Year in review 2012Na je nun ta sa ro un in gan jo gin yo ja. Eh sexy lady. Op op op op oppan Gangnam Style… Sorry, I still can’t get that song out of my head. It’s December. Time to review the year. There’s a lot to talk about but I’ll spare you the endless babbling and focus on some key stuff. First up are the goals I set earlier in the year. How did I do?

1) I will travel to a minimum of three new countries.
Fail. Being considered for a freelance jobs in another city was the only travel I came close to doing. Either they didn’t pan out or I ended up working from home.

2) I will read fifty books.
I got cocky after reading 50 books in 2011. I thought I could repeat in 2012. Not a chance. I read 17 books. I chalk it up to writing. I wrote more this year, leaving less time for reading. In the 2011, I still had a staff job at an ad agency. I was able to spend a couple of hours a day just reading. Now that I work for myself, I’m cracking the whip. It’s not an excuse. Reading is important and I need to find away to work it back into my schedule.

3) I will blog twice a week.
I reached almost half of this goal. I posted to my blog 50 times this year. I didn’t think posting twice a week would be that hard. It was.

4) I will get myself back into shape. I fucked this one up last year.
I’ve made great strides in this area. I’m happy about getting healthy again.

5) I will finish writing and publish the third and fourth book in the Darby Stansfield thriller series.
l wrote and published the third book (Loco Moco) in the Darby Stansfield series. The fourth is on hold.

6) I will finish writing and publish The St. Petersburg Confessions.
Done.

7) I will develop and write a book for a new series and publish it by years end.
Have you meet Abby Kane? Corktown is the first novel in my new series.

8) I will play all my unopened video games that I bought last year.
Did it. In fact, I even bought another game—Assassin’s Creed III. I didn’t think I would like it because I loved running around in ancient Greece and Italy. Having to settle for colonial America wasn’t too bad. Also, the fighting controls were simplified—no combinations to remember. All in all, worth the $50 I spent.

9) I will visit Yosemite National Park.
This falls into the no travel ban I somehow placed on myself. Fat fail.

10) I will visit every museum in San Francisco.
This one pains me. I really wanted to do this. I might have to bring it back in 2013.

11) I will smile more.
Hmmm, I’m not sure if I succeeded or not. I think I did but only others would know.

I was also able to meet the personal goals I set for my business. That made me happy but it wasn’t without sacrifice. I spent a lot of time working on my business, which left little time for living life, which I think is important. I’m going to do my best to correct that in 2013 and I ain’t kidding.

And now I would like to point out my favorite highlights of the year.

Loco Moco dishBest Submission of a Loco Moco Picture
This title goes to reader, John Taylor. I applaud his willingness to make a Loco Moco, one of my favorite dishes from back home in the islands. He said it only took him two attempts to get it right. Since then, he and his son have enjoyed the Hawaiian comfort food on many occasions. Keep grinding my friend.

Back of headBest Back of the Head Photo of 2012
Food blogger and designer extraordinaire, Becky K., of the blog Pixi Wishes & Forehead Kisses has captured this title. Let’s applaud her amazing head from behind.

st-petersburg_confessional-v2.jpgPerson Most Scared of St. Petersburg Confessions Cover
Only one person has admitted this. I have no other choice but to name that person the winner of this award. Congratulations to reader, Eric Arnold. He has yet to crack the book open. One day, hopefully.

The Darby Poll
I started a poll to find out how polarizing this mischievous man is. So far “hug him” is barely edging out “punch him in the face”. If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to take the poll.

Pinterest Cooking - Shrimp/CapresePinterest Cooking
Okay, how many people have become slightly better cooks and have up’d the presentation of their dishes just a tad bit? Go on, raise your hand along with me. Yup, thanks to Pinterest, I too have learned how to make dishes that are worthy of Instagram documentation.

Garlicky Baked Shrimp and Cucumber Caprese Salad was my first attempt at making one of those lovely dishes that often show up on my scroll. I’m happy to say I nailed it like only a Pinterest lover could. A huge thanks to food blogger, Lindsay, over at Normal Cooking for the wonderful shrimp recipe and photo. Props for the refreshing caprese salad recipe and photo goes to the fit folks over at Fit Sugar.

Angelfall Susan EeBook That Surprised Me Most
I did not read many books this year but I did read a really great one. That book was Angelfall by Susan Ee. It’s a YA book about the angels coming down from heaven to wreak havoc on earth. The MC, Penryn, is a tough girl with a quick mouth who I guarantee will win you over.

I never thought I would read this type of book. Luckily a friend of mine was like, “You gotta read this book. It’s awesome.” I was like, “Wha…? I don’t read those types of books.” And then she was like, “Seriously. Read the fricken book and then call me.” I told her, “Maybe.” So I read it. I’m glad I did. I’m anxiously awaiting book two.

Travel CaseBest Hobby Turned Into Business
This shout out goes to Creatively Custom Cases. The owner is a dear friend who started making these customized cases with her daughter as gifts for family and friends. It didn’t take long for word to spread. Poof! Instant business.

SkateboardCheck out her FB page to see the many cases they have made and to place an order. They are making an author themed case for me. Can’t wait to see what they come up with.

Nerd Moment Of The Year
Staying up late for this has to be it. Seriously.12-12-12

My Favorite Writer Moment Of The Year
I had a lot of highs this year but one stood out above the rest—capturing the #1 author spot in police procedurals. I toppled my favorite author, James Patterson, and held the spot for about a week. This was by far my feel good moment of the year. Some of you might have seen the post where I make eerie comparisons between the king of thrillers and myself. If you haven’t, it’s a quick read.Corktown Author Ranking

This seems like a good way to end my year in review. I’ll be dark until the new year. See you then and enjoy the holidays.