2020 Year in Review

What the hell happened in 2020? I ask myself that a lot, just trying to make sense of all the craziness of the last year (or two). I’ve had a couple of very long, very tiring, very stressful years. While I know the beginning of 2021 will continue with some of the outsize ugliness of 2019-2020, I am hoping for some lightness by the end of the year.

Making

I did a fair amount of painting and sewing this year, though getting anything creative done felt a lot like like walking through mud. I gave up on a few projects, which is unusual. I am lucky to now have a real creative space in which to put my tools and supplies, so 2021 already looks brighter.

These were my favorite pieces that I finished:

Reading

My reading this year was minimal. For much of the year I was unable to concentrate on anything, even reading. Normally I can read no matter what but this year? Nope. I first reduced my reading goal from 60 to 40 and thought I could do that, but nope. This total does not include about 10 romance novels that I read during the year, because escapism. Favorites were:

I read the entire historical fiction India Black series and really enjoyed it. I continued A.L. Herbert’s enjoyable mystery series starring Mahalia Watkins with #4, Murder with Collard Greens and Hot Sauce. Boy that last series makes me hungry.

In fantasy, my main genre, I finished a series with Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty. New and eminently enjoyable books by authors I’ve read before include Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (which I loved) and Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (awesome). Completely new to me was The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden and The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. I plan to read more by Okorafor, Arden and Shannon this year if I can.

In the Miscellany section are The Soup Peddler’s Slow And Difficult Soups, a book about the start of a unique Austin, Texas restaurant business in a small part of south Austin that I know well. Reading it was almost like reminiscing with friends. I was a Soupie for a while. Another book that felt almost like reminiscing was Girls to the Front: the True Story of the Riot Grrl Revolution. I was around all of that as a 19-20-something in early 90s DC. Honestly I was too gay to be a riot grrl (I was more of a lesbian avenger), but the scene it painted was was very familiar to me.

Music

Spotify’s lists crack me up. It’s true that I listened to these songs a lot. I got them stuck in my head. Most of my music is listened to on Pandora, on some highly curated lists that I listen to a lot, based on musicians like the Avener, Gramatik, the Gorillaz, Thievery Corporation, the Clash, Moby, and a few others. I like a lot of electronic music.

2021

I’m currently working on this quilt, which I began in 2011. I put it away when my daughter was born but recently got to work on it again.

I’m going to reset my reading list for 60 books in 2021 again. SIXTY BOOKS OR BUST. Not really. I will read what I can! Who knows how the year will go? I also currently have various cut paper and quilting projects in the works, plans for some more clothing makes for me and the kids, and a lot of cooking to do.

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