A glance behind and a look ahead

General UpdatesKristina Pino4 Comments

It's a new year! Time for new things!

Before that though, I suppose I should discuss my achievements and high points regarding 2012. It has been a big year for GeekeryDo, but really a big year for me in general. I've made some life changes and taken real steps toward something huge. I just don't know what it is yet.

My goals for 2012 included visiting new places, reading more books than I had in 2011, especially books released within the year when I got to reading it, playing more games (read: completing more games), getting a cool job, and raising my viewership on this new(ish) blog GeekeryDo. 

As for new places, I'd written on Snapitude a top five list of destinations I'd want to find myself at in 2012. I made it to two of those places: Grand Canyon National Park and Yellowstone National Park. It was pretty awesome, and besides those two national parks I also visited several states for the first time (or at least, the first time since I was too young to remember) over the course of two separate road trips. Since I got the job in Japan, I resolved to get to know more of the USA before leaving it for a while. This year, I've visited California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, and Georgia. Some more briefly than others, but nonetheless I'm very proud of this list.

My resolution to read more books was realized in spades. Though I haven't written about each book I actually read throughout 2012, I reviewed or discussed most of them and you can check the archives. I discovered that I rather like reading young adult fiction as well as autobiographical or creative nonfiction. Though I'll give most books a chance, that's just the trend. I've participated in a couple of blog tours and gotten to interview some rad authors, which is fun fun fun. I even started reading comics again and writing about those, too.

When I play video games, I tend to clock a ton of hours into it and then drop it right before the end. Many games in my library have been victims of this and I resolved to complete games this year. Though a lot of them were older games I'd missed (or had to start over), I did actually complete at least 10 games this year, including the likes of: Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Trine, Limbo, Final Fantasy XIII, Kirby's Epic Yarn, two adventure games, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and more.

I didn't just get one cool job; I got three cool jobs. First, I was recruited by Interac to live and work in Japan as an English teacher in the public school system. I'm thrilled to be moving there this coming March, and I'll have more updates on that as the time comes. The second gig I snagged was with Quirk Books, an awesome publisher with a blog that runs on their front page. I was hired as a freelancer and you should start seeing articles with my by-line this month. Finally, I became a contributor for Twinfinite, a totally rad games news and reviews blog with an overwhelmingly infectious positive atmosphere and a wonderful crew to work with.

Finally, we've got the "big" one. My traffic! I didn't really expect my little blog here to grow as quickly as it did, but Blogger is clocking me at an average of 4,000 hits per month as of December 2012. I'm truly happy to report this number and have thus set a goal of 10,000 hits per month for December 2013! As one could surmise, top traffic spikers on my blog have been:

1) Reading/reviewing books which are being adapted to film
2) Reading/reviewing newly released books either on my own or as part of a blog tour
3) Playing newly released games then writing about them
4) Writing guides for adventure games (solutions to adventure puzzles, etc.)
5) Ranting about bad anime (Seriously, the popularity of this post is beyond me)

Other updates to my blog include a few redesigns, a new logo created by dear friend and designer Jonathan Tubbs, and new profile image by Mikey Turvey. The site will continue to be updated regularly, hopefully all for the best. As usual, I am also taking feedback and suggestions in this area!

A look at 2013:

I'm not one to make "resolutions" so to speak. I do have a few goals for 2013, but the word "resolution" feels like it's got kind of a stink on it. It's a word I associate with weight loss, over-ambition, and forgotten promises.

The top things I want to accomplish in 2013 include traveling to visit even more places, which shouldn't be too hard this year since I'll be living in Asia and have only seen small parts of it within Japan, reading more books, playing more games, learning to sew, improving my crocheting skills, and getting back into drawing and painting regularly enough to maybe even sell some work online. 

Yes, ambitious indeed! But I think it's a reasonable list. I'm not out to be a superstar seamstress and make complicated stuff. I just want to make myself a snazzy apron or sew a summer dress. Maybe crochet myself some hats, mittens, and scarves to keep me warm in the cold months.

I'll probably be reading almost exclusively eBooks this year given that I won't have much shelf space in a tiny apartment and access to English-language bookstores will probably be limited anyway. Yeah, sure, I could just order books online. But then what? They'll clutter up my limited space and, someday, I'll have to either lug the books home with me or give them away to someone else. No, I'll just read from my Kindle (or iPad depending on formatting). It'll be less painful that way.

My big, big gift from my family this past Christmas was a new laptop. The one I've already got (it's several years old) isn't reliable enough for me to really get work done (it overheats just from trying to stream videos online), and I'm not going to haul my desktop over to Japan. I needed something compact and snippy to get my work done and also double as a gaming machine.

The only console I'm taking with me is a PS3, and I'll be taking my portables, but a huge chunk of my gaming is done on PC. This is where things get awesome. The computer I got for Christmas is actually a gaming laptop, so not only is it going to suit my gaming needs, but it's powerful enough to handle my photography needs as well as the simple blogging, Skyping and other online tasks. I am extremely grateful for this and will not soon forget about the kind of support I've gotten all around for my ambitious international move straight out of my parents' home.

Of course, it should go without saying that I'm always striving to do better for myself, get even better gigs and work my way toward a lasting and fulfilling career - whatever that may be. Part of the reason why I'm moving out is because I've got some thinking to do in terms of which direction I want to take my life, and I also just really needed to try something totally different - get out of the house and try something new while also being productive. Who knows... maybe I'll love teaching and just keep at that. Or maybe not. At this time, what I really want to do is go back to school and get an MA in Anthropology. Since that isn't financially feasible right now, I'm looking at other options. Lately, I've been thinking about getting into publishing. I love books, after all.

This concludes my year in review and goal-setting for 2013! Expect lots more fun, more words, more pictures, all that good stuff. I hope all of you reading this had a rad Christmas and a fabulous turn of the New Year, and wish you all the best in 2013 as well!