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2014 in review

by Rob Friesel


The past few years, I’ve done a “round-up” of that year by reflecting on the personal goals that I’d set for that romp around the sun. (See also: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.) I eschewed the formal, goal-oriented approach this year because, frankly, there was just too much on my plate as it was. Who wants the added overhead of filling out goofy spreadsheets or crap like that?1 Nevertheless, it was an absolutely huge year.

Some highlights:

  1. Skiing! A bunch of it. And H. is becoming a pretty good skiing companion as well. Another couple years and he’ll be dusting me.
  2. More talks. Still just local meet-ups and the like, but I’ve started putting my proposals out there for larger, more established events. No takers yet, but it’s all in the trying, I suppose.
  3. My book came out. The technical, non-fiction one. You know the one. I promised I wouldn’t do any more shameless self-promotions though.
  4. My story came out. I didn’t make any similar promises to quit talking about this though. And although I won’t see a dime from it, I’m more proud of this. “Where the Air is Sweet and the Clouds are a Different Shape” can be found in Angela Palm’s Please Do Not Remove.
  5. No more “linkdump” posts. These. They had always been the reason that I stuck with Delicious as long as I did. But ownership has changed hands a few times and APIs and RSS feeds or whatever it was that I was using to suck that stuff into that site… Well, those things haven’t stayed stable. And things were long overdue for a change around here anyway.2
  6. Trips! Vacations! After nearly a decade of talking about renting a lake house with some friends, we finally did. And we took the boys down to DC… two years after we originally planned to do so. Also: a Thanksgiving trip to West Virginia. An awful lot of traveling for us.
  7. I learned to brew beer. Something I’ve always wanted to learn to do. And I finally pulled the trigger on it. Had a little help getting started, but I’m off and running now. I must say I’ve been pleased with the results so far.
  8. Running. As I write this, I’m over 200 miles for the year. This may not seem like all that much for you marathoners out there, but it’s a lot for me.
  9. Other exercise. I already mentioned the skiing and running. But I also did over 230 miles on the exercise bike. I joined a gym and have committed myself to going 4 or more times each week. And since mid-September that’s been working. I’ve also managed to start myself on a little strength training on those mornings where time allows. (I’m trying to do that twice or more each week but that’s a little less consistent.)
  10. Books and reading. Didn’t come close to the 48 that I targeted for the year.3 It was a good mix of the fiction and non, new stuff and re-reads.
  11. Watching these boys grow up. Wow. These kids amaze me every single day. And different as can be.

What will 2015 hold? I started a new role at work at the beginning of December, so I’ll be enmeshed in figuring that out. I imagine I’ll be pitching more talks, and hopefully get one or two accepted. Write another book? And/or start in on more serious fiction writing again?4 More of the above: more skiing, more brewing, more exercise… And somewhere along the way, I hope to find a couple of new things to see or do or learn.

  1. Especially since most of that junk (e.g., reading lists, running data, etc.) is getting tracked anyway. []
  2. To those of you still reading by way of RSS: “Sorry about that!” The technical details go something like this: the Postalicious plugin for WordPress (apparently defunct?) used to suck in the links I posted to Delicious — never more frequently than 24 hours apart, and never posting fewer than 5 links. As I mentioned, things seem to have broken down in my (er…) supply chain, so I decided to go a different route. My current set up involves pulling posts out of Tumblr using FeedWordPress syndication plugin. But rather than automatically post (the format doesn’t really translate one-to-one), they go into a “Pending” status where I review them, tweak them, and then post them. So anyway, when your RSS feed blows up because there’s suddenly a bunch of stuff added seemingly out of order, that’s just me getting off my lazy ass. []
  3. As I write this, I’m locked in at 33 of 48 for the year, according to Goodreads. But a few of those are started-but-not-finished, and/but/also I expect to maybe squeak in a few more before the year is out. (I expect I won’t, however, update this post.) []
  4. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I wrote practically no fiction in 2014. []

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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