Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015: A Year in Review

This has been an eventful year. I graduated. I performed a senior recital. I got a job. I drove part way to Minnesota. I went on a cruise with my extended family. And, I finished a 60-chapter fantasy novel.

Here were the goals I made for myself at the beginning of 2015 and their degree of completion:

1. Read the entire Bible.
I think I got into Isaiah and then stopped.

2. Graduate with good grades.
I did graduate! And I did have pretty good grades. I'm not a straight A student and probably never will be, but I don't think I've ever gotten worse than a C, so I'm content.

3. Extensively plan and plot the fantasy story I wrote in 2014.
While I didn't "extensively plan and plot" my fantasy story, I did re-plot the story and re-write it this year. I finished the second draft in November and have been taking a much-needed break from the story. I let my dad read it and he enjoyed it. Now, I'm waiting for my mom to read it so that she can give me some feedback. Hurry up, Mom! I'm getting antsy to start working on this book again!

4. Write the final two Daniel and Varina novels.
After finishing my fantasy novel during NaNoWriMo last month, I still had about 15,000 words to get to the prescribed 50,000. I decided to finish writing the fourth Daniel and Varina book which I had started (and abandoned) in April.
In November, though I had only 5,000 words left to get to 50,000, and I only needed to write one more scene for Daniel and Varina's story to be complete, I couldn't goad myself to finishing NaNoWriMo this year. Yesterday, however, I sat down with the intention of writing the final scene in Daniel and Varina's novel, and I did!
So, the goal to finish their series was half completed. I've realized that I need to step back from Daniel and Varina's story for a bit and re-think the premise and the villain before I can continue to write about them.

5. Read 100 books.
Haha, no. I read 66 books this year. 50 were new to me, while 13 were rereads. 1984 by George Orwell had the least amount of stars with 4/10. Most of my 10/10 star ratings were for favorites that I revisited. I did give ten stars to one new book: Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before. A Visual History. This book commemorated Star Trek's 30th anniversary in the 1990s. I hope they come out with a similar book to celebrate Star Trek's 50th anniversary next year!

6. Implement my Book Challenge.
I think I had too many reading challenges this year. One was to read the entire Bible. Another was to re-read and review every self-published book on my shelf. I failed miserably at this. Someday I will review them all, but, as Aragorn says, "Today is not that day!"
The biggest challenge I gave myself this past year was my 2015 reading challenge, where I tried to read a classic and a modern book in six different genres and then review each book. I did very well with the reading part, excepting last three books. I didn't get The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak, Dracula by Bram Stoker, or Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury read. Let's not even discuss how awful my reviewing schedule was. I have a few reviews/notes in my drafts folder, so I will most likely publish those at some point in the future.
Even though I failed at my challenge, I read several books that I normally would not have read and discovered several new authors whose books I enjoy!

7. Get a job, join a non-highschool choir, research colleges, and generally keep busy and not become a hermit once I graduate.
I have not become a hermit, you may be pleased to know. I did get a job, but I did not join a choir or research colleges.

8. Continue with my music. Take a music theory class. Have a FANTASTIC senior recital in May.
Although I didn't take a music theory class, I have continued with my piano and voice lessons. My senior recital in May was FANTASTIC, and you can watch it on Youtube HERE.

9. Exercise more.
Sporadically throughout the year, I did exercise more than usual.

10. Read one nonfiction a month.
I read seven nonfiction books this year.

11. Write every day of the year.
Haha, this definitely did NOT happen.

Here are my goals for 2016:

1. Perform in a musical.

2. Get a piano student.

3. Write one nonfiction piece of writing a week in January.

4. Spend 40 minutes a day reading instructional nonfiction.

5. Rewrite my fantasy story for the second time.

6. Host a Dutch-themed dinner party for my friends (and cook the entire meal myself).

7. Figure out college and LIFE.

8. Practice voice at least five out of seven days a week.

9. Memorize and perform Sinding's Rustle of Spring on the piano.

10. Read the books on my 2016 book-themed calendar and take part it THIS reading challenge sent to me by my aunt.

11. Grow closer to God through daily devotions. Put more emphasis on persistent prayer.

12. Eat less sugar because it makes me feel sick.

13. Exercise more.

14. Implement and stick to my new schedule in order to spend less time on irrelevant activities.

What are you goals for 2016?

Live long and prosper!


  1. Hmm...your site is acting up again. Hope this comment goes through.

    Ambitious goals! If you can stick with #14 the others should be a breeze. Sorry to hear you didn't make it through the bible. I think that would be a good one to re-up on and try to finish off.

    My goals are a bit nebulous this year, as in, publishing my novel, "Ascent of the Nebula"! (he he)

    1. Weird! I'm not sure how to fix it... or even how to tell what's wrong. Your comment made it through, so let's assume there's a random glitch every so often...
      Someday I'll make it through the whole Bible! Maybe in the Fall.
      Very nice pun, haha.