time I had been to the market, there was only a handful of tables that didn’t even fill up the pavilion floor.  There were two blocks blocked off for this thing on Saturday!  I bought a $1 pink lemonade and shared it with Mother as we walked around and looked at everything.  I ended up buying a half carton of range-free eggs.  They were really interesting colors.

The one in the bottom left was so large the carton wouldn’t close.

After the market, Mother and I headed to Dolly’s.  I found this cute little vintage shop by accident, and have been trying to show it to my mom for a long time.  But every time we’d go, the store was closed for some random reason like a flu breakout.  So we made sure to call this time and thankfully they were actually open!  Mother loved it and talked the owner’s ear off with explaining what everything was and how she grew up with it.

We had a let’s-get-lost adventure that only Durham can offer on the way back to the apartment where we waited to take Mother to the train.  We took her and dropped her off, where she proceeded to wait an hour on her late train and I felt awful for leaving her there.  She said the train ride home wasn’t the best, but she was just happy to see her Dolly.

That evening, Justin, Bubbles, Dave, Lukas, and I went to a reading/launch party for an author friend of ours named Gabe Dunston.  I highly recommend him for commissions. 🙂  Our group headed to Denny’s and then met back up with author-n-friends at a bar in Raleigh called Flying Saucer.  We all drank and laughed til 2 a.m. and by the time we got home, all Justin and I could do was sleep.  Needless to say, yesterday was spent doing as close to nothing as possible.

It was a lovely weekend of movies and mothers and markets and magic and madness.  I hope everyone else’s weekend was as wonderful as mine!