lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)

What's that? Oh, hey, a new year has started!

Welcome to 2017

  • Looking back at 2016
    • Very few posts. I don't even have to click on a "Previous 20 entries" link to see posts from 2015.
    • I never even entered anything into my 2016 word count tracking spreadsheet. Oops. I did post a few short pieces so the word count is over zero.
    • Oh look, among everything else about 2016 it included my first car accident. Which thankfully included my insurance agreeing the other person was 100% at fault (speeding, ran a red light, ran on foot from the scene almost instantly; a good list of things not to do and also a list of things the other person did).
    • I continued the guitar lessons. I'm by no means ready to go out on stage or busk on a street corner but I am enjoying the lessons quite a bit.
  • Looking ahead at 2017
    • Definitely continuing with guitar. In fact I'm hoping to get to the point I'm comfortable recording something and posting it somewhere.
      • Towards this I've made a list of songs I'm going to concentrate on this year. They won't be all I work on but I am going to keep them in the forefront.
      • More deliberate practice. Or in other words looking for specific things to practice. For my list of songs there are particular sections I'm working on. I'm also working on improving the use of basic strumming patterns with my right hand and switching more smoothly between chords with my left hand.
    • Writing, so many things I want to write, in 2017 I'm going to knock the cobwebs off my writing and get back to it.
      • I'm pondering some sort of serial flash thing. Something which I aim at regularly adding small amounts to even if just as pump-priming and only for myself.
      • Complete a row or column on one of my writing bingo cards :)
      • I should consider doing some more "X Days of _" those can be both challenging and fun.
    • Languages: I want to do more learning languages and playing with them this year.
      • I've completed the Esperanto skill tree on DuoLingo this week. This by no means fluent now but it's further than I've made it in previous attempts at a language. I intend to spend January reviewing, reading, and working on that some more and then starting back up on Spanish or German come February.
    • Lose more weight. This is going to be a goal for a while and probably into 2018 but I'm going to make an effort to have progress on this goal again.
      • More physical activity! Calories burned > Calories consumed = weight loss
      • Eat better! I'm a picky eater. A very picky eater. That said I need to get more fiber into my diet, more vegetable matter in general.
    • Conventions: This is a big maybe for 2017. If I do go to any they'll be local and most likely without getting a hotel room since that would put a strain on my efforts towards the next bit below
    • Paying down debts: I've zeroed out one and might be able to zero out another by my birthday (hey kid version of me, look at how exciting being an adult is, paying off a debt as a present). I'm not feeling all that excited for the economy which makes getting rid of debt rather a good idea. I want to be in the position to have everything (other than the new*er* car, thank you again person who hit my car) paid off by the end of 2018. The nice thing is you can snowball this. When you get a debt paid off the money in the monthly budget that would have gone towards it can be shifted to increasing the payments on another.
      • But as mentioned on the conventions line above, this also requires keeping an eye on spending. Conventions can be expensive if you aren't careful.
    • Giving: That said, when I get the next debt paid off I think I'm going to increase my Patreon budget. Either increase a few of my existing pledges or add a few more.
    • Non-writing-or-guitar-arty-stuff:
      • Pondering picking up pencil again and doing some more sketching.
      • Likewise I want to fire up Inkscape again and do more vector stuff.
        • One thought is sketching ideas for possible pins and then taking the ideas I like best to Inkscape for cleaning up and coloring.
      • Also looking at the beading supplies I have and pondering...
      • I want to get back into worldbuilding. Worldbuilding is fun.
    • I also wanting to get back into RPing. Either in person or more likely online.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Manually crossposting from my deviantart journal

Looking back at 2015 there were lows and highs:
  • I got a health wakeup call. Early in the year my doctor shared blood test results in which my numbers had generally improved in various categories. Then at my next visit my weight was up to a record high and my numbers were the worst I've had. Not good, especially considering family medical history. Since then I have been making an effort to reverse this. I have my weight back down to where it was in 2014 and I'm going to work to get it lower still. 
  • I enjoyed what may be my last conventions for a bit. In retrospect they really weren't good for my budget, even considering that I didn't get a hotel room for Phoenix ComiCon, just going to a convention means temptations to spend money at nearly every turn. Looking forward I just can't afford that in 2016.
  • Which brings up money in general. 2015 was not a good year economically. I have made essentially zero economic progress this past year. While I have reduced spending in some areas that's been matched by the car payments that started in 2014 (thank you once again for dying before I was ready Malibu, it will be some time before I even consider a GM car again) and the cost of guitar lessons. At least both of those have their perks. The new(er) car is nicer than the Malibu and I'm enjoying learning guitar.
  • One of my primary job tasks at work has pretty much evaporated. The good news is that work is seeing this as an opportunity for me to grow into new things rather than an opportunity to reduce their payroll expenses.
  • I got rid of a great deal of clutter at the tail end of 2014 and early this year. I opened up boxes that hadn't been touched since moving out of my parents home and got rid of a great many things. Old computers that hadn't been booted up for years, several disk boxes of 5 1/4 inch floppies as I haven't even seen a drive for those in years, and a great many books (I now have substantial store credit at the local used books and stuff store).
  • We changed the arrangement of the furniture in the apartment and the new layout *works*. Combined with decluttering the apartment feels much more spacious than before.
  • I poked at some setting creation but did less writing than in 2014. That said some of that poking may bare fruit in 2016.
  • I dropped Flight Rising for various reasons. For a bit that was taken up with the Marvel Puzzle Quest app, but I haven't been doing as much of that either. I didn't do any forum RPs that I can recall in 2015.
  • Had encounters with mortality, coworkers lost family and just this month saw the aftermath of a fatal car/pedestrian accident. Once more I am reminded that you should tell your friends and family that you care for them because you never know when they will be taken away.
  • Flubbed Trope Bingo. But... I haven't yet actually closed any of my bingo cards, anyone wants to leave a prompt for one feel free to do so.
  • Speaking of prompts, one of them put an interesting turn of evens into the Jayce & Izzy stories. Thanks Lyn! And thank you to everyone who left a writing prompt at a call.

