As I wrote last month, I went through a period of feeling personally and professionally deadlocked, and flailed about for some time before I found the answer of making a list of everything I wanted to accomplish in the foreseeable future. What a relief it was to get all of it out of my head and written down somewhere. My own mental tempdb was full, and my ad-hoc cache badly needed flushing.
I also said I would write on my progress, to keep me accountable, and allow you either to celebrate with me or to laugh or shake your heads at my “I Love Lucy” antics. So, in a month, I’ve done the following:
- Spoken at SQLSaturday St. Louis. I have been excited for this opportunity. I had the best audience of the day, who made it a pleasure for me.
- Written over 10 blogs. No, they are not all published yet, but they will be soon! Stay tuned. I am working on a large series that I hope will be really helpful – and cool.
- Arranged or attended six get-togethers with friends and family. Yes, I’m still alive. No, I’m not posting on FB or IG so much. I find that I’ve missed “real life” a lot, and I enjoy it even more when I’m not thinking about how to write about everything later or taking pictures for social media. Plus, it freed up even more time to…
- Read six good books! You will see a trend here….
- Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray. Part I of a trilogy of historical fiction focused on the children of Cleopatra and Marc Antony – particularly her daughter, Cleopatra Selene. I love Stephanie Dray’s writing, and never more than at the end, when she explains what is real and what is not – and how she made those decisions.
- Song of the Nile by Stephanie Dray – Part II. Because I just had to know what happened next. Please finish Part III, Ms. Dray. You cannot just leave me hanging like this.
- My Dear Hamilton by Laura Kamoie and Stephanie Dray. Another historical fiction novel, but this time about Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, the wife of Alexander Hamilton. Her father was a general in the Revolutionary War, which placed her at the epicenter of the history of the time. She also knew most of the first dozen Presidents. It was my second time reading it, because it was just that good. It is long, but I hated for it to end. It has become one of my top ten favorite books of all time.
- The Templars by Dan Jones. If you want to strip away the Dan Brown from the Templar legend, Dan Jones is the man to help you. This is maybe the third book of his that I’ve read, and it was worth it. He devotes a chapter to how the myths about the Templars arose. Excellent.
- Victoria: The Queen by Julia Baird. I didn’t know very much about this monarch, and was surprised by how modern she could be. There are those who might argue that the monarch should retain an element of mystery. For myself, I love reading about people who rise to extraordinary circumstances, and certainly, claiming and holding the throne qualifies. Seeing the times that Victoria rose (and the times she did not) was inspiring, and reassuring.
- The Husband Hunters by Anne de Courcy. The historical account of the turn-of-the-century American heiresses who went to England in search of a title, to marry nobility in search of cash. As you can imagine, most of the marriages did not go well. It is a fascinating look into late Victorian and early Edwardian society.
- Started the process to (attempt to) fully automate replication. You will be reading about this soon. I have been writing as I work on this, and have the foundational work done. I have no idea if I can really do it all or not. Come along on the ride with me. Once this is done, I definitely level up.