Another year, and another look back at the year. It’s certainly been a busy one; I seem to have lost track of time completely around September, and am still wondering what’s going on.

The biggest thing for me is, obviously, starting my own business. I got all the paperwork for Fox Den officially filed in July/August, and finally got the first book out in November (after a large number of rounds of editing). This also entailed re-doing my site/blog (with a lot of help from Smudge), as I’ve moved to a WordPress multisite install, which meant ripping out the old install and transferring the existing blog over.

That also meant that it took over the home page of the full site, and Smudge is recommending I transfer everything else into WordPress pages too, but that’s stalled at the moment. Hopefully something will happen with that in 2015. The theme I had been using didn’t play nice with a multisite install, so we re-did that too, and managed to keep the basic look the same. Lastly, I recently re-worked my categorization scheme, a month or two ago and broke ‘gaming’ up into sub-categories for boardgames, RPGs and computer games—my apologies to anyone on LiveJournal for that last, since the converter plugin I use ignored my commands to not repost over there as I updated the categories on the posts.

Looking at the tags on the blog (which did not change) this year, I have 65 posts with: forty-three gaming, twenty-two review, eighteen history, fifteen books, seven reading, C&C Ancients, ASL, four Age of Wonders, Master of Magic, game genres, GCACW, three ArcheAge, Festung Budapest, two bgg blog, SFB, HoMM, Paradox, Dominant Species, Neverwinter, and one each AdCiv, King’s Bounty, Hearts of Iron, War in the North, time travel, 4X, Space Empires, Warlords, anime, Colonization, colonization games, Conquest of the New World, Gold of the Americas, Imperialism, city-builder, economic engine, Pharaoh, Settlers II, EU Rome, Fox Den, Up Front, F&E, vassal, Crown of Roses, DTO, GURPS, azuna, FFXIV, life. (I need to get more consistent with my book review tags.) The gaming subcategories have twenty-five Boardgaming, one RPGs, and seventeen Computer Games. So, I’m now averaging over a post a week, which is where I want to be, but the distribution needs to be a little less… ‘lumpy’.

Financially, it’s been a rough year. I started out on-plan for paying down my credit-card, but this year has been very rough on Baron (whose dad is now in a nursing home), which rippled out through the rest of the household. Add to that that I bought 100 ISBNs for Fox Den during the year (the next tier down is buying 10; buying 100 is cheaper than 20 (2×10), and I know I need more than 10…), and debt is back to about where it was right after buying Azuna last year. It looks to me that I’ll be paying the card down again next year, but I don’t think I’ll be matching the previous schedule.

Misfortune-wise, it doesn’t match a couple years ago where a lot of equipment failed. Well, it doesn’t match the number of things—scale is another matter. As I mentioned earlier, Baron’s dad is now in a nursing home, and this is the end of several months of fighting the system (the system won). I just found out my Aunt Ruth passed away Monday morning, which was a surprise, since she’d been as well as ever at Thanksgiving. I haven’t really seen her enough in recent years to say I’ll miss her, but she is the last remnant of a part of my childhood that I’ll always miss; she lived with my maternal grandparents, right next door, and I spent a lot of time there.

Moving on to the inanimate, the day after I returned from my trip to my parents, my car was in a hit-and-run while parked out front.


Other than having a shot-trap for rainwater, the car is still sound. Thankfully, they missed the taillight and gas cap. I’ve been cheap on my insurance, and without any idea who did it, I’m left paying for it myself. I do plan on getting something done; still need to talk to the regular mechanic.

The apartment we rent is old, and was not a shining example of construction even when new. A while after we moved in, a couple of electrical sockets went out and had to be replaced. A couple weeks ago, the power went out along one wall of the studio and the kitchen—including the refrigerator. The handyman (manager’s husband) came out, traced the problem to a socket that was behind a bookcase, which had a single heater hooked to it. The socket was replaced, and we’ve transferred the heater out to a different socket. This Sunday, the power went out in Baron and Smudge’s bedroom and half of the living room. We then found a scorch mark above a light switch.

A real electrician came out the next day, and opened it up, turned to us and said, “This place could have burned down.” We looked at the open panel, where we could see arcing still going on with everything off and agreed. That has been fixed. But, in both cases this happened in the early morning when nothing was powered on at the point of failure. And, in neither case, did any circuit breakers trip. It’s their job to trip when something like this starts. In fact, I’m not sure any circuit breaker in this place has ever actually tripped. They need replacing. Convincing the landlord/management company is the fun part.

Reading-wise, Goodreads tells me I’ve read 52 books this year, which is the one a week average I shoot for. It’s also way up from last year. One of my goals for this year has been to get back to reading more SF&F, and that has gone fairly well. I’ve still spent a lot of effort on reading history, but my ‘Reading My Way Through History’ project is stalled at 1600, since I’ve been reading a lot of cheap Kindle reprints (which really, really, needed at least a single round of edits) on earlier eras. One of my goals was to start converting ‘less important’ books in my library to electronic versions, but most of the stuff I’ve got is old enough that there’s no electronic version, so that’s failed.

On the other hand, a plan to expand my RPG collection a bit has gone fine. Thanks to some early sales, I have the latest versions of RuneQuest and Pendragon (really meant to review them), and have expanded my GURPS collection nicely. And in fact, that and various computer game sales have been the bulk of my game buying this year. It’d be nice to actually do something on the RPG side, but I’ve had a hard time getting my head back into that creative space.