Byzantium's Shores, has a tradition of answering an end-of-year questionnaire every New Year's Eve. I always post my Best Of/Worst Of, but it just doesn't seem to be pertinent this year. I hope Kelly won't mind my pinching his questionnaire from him, then paring it down to just those questions that apply to life as I now live it, and editing some of those...
1 Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I always make one or two that I think are reasonable. Last year, all I resolved to do was "...roll with the punches and feel deserving of the strokes..." I think I lived up to that quite well. As for 2014, I already wrote about that, here.
2 Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but newlyweds Jacey and Kyle took in baby Emerson to foster. That counts. BIG time.
3 Did anyone close to you die?
Death seemed to allude me this year, for a change. On the celebrity level, I did have a hard time losing Ray Manzarak and Richie Havens.
4 What countries did you visit?
England, Mexico, and Belize. All via my writing. Maybe I'll go physically this year!
5 What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Health care. Period.
6 What was your biggest achievement/failure of the year?
You know, I just don't think in those terms anymore. There's no such thing as failure, unless we fail ourselves in some way, and achievement is grossly overrated. I wrote, I grew; sometimes I stepped outside my comfort zone and sometimes, when I thought it was the right thing to do, I stood back and observed. If I was better at some things than I was at others, well, it's all just part of learning and evolving. Damn! Getting older is such a relief!
7 Whose behavior merited celebration?
Nettl's, for handling some sticky situations at her job with so much grace and wisdom. And for continuing to put up with me with so much patience and understanding!
8 Whose behavior appalled and depressed you?
The United Sates of America. I'm so disappointed in my country right now that I could give up my citizenship without blinking. That's not only a tragedy, it's a crime. This is not the country I was born in. 'Nuff said.
9 What did you get really excited about?
I thought a movie deal was a sure thing. It might still happen, but I haven't heard anything. Anyway, for a few months there I was really excited!
10 What song will always remind you of 2013?
Darkest Hour by Arlo Guthrie, not for any reason except that I heard it a lot during my late writing nights and it reminded me of Nettl.
11 Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
Happier, sadder... I no longer think in those terms, either. It's a continuum and life is for learning via all of it.
12 What do you wish you'd done more of?
Of course, I wish I'd been able to have more alone time for contemplative writing, but more, I wish I'd been kinder to myself over the situation.
13 What do you wish you'd done less of?
Clean up dog poo, feel ill, judge myself and others.
14 What was your favorite TV program?
Because we don't have cable and only watch Netflix and Amazon Prime, my choices were few (plus, I've just never liked TV all that much). I did get into The Midsomer Murders, though, until toward the end when they jumped the shark and the crimes turned more grizzly than I like. I then found the George Gently series. I really liked that one!
15 What was the best book you read?
Keith Richards' Life. Excellent book. I plan to read it again in 2014.
16 What was your greatest musical discovery?
Me! My son gave me a Luna Trinity 12-string guitar for my birthday and I started playing again. It took me no time to get my chops back, even after 13 years of not playing.
17 What were your favorite films of this year?
We only went out to see a couple of movies, none of which really wowed me. On Netflix, though, I fell in love with a British documentary series called Monarchy. I watched it at least three times since I discovered it.
18 How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
I haven't bothered with fashion since 1983, but this year I learned that I really do look better if I wear makeup. And I've re-owned my love of dark eye shadows. Take that! As far as clothing is concerned, I've adopted a skinny jeans/knee boots/tunics look that is flattering on me. In 2014, however, I intend to reclaim my love of denim bib overalls. Kelly will be happy to read that.
19 What kept you sane?
The characters in my books, especially Gordon Hammond, but maybe that's insane and I just don't know it.
20 Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
After deciding that I'd like him to play the role of Gordon, I grew very fond of the gentle, classy talents of Rupert Friend.
21 What political issues stirred you the most?
Healthcare, civil rights, and the corporate feudal system this country has become. Bah. Don't get me started.
22 Who did you miss?
This year, it was my mom, which was weird but allowed me to make peace with her and let her off the hook. That gave me great deal of peace as well.
23 Who was the most exciting new person you met?
The young woman whom I would like to play my leading female role. Her name is Valerie Thrasher and she has more talent, energy, and charisma than anyone I've met in years.
24 Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:
"Not my circus, not my monkeys."
25 Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream..."
Have a very happy New Year!