2017 the year that disappeared

The Year That Disappeared: So Much For 2017

I keep thinking of 2017 as The Year That Disappeared.

To be honest, though, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. It was a year that mostly disappeared from the blog (18 posts in 365 days!), but some of it’s on Instagram.

bestnine 2017 instagram
Four of these “bestnine” (most “liked” on IG) photos were taken during 2 weeks in Italy, and one was on the day we saw HAMILTON. Not a bad highlight reel!

On a personal level, the highs points of 2017 were pretty darn high:

  • I stepped up into a new high-level role at work.
  • Paul and I spent 12 amazing days in Italy. We appreciated Rome, we were delightfully surprised by Venice, and we utterly loved Florence. It was our first time there and we do not intend for it to be the last!
  • We saw two Tony-Award-winning Best Musicals: The Book of Mormon in July, and Hamilton in October. One was the funniest musical I’ve ever seen (Spamalot has been bumped down to #2). The other was everything,
  • No one in the family spent a holiday in the hospital.
So yes, there were highs. But highs are always offset by lows.
  • I barely had a reading life, and most of that consisted of the news and current events. I’m paying for digital subscriptions to several newspapers and magazines now and I’m happy to do it. 2017 was a terribly eventful–eventful and pretty terrible–year. There’s always a sense of hope with the turn of the calendar, but 2018 might not get the memo that it’s supposed to do better right away. In any case, I think that trying to keep up is both essential and responsible.
  • “Keeping up” has made it tough to make time and energy to read actual books, though. And when you’ve identified as “a reader” since the age of four, not reading really messes with your sense of self.
  • (If it weren’t for audiobooks I’d have barely read at all in 2017. And sometimes I listened to less-demanding podcasts during my commute instead.)
  • The blog went dormant. This is partly due to not reading much. It’s also because I didn’t have much time for writing, and when I did have the time I lacked the physical and mental energy.
  • My book-review index will have a big gap where 2017 should be, and I’m not even going to berate myself for it. I may do short reviews of books that have stayed with me for one reason or another, but if I don’t I’ll accept it.
The Year That Disappeared…Into Work

That new high-level role at work was even more demanding than I anticipated. 2017 was as tumultuous a year for my organization as it was for the world in general. And as a nonprofit, our operations were also directly impacted by a lot of that external tumult and uncertainty.

I learned a lot as interim CFO, but much of the learning happened under intense pressure…and that is not where I do my best. After nine months, I asked to step back down from that role. Next week, I will be moving back to my old one–and my old office.

I objectively accept that I gave the job the best I could. I regretfully accept that I couldn’t perform at the level my organization needed from me. And I gratefully accept that I am able to move back into a niche where we all know I can do well.

And now you know why I chose my OneWord for 2018.

On to 2018! As I said on New Year’s Day, I’m not committing to a posting schedule or content right now. I’m just going to try to be here when I can, as much as I can. I hope you’ll be here too.

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Where Did October Go? Updates and Whatnot

Where Did October Go? Updates and Whatnot

Where did October go? Since I didn’t spend much of it around here, I come today to answer that question. I usually post this kind of thing as “Show and Tell Sunday.” The “preparing blog posts on the weekend” thing hasn’t worked out so well recently, though. Welcome to “Show and Tell Thursday”! There were entire weeks where I got up each day, fully intending to go straight into writing on the book, and instead ended […]

Fog, Dogs, and Sea Lions: A Central Coast Weekend

Fog, Dogs, and Sea Lions: A Central Coast Weekend

(Click on any photo to view full-screen and open its gallery as a slideshow. Mouse over to see the captions.) Sunny California doesn’t always live up to its reputation. During spring and early summer on the coast, the days are frequently overcast, cool, and foggy. The weather during our long weekend on the Central Coast, between Morro Bay and Monterey, was pretty generous with what we call “June Gloom,” but the mist and fog made […]

The BEA 2016 Highlight Reel

I collected some of the social media highlights of my Book Expo 2016 experience on Storify and thought I’d share them here as well. If you’re not seeing the embedded story in your feed reader, please click on through to the blog! But first, shout-outs to some of the people who made BEA 2016 Chicago such a great time: My roommate and blogging BFF Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) and our hotel neighbors Candace (Beth Fish Reads) […]

BEA 2016: 10 Takeaways (That Aren’t Books)

