Friday, December 26, 2014

Year End Post: Vol. 1

So, five months is a long time to go between blogs, but it's been a crazy five months. This semester kind of kicked my butt, and not in the good way. Like, when you're at the gym and the perky blonde lady isn't sweating at all and she's got a perfect pony tail and her eye makeup is still pristine and she's like "this teacher kicks my butt!" I'm the one in the corner, red-faced, grunting and farting and trying not to vomit. This year was difficult.

But that's not to say that this year was without merit. I did a lot this year, and I thought I'd do a year-end wrap up post to say that yes, some good things did happen this year, and I need to be thankful for those things instead of dwelling on everything that went awry.

1. I got 75 rejections.

I have a goal of getting 100 rejections each year, because if I'm getting 100 rejections, it means I'm sending out work. Lots of work. I didn't reach that goal. I didn't reach that goal partly because things got a little hectic here at the end of the year. But I'd also like to think I didn't reach it due partly to:

2. I got 21 acceptances.

Twenty-one journals said yes to me! I might do a whole post on the whole process of acceptances & rejections & sending work out, because it's a weird process. It's like playing the lottery, and it's very tedious to send your work out, and I have to make it a game in as many ways as possible (the 100 rejections thing is one of those ways), but putting the work in is totally worth it. I got into a couple of my favorite magazines this year and I need to think about that on the bad days.

3. I completed yoga teacher training.

I am now a certified yoga teacher. I've only taught one class, but I've been thinking about trying to teach more. I really love teaching (both English and yoga), and there is something really nice about teaching a yoga class as opposed to an English class: mostly everyone who shows up to a yoga class is there by choice. I don't have to teach to the back-row sitters who are just snapchatting their buddies. Though, I guess, you'd be surprised about how many people I see texting in yoga.

4. On that note, I practiced yoga 160 times.

Hopefully a handful more by the end of the year. This is short of my goal for the year by 40 practices, but I celebrated my two-year yogaversary in November and I can't believe it. This is the longest I've ever stuck with any physical practice. I've started and quit so many sports in my life: volleyball, track, basketball, soccer, softball, cheerleading, running. I guess I was in cheerleading for three years, which is a little embarrassing to admit. Anyway, all this to say that I think I'll be happy about the number 160 instead of sad about the 40 I didn't do.

5. I did a buttaload of poetry readings.

I had a goal for this year in terms of poetry readings. That number was four, and I did way more than that. At least double. I love doing poetry readings more than I love doing just about any other thing, so this is definitely a goal I'm going to keep going into the new year.

6. I wrote approximately 110 poems.

Some of the poems I wrote and gave away to people at the Magers & Quinn 20th anniversary party, and some of the poems I wrote for Revolver's Write Fight, but I have most of the poems sitting on my desktop. I wanted to write 200 poems this year and I didn't do that, but I did write more than half that. And that's nothing to sneeze at.

7. I traveled. A lot.

I started the year in Ohio/Indiana for a little expedition related to a project I'm working on. I went on a writing retreat on the way back home in Wisconsin, where I almost got stuck because the weather on the day I left was about -30 degrees. IT WAS INSANE. But obviously I made it home.

I went to Alaska! This has been on my list of "yeah right" things I've wanted to do for such a long time, and for my husband's graduation present, his parents got us tickets to go to Juneau to visit his brother and their little family. It was such a blast.

I went to Vermont for the Bennington Writing Seminars anniversary thing, which was basically just a mini reunion for my grad school class, which was amazing.

I flew to Ohio right before fall semester started so I could go to my sister's baby shower, which was such a crazy time. I may never get to see her pregnant again, so there's no way in hell I was going to miss that one. It's so insane that humans can grow other humans inside of them.

I also got to go to Florida in May, where I got a ridiculous sunburn. I mean, a sunburn so bad I couldn't sleep on my back for a week. But I also got to see my mom and hang out with my family for a week, so no complaints.

8. I became an aunt.

Will's brother and his wife had a baby girl in May, and MY sister had a baby boy in November! I have never been much of a baby person, but it's totally different when it's a baby in your family. These kids are going to be so spoiled. I love it.

There are so many other things I did this year, too, and I may post about some more specific events in the coming days before the new year, but writing out these things I have to be thankful for was something I've been meaning to do for a long time. It's so easy to get caught up in the little stuff and forget the good things.

I hope you all had a fantastic year. Go and be good to each other.


  1. What a great year! Congrats and thanks for the wrap-up. You are an inspiration to me, and I've been doing your 100 Rejections thing since I first saw it here in your blog. I have 21 acceptances, too! But I failed even to send out 100 packets this year...sigh... I'll try again next year!

    1. Thanks, Kathleen! I actually got three more before the new year rolled around, so I ended up at 78 rejections. And one more acceptance! Keep on sending, lady!