1. What did you do in 2018 that you'd never done before?
- Went to an engineering design class and a Transportation Supersession.
- Went to a fan convention by myself.
- Went to a family member's funeral (twice).
- Wrote an obituary (twice).
- Took a six-week cartography course (what).
- Saw Deedee Magno Hall in concert.
- Made my own potato chips and homemade mozzarella sticks.
- Received a 10+-page handwritten fan letter in the mail from a stranger.
- Began going to a regular monthly queer event. (It has since dissolved though.)
- Traveled in international waters on a boat.
- Got so close to missing an airplane flight that they were paging me for final boarding. (I was still trying to get through security.)
- Met Victor's family.
- Went to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios.
- Started collecting variant covers for my favorite comic series.
- Got designated Amazon's Top Reviewer for Steven Universe stuff.
- Got an autographed comic book from one of the official comic artists.
- Participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and "won."
- Did my mom's taxes.
Last year, these were my resolutions, and whether I kept them:
- Actually finish my novel Ace of Arts. [I did not.]
- Be more consistent with Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. [I was not.]
- Lose some weight, for real tho. [Definitely did not.]
- Write two new short stories. [I didn't.]
- Try a new recipe. [I guess I did a lot of this!]
- Redesign my entire website. [Did not.]
- Do cosplay at at least one convention. [Did this!]
- Progress with my ukulele. [Hmm, I guess.]
- Continue reading about a book a week. [More or less, but mostly less.]
My resolutions this year:
- Finish my novel Ace of Arts.
- Finish my novel In Bloom.
- Discuss my next project with my agent and see if I can get moving on fiction again.
- Complete migration of my art page and my photos page to new subdomains. At least start on migration of another subdomain.
- Publish at least one new short story. (I submitted a few times this past year, but weirdly, got no response instead of rejected.)
- Lose at least 15 pounds. (Don't eyeroll me, I want my clothes to fit.)
- Try to be brave enough to cosplay my favorite character at a convention.
- Be more consistent with my posts on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.
- Eat a lot of leafy greens. Health!
- Complete my Steven Universe variant comic books collection!
- Record ukulele songs more consistently.
- Do better at responding to online communication in a timely fashion.
My co-worker Suma had a cute lil baby named Karthik. Right at the end of the year a high school friend and online acquaintance, Jason, also had a baby named Greyson.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My grandmother and grandfather both died this year. Wow.
5. What countries did you visit?
I didn't leave the country this year, unless you count the couple of hours I spent in Canadian waters when I was on a riverboat from Detroit.
6. What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
- A new computer.
- A better diet and better exercise.
- Less family illness, financial hardship, and death please.
- And as always another book deal? Yeah?
- Healthier sleep.
- A thoughtful, open-minded person whom I can introduce to my favorite cartoon and do a blog or podcast discussion with??
- January 1: Saw my grandpa for what turned out to be the last time.
- January 13: Had Meghan visit for the entire week and had a huge birthday party for both of us.
- January 17: Turned 40!
- January 24: Got unbanned from Amino because the person who lied about me got caught trying to do it again.
- January 27: Went to a They Might Be Giants concert with Jeaux.
- February 25: My grandfather passed away.
- April 13: Saw my friend Steven for the first time in 18 years--went to a Randy Rainbow concert together.
- May 5: Free Comic Book Day!
- May 19: Attended Jessie's wedding!
- July 20 & 21: Attended Metrocon.
- August 15: Went to Universal Studios with Victor's family.
- October 16: Spoke at Wellesley College on asexuality and the LGBTQ+ community.
- October 20: Had a big Halloween party.
- November 30: "Won" NaNoWriMo after participating for the first time.
- November 3: Attended Fred and Kathy's wedding in Phoenix.
- November 15: Saw my grandma for what turned out to be the last time.
- December 1: My grandmother passed away.
- December 17: Family arrived from California for a visit.
