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How do you measure a year?

Well, on Broadway, of course it's 525,600 minutes...

Around here, there's less vibrato, more gelato. As close as I can calculate, my experience of 2008 consisted of:

188,400 words Not counting all the stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor, or the time spent revamping, rewriting, rethinking, I produced a finished first draft of a mystery novel, a signed/sealed/delivered ghost memoir, and some sizable pieces of my WIP.

22 Friday night critique sessions And for another year, I'd have to say that my critique group is one of the best things to happen to my personal and professional life. I'm not even counting the one-on-one coffee and crit or (or coffee and commiseration) sessions.

12,775 text messages About evenly split between Boy Man, Girl Child, and Grizzly Bear. Of course, that balance will tip dramatically this week since Jerusha got her tonsils out on Tues and can only communicate her need for Popsicles and crochet hooks via text.

Only 4 printer cartridges How much do we love the Internet? The days of printing and sending hard copies are few and far between. Pretty much copy edits and galley proofs. I print for critique, read-throughs, and work-on-the-plane stuff.

4285 hours of ass-in-chair writing I put in a lot of tailbone-numbing 17 hour days, but there were a few lovely days of utter sloth and Top Chef reruns.

74 hours of Top Chef reruns I know this is an odd fixation for a person who doesn't know how to cook and has no interest in learning, but I love this show. I don't spend many hours watching TV or movies, so when I do it's either research or pure escape.

410 hours at the gym Spin class twice a week, Pilates once or twice, and some resistance training. Sadly, none of that has been in the last six weeks. I've hardly been to the gym since Hurricane Ike shut the place down for a few weeks and got me out of the habit. (Cracking tiny whip in my head, but it's not working.)

2190 hours of sleep Which is not nearly enough. I average four or five hours a night plus a 45 min afternoon nap. One of my goals for 2009 is to go to bed before midnight at least four times a week.

43 pounds of bird seed I've trained a veritable chamber choir of song birds to buffet daily on my window sill. Some will actually tap on the glass if the cafeteria has run low on sunflower seeds. I get a ridiculous amount of pleasure from my office window birds.

I won't say anything sappy about how the moments of joy and I love yous have been countless. The fact is, frustrations were many and peace hard to come by. But I'd have to say, this was a year with a thousand good stories.

So how did your year add up?


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