Sunday, December 29, 2019

Year-End Survey 2019

Here's my year-end survey for 2019!

1. What did you do in 2019 that you'd never done before?

  • Made my first tiered cake.

  • Cosplayed with body paint.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last year, these were my resolutions, and whether I kept them:
  • Finish my novel Ace of Arts. [Did not.]
  • Finish my novel In Bloom. [Did not, but got closer.]
  • Discuss my next project with my agent and see if I can get moving on fiction again. [Did this, but she didn't take the project, and I didn't pursue other avenues yet.]
  • Complete migration of my art page and my photos page to new subdomains. At least start on migration of another subdomain. [Art page done, photos page partially done, no other subdomains started.]
  • Publish at least one new short story. [Did not.]
  • Lose at least 15 pounds. [Overall I did not.]
  • Try to be brave enough to cosplay my favorite character at a convention. [Did this!]

  • Be more consistent with my posts on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. [Was not.]
  • Eat a lot of leafy greens. Health! [Did this!]
  • Complete my Steven Universe variant comic books collection! [Did not.]
  • Record ukulele songs more consistently. [Did not, though I recorded a bunch in bursts.]
  • Do better at responding to online communication in a timely fashion. [Did not.]

Resolutions didn't go so well, though I think that's normal. I like to think that I don't need to spend any guilt on not achieving many of my aspirations. I'd like to make my next list in the spirit of stuff I hope happens next year, but I won't beat myself up if I can't do it!

My resolutions this year:
  • Finish a book and start editing it.
  • Complete my photos page on the new domain.
  • Make healthier choices with my eating, including taking vitamins and not eating just because I'm bored, therefore being able to fit into some of the clothes I'm a little too chunky for right now.
  • Get some kind of consistency to responding to e-mail and comments.
  • Use Lyft to go to work less often--try to ride the bus more.
  • Get some kind of pattern to do better on social media besides Facebook. I want to be more active on Twitter and Instagram.
  • Submit more short stories. Can't really control if I get picked, but I hope to!
  • Finish all the Steven Universe recipe replicas on my list!
  • Complete my Steven Universe variant comic books collection!
  • Drink more water, dang it.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Can't think of any new babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My friend Steve died a couple days after my birthday.

5. What countries did you visit?

I did not leave the US again!

6. What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
  • Stability for certain things I can't control, like my mom's situation, my friend Victor's situation, and some stuff at work that's all over the place.
  • Balance.

7. What dates from 2019 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
  • January 15: Disney and birthday fun with Meghan.

  • January 19: Steve F. died.
  • February 28: Night Vale!
  • March 23: Met Steve S. in person for the first time.

  • April 27: Attended a book event via Skype.

  • June 25: Spoke to a writers' group about pursuing traditional publication.
  • July 12: Metrocon!

  • August 3: Tampa Bay Comic Con!

  • September 2: Steven Universe movie party!

  • October 18: Halloween party, and I met my first Pitch Wars mentee!
  • October 25: Ran a livestream on YouTube for Asexuality Awareness Week.
  • October 29: My first filling at the dentist.
  • October 31: Completed Inktober.
  • November 9: Started my new podcast.
  • November 25: My dad got married!
  • November 30: Completed NaNoWriMo.
  • December 18: Got in a car crash (very minor).
  • December 23: Sister's family from San Francisco came to stay with me for the holidays.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
  • I managed to help my mom through some more mazes like taxes and Medicare.
  • I finally found someone to do a Steven Universe podcast with, and we've been doing it.
  • I completed NaNoWriMo.
  • I completed Inktober.
  • I passed 6,000 followers on my cartoon blog.
  • 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 16 times on Steven Universe Amino.
  • One of my posts on Amino won Best of Crafts for the year (for my strawberry cake).
  • Took an epic photo of all my merchandise!!!

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.
  • Really doing a terrible job on my online communication. I feel like I disappointed a lot of people.
  • Not helping my dad with the leftovers from his parents' personal items after they died last year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Not really. I got a cavity and that had never happened before, but that's minor. I had a couple minor illnesses but they were always over quickly and I did not have to stay home from work ever. There was one weird thing where a doctor believed I had an infected hair follicle and I got medicine for it. It was a tad scary until it was explained. And I had a sneezy few days and a headachey/throwupy day one day this year on a weekend.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Cartoon collectibles! I'm almost complete with the autographed cards I've been collecting.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
  • My LGBT friends who came out this year, began using self-affirming labels this year, and got gender-affirming procedures this year.
  • My friends who are parents, managing that delicate balance of dedicating themselves to their kids while engaging in some self care.
  • My friend Ronni whose book was published this year!

