Mid-Year Check-Up

Alas, a little too long between updates again. My apologies.

Life has been extremely full for me in 2016. My course load at Signum University has been quite rigorous all year, with no signs of stopping in the fall semester. This fall, I’ll be taking my last required class (Intro to Anglo-Saxon) for my M. A. degree before I begin the thesis process in the spring. By the time I finish, I’ll have my M. A. in Literature and Language, specializing in Imaginative Literature. The prospect of completing my M. A. is nothing less than exciting to me, as you might imagine. However, the process of completing the degree has been a joy, despite its challenges.

Anyway, I digress. Here’s a mid-year check-up on how I’m doing towards my goals for 2016. There’s more 2016 behind us than in front of us (how did that happen?!), so let’s see where I stand.

  1. Read 50 books. I’ve actually done fairly well at this goal, largely due to my love of audiobooks, as well as my summer class requiring me to read approximately 2 books a week. According to my Goodreads Reading Challenge, I’m right at 52% of my goal at the time of writing this post. I’ll finish a couple more books this week, and I look forward to all the fun things I’ll get to read between classes in a few weeks. Up to the plate are an assortment of graphic novels, notably the final volume of Mark Waid’s Here Comes…Daredevil The Man Without Fear series, Mark Waid’s Princess Leia series, the volumes of the brilliant Greg Weisman’s Kanan series (Weisman is the creator of Gargoyles, arguably my favorite animated series of all time), and the Guardians Team-Up series, which looks to be a barrel of laughs. I’ve also been graciously granted 2 different review copies of novels, one by my friend and college classmate, J. P. Beaubien, his Aeon Legion: Labyrinth (Book 1), and another by friends of a friend, Keys of Candor: The Red Deaths by Casey Eanes and Seth Ervin. I also am about a month or two overdue to review my friend and college classmate, Tom Farmer‘s book, The Week the World Ended. (Preview: I loved it).
  2. Write consistently. Whoops. I’ve found it challenging to keep up with this goal, largely because of the heavy workload I’ve shouldered in real life (I’m still looking for more work, if you need help with social media, blogging, etc.), in addition to the challenges of my M. A. courses. One other thing related to my writing coming up is that I’m going to be on a panel at HoshiCon in Charlotte next week entitled, “Faith and Fandom?” with my dear friends Bethany Nuckolls and Sarah Onxley.  If you’re planning to attend HoshiCon, I’d love it if you dropped by our panel on Sunday to say hello.
  3. Retro gaming. I’ll say I’ve done “okay” on this goal. Again, my time has been a bit limited with my work and rigorous course load. However, I did acquire a copy of DuckTales for NES and it’s been quite fun and more difficult than I expected. I loved the show growing up and have been having fun playing the game. I want to get some more games for NES and work on playing and beating the games I have. Speaking of which, I finally finished Legend of the Dragoon for PS1 earlier this year and I absolutely loved it. Truthfully, this is probably the first video game RPG I’ve ever played to completion. That was a gorgeous game that unfortunately has never received the sequel it deserves.
  4. Fill in the gaps in my film/television “Nerd Knowledge.” Since the beginning of the year, I’ve completed The X-FilesJessica Jones, the second season of Daredevil, the new Voltron: Legendary Defender series, Sword Art Online, the Disney adaptation of Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Black HoleVV: The Final Battle, and gotten all caught up on Game of Thrones. That’s quite a lot, so you might say I’ve managed to do excellently on this goal. Television/film is primarily a destresser for me, so that’s been a great way for me to relax and enjoy some current and classic science fiction and anime. I also watched Akira for the first time in 10 years, which I enjoyed this time around much more than I did then. I also watched Ghost in the Shell for the first time and loved it, a surprise for me as I didn’t like it when I read the graphic novel for a class in undergrad 10 years ago. I think this is due to my somewhat newly acquired taste for cyberpunk. I think I want to watch more anime this year than I have in recent years, so I’d love some recommendations thrown my way. I’ve seen a good portion of the Miyazaki films, so I’d love recommendations on other solid anime films and series, or any other solid science fiction/fantasy films/TV shows you love. My favorite animes tend to have giant robots (VoltronGundam WingRobotech) and I lean towards retro anime, so if you have a favorite, send it my way.
  5. Make time for myself. It’s difficult for me to gauge how well I’ve done on this goal. I’ve been working a lot, but I’ve also been trying to leave Mondays open as just “me” days, where I relax, and try to do things that help me stay stress-free. I mostly just feel tired pretty often, but I think I can just chalk that up to stress. I think I did pretty well on that this week, with a long nap, catching up on Sleepy Hollow, a trip to the Farmer’s Market, and spending the evening at an Independence Day cookout with good friends. I also haven’t gotten to take advantage of the nice swimming pool at my apartment complex, so I think I’ll give that a go more often while summer is in full swing.

How are you progressing on your goals this year? If you can quantify it, you can take action on it.

This post contains sponsored links. Please see my disclosure policy for more details. 

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About The Nerdy Blogger

Ashley Whitehead Thomas is The Nerdy Blogger. She holds a B. A. in English Literature from Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee and began her M. A. at Signum University in Spring 2013. Ashley blogs, reads, writes (for fun and for hire), and spends time with her husband, Ryan, and their two cat-monsters, Luna and Oliver.
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2 Responses to Mid-Year Check-Up

  1. *Gaaassssp* The Legend of Dragoon! One of my favorite games of all time, got me into the RPG genre. Heck, it got me into writing! Glad you liked it, too. I believe it was your Goodreads challenge that inspired me to make my own and I am currently 90% through (27/30 books). Graphic novels are reeaaal easy to read. And fun!

    • So glad to meet someone else that enjoys that game! It was a lot of fun, but I only know a few people that have even heard of it. I’ve recently acquired a few new RPGS, two D&D games for NES & Genesis, and they’ve been fun and challenging. I really like all the music in the games too. Great job on hitting your reading goals! I need to get back with it.

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