Writing ~ I’ve made amazing progress with my writing this year. Previously it was rare that I write – a short story, maybe two, a year and otherwise that’s about it. This year that has grown exponentially. Starting in around June, John (55555), Micah (Kakaru), and I, along with many others, started doing nightly “Write-Offs” where we’d write about a theme for 15 minutes and then comment on each other’s works. While we took a long break (like, 5 or 6 months =P), recently John and I have started doing them nightly again, and it’s amazing. They’re not my best writing, but just writing almost every night is something that I truly love and am thankful for.
Perhaps my biggest writing achievement this year was 30,000 words for NaNoWriMo (I meant to write an entry on that, but I guess I forgot…). No, I didn’t quite make it to the 50k, but considering how little I had been writing in previous years, and how this is the first year I’ve written (while also juggling the first semester of college), and how I’ve never written a single story longer than 1.5k, this has been a huge step for me. Writing this much in one month about one single story is just awesome. I’m still surprised I was able to do this much, and I look forward to getting the full 50k next year.
What I wrote was an espionage and psychological thriller. My old, 2010 short story “Hope” is actually the prologue for it. I definitely had a lot of fun writing and planning this, and I hope to finish it soon, as I’m only about half-way done with it. I’ll probably write another entry sometime just about this and other writing, but since I’m covering a lot in this entry I should probably leave it at that.
I’ve also written four poems this year – the first poems I have written since freshman year of high school. While they were for my creative writing class, I’m still fairly pleased with them and look forward to writing more poetry next semester, as I’ll be taken a poetry class (same professor, too, so that’s cool – I really liked him). Additionally, I’ve written several short stories in 2012, two of which are over 2,000 words – longer than any short story I’ve written before 2012 – as well as several over 1,000 words. These are both big steps for me as, again, I really hadn’t been writing much and it was hard for me to write long stories. Now this year I’ve written several. I may do another blog entry some time specifically about my character Detective Calvin Duster and the stories I have planned for him and the stories I have written.
But all in all, it’s been a great year writing-wise. I still haven’t written as much as I would have liked, but that’s what 2013 is for, and I’ve written more this year than I have in all other years combined, so for that, I am happy.
In total, let’s see. I’ve written roughly…7? short stories, half of a novel, parts of two different Serials, 4 poems, and over 50 flash fiction pieces. 2011? I didn’t write a single short story, apparently. I must have written something, but nothing that I thought was good enough to post online. Wow, that’s bad.
Reading ~ I’ve written several blog entries on books in 2012, so I don’t think I need to do that again. I’ll just link to my Best Books of 2012 and leave it at that. This is the second year that I’ve read more than a-book-a-week, and I’ve read many great books. I hope to continue my book-a-week streak for 2013 as well.
Blogging ~ So this year I started blogging for the first time (off of BZP), mostly for my write-offs. It’s been a great experience and I’ve met some awesome people. I just plan on blogging even more this year.
Movies ~ Wow, so 2012 has been a great year for movies. I’ve watched more movies in theatre this year than quite possibly my whole life combined, haha – I don’t go to the theatre often. The Hunger Games was enjoyable, and it’s been fun ranting about it and the book to various people. Seeing the Avengers at BricksCascade with the awesome people there was really fun. Then of course The Dark Knight Rises over summer was completely amazing and one of my favorite movies. I saw The Bourne Legacy with a friend, and enjoyed that. I really like Jeremy Renner, and it wasn’t a bad sequel to the Bourne Trilogy. The last two movies I saw were The Hobbit and Les Miserables, both of which were completely amazing. I hope to write a review of and ramble for both, but for now I’ll just leave it at saying they were amazing.
TV Shows ~ I’ve discovered several new TV shows this year. Namely, Castle, The Walking Dead, and Justified. All are amazing shows, and Castle is definitely one of my top 5 all-time favorite shows and is amazing, and Katie and Aimee are awesome for nagging me enough to finally start watching it.
