Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009 - A Year In Review

Hello everyone! I guess it's been awhile hasn't it? Just over 3 months by my calculations. It was a busy, whirlwind holiday season to say the least! I wanted to take a moment, do a post, and look back on 2009. My friend Mike dubbed it the year of the ninja, wherein we would all aspire, by the end of the year, to be one. So are we? Well, not quite. But hey, we made the attempt, and we're closer now than we were. Not quite a bullseye, but closer to the target than we would be had we never aimed for it. (The proverb goes, "Aim for the moon, and even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.) As it stands, I have a lot of goals which I have not completed. There is a perfectly good, and I think a perfectly acceptable reason for this. I am a person of many, many.....MANY interests, and you might say a Jack of all Trades, and Master of None. Here is the vital thing. I have made progress toward many things which I aspire to complete, and even though I did not finish in 2009, I am not finished. The goal setting, more importantly than anything, focused me enough so that I could in fact get somewhere, and keep from going nowhere. I have to update some percentages, but the list is pretty close. One of the best things is that Merrick is approaching halfway on the first draft. This is by far more than I've ever managed with any story which I intended to be longer than a few pages. It was the method I was using, I discovered this year. As an author, I am an outliner, as opposed to a discovery writer. This means that I work from an outline better than off the cuff. I write my concepts and beginnings that way, but once I frame the idea, I need to outline. Because of that, Merrick is going to be finished! I'm very excited about it. In 2009, I also made a few inquiries, and connections as far as the publishing process will go, in the event that Merrick is ever at that level. It just might be someday! The other great thing that came out of 2009, goal-wise, is my study of Japanese. I have had a great time so far learning the language. I have a long way to go before I'm even comfortable with basic conversation, but this time last year, I knew perhaps 100 random words and had no idea how to put them together. Now I would place my vocabulary at 400-500 words, and a good grasp of the basic structure of the language. I've also nearly mastered Hiragana and Katakana. The Kanji are little intimidating, but I'm sure if I take it a little at a time, I'll be fine. Fitness was a big part of 2009, and I know it will be big in 2010 also. Michelle and I have been whipping ourselves into shape after the holidays, and have tossed around another piece of the Appalachian Trail. Perhaps the 20 miles or so that we missed on the trip last summer. A smaller hike, true, but by design, so we don't have to take as many days off from work. Also related to fitness (as well as the year of the ninja) is Kung Fu. I'll be continuing with that in 2010, and my goal is two sashes this year. With a little more practice I'm ready for the first one. In 2009, Michelle and I had opportunities to do so many things we'd never done before. Not only the Appalachian Trail, but Baltimore and GenCon in Indianapolis. It was almost too much! We had an absolutely great time, and it was a great year. One for the history books! In 2010, there are some new things planned. In the spring we'll be heading to Italy to visit Michelle's uncle, who retired there after his time in the service. There may be a quick crash course in Italian thrown into my language studies. We're also planning a return to GenCon to assist with True Dungeon again. Not only did we have the time of our lives, but hey, it's a free vacation! :) In retrospect, I believe that I've grown in 2009. I feel that mentally, physically and spiritually I am in completely new places than I was last year at this time. I'll never be perfect. And in many things, I'll never even be adequate, but I can try to be better than I used to be. That's the important thing. And so, look for more posts soon. Let's kick off 2010 and make it another good one! Thanks so much for reading! I really do appreciate it! -J

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