Friday, January 2, 2015

Old Year, New Year

I guess I'm a bit late on this, but despite having a blog for a year and a half, I'm still a rather inexperienced blogger, and seeing so many people posting special New Year's things made me want to do it too.

Most of my year was taken up with campaigning.
This was the Independence Day Parade I was in last year. And that's what I wore just about every Saturday from late January through July 19th. We went door to door for Barry Loudermilk almost every Saturday, only taking a few weeks off after the primary to rest and regroup before the runoff. I got attacked by a dog once, really more scary than anything, it scratched my shoulder really bad, ripping through two shirts, but my dad was nearby and the homeowner was a nurse. I also got threatened with jail for going door to door in a no soliciting neighborhood. Did you know the Supreme Court ruled that going door to door for religious or political purposes is not soliciting? Several people have had to pull that one out. I never got the chance.

There were also debates and fundraisers and Super Saturday rallies, our team was in four Independence Day Parades, and then we won with a huge margin. Look for Barry Loudermilk in the next Congress. Maybe I'm biased, having known him since I was five, but he'll be a great Congressman. Oh, and since I turned 18 last year, I finally got to vote!
In March, I participated in my local library's Author Festival. It was a good experience, and I'm planning on doing it again this year.

I also got my driver's license. I still don't like to drive, but it is helpful to be able to drive myself to my violin lessons, and I definitely take more frequent trips to the library than I did before. It wasn't as helpful when we had car trouble, but I didn't mind hanging out with the girls at whose house I take violin while waiting for my mom to pick me up. Speaking of violin, I played in a Vivaldi quartet in May as the Third Violin. Ashley Elliott, author of Becoming Nikki, was Second, and I believe it was that piece that set off our friendship...though the discovery at the recital that we are both Whovians may also have something to do with it.

At the end of May, I graduated.
Yes, there was a graduation photo-shoot, but this isn't from it and since you can always tell I hate photo-shoots, I'm not posting one of those. The graduation was okay, but I didn't really care. What I did care about was getting to hold Barry Loudermilk's granddaughter who was two weeks old at the time. Best part of the day. It was a pretty normal homeschool graduation, but I'm definitely glad it's over and I don't have to do it again. (And I don't ever have to wear the stupid hat again. Besides looking weird, it was difficult to fit over a Katniss braid.)

Also in May, we changed churches. Don't regret that at all. In fact, I doubt Becoming Nikki would be published if I hadn't, since I rarely saw Ashley before. I really like our new church, and the people there, some of whom we met and got to know through the campaign. I just wish we lived closer.

In June I got a job at a Classical Conversations Parent Practicum taking care of the 3-5-year-olds. I loved it! Of course, it wasn't always easy, especially since I developed a massive headache the first day, but being in a room with 12 or so preschoolers all day is fine with me, on a short term basis, anyway. There were more kids, but we had two groups that switched out. We sang Frozen constantly and I was flattered when a little girl told me my hair was just like Anna's. One little girl, upon arriving and hearing someone down the hall playing Frozen, asked me with concern why I let them have my "music thing" (my mp3 player in a zip up speaker). It was great, even though I was sometimes frustrated by the teen helpers.

I taught a little girl six weeks of violin lessons as a trial, which was great the first few weeks until she stopped practicing. :(

While the campaign was still going, I rewrote both Creighton Hill and The Crossways. I consider that quite an accomplishment. Around the time it was ending, I started really working on Espionage. I plugged away at that, meaning to finish by the end of August, but I got stuck on chapter 8. So I finished it by the end of September instead. Then in October I started Crannig Castle. Slowly. This is the fourth month, and I'm still just barely more than halfway done.

I started an Etsy shop with little girl clothes. I haven't exactly figured out how to get that going yet, but that's a goal for this year.

Throughout November, I largely worked on Becoming Nikki.
I took Ashley's amazing photograph and Photoshopped it into a cover and formatted and proofread and checked for formatting errors a three hundred page book. And then there was a delay in getting the final version because the last couple of typos were found while I was at Disney World.
It was a great trip. We were there for nine days and visited each park twice, except Magic Kingdom which we visited three times. I got best in hour on Toy Story Mania once, though that wasn't even my top score of 175,900. And our last day at Hollywood Studios, we got to Toy Story when the wait time said 5 minutes and were the last people to get into an empty ride vehicle. Basically the last of the first riders. I rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 6 times, the most of the whole family. Star Tours was pretty awesome, as always, and my dad was even the rebel spy once. I did Mission Space Green for the first time, but was talked out of Orange because of the headache warnings. We did the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package and I got a great view of the first violinist. Jonathan Groff was our narrator, so that was pretty cool, too. He didn't say any of Kristoff's lines, though. My mom and I met Elsa and Anna while my dad and sisters went on Space Mountain. That was neat. Who cares that I'm eighteen?
I could go on and on forever about Disney, but I won't. When I got back, I came up with a plan to finish Crannig Castle by the end of the month. Well, I got sick over Christmas, not fun at all, and I still have a nasty cough, so it hasn't exactly happened yet. I'm halfway through chapter 15 of a projected 28. I have a plan, though.

For the new year, I'm really not sure what will happen. There are several possibilities for big change in my family's life that may or may not happen. Right now, I'm just waiting on some things. But I am planning on finishing Crannig Castle, duh, revising the entire trilogy and getting it off to beta readers so I can publish Creighton Hill this spring. I'm really looking forward to being done with Time Captives, because it is quite literally the hardest story I've ever written and I'm really eager to get onto my next project. That one is going to be awesome.

Another plan I have for this year is to play in a student orchestra at a local college. This is the first semester it will really work out, so I'm really excited. I've wanted to play in an orchestra for a long time, and I finally can, even if it is only a student one.

I hope everyone else had a great 2014, and happy 2015 to you all!

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