I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be,
but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.
— Douglas Pagels

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Goal Review, and Looking Ahead to 2016

The end of year already...crazy. If you've been reading more than 12 months, you know the drill. It took me a while to post my goals for 2015, but I'm feeling somewhat optimistic. Let's see how I did:

2015 Goals

1. Produce artwork for charity

That last one sold for $400. It was a mind-blowing moment.

2. Put a huge dent in my manuscript(s)

I made a lot of progress on my novel, which was the goal.
I have a pretty long way to go still, but I intend to finish the 1st draft in 2016.

3. Cook one dish out of every cookbook I own

This was my biggest fail, I think. I did utilize some of the cookbooks, but I didn't make something from every one of them. There's really no excuse, as I cooked like a maniac this year. I could say that it wasn't feasible financially, but it was mostly a matter of poor planning. So boohiss on me. It's going on my 2016 list, and it will happen.

4. Attend at least two conventions

5. Renovate my website

Pretty much done, although all I did was revert back to basic Blogger templates. I'm happy with my decision for now. People have asked why I haven't moved to Wordpress yet, but I'm fairly partial to Google products. I have to say my reader base grew by leaps and bounds when I moved from Geocities (yes, Yahoo Geocities, kids!) to Livejournal (which is dead as a doornail), and now Google Blogger as of 2008...wow seven years now. I've had over 150,000 hits on my blogs since I installed the counter in late 2009. It was a good move, and I'm not fixing what isn't broken.

As always, thanks for being here. I appreciate my readers.

6. Read a classic novel

Not quite long enough to be considered a novel, but The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is a story that I had never read before, believe it or not. I had heard so much about it, and when I found the book at a thrift store, I happily grabbed it. It is very touching, and forces you to think about the world and its varying perspectives. As others have claimed, I did shed a tear at the end.

7. Goal weight: 155 lbs

Grrrr. Okay, I have to give myself some credit. I did lose some weight, which is a heck of a lot better than gaining. In fact, I lost right at 10 pounds. It's not goal weight, but a step in the right direction. This will stay on the list until I achieve it and learn to maintain it.

Lo, and behold...I'm ready this year! Drum roll please - the new list!

2016 Goals

*Cook one dish out of every cookbook I own.
*Do not bring Coca-Cola into the house! Pasta either!
*Complete all art projects currently in progress.
*Be less wasteful and more productive with my time.
*For the love of God...achieve goal weight already.

A little lagniappe for you:

Favorite book of 2015: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Favorite blog of 2015: Brain Pickings (by a MILE)
Favorite album of 2015: Beneath the Skin by Of Monsters and Men
Favorite show of 2015: Doctor Who (of course)
Favorite moment of 2015: Meeting my Sweet Pea - Sadie Nicole!

This was a weird year. Unique. A bit rocky. Definitely a roller coaster. I moved into public housing for the first time, and while I could not be happier to finally live alone (hallelujah!!!!!!), the finality of my no-win circumstances threw me into a pit of loneliness and depression that I was not expecting. I've had some pretty difficult moments, honestly. If you've followed closely, you know I also had a hard time blogging this year, although I did eventually catch up. I just couldn't seem to spit out the words I wanted to say. Not sure I can now, even, but I'm trying. I hate to report that my verbal communication hasn't been any better. Completing sentences is more challenging than usual these days, and it is very frustrating. I know HKPP and CKD are the culprits behind this, but also severe sleep deprivation. I started on pressurized oxygen this year, and it helps me to breathe, but not to sleep as hoped. I pray for a solution, lest I drop dead in my 30s from lack of rest. Sometimes, I think it's really going to happen. But here I am, still kicking. I guess there are advantages to being stubborn.

I've lost and/or said goodbye to a few friends this year, but gained some new ones. I'm so glad to know them, and I'm thankful that they accept me for who I am. They've taught me a lot already, and I hope we're friends for life. Of course, the greatest addition to my life this year is my Sadie. Sorry adults, babies win. :) And I love that child with my entire heart and soul, as I do her sister Zoey and cousin Jo. I look forward to seeing these children grow up, God willing. I think about their future sometimes, and I don't see myself there, but I have every intention of defying that vision. Systemic disease be damned, I'm so freaking tired and have little to live for, but those babies are worth the battle.

