I was going to save this until the 31st, but Luscious and Connor have gone out, Erin’s happily watching Pete’s Dragon, and I’ve got little to do before I make dinner and settle into some line editing, so what the hell:

1. What did you do in 2005 that you’d never done before? Go away on holiday with the full Triffbatt family. Attend the Aurealis Awards.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? No, and no.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Callisto Shampoo and Cheshire had a baby boy, Vincent.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No.

5. What countries did you visit? None.

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005? A feeling of achievement. A copy of my short story collection in my hands. An agent. A completed novel. Another completed novel. A contract for one or both of them.

7. What dates from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 26th March, our wedding date.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Marrying Luscious. Seeing a (protracted) end to the court case.

9. What was your biggest failure? How long have you got? Let’s keep it to a couple of the biggies: having to go back to a day job, and failing to have Napoleone’s Land completely edited and finished. It’s finished, but I’m still fiddling with it, so it doesn’t count as ‘past project’ in my mind.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No, just the usual constant pain and discomfort I’ve grown used to over the last 4 years. Although I did have my first real back spasm during the year. That was tops.

11. What was the best thing you bought? The holiday to Brisbane for the family. An iPod for Lyn.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Luscious, as always. I could have no better partner to take through my life. Without her, all would be dust.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? At times, almost everybody. I’ve had a low year, as goes other people.

14. Where did most of your money go? Didn’t have enough of it to keep count 🙂

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My wedding. Erin and Connor’s birthdays. The move to the new house.

16. What song will always remind you of 2005? Chicago by Sufjan Stevens.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:i. happier or sadder? ii. thinner or fatter? iii. richer or poorer? About the same, although perhaps more reconciled to my life; fatter; richer, but making plans to change all that.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Writing, as always. Being with my family, especially as the current day job means over an hour’s travel each way.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Travelling to my day job. Having my day job. Wasting time. Relying on others.

20. How will you be spending Christmas? With Luscious, Erin and Connor, hanging around the house and relaxing. Boxing Day we have relatives coming over for lunch.

21. Who did you meet for the first time? Anna Tambour, online. Zoran Zivkovic and Jeff Vandermeer, ditto. The cool and froody Matt Farrer, in the flesh. Other than that, I can’t remember if I met any new faces. Apologies if I did, and it was you. I’m not having a good time for memory at the moment. Ask… you know… my wife… wossname…

22. Did you fall in love in 2005? Stayed in love. Much better.

23. What was your favourite TV program? I watched surprisingly little TV, for a guy with cable. The English Premier League, as usual. Lots of documentaries.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No, but there are a few colleagues I think a lot less of.

25. What was the best book you read? Hmm, hard to say. Read some damn good ones, and some bloody awful ones. Right now I’m halfway through Tim Powers’ Drawing Of The Dark and Gregory Frost’s collection Attack of The Jazz Giants. That’ll do.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Sufjan Stevens. Also Tom Waites, who I first heard twelve years ago and hated. Stumbled across him again this year, and took the time to really listen. Loving it.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? Charlie and The Chocolate Factory goes close. The Corpse Bride, perhaps. Finding Neverland.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 35. Spent it at the day job, for the first time ever. Sums up my year, really.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Spending it writing, at home, with Luscious. More time with the kids. Less time dealing with arseholes who have it in their mind to disrupt my life.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005? Same as usual. Sartorial dyslexia. Barefoot as often as possible.

31. What kept you sane? Having Luscious, Erin, and Connor to come home to.

32. What political issue stirred you the most? I hate politics, I hate politicians, and people who bang on about it have no concept of how boring they are.

33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005. Pick who you trust, and don’t pick too many. Do not let those who don’t matter distract you: they won’t be there to hear you regret things on your deathbed. Friends are only friendsa while they want to be: once they decide you don’t suit them they’ll issue ultimata or simply leave you to hang.

34. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Your beauty and kindness
Made tears clear my blindness
While I’m worth my room on this earth
I will be with you
While the chief, puts sunshine on Leith
I’ll thank him for his work
And your birth and my birth.
– The Proclaimers, Sunshine on Leith (For Lyn, from our wedding)

And, scanning the posts from this time last year, I noticed I’d set myself some goals. Let’s see how they went, shall we?

1. Finish Nouvelle Hollande and sell: Nope

2. Write and sell my second novel: Nope.

3. Sell a short story collection, just in case the current publisher doesn’t pick it up: Nope. The current publisher picked it up, they just haven’t, well, published it.

4. 500 words every day of the year: Nope.

5. Sell 10 short stories: Nope.

6. Hey, remember those comic book ideas you had?: Nope.

So, the verdict: FAILURE.

Ah well, onto bigger and better failures next year.

Song of the moment: Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis Tom Waites

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