2016 in Review
There’s no doubt that, while the future looks perhaps muddier than ever, 2016 certainly gave us a clearer picture of where we are as a civilization and how much work we have to do. On that note, here’s my personal review.
One Word for 2016: Identity
It took me to nearly the end of the year to reclaim the identity I’d intended to reclaim in 2016, but here I am, a Writer once more. I’m more comfortable in my role as a mother, and also as a mother of a son and a mother of a daughter.* I also found that 2016 encouraged me to finally embrace some labels (bleeding heart dirty liberal hippie, Democrat) and to re-embrace others with more-thought-turned-into-action (ally, mind-speaker, feminist).
I didn’t do as much as I thought I would in 2016, which has been par for the course since basically 2012. But here’s what I did do:
- I wrote a short film script that I really like.
- I did some work on a series bible and pilot script.
- I wrote a novel in November and loved doing it.
- I wrote a Christmas-themed drabble about being human.
- I wrote a poem about the night we lost Carrie Fisher, and being a parent.
- I edited an old short story, and I wrote a new one or two.
- I wrote a letter to my children on the night of Nov. 8, when the world I thought I knew started to crumble. (And that, by and large, was the moment I reclaimed my identity as a Writer.)
I also read quite a bit, with a strong emphasis on comics and graphic novels this year.**
- The Wonder
- Truly, Madly, Guilty
- Tales from Moominvalley
- Modern Lovers
- Voyager (Outlander #3)
- The Nightingale
- Every Exquisite Thing
- Everyone Brave is Forgiven
- The Nest
- Harry Potter & the Cursed Child
- Standalone Graphic Novels
- The Exile (an Outlander Graphic Novel)
- Moominvalley Turns Jungle
- Troll Bridge
- The Encyclopedia of Early Earth
- This One Summer
- Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1
- Ex Machina, Vol. 1
- Thor (The Goddess of Thunder), Vol. 1
- Ms. Marvel, Vols. 1-4
- Fables, Vol.s 1-3
- Chew, Vols. 1-10
- Single Issues
- Chew #51-60
- Faith #1
- Spider-Woman (2015-) #1-5
- Spider-Women Alpha #1
- Radioactive Spider-Gwen #7
- Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #1
- Saga #31-40
- Bitch Planet #6-8
- The Mighty Thor (2015-) #1-9
- Ms. Marvel (2015-) #13
- The Collapse of Parenting (which I do NOT recommend in the slightest)
- Food Rules
Other highlights of the year:
- Family vacation to Indian Rocks Beach, Florida (and Rose’s first beach vacation)
- Hiking-centric trip to Branson, Missouri, with my sister
- Anniversary trip to Seattle with my husband
- Trip to Chicago to see HAMILTON!!!!!!!!!!!
- Seeing Pippin really get into Halloween and Christmas this year
- Getting to watch Rose learn how to walk and in general become more and more of a human
Which brings us to 2017. My goals are more or less the same, year in and year out, with only slight variation, but here’s this year’s rendition:
- Get in shape.
- Write 7,000 words a week or 20 pages/per week.
- Finish my pilot.
- Write at least 4 short stories.
- Release Still.
- Track films and television watched.
- Keep submitting stories/screenplays.
- Give back (volunteer time, donate money when I can, etc.).
My One Word for 2017: ONWARD
The world got thrown upside down for many of us in 2016, but the silver lining is it made me really think about my priorities and what matters to me moving forward. That’s my family, writing, and doing what I can to preserve and encourage the progress of humanity while resisting the forces that threaten to turn it backwards.
So, my word this year is ONWARD. We don’t accept defeat. We glean lessons and get stronger and move forward. We don’t become complacent, and we don’t accept hate and division and inequal rights as normal. We keep moving forward: Onward, brave soldier.
For me on a personal level, that means I write even when it sucks, even when I can’t find the passion for a project. I move forward, switching between projects when necessary, all to keep marching on. And for myself, I work toward improvements in health and strength, accepting small defeats as they come and using them as stepping stones to achieve better results rather than as weights pulling me down. For my family, it means making sure our children know who we are and what we stand for, so that they too can be beacons of hope and empathy in the world now and as they grow into their own individual selves.
Best Wishes for 2017 and Beyond
I think it’s going to be another doozy of a year, any way we slice it. So my wishes for 2017 is that we find and cultivate passion for things that ultimately add joy, peace and compassion to the world. Best of luck to all of us in that endeavor. There’s so much work to do.
*I realize that using gendered terms for babies and children carries a lot of complexity these days, and I think there’s a lot I could write on the topic, as well as a lot to learn. We are doing our best to raise children who embrace their gender identity in any way they want. For the time being, Pip is very adamant that he is a boy (and “NOT A BABY!”), and Rose seems to gravitate toward a traditional female gender while very much holding her own with her brother, especially for a one-year-old. So, I feel comfortable using “son” and “daughter” to describe them, while fully acknowledging they get to (and will be encouraged to) develop their own ideas about gender and gender identity as they mature.
** If you’re wondering what I’d recommend out of those, Ghosts was fantastic, and Daytripper and The Encyclopedia of Early Earth were both very good; Eligible (a modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice) was the most enjoyable novel I read all year; Chew is unlike anything I’ve ever read before; and Ms. Marvel and Thor are both worth your time. You can also see my ratings on Goodreads (along with everything I’ve read since 2009.