In spite of the struggle, I look forward to days ahead. 2016, let's do this.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas 2015

It was an unusually warm Christmas on the Gulf Coast.
Eighty degrees and humid!
Christmas Eeyore watching the neighbor kids play.

But you know what they say about the weather.
"Just give it a few minutes. It'll change."

I had a serious paralytic episode before Christmas.
I haven't blogged about it yet, but I will eventually
over on the HKPP blog.
At any rate, I was relieved to be mobile again by
Christmas morning. I couldn't drive, but I carpooled to rural
Alabama for festivities with my brother, sis in law, and her family.

Like a good Creole-Cajun, I made dirty rice.

I'm not a baker, but these cookie bars turned out well.

SWOON! These lemon cookies turned out REALLY well.

I'm not big on material things, but I received so many
lovely gifts from all over the country.
My Amazon wish list was bombarded by friends this year.
My heart is full.
Awesomeness from my friends at Whovians of the Gulf Coast!

I wear knee-high socks year-round thanks to Muscular Dystrophy.

These supplements are a vital part of my Muscular Dystrophy regimen.
Insurance doesn't pay for them because they're over the counter.
Very thankful to have received enough to last a year.

The holidays aren't always easy, but I had a nice Christmas.

I'm thankful.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Geekonomicon 2015

Surprisingly, I've never drawn a TARDIS
so I'll be drawing that last photo soon, as well as others.

In spite of being extremely sleep-deprived and in horrendous pain, I had an absolute blast. I'm so glad I managed to go all three days, running on about five hours total sleep. My cognition suffered greatly and I had a difficult time spitting out correct and complete sentences. It was frustrating, but I made a tremendous effort to stay upbeat and friendly. I was told that I seemed happy, and while I could have easily said "If you only knew my misery", my response was "Yes, I am very happy to be here." And it was the truth. I had been looking forward to this weekend all year, and although I had a couple of rough moments, I was glad to be hanging out with my Whovian peeps from Mississippi and Louisiana. Such cool people, all of them. I'm blessed to call them friends, and I hope they know how much their acceptance of me has made a positive impact on my life.

You already know about this if you're on my Facebook, but I had an experience at the con that was quite unexpected. On Friday, I attended a couple of writer's panels. After asking several questions during the Q&A, two guests on the panel, a published author and an editor/publisher, asked to read some of my work. I returned on Saturday and gave them Chapter 1 of The Children of Mossy Hollow. I thought I was going to be sick I was so nervous, and I still can't believe I gave complete strangers a piece of my soul. On Sunday, I met with the author again. She asked me if I was scared about giving her my story. "Terrified" was my response. She smiled and said "You shouldn't be. You are a step ahead of almost everyone who has ever given me their work. You have absolutely nothing to worry about." She gave me her editor's contact info and said "I know it's scary, but don't be scared. I promise you have nothing to worry about. You're in really good shape here...a cut above the rest." I bought one of her novels. Inside it, she wrote "To Kelli - KEEP WRITING!!! And I can't wait to read more!" I walked away teary-eyed and nauseated. That was the first time I had ever let a stranger beta read my work, and my nerves were wrecked. It was humbling and unforgettable. 

I guess I have a novel to finish now.

Indy 500 the rolling walker was a god-send, as usual. I wouldn't be able to do things like this without the walker. I get aggravated over it sometimes, but I'm really grateful to have it. I don't take what little mobility I have for granted. I'm hoping I'll be able to attend two or three conventions next year. We'll see.

My body unfortunately revolted against me a few days later in a very big way. I'm still recovering from the worst HKPP episode I've had in a couple of years. It was potentially catastrophic, and I feel very lucky to be okay. I will write about it on my medical blog soon and notify readers here.

December has zoomed by...Christmas is already upon us. Hope you're all having a fantastic holiday season.