life · writing

2012, You’re All Right

DISCLAIMER: I’m not proofreading this post. Bad form, I know, but I have to go finish the WIP before midnight. 

Earlier this week I was thinking to myself, darn, I probably won’t get to write a rousing end of the year post because I’ll be partying like a rock star with my cousins. Then my whole family minus myself and one sister got sick, and my dad said I shouldn’t be out and about because I might be a carrier. Nice.

But it means I have this whole day to myself, so while I’m in the trenches, dodging the flying germs and disease-filled coughs and sneezes, I’ll grace you all with a post 🙂

2012 was an all right year. I’m kind of fond of it, actually. A lot of stuff happened, a lot of stuff changed, I wrote and I read and I made awesome friends. I entered a lot of contests and spent some time in the querying trenches. And I learned a lot. Let me re-emphasize that: A LOT. But since my poetry teacher is always telling me to deal in the concrete, I’ll give you some specifics.

12 ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF 2012

1. I wrote my first trilogy that didn’t turn into a series. The Aura Trilogy is a body of work I’m extremely proud of it. It helps that it’s made up of possibly my three best first draft novels ever.

2. I finished NaNoWriMo for my fourth year running. I was really worried about how that would work out on top of moving out of the house and starting my first year at APSU, but it all worked out great.

3. I graduated from Columbia State Community College with my associate of arts. Maybe I should have mentioned this first! Haha. I’m a complete nerd when it comes to school, and I’m obsessed with doing well. This marked the halfway point for my undergraduate education, and I left CSCC with a 3.8 GPA, a truckload of learning, and a lot more confidence then I went in there with.

4. I grew as a horsewoman. This is a goal of mine that doesn’t get as much attention as writing and school, which is why I’m doubly proud that I took some strides with it. I’ve spent hours and hours at the barn, working with the horses, and am growing ever confident that I’ll be able to take care of a horse of my own one day.

5. I got a full request from an agent. Um, nuff said?

6. I got into APSU. As much as I liked CSCC, I always knew it was a stepping stone to a four-year university, and when it came time to make a serious decision, APSU was my number one choice. When I found out I got in, I posted a victory cheer on FB with an obscene amount of exclamation points.

7. I kicked butt at APSU. Spoiler – I GOT ALL A’S. I know school isn’t all about grades and my obsession with getting A’s is probably a little unhealthy, but what can I say? I’m obsessed. And I’m really competitive with all of my siblings, and grades is an arena I excel in. It’s pretty pathetic, actually, but there you go.

8. I wrote five, possibly six (if I finish the WIP before midnight) books this year. I think this is a record for me. I tried a lot of new things with these six books, too. I tried my hand at a more serious contemporary, aliens, and paranormal. Can I be insanely proud of myself, or is that just being stuck up?

9. I read Shakespeare. I know, I know. What kind of illiterate English major am I if I hadn’t read Shakespeare before? Can we pretend I’m a beast for doing it finally? My only dabbling with Shakespeare previously was his sonnets and a bombed attempt at reading Hamlet that left me wanting to drown myself in the toilet (I’m exaggerating!). But this year I read Othello and The Merchant of Venice and familiarized myself with several other plays via movies and live performances. I have a new respect for the old guy. He’s one of those few writers who makes me want to leap into the story and kill somebody (I swear I’m not violent). Like Othello? GAH. DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED. I really hate that guy. /rant

10. Two words: ROCK CLIMBING. I’m broadening my physically exerting horizons, and two friends from poetry class got me into rock climbing and bouldering. APSU has a rock climbing wall, so I get unlimited practice, and it’s awesome. I managed to make it to the top of the wall on my first try, and I’m going to keep practicing so I can make some of the harder routes.

11. I decided to write poetry, and I wrote some. Some of it I actually like. Poetry class was extremely good for me. It was a workshop class, so there was lots of discussion going on. I love the atmosphere in a good workshop class. My teacher really pushed us all, and at the end of the class I had a portfolio of poems that I’m proud of. I always dabble in poetry a little bit each year, but I made leaps and bounds progress this year.

12. I kept blogging. Yeah, I know, posting was pretty sketchy this year. And for a while I was starting to think I was fresh out of blogging topics and it was time to shut this baby down. But I kept going anyway. I’ve decided to chalk the sketchiness to all the changes that happened this year. I was in the middle of an emotional and psychological growth spurt, so I wasn’t sure what was what anymore. But somehow it’s the end of the year and I’m writing the customary last post, so there you go. I made it.

In Retrospect:

While all these things were happening, I had a pretty awesome support team of friends – both RL and online – to sympathize with my (often exaggerated, I admit) pains, celebrate my triumphs, and tell me to suck it up when I was being particularly whiny. I’m really glad I have you guys, and I hope I’m even a smidgen as useful and nice to you guys as you are to me.

For Next Year:

Each year I decide to simplify my resolutions, because I hate to face the end of the year with a long list of tasks that I never got around to. This year I’m going to make it really simple.

1. Make a JAR OF GOOD THINGS. My friend told me about this, and she got it from Pinterest or FB or something. It’s nice and easy. You take a jar, and each time a good thing happens during the year, you write it down on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. That way at the end of the year, you have a jar full of wonderful memories.

2. Get really buff. I’ve never made a health-related resolution (apart from drinking more water one year, and that kind of bombed). This one is for rock climbing and horseback riding. Rock climbing beats the crap out of me because as far as upper body muscles go, I’m sadly lacking. And horseback riding and barn work really suck the strength out of a girl. Plus, I’d like to still be able to beat up my brothers.

3. Write 3+ books. I long ago gave up trying to write every day, because it never happens. But I know I can write a book or two for NaNo, and I always write a book or so over the summer. So hopefully this is a completely reachable goal.

4. Edit a book. I have a ton of unedited books languishing around. So when my big mouth starts going and I tell people about those books, they ask to read them, and it’s really hard to convince people that out of so many novels, not one of them is presentable enough to be read by the general public. I don’t know which book I’ll be editing yet.

5. Put my all into school. Confession: I obsess over school, but I don’t work very hard. I’m a study-all-night-the-night-before kind of girl, which is awful. This coming year, I want to take a better, healthier approach to my school that doesn’t require any all-nighters.

And So…

I think that’s a healthy balance: a little school, a little health, a little writing, a little just-be-happy. Those aren’t my only goals, of course, but those are my resolutions.

My hope for next year is the same as it is every year: I want to learn, grow, be happy, and crash toy trains with my nephew. And if fate wants to throw a little fame and fortune in there, well, I’m totally open to that.

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One thought on “2012, You’re All Right

  1. Congrats, Gabs! You are so inspiring. You might think 2012 was only all right, but reading this list of your 12 best moments of 2012 floors me! Don’t forget to take a step back and realize just how much you have accomplished and just how amazing you are!!

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