As another year comes to a close, I wanted to take the time to list down a couple of items I am thankful for covering the period December 14, 2013 to December 13, 2014. This is Part 6 – Numbers 32 to 36.
32. NaNoWriMo – Event and Community. I discovered NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, only this year and I was pleasantly surprised. It was both an event and a global community which saw November as the month to write a novel that has at least 50,000 words. The community was there to support each other through the madness. Although this was my first year joining, and I was not able to join any of the actual Write-Ins or get togethers here in Manila (with the PinoyWriMos), the community felt just like home as I tried my hand at writing a novel in 30 days, while juggling very demanding work and family lives. I wrote at night after work and after everyone was asleep, or in the early mornings before I went online for work. The forums and the FB page were very invaluable. When I has a question, I had people to ask. I was also able to support other people who needed help. It felt good. Through the group also, I was able to chat and encounter people who would potentially beta-read my novel. Some were also able to provide invaluable insights in some of the plot lines that got me stuck.
33. Novel – Turning Points. I am thankful that I was able to complete my novel in November 2014. More than just the novel itself, the writing of it was cathartic. It was part autobiographical, part introspection, part “what-if”. I was able to exorcise a lot of my demons, and I was able to re-encounter people I have lost and/or never met in my life. There were times I was crying uncontrollably as I wrote because it was just THAT emotional. It may never turn out to be a bestseller, it may never even see publishing, but I am happy just the same to have been able to write a novel that has my heart and soul in it, literally.
34. Photography. I started dabbling in photography this year. Back in 2013, I did a 365 project using my point and shoot. But this year, I actually acquired, thanks to my sister-in-law my first DSLR camera and I learned and practiced. I am still far from being more than just an amateur, but I got hooked enough to invest in buying my own little camera (a mirrorless Sony) late this year. I still have a backlog of photos to process and share, but I have them already, I have captured them, and for the most part, I am happy with my progress in learning the ropes. I am aIso thankful to the people who encourage and help me out in this new passion of mine. I will focus more on photography in 2015.
35. The Gift of Song/Music. Although I have not been able to focus on this passion of mine, I am thankful just the same for the gift of music—for being able to sing and share my voice, if only to my children and friends. And for being able to listen to music and bask in the feelings they evoke in me. I still need to fulfill my resolution to go back and re-learn and practice guitar-playing, and I hope to be able to do that in 2015.
36. Books, Movies, Plays/Musicals. What can I say? My life is never complete without books, movies and musicals/plays. I became flexible this year on my own personal rule of not buying physical books and went back and bought the new books from my favorite authors. I still have a backlog of books to procure. Movies – well, this is also my way of bonding with my family and friends, while truly enjoying watching good movies. Musicals and plays, again, bonding moments, specially with Tosh and Jamie — this year I saw Wicked and Rak of Aegis (twice, once with Tosh and just last night with Jamie – Tolits, I love you!). Would you believe I was able to convince Tosh to start watching musicals? Last year we watched Rock of Ages and The Full Monty. Before Christmas, Keeto, Lucas and I will watch Hi-Five, I’m sure this counts! (And yeah, the picture is an old one from when Jamie, Trina and I watched Phantom of the Opera. I couldn’t find a picture for this year.)