Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Dissecting 2007

I intended to do this in several different posts, and that's just not working out. I do not want to drag 2007 into 2008, so I'm dumping it all here. You may want to spread out the reading over a few sessions. :)

Recent Movies

I saw I Am Legend, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and P.S. I Love You around the holiday. I loved them all.

I Am Legend had some flaws. There was a major thread they dropped the ball on, which was really important. I didn't care for the ending, though it wasn't at all surprising, and because there was no romance involved, it didn't bother me as much. Will Smith's acting was amazing, the hints that his hold on sanity wasn't as strong as it seemed, combined with his determination and his pain. The filming was masterful, with most of the special effects and the editing done in such a seamless, taut way that tension was never lost. We learned the backstory in a clever manner, too.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets was better than the first one, I thought, and the first one was pretty darned good. I love smart writing about smart people. The humor was excellent, and Riley still rocks the theater. Some spots at the end felt a little rushed, but Ed Harris was there, so who cares!

MaryF was right about needing tissues for P.S. I Love You. I'd have liked a little advancement of the symbolic hope at the end, but otherwise I don't think I have any complaints. Complex relationships, solid acting--the fight scene at the beginning had to have been filmed late, they were so comfortable with each other--and a happy ending equal a satisfying experience.

Looking Ahead, Movie-Wise

Some of the trailers looked even better than what I just saw.

Wall*E, about a robot left on Mars for 700 years, looks adorable.

Hancock, featuring Will Smith as a dissolute, destructive superhero

Mad Money is one that can go either way, from an amusing adventure to a ridiculous disappointment, but I'm looking forward to it regardless.

There were several others, and I can't remember them or find their trailers to bump my memory. I'm very excited that Juno is finally opening locally this Friday.

2007 Top Entertainment

Top Books
I gave 14 books a perfect 10, not including those I read as critiques before they were published. These were:

Seventh Key, Evelyn Vaughn
The Medusa Prophesy, Cindy Dees
Natural Born Charmer, Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Death Masks, Jim Butcher
Innocent in Death, JD Robb
Blood Rites, Jim Butcher
Coyote Dreams, CE Murphy
Dead Beat, Jim Butcher
Proven Guilty, Jim Butcher
Avalon High, Meg Cabot
White Knight, Jim Butcher
How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days, Susan Grant
All Through the Night, Suzanne Brockmann
Creation in Death, JD Robb

Top Movies

I saw 17 movies on DVD and 30 in the theater. I know! Thirty is a lot! There would have been more DVDs if it hadn't been for the Gilmore Girls semi-marathon, as well as Dark Angel and a few other TV shows. The movies I gave 10s to are:

Eight Below
POTC: At World's End
Ocean's 13
National Treasure 2

I also gave 9s to the following:

10 Things I Hate About You
Music & Lyrics
Live Free or Die Hard
Bourne Ultimatum
I Am Legend
PS I Love You

See a theme? I like comedy, I like adventure, I like hot actors. LOL

Top Television

This includes those I saw on DVD as well as live. The 10s are:

Kitchen Confidential
Gilmore Girls, seasons 1 and 4
Supernatural, season 2 (three was an 8, but after the last ep I’ll bump it to 9)
Jake 2.0
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Lost, seasons 2 and 3 of Gilmore Girls, the fall season of Numb3rs, and the end of season 2 of Prison Break got 9s. I'm dying for Lost to start again, and I don't miss Prison Break anymore.

That Goals Thing

I met all my goals!


I lost 15 lbs. What? You thought I said my goal was 50? Oh, you must have misheard me. I said fifTEEN. That sounds a lot like fifTY.

Dining Room

We have a few little things left to do, but the transformation is technically complete.


I exercised 301 days this year, one more than my goal. I only skipped more than two days in a row once, and that was my birthday/Christmas Eve/Christmas Day.


This one's a little trickier. I read, in their entirety, 107 books. I also read parts of 56 books, with a total page count of 2471, which is a little over 7 books at of 350 pages. (I went as high as page 139 before stopping, and as low as the first page. The most common reason for stopping was boredom.)

So that's only 114, right? And my goal was 115. But I also critiqued 12 full books, all of which are either published, sold, or submitted. That right there would be enough, but I also critiqued 21 other chapters (mostly in partials) and read 10 short stories, some in an anthology, some for a contest, plus 6 Golden Heart entries, plus75 magazines. I think I overwhelmingly met my goal here.


Officially, I wrote 302,546 words, of which 25,182 were nonfiction (paid work). That falls 47,454 words short of my goal. But I think between the GabWagon and here, I've probably written three times that, and since the GabWagon is 100% related to writing, if I add that with what I've written here about writing, I'm sure I'm well over 350,000 words. Plus business e-mails and IMs could count, too. Since there is no "prize" for achievement, I'm just going to say I did it and leave it at that. :)

What DID I Do in 2007?

