- 3 academic articles — although this falls far below my expectations of the year since 2 are co-authored, and my one bucket list pub is not out yet. I’ve really been disappointed in myself academically speaking this year because of Things We Shall Not Talk About* and hope 2021 will be better. (*not the `rona, btw. I’ve managed to so far avoid being infected. Let us hope this remains the case until I hopefully get vaccinated next year).
- 1 radio interview — as an academic, not an author, though.
- 3 short stories published — although all three have disappeared from public radar/notice. Because of Things We Shall Not Talk About Because Talking About Things Will Invite More Trauma.
- 1 poem published
- Staying alive — by the skin of my teeth given two accidents/injuries, one surgery and irregularities causing cancer scare anxieties. Though it looks like I’m in the clear, barring pending ultrasound. Fingers crossed and thinking positive thoughts.
- Language Learning — slow and steady. I have been dreaming in French, Latin and Welsh. `nuff said.
- Chess — 10-15 minutes of chess every night means I’ve advanced at a ridiculous rate compared to the past two decades. Very happy about this. When I attain a 1500-2000 Blitz rating, I’m treating myself to a fancy chess set. I don’t have a physical chess set in Chez Nin yet.
- Music learning and composition — it means a lot to me that I can now notate some of my compositions, and that I can play Bach on both piano and classical guitar (not well but at least I can play!). Debussy too, but very very gingerly — this will take some years. Nevertheless, it hasn’t been easy. I’ve had more than one dark night of the musical soul, which is also why I have stopped blogging about my music-learning journey (apart from this post). Proof’s in the pudding. I’m focusing my energy on preparing for exams.
- Music Theory — Made so much headway it’s unbelievable.
- Gardening — Because I haven’t travelled in over a year, I’m actually at home. Which means I’m killing plants less and am becoming even more of a nutty plant lady.
- Cooking — I’ve managed to learn new things this year although I still can’t make satisfactory puff pastry and I’m still scared to try making macarons but if I ever want the lavender-vanilla macarons I’ve been dreaming about for years, I need to learn. Oh, and rediscovering the joys of cast iron cooking. Plus, I made the most goddamn awesome brown butter macadamia nut blondies earlier this year. Haven’t made it again for fear I’d become even more rotund but my love affair with brown butter continues.
Eh. Could be worse, I guess. Don’t really have major goals for 2021 apart from keeping my job by fulfilling deadlines and KPI goals, and doing well in all music exams. Apart from that I’m all about being kinder to myself by not having lofty goals this coming year since I feel so much disappointment re failing to meet my goals this year. Life’s too short, I aim to enjoy what’s left of it and to stop to smell the roses more.
Am I still a creative writer? I don’t know. I told friends that it’s hard for me to write fiction and poetry anymore. Every time I try, I get the shakes. That’s the extent of the severity of the damage done to me this year by Things We Shall Not Talk About.
I may never write fiction or poetry again. I don’t know. My heart’s not in it anymore.