Happy New Year! I went to bed at 10:30 last night because I’m ancient.
It felt like 2021 went by very quickly, although when I look back, I can’t believe all this stuff happened this year. My niece was born in October. I broke my car windshield three times. I took up carpentry. I went from a single fish tank to five. I read 87 books and walked somewhere between 332 and 690 miles (more on that later). I wrote most of a text adventure. I got solar panels installed and had my house insulated (finally!). My anxious drama queen betta fish Balığı died, and I got a new betta named मछली, who is shaped like a torpedo and fears nothing. My darling whisker shrimp, whom I call Monster because she eats everyone else I put in her tank, went from being the size of my thumb nail to the size of my thumb, and just graduated to a 20 gallon tank (which she can’t share with anyone because, well, she’s a monster).
I had no short stories published in 2021, but I did sell two novelettes, and one of them comes out today: “It’s Always Ourselves We Find in the Sea,” GigaNotoSaurus. I love my creepy lake monster story. The working title was “How the lake monster got its groove back.”
These were last year’s resolutions:
- Read 50 books – I ended up reading 87 books in 2021, almost all of them audiobooks. In the last few months I’ve been catching up on the classics that I never read, such as Oliver Twist and Dracula and Sense and Sensibility, etc. Whenever I sit to read an actual book, I get impatient and feel like I’m wasting time, but audiobooks make me feel like I can do something else while reading, so it’s a lot easier to get through them.
- Finish 20 short stories – Would you believe I literally forgot about this? Some time around September I thought “Hang on… I had some sort of short story goal this year, didn’t I?” That said, I finished fifteen of them, and started one more, so that’s really good.
- Finish 2 novellas – I finished one of them.
- Send out 50 short story submissions – Sadly, I didn’t do great on this one. I finished the year with 24 submissions.
- Walk 750 miles – This one is very hard to calculate. Early in the year, I was keeping track of this this based on walks I had recorded in Strava, and I spent the first few months of the year miserably behind. It was hard because I didn’t like talking walks when it was below 40ºF or above 85ºF or if it was raining, so that cut out a lot of days. In order to catch up, I’d walk as many as 10 miles in a day.
Not long into the spring I started to feel like this wasn’t very accurate, because I could spend an entire day working hard around the house and end up with over 20,000 steps on my Fitbit, yet not take an official walk. And this was where I made a terrible mistake: I started tracking it on my Fitbit instead. It turned out that according to Fitbit, I was almost three hundred miles *ahead* of schedule. The instant I learned that, I stopped taking walks. After all, I was going to reach my goal anyway, so why expend the effort? It didn’t help that I went back to the office full time in September and sat on my ass for the next several months straight.
Unfortunately my Fitbit broke in the early autumn, and I can no longer access any of my Fitbit records. October 10th is the last time I recorded it in my spreadsheet, and that had me at 690.75 miles for the year. As for Strava, it says I walked 332 miles. I’m going to say that yes, I did make the 750 miles, but that no, I didn’t achieve my goal, because my real goal was more in line with being more active than with simply achieving a specific number of miles, and while the year started out well, it ended in laziness.
- Blog about my various projects – I made it as far as April with this goal.
This year’s resolutions:
Read 50 books: might as well keep it the same. If I keep on the same audiobook kick, I’ll end up doing more, but even if I only do 50 I’ll be happy.
Finish 20 short stories: I’m actually surprised at how well I did in 2021 with this goal, so I’ll keep it the same and hope I do just as well if not better.
Send out 50 submissions: Obviously I didn’t achieve this last year, but I hope to do better this year.
Walk 365 days in a row: I’m going to be more specific this time. Ideally, I would like to walk 1 mile a day, but I’m not going to set that goal because I know there will be things like illness and blizzards and other things that prevent me from going outside every day. As long as I spend a solid 20 minutes walking per day, no matter where I am or how far I actually get, I will count it, even if it just means walking around my office. I get back pain from spending too long sitting down and I need to get back into regular activity to fix that again.
Do one drawing a day: Just a sketch is fine.
Become conversational in Turkish: I finished the Duolingo course on Turkish two years ago. I’ve been maintaining my streak and doing little else ever since. I want to find an intermediate course somewhere to advance my understanding, because my vocabulary is still pretty bad.
Finish my text adventure and publish it: I’ve been having a ton of fun writing a text adventure with Inform 7. My goal is to finish it and publish it on this website for people to play something in the next couple months. And maybe write another one! Who knows!
I wish you all a quiet and uneventful new year.