Doing laps in the LA Fishbowl

Watching My Step in 2016

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2016 hobbles in. Or, more accurately, I hobble in to 2016. Late last night, walking the dog after midnight, I started scrolling on my phone in the dark to see how people were celebrating the new year on Facebook, and twisted my ankle on a rut in the road.

It was an apt admonishment to begin the year: be mindful. Be aware. Or you might make a misstep.

2015. Lots of ups and downs this year, certainly. A lot of people I know are happy to see its backside. But for me, there was a lot to be thankful for:

First off, this happened:

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This was a major event in my life, in that it was something I’ve always, always wanted to accomplish. Growing up, reading was my source of distraction, entertainment, and hope. Novels got me out of my life and through my life and into many other fascinating worlds. If I could transport somebody in a book the way I was transported, it would be a fine thing indeed. I hope I have. The book may not have been a life-changing event (not yet, anyway), but it did give me a ticket into yet another fascinating terrain. My wonderful literary agent pulled opened the door and there it was, in technicolor: the World of Publishing.

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I got to see how a book gets put together, the tremendous amount of work and planning that goes into it, and the honest but gracious folks who do that work (and still have time to take my calls).

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I discovered that not only are authors just like regular folk, but that they are frequently even better—generous with their time, advice and (thanks to you all) blurbs;

found literary websites— o’s & 1’s Reads, Electric Literature, LA Review of Books, Lambda Literary— that I had not known before;

taken a peek into the world of audiobook narration, something I hope to do more of in the coming year;

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and, of best of all, I got to connect with so many friends who found the book on Amazon (and left reviews!), in their local bookstores and at readings, connecting me with a wide web of avid readers who appreciate books as much as I do.

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I’ve also discovered the world of social media, a decidedly mixed blessing. Facebook, twitter, instagram, tumblr: that’s where all the time went in 2015!

On the acting front, there was a smaller, though no less satisfying dream accomplished: doing voices for a Studio Ghibli film. Just squeaked in, too!

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And I made another rare on-camera appearance in an National Geographic series called Now We Know, thanks to the excellent memory of producer John Altshchuler, with whom I worked on King of the Hill many, many moons ago.

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And this is before I get into the makeup chair.

In my personal life, there’s been major changes as well. Doug graduated with an MFA in writing from UC Riverside;

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Ben has launched full-force into adolescence, a process which alternately horrifies and fascinates me;

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And I tried my hand at many dome-shaped culinary creations:

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Timpano

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Bucatini Dome

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Charlotte Royale— Goodness, no wonder I’ve become a little dome shaped myself this year.

Also, the lizard.

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And, of course, there was this:

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There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world up ahead— politically, environmentally, socially. I’m going to try to be active without being quite so reactive. Try to steer away from that (or those) which diminishes, the ugly and the profane (profanity, though, still good!). Be aware. Be mindful. And avoid those ruts in the road.

January 2nd, 2016 - Still Life Las Vegas

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