Mark Terry

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Taking Stock of 2008

December 31, 2008
The general consensus seems to be that 2008 sucked dead bears.

I'm not sure I'm in that group, actually. For an awful lot of people, it's been a rough year with failing businesses, unemployment and a lot of misery.

My year seems to have been fairly typical with some real positives in it.

Here are a few highlights, positive and negative.

1. Spent a week in Houston. Meh.
2. Was offered a contract job for big bucks to work out of the house, took it, then quit it two weeks later for a complex bunch of reasons. Had I known the economy was going to tank 4 months later I might have kept it, but I still think the decision was the right one. They're good people and it was probably a great gig, but I wasn't really the right guy for it. For better or worse, I value having multiple clients, maximum flexibility and being able to call myself a freelance writer.
3. Spent a couple weeks in Northern Michigan. Good.
4. Became a Grand Uncle. My nephew Tim and his wife Liz had a baby--on October 31st, no less.
5. I picked up a couple new clients (including the parent company for the contract job I quit).
6. I got hired to write a nonfiction book proposal. We'll start marketing it shortly.
7. I took on the job of Band Booster secretary and have become very involved with the Oxford band program.
8. Added running to my physical fitness mix.
9. My weight started to creep up again. Meh!
10. Read a lot more children's books and nonfiction this year.
11. Was (am) a judge for ITW's Thriller Award.
12. Finished two children's novels, The Fortress of Diamonds, and Monster Seeker. Fortress is being marketed, MS is with my agent, since I just finished it a couple days ago.
13. I bought a new guitar.
14. Made some friends, like Erica, and Natasha and Chris and Roseanne and Gary and Jim.
15. Lost entirely too much of the value of my retirement accounts.
16. Luckily some of my friends who work for Chrysler still have jobs (for now).
17. One of my favorite restaurants in town went out of business this week because of the economy. (That really sucks).
18. Learned to play Jack Johnson's "F-Stop Blues" on the guitar as well as a couple Carcassi etudes, "Landslide" and "Dust in the Wind."

So, overall, it could have been worse. I'm reasonably healthy, my finances and business are more or less in order, my wife and children are happy and healthy...

Best wishes to you in 2009!

Mark Terry


Blogger spyscribbler said...

Wow, that's awesome! I have a student who's a Halloween baby. She LOVES that, even now that she's older.

You know, financially, this was a very stressful year, probably the most stressful, ever. Shockingly, through all that, we've ended up in a better financial position this New Year's than last year. I don't know how.

The newest crop of parents, of first-graders and second-graders, actually find it offensive that I ask the students to practice five days a week. Even a fourth-grader quit last year, because OH MY GOD I expected her daughter (who was at Sonatina level) to practice thirty-forty minutes a day.

Of course, they expect the same results as my older kids, regardless. The step I need to take in order to make my business successful in this culture, is to run my studio so it doesn't matter whether or not they practice or learn. I'm just not willing to go there, besides, Glenn wants to retire on an RV in mid-2010.

So, my writing goals for this year are pretty much insane. But whatever pays the bills.

8:03 AM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

YAY! I made the list!


11:48 AM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...


Can I say, "Sucked dead bears" will be my new phrase this year?

8:27 AM  
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