Last year, redux

This time last year, I did one of those quiz things that I found on Tim Pratt’s blog. Herewith, an update…

1. What did you do in 2005 that you’d never done before?
Bought an iPod. Visited Madison, Wisconsin and avoided being ticketed for exceeding the speed limit by 40mph in Illinois. I met my agent and wore a tuxedo, and then ran through the cold evening rain with said agent in said tuxedo to get to a restaurant. I went down a waterslide, I think for the first time.

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No. As I said at this time last year, I said I wanted to get organised and get healthy. I’m still disorganised and suspect I managed to put on more weight (sigh). So, next year’s resolutions will remain those two, plus find ways to relax and unwind.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not this time. A few nice folk I don’t know very well did, but no-one close.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
The world was kinder this year. So far, death has stayed away from the doorsteps of those that matter to me. May it continue to be so. I still think fondly of both Peter McNamara and Alwyn Hyman, who died last year.

5. What countries did you visit?
The USA. It was my ninth visit since 1993, and even more exhausting than last year. I went to Oakland to catch up with Charles and then to Madison, Wisconsin for World Fantasy. Hopefully next year’s trip, with Marianne and the girls for LA Con, will be even better.

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?
Last time I said sleep. There was something true about that. I think I’d like to slow down a little, complete a major project that I have been working on for a couple years, and just take some pressure off so I can spend more time with Marianne and the kids. I would still like to have more time to see friends and such – my social life has disintegrated appallingly these past six years. I did get an iPod, though, and I love it.

7. What dates from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Last year I said “I could put political stuff here, but the truth is that those things are not that personal to me” and that remains true. So, setting aside World Events, I’ll remember Robin and Toula’s wedding, picking up Margo’s two World Fantasy Awards, little pink drinks with Garth in Madison, Mother’s Day at the park with the family, reading the best ever story that’s been submitted to me for a project, a late night in Melbourne with the Clut, Sophie’s birthday at ToddlerTown, Jess’s birthday, and time with the family. Mostly small, personal things.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting out of it alive? No? Delivering four books, all of which have been published. Selling two more. Winning the McNamara Award. Being invited to be one of the Conjure’s guests. Stuff like that.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Time management and attitude management. I’ve been too quick to let myself be negative – something I need to watch.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just the flu and such.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The iPod. It was love.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Man, that’s a tough one. Sophie, who grew up in a breath. My mum, who continues to help me and my family every day. Marianne, Stephen, Charles, Barb, Bec. How do you pick?

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Still, no comment.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Food and lodging, followed by books and cds.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Oh, books and traveling and all of that.

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
“Come on Feel the Illinoise”, Sufjan Stevens.

17. Compared to this time last year, you are:
I originally wrote sadder, fatter and poorer. I don’t know that that’s try. Sadly, I am fatter, I suspect. I’m probably cash-poorer, but wealthier overall. And sadness, comes and go. When I add things up, I have a lot to be happy about.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Making more of an effort to make occasions special. I think it’s very important that you go to the trouble of making special occasions ‘special’. Too often, of late, I’ve made them rote and unexciting. So, a vote for champagne and specialness.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Eating and stressing.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With family and friends at my mother’s home. Up in the morning, Christmas with the kids, then over to mum’s for lunch. It should be a happy, family kinda day.

22. Did you fall in love in 2005?
Several times. I live with them all.

23. How many one-night stands?
No. See #22.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Spicks and Specks, a rock quiz show.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Pfeh. Who would answer such a question?

26. What was the best book you read?
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link or Laughin’ Boy by Bradley Denton.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Sufjan Stevens or The Magic Numbers.

28. What did you want and get?
An iPod.

29. What did you want and not get?
Peace and quiet, but I did get an iPod.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Harder to say, this year. I saw Batman Begins the most, but it’s not that good.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 41. I had a small celebration at home.

32.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being able to give up the day job, or at least feeling in control of my time.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?
Sad, middle-aged git; T-shirts and jeans at home, long-sleeve shirts and pants at work – all mostly black.

34. What kept you sane?
What makes you think I’m still sane?

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Truthfully, still don’t care.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The IR reforms here in Australia, and the growing fear of America.

37. Who did you miss?
My dad.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Hmm. Off the top of my head, maybe Amelia at Locus. She’s cool fun.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005.
I can’t beat last year’s lesson. A hug and kiss from your four-year-old or five-year-old daughter can cure any woe, and their laughter will lift you whenever you hear it.

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