And Then There Was Fun!

Scraps of Love Notecards

This year was one of Change and looking back over the chaos I’m a little astonished that I made it out the other side with anything extra accomplished! ?

2019 Highlights Reel (tl;dr)

All in all, not a bad year!

Jack of All Code

2019 Github History

At the end of last year, I decided it was time to seriously start looking into finding another job. I spent a lot of time on Udemy (and Github) learning new programming languages and was lucky to find a new job in April.

Which meant a large part of this year has been adjusting to a whole new workplace and new code. Add to that the fact that 5 out of the 7 people on my new team moved on to other companies roughly six months into it… and it’s been an interesting year!

I’ve gone from working with UniBasic and UniData to playing around in Java, Oracle, Javascript, Angular, CSS, etc. Thankfully the work is a combination of troubleshooting bugs and writing new features, so I get a bit of both worlds and there are a million fun new things to learn.

Other Real Life Stuff

Replacing Back Yard Fence 2019
  • We replaced the last of the original yard fencing so we have a nice sturdy dog-containment system!
  • Volunteered at Katsucon as the Vice Chair co-Assitant (yay Beth and Dave!) and promptly got food poisoning (less yay).
  • Yet another wedding anniversary, WIN! ?
  • Finally paid off my Student Loans!!!
  • Got a new Pixel 3 so I can try taking more product ‘Lifestyle Action Shots’ (Mostly it’s been photos of the pets!)
  • Stopped the Hello Fresh subscription because hubby took over cooking while he was on summer break.
  • Started rebuilding the blueberry box cover panels (to keep out not-insects) but got sick and only partially finished them.
  • I got up to visit family for Christmas and was able to work remote for part of the time, letting me spend all week with folks!
  • I long-term loaned my car to someone who then crashed it in another state and left it there (still waiting to hear if the insurance totals it or not).
  • Taft-cat had to go in for emergency bladder surgery the day I got home from my Christmas trip. $2,500 later and he’s looking like he’ll make a full recovery!

I had thought this list was going to be much longer, but I wasn’t updating this post as things happened so I had to rely on Google Photos to try and fill in the gaps. I’ll be more careful next year…

ALL the Muses!

Craft Fair Table 2019

I both did a lot and very little this year in terms of art and writing!

I started my crafting/writing business back up officially as of June 1st, but didn’t manage to come close to breaking even this year. I made roughly $200 and was about $600 in the red all said and done.

For a wide range of reasons, it was a bad six months… but in the end, I embraced the mantra of ‘You can’t fail at a Hobby.’ I had a lot of fun trying to turn things into a business and I learned a bunch from these six months!

I’ll keep trying my best to make a profit in the new year! ?


I have SO MANY PLANS for next year’s writing… I have no idea if I’ll manage to pull them all off, but I’m excited to try! ?


  • Worked out a way to level off part of my workbench for easier resin and plaster casting.
  • Participated in NaMoPaiMo with a Robin micro mini resin from Horse and Bird, but didn’t finish/win.
  • Redesigned the 31 Days of covers to look more cohesive (and cuter!)
  • Sculpted a new Fat Unicorn, Fat Pegasus, and Fat Fancy Unicorn and resculpted the Fat Pony.
  • Came up with a better way to make the OOMOO 30 molds.
  • Came up with a much better way of building the magnet leveling jigs (to go with the new molds).
  • Donated Fat Pony magnets (yet again!) to Big Orange Bash!
  • Created handmade packaging for the magnets to make them look extra nifty! (Plus it makes for much safer storage.)
  • Worked on trying to nail down the process of making magnets to see if I could do so more efficiently… and maybe sell magnets in consignment shops.
  • Painted a crazy amount of stuff for the craft fair!
  • Participated in the UCP Craft Fair and did just a smidge better than last year!

My plans for 2020’s art aren’t quite as overkill as my writing plans, but there’s definitely Grand Plans to be had!

Fitness and Health

Mountains and Teaspoons Heraldic Shield 227 x 300
Mountains and Teaspoons!

This was not a good year for Nerd Fitness challenges (alas). I caught a series of colds and other short term illnesses that kept me out of the running for most of the year. Thankfully I’m starting to feel a bit better, so I’m hoping to make up for it next year! ?

I am planning on trying again with Nerd Fitness with the January challenge. Hopefully this coming year I’ll be able to compete in every challenge!


2019 Analytics Overview Users vs Page Per Session

This was the first year that my blog traffic dropped compared to the previous year. There are a lot of reasons for that, including the bump I got last year from the free trial of Tailwind, but mostly it was caused by me not posting to the blog.

At all.

For months.

I did some things towards the end, like sign up for Buffer so I can schedule posts, but it wasn’t enough to catch up again. Hopefully, it will help in the new year so I can get back to my awesome yearly growth of old! ?

  • My mobile user percentage has been steadily climbing, so I swapped my WordPress theme from the Iconic One to Viral to make it easier to read.
  • Pretty much every measurement dropped this year compared to last year, by at least 10% (normally more). I got a little depressed listing them all out… so, no summary this time!
  • The Molds and Casting posts still take up the top 5 slots, but the Saturday Story Prompts are starting to make a comeback thanks to Pinterest!
  • There wasn’t any change worth noting in how folks find me, Pinterest is still the main influx (even with all my new Twitter activity, Boo!)
  • Added some Amazon referral links to the DIY pages and made $15.86.

As ever, the end of one year is the chance to give things another try, so…

Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020!

Failure is the New Breakfast

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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