Sunday, December 27, 2020

End of Year Wrap Up



Well, 2020 is almost done, not that I expect it will change much about the world, but it is certainly a year I will be happy to put behind me regardless. Does anyone else think that it's weird that we don't celebrate the new year on the Solstice? I mean, I know there's a bunch of roman emperors in there messing things up, but really, it would make so much more sense if the new year was on the solstice. Of course, half the world's winter solstice is the opposite one from the other half, so we would have to choose which one we wanted to make the new year and which one we wanted to make the halfway mark, but I'd really be ok with either one. It just seems kind of dumb to have a whole ten days left in the year after the solstice. Time is a human construct regardless, but if we are measuring trips around the sun, then why not measure them BY THE ACTUAL TRIP AROUND THE SUN? Ahem. And all the roman emperors are dead now, so it seems like we ought to be able to just ignore them and move on with our lives. I dunno.

Anyway, happy solstice everyone! I know it was a week ago, but I was busy hanging out with my family (the ones I live with in person, and everyone else over video chat) and I didn't want to be antisocial to write a blog post. 

This year... well it has sucked in a lot of ways. If you read my last blog post you'll know a big part of WHY it sucked. But of course, in addition to losing my parents back in June we've also lost some friends to cancer, and had a few other friends diagnosed with cancer who are thankfully still around and fighting. We've had friends lose pregnancies, and babies, and those aren't my stories to tell, but it's all awful, and it just hasn't been letting up. It's been an asshole of a year and no mistake. And that's just the stuff that feels big and bad and personal, there are of course, hundreds of even bigger issues that aren't so personal to me, along with hundreds of small hardships that make everything entirely overwhelming. So, I have to admit, I am going to firmly ignore ALL of that for the purposes of this post, and instead focus on the good parts of 2020, because I think we've all been getting hammered with the bad stuff every day as it is, and taking a moment to focus on the positives can really help to pull us through. Certainly, it will help me to do so, so here we go.

Good things that have happened in 2020 in the order that they occur to me which is random and at the whimsy of my odd brain:

  • It's weird to think that this was 2020, because it seems like ages ago, but I became friends with all the other finalists for the 2019 SPFBO back at the beginning of this year. We may have started the group chat in December, but the majority of our friendship has taken place in 2020 and I tell you, it has been one of the best things not just of this year, but of this decade. For me anyway. So, massive thanks to ML, Angela, Sonya, Alicia, Lisa, Rob, Rob, Darian & Levi for being the best friends a gal could ask for in the middle of a pandemic (or anytime). 
  • Many of my friends are welcoming new humans into the world, and new humans can be really cool. Welcome new humans! We have a lot of work to do before the world is a good place for you, but some of us are really trying, I promise.
  • My daughter is happy and healthy and growing every day and learning so much that its mindblowing. I have a feeling that by her next birthday she's going to be able to read full sentences, and that just... I am so excited for her. Books are such a huge part of my life and she loves to be read to so much. I can't wait for her to be able to dive into books on her own.
  • I finished the first draft of a new novel! I started it in November of 2019 and finished it in November of 2020. Now I need to revise the heck out of it for release at the end of March, but I am so excited to have a new book shaping up!
  • I got an official diagnosis for adult ADHD and a prescription to help manage it this year. It has made a really big difference for me, and is probably one of the main reasons that I'm managing 2020 as "well" as I am. (Note: I'm not doing particularly well, but I'm still here, and I haven't sunken into the despair that is constantly threatening to eat us all, so I am calling that a win.) 
  • We bought a used treadmill, Corey fashioned a desk to attach to the top of it, and I now use it for the majority of my deskwork. It is going a long way to keeping me healthy and keeping my brain away from depression. I sometimes use it for running as well (with the desk off). I have a love/hate relationship with treadmills, which is to say, most of the time I hate them, because they are repetitive and boring and I prefer to run, walk, hike, bike on trails. However, I am in love with this treadmill because winter in Winnipeg is often challenging enough to manage due to cold weather and a small human, and winter in Winnipeg with a covid lockdown is extra challenging. So, having a reliable place to stretch my limbs and create some endorphins is downright wonderful. I am immensely grateful that we were able to find a cheap one and fit it into our home. I'm extra grateful to Corey for making an awesome desk for it. (I am typing this post while walking a few miles at the same time!)
  • Having a woodland park nearby. On good days, we get all four of us (two adults, one two legged kid and one four legged kid) out to the park and into the fresh air. We are so freaking grateful to be so close to a small patch of nature even though we live in the city. It is a huge help to my mental health to have it there, and the time we have spent there has definitely been a highlight to 2020.
  • Video chats with friends and family we haven't seen in a while. Of course I would prefer to see people in person. Especially my family. We haven't been together since last January, and I would give almost anything (but not risking spreading covid around to them or anyone else, which is why we haven't done it) to see them and hug them again in person. However, we have had lots of video chats, and that has helped a lot. Also, we have had a few video chats with people we wouldn't have seen this year anyway, covid aside, so that has been really lovely, and I am very grateful for the technology that has allowed all of that.
  • I organized and ran a virtual SFF convention with the aim of keeping people entertained while staying the F home! It was really fun, and we're planning to do a second round in April of 2021, as we will likely still be unable to do in person conventions until much later in the year. I met so many fabulous people doing this, and I am excited to do it again (check out www.QuaranCon2021.com for details.)
  • I managed to read 70 books! Not only does that feel like an accomplishment, but reading is always a highlight for me in any year, and escapism was at a premium this year. 
  • Also, I FINALLY (after literal years of having it on my to-do list) recorded and released the audiobook for Blade's Edge! You can find all of the links to it all over the internet below. I haven't been able to record Traitor's Hope yet because we have been in lockdown since we finished recording Blade's Edge, but I hope to get started on it in late January or February. It is also my hope that I will get to record the SairĊ's Claw audiobook soon enough that it will be released at close to the same time as the ebook and print formats! Yay!

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