I wrote a big long 2016 in review post but I don’t think I’m going to post it. Let’s get to know each other over the course of 2017 instead! But since I’m not posting the 2016 review, I want to do sort of a 2017 preview (yes, I know 2017 has already started… I haven’t made any 2017 posts yet, though, so shh, let’s pretend).
This is a review blog, but it’s also a personal blog, because I say so. What am I looking forward to in 2017, and hoping to get out of it?
Travel and Exploring
Come spring I want to see more of this new state I live in. There’s still a lot of places I haven’t visited! But there’s also some other things I want to do out of state as well.
My original 2017 plans toward the beginning of 2016 were to visit Japan in the winter of 2017, but I just don’t think that’s going to be financially feasible. I had started saving for a Japan trip in 2016, but my move wiped out those savings, and I have not been doing a good job of building them up again. I’d rather have a little longer to save and therefore less stress later, so 2018 seems like a better goal.
Instead, there’s a few cons and things I want to do!
I want to do FlameCon again for sure. It’s a small con, and it’s easy enough to go up to NYC for a single day. Next year I’ll bring a bigger backpack, though. Maybe even a rolling bag! Along those lines, I also want to do my best to make SPX in 2017. I had planned to go in 2016, but the friends I was going to go with decided they’d rather visit me instead (which I wasn’t at all upset about!), and the hotel costs and everything were just a little steeper than really fit into my plans. I’d also like to make an attempt to attend BookExpo America, but that may be more of a long shot. Again, I was supposed to go to BEA in Chicago in 2016 with Melissa, but my move made the timing impossible. I’m sad I missed the opportunity to visit Chicago, but BEA’s in NYC again next year which will be easier to manage. It’s on the table, for sure; the only thing really stopping me is wondering whether or not I really want to get a bunch of ARCs and etc when I’m still in such a reading rut.
My parents have floated the idea of coming up here in the spring because my dad wants to visit the famous Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island (my dad is named Clifford Walk, and he’s worried it’s going to erode into the sea in the near future) and I suggested they come here first, and then either drive or take the train up to Rhode Island. I may or may not go with them on that trip!
My reading has really petered off the past few years. I used to always clear 50 books a year easily, but since around 2014 I’ve barely made it past 25. 2016 I didn’t even make it TO 25. So my lofty goal is to read at least 30 books in 2017.
Part of why my reading has stagnated is because I read a lot more comics now, but I don’t count graphic novels and prose novels (novels only since I don’t read nonfiction!) the same way. I read something like 50 graphic novels/anthologies/trades this year (I say “something like” because I also didn’t keep very good track of anything) and 186 individual comic issues. Which is still down from 2015 (116 GNs/trades/etc and 412 individual issues, yikes!). I’m not setting numerical goals for GNs and individual issues, just the goal of “read these within a month of buying them,” because they really pile up, because I spend the majority of my disposable income on comic books.
I also want to do the two challenges I’ve signed up for (one I haven’t put on my projects page yet), and chip away at my manga reading project and staying caught up on my single issue floppies. I may be setting myself up for failure but I think I can do it if I make an effort to just make time to read. Which leads us to…
Spend Less Time Watching TV
I used to barely watch any TV, ever, but now that I’ve moved out and am living alone I find myself in front of the TV almost all the time I’m at home. And yet, somehow I’m still behind on all the shows I’m actually watching (I just watch hours and hours of Travel Channel, HGTV, and DIY Network). So I want to do less unstructured TV viewing in 2017. The first step for that is going to be buying a second iPod radio for my living room (part of the issue is I can always hear my neighbor’s TV through the wall but out of consideration for one of my other neighbors I don’t want to turn my music in the other room on loud enough to drown that out, and wearing headphones all the time gets uncomfortable for me. I will stay caught up on the shows I’m actually watching (which is really just Elementary and maybe Timeless if I decide to stick with it), and I’ll allow watching TV while I’m working on projects like crocheting, knitting, or embroidery. I’m going to stop eating in the living room as often as an encouragement to keep my kitchen bar clean and so I can read while I eat (although I’ll be honest, it’s more likely I’ll watch YouTube on my computer or iPad while I eat, since that’s what I normally do while I cook).