2007 year-end roundup

I got a haircut yesterday and while snipping away at my hair, the stylist asked me, “Do you have any New Years resolutions?” Well, I don’t really do New Years resolutions. If I resolved to do something, I usually start right away. I see no need of picking an arbitrary point. Why put off tomorrow what you can do today, right? But it made me realize that the New Year came and went almost unnoticed. I barely had time to think about what I accomplished in the last year (and what I didn’t accomplish). What were my successes and failures. How did I fare overall?

My income for 2007 was more than any previous year–a new personal record. It was helped in part by the large amount of vacation time I took (I get paid extra when I take vacation), by the sale of my first story, and by a bonus that I got. On the other hand, it was a record year for taxes as well. I paid out somewhere in the neighborhood of $24,000 in taxes this year–and I’m willing to bet that I still own a few thousand dollars to the Federal government in April. I put just over $18,000 into my retirement fund and in addition, market gains saw those funds grow by more than $10,000 this year.

My first professional science fiction story appeared this year in the July 2005 issue of InterGalactic Medicine Show. That was a very big deal for me. I also became an associate member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). I attended my first three science fiction conventions ever. I made 7 story submissions this year, and received 6 rejections, with one still pending. I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time, and managed a little over 20,000 words in 30 days.

I flew more than 27,000 miles this year. Not a record by any means, but enough to maintain my Premier status on United for another year. The travel included my first overseas travel ever. I saw Italy, Greece, Croatia, Turkey and the U.K. with two stopovers in Germany. Additionally, there were trips to L.A., Las Vegas, New York and Florida.

It was a disappointing year for reading, if I compare it with previous years. I completed 2,484,000 words worth of reading. (I read more, but I only count those books that I finish.) That is more than a million words less than my previous worst year, 2003. Of the 2.5 million words I read 58.6% was nonfiction. I completed a grand total of 16 books. My goal has always been about a book a week or roughly 5.2 million words per year. I didn’t even hit the halfway mark this year. On the other hand, there were two stand-out “5-star” books that I did read this year. In the non-fiction category was Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries. In the fiction categories was Joe Haldeman’s outstanding The Accidental Time Machine. Runner up to these books was Dorian Sagan and John Skyoles’s excellent book on the evolution of human intelligence, Up From Dragons. Perhaps the most disappointing book of the year was William Gibson’s Spook Country

I managed to get to the gym just about every other day of the year, doing a work out of some form nearly 200 times this year. For the third year in a row I co-captained our company softball team, but for the first time ever, we had a winning record (7-2) and we made it to the league playoffs (from which we were eliminated in the first round).

2007 saw vickyandnorm get married at Disney World in March. strausmouse and rmstraus had a baby on April Fools Day. 2007 also saw Andy and Mandy have a baby of their own. Meanwhile, 2007 saw the death of my uncle Bob, my mom’s oldest brother.

And I could not run through the major highlights of 2007 without mentioning Kelly. We started dating toward the end of the summer/early fall and things between us have been getting better and better ever since.

And so there it is, 2007 in a nutshell. Driving home from Kelly’s the other night, I wondered to myself what I would be saying about the highlights and disappointments of 2017. For those of you die-hards, stay tuned…


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