Most of the ups involved writing. I read The Artist's Way (and 50 other books, which seems impressive by my standards until you realize that most of them were comic collections or very slim books), which helped my writing a bit. I self-published my novel The Odic Touch as an ebook (a fact with which I am a little bitter) and sold a handful of copies. I also published a collection called Halloween Tales, though it didn't sell as many copies. Of course, it was only available for a month.
I started attending the University of South Carolina in Aiken and got a writing position on the school paper, The Pacer Times; I started a scrapbook of articles and photos from my first semester on board. I also joined the school's poetry club, The Guild of Poetic Intent, and read some Haiku which were well accepted.
The biggest triumph of 2011 in my opinion is the fact that I was traditionally published twice (in USCA's Broken Ink and Firefly & Wisp's 13 Tales of the Paranormal). Each time I was paid with a contributor's copy, which works for me!
A few of the downs also include writing. I didn't finish my first NaNoWriMo in November. It did lead to a very interesting poem I wrote, though! I did finish my Dasher Saga, though, and drew a picture of a scene from Year One, which is both an up and a down, as finishing the series left me sad.
I received several rejection notices, though most of them were very nice. I even received one acceptance email, but upon further investigation on the website, it seems they never published my "accepted" work. That was a bummer.
I think that's all the writing stuff from 2011. Other ups include a good birthday (saw Final Destination 5 on the big screen), getting a new puppy last January (though her favorite food is BOOKS), finishing college math and my associate degree, getting a new TV last month (though the circumstances were less than pleasant; my dad gave it to me after he inherited it from his aunt when she died), finding some great deals at 2nd & Charles, and scoring a lot of stuff at Borders on their next-to-last day. I walked out of there with $150+ worth of books and music and only paid $15. That's a saving of 90% total. I was pretty pleased!
The downs, however, were plentiful. There were several deaths in the family (three great-aunts in a row, plus one of my dad's cousins and his sister-in-law's nephew). My great-aunt Mary (whose TV my dad gave me) died on my mom's birthday, also the anniversary of Brittany Murphy's death (one of my favorite actresses), and five days before Christmas. Her funeral was 12/22, so there was a shadow hanging over the family gathering on Christmas Eve in her first absence in so many years. My sister Lenora broke her ankle and had to spend Christmas in a hospital in California, so that was a bummer.
So yeah, though 2011 had plenty of upsides (and a lot of really good movies), the downs made me glad to see it end.
I made a few New Year's resolutions for 2012. First, to exercise more often and cheat the diet less. Since I'm a student at USCA again, my student membership at their gym should be available again. Unfortunately, my sister is determined to only go to Aiken two days a week, and since I'll have four classes, I won't have much time for working out... but I'll try to squeeze some in. I may not be able to work on the Pacer Times this semester if she refuses to take me to the meetings (assuming they fall on one of our off-days).
I also resolve to try harder for traditional mainstream publication, which means I'd better find an agent. I've got a guide to literary agents from 2009 (the pdf of The Complete 2009 Writer's Market on DVD-ROM), but all it takes to find out who's currently taking new clients is their agencies' websites, which are listed in the book. If I see one that hasn't been updated since 2009, I'll just check them off the list.
I also agreed to take part in WIP500, a year-long thing in which each writer involved writes 500 words per day. I'm going to count this blog, as it documents my writing career, so this is probably January 1st's 500 words. hehe
Other than those three things, I'll try to read even more in 2012 (I can start by finishing the four books I've already started). Happy New Year to all!