1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?
- Had an in-person appearance on someone else's YouTube show (discussing science fiction and Steven Universe)
- Had a piece published in an anthology
- Paid taxes on my book earnings
- Got listed as an American author on Wikipedia (I did not make the entry)
- Hit 10 years at the same job
- Helped a friend through surgery
- Got some expensive art framed
- Fired clay
- Started a fan blog
- Lent someone $2000
- Made sushi
- Taught myself how to play an instrument with no teacher
- Bought macarons
- Got laid off
I'm not making specific New Year's Resolutions. At all. However, the regular things I do intend to continue in 2016 include reading about a book a week; making a new video for both of my channels once a month; updating my fantasy webcomic every Friday and my joke comic monthly; and keeping up my current blogging schedule. I'd also LIKE to return to better communication, but I worry that if I promise it, I'll treat it like a chore. I don't want to do that. Let's see what happens in 2016, year of the funky flow.I guess you could say I did keep my New Year's Resolutions, because I didn't fall off the wagon on any of the things I mentioned continuing (though sometimes I let the reading slide). I even added ukulele recordings to the lengthy list of stuff I do. However, "Year of the Funky Flow" resulted in a lot of flow and frankly a lot of the bad kind of funk. I got a whole lot of nothing done. Except for cartoon watching, cartoon fanart, and cartoon obsession. I got a lot of that done. I need to make resolutions, I guess. This year's resolutions:
- Finish editing Bad Fairy and get it to my agent.
- Finish writing Ace of Arts.
- Get at least one more short story published.
- Get a great job in 2017.
- Lose 10 pounds. (Go ahead and groan. I need to either do that or buy a new wardrobe. One of those goals is affordable.)
- Have at least one awesome vacation with Meghan. (Hopefully our birthday won't be the only one.)
- Be more responsive to communication.
Corinne had a baby in April!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, but I found out far after the fact that my old friend Bunky killed himself a couple years ago. I still can't believe it. We were really close in the late 1990s. My friend Jessie also lost her dear daddy, which was heartbreaking, and my dad's partner lost her daughter to breast cancer.
5. What countries did you visit?
I stayed home.
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
As always, a three-book deal from a major publisher. ;)
My time spent more productively. Last year I thought ditching the guilt over not being productive would help me be more productive. It did not.
More quality time with Meghan, Victor, and my mom.
Maybe, weirdly enough, I might consider getting a driver's license.
And a better diet.
7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
- June 12: Shooting at the Pulse club in Orlando. OMG.
- June 20: ALL THREE of my best friends had medical emergencies ON THE SAME DAY.
- Late June/Early July: Victor had a couple surgeries. I went to visit him during recovery.
- July 7: Saw the live show of Welcome to Night Vale in Tampa. It was a great time with friends.
- July 18: The beginning of Summer of Steven. A cartoon marathon makes my list.
- July 26: Celebrated 10 years at my job at DKS. Longest I've ever worked anywhere.
- July 30 – August 6: Beach house vacation with friends. An incredible time and I actually did relax and be social for most of it.
- August 15: Jeaux had surgery and stayed with me during recovery.
- September 3: Bought a ukulele and started learning to play. I love it so much.
- October 29: Had a big Halloween party. I was dressed as Mabel and Jeaux was Dipper from Gravity Falls. It was so much fun.
- November 8: Election. Need I say more?
- December 14: Was notified of the closing of my office, requiring me to look for a new job. No explanation necessary.
- December 15: Family from California arrived in Tampa for the holidays, and I got to spend the next couple weeks celebrating my three-year-old nephew's birthday, having holidays with the family, and vacationing.
I think my drawing skills have improved. Not much of an achievement, though, and I didn't win an award or anything.
Teaching myself ukulele has been good too.
Does hitting 600 issues in my webcomic count as an achievement?
I walked to work every day in September and got the most steps in a contest for my office! My office of five people.
I made a sequel to one of my most popular videos and came up with Asexual Bingo 2.
Also made a really, really cute music video about Garnet this year, set to "Electric Lady."
Maybe my biggest achievement is Largest Steven Universe Nerd. I did collect a lot of shirts and toys.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I did not treat my writing career like it was important at all.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Hm. Kinda. Whatever undiagnosed thing I had over the last couple years remains undiagnosed. I went to the doctor a couple times and had another ultrasound.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My ukulele! My ukulele! I love it!