  • My nephew Ash who started kindergarten and is doing great! He's also such a fantastic artist!
  • My friend Meggie for all the incredibly difficult personal challenges she's managing, especially hopping on the difficult path to being a nurse practitioner. So much school!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
  • 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.
  • People who expect me to wipe their asses because wiping their own asses is haaarrrrrrd.
  • I also had to finally drop someone from my life when he treated me extremely disrespectfully over something I cared about, and I finally had to acknowledge that he had never handled his friendship with me in an appropriately balanced way. I am better off without him.
14. Where did most of your money go?

Besides rent, it was definitely Steven Universe merchandise and lending other people money.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The Steven Universe movie, queer folks being badasses and awesome people, great music, art supplies, other nerds in fandom, introducing Daria to SU on our podcast, cosplaying, my book, really ambitious recipes, drawing fan comics, my nephew, my sister's cakes and my cakes, comics.

16. What song will always remind you of 2019?

"Good as Hell"!! Thanks Meggie for introducing me to Lizzo.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder?


ii. thinner or fatter?

I am estimating about the same!

iii. richer or poorer?

Hm. Slightly poorer. But theoretically, it's temporary.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Writing fiction, responding to mail, and working on my damn website.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Arguing with people who aren't listening.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

I went to my mom's with my friend Jeaux, hung out with my sister Patricia plus her husband Yusuke and son Ash (and briefly P's friend Amber and her mom), had dinner and dessert, opened presents, and was Professor Poop teaching Butt Class for my nephew.

21. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?

I'll go to Mom's and hang out with my sister's family again.

22. Did you fall in love in 2019?

Many lovely ideas to fall in love with, yes!

23. How many one-night stands?

That would be zero, my dear.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Does anyone actually need me to answer this? I also liked She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and What We Do in the Shadows though.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

. . . Had to think, but no. I'm still disappointed, though.

26. What was the best book you read this year?

Hard to pick. I'd say it's between Every Day by David Levithan, Squirrel Meets World by Shannon and Dean Hale, and When the Stars Lead to You by Ronni Davis.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

No contest, that's Lizzo. Probably a lot of people are saying that, but I don't get new music a lot.

28. What did you want and get?

More Tumblr followers, cartoon stuff, fulfilling hobbies, maybe slightly better art skills, a sweet-ass character costume, a couple of the comics I was missing, 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?

The Mister Rogers documentary was really good, but obviously my answer to this is that Steven Universe: The Movie was my fave.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 41. Meghan and I were traveling so we were in Orlando in a hotel on my birthday. We got up early and went to EPCOT center after having breakfast in the hotel. We had a blast eating the special food, exploring Future World and World Showcase, shopping, riding rides, relaxing, seeing cute mini-movies, and enjoying each other's company. When we got back, we decompressed, listened to a Steven Universe podcast, and slept.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If I got a book deal. 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 2019?

Incorporating Steven Universe accessories into basically every outfit.

34. What kept you sane?

Cartoons, kind people, music, distractions, stress cleaning.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Oh, you silly survey.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Protection of trans and nonbinary rights, Black Lives Matter, gun violence, disability rights.

37. Who did you miss?

My grandparents, friends new and old, online friends who disappeared.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I'm gonna say Steve counts! (Not the Steve we lost in January. That was Steve F, this is Steve S.) He and I met online in 2018 but we started hanging out in 2019 and he's wonderful. He's a music nerd making a career out of his music nerdiness, and we have had excellent discussions about relationships, society, religion, politics, and just plain awesome stuff about life.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019.

I can decide what form my compassion takes. Other people don't get to tell me what it should look like or where it should reasonably stop.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

"I'm looking forward, I'm looking forward, I'm looking forward now."

