Twelve Months and a Dragon

Dragon on Gingotts Bank
Life needs MOAR DRAGONS!

This has been a year, omg.

I had good intentions, I did, but things got so crazy so quickly that I just lost track of everything beyond ‘get up, go to work, come home, sleep’. I was so far into the tunnel vision that I thought I hadn’t accomplished much this year until I started making the list.

Part of that was because I didn’t accomplish a single thing on my Twelve Things list of resolutions. I did attempt several of them, so I’m giving myself partial credit!

2015 Highlights Reel

  • Moved into a new awesome house of awesomeness!
  • Had to say goodbye to my beloved Ginger (HoundDoggie)
  • Got a new cat (of Undetermined Name)
  • Went to Harry Potter Land for my birthday
  • Found a forever home for a giant black German Shepherd foster dog

Accomplishments of 2015

Real Life Stuffs

A GingerDog in her natural habitat!
A GingerDog in her natural habitat!
  • We bought an awesome new house that is finally big enough for all of our stuff, with room to expand! I have a workbench inside as well as outside in the garage, so my desire to build all the things is strong.
  • I was able to help out someone in need and find a forever home for an emergency foster doggie (Smokey aka Doofus aka Big Black Dog). In another life I would have kept him, but alas in this reality he wasn’t a good fit.
  • 13 Year Wedding Anniversary, WOOT! ๐Ÿ˜€
  • Because of the new house were were able to offer crash space to a friend who needed a place to live while she finished out her junior-senior year in college.
  • NO PROMOTIONS!! (Seriously, it’s nice to have a year where I get to stay put and learn things and not freak out about having to work with new people and new bosses. Although I did get a new boss during the reorg, but I already know him so *handwave*)
NULLcat
NULLcat
  • I built a dog bench and computer table and a photography table.. I did mention the build all the things is strong, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • I had to say goodbye to my beloved HoundDoggie due to a fast growing non-operable tumor.
  • I got say hello to a new cat of still undetermined name (currently: NULLcat or Turnip or Flopcat or FatAss or President Taft)
  • Worked on turning the old house into a rental, which took a crazy long time due to finances and contractor delays, but it might be finished next year.
  • I tried to be better about tracking my New Year’s Resolutions and did hold on for a few months, even if I didn’t succeed it’s the thought that counts?
  • I got the treadmill fixed so I can start treadmill gaming again! Well, am waiting on the rest of the bits so I can setup the rig, but the treadmill itself is up and running.
  • I renewed my subscription to WoW because of the treadmill (and yes, this totally counts as a Life Event, so thbbbbpt).
  • I finally got up to Buffalo to see everyone again, been way too long. Now I just need to make it up to Maine in 2016 and I’ll feel all caught up! ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Went to Harry Potter land with Dad and Joe – BEST BIRTHDAY EVAR!!

Writing and Art Related

Perfecting the Plaster of Paris and Wood Glue Mix
Perfecting the Plaster of Paris and Wood Glue Mix
  • Paid for actual editing (proof-reading) for the Saturday Story Prompts five year book! This is the first time I’ve paid anyone for anything related to writing… I’m working up the courage to get a proper cover for it next.
  • Did both Camp NaNoWriMos and NaNoWriMo proper this year. Although I didn’t win any of them I did get some good solid words on paper.
  • Finally got Scrivener and am giving the old college try. So far it’s been a little frustrating to learn, but very helpful in terms of editing and plotting. I did have to swap to using a Windows laptop instead of my beloved Chromebook to write, but it’s worth it so far.
  • So much plaster casting! I played around with the mix and a metric ton of new sculpts. I’m definitely getting addicted to this since there isn’t the fear of ‘ruining’ a body because I can always make more.
  • Painted fewer horses than I had hoped too, but I’m really proud of them so it balances. Three show donations, two commissions, and one lone pony that I painted just because. Hopefully next year I’ll get more ‘just because’ ponies done…
The Wolves We Are eBook Cover v3 300x400
  • I tried to focus on finishing things, since I am well known for starting projects and then wandering off… which worked to some extent. But I did get somethings done and that’s encouraging!
  • I won a 30 minute consulting chat from Story Bistro and that was the push I needed to embrace the fact that it’s not a failure to not want to do art/writing as a day job. Dropping the profit motive has been a real eye-opener and is pushing me to really try new things!
  • Aluminum casting!! And a bit of wax casting as well, as I figured out how to make plaster molds for the aluminum. I need to rebuild the aluminum smelter, which is something that needs predictably warmer weather to do, but I should be up and running again in the spring.
  • Also, the friend who has the forge (who is letting me smelt in his backyard) also just got a kiln… so I may be renting time on that as well! ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • I did a lot of work on the The Wolves We Are short story, but it’s still not at a place where I’m comfortable releasing it as an eBook. Still, it has a better cover and is semi-edited, so it’s a heck of a lot closer to done than it was in 2014! ๐Ÿ™‚
  • I tried to focus on finishing things, since I am well known for starting projects and then wandering off… which worked to some extent. But I did get somethings done and that’s encouraging!
  • I won a 30 minute consulting chat from Story Bistro and that was the push I needed to embrace the fact that it’s not a failure to not want to do art/writing as a day job. Dropping the profit motive has been a real eye-opener and is pushing me to really try new things!
  • Aluminum casting!! And a bit of wax casting as well, as I figured out how to make plaster molds for the aluminum. I need to rebuild the aluminum smelter, which is something that needs predictably warmer weather to do, but I should be up and running again in the spring.
  • Also, the friend who has the forge (who is letting me smelt in his backyard) also just got a kiln… so I may be renting time on that as well! ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • I did a lot of work on the The Wolves We Are short story, but it’s still not at a place where I’m comfortable releasing it as an eBook. Still, it has a better cover and is semi-edited, so it’s a heck of a lot closer to done than it was in 2014! ๐Ÿ™‚

Blog Related

Sessions vs Pageviews 2015
Sessions vs Pageviews 2015
  • I’m up about 100% from last year in terms of users and pageviews, but I also turned off tracking a few times both years. It’s fun to see the improvement from when I started back in 2010. (I do wonder how much of this is just the spambots since no one ever comments on things…)
  • The most viewed posts were overwhelmingly biased to the casting and molding posts, but the Saturday Story Prompts held a close second.
  • There were only 93 new posts this year, almost all of which were Saturday Story Prompts. While it’s awesome that I’ve managed to keep these going solid for five years, I do regret not committing more art or writing in 2015! ๐Ÿ™
  • I turned commenting back on, which turned out to be a good thing because this was the year a bunch of folks who owned older customs contacted me! It was great to hear about how they were doing in the showrings (and on the shelves) and it reminded me that I am making art for other people, not really for money.

And on that note, it’s time to put 2015 to bed and start looking forward to what I’m going to accomplish next year! ๐Ÿ˜€

Failure is the New Breakfast

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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