BEA 2016: 10 Takeaways (That Aren’t Books)

photo credit: Kim Ukura My thirty-pound box of books from Book Expo America 2016 shipped out from Chicago yesterday and is scheduled to be delivered on Friday, so I’ll be able to talk more about them next week. In the meantime, I’d like to share some takeaways, discoveries, and lessons from #BEA16. It’s good to go into BEA excited about at least a few of the books that will be getting buzz there. I was […]

6 Reasons I’m Not Ready for #BEA2016

6 Reasons I’m Not Ready for #BEA2016

Right about this time next week, I’ll be on my way to Chicago for Book Expo America 2016, and I am feeling severely under-prepared! I’ve taken care of the things that had to be done well in advance–I have the plane tickets, the hotel room, and the roommate–but not much else, and I’m not confident of my ability to get much prepping done in the time that remains. My Top 6 Reasons I’m Not Ready for […]

Vacation Stories: Looking at Books in Seattle

Vacation Stories: Looking at Books in Seattle

I have not dropped off the face of the earth, but after several weeks during which my work ate me alive, I did go on vacation for a week. We’ve just returned from our sorely-needed escape to Seattle and neighboring areas of the Evergreen State (with a day trip across the border to British Columbia). We’re still sorting and editing photos, but I thought y’all might want to see the bookish ones first.  You might […]

(Semi-)#WordlessWednesday: Scarecrows of the Central Coast

(Semi-)#WordlessWednesday: Scarecrows of the Central Coast

While traveling up and down California’s Central Coast this weekend, Tall Paul and I spent a little time wandering through Cambria. Cambria is the real-life inspiration for Christopher Moore’s fictional Pine Cove, and was in the midst of its annual Scarecrow Festival while we were there. I thought I’d show you some of the participants we encountered along Main Street. Apparently, crows are scared of skeletons. Who knew?  With California’s severe drought in mind, the […]

#WordlessWednesday (Wild Card): “Queen”

#WordlessWednesday (Wild Card): “Queen”

The suggested prompt for this week’s “wild card” is Queen. Few are more majestic than this Lady. An InLinkz Link-up Subscribe to Blog via Email Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Join 2,358 other subscribers Email Address Subscribe

#WordlessWednesday: Taking It Slow…

#WordlessWednesday: Taking It Slow…

…like, at a turtle’s pace. (It’s a “Wild Card” Wordless Wednesday. I’m going in the opposite direction of “wild.”) Turtles in the fountain at La Arcada, Santa Barbara CA, March 2014 An InLinkz Link-up Subscribe to Blog via Email Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Join 2,358 other subscribers Email Address Subscribe

Wordless Wednesday: “Back to…” (School  But Not Here.)

Wordless Wednesday: “Back to…” (School But Not Here.)

From the quad at Dartmouth College, Hanover NH, June 2013. Just visiting. An InLinkz Link-up Subscribe to Blog via Email Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Join 2,358 other subscribers Email Address Subscribe

Wordless Wednesday: “Architecture”

Wordless Wednesday: “Architecture”

One of my favorite things about the cities of the Northeast is the way old and new buildings live side by side, like here in downtown Boston. An InLinkz Link-up Subscribe to Blog via Email Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Join 2,358 other subscribers Email Address Subscribe

Wordless Wednesday: Blue

Wordless Wednesday: Blue

As seen from Virgin America flight 404 to New York City, May 27, 2014 An InLinkz Link-up Subscribe to Blog via Email Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Join 2,358 other subscribers Email Address Subscribe

Big Bang BOOM! (Wordless Wednesday)

Big Bang BOOM! (Wordless Wednesday)

Aboard the U.S.S. Constitution, Boston, June 2013 An InLinkz Link-up Subscribe to Blog via Email Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Join 2,358 other subscribers Email Address Subscribe

My Personal #BEA14 Highlight Reel

My Personal #BEA14 Highlight Reel

This post was created on Storify, and parts of it may not display properly in a feed reader. If they don’t, please click through to the blog! by Florinda Lantos Pendley Vasquez Photos, tweets, and updates from BEA Week 2014 No book hauls or long lines this year for me–and definitely no BookCon! The highlights of my 2014 trip to Book Expo America were subway rides (seriously!), dinners and drinks, and terrific conversations about books, blogging, […]