Perfect Hindsight

Foggy Day in 2020

This year… just… this year.

I start these yearly review posts with a list of goals in early January and update them as time goes by. Every time I’ve come back to add notes in 2020 the ‘normal’ world has slipped a little further away.

This was not a year for goals or resolutions or anything beyond just getting through. It was nowhere near as bad as it could have been, but it was that low level of incomprehensible wrongness where if you squinted everything was normal. And it really, really wasn’t.

So I’m throwing out my normal review formatting and trying something new. The history books will have plenty to say about this year (and most likely the next few to come) so I won’t rehash the obvious.

The Sad

A Wise Old Shiva Fluff
A Wise Old Fluff
  • In August, Shiva the NinjaPuppeh passed away
  • Father-in-law had a stroke in October and began the transition into long term nursing care

The Happy

World of Warcraft - Walk ALL the minutes - Treadmill Computer
Walk ALL the minutes!
  • Another wedding anniversary, yay! 😁
  • Started working from home fulltime March 10, which had been a life goal
  • Got in the habit of weekly Skype calls with family, Board Game Arena is awesome!
  • Created my own AWS hosted database-backend-frontend stack for my GetPut Adventures game. Working on turning it into a proper library site so I can start posting story-games!
  • Started walking on the treadmill again while playing WoW

The Everything Else

I had to miss out on volunteering in-person at the Feb 2020 Katsucon because of work but was the Vice-Chair co-Assitant before the con. Then Beth got promoted and now I’m the co-Assitant for the Chair! (And then the 2021 con got canceled. Arg.)

The United Christian Parish craft fair that I help my Mom with was also canceled. Heck, everything was canceled… it was just that kind of year.

The backyard corner project
Hidden: giant pile of pea gravel

I cleaned up the back corner of the yard, so where there once were weeds and a giant pile of pea gravel and several small trees… there is now just grass! I’ve been meaning to do this for a while and it was nice to finally get it done.

I’ve also begun to move on decluttering and organizing the house. I am very much a ‘I might use it someday’ horder and I’ve been trying to get better about it. At the moment I’m still mostly organizing things so I can get rid of duplicates but I have made the step of recycling/donating/trashing some of it.

Collection of new and wip artwork

I finished up two new model horses (Rosalina and Bergkam Droom) and started a bunch more. I painted a bunch of Fat Pony magnets, as well as some other Fat Animals, and did a lot of work to get the existing stock up into the shop.

I even got a commission to cast some of the Fat Ponies with neodymium magnets and now have a process for that! 😁

Writing Prompt eBooks

I wrote three new 31 Days of ebooks this year (Death, Memory, and Magic), reformatted four of the older yearly collections (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014), and started work on a few others.

I updated the blog theme and went back and made sure every one of the old SSP posts was in the new format. I also made a lot of new images! Thus I should be able to post something to my writing Instagram every day in 2021 and that should help build up followers (I hope).

I did full rewrite of Too Old for Neverland and it’s up in chapter 1 of Thursday’s Child has Far To Go, started Dead Roses and Crossbows, and worked on Bitter Mint and Chocolate.

I wrote a large pile of #vss365 responses, a few 500 Words stories, and started reorganizing/reformatting the Stories archive again for reasons.

GetPut Adventures - Room and Inventory Actions

For NaNoWriMo 2020 I worked on the code for GetPut Adventures and on writing the test story. It turned out I’m less adept at writing mysteries than I’d hoped, so that story will take a bunch more work to polish up into something playable.

I got a grant of free credits from AWS to try and build out the project into something I could use to generate income someday, so that’s high on the list for things to play around with next year.

Pile of Bedside Books (TBR pile)
A tiny sliver of the TBR pile

I did make some inroads on my TBR pile this year, although not giant ones. I still haven’t finished all of them, including one that’s all about the topic of finishing things. 😂

Nerd Fitness Rebellion logo

I did three rounds of the Nerd Fitness Rebellion challenges in January, February, and April… and then never went back.

Even with a free trial of their new phone app I never really got back into the swing of things this year. I did pick up treadmill gaming again at the very end of the year, so I may go poke my nose into NF waters once I’m back to the habit of daily movement.

It looks like they’ve made some massive changes to the way the forums are setup and guilds arr, err, guilding? So it’s a solid maybe.

I’ve been cooking a lot more this year and have managed to break a lot of my bad food habits. With the Walmart deliveries it’s been a lot easier to make sure I have fresh veggies and fruit and that I actually eat them before they go bad.

I had a lot of health goals and plans going into 2020, none of which made it out the otherside. But that’s just how The Year That Wasn’t rolls and I’m not going to take the failures personally.

World of Warcraft - waiting for Shadowlands to start - Icepaw

On a treadmilling note, I had the very good luck of being able to start out the Shadowlands expansion the moment it opened! It’s the first time I’ve been able to do that with WoW and it was a blast.

I’m having a lot of fun playing again and it looks like I may be able to get my friends to start running some dungeons with me. *crosses paws*

Blog Traffic Jan-Dec 2020

In August my old host (Bluehost) started kicking up 404’s and taking forever to load anything. While I was fighting with support to figure out what was wrong the lag and timeouts tanked my Google search and Pinterest traffic.

I finally threw in the towel and moved to Sitegrounds (which so far as had perfect uptime and awesome customer support) and after two months my traffic was back up to where it used to be.

I’m up about 20% in terms of sessions and users from last year, but for the most part I’m pretty much in the same belt as where I’ve been since 2017.

(It only stayed this clean for a second or so…)

The crafting business came out significantly in the red this year due to missing the craft fair, moving hosting providers, and slow sales overall. I do have a decent inventory in place now, so I won’t have to scramble to put together a table in the future (yay!).

Now I just need to get everything up in the shop… I have so much art!

I have no idea what the market is going to be like next year, so I think I’m going to focus on just getting the word out about the existing inventory. I’m not very good at the marketing side of things, alas.

I may cancel my Canva subscription once I have all the SSP images done so I can pick up a Buffer subscription again. (It would be nice to be able to plan posts more than a handful of days in advance!)

All in all, it was a dumpster fire of a year and I’ve never been so grateful to says…

Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021!

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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