A Year in Review

So, every good 90’s sitcom had the episode about the parents rushing around the night before Christmas because, oh no, someone forgot to buy Christmas presents and the relatives are coming tomorrow/kid’s toy is hard to get/we need to work in the Gift of the Magi somehow because Christmas. I always rolled my eyes at these episodes (though of course I watched them. I wasn’t going to miss an episode of Family Matters or Step by Step). Who waits that long? What a thin plot line, I mused.

Oh, hey karma, it’s me. Rachel. Just hanging out, completely unprepared for the holiday season.

Still, looking back on the year I think this procrastination is just trying to squish too much into too small of a space, so I’ll give myself a pass and thank God that my son didn’t want a Hatchimal.

Instead of decking the halls, here’s my 2016 wrap-up:


Books read: 98 (though I’m angling for the full hundred before the 31st… have a few in progress)

Favorite Authors Discovered and immediately Binged: Rainbow Rowell, Octavia Butler,  Curtis Sittenfeld, Leigh Bardugo, V.E. Schwab, Lisa Lee

Books that Made Me Ugly Cry: Sister of My Heart (Divakaruni), A Man Called Ove (Backman), The Underground Railroad (Whitehead), Harmony (Parkhurst), The Darkest Child (Phillips)

Longest Book: Infinite Jest (Foster Wallace)

Books I Couldn’t Put Down: Underground Airlines (Winters), The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (Elison), A World Without You (Revis),  IQ (Ide)

Books of Poetry: Three

Books of Feminist Essays: Five

Best Non-fiction: Musicophilia (Sacks) or Without You, There is No Us (Kim)

Best friends acquired from reading this year: numerous, via Litsy

Favorite Reads of the Year: Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple and Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal


Pieces accepted for publication: 5

Political think-pieces started and then discarded immediately in a rush of angry tears: at least 2

McSweeney’s rejections: oh God, a lot.

Novels completed: one

Novels re-vamped: also one

Queries sent: enough

Agents acquired: one! As of just last week!


TV Series Binged: Last Week TonightCurb Your Enthusiasm, The Office (again), VEEP (again), The West Wing (currently in progress because once, a long time ago, there was optimism in politics)

Forts made in the living room: at least five, and some of them were pretty good

Episodes of Curious George watched: probably only ten to fifteen, but it’s really a question of repetition of those ten to fifteen.

Oceans I’ve dipped my toe into: one

Times a cashier has caught me singing along to the song over the speakers at the grocery store: one

Political elections that I never want to talk about again: one

Years ahead that I’m nervous for, but can’t help but hold the slightest amount of hope for as well: one

Love to all of you during the darkest days of the year, and many blessings for the year ahead.

Six Ways to Celebrate Social Media


Social media is half most people’s social lives. 65% of Americans use social media in 2015 versus just 7% ten years ago.  Likes, followers, retweets, and blog entries are so important to us that it’s easy to take them for granted. National Social Media day is June 30, so here are six ways to celebrate that crazy, duck-faced, trending world we live in:

  • Post a selfie of yourself on social media, using social media

Totally meta, like one of those looking at yourself in a mirror while looking in a mirror, things.

  • Boost a new social media platform

Join and post about a breakout app that’s connecting people. Get at least one friend to join and review it on the app store. This is how new platforms get traction!

My recent favorite is Litsy– a hybrid of Instagram and Goodreads. It’s fab.

  • Write an obit for your favorite social media outlet that’s passed on.

Xanga, we hardly knew ye.

  • Do a social media fast.

Going without something makes you realize how much space it takes up in your life. Warning: one day without Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, and Instagram might just be eye-opening for you, but warn your friends you’re doing it or they might think you’ve been kidnapped.

  • Follow someone with completely different views than you.

It’s so easy to live in a social media bubble. For one day, follow someone who takes the opposite view in politics, likes that musician you hate, or just panned that restaurant that you eat at four times a week.

  • Post to your social media followers how much you adore them.

Only the best gifs will work for today, so bring your A game.