Farewell 2012, welcome 2013

2012 was a very tough year in many ways.  We got clobbered by a lot of medical stuff and I got to know Kaiser Sunnyside Hospital faaaar too well.  But we also lost a dear friend, and other friends died, and bad stuff kept on happening to people, and, and, and….

Yeah.  On the good side, I got a new principal at school and that is working well.  Downside is that I am also now aware that I am tired of commuting the distance I do for the small amount of hours that I officially work.  That issue got obscured by poor administration the past few years, and it’s really only been this year that I’ve been able to confirm this feeling.  This is not news to the union or my superiors, I’ve been pretty honest with them about it.  On the good side, for the first time in years, I feel like I have an administrator that I can collaborate with, work with, and actually talk about effective teaching strategies.  I have ideas that kind of excite me…but I’m also wiped out.  I have to fight technology to do some of the things I want to do.  But….

Meanwhile, the writing work has gone nowhere in 2012.  Some of that was due to spending too damn much time in rewrites, but rewrites got slowed down by a sequence of nasty life rolls.  On the other hand, the River anthology is up for an Epic Award, so hey, coolness!  Nonetheless, 2013 is going to be about a resumption of The Discipline.  I am going to finish the Netwalk Sequence then, and move on to other work.  Pledges of Honor is going to go into aggressive marketing mode.  And I am going to write three new stories in rough draft before I go back to working on novel stuff.  I have all three of these stories roughly sketched out; it’s time to write them.

Mocha did well this year with no significant lameness spells.  I appear to be hitting on the right balance of work, juju and schooling to keep her going.  But we shall see.  I’d like to do at least one show with her this coming year, and do better at reining.  I want to get her comfortable with countercanter and into reliable tempi changes, as well as half-pass at the canter.  It’d also be nice if we could manage some trail rides…

I slacked off too much on physical conditioning this year.  Some of this is due to a protracted spell of back muscle pain which has affected some things I do…other parts are just due to the fact that I hurt all over.  I’m planning to start addressing this through acupuncture and taking some Pilates classes this winter (both already scheduled).I’m also going to get my boot liners checked to make sure I haven’t packed them all in–I’ve got 150-200 runs or so in on them.  Probably time to redo them.  I also need to lose 10 pounds that I appear to have gained over the past year.

So.  For 2013, I need to find a new job that’s closer to home.  That could take a while but I’m determined to do it.

I am going to continue with a consistent schooling program with Mocha.

I’m also going to stay on top of conditioning this year.

When it comes to writing, I’m going to reestablish keeping accountability metrics such as word counts going.  I think I need that to keep me honest and writing.  In fact, when I finish this post, I’m off to Excel to set it up.

I’ve set up a fairly ambitious writing and publishing plan for this year, involving republishing some old nonfiction work from the 90s, indie publishing a quirky novella, publishing the rest of the Netwalk Sequence, and writing entirely new short stories and maybe even a novel.  I want to pursue indie publishing and traditional publishing simultaneously, with the indie being for my quirkier stuff that’s harder to market and sell.  But I still plan to keep on working the traditional publishing side of things as well, because hey, one never knows when the lightning will strike but it won’t strike if you aren’t out there.

Day job is a harder call.  I’m spread way too thin.  As it is, I know the next few months will be horrific and difficult.  I don’t see any way around it.  IEP and eligibility schedules are pretty much cast in stone.  I also have to keep on learning a new curriculum and program, and that’s a challenge.  At least one day in the week ahead of me is going to be spent preparing for the teaching side of my job, so the special ed case manager can spend all her time doing her paperwork and testing and scheduling for the next two months and….oh dear god, I still have papers to grade.  Sigh.  But on the other hand, I want to play with new technologies and acquire the skills to work with people over Skype–did a little bit of this in tutoring this fall and I liked it.  I also want to eventually get to the point where I can run PowerPoint-based intros to the classes for the day and get the kids rolling that way.  As my current setup is structured, I’m not in a good position for an entry task in my Social Studies and I really do miss it.  Gotta figure out how to get it in (for nonteachers, the entry task is something you train the students to automatically start work on the minute they get into the classroom.  It can be writing something, it can be a math problem…whatever it is, it creates the expectation of getting to work immediately while giving you time to set up, take roll, deal with stragglers, etc).  I have entry routines for the two classes in my own classroom.  But the class I share with another teacher, where I come in as she finishes, and the kids stay in the room…I haven’t gotten an entry task to work yet.  Still figuring it out).

I guess that with the day job, my priority is going to be to remain sane and balanced.  And be looking for something to reduce the commute distance.

I do want to finish off the Interpersonal Neurobiology certificate program.  But right now that has to take a back burner to day job  re-inventing and the writing career.  Winter term is just too crazy.  But will there ever be a time when that isn’t the case?

Miscellaneous stuff–I want to start doing handwork again, whether it is embroidery or jewelry.  I need to read more (as a result, I’m now posting stuff on Goodreads as I finish reading a book).  I need to watch more movies.  More, more, more.

Oh well.  2012 is almost over here in PDX, and it’s about time to sign off, enjoy my candles and woodstove, and crack open the bubbly.  I plan to greet the New Year’s by spinning my lighted poi in the front yard.  Maybe there’ll be snowflakes as well.

Happy New Year, everyone.  May 2013 be wonderful.

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