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2013: So That Was A Thing That Happened

Posted by | December 30, 2013 | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Yup, it’s time for a year-end wrap up post! Brace yourselves for bullet points, as we play “Ursula Attempts To Make Herself Feel Better About The Fact She Probably Didn’t Accomplish Nearly Enough Last Year!”

So! In 2013…

In the garden:

  • I ID’d a number of exciting new species in the yard, including cranefly orchid, American carrion beetle, the Agreeable Tiger Moth and more!
  • We cracked 300 species on the yard list!
  • I built a very large raised bed. Out of stone. Which I moved myself. Uphill, both ways.
  • I FINISHED THE PATIO THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED!
  • Mulch mulch mulch
  • Watched fifteen(!) different baby birds get raised in the garden and immediate vicinity. (A banner year!)
  • I grew beans, tomatillos, basil, peas, and some runty little tomatoes
  • I dried beans
  • Kevin put the beans in chili.
  • They were delicious.
  • I discovered the existence of lawn crayfish. My world will never be the same.

At work:

  • 31 paintings
  • 4 art dolls
  • 4 sculptures
  • 195 book illustrations
  • 4 book covers (one wraparound!)
  • finished and sold the witch book (65K)
  • wrote Dragonbreath 10 (15K, already sold)
  • finished Nine Goblins (3K)
  • self-pubbed Nine Goblins
  • sold over a thousand copies of Nine Goblins
  • Sundry progress on other works-in-progress, probably totalling 30K or more, no clear estimates
  • Sold a short story
  • Wrote and drew a short kid’s comic for Random House (It’ll be out eventually…)
  • Sold a poem (That’s a first!)
  • Worked very hard on a StoryNexus game that will someday be finished
  • Edited too many things
  • Went on a book tour
  • Won the Sequoyah Award for Dragonbreath
  • Won the Mythopoeic Award for Digger
  • Contributed to the Digger Kickstarter, although frankly, that was really mostly Sofawolf
  • Signed thousands and thousands of Kickstarter books
  • Started a new podcast
  • Kept up with the old podcast
  • Did something like twenty-four gardening columns for Beautiful Wildlife Garden
  • Had the website overhauled (which was both an accomplishment and a lot of work for a number of people!)

I traveled to:

  • Oklahoma (Ardmore is surprisingly cool)
  • Texas Hill Country (great birding)
  • San Jose
  • San Antonio (Worldcon, where my buddy Mur won the Campbell Award! Woo!)
  • Florida
  • Disneyworld (not the same as Florida. Trust me on this one.)
  • Cape Cod
  • Baltimore
  • Richmond
  • Seattle
  • Victoria BC
  • Sundry Chunks of Alaska As Seen By Cruise Ship
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh (as always)
  • Upper Peninsula Michigan
  • The Twin Cities
  • A Random Castle In The Middle Of Ohio
  • New York City

I saw:

  • Tundra swans
  • Killer whales
  • Laysen albatross
  • Gray-cheeked thrush
  • American pipit
  • Olive sparrow
  • More vireos that you can shake a stick at
  • Humpback whales
  • Blackpoll warblers
  • Northern lapwing
  • A bunch of other birds, but the list is getting long. I cracked 400 life birds, though!
  • Also a tufted titmouse ate out of my hand

Life in general:

  • We lost my beloved cat Ben, whom I still miss.
  • We rehomed Marv the cat
  • We acquired our villainous one-eyed blue Sergei
  • We moved the studios around (a week-long process)
  • Was scared some, cried some, freaked out some
  • Laughed a lot. Like lunatics.
  • Took multiple hot baths with good books
  • Ate some really mind-blowing meals
  • There was something else…
  • I’ll think of it in a minute…
  • It’s on the tip of my tongue…
  • OH YEAH!
  • I got married to Kevin!

…you know, as I suspected might happen, that’s not a bad total for a year when I look at it like that. I wish I’d gotten more paintings done–I didn’t even manage one a week!–but given that I had a lot of illos and wrote probably 100K words on various projects, plus traveled at a rate well over one multi-day trip per month…yeah, 2013 wasn’t wasted.

Next year, I want to travel less. I love seeing new places, don’t get me wrong, but I felt like a lot of this last year was spent with trips looming on the horizon, as if I was frantically trying to shove productivity in between running to the airport, and I wasn’t ever at home long enough to get into the groove. So I’m hoping for a year that is frantic with work, not frantic with travel. I’m good at work frantic. Travel frantic wears me down. I’d like to move to a schedule where I travel maybe six times a year instead of fifteen.

But the most important things were all there. I laughed, I loved, I had fun…

And I finally got that goddamn patio done.

5 Comments

  • Tom Vinson says:

    That’s a truly impressive yard list. I haven’t been able to get anywhere close, even cheating by walking out into the street and looking down in the next block :-(
    Where exactly do you all live?
    Looks like I’m going to have to start pushing Nine Goblins.

  • Escher says:

    You listed Nine Goblins as “(3k)”. Is that meant to be word count? If so, I’m guessing there’s a missing 0 there, ’cause it’s nearly 150 pages, which is around 45k words as I recall…

  • Prof. Godel Fishbreath says:

    Your list will leave us exhausted and jealous. Good year for you. Please do not regret, there won’t be much left for us.

  • Prof. Godel Fishbreath says:

    Escher! Wonderful to meet ya!
    Have you read Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid Paperback by Douglas R. Hofstadter ?
    It influenced my choice of name.

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