It’s a New Year, and Fear Is a Friend Who’s Misunderstood

And now, the New Year’s Meme. (Thanks, Jess!)

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Good grief. SO MANY THINGS. I guess the biggest thing, encompassing most of the other things, is that I published my first book. But I also contributed to a political campaign, re-read almost all the Lord Peter Wimsey books, and bought a slow-cooker, all for the first time.
2. What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2009?
I’m going to spend January mulling this over, and will post about it once I’ve worked it out. I love the New Year; I love taking stock of time and how one fits into it; I love realistic and heartfelt resolutions. So. More to come.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Several people. And any minute now, one more is going to drop!! :o)
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
I didn’t leave the USA in 2008. However, while on an ill-fated trip to Key West, I gazed across the water in the direction of Cuba. :o)
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
An autumn with leaves that change color. (We don’t have that in North Florida.)
7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 4. Election day!
8. What was your biggest success?
Getting through my Fire revisions despite self-doubt. Also, pushing along with the writing of Bitterblue despite constant interruption and distraction.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I still can’t teleport. Dammit! Where are all the radioactive spiders?
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Knee-high green rain boots.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I’m stealing my friend Jess’s answer here: the American voting public!
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Um, the American voting public. I am sick and tired of states outlawing same-sex marriage, and this year one such amendment passed in my own state by a landslide. Florida, I’m ashamed of you. (Don’t even get me started on California.)
14. Where did most of your money go?
Ha! Taxes. :o)
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The buttercream cupcakes at Let Them Eat Cake! Also, Barack Obama. Also, tea.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008? (It’s never actually a song from the year in question)
Okay, I better not get any crap from music sophisticates about this, but I would have to say “No Air” by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you a. happier or sadder? b. thinner or fatter? c. richer or poorer?
a. happier, healthier, coping better. b. fatter. c. richer, in many ways.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Staying in the present.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying about the future. :o)
20. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Not that I noticed.
21. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don’t really hate anyone with a deep and sustaining hatred. Not even Dick Cheney. So, no. :o)
22. What was your favorite TV program?
I really loved Cranford on PBS.

23. What was the best book you read?
Good god, are you serious? Okay, I’ll take a shot at it. I loved loved LOVED The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart and The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman and Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett. I’m stopping there — finger in the dike.
24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Hmm. That’s also impossible to answer. Brahms’ Requiem? Or maybe a few songs by Ani DiFranco: “You Had Time” and “Gratitude” and “Angry Any More” and oh, others, too. Oh! And Patty Griffin! (a few songs)
25. What was your favorite film of this year?
Lars and the Real Girl. Also, I re-watched The Philadelphia Story — wow, that’s a good one.
26. What did you want and get?
27. What did you want and not get?
A vacation from drama!

28. What did you do on your birthday?
Went out to dinner with my darling future brother-in-law, secret code name: Joe. Convinced Joe to teach Feed by M.T. Anderson in his college-level literature class. Ordered some tuna that came out a little too raw. Ate it anyway. Got a hysterical phone call from my sisters, secret code names: Cordelia and Apocalyptica, who were in Montreal, and who sang Happy Birthday to me in some non-English language that may have been an attempt at French. Went back to Joe and Cordelia’s place and ate cake, which Cordelia had baked for me even though she was going to be out of town. It was a lovely, peaceful day.
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I suppose it would’ve been nice if my ceiling hadn’t caved in
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Two words: writing pajamas.
31. What kept you sane?
Good books; meditation; having friends and family who didn’t care if I burst into hysterical tears now and then; my agent and my editor.
32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Pelicans are guaranteed to make you laugh no matter how rotten you feel.
33. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Pain throws your heart to the ground.
Love turns the whole thing around.
Fear is a friend who’s misunderstood
but I know the heart of life is good.
-John Mayer, “The Heart of Life
Feel like picking your favorite question and answering it in the comments? Go for it! :o)