Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014: A year in review

What totally epic or character-building things did I do in 2014?
  • I took the train all by myself to visit my friend at her college.
  • My family and I went to Europe! 
Big Ben, in case you couldn't tell

Typical Dutch countryside

  • I got my driver's license!
  • I wrote a semi-epic fantasy novel.
  •   I wrote and performed in our church's Vacation Bible School skits.
  •  I went to the beach, hiked up a mountain, roasted marshmallows and stayed out late, explored a corn maze and a pumpkin patch, saw some Christmas lights, and brought in 2015 with people my own age and had fun. In short, I made an effort to have some semblance of a social life.
  • I led a Bible study with church girls.
  • My choir donned Victorian garb and caroled in the mall.
Photo via A Choir Parent
Here were my goals for 2014 and their degree of fulfillment:

1. Continue to get to know God, study his word, and make him first and foremost in my life. Read my Bible, pray everyday, and I'll grow... grow... grow...
While I didn't read my Bible every day, I did make an effort to get to know God better and I have grown in my faith since last year.

2. Continue to study studiously. Finish my Algebra book!!! And get through Algebra II if possible...
Check, check! I finished Algebra, Algebra II, and am halfway through Geometry! Then I will be freeee!

3. Continue growing is my musical pursuits.
My voice has grown significantly in the past year and my piano playing has too!

4. Visit my friend's college and start looking into which colleges would best fit God's plan for my life.
I visited my friend's college, but haven't looked into any other colleges yet.

5. Witness to people about the love of God.
I haven't witnessed directly to anyone, but I hope that God shines through me in everyday life.

6. Do NaNoWriMo and win! Write a short story a day. Or, just write every day. Especially in my new story idea... (Last year my new story idea was a Defenders of the Realm which fell through. But this new story... well, I think it will stick around for awhile. At least, I'd really like it to.)
Yup, I won NaNoWriMo! I didn't write every day... but I did write quite a bit this year, especially in the "new story" that I mentioned.

7. I'd really like to catch up on Doctor Who... if that's possible.
Sort of check? There are three or four episodes from season 8 that I haven't seen, but other than that I'm all caught up.

8. Read 100 books! Scary... I don't know if I'll be able to complete that one.
Aaaaaand... I definitely didn't. I'm sitting pretty at 53 (not counting comic books like Tintin or Calvin and Hobbes).
Not only was I introduced to The Phantom of the Opera this year, but also to P.G. Wodehouse. I read twelve Wodehouse books this year!
19 books were rereads.
Of the new books that I read this year King's Warrior by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, and The World of Jeeves (all the Jeeves and Wooster short stories) by P.G. Wodehouse were my favorites. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf was my least favorite and also wracked up the least amount of stars. Only two books ever got below six stars. Maybe I'm too lenient with my marking method.

9. Get more geeky clothes.
Hahaha... What?! How is that a goal? I don't even know how to answer that one. xD

10. Re-watch Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
I remember adding this one spontaneously at the end because I felt like I needed more fun goals and not so many serious ones. While I didn't rewatch DS9, my mom and I did rewatch Voyager.

11. Read Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.
Nope. That didn't get done.

Here are my goals for 2015:

1. Read the entire Bible.

2. Graduate with good grades.

3. Extensively plan and plot the fantasy story I wrote in 2014.

4. Write the final two Daniel and Varina novels.

5. Read 100 books. (May as well try again!)

6. Implement my Book Challenge. (To be explained shortly, in another blog post)

7. Get a job, join a non-highschool choir, research colleges, and generally keep busy and not become a hermit once I graduate.

Sorry, Doctor, I'm not going to be the next member of Hermits United
8. Continue with my music. Take a music theory class. Have a FANTASTIC senior recital in May.

9. Exercise more.

10. Read one nonfiction a month.

11. Write every day of the year.

"If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life.
"You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next.
"You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads.
"I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories—science fiction or otherwise.
Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." 
-Ray Bradbury


  1. Happy New Year! Sounds like you had a great year. Caroling in the mall in Victorian garb must have been so fun! Becca and I have really wanted to do that, maybe we can get some friends together and do that next Christmas. :)

    1. You totally should! It was really fun.

  2. Wow, this is amazing! You did amazing this year, Abbey. Though we haven't been in contact a lot, I can honestly say that you've become an amazing, totally super, God-focused human being. (Do I sound like a grandmother yet?) You've really been an inspiration to me for the past, what, four-five years? Best wishes with this year and all of its hysteria and challenges!
    - Jen

    1. Aw, thanks. *blushes* (Did I ever tell you about the time someone complimented me by saying "You are going to make a great grandmother one day"? Yeah, weirdest compliment ever)