Friday, December 30, 2016

From 2016 to 2017 - Keeping the Momentum Going

Do you like this new graphic? I made it myself with a photo I took of my beautiful wife.
I felt like I should do some end-of-the-year blogging to get some closure on 2016 and publicly express my goals for 2017, especially after writing a lengthy post/essay titled "Spider-Man or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Reboot" that I then decided not to publish because it was basically just me telling the entire story of my love for Spider-Man and expressing my opinions (that nobody asked for) about the upcoming reboot film.

Concerning My 2016 Resolution

I don't actually remember my primary resolution for 2016, and looking back on last year's review, I didn't really state anything specific. Therefore I'm just going to assume my resolution was to complete the second draft of my novel, which I came very close but ultimately failed to do. I do remember, however, resolving to learn to meditate in 2016, which I did a little bit of throughout the year but not as much as I wanted to.

So what did I actually do this year, then? I read a lot more books (the entire Hitchiker's Guide series, several books in the Detective Bosch series, four books in the Series of Unfortunate Events, The Martian, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and Childhood's End), watched a bunch of good movies for the first time (La La Land, Sunshine, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Good Will Hunting, The Revenant, the "Before" trilogy, Spirited Away, High Rise, Begin Again, Deadpool, Ghost in the Shell, There Will Be Blood, Victoria, Carol, Room, Sixteen Candles, Straight Outta Compton, Steve Jobs, Brick, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Memento, Sicario, A Scanner Darkly, Snowpiercer, and more), watched some good TV shows (Westworld, Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul, Parks and Recreation, etc), discovered some new music and played the occasional video game (mostly on Android).

I also lost my job, found a better one, got a new phone that lets me play Xcom anywhere, put up a fence in my back yard for my dog, started using Instagram, redesigned the blog to actually look like a writer's blog, started writing short stories based on writing prompts (one of which has gained enough attention for two individuals to ask me if they could adapt it into a short film), made new friends, reconnected with old friends, did a lot of hiking, tried out a few different haircuts, and lost 10 lbs.

2017 Resolutions

First and foremost, I really want to get the second draft of my novel finished and start sending it out to publishers. I'm really close thanks to NaNoWriMo, and I really only need to write the ending, rewrite a secondary character's arc, and punch up the humor and charisma in some parts.

Secondly, I just want to keep writing more, especially those writing prompts, and eventually put a few up on the website for public consumption.

Thirdly, ever since experimenting with mixing music again a few weeks ago and seeing the amazing film La La Land in theaters a few days ago with my wife, it's starting to look like I might finally be learning to play an instrument or two. You see, she grew up playing the violin and guitar, but after seeing Ryan Gosling in La La Land and learning that he trained himself in only three months she's been wanting to learn piano (and her parents have a beautiful one in their home that rarely gets used), and I grew up owning a guitar but not knowing how to play it and always wanted to learn to play the keyboard so I could make some music on the computer without relying entirely on pre-recorded loops. So I'll say my tertiary big goal of 2017 is to learn to play piano and/or guitar, but this just came up recently so we'll see if it really sticks.

Fourthly, I should probably continue to lose weight and get in shape. I did some pilates this year, which proved to be quite enjoyable and challenging, tried to get into a routine of exercising (beyond taking my daily walks) at least once a week, and made an effort to eat healthier or smaller portions, so more of that would be good. Now that the wedding has long passed, my biggest motivation to be healthy and in shape is that I want to be able to keep up and play with my future kids as much as possible.

Lastly, I really just want to keep trying new things in my area. For years, I was stuck in a rut of eating at chain restaurants, shopping at chain stores, and going to the same places to do the same old things, but this year my wife and I made a solid attempt of eating and shopping more locally, as well as visiting parks we'd never been to before and just overall trying to attend more community events like concerts, movies in the park, and beer gardens. More of that is always good fun.

And I still want to do more Tactical Laser Tag. Seriously, I only went once this year.