At the end of each year, I always take a moment to examine the ups and downs I experienced. What follows is my personal and professional review of 2017. I:
* Produced hundreds of breaking news stories about the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, the worldwide refugee crisis, the big Brexit divorce, North Korea’s missile tests, the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, the French presidential election, the terror attacks on the Iranian Parliament and the Mausoleum of Ruhollah Khomeini, the wars in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, the Rohingya Muslim genocide in Myanmar, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the political crisis in Spain, the deadly Charlottesville protests, the economic disaster in Venezuela, the end of the Cassini-Huygens mission, the earthquakes in Mexico and Iran/Iraq, global warming, the Las Vegas shooting spree, numerous celebrity deaths, numerous sexual harassment/assault cases and the Oscars debacle.
* Penned 34 journal entries.
* Passed the 50,000th tweet mark on my personal Twitter account (@jadewalker).
* Shuttered my LiveJournal account after 15 years and 1,194 entries.
* Worked on my novel.
* Wrote a poem and a short story.
* Read 46 books and numerous magazines.
* Watched 48 films and dozens of TV programs.
* Traveled to Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine and Washington state.
* Went leafing in the White Mountains several times.
* Walked over 1.54 million steps (more than 656 miles) and climbed over 843 floors.
* Launched the Silent Book Club, Manchester, NH chapter.
* Participated in The Society of Professional Obituary Writers, the New Hampshire Writers Guild, the New York City Writers Group, the South Florida Freelancers Group and the Author’s Guild.
* Helped to coordinate ObitCon 2017, the fifth conference of The Society of Professional Obituary Writers, in Chicago.
* Coordinated The Grimmys, SPOW’s contest to highlight excellence in obituary writing.
* Attended the 2017 Maine Crime Wave writers conference in Portland.
* Tasted doughnuts from six different bakeries, farm stands and food trucks.
* Took a Zen Brownie Madness class at the Dancing Lion Chocolate shop in Manchester.
* Attended the 2017 Best of New Hampshire Party.
* Attended the 2017 New Hampshire Highland Games.
* Saved the life of an eastern painted turtle.
* Discovered that one of my credit cards had been stolen.
* Hosted vacationing friends overnight at our new home on four occasions.
* Completed an escape room adventure — and died.
* Entered a contest to win a Scottish mansion.
* Entered a short story contest in Reader’s Digest.
* Renewed my passport.
* Dressed up as a skeleton for Halloween.
* Donated to dozens of charities.
* Planted raspberry and blueberry bushes in our backyard.
* Installed a bird feeder and became an amateur bird-watcher.
* Mastered five recipes from my Top 100 “must learn to make these dishes” list: Chocolate banana bread, funnel cakes, cheddar apple pie, rigatoni with white bolognese and shrimp and corn chowder.
* Saw Carol Burnett in concert.
* Purchased three cars.
* Decorated two Christmas trees and the front of our house.
* Suffered from at least 35 migraines, including one that lasted for five straight days.
* Mourned the loss of our eldest cat, Arya.
* Celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary.
* Discovered and embraced hygge.
* Turned 44.
Goals for 2018
* Consider a new career path.
* Work on my fiction.
* Write more obits.
* Read at least 50 books.
* Practice hygge.
* Win the lottery.