Oh heck, is 2017 done already? It doesn’t feel like so long ago that it was just beginning!
As is my yearly tradition, I’m going to list a few things that really rocked this year. I know I’m going to miss a few, so I’d love it if you could comment with anything I missed.
- I TRIED ROLLER DERBY! And you know what? I loved it. I’m not a natural skater by any measure (I have terrible balance, and I’m very slow to pick up all the moves). I’m probably the slowest learning among this batch of fresh skaters, but by pure stubbornness and showing up for all the classes, I’m actually getting on really well now. It’s been a really powerful lesson in the power of carrying on in spite of failure. And it’s helped me meet lots of amazing new female friends!
🎶 I get knocked down, then I get up again…. 🎶
- Leaned to fall good. I’m now a pro at falling. My knees have regrets, but I’ve had fun turning a weakness (falling over ALL THE TIME) into a strength (KNEE TAPS! Knee falls! Turtles! Coffin falls!).
- Got myself a literary agent! This was the culmilation of…. a ton of work. So much work. And I’m so happy to finally be here. You can read more about that here.
- Revised and polished ALL THE BROKEN THINGS, my ‘twisted sci-fi Twilight’ book about a warmachine engineer dealing with her monstrous stalker. It’s been the focus of my year, and I’ve taken it through loooots of crucial revisions and created a work I’m really proud of.
- Went on submission to publishers All the Broken Things! I won’t be talking about this one on the blog beyond just going ‘OMG YAY I DID IT’ — but for real, this is a milestone I’ve been waiting to cross for so long, and I’m delighted to have done it. No matter what happens from here on out, I’m happy.
- Visited Helsinki with Dave and met up with some absolutely amazing writing friends! And I got to see all the sights and sounds of Helsinki.
- Met up with so many buddies at Helsinki! Kate Shaw, host of the amazing Strange Animals podcast and writer of the superfun steampunk story SKYTOWN. Sam Hawke of the upcoming CITY OF LIES. Andrew Reid and Lisa, Laura Lam, Jeremy Szal, Neil Williamson, Tim Martin and his wife, and ogod I’m probably forgetting lots of people. IT WAS WILD.
- I GOT TO HUG DAVEED DIGGS (from Hamilton and the amazing rap band Clppng). IT WAS A BIG MOMENT FOR ME.
- Wrote 182,000 words! Less than planned, but still a total I’m proud of.
- I met with my Menagerie writing group buddies in London! We went to the London Dungeons! IT WAS SO MUCH FUN. Shout out to Hedgie, Muppet, Buz and Bats. I had an amazing time hanging out with you all and it was wonderful to meet you in person.
- I also tried paddleboarding down in London. I was terrrriiiiible at it but I had fun. (I am not sure the instructors who had to keep shoving me forward had fun though, woops.)
- Along with hanging out with my beloved groups of writing and reading buddies (The Menagerie, The Inkbots, and The Muskedragons) I joined the Codex professional writers forum! That’s been great craic.
- Read 60 books!
- Lots of driing adventures this year! Drove to Aberdeen (4hr round trip) for the first time. For sushi, that’s literally all we went there for. It was worth it.
- Saw my first live derby game in Inverness, and before long I was making a regular habit of seeing the pro team games in Aberdeen.
- DROVE TO FRIGGIN’ DUNDEE to meet my amazing buddy Theo in Cupar, Fife. This was a really fun drive and not as scary as I thought. Dundee City is lovely and surprisingly not terrifying to drive through.
- Lost 32lbs (two-and-a-bit stone). It’s been pretty tough, especially as I get closer to my final goal weight, but I’m getting there.
- Got into the normal weight range for my height! I’m always conflicted about this one because BMI is a crock of shit and downright harmful to a lot of my buddies, but… it was a big personal milestone for me, to be back at my 16-year-old-me weight, and I’m proud of achieving that.
- WENT ON A BAT WALK! Saw so many bats! I now know more about bats than ever before.
- Kept up my spinning! I’m still a regular at the stationary cycling classes, and it’s a big part of my week now.
- Became a latte-making wizard. Who wants a pumpkin spice latte? I’m a boss at them now.
- I was very lucky and got a graphics monitor for my birthday/Christmas present from Dave, and it’s helped reawaken my love of drawing. That’s been a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to drawing more in the new year.
- Took part in Inktober! I didn’t get much art done this year, but I got my grove back and cranked out a ton of art pieces in October.
- Dave went to Loch Ness for the first time! We didn’t get into Urquhart Castle, but hey, that sounds like a fun 2018 goal.
- Sent a LETTER TO THE EDITOR to the local Press & Journal paper because a local politician insulted the Gaelic community. Gotta stand up for my wee minority group.
- Dressed up as Jessica Jones for Halloween! First time dying my hair (just temporary dye) and it gave me quite the taste for it.
- Paid off the loan we picked up a couple of years back to help us afford our house.
- Watched SO MUCH good TV. I’ve been doing a big The Office watch all year, and also catching up on some beloved anime like Black Butler, Ancient Magus Bride, and Blue Exorcist.
- For movies, I really loved The Boy and the Beast, Your Name, Hidden Figures, Get Out, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Moana, Wonder Woman, Logan, Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spiderman Homecoming, Okja, John Wick Chapter 2, and Beauty and the Beast.
- Joined a new social network, Mastodon (particularly the tootplanet.space instance of it) and made new friends over there. I got overwhelmed by social media a lot this year, but Mastodon was the opposite of that: comforting, and fun, and small. I really like it over there.
- Gave blood successfully! Seventh time trying it, only my third time succeeding. Stubbornness prevails!
- And best of all? We survived. Let’s be real, for a moment: it’s a tough year, between Trump and Brexit and shootings and atrocities like the Grenfell Tower disaster. This has been a difficult year for everyone, and my anxiety and depression have definitely been pushing hard at the gates… but you know what, I made it! And so did you! And I’m so proud to be here with you today.
Let’s make 2018 amazing, okay? I know we can, if we just do our best.