Music ~ I’ve found a variety of new music this year. Most importantly, ThePianoGuys. These guys are amazing, and definitely my favorite band/music group. Many thanks to Will (Tolkien) for introducing them to me. Then Katie (Ezorov) has shown me some awesome bands as well, name Eisley, the Hunger Games soundtrack, and Adele’s Skyfall song, among other things. I’ve started listening to more of the Beatles and finally got their #1 Hits CD, and I’ve also started listening to Billy Joel, thanks to Grant-Sud. And lastly, I’ve started listening to soundtracks a lot more this year – Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, etc., as well as other classical stuff like Handel’s Messiagh, etc. Really amazing stuff. I have of course listened to other things new-to-me this year, be these are all some of my favorite groups and songs, now.
Personal Life ~ With the help of the people mentioned below and other things in my life, I think I’ve definitely grown as a person this year, specifically in my Faith and beliefs. I can’t really get into the detail, but suffice to say I am extremely thankful for these people and the circumstances that allowed me to become, in my opinion, a better person. I still have a lot of work to do, and unfortunately I have also failed throughout the year many, and I’m not happy with many things that I have done, but I believe that I have gotten stronger and I hope to this year accomplish some personal, private goals that I was not able to accomplish last year, though I did make progress on them in 2012.
People ~ I’ve had some amazing relationships with people this past year. I’ve grown close to many, many people that I hadn’t been previously close with or as close with.
First and foremost, while we started talking since BrickCon 2011, Katie (Ezorov) and I didn’t really get super close until 2012. She is one of the most amazing people ever, and the best of friends one can have. Talking to her for literally hours a day is just really, really amazing, and she is a super awesome person. I just can’t put into words accurately how amazing she is and how amazing it is being so close to her.
Then there’s John (55555), who I’ve been friends with practically since I joined this site. But it seems like this year we became particularly close. Alike in so many ways, and just easy to talk to, he’s been an amazing friend this year and we’ve told each other practically everything. It’s been fun talking about our various struggles and wishes and people that we like, giving advice to each other and whatnot. He’s always there for me and is like a brother.
Micah (Kakaru), too, I feel like I’ve gotten a lot closer to this year, probably because I’ve gone to two conventions with him and talked to him a lot on Skype. Micah, as I’m sure is obvious, is an awesome guy (just ask Rob), always willing to talk and help out with things. I’ve also gotten closer to Jason (xccj), rooming with him at two different conventions and going on mini road trips to Seattle – it’s been really fun, and I love how it doesn’t matter if we disagree on politics or religion, we put those aside and just be friends while respecting each other. And everyone, at BCon and BCascade, I’ve had awesome times with and gotten closer to.
I think perhaps the biggest jumps I’ve made this year with people (previously rarely ever talking to them, and now talking to them very often and being good friends) would be Caleb (Cederak), Will (Tolkien), and Nate (GSR). I’ve always respected them a lot as writers (Nate less so, but that’s only because he wasn’t even active until like earlier this year, so I had no idea who he was until he entered those short story contests and then he immediately gained my respect =P). Caleb, especially, I’ve gotten really close to, and he’s helped me out a lot with things. Again I love how I can have practically completely opposite viewpoints on politics and religion with both Caleb and Nate, and we’re still great friends, because we don’t let that get in the way. Aimee (Aderia), too, I didn’t really know until this year, and now we’re great friends (and she’s also my Les Mis buddy that I can yell at about awesome Les Mis things any time I want. We’re also Les Mis t-shirt buddies!). And same with Kraggh – we’ve got a lot in common and we can both appreciate Les Mis for the awesomeness that it is.
Although I went to school with her for 4 years, I didn’t really meet my friend Christina until early 2012. She really helped me become a better person and realize that there are other people out there like me (besides John  =P), and since then I’ve grown so much in my Faith. Katie, too, has helped me immensely with my relationship with God, and she’s another person reminding me that there are people who share my views and beliefs. I’ve become a much better person this year, in terms of my beliefs, I think, mostly due to John, Katie, and Christina, and for that I will be forever grateful.
And I could seriously ramble on and on and on about all the amazing relationships I’ve had this year, and keep listing more and more people, but I’ll end with just mentioning the members of the Ambage Skype chats. Especially Nuile, who never gave up his writers club idea, and I’m so glad we were able to create the Ambage and how successful it’s been. Literally everyone there is amazing and are awesome friends, and I couldn’t be more grateful for how they have been so influential on my life.
And, well, that’s about it. I know I’ve probably rambled more than people care, but this was a fun entry to write. Here’s to 2013! *raises glass*