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2013: So That Was A Thing That Happened

Yup, it's time for a year-end wrap up post! Brace yourselves for bullet points, as we play "Ursula Attempts To Make Herself Feel Better About The Fact She Probably Didn't Accomplish Nearly Enough Last Year!"

So! In 2013...

In the garden:

  • I ID'd a number of exciting new species in the yard, including cranefly orchid, American carrion beetle, the Agreeable Tiger Moth and more!

  • We cracked 300 species on the yard list!

  • I built a very large raised bed. Out of stone. Which I moved myself. Uphill, both ways.


  • Mulch mulch mulch

  • Watched fifteen(!) different baby birds get raised in the garden and immediate vicinity. (A banner year!)

  • I grew beans, tomatillos, basil, peas, and some runty little tomatoes

  • I dried beans

  • Kevin put the beans in chili.

  • They were delicious.

  • I discovered the existence of lawn crayfish. My world will never be the same.

  • ETA: Oh yeah, I also terraced the hillside. Forgot about that.

At work:

  • 31 paintings

  • 4 art dolls

  • 4 sculptures

  • 195 book illustrations

  • 4 book covers (one wraparound!)

  • finished and sold the witch book (65K)

  • wrote Dragonbreath 10 (15K, already sold)

  • finished Nine Goblins (3K)

  • self-pubbed Nine Goblins

  • sold over a thousand copies of Nine Goblins

  • Sundry progress on other works-in-progress, probably totalling 30K or more, no clear estimates

  • Sold a short story

  • Wrote and drew a short kid's comic for Random House (It'll be out eventually...)

  • Sold a poem (That's a first!)

  • Worked very hard on a StoryNexus game that will someday be finished

  • Edited too many things

  • Went on a book tour

  • Won the Sequoyah Award for Dragonbreath

  • Won the Mythopoeic Award for Digger

  • Contributed to the Digger Kickstarter, although frankly, that was really mostly Sofawolf

  • Signed thousands and thousands of Kickstarter books

  • Started a new podcast

  • Kept up with the old podcast

  • Did something like twenty-four gardening columns for Beautiful Wildlife Garden

  • Had the website overhauled (which was both an accomplishment and a lot of work for a number of people!)

I traveled to:

  • Oklahoma (Ardmore is surprisingly cool)

  • Texas Hill Country (great birding)

  • San Jose

  • San Antonio (Worldcon, where my buddy Mur won the Campbell Award! Woo!)

  • Florida

  • Disneyworld (not the same as Florida. Trust me on this one.)

  • Cape Cod

  • Baltimore

  • Richmond

  • Seattle

  • Victoria BC

  • Sundry Chunks of Alaska As Seen By Cruise Ship

  • Philadelphia

  • Pittsburgh (as always)

  • Upper Peninsula Michigan

  • The Twin Cities

  • A Random Castle In The Middle Of Ohio

  • New York City

I saw:

  • Tundra swans

  • Killer whales

  • Laysen albatross

  • Gray-cheeked thrush

  • American pipit

  • Olive sparrow

  • More vireos that you can shake a stick at

  • Humpback whales

  • Blackpoll warblers

  • Northern lapwing

  • A bunch of other birds, but the list is getting long. I cracked 400 life birds, though!

  • Also a tufted titmouse ate out of my hand

Life in general:

  • We lost my beloved cat Ben, whom I still miss.

  • We rehomed Marv the cat

  • We acquired our villainous one-eyed blue Sergei

  • We moved the studios around (a week-long process)

  • Was scared some, cried some, freaked out some

  • Went on thyroid meds.

  • Laughed a lot. Like lunatics.

  • Took multiple hot baths with good books

  • Ate some really mind-blowing meals

  • There was something else...

  • I'll think of it in a minute...

  • It's on the tip of my tongue...

  • OH YEAH!

  • I got married to Kevin!

...you know, as I suspected might happen, that's not a bad total for a year when I look at it like that. I wish I'd gotten more paintings done--I didn't even manage one a week!--but given that I had a lot of illos and wrote probably 100K words on various projects, plus traveled at a rate well over one multi-day trip per month...yeah, 2013 wasn't wasted.

Next year, I want to travel less. I love seeing new places, don't get me wrong, but I felt like a lot of this last year was spent with trips looming on the horizon, as if I was frantically trying to shove productivity in between running to the airport, and I wasn't ever at home long enough to get into the groove. So I'm hoping for a year that is frantic with work, not frantic with travel. I'm good at work frantic. Travel frantic wears me down. I'd like to move to a schedule where I travel maybe six times a year instead of fifteen.

But the most important things were all there. I laughed, I loved, I had fun...

And I finally got that goddamn patio done.

Pretty good year, Urs. Happy New Year! :)

*grin* My wordcount can't hold a candle to SOME people I know, though...

All things being equal, 2013 featured some great highlights. Here's to a fun-filled, productive, profitable, joyous 2014!

Congratulations Ursula and Kevin.

That, too.

Kicking myself for not being able to see you in New York City. :-( oh well, schedules. Any expectations of visiting the tri-state or New England areas in your 2014 travels?

Edited at 2013-12-30 05:30 pm (UTC)

As usual, your 'not achieved quite enough list' makes my work ethic hide under the bar with a bottle of tequila and cry, but I'm certainly glad of it, since it means more to read!

...and iron.

(I spent last night ironing Digger. There was an accident with an incontinent baby Christmas tree, and the beautiful mint hardcover omnibus is... no longer mint. But I've now spent a great deal of quality time with it, appologizing, stroking pages... using an iron I haven't used in three years. We've bonded.)

A very full year!

I'm going to have to go back and look for your posts: 2013 must have been the year of the goddamn patio, since we redid one, too. Pulled up patio blocks, dug down eight inches, laid landscaping barrier fabic, dumped and leveled gravel and sand, and relaid the blocks.

naming the nameless

Congratulations on Patio-Bob!

And also on marriage and kickstarter and awards and art and writing and the rest! Thanks for the tip on Ardmore bookstores.

Congrats Ursula! I can't believe Nine Goblins was only 3K, I never wanted it to end!

No, no, it was 40K! But I had all but like 3K written on it, I just had to finish it.

That sounds to me like a life well lived. Of the paltry stock of years we get, you have used this one well. Like any artwork, the artist is too close and never satisfied. But standing at a distance, you done good.

And congrats on the marriage - never had a right place to say it then, so I'll say it now. You and K sound so much a team on KUEC.

Heh. Disney is NOT Florida! Oh So True!

If you and Kevin ever want to come down and see some of FLORIDA, I can be a tour guide! So good to see you both!

Edited at 2013-12-30 07:17 pm (UTC)

Congrats on the accomplishments, so many sympathies on Ben (*sniffle*), and have you considered audiobooking Nine Goblins? O;>

Damn slacker.

Also: as soon as the beans hit the chili, you no longer had chili.</p>


Well, I did almost nothing this year, but I did my damnedest to appreciate your work. And Kevin's. And the wildlife and tamelife.

Good golly, you did a lot this year!

All in all I'd say that's a pretty damn good year, packed with work and other stuff.

Fifteen trips a year is definitely too many unless your entire year is about traveling places and seeing them. I did a total of six plane trips in 2013 (four cons, including cross-country to Anthrocon, and two visits home) and two train trips (down to Portland cons); it worked pretty well. Though I also am hoping to fit in a nice long trip somewhere sunny in the middle of December with no obligations but "bask in the sun and work on art stuff".

See you around the cons, and have a great '14.