Summary of 2020

How was my 2020? Consider I started writing this in February 2021, and now it’s April. To be fair, I hadn’t planned on posting it until around now anyway, but I’ve been busy. Very busy. Forgive me a brief digression.

I’m sure for some, pandemic life has been more productive, but for me, high school teaching has sucked away all my free time. The need to devise new lessons for a new hybrid system ensures I only have time for grading on the weekend. (My prep period can’t be used, it only occurs every couple months – when it runs for a full week. A better system was rejected by Ontario’s Ministry of Education in late August.)

On top of that, in September the timetables shifted and I got a course I haven’t taught in six years. This, on account of students moving to full virtual school, collapsing the in-school sections. Fine, but it meant no chance to prep that over the summer. (Requires research. Finance has changed in that time, for example no more Canada Savings Bonds.)

Oh, and one class in 2020 was 32 students, my largest ever, owing to the new 2020 collective agreement under Ford’s Conservatives, and their bizarre hate for the education system. (They want bigger classes and mandatory online learning.) And while our Board’s in-person classes are split by cohorts (that one 16-16) to fit people into a single room, it does double the workload because the cohorts get out of synch.

But anyway… I blogged elsewhere about a lot of that. And let’s not even get into last March-June 2020, with my two year old at home with us. Digression over.

POST SCHEDULING

To start 2020, we had the Virga Mystery “Balancing Act” Saga wrap up in early April, concluding the story that began in late January 2019. That wasn’t hard; the editing had largely been done in 2019. “Epsilon” then resumed with a recap and voting, and part six, “Smoke with Mirrors”, began last May 2020. A story with no buffer.

With that, you might have noticed there’s been longer delays between posts. (So much for the projected “gradual easing” of my schedule from last year’s February 2020’s recap, ha ha.)

The post-every-two-weeks pace actually DID continue through the end of the school year, and the summer, only needing to be sacrificed in October 2020. Partly school related, and partly me doing Time Untied prep for November’s NaNo (since “Epsilon” was experiencing the usual low engagement).

We had one “Epsilon” part only for: Oct, Nov and Dec. (There was also an Untied Characters post in Nov, if you missed that.) However, given Index and Behind the Scenes posts, that still closed out the year with 26 published posts in 52 weeks, only one less than in 2019.

The good news is, this meant page views went up from 2019 – to 1,635 – with overall more comments (eight, not including my responses). The bad news is, “better” is still the second worst of all the 6.5 years the blog has been running. If the pandemic was leaving others bored, they weren’t looking at my blog.

Not like I’ve had time to do ANY marketing, of course.

Deeper Stats: The best month for page views was October 2020 (someone actually reading Time & Tied, not sure if they got all the way) with 376. The worst was August 2020 with a mere 57 views (fewer than two per day), which was when “Epsilon” was still on track.

The first episode of Time & Tied was still the highest hit (ignoring Index page counts) with 52 clicks, followed by the start of Epsilon’s third series with 33. Beyond that, we go under 20. The three largest countries of origin were the US, Canada and the UK (all with over 100 page views, though the US leads substantially). So not Sweden this time.

What does this all mean?

Mostly that I have no time for analysis. Let me know if you see something. At this point, we’re going to continue with every two weeks going forwards, even though it will be reruns. See that poll below; first I want to talk about our Time & Tied sequel yet again.

TIME UNTIED

It’s still coming together! New year, new commission in August 2020, which was in the Characters post referenced above. My thanks to Mharz, you should check out her comics (including CHAMPS, a lesbian wrestling romance).

A quick recap up to 2019: My early writing for “Untied” dates from 2014, before I had even posted up Carrie Waterson’s first stories. I restarted from the top for NaNoWriMo 2017, managing 39,372 words by early December. I did edits for it the summer of 2018, splitting it into four files. November 2018 saw an additional 29,225 words, and by January 2019 we were at 6 files with over 65,000 words total.

November 2019 added another 33,373 words, pushing that total near 100k. I since took some time in March 2020 to tidy the formatting, yielding over 7 files (maybe 15k words each), and then again revisited the writing in July 2020.

October 2020 is when I started Revision III, taking two weeks to work up through everything from the start. (At the same time creating a Time