Reflections on the Past Year

While the beginning of January may seem to be a more appropriate time of year for reflecting on the past year, performance review time in the office tends to be mid-February. Despite some challenges, I think this year was quite successful, both in the workplace and outside work. During August, I presented a paper on Paddy Forde's novella "On Spirit" and Rob Sawyer's short story "Just Like Old Times" at the Social Science on the Final Frontier academic conference at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. It was a nice little conference, and it was nice to see Rob Sawyer and Julie E. Czerneda at the conference. This was my second academic paper presented at a conference, and was a lot of fun.

During the year, I didn't accomplish much fiction writing, something which I'm planning to remedy. Part of my problem in the past year is that I haven't made the time to write. I've proven to myself that I can now write 250-500 words a day for blog posts, in addition to my coursework assignments. I'm going to see if I can add fiction writing to these word counts in the next few weeks. If it doesn't seem to be working, I may decide to reduce the size or frequency of my blog posts. It's something that I've been struggling with.

I've done some nice improvements around the home this past year. I'm particularly happy with my garage, now that it's been organized. Previously, neither car would fit inside. Now, both can fit inside, as well as my snowblower. Yes, this is a first world problem, and I'm aware that I'm contributing to urban sprawl, etc. It's a beautiful property, with a very large backyard for spending time with the family, but city transit doesn't come anywhere near here. The way things stand, I'm just not willing to consider alternative ways to get to work.

Another Year, Another Blog Post

Happy new year! Or something like that. It appears that I haven't managed to post any items to my blog. I guess I've been testing another new steam-powered elephant gun or something.

I wonder how many blog postings on otherwise dormant blogs occur on the first of the year? I've been thinking about new years resolutions, evaluating them using the SMART methodology. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Things that can be achieved in a reasonable amount of time.

I haven't managed to work out specifics yet, but one thing is to write more blog entries. In particular, writing about what I've been reading, both fiction and non-fiction. Last week I finished reading R. Scott Bakker's "The Judging Eye," the first book in his Aspect-Emperor trilogy, a continuation of his Prince of Nothing series. Parts of this story are clearly an attempt to revisit Tolkien, and the trip through the mines of Moria. While clearly evocative of Moria, Bakker brings a much darker perspective to things. I enjoyed Bakker's previous books, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this new series. There are clearly story lines in this newest work which haven't fully developed in this first volume, but which I expect to see fleshed out in the next book.