“By the afternoon they had reached the eaves of Mirkwood, and were resting almost beneath the great overhanging boughs of its outer trees. Their trunks were huge and gnarled, their branches twisted, their leaves were dark and long. Ivy grew on them and trailed along the ground.”
~The Hobbit, Chapter 7: Queer Lodgings
We have come to Mirkwood, and the end of 2016! It’s been a great journey so far, and I anticipate the rest of the journey will be even more exciting! Just for fun, here are a few stats I’ve pulled together from the year:
Most miles walked in one month- 83.7 (August)
Least miles walked in one month- 44.2 (September)
Average miles walked per month- 62.3
Miles remaining to The Lonely Mountain- 245.2
Miles remaining to return home- 1058.2
Estimated return date- June 2018
I’m really looking forward to 2017, because I have a plan to incorporate walking into my writing routine by using dictation! That should up my mileage by quite a bit, if I can commit to it. As a goal, I’m hoping to raise my average miles per month to 70 (which will shave about two months off my journey!).
Wow. Okay, I have a lot of feelings about this book, not all of them were good (as you can tell, if you kept up with my comments as I was reading), but overall, the ending of this book made up for any flaws in the storytelling. The ending… I had to stop reading and drive in silence for a long time, just to digest it. ‘Ka is a wheel’ was an overarching theme throughout the series, but I never really understood the significance until I read the end. The true end, not the feel-good, make-you-cry, first ending. And Mr. King was correct, I could have just left the book with that first ending and been perfectly content. I considered it, actually. But I’m ultimately glad I didn’t though. Quite frankly, most of the Stephen King endings I’ve read have left a lot to be desired (I’m looking at YOU “Under The Dome”), but I think I know what happened now. He used up all his good ending mojo on this book. That’s what it has to be 🙂
Anyway, it was a great end to a pretty good series, and I’m glad I got them all read this year! 🙂
Okay, now that we have all that out of the way, it’s the end of the year! That means, it’s time to take a look back at what I’ve accomplished this year and outline what I plan to accomplish in the new year! Here we go!
Despite Goodreads’ passive-aggressive irony, I feel really good about this year! I finished The Dark Tower series, and managed to surpass my goal of reading 50 books in 2016! All in all, it’s been a good year, and I look forward to great things in 2017.
My goals for the upcoming year include:
Read 55 books– I’ve stuck to 50 books for the past two years, and pretty easily surpassed that goal. Time to edge it up a little I think, especially with my new access to audiobooks, thanks to Audible. 55 books is a reasonable stretch. Right?
Read the first eight books of the Dresden Files series– This is my new series to read in 2017! According to my research, there’s fifteen books currently published (not including all the little in-between books, which I’m currently planning to ignore) and one due for release in 2017, but I’m only going to try to finish the first eight. As my series goals have generally been seven books to a series, I think this fits nicely with my goal to stretch myself a bit. The premise of these books (a modern wizard PI solves paranormal crimes) appeals to me greatly and I’ve heard wonderful things about James Marsters as a narrator. I’m really looking forward to what’s coming up!
And that’s my year! I’ll have a new Challenge up on Goodreads in the new year, and you can check out my to-read list to get an idea of what I might read in the year ahead (fair warning: the list needs to be reorganized, badly. I plan to get on that soon, but it will still give you a pretty good idea of what I have coming up).
The first draft of The Stars Are Fire is complete! 😀 It needs a lot of research and a lot of editing before it’s ready for its debut, but this is the first year I have ever written “The End” on a novel that I started in November. I’m super proud of that accomplishment and it makes me feel incredibly optimistic about the upcoming year! I’ve already got my plan lined out and right now I’m looking at a tentative publication date sometime in September! That’ll be pushing it, honestly, but if I’ve gotten it published by this time next year, I’ll be very happy 😀
What’s Coming Up in December
…I mean, basically 🙂 This time of year is usually the most stressful time of year for me, so I try not to compound that with strenuous goals. I’m letting TSAF rest until January, and the most stressful thing I have on my calendar is trying to get back into posting Double The Baggins, Twice The Took, but even that I’m not worrying about too much. If I get one chapter out, I’ll honestly be pretty happy 🙂 I also have the end of the year blog post to write, which is a monster, and I’m helping my friend, Sarah with some editing, so I won’t be slacking, I can assure you.
And now, the cute animal of the month!
This awesome dude is a kinkajou (also called a honey bear)!
He is a rainforest mammal and he is about the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long while.
If anyone was wondering what to get me for Christmas… now you know ;P