Looking ahead to 2016:
  • I managed a bit over 62K words of fiction in 2015, down from a touch over 100K words in 2014. My word count goal for 2016 will be to beat 2015's word count.
  • Speaking of writing goals, in addition to word count I want at least one completed novella or some linked short stories. I have a few ideas percolating away...
  • Do some more prompt calls. I'm looking back at prior results and really like some of the results that came out of them.
  • I mentioned I'm taking guitar lessons, right? I've reached the point where the sounds I make are almost musical. :) I've also reached the point where if my budget forces me to drop my lessons I should still be able to make progress on my own. That said I think the guy I'm going to for lessons is worth the money. I plan to keep going this year.
  • I think I really need to find a supplemental source of income. Even a modest bit would do a lot to improve my budget. Lottery tickets don't count.
  • Slowly making changes to my diet. For instance I'm snacking on air popped pop corn while I write this instead of chocolate. Over 2016 I need to add in some other improvements.
  • I want to add in some more art, both sketching and digital. On the digital end Inkscape and Scribus for art and design and learning more HTML/CSS.
  • I think I might do another Seven Days of RPG Characters again. I did that in 2013 and it was fun. Created seven characters and a setting at the same time.
  • Speaking of RPs, get into a play-by-post or email RP again. I miss doing that.
  • I'm going to aim to also finish the Aldersprig & KC 30 Days of Flash Fic prompts (only 14 left).
  • Also I want to get back to Unquiet Past and finish it as well.
  • Run a 5K before the year is out. An official 5K race or simply going out and doing 5K. I think my one knee will probably be happier about this goal if I knock some more pounds off first.
  • And speaking of exercise, build up my arm strength enough to do a chin up again. Hey, another spot where taking some pounds off will help. :)
lilfluff: Pithani the student-librarian mouse from Mars Academy as a mad scientist. Drawn by Tod Wills (aka Djinni on LJ) (Mad Science Pithani)
This post inspired but not an exact copy from latest deviantArt journal post... Also, as noted at the end I'm going to be open to advice from readers with guitar knowledge.

As we all know we're rapidly approaching 2015 which means of course New Years Goals. The past few years I've set a goal of writing 100K words of fiction and this year I actually made it (crossing 100K late last night/early this morning). About a month ago when it became clear that I was going to reach 100K words I started debating with myself whether to do another 100,000 word goal next year or perhaps as much as double it to 200K words.Continues under the cut with discussion of how buying a guitar will affect this... )
lilfluff: A fennec fox boy pencil and paper in hand, showing off what he has written. Drawn by Tod Wills (aka Djinni on LJ) (Writing)
[personal profile] aldersprig and [personal profile] rix_scaedu have posted writing goals for March, so I'll get on the bandwagon and throw out some goals too:

Overall: 10,000+ words

* Unquiet Past: 2000+ new words
* The Journey: 1000+ new words
* Iced Tea followup: 2000+ new words
* Either potential serial: 1000+ words
* 30 Days series 2: 1000+ new words
* Fenspace: 1000+ words

* Review/Revise/or toss Chainbreaker
* Write some more haiku
* Brainstorm for story seeds in:
** The Galactic Academy setting
** The Capitalist-Techno-Hippies setting
** Possible followups to:
*** Ready, Aim, Miss
*** Home at Last

Also ponder themes for potential prompt calls.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Yeah, it's April. So?

Goals for the next twelve months.

1. Actually get all the recommended repairs done to my poor innocent car. (Ouch, estimate runs just over a thousand dollars for parts & labor. But should leave it in pretty good shape.)

2. Get the credit card paid down significantly.

3. Buy a guitar and learn to play it. I've been thinking about this one for a while. I'm leaning towards acoustic. (I also want to learn the keyboard too) I'm going to set aside a little cash at a time for that. Maybe use that as an encouragement to snack less, by deciding to take what would have gone in the snack machine and putting it in the guitar money jar.

4. Have at least ten more credit hours taken. That's under a credit hour a month. If I can't beat this goal I'm not doing well.

5. Still find the time to read.

6. Actually put together more than a place-holder web page.

7. Buy new glasses. Yeesh, these are starting to get a little... odd. Replaced the nose pads twice and both are held on with screws that aren't really meant for the job.

8. Connected to #3, learn to read music properly. I sort of learned it back in high school when I was in choral class, but that was *mumble* years ago and I've let the skills there get rusty.

9. At some point when I'm not using this laptop for a class in progress, do some modest upgrades and set it to dual boot XP and Linux.

10. Clean and organize. Really honestly clean and organize. Get rid of some of the stuff I haven't touched in years and maybe see the floor again.

11. Run through my Spanish CDs.

12. Draw some more. With permission to have it look like junk as long as I actually do it.

13. Write. Similarly I grant myself permission to count this goal achieved even if what I write is horrid trash.

14. Exercise more. Keep walking places even as summer falls upon us.

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lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
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