Posts tagged life

2009 in Review

2009 had more ups and downs than I knew what to do with, and that’s the truth.  I spent the end of 2008 through June of this year almost constantly on the move, and when I did settle down, it wasn’t in my  beloved California, but instead somewhere up in the Rocky Mountains, which… wasn’t entirely by choice, let’s leave it at that.

That being said, this has been a really good past six months for me—despite a few minor technological revolts and a couple of serious family trials since moving up here.  Suffice it to say that 2009 tore me to shreds and made confetti out of me—which hopefully means that 2010 will be celebration-worthy.

So, with a glass of sparkling cider raised to the new year, here’s a quick look back at 2009…

Really, this has been a very defining year for me.  This is the year that I took the initiative and learned how to bind books (a la the University of Youtube), which lead to a none-too-shabby Etsy shop (CinderLisaDesign) which has kept me afloat for most of my utterly jobless year.  I was already a devout crafter—I’ve been hooked on knitting and crochet since my freshman year of college—but as a writer, learning how to make books out of paper, fabric and string has been a profound experience for me.  My love for books in the printed format couldn’t help but spill over to my love for handsewn books.  I still have a lot to learn in the bookbinding arena, but even with my extreme lack of knowledge, I can say proudly that I am a bookbinder, and part of a slow revival of a dying art.  I’ve found the bookbinding community (yes, there is one) to be a fantastic group of people, also.  Like most crafters, they have been welcome and encouraging to even the most blunder of attempts to learn their arts.

Moving to Utah has been quite an eye-opener, also.  The town I live in is very small and very simple, and while it’s busy for a tiny town, it’s a far cry from Southern California.  And being a member of the LDS Church, I have to admit that I had a very clear idea in my head in what I might expect from “Utah Mormons”—of which the less said the better.  The members here have been fab people, though, and come through for me in a number of ways that I can’t even begin to list.

2009 was also the first year I hit my 50-books-in-a-year challenge—I even hit (and exceeded! Okay by one, but still!) a 52 books in 52 weeks challenge.  Considering that there were moments this year when I didn’t think I’d pass 3o books, that’s quite something.

This year my good friend Isabelle Santiago and I also started Tales From the Hollow Tree, a review blog for all things Young Adult fantasy, and while getting a post up every single week day just between the two of us has been a challenge at times, it’s also been a blast!  I’ve read a lot of great books, along with some less-great books, and learned a lot from our Thursday Myths & Legends 101 posts.

In more personal news, I can just say honestly that despite the insanity that’s circled around me this year (and I seem to draw it like a moth to the flame sometimes) I’ve been really happy this year.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s been a good year, but I’ve been happy in it, which is the most I could have asked for this year, I guess.

Honestly looking forward to 2010.  It has to be better than 2009, and I have high hopes, personally.


Have fun and be safe out there!

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Au Revoir, Life?


I have to stop falling in love with TV shows.  Especially clever, funny TV shows with fantastic music teams, because these always seem to be  the first for the chopping block.

I learned a few days ago that NBC is very likely giving the axe to Life, a show about an L.A. cop who has his badge returned to him after being released from a life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit.  Sounds a little far-fetched?  Okay, sure, but who cares when you have classicly-trained (not to mention surprisingly, distractingly sexy) Damian Lewis trading quirky Zen wisdom tips with a no-nonsense (and c’mon, probably even sexier) Sarah Shahi?

The truth is, I’d gotten sick of crime shows.  I know I’m far, far from the average, but every Law and Order looks exactly the same to me, and the CSI’s tend to be just… well, icky.  I don’t care for gore, or grisly “plucked from the headlines” stuff.  After all, if I actually watch the news—which I do—why would I want to see some fictional copycat of the worst stories two weeks later?

The advertisements for Life caught my interest, though.  After all, I knew NBC could make a crime show that had something more to it than just being a crime show—I tune into Medium all the time, because besides giving the audience a good mystery to try to solve, we also get to see a nice, realistic family unit, with (mostly) everyday problems.  Joe Dubois is kind of my ideal husband.

Life has seen it’s share of some truly strange crimes.  Women left in boxes in the middle of highways, men buried to their necks and surrounded by flower petals.  But the main thing that works for it, really, is character.  It’s focused on a character, not just the newest twisted tale.  That’s what Life had going for it, too.  Charlie Crews is a man who has had everything taken away from him, so when he gets it back again he appreciates it that much more, but there’s still that knowledge that everything was taken away from him, and a darkness that’s just behind the ready smile.  And because of the time he’s spent in prison, the time he’s spent in solitary, stuck inside his own head, Charlie Crews knows people.  He sees things in people’s eyes that most people don’t look for, hears things in their voices that most wouldn’t listen for.

And…. I’ve used the word already, but the show is just full of quirk.  In the best way possible.  The humor is a little offbeat, a little silly, and very stick-in-your head, and the main cast, while fairly small, is fantastic all the way around.

I’m going to miss this one a lot.  It has easily been my favorite show on TV this season, and it’s hits like this that make me want to give up TV for good sometimes.

So, farewell, Life.  I will miss your always-perfect music and fascinating character depictions.  There are a scant four episodes left, most likely devoid of the pregnant Sarah Shahi, which is unfortunate.  If it has to die, at least you want it to die in tact, you know?

I’m hoping this is the only kick in the gut my inner TV-lover gets after this season is over, but I’m worried about The Sarah Conner Chronicles, too, another show that has really taken me by surprise in how much I enjoy it.  Trust me to fall for the underdog, always.

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