A Recap of My Year || Highlights of 2018

Happy almost-2019, my friends! Do you feel ready for the new year, or does it feel strange to you? Last year I didn’t feel quite ready for 2018, but this year I feel prepared. πŸ˜€ 2018 was a pretty crazy year, and I’m excited to see what 2019 will hold! What are you most looking forward to this year?

I decided to join in the end-of-year posts with a 2018 recap. πŸ™‚ I’ll try to keep this fast, but we’ll see how it goes. XD Onward!

b l o g g i n g

I published 39 posts this year, which is half as many posts as I wrote in 2017. I just didn’t have near as much time on my hands for blogging. :/ Are you guys okay with the amount of posts I do now, or do you want more? I’d love to hear your thoughts. πŸ˜€ Here are some of my favorite posts from 2018:

Other fun blogging memories: I re-designed my entire blog twice, showed my face (whoa there’s an actual human writing this), and started a business for bloggers! I also discovered lots of lovely new blogs and made some new blogging friends. πŸ˜€ What were some highlights of your blogging year?

s c h o o l

2019 will be my last full year as a high schooler. O_o I completed four online college classes this year – U.S. History, American Government, English 102, and Music Appreciation. I’m about to start World Literature II and Intro to Psychology. At this point, I really need to choose some sort of major so I can start taking more specific classes. But… I have no idea what I want to do. XD My dream job would be to work at Pixar as either a storyboard artist or doing something with camera angles. BUT HOW DOES ONE EVEN GET A JOB AT PIXAR. *hyperventilates*

So yep, school is going great. πŸ˜€ Moving on!

m u s i c

I learned to play the ukulele this year, and it’s been so much fun! I first learned to play on a tiny ukulele that was practically a toy, and then my parents gave me this beautiful one for my birthday. πŸ˜€ His name is Jeffrey and he sounds AMAZING. It’s also been just about a year since I got my new fiddle, Fin. My younger sister and I took piano lessons for about two months during the summer, but our teacher was… odd to say the least. It didn’t work out. XD

I listened to a lot of great music this year! Here are my four favorite albums of the year:

Acoustic Live Vol. 1 – NEEDTOBREATHE

Favorite song: Brother (Acoustic Live)

Good News – Rend Collective

Favorite song: I Will Be Undignified

Be sure to check out those albums for some amazing music! πŸ˜€ What were your favorite songs of 2018? Did you learn any new instruments this year?

p h o t o g r a p h y

This has been a pretty exciting photography year for me! I won a state-wide photography contest in August, bought a new camera in October, and just learned a ton about photography in general. I also started an Instagram where I usually share photos before they end up on my blog. You can check it out here!

As an example of how my photos have improved, here are the first and last photos that I took of Maude in 2018. You can really see a difference in the lighting, composition, and editing! I obviously still have so much to learn, but I hope I’ll continue to improve and learn from my mistakes. πŸ˜€

w r i t i n g

I played around with countless story ideas this year, but I didn’t actually finish anything other than some short stories. I had a lot of fun doing Camp NaNoWriMo in April, but I failed NaNo in November… yay me. On the bright side, I had one of my short stories published in a magazine! I have SO many different ideas in my head that I’m working to organize and make some sense of. Maybe by the time I’m 80 I’ll have finally finished a book. πŸ˜€ What are you currently writing?

r e a d i n g

I read a total of 102 books in 2018! This was a really great reading year for me – I discovered a lot of new favorite books and authors. I also went to my first book festival and met Jeanne Birdsall, one of my writing role models. πŸ™‚

It was QUITE difficult to choose only five, but here are the five best books I read this year (in no particular order):

Okay for Now
by Gary D. Schmidt

Okay For Now explores a seemingly improbable alliance between new outsider in town Doug Swieteck and Lil Spicer, the savvy spitfire daughter of his deli owner boss. With her challenging assistance, Doug discovers new sides of himself. Along the way, he also readjusts his relationship with his abusive father, his school peers, and his older brother, a newly returned war victim of Vietnam.

Fiddler’s Green
by A.S. Peterson

Fin Button is the talk of the colonies. The British say she’s a pirate. The Americans call her a mutineer. The crew of the Rattlesnake call her the most unlikely thing of all: captain. But with the Revolution on the verge of defeat, the Congress offers Fin a deal. If she can free a noblewoman held captive by pirates, the French may be persuaded to join the war. Fin’s reward? A full pardon.

Louisiana’s Way Home
by Kate DiCamillo

When Louisiana Elefante’s granny wakes her up in the middle of the night to tell her that the day of reckoning has arrived and they have to leave home immediately, Louisiana isn’t overly worried. After all, Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas. But this time, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return. Separated from her best friends, Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana struggles to oppose the winds of fate (and Granny) and find a way home.

