Monday, September 17, 2012

One year later

Roughly 12 months ago, give or take a few days, I make a big list of 42 goals I set for myself over the course of the ensuing year (why 42? You haven't been paying attention. For shame!). In any event, it wasn't so much as a realistic list as it was a crazy lunatic compilation of things that would probably kill me from stress were I to genuinely try and accomplish them all. So, hey, good news folks--I'm still here!

Looking over this overly-ambitious list, it's depressing how few items actually got crossed off. On the other hand, it's encouraging how many items actually did get completed. And there are some incompletes scattered hither and yon, so I figure I get partial credit for them. For the record, I'm still not down with the whole "aging gracefully" thing. At all. But this past year came and went without my descending into debilitating bouts of depression (well, not for more than a few days at a time) so that's gotta go down as straight up win, right?

  1. Finish that damn Chicken Ranch book (Yes! The big one accomplished! Although I missed most of my self-imposed deadlines, I did complete the second draft a few weeks ago and the manuscript is currently out with first readers. Yay! There's still work to be done, and I still don't have a publisher, but I count this as an unambiguous accomplishment).
  2. Stop dwelling so much about what other people think of me. Stop censoring and limiting and restricting and misrepresenting myself in some misguided attempt to earn their approval. (Er, gotta mark this as an incomplete. Progress in some instances, backsliding in others.)
  3. Finish my in-progress short story "A Life Less Illustrated." (Ha, ha. No.)
  4. Be a better father and husband. (Another incomplete. I am a work in progress.)
  5. Be a better role model for my children. (Incomplete, although this one, I think, leans closer toward the good column.)
  6. Return to work on my half-finished fantasy novel, Wetsilver. (snort!)
  7. Fill out my Farscape collection with the missing episodes from season 3 I don't have. (Sadly, no. I thought about it, but didn't get beyond adding Season 3 to the Netflix queue. No, wait, The Wife did that.)
  8. Watch the entire run of Farscape, in order, from the pilot episode through Peacekeeper Wars (Did not watch a single episode the entire year, although I did read some of the BOOM! Studios comic books.)
  9. Finish converting the garage into a home photography studio. (This project, I fear, is DOA.)
  10. Lose 25 pounds. (Er, well, I did manage to lose 10 pounds, but that was only after I'd gained 10 pounds. So I'm right back where I started. On the up side, I've now got a gym membership and physically torture myself on a semi-regular basis.)
  11. Watch Deep Throat with The Wife.
  12. Finish my in-progress short story "The Shoals of Cibola." (Nope. There seems to be a pattern emerging.)
  13. Stop yelling so much/Keep my temper under control (Incomplete).
  14. Get back to that radio script I'm supposed to be writing with Mark Finn. (Nope.)
  15. Learn to scuba. (No, BUT The Wife has gifted me with a scuba class. I will commence to learning how to not drown underwater within the next week or so!)
  16. Spend a long weekend in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, photographing landscapes and wildlife. (Damn, this almost happened. But my PT Cruiser started acting up a bit, and I didn't want to get stranded out in West Texas without working wheels.)
  17. Find a publisher for Voices of Wonder, my second collected volume of genre-themed interviews. (This did not happen.)
  18. Read Don Quixote. (Crap. Forgot all about this. But then again, I didn't read much of anything not related to Texas brothels over the past year.)
  19. Enroll in photography courses at Texas State (Incomplete. I attempted to do so last year through my division, but my paperwork vanished into a black hole. I just today turned in the paperwork for classes this spring, so we'll see what happens).
  20. Pull a 4.0 for the semester (see no 19).
  21. Put together that Apollo-Soyuz model kit I bought 20 years ago.
  22. Surprise The Wife with a Canon EF 24-70 2.8 L lens (She bought it herself before I could. :-/).
  23. Read those Hunger Games books. (Read them. The first is great, the second good and the third falls apart.)
  24. Finish that Green Arrow musical thing. (No, but I've looked at it a couple of times. Soon.)
  25. Buy a new car. (This, surprisingly, came about several months ahead of time: Unplanned, Unprepared, Unexpected
  26. Publish (or rather, find a publisher for) my short story collection. (sigh)
  27. Photograph a Division I-A football game from the sidelines. (Check it out.)
  28. Get back to that short story I'm supposed to be writing with Chris Nakashima-Brown. (Nope.)
  29. Spend the better part of a week in New Orleans with The Wife. (Yes, our trip to Imaging USA) worked out as planned.)
  30. Return to, and finish, Memory, my online serial storytelling experiment. (Not even close.)
  31. Visit Cape Canaveral. (It was very cool!)
  32. If that buffoon Rick Perry wins the GOP presidential nomination... (Oops.)
  33. Spend a long weekend in Big Bend National Park, photographing landscapes and wildlife. (See no. 16)
  34. Buy my dream telescope, the Meade LXD75 SN-10AT (f/4) Schmidt-Newtonian. (It's no longer made. Not only that, but when I sent my 6" mirror off to be resurfaced in an attempt to maximize the the telescope I do have, it came back broken and unuseable.)
  35. Begin writing Sailing Venus, my long-delayed YA novel. My kids aren't getting any younger. (No, but this is a high priority now that the Chicken Ranch books is wrapping up.)
  36. Re-unite The Kinks. (Sadly, I haven't even managed to see the Do It Again documentary.)
  37. Write that "Airships and Apes" challenge story put forth by Joe Lansdale. (Incomplete. I wrote a dozen pages before the Armadillocon deadline, but did not finish it. Still, the snippet I read received positive response. Or perhaps that was the Neal Barrett Jr. story I read, since Neal couldn't be there...)
  38. See the Blue Man Group live.
  39. Rewrite "Where the Rubber Meets the Road." (Didn't do it. But I may within the next few weeks.)
  40. More skyrockets in flight.
  41. Get a Canon FD 500mm f/8 reflex lens and convert it to EF mount with an Optix V5+ focus confirmation chip with "Trap Focus" feature. (Amazingly, I did do this. It turned out to be more technically challenging than I was led to believe, and I managed to inflict nerve damage on my left index finger in the process (and bleed. A lot.) but in the end I converted the mount and have a very nice 500mm mirror lens.)
  42. Re-read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
I wonder how many of those goals left unmet I'll be able to cross off the list this time next year?

Now Playing: The Kinks Word of Mouth
Chicken Ranch Central

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