Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012: The Year of High Resolution

At the end of 2011, I set forth a new twist to the standard New Year’s Resolution schtick, resolving to do twelve specific things, one for each month of the year. Some good things happened in the last year, but as far as these resolutions were concerned, 2012 was pretty much a failure:

January: Read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest and Neal Stephenson’s REAMDE

Once upon a time, I had enough free time and few enough responsibilities that I could read a 1400-page novel in a month. But I don’t get long college summers anymore. I started Infinite Jest in January but didn’t finish until August, and I haven’t even picked up REAMDE yet. (I’ll be starting that in January 2013.)

February: Write a solo for unaccompanied clarinet

Iridem for trombone and clarinet
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think I managed to set down a rough sketch of some melodic elements, but now I don’t even know where those sketches are. Not even close to a finished solo.

March: Finish the first draft of Circles

Circles was to be my first completed novel, but as I re-read it and started editing, I saw too many problems. Too many mysteries I couldn’t keep secret, too many cardboard characters, too little motivation for the protagonist. So I abandoned Circles and started a new novel, a dystopian novel that I’m currently calling Life Begins.

So, no, I didn’t complete this resolution. But on the plus side, I’m 16,300 words into my new pursuit (which I haven’t touched since October because of NaNoWriMo and Christmas — see below).

April: Post five times a week to this blog

This one I actually completed! April being National Poetry Month made it a little easier, as it gave me an excuse to write silly little poems about legal pads, turnips, and urination, among other things.

May: Cross something off my bucket list

This was supposed to be something besides “write a novel,” since that should have been done by the end of March. So, technically, no, I didn’t do this, except I did finish a (short) novel in December, so I can cross that off my bucket list.

June: Create a webcomic
Example for sunday edition of User Friendly we...
Unfortunately, not my creation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was going to call it “Polly See Me,” and it would be a one-frame comic. I sketched out some puns and wordplay that just needed illustration, but, alas, I never got to the drawing part.

But I’ll share one with you: The caption would read “The plight of the stepladder,” and the image would show someone or something yelling at a stepladder, “You’re not my real ladder!”

July: Enter a short story contest

Though I didn’t do it in July, I did enter a short story in one of Glimmer Train’s short story contests in October. So, SUCCESS! (I finally got the rejection back on the 26 December.)

August: Move Logophilius out of Blogger and onto a proper domain

I still haven’t done this. I still want to do this. I don’t have the funds to get it done right now, either, but, to quote Counting Crows, there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last.

September: Collect and edit my writings and consider self-publishing

I actually sort of halfway did this one. After collecting them all and re-editing maybe half, I realized that I didn’t have enough content to justify a whole book. It’ll come eventually, though.

October: Draw the sphinx and dragon picture

This was an idea for an illustration that my sons and I came up with at the end of 2011, and back then I thought I could get an Awesome Father Award if the real thing showed up under the Christmas tree in 2012. Didn’t even start it. No award for me.
Fun pics
Trombinet or claribone? (Photo credit: minhtu)

November: Write a duet for clarinet and trombone

But I have been nominated for an Awesome Father Award for getting this one done. I arranged the music from Super Mario Bros. into a duet as a Christmas present for my trombone-playing elder son. I intentionally made it more difficult than he can currently play, but I’m hoping for a performance by next Christmas.

December: Finish first round of editing for Circles

Since I abandoned Circles back in March, I obviously didn’t do this as planned. The idea behind this resolution was that I would have a “finished” novel by the end of 2012.

Though it wasn’t the novel I had planned for a year ago, I did finish writing and (first-round) editing a short novel in December.

After getting knee-deep in the trombone/clarinet duet for my elder son, it didn’t seem right to leave my younger son out of the picture. So, starting in November (for NaNoWriMo), I began writing a fairy tale in which he, my younger son, is the protagonist.

It’s a short thing — 30,000 words — but it’s done, and it’s a book-length fictional story. So I’m going to call this resolution completed.

Unfortunately, I didn’t quite get it done in time to have it printed up and waiting under the Christmas tree. What he got instead was a copy of the cover image with a promise that the book itself would be coming in January 2013. And it will.

And then I’ll see if someone in publishing might actually be interested in it.

Altogether, then, I managed to fulfill 5 1/2 of 12 resolutions. A failing grade, unless we’re grading on a curve — in which case, I need to know how you all did on your resolutions last year so I can calculate where I stand.

Though I didn’t do everything I had hoped to do last year, I’m still pretty proud of what I did accomplish. I get to cross something off my bucket list, and came out with two original creations to mark the the year 2012. And next year will be even better and more productive!

I’ve set out a single health-related resolution for 2013, but I won’t be posting about that here. If you’re interested, I will be posting my progress on my more personal, less focused blog, Soluble Fish.
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