December 31st, 2019


The Notebook

Last Christmas, someone gave me a notebook. Usually, my MO with notebooks is to think "How lovely! I must use it for something really special!" and then put it carefully in a drawer, never to emerge, but for some reason in this one I started to write lists.

I recorded how often I went to karate and days when I got some writing done. But mostly I wrote Things To Do for the upcoming months: projects to start or complete, domestic affairs to deal with (e.g. getting pictures framed) and reminders to make dates with friends I hadn't seen for a while. I wrote down films I wanted to see and what to get people for Christmas. By the end, I was surprised to find that what I actually had on my hands was a record of all the things I'd done, places I'd been, people I'd seen over the course of the year.

It's probably a coincidence, but 2019 turned out to be a fantastic year for me, after a 2018 that wasn't terrible but felt meh, as if I was stuck with my wheels spinning.

The big events were being Guest of Honour at Fur the More, which was a great honour indeed and a wonderful opportunity to spend time in the USA with friends; grading to first dan; and finally getting a new job which I'm really enjoying (and will, at some point, provide a proper update on).

I rode the Nürburgring, saw more Douglas DC-3s in one place than I'm ever likely to again, swam in a Bruges canal and toured the Pentagon. I turned 42, which I also haven't done before.

I had a better year in writing, getting over 30,000 words of short stories down (this is a lot by my standards). Six of my stories came out in print, of which two were reprints. (Earning money from reprints is another first.)

There's a lot of space left in my notebook for 2020. And, when that's used up, a lot more notebooks languishing in various drawers.