The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jackβ€”who has already killed Bod’s family…

The Penderwicks At Last
by Jeanne Birdsall

Nine years, five older siblings, a few beloved dogs, and an endless array of adventures–these are the things that have shaped Lydia’s journey since readers first met her in The Penderwicks in Spring. Now it’s summertime, and the Penderwicks will all be returning to Arundel, the place where it all began. And better still is the occasion: a good old-fashioned, homemade-by-Penderwicks wedding.

Do yourself a favor and go read all of those lovely books! What were your favorite reads of 2018? Have you read any of the books on my list?

a d v e n t u r e

travel.jpg (672×449)

I traveled to a lot of neat places this year! We went to Colorado, Nebraska, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Indiana, North Carolina, and Florida. During our travels, we ate way too much fast food, took thousands of pictures, met really cool people, got lost a few times, and made a whole lot of memories. Traveling is a lot more than you see on Instagram, and it definitely isn’t easy, but I love it. Anyone want to drive to Alaska with me? πŸ˜€

I also had a lot of adventures right here on the farm! It snowed for the first time in nine years. We bought my mom a cow for her birthday. I saw a lot of wildlife and beautiful night skies. We survived a hurricane. The creek flooded more than it has in ages. We celebrated ten years on the farm. It was a great year. ❀

What were the highlights of YOUR year? I’d love to hear everything in the comments below. πŸ˜€

Happy New Year!

49 thoughts on “A Recap of My Year || Highlights of 2018

  1. CLARA I LEFT YOU A COMMENT BUT IT DISAPPEARED. HELP.
    Anyway, it looks like you had a really wonderful year! I learned the guitar and LOVED the acoustic NTB album, started teaching violin, read some really amazing books as well (The Girl Who Could See is one of my FAVORITES, EEP) and got to visit you-know-who. πŸ˜‰ WHAT, YOU’RE A SENIOR NEXT YEAR? Come back to NC and I’ll do your senior pictures. EEP, HOW EXCITING.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WHAT. HOW RUDE. BAD WORDPRESS.
      Thanks for taking the time to write a new comment! Ooh, yay for learning the guitar and teaching violin! Ahh, I’ve been wanting to read The Girl Who Could See for ages now. XD AND YEP! Aww, I wish I could – that would be wonderful! YEP, EXCITING BUT ALSO WEIRD. O_O

      -Clara ❀

      Like

    1. AHH YES. You’re the first person I know who’s read it! Have you read The Wednesday Wars?
      Haha, yeah, I have. XD From what I’ve read, most people get in from either working at smaller animation companies first or going through the internship program, so I’ll probably try to do one of those!

      -Clara ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tori! πŸ˜€ Hmm… this was a local college magazine looking for highschool-age writers, so it was a little bit of a unique situation. Maybe try looking for local magazines in your area and seeing what the submission process is like? πŸ™‚

      -Clara ❀

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  2. You’ve had a great year Clara, and I can’t wait to see where 2019 takes you!
    P.S. When you say you’re in your last year of high school… would you mind telling me how old you are instead? Just because I don’t live in America so I’m not sure of the system! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚ I hope 2019 is a great year for you!
      Well, I’d rather not share my exact age online… I’m actually not the age that most people think I am since I’m a little bit ahead in school. πŸ˜‰

      -Clara ❀

      Like

  3. This was a super fun post, Clara! I looks like you had a great 2018 and I hope 2019 will be awesome as well!
    My Dad actually knows someone who works at Pixar… I think he got in on a summer internship program or something.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Clara! I finally made my way over to your blog, and it completely lived up to what everyone says! It’s gorgeous, and your posts are great. πŸ™‚
    I just heard of the Fiddler’s Green series and it sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to read it! The Penderwicks at Last was such a fun book, too. It was so amazing to see all the Penderwicks grown up! Have you read The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street books? They’re quite a bit like the Penderwicks books.
    Anyhow, wonderful blog! I’m excited to read more posts.
    -Grace

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Grace! It’s nice to meet you! πŸ™‚ Thank you so much!
      It is a wonderful series – I hope you enjoy it! And YES, I loved The Penderwicks at Last. ❀ Ooh, I haven’t read that book, but my sister has! I’ll have to check it out. πŸ™‚
      Thanks so much – I hope you have a wonderful day!

      -Clara ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. HOW HAVE I NOT READ THIS?? I just realized WordPress unfollowed me from your blog! HOW VERY RUDE. >:/ XD I shall fix that right away. Anyway, this was a lovely wrap-up, dear. It looks like you had a pretty exciting year! Yeah, I didn’t post very often either. :/ Oh, of COURSE I’d love to see more of your posts, hee hee! But I understand if you just don’t have time – same here, sometimes. πŸ˜‰ Also ooh, book suggestions! I haven’t read any of them but The Penderwicks at Last, which I loved. πŸ˜€ )
    Happy 2019, Clara! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WHAT. That’s so weird – the same thing happened to Laura! Please don’t take my followers, WordPress. XD
      Thank you so much! Haha, I’m glad you understand. πŸ˜€ OOH, you should especially check out Okay For Now – it’s probably the best book I read in 2018!
      Happy 2019, Allison!

      -Clara ❀

      Like

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