Jake LaCaze

2021 goals mid-year review

Every once in a while you have to check in with your ambitions. At the end of last year, I made a list of goals for 2021 that included something more than simply “survive”.

How have I been doing so far? Mostly good.

Goal: Read 30 books.

I’ve read 22 books so far. I admit most of these books have been short–as in under 300 pages, though Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson was over 400 pages long, so I suppose that one is my “stretch” title.

Fun fact: Shadow Divers is also my early pick for my surprise of 2021. The book was nowhere near my radar until a colleague loaned it to me.

So what’s the book about?

In 1991, some divers find a German U-boat off the coast of New Jersey. There were no records showing that this U-boat was ever in the area.

How do you go about verifying the identity of such a ship at 200 feet below the surface, when one mistake can be fatal?

Spoiler alert: Not everyone make it out of this one alive.

Goal: Take 3 writing classes.

I’ve knocked this one out of the park. I started off by wrapping up the Good with Words course on Coursera. Patrick Barry is the kind of professor I wish I’d had when I was in college–you know, paying much more for my education. The courses deal with the philosophy and nuance of good writing.

Last year I took a technical writing course online with Oregon State University. Earlier this month, I started a technical writing certification with the same school, so I guess I was a bit conservative with my original goal.

Goal: Finished watching Kids in the Hall

Count this one dead. Long story short, I screwed up my video library. Moving on…

Goal: No more blue jeans

This goal is still alive, though I do worry whether I’ll be able to finish strong. But at this point, maybe I’ve made it long enough that I don’t have to worry about relapsing back into denim hell.

Other critiques

I recently posted that I had converted my old blog to a new site–Turkey House Publishing. That post is already outdated, as I’ve converted my old blog to blog.jakelacaze.com.

Turkey House Publishing will remain my site for creative writing–short stories, vignettes, and other shenanigans.

So, on my unofficial goal of being more decisive in general, I have failed and still have much work to do.

I hope 2021 has been good to you so far and will continue to do so for the rest of the year and beyond.

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