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December 13, 2006: Dear Internet (the 2006 version)

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Dear Internet,

It's time, once again, for the annual end-of-the-year wrap-up letter, which works in lieu of an actual entry today, mainly because there really are things in here I didn't talk about in the journal, for a change. Not, mind you, that I was trying to actively hide anything; more that I was just lazy and unmotivated to write and let a lot of things slip through the cracks.

First, the usual job update. Nothing too exciting to report here. We're both working at the same place we worked last year and we're both still quite happy about it. I know that seems so incredibly boring compared to years past, but hey, that's life.

Richard spent a lot of this year writing, trying to flesh out a more comprehensive draft of the novel he wrote during last November's National Novel Writing Month challenge. He took a break from that to whip up another novel for this year's NaNoWriMo, and also took a few breaks to toss out a few stories here and there to see which ones stuck. A few actually did - including his short story "Indications", which was published in Pseudopod. He also appeared on "Insight", a locally produced show on Sacramento's National Public Radio affiliate, to chat about his writing (specific to that whole wacky NaNoWriMo thing that apparently baffles those cute radio folk).

And while he's been heads down over his computer writing up a storm, I've been heads down over my needles, knitting madly. I produced a rather large lace shawl in sixteen days, earning myself a gold medal for the Knitting Olympics (tens of thousands of knitters took part. We may be weird, but we're growing in number and we are armed with sharp pointy things). I discovered that knitting seven pairs of the same pink socks to raise money for charity is not nearly as fun as it sounds; and walking 39 miles for that charity is even *less* fun, but I did it anyway. I made myself a lovely cabled cardigan and wore it all over Ireland. I had fun making lace shawls and stoles and goofy hats for store samples for two friends. Oh, and I also had my first submitted pattern published in the December issue of Magknits.

We did a few pretty exciting things this year. The biggest one, of course, was that we finally took our honeymoon trip to Ireland. We spent three weeks there, most of it soggy, and had an amazing time. We took a ton of pictures and wrote all about it (entries for the Ireland trip start here). We launched Daikaijuzine, an online magazine of science fiction, fantasy, poetry, and more. Richard is the Editor-in-Chief, and I'm the Managing Editor, mainly because I am one of those wacky people who enjoys editing, and obsesses about proper spelling and grammar (in other people's writing). The first issue was launched in September and our next full issue will be published in March, and will features stories by renowned fantasy writer Tim Pratt and New York Times bestselling author David Wolverton.

I'm still in the church choir, since tenors continue to be in very short supply. Ah well. On the plus side, our choir joined a few others and sang Haydn's Theresienmesse in April. There were a few hundred of us singers, and it was quite fun. I also recently joined an all-women's choral group and am enjoying getting to sing as a woman (I'm an alto) instead of as a man (since I am usually a tenor) for the first time in years. Our most recent concert earned rave reviews. Yes, I am still a bit giddy about that. And while I'm no longer one of the rotating piano accompanists (since the church finally hired a full time accompanist), I am still in charge of the recorder group, so get to do non-singing music from time to time as well.

The nerd-foo remains strong in our household. We made our usual pilgrimage to Dragon*Con, the country's largest science fiction and fantasy convention, held every year in Atlanta, Georgia. We had a wonderful time attending panels hosted by writers and actors from some of our favorite shows. We both got to celebrate our nerdiness even more in October when Richard got to see one of his favorite writers, Neil Gaiman, speak in Berkeley, and later on that month, we both got to see Terry Pratchett, another favorite, speak in Petaluma, California.

It hasn't all been fun and games this year. Health wise, this hasn't been a great year for Richard - no small comfort that the doctors told him it's been the worst year they've seen for everyone with asthma. Despite continuing the allergy shots, my sinuses still are doing their best to kill me. And of course, there was the matter of my Dad's little lengthy detour into the hospital, first for the emergency six-way bypass surgery, and then for several weeks of therapy after he suffered a mild stroke. He's doing amazingly well now, but it was a pretty scary time for the whole family and we have all told him that he is not allowed to do that again. Because. You know. That will work.

And finally, the requisite update on the four-footed members of our household. After losing Rebecca in 2004 and Allegra in 2005 I was a little nervous about how this year would shape up, but so far everyone's health seems to be holding up well. Sebastian continues to get louder with age (much like a fine whine. Ha ha ha! Okay, I'll stop now). Tangerine seemed to be a bit under the weather earlier in the year, and gave us quite a scare by sneaking outside and staying out for two nights until we found her, but she's finally decided that feeling poorly is just no fun, and seems to have shaken whatever it was off. Zucchini remains convinced that we are plotting his demise, and continues to lurk, suspiciously, just out of sight. Rosemary contiues to cart her little stuffed dragons all over the house and arrange them in complex patterns we have still yet to decipher. Azzie remains as deeply fascinated by water faucets, the DVD player, and closed doors as he has always been. And Checkers - the tiny little tortie we adopted in March - feels compelled to share her (numerous) opinions with us by squawking, or occassionally flinging sparkly balls at us, much to our continued amusement.

So that's it. All things considered, it's been a pretty good year. Here's hoping 2007 brings more (and also a bit less) of the same.

Tis the season for Holidailies

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