Well, friends, 2020 is finally winding to a close. It’s been a rough year–not at all what anybody expected for the first year of a new decade–and yet in spite of everything, there were some real bright spots! Every year I do this end-of-the-year tag (you can read my reviews of the last two years here and here), so join me on a little stroll down 2020’s Memory Lane!
What did you do in 2020 that you’d never done before?
I reserved plane/hotel tickets for myself for the first time (the trip didn’t pan out, but STILL!), became a regular writer with Cultivating Magazine, published articles for a few other magazines/blogs, interviewed someone for an article, read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (and learned I’m a Ravenclaw!), had a tweet go semi-viral, sent out many query letters and book proposals, worked the early voting polls, and launched a podcast with my brother Ben.
Did you keep your New Year’s goals, and do you have any for next year?
My 2020 goals were: 1) Submit Operation Lionhearted to publishers, 2) write and submit articles and essays for publication, 3) read even more books, and 4) learn how to play again when it comes to my writing. And I accomplished all these goals! 2020 was definitely a year of creative self-care and pursuit of my dreams (in spite of #QuarantineLife).
My 2021 goals look like this: 1) PUBLISH OPERATION LIONHEARTED, 2) Write Dragonslayer (the working title for my new Eros & Psyche/The Silver Chair space opera), 3) Make consistently positive health and fitness choices, and 4) Be a strong, confident, entrepreneurial-minded woman.
Did anyone close to you get married?
A childhood friend got married in October, but otherwise it’s been fairly quiet on the wedding front. (Two cousins are getting married in 2021, though, so that’ll make up for the wedding famine, haha.)
Did anyone close to you give birth or get pregnant?
My brother and sister-in-law provided me with another scrumptiously adorable niece, and one of my best friends announced she and her husband are expecting!
Did anyone close to you die?
Nobody particularly close to me.
I wanted to go to the Anselm Society’s conference in April, but COVID-19 tossed that out the window. But I did go to Branson in September with my entire family, my friend Abigail, and her family–and that was a ton of fun!
What was the best month?
September was pretty swell, gotta admit.
What date(s) from 2020 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 23, my sweet baby niece’s birthday.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
(*whispers*) Psst…we actually think we had COVID-19 back in February, before it became a big to-do. We just thought it was a bad cold and toughed it out.
Whose behavior merited celebration?
Without a doubt, my sister-in-law Jenni! She’s taken on motherhood like an absolute CHAMP and I’m so proud of her! You can find her photography website and portfolio here!
Whose behavior made you appalled and/or depressed?
Oh, that’s easy: all the extremists on both sides of the presidential election. “Capitalism is the Virus” on one end and “Trump is God’s Anointed One” on the other…I’m so sick of it.
Where did most of your money go?
My new rose-gold Macbook Air 2020!
Who or what did you get really, really, really excited about?
- STORY IDEAS! (Original ones + fanfics = plenty of material to work with for the next few years)
- Overwhelmingly positive reviews for Operation Lionhearted from my beta readers!!!
- Star Wars (specifically anything related to Reylo and/or Baby Grogu, the Delight of My Eyes)
- TAYLOR SWIFT DROPPING TWO (2) NEW ALBUMS THIS YEAR, like WHO SAW THAT COMING?!
- Disney’s announcement of all those new shows and movies (like Lightyear and Ahsoka!)
What song(s) will always remind you of 2020?
Well, seeing as how Taylor Swift blew us all away TWICE this year, “Exile” and “Long Story Short” are forever gonna remind me of 2020…as will “Epiphany,” albeit for sadder reasons. (I also reviewed Folklore here, if you want to go back and read that!)
What was an unexpected surprise?
Becoming such close friends with Emily, author of The Altogether Unexpected blog. She is one of the sweetest, funniest, and most encouraging souls I know–and her friendship has meant so much during this rather lonely and dreary year.
fall in love develop any new & amusing affections for certain fictional males in 2020?
Well, considering the fact that the inside of my brain has looked like this since EXACTLY ONE YEAR AGO TODAY…
…I’d say this is a pretty easy one to answer, heehee. Redeemed Ben Solo got 15 minutes of blazing, selfless glory and instantly became my favorite Disney Prince. He’s just that powerful 😉
What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?
Concerts?????? What are concerts anymore???????
What were your favorite TV programs?
Umm, definitely THE MANDALORIAN. Ya girl scrambled onto the Internet every Friday morning just to get the latest scoop–and the Tragedy of Baby Grogu had me on absolute tenterhooks. I also rewatched a lot of old favorites like Call the Midwife and Foyle’s War this year!
What were your favorite films?
Well, since I never went to the theater this year (#QuarantineLife again), I watched a lot of movies for the first time that actually came out within the last year or two. My favorites among these were definitely Paterson, Knives Out, The Last Jedi, Ophelia, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and the new Little Women. (Those are links to my reviews of those films, by the way.)
What were the best books you read?
What was your greatest musical discovery?
I really didn’t “discover” any brand-new music this year. I mostly listened to the old stuff, or new stuff from artists I already enjoy.
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28, and my grandmother made me the fairest dessert of them all: coconut pie. YUM.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2020?
When I couldn’t go anywhere for weeks this spring (#QuarantineLife), dressing well/doing my makeup/pulling myself together became very important to my mental well-being. I’ve been planning my wardrobe and ironing my clothes at the beginning of each week, making sure I rarely wear anything too shabby. I want to look and feel professional…even if it’s just for me.
What political issue
stirred or exhausted you the most?
This is like asking me which male character I obsessed over in 2020: the answer is extremely obvious, except EVERYBODY is exhausted over this one, too.
What valuable life lesson did you learn in 2020?
I can stand up for myself, make my own decisions and stand by them, then move on without guilt. I have the right to my own opinions and beliefs, and I have been given the agency to live them out–especially if I’m 100% confident that this is where God is leading me. As my favorite Single Father, the Mandalorian, would say, “This is the way!”
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Turn around and the time has flown
Some things stay the same
Though the future remains unknown
May our good luck last
May our past be past
Time’s moving fast, it’s true
Some things never change
Goodbye (at last!!!), 2020…Hello, 2021!