- December 23 & 25: Holiday gatherings with family.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
- I helped my mom with some stuff I'd never handled before (taxes, pension stuff, Social Security stuff) and I think I did okay!
- I completed NaNoWriMo.
- I passed 3,000 followers on my cartoon blog, which is bizarre.
- Despite many challenges, I still managed to post a new video every month, keep up with a weekly and a monthly webcomic, write up and review all the new Steven Universe comics, books, and podcasts, and maintain an active social and online life.
- Got featured posts 14 times on Steven Universe Amino.
- Took an epic photo of all my merchandise!!!
- Got a raise at work and am apparently doing well at learning to be a utility coordinator and other things.
9. What was your biggest failure?
- Not finishing or submitting any books.
- Not eating well and not getting enough exercise.
- Spending too much time distracted.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Probably cartoon toys and comics :D
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
- My dear Meggie. She deserves all the hugs.
- My dad for staying strong through the deaths of his parents.
- My LGBT friends who came out this year, began using self-affirming labels this year, and got gender-affirming surgeries this year.
- My Amino troll who got me banned from the app and then got caught trying to do it again.
- Donald Trump and his supporters.
- Selfish ass flakes whose obsession with weapons and ignorance of reality has led to gun violence, no solutions to global warming or poisoned water, and increased preventable infectious disease.
- Racists, homophobes, and transphobes who have felt even more emboldened this year to be huge disgusting bigots.
- Whoever programmed the bots that hacked my website and whoever programmed the bots that tried to blackmail me.
Besides rent, it was definitely Steven Universe merchandise and lending other people money.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Steven Universe, queer kids, art supplies, other nerds in fandom, Rock Potato, cosplaying, goofy recipes, drawing fan comics, my nephew's cuteness, comics.
16. What song will always remind you of 2018?
"Let's Only Think About Love."
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
ii. thinner or fatter?
Fatter, but next year I will answer differently.
iii. richer or poorer?
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Being distracted or unproductive.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
I went to my mom's with my friends Jeaux and Victor, and hung out with my sister Patricia plus her husband Yusuke and son Ash, and my sister Lindsay plus her husband Mike and briefly her friend Ryan. We decorated cookies, ate a meal, and opened presents. It was pretty great!
21. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?
I will watch a new cartoon at Jeaux's house and then hopefully meet up with family for special drinks.
22. Did you fall in love in 2018?
Only with concepts, not with people.
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I'm not a hateful person. But people whose actions have disappointed me have earned my wrath this year.
26. What was the best book you read this year?
A Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I had no significant musical discoveries this year.
28. What did you want and get?
More Tumblr followers, cartoon stuff, comics, fulfilling hobbies, maybe slightly better art skills, a sweet-ass character costume, love.
29. What did you want and not get?
Completed novels, publishing contracts, resolution to problems that worry me, a better website, better time management.
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I hardly saw any movies! I'll say Black Panther.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 40!! I had a big party for the event, including Meghan whose 42nd birthday was a couple days later, but I didn't have the party on the actual day. I had the day off and Meg and I spent the morning together, and after she left I talked to my family about the outdoor table they were getting for me as a group present, and then Jeaux picked me up later and we ate at IHOP (I had birthday pancakes), and we watched the movie Zootopia.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I didn't have to watch my loved ones struggle with health and money. Also, having a different President.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
34. What kept you sane?
Cartoons, kind people, distractions, stress cleaning.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I didn't have one of these this year.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Black Lives Matter, gun violence, and trans rights.
37. Who did you miss?
My grandparents, my faraway friends, my old coworkers and writer friends.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
I guess I'll say Ralph even though I technically was introduced to him at the very end of 2017; I met him in person for the first time in 2018. He investigated my favorite show when I told him I was making recipes from it and became a huge fan (and even called me to shriek about it when he hit the big revelation at the end of Season 1), and he hung out with me several times and talked about awesome adventures and even gave me some good advice. He's a good egg.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.
People who are childlike in spirit can still make damn good adults.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"Hit me with your best shot! Fire away!"