The weather has been grey today, the temperature dropping from a morning high of 57 degrees. I went out to get my newspaper at 8:30 and haven’t been out the door since. I spent a chunk of the morning (after reading the paper and watching an old Perry Mason episode) dithering over all the Productive Tasks I thought I should accomplish on my day off. I have lists of them, on my computer monitor, on scraps of paper, in my head. Pieces I need to write, tasks for my RWA chapter, sections of the house to clean and declutter, and so on. I’m not very good at relaxing.
I finally convinced myself that this was a Day Off, for heaven’s sake, and I settled on the couch with Nutmeg the cat, a Mysteries in the Museum marathon running on the background TV, and Janet Evanovich’s Notorious Nineteen. Stephanie Plum’s insane adventures kept me entertained all afternoon, as she and Lula tracked down a few bad guys, blew up a few cars, and made me laugh out loud more than once.
I haven’t had (or given myself) too many chances to sit down and read a book for a while. I used to read a hundred or more books a year easily, but it’s harder to do that when you work full time at a paying job and take up writing as your other job. Doesn’t leave a lot of time, and it’s way too easy to fall asleep over even a good book late at night.
This year I read 39 books. Yes, I keep a list (you mean not everyone does?). Ten romances (six on paper, four on Kindle), ranging from Regency (Cheryl Bolen) to steampunk (Zoe Archer), paranormal (Darynda Jones) to inspirational (Deeanne Gist), mostly contemporary settings. I would read more romance–I have stacks of them To Be Read–if I wasn’t writing romance myself. I suppose I’m afraid of seepage. And, of course, if I had more time, because I love other genres, too.
I read nine mystery novels (only one on Kindle) this year, mostly on the humorous end, by Diane Kelly, Elaine Viets, Joan Hess, Susan M. Boyer, and Spencer Quinn, with Marcia Muller on the more serious side and Margaret Maron in the middle. I only read five science fiction novels (one on Kindle), although it’s not easy to draw a line–Zoe Archer’s romance titles are also science fiction, and Sharon Lynn Fisher’s Ghost Planet is also a romance.
I also read four uncategorized mainstream novels, two on Kindle and two on paper, and eleven non-fiction books (six on Kindle, five on paper). Of the non-fiction, four were on writing topics and three on social media. The others included a gorgeously illustrated book on all things steampunk and a massive (but fascinating) biography of Queen Elizabeth II.
Here on my blog, WordPress tells me, I published 81 posts in 2012, with 91 pictures. I had 21,000 page views (I stand amazed!) by visitors from 96 countries (most of them from the US, with significant numbers from Canada, the UK and Australia). My most-read posts all concern the TV show Hell on Wheels; that was hardly my goal when I began blogging, but I do find the show fascinating, and I’m looking forward to the next season.
On the writing front, I’m afraid I’ve been more involved in RWA activities than in actual writing. I’ve served as president of the West Houston chapter (that’s a chunk of the To Do list on my computer monitor right there), been a finalist in the Golden Heart contest for the second year in a row, and traveled to the RWA national conference in Anaheim. I’ve written columns and articles for my chapters’ newsletters. I’ve done quite a bit of editing/revising/polishing, begun a new novel, and I’m learning to use Scrivener.
So, in short, I always have two or three bookmarks in play, even if I don’t get through the books as fast as I used to. I’m building my “Internet platform,” but only as fast as I enjoy doing so. And I’m pretty much always planning, plotting, or writing something. I hope to continue all of this through 2013. Maybe I’ll even manage to clean the rest of the house and hire someone to do something about my yard. And remodel the bathrooms. Maybe.