About Those New Year’s Resolutions I Made…

  • Read more short stories. I thought about reading one short story per day like these guys over here, but I don’t think I can stick to that.

No, no, you cannot. Below, I also resolved to read some science fiction so I thought it not-actually-cheating to read SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORIES, so I picked Ray Bradbury. I got his collected short stories volume two out of the library, which is absolutely huge, and had renewed it twice before I had a chance to get through about ten of them. So I got it out again, renewed another two times, and then he died, which meant other people wanted the book and so I never even finished a single short story anthology. RIP, Ray. What the hell, I should just buy the book. I’m waiting for it to drop in price on Book Depository. The tome costs a fortune to ship to Australia. (If I bought it as an ebook I’d certainly never get to it. Out of sight, out of mind, you know.)

  • Eat fewer pies and be more adventurous with food preparation.

Achieved! Totally achieved this one, because we’ve been eating a Paleo diet since April. So, no trans fats to speak of. Also no sugar and no wheat. Pretty much cured my husband’s asthma. He was taking his meds twice per day and now he hardly takes it at all. Unbelievable health improvements for both of us, even though I considered myself pretty healthy in the first place. This is actually the thing which threw me off my science fiction reading goal because I read a tall pile of health books instead, including Gary Taubes, Udo Erasmus, Mark Sisson and Nora Gedgaudas. Then I had to relearn how to cook. Rather, I had to relearn how to shop, because throwing a tray of lamb chops in the oven is not hard. So when I achieved ‘being adventurous with food preparation’ this meant eating vegetables I don’t normally buy, trying new meats such as buffalo, making my own lacto-fermented vegetables (more adventurous than it sounds) and trying to find a way to eat liver without chucking up.

  • Make another storybook app, preferably finishing nearer to August than Christmas this time.

Fail. BUT WE CURED ASTHMA. I am very happy with how our current app is looking, but sitting at the desk has come secondary to exercise and doing as the chiropractor says, which is ‘don’t spend so much time at the computer’. Can’t please everyone, I guess. Something had to give and it was frequent blogging, for me. I also had to completely rethink Midnight Feast after our food politics took a different turn — after giving up wheat I could no longer stand behind an app which celebrated cake. So I rewrote and restoryboarded, and I’m very happy with it now. It is possible to write a celebration of food without cakes, icecreams and pies.

  • Track hours in a diary. I’d love to know how many hours I’ve been spending doing what over the past 12 months. I honestly don’t know how 2011 went so fast. I’m determined that 2012 shall not be a mystery, in that regard, at least!

Achieved! I kept a diary this year — not a rumination sort of diary but simply wrote down what I did each day. I don’t know if it helped any with regards to productivity, but I did read Scott Belski’s Making Ideas Happen, so I now know how to turn my diary into a productivity tool, should I fall behind our Easter deadline 2013.

Almost Achieved! I have half a book to finish before Tuesday which is perfectly do-able. I started the Goodreads Challenge to cure me of my terrible habit of abandoning books halfway through. It worked. I was consistently a couple of books behind, and then I’d do a big catch up, reading three books in a week, which is proof that had I not been doing this extremely high-stakes Goodreads challenge I would have read nowhere near 52 books. The trick, by the way, is to read skinny ones when you’re busy.

As for 2013…

  • Finish Midnight Feast and have it in the app store by Easter.
  • Read another 52 books. I know approximately which 52 books they will be — the ones on my reading pile, or rather, in the wardrobe. I picked up some great second hand books from the dump (not as gross as it sounds — there’s a ‘shop’) which is partly why my reading pile is so high. I will read whatever takes my fancy in any given week. (Otherwise reading becomes a chore. I’m not going to read the bookclub books unless they’re good, either. Who says you can’t formulate an opinion after reading five pages? I have done that.)
  • Be diligent about those exercises I’m meant to do when I’m spending long hours at the computer. Regular trips to the chiropractor are keeping me honest so far. Cat cow, cat cow, cat cow…
  • Do some writing to balance out the illustrating. I worry that illustration doesn’t use my brain as much as it should. Writing, for me, is definitely a more rigorous activity and now that I’ve rediscovered illustration I’m tempted not to go back to writing. But I will have to if I am to improve. I’m tempted to set myself the goal of writing a short story per month, but I think I might postpone that until next year, hoping that I can get a few more short story anthologies read this year. There’s nothing like reading short stories in great numbers to inspire me to write my own. I will, however, be writing and storyboarding our next app, at the very least. A few years ago I was writing a short story per week. This lasted a few months and I was totally exhausted. About half of them were pretty good and half of them were crap. It was a good exercise though and I’d recommend it.