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Personal Digest Saturday: December 21 – December 27

Life news this week:
  • Saturday I woke up on the floor. Welp! I gotta stop falling asleep there. I got some blogging done and some drawings finished for an episode promo, and then I worked on my cakes for a funny thing I'm doing for cartoon birthdays. I made a cake and some cupcakes, but didn't get around to the icing before it got too late. Jeaux picked me up and we went to Party City, ate at Which Wich?, and watched the new episodes of Steven Universe Future at his house. They were adorable, especially "Snow Day." Then I just went home and played online.
  • Sunday I woke up on the floor AGAIN. I worked on some podcast plans and prepared some label info for my friend Victor to make some cute labels tea (part of a gift we're giving). I finished my cartoon birthday parties and then I got the news that my mom wasn't in shape to host my sister's family for her arrival the next day, so I had to get the bed ready (clean bedclothes were still just kinda sitting on the bed from after my last guest). I did a podcast recording with Daria and hid all my presents and got as reasonably prepared for guests as I could. It rained all day!
  • Monday I had to work. I forgot my wallet so I had trouble buying milk for my nephew at the store down the street and had to borrow money from a coworker, which I then lost inside the store, AND they didn't have any milk (but I found the money again and found milk at a store that was farther away, which matters more when you're walking). Anyway. I had to proofread a couple letters before leaving that day. My family came to pick me up in a Lyft car! We went to my house and didn't really eat dinner. Later my sister and I had veggie burgers but their eating schedule was all weird and they ate snacks they brought. I got to see my newly six-year-old nephew and played with him, and after the boys went to bed my sister and I stayed up talking for hours. It was lovely.
  • Tuesday I had the day off for Christmas Eve! My sister and I got up early and had coffee before she went over to help my mom with some stuff. In the meantime my brother-in-law had a work phone call and I played with my nephew while he was busy. We had a pretend restaurant and watched some cartoons. Then we all went out to eat with my dad and Connie at Bonefish. Was great, even though Ash wouldn't eat anything but bread. Then we had dessert at my house--I was able to distribute some of the "birthday" food like cream pie and cake. We had coffee and my nephew wanted me to teach poop school, and every correct answer is a fart. He's hilarious. Later my brother-in-law had to go shopping for Christmas dinner stuff because Instacart didn't work out. They left and went to my mom's after the shopping was done. I was pretty tired and slept early. Oh, and I received my cool varsity jacket from the Steven Universe promotion.
  • Wednesday was Christmas. I got up pretty early and wrapped my presents for my family and Jeaux. (Victor didn't want to join us this year.) I did some work in the morning and then went to my mom's with Jeaux. We had some food and played with my nephew. Dinner was pretty good too. We exchanged gifts and entertained each other, and I got to see my sister's friend Amber. After all that I went home and opened the rest of my presents from friends and family. Got a lot of cute stuff. :)
  • Thursday was back to work. I ate junk food and did data entry. After work I talked to Victor on the phone and worked on my comic.
  • Friday was kind of a repeat of Thursday. I had to do data entry, ate junk, and finished my comic at home. I got tired early and went to bed. At least I didn't fall asleep on the floor.
New reviews of my book:

Reading progress:
  • Finished this week: None! Too much distraction.
    New singing performances:

    This week's karaoke song is "Your Song" by Elton John.

    There was also a surprise karaoke duet this week: Amanda Mabel on Singsnap picked my old recording of "I Am a Rock" to do a duet to, so here is her harmony duet with me

    Stuff Drawn:

    Promo for "Snow Day" and "Why So Blue?"

    Webcomic Negative One Issue 0763: "Minutes Without you."

    New videos: 


    New photos:

    Birthday Cake for Amethyst!
    Closet Amethyst cosplay
    Amethyst's birthday celebration
    Playing with hats
    The birthday queen is . . . Amethyst!
    Birthday cream pie for Pearl
    Cream pie and cupcakes!
    Pearl cosplay with cream pie
    Pearl cosplay with cupcake
    Pearl's cupcake party
    And how could we leave Garnet out?
    Nephew stacking pillows!
    Sitting upon the potato pillow
    Chef hats made by Ash
    I'm trying to convert him into a Garnet fan
    Family after Christmas Eve dessert
    My varsity jacket! Look, I'm Steven!
    Professor Poop wants Butt Class to come to order
    Christmas dinner at Mom's

    Social Media Counts:

    YouTube subscribers: 5,267 for swankivy (2 new), 682 for JulieSondra (no change), 16 for v & V Vids (1 new), 67 for Not-So-Giant Women (3 new). Twitter followers: 976 for swankivy (2 new), 1,352 for JulieSondra (lost 1). Facebook: 295 friends (no change) and 207 followers (lost 2) for swankivy, 650 likes for JulieSondra (no change), 63 likes for Negative One (no change), 162 likes for So You Write (no change), 24 likes for Not-So-Giant-Women (1 new). Tumblr followers: 2,506 (lost 3). Instagram followers: 190 (2 new).

