It’s officially the last day of 2018 as I start writing this, so my final check-in of the year isn’t even on my regular blogging day. Sometime in the course of this year, my blogging goals shifted on me in a way I’m not entirely clear about just yet. The quarterly ROW80 “sprints” drift in time the same way I do. It’s difficult to feel committed to any of those deadlines when life happens with such regularity.
And yet, I like having a spot to check in–if not weekly, at least semi-monthly. Where I can consider some of the things I’ve read and keep track of old articles that keep bumping through my brain.
In the past week, for instance, medical researchers published a finding about parachutes being useless that highlighted quite a few of the pitfalls of experimental design. And I learned about a charity that makes a practice of buying medical debts in the US to be able to wipe them out. As well as the impact of the ridiculous cost of housing in California, that is pushing more and more people to live out of converted vans. Finally, there was a woman who learned at 50 that her father was not the man she’d been raised to believe he was.
Each of these stories is a unique reflection of the time and place in which I live–as well as being a leading indicator for why I’ve been spending an outsized portion of my time immersed in fiction. According to my Goodreads Reading Challenge page, I’ve read 85 books this year. From what I recall, only one of those was a paperback, and a disproportionate number were romances of various stripes. The original moniker for my blog (A Book A Day) has never been more true than in the past week, as I’ve spent each of my evenings churning through yet another novel. So when I stumbled across the cute image I’m including in this week’s edition on Twitter, it felt entirely appropriate.
This year, despite focusing on a genre that I know will deliver a happy ending, I’ve broadened my stable of favorite authors. I’ve discovered Alyssa Cole, Ekaterine Xia, Holley Trent, CE Murphy, Seanan McGuire, Olivia Dade, and Vivian Arend. Many of these authors are on Twitter, too, so I get treated to their thoughts on other topics (including their various 4-footed friends) as well as the outstanding fiction they produce. I’m thrilled that my old favorites keep coming up with new stories, too. I’m as much of a voracious reader as I ever was, though it’s odd to have numbers that quantify what that means–that it’s not unusual for me to read 2-3 books per week. But getting back to the triathlete image… retreating as thoroughly as I have this year into fiction suggests a level of escapism that means I should probably work for a bit more balance in my choice of pursuits.
Which brings me to a blog post by one of the people in my Triberr groups: How to choose a word for the upcoming year. I’m tempted by several: tranquil, work, balance, and focus. (Though, honestly, that last word now only plays in my head in the evil “I’m hypnotizing you” way that the character in the Marvel “Agents of SHIELD” said it… so it might not mean *exactly* what its dictionary definition is to me anymore.) Hubs and I will be discussing this later today to see whether we can refine a vision for the new year that lets us reach some of our goals.
So I’ll return in the new year with my thoughts and plans and see whether I can find balance in my various interests and pursuits.