2009 photo

photo credit Môsieur J. (version 3.0b)

I thought a couple weeks into 2010 I’d do a little wrap-up of 2009. It was, after all, a fairly unusual year for me. Also, I’ve neglected my pal the bulleted list and I feel I owe him a big one.

(Wee note: I’ve gone and put a new theme on the blog, so poke your head in for a peek, hey? I hope you like it.)

  • My far-and-away favourite part of 2009 was making new friends. I set out to get more involved in the crafts community here in Vancouver, and I’ve met some lovely people who create amazing things. I also made some new online friends and even met some in person. And let’s not forget the Portland Craftgasm. Overall, I ended 2009 feeling like I was really a part of the crafts community both locally and internetly, and this gives me the happies.
  • I spent much of the year not making much of anything, though. I was burnt out on crochet, and on yarn in general. I tinkered with embroidery and had dreams of quilting, but really I just ended up spending a lot of time playing World of Warcraft. The game-playing tickled a different part of my brain, and I enjoyed it immensely. The live-social aspects of the game blew my mind until the relative blathering stupidity of much of it turned me off. Still, I want to game more.
  • By the end of the year I’d gotten my craft back. Now I’m crocheting and knitting again, and I’m again dreaming about sewing.
  • I’m also writing a lot more. I’m blogging more, and I’m very much enjoying my new gig at the Make and Meaning blog. I’ve neglected The Creative Life blog, but I plan to stop doing that. Both of those blogs are exactly the kinds of things I wanted to get involved with at the start of ’09, so go me with the goal-meeting.
  • Two interviews I did at the very end of 2008 set the stage for ’09 in fairly dramatic ways. Discussing creativity and the things that make me tick with Brenda Dayne on Cast-On kept me thinking about what I find most satisfying and kept me focused on providing myself with it. And talking crafty business with Sister Diane on Craftypod ended up being a gift that kept giving. I met so many people because of that interview. And let’s not forget that I got to know Sister Diane better, which is a gift all on its own.
  • You helped me raise over $1700 for pancreatic-cancer research. And I thank you again. This spring my father will decide if it’s time to prophylactically remove his pancreas. Whether he chooses that this is the right time or not, the study he’s participating in means his pancreas is examined routinely. That study is funded by the Lustgarten Foundation, and it will hopefully lead to better screening for people whose families are tormented by the disease like mine is, and for the vast majority of sufferers who just get pancreatic cancer at random.
  • My sixth book, Crocheted Gifts, came out in the fall. I really like this book, and other people seem to like it, too.
  • I turned 33 the day Handmade Nation screened here in Vancouver, and I had about the best crafty birthday ever.
  • Over the course of the year I started to read 23 books and finished 20 of them. I loved The Book of Negroes (beautifully told story, historically educational), The Name of the Wind (outstanding fantasy) and On Writing (best writing book I’ve come across and the only one I could get through). I couldn’t finish Made to Stick (it’s poorly written, the “science” annoyed me), The Echo Maker (I wrote about it) and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (great idea, terrible horrible no-good very bad execution that’s launched a spate of monster-classics reboots that hopefully won’t suck as much) (oh, and I wrote more about it, too).
  • I did a podcast (with Jenny Ryan, who rocks my world). It was tremendous fun and I intended to do more but was sidelined by my second topic. Copyright can do that to a girl. Still, I learned quite a lot putting that podcast together, and I would very much like to tinker more with the medium.
  • It was a pretty epic year for television-on-DVD watching, that’s for damn sure. Freaks and Geeks struck me through the heart and brain and Styx will never be the same again. Deadwood injected a new vocabulary item into near-daily usage. 30 Rock challenges Arrested Development for funniest show ever. Tina Fey is fucking amazing and Jack Donaghy is, I think, the best sitcom character ever written. At least, that’s what I think today. We’re into the second season of Dr. Who, and I love it. (Also, we just named our new car the TARDIS, on account of the inside of a Honda Fit being bigger than the outside. We bought this car because the transmission in our ten-year-old Volkswagen Golf crapped out just before Christmas. Yay, end of 2009.) Television-on-television was pretty sucky, the only exceptions being Dollhouse and, inconsistently, Glee.
  • It took me till April to figure out how not to work – before then I barely noticed the compunction I felt to be productive. Which, of course, consisted of sitting in front of my computer “working”. Hiatus FAIL. But after my big epiphany about that, I stopped sitting in front of my computer so much.
  • Even while I enjoyed my time off, I did have a big over-arching goal to end up with great work at the end of the year, and I knew the best way to end up with it would be to talk to tons of people about what I wanted to do. I did such a good job with this particular part of my hiatus that I ended up starting to work full-time in September. Four months later, I’m still with LexPublica, and I’m enjoying it very much.

I’m sure I missed whole swaths of important-at-the-time events and trends for the year, but I’m not so concerned about it. With 2010 starting despite my having failed to wrap-up ’09 until now, I’m more focused on the here-and-now, and on the high-level, informal goals I have for this year. I want to read more, make more, and write more both for fun and for pay. I have a vague goal to get paid to speak at events and the like (I like public speaking and I’m pretty good at it. You know, just in case you were thinking about hitting me up but thought I wouldn’t be interested. How’s that for just tossing that out there?).

So thus, two weeks late, endeth 2009.

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