    Saturday, December 21, 2019

    Personal Digest Saturday: December 14 – December 20

    Life news this week:
    • Saturday I did my blogging pretty early and also got a drawing done to celebrate another Saturday premiere for Steven Universe Future. Then I made onion rings for Jeaux (well, really because they're part of the cartoon menu, but he ate them). He picked me up and we ate at home while watching the two new episodes. Had a great time!
    • Sunday I cleaned my patio table and did laundry and recorded a karaoke song. And got the next episode of our podcast, Not-So-Giant Women, processed and posted.
    • Monday I finished the very last of my holiday shopping. Also got some stuff for recipes and spent the day at work doing data entry. At home I did an interview with a journalist on the phone, posted a recipe online, and argued with people about cartoons on the Internet.
    • Tuesday I forgot my wallet at home so I ended up walking to the bus stop and then still having to call a paid ride (my bus pass was in the wallet, you see). At work I did data entry. At home I did some dishes and updated some lists, and then my mom came over and helped me do my holiday decorating! Cool! After she left I just played with online quizzes.
    • Wednesday it was kinda wet outside, which made the walk to the bus stop annoying. I did some work on letters and the day went by weirdly quickly. Jeaux came over and we were gonna go to Marco's for pizza but only a few houses from my house someone backed out of their driveway and smashed into the car. So . . . my first car wreck! No one was hurt and only our car had damage. (But the other driver tried to say Jeaux didn't have his lights on--even though they automatically come on so clearly he just didn't see us--and then tried to claim he must have been speeding despite that he'd already admitted he hadn't even seen us and we'd just come out of my driveway a few houses away.) We went back home instead of going out and just ate pizza ordered in. We eventually went out for grocery shopping and came back to start a new anime called Carole and Tuesday. It's pretty good. Wednesday was also my 1000th day in the Steven Universe Amino community but I forgot to post anything. Haha.
    • Thursday I took the bus to work. We had our holiday party after a really busy morning! We had sandwiches and my boss was nice enough to order two vegetarian sandwiches for the two vegetarians on staff. We also had salad, fruit, and cake. Awesome, I enjoyed it. I sent out some utility letters in the afternoon and did data entry. After work I talked to Victor, worked on my comic, and went to bed early.
    • Friday was my nephew Ash's sixth birthday! I got him some cool modeling clay. The bus ride to work was pretty wild; someone got mad that the driver couldn't stop at their bus stop because of construction, so when they got off they threw their drink at the driver and we had to pull over, report the incident, and get delayed. Then the same bus broke down a little while later! Late morning. Work was pretty quiet though. We received a bunch of candy and presents from clients and partners. So I literally ate nothing but holiday gifts all day until I got home. (Did data entry and reports.) At home I finished my comic and huddled under a blanket. I received some autographed SU trading cards so now I'm only missing one trading card!
    Reading progress:
      New singing performances:

      This week's karaoke song is "Under the Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers.

      Stuff Drawn:

      Doodle for two new episodes
      Another keys doodle at work

      Webcomic Negative One Issue 0762: "Soft Heart."

      New videos: 

      Not-So-Giant Women Podcast Episode 2: "Laser Light Cannon":

      New photos:

      Onion rings
      Candy sampler!
      New magnets join the collection!
      Oh no! Crunch!
      White American Singles. Me and this cheese.
      Office holiday party
      Only missing one autographed card now!

      Social Media Counts:

      YouTube subscribers: 5,265 for swankivy (1 new), 682 for JulieSondra (no change), 15 for v & V Vids (no change), 64 for Not-So-Giant Women (9 new). Twitter followers: 974 for swankivy (no change), 1,353 for JulieSondra (lost 3). Facebook: 295 friends (no change, but I think I lost someone because I added someone this week) and 209 followers (no change) for swankivy, 650 likes for JulieSondra (1 new), 63 likes for Negative One (no change), 162 likes for So You Write (no change), 23 likes for Not-So-Giant-Women (2 new). Tumblr followers: 2,509 (1 new). Instagram followers: 188 (1 new).