Happy New Year 2017-2018

May 2018 bring joy and peace to you and yours.

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2017 – Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I have to say there are a whole lot of things I won’t miss about 2017. But that’s mostly relating to current events, nationally and globally, not what I focus on in this blog. So as the year turns, I’m going to take a few minutes to look back on 2017 and look ahead to 2018. Before I do, though, I want to take a moment to say¬†THANK YOU to all the wonderful people who read or follow my little blog, and especially those who take the time to post comments. You have no idea how much you lift my spirits every time.

In looking back to 2017 I collected a whole pile of blog statistics (*yawn*) but ditched them. Instead I’m just going to look at how I did with respect to the goals I set a year ago, and then set new goals for 2018. So here we go!

Looking Back: 2017 Goals

  • Revise my work in progress (WIP): I’ve made very good progress on this front. The book has gone through a whole series of revisions, and is right now in its 6th version and is out to my local critique book for another round of feedback. I still have faith in this project and am pleased with what I’ve done so far, though of course it can always be better.
  • Participate in the weekly WordPress Photo Challenge. I only missed six of the possible challenges this year, and all of my most popular posts were in this category. When I look at the top five, I see a theme of using small, close-up images to reflect on various larger themes:
  • Keep up the Wednesday Words posts related to writing. I missed this one completely. I shifted Wednesday Words to Weekend Words when the Photo Challenge moved from Friday to Wednesday, then it just got dropped. I had a very busy spring with unusually intense work and personal demands, but I’m not finding that excuse very satisfying.
  • Participate in the A-Z Blogging Challenge in April. Once again I posted haiku puzzles, this time focused on topics from fantasy and science fiction. It was a ton of fun, but not quite as successful as the 2016 challenge, and I think that’s because the F/SF focus meant it frustrated some folks. I’ve got a reflection here.
  • Dance at my daughter’s wedding. I was the primary wedding planner, which is one of those demands that led to me dropping the Wednesday Words commitment, but it was TOTALLY worth it, even if I didn’t actually do much dancing. You can read more about it here.

Looking Ahead: 2018 Goals

  • Move forward with my WIP: I plan to get connected to a new group of beta readers online, polish the book to a high gloss, and start querying. At the same time I’ll start working on my next book, so there will always be a WIP to move forward with.
  • Continue participating in the WordPress photo challenge: This is an obvious one, since it’s the thing I did most in the last year and produced all of my most popular posts. I’m going to try to get them all!
  • Participate again in the A-Z blogging challenge. This has been fun twice, and I will definitely do it again. I expect to return to the original plan of haiku puzzles for ordinary words, not the F/SF version. It seems to appeal to more people.
  • Post more on writing: I don’t think I can commit to a weekly post on writing, but I hope I can post more than the seven I did all last year.

So that’s it – my mark for the turn of the year. I hope your year turns well!

Seasonal Samples from 2017

The WordPress photo challenge for this week is to post my most meaningful photo from 2017. First I ruled out any photo I’ve already posted this year. Then I ruled out the photos who are truly the most meaningful, the ones from my daughter’s June wedding, because I don’t post recognizable photos of people. Picking one favorite from the remainder was so hard I didn’t do it – I picked four. Here’s my representation of 2017 in pictures that represent the four seasons. Three of them I took at my home; the summer one is from work. I hope you enjoy them!

Posted in response to the WordPress photo challenge: 2017 Favorites

Climbing to the Moon

On September 27, 2015 there was a total lunar eclipse, and I went with many other folks to the Strasenburgh Planetarium in Rochester, NY for the event. After a show explaining the science of what was about to happen we climbed up to the roof to watch the real thing through their telescopes. I wasn’t able to get good photos of the eclipse itself with my little phone camera, but I snapped this shot looking back down the stairs. The experience helped me feel connected to my fellow science lovers and to the giant, impartial spin of the cosmos outside our little world. Keep looking up!

Posted in response to the WordPress photo challenge: Ascend

Little Lily

This is my friend’s dog, Lily. She was at a Christmas party yesterday and was delighted by all the people she could make friends with. Especially when it was dinner time and we all had our plates balanced on our knees. Surely someone was going to drop a tidbit for sweet Lily!

Posted in response to the WordPress photo challenge: Cheeky