I started doing freelance nonfiction and editing/proofreading early in the year. I'm not going to add up the number of projects I did--it's several books edited/proofed, several articles written, lots of bios written, many more advertising pieces proofed.

For fiction, this is what I did:

  • Finished writing Unbreakable
  • Edited Under the Moon
  • Wrote Rebuilding Forever (published in July)
  • Revised Unbreakable
  • Wrote Hummingbird
  • Revised Color of Courage
  • Wrote More Than You Know

Pretty good year, I think.

2008 Planning

I'm not setting goals this year. I do, however, have plans.

I will continue exercising, and will exercise 2.5 hours a week. I need to increase my intensity and time for each. I think doing a 45-minute workout three times a week will be more effective, for example, than walking for 15 minutes twice and using hand weights for five minutes three times.

I will continue to track my weight, and hopefully lose more, but I know if I put too much focus on it, it will backfire. So I plan to make small changes in an ongoing, long-term effort.

I will keep a list of the books I read, movies I see, and TV shows I watch, but I'm not compiling all the info I did in 2007, with notes on what I thought about them and such.

And I'll keep track of my writing, both nonfiction and fiction, but since I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen tomorrow, never mind the rest of the year, I don't want to set full goals. Some of the things I plan to do, in the absence of outside influence (like contracts):

  • Revise Behind the Scenes
  • Revise Hummingbird
  • Revise More Than You Know
  • Write sequel to The Color of Courage
  • Write sequel to Under the Moon
  • Start first book of Victory series
So there you have it. Everything you didn't care about regarding my 2007 and 2008. :)

How did you do? What are your plans? Share!


MaryF said...

Wow, where to start???? :) Awesome on all the reading and writing!

Pirates got a 10? I liked Hairspray, but not so much Stardust and Music and Lyrics. All the Bourne movies run together for me. I almost went to see PS I LOVE YOU for a 4th time tonight, but the dh's band practice was cancelled ;)

And you liked Supernatural Season 2 better than Season 3? As for Gilmore Girls, I liked seasons 1, 5 and the first half of 6 best.

I have the SEP book and the Evelyn Vaughn and all the Butchers in my TBR. And the Cindy Dees, I think. But All Through the Night was not as compelling as I hoped. Sentimental, maybe, with all the former characters showing up (half of them pregnant.) I thought the wedding delay was over the top. I was happier with Robin when it was done, though.

Funny you like lighter movies and darker books, did you notice?

Good luck with the Year of Revision! I'll be right there with you!

Natalie Damschroder said...

Of course Pirates got a 10! But I should probably explain at some point that there is no set of criteria or objective measurement here. It's purely how much I enjoyed the event while I was watching it.

Remember, regarding SPN, I'm measuring the end of season 2, which was stupendous, against the beginning of season 3, which got a little shaky (but improved drastically). I haven't disliked anything about it--the difference is tiny. :)

GG season 5 got an 8 (didn't like some of the threads as much as previous seasons), but 6 got a 7, becasue I HATED the devolution of Lorelei/Luke, and I saw it coming a long way away.

And actually, I DON'T like darker books better, as a general rule. But that might be a matter of definition. I don't really see all these books on my top 10 list as dark, really. The Butcher books could be--I mean, the stakes really are--but the humor trumps everything. The JD Robb books kind of are, but they focus more on the procedural and Eve's relationships than on the fear and horror. Most of the others I classify more as adventure, and I love adventure. :)

Stuff that's TRULY dark, like, say, Atlantis Rising by Alyssa Day, I can't even read. The book was written fine, but there was too much torture and murder.

MaryF said...

Yeah, I'm not much of a dark book person, either. I need the humor to lighten it up. Same with movies.

I was so confused watching Pirates that I couldn't enjoy it. I've seen it 4 times and still don't understand it.

I think Season 3 rocks the pants off Season 2.

I hated the devolution of Luke and Lorelei, too. I don't know why that was even necessary....

Natalie Damschroder said...

I was so confused watching Pirates that I couldn't enjoy it. I've seen it 4 times and still don't understand it.

LOL--I love twisty, convoluted things like that.

I think Season 3 rocks the pants off Season 2.

Interesting. I watched the eps of season 2 over and over, though, and the only one I've seen more than once so far this season was the premiere, so maybe that's the difference for me.

I hated the devolution of Luke and Lorelei, too. I don't know why that was even necessary....

I know, especially since they'd been setting up the relationship since the first episode! I really got tired of the yanking of the romantic rug, for both of them. But it got redeemed at the end, at least for L/L. :)

MaryF said...

See, I bought the DVD set of Season 2 and have only watched two episodes!! Sad, huh?

Natalie Damschroder said...

No, what's sad is that I watched season 2 all those times BEFORE I got the DVDs, and not at all since! LOL