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
- Sister P and brother-in-law Y, for continuing to hold onto their minds while raising such a delightful little boy!
- Meghan, for somehow finding the strength and power to go on pushing through with such a tough life. She takes care of others so much and no one really takes care of her. I wish that I could. She's such a great person and I've had SO much fun nerding out with her this year. She deserves better.
- Victor, for surviving a breakup, a new house, a new job, and a life-threatening illness. He's still here, though sometimes it's hard. He organized his own birthday party this year and people came, which was awesome.
- Jeaux, for handling his minor surgery like a pro and honestly, being such a great guy all around.
- Heather, who got an agent this year.
- Eric, who had a show for his screenprints this year.
- My LGBT friends who came out this year, began using self-affirming labels this year, and got gender-affirming surgeries this year.
- My grandpa and dad for their support of my grandmother.
- Upstairs neighbors!!!!
- Selfish people whose focus on themselves led them to ignore suffering just because it wasn't them.
- Racists, homophobes, and transphobes whose violent and bigoted attitudes have led DIRECTLY to life lost and blood spilled.
- My damn YouTube trolls.
- People who claim to support freedom of speech if a speaker echoes their beliefs, but support censorship if the speaker says something they disagree with.
Besides rent and lending people money? Steven Universe merch.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Steven Universe, amazing books, compassionate people in queer activism, Steven Universe, learning ukulele, my cute friends, Steven Universe, my nephew, delicious desserts, art supplies, Steven Universe.
16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
"Here Comes a Thought." Not only did this amazing song come out this year on my favorite show featuring my favorite character, but it is a message of comfort and coping that we all could use getting through 2016. Please listen to this for a musical take on getting through it when you're overwhelmed.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
s a d d e r
i. thinner or fatter?
you do the fat math
iii. richer or poorer?
Richer, but not for long.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
w r i t i n g oh god
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
I went to my mom's and hung out all day. I played with my nephew and had breakfast with my sister and brother-in-law. I got to bake and play ukulele with my sister Patricia--we almost never get sister time!--and in the evening I hung out with my sister Lindsay and her husband Mike as well. We had some Christmas leftovers and nephew Ash opened his remaining gifts and played with them, and we ate candy.
21. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?
I hosted my family at my place for a breakfast-for-dinner celebration, just like last year.
22. Did you fall in love in 2016?
WITH CARTOONS, BOI
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
Nobody needs to ask me that
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Modify "hate" to "dislike and no longer associate with" and the answer becomes yes.
26. What was the best book you read this year?
Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
28. What did you want and get?
Longer hair, Steven Universe toys, Copic markers, some really rewarding attention from friends, fans, and family.
29. What did you want and not get?
A smaller pants size. And ten book deals.
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Ghostbusters! I saw very few films this year though.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 38. I had a nice day. I woke up when I wanted to, huddled under my Garnet blanket watching cartoons, and went out to lunch with my dad at Macaroni Grill. Then I did more huddling and cartooning until Mom came over with a birthday cake! And presents! I got new galoshes. Pink ones! We ate the cake and hung out talking about media and stuff. And I got phone calls from friends and family to say happy birthday.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Selling my trilogy. And not living in a world where people keep being murdered because of what color they are. And not watching my friends and family suffer.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
34. What kept you sane?
Blogging, chats with Jeaux and Meghan, cartoons, music, art therapy.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I've developed quite an appreciation for Lin-Miguel Miranda, but I still love Rebecca Sugar more. :)
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
I can't decide if I was more distraught over #blacklivesmatter or over the disgusting sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-LGBT prejudice that POURED from the walls from many Conservatives surrounding the election. I'm just sick over it. I've also been giving to the Trevor Project this year.
37. Who did you miss?
A few of my pals whom I really haven't seen this year because I was busy and so were they. If I had to name names I think I'd be here all night.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
My friend Fred has a lovely girlfriend named Kathy, and she was probably the best person I met this year.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
I'm pretty strong but sometimes I don't act like it. I should start acting like it again.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"There's a million things I haven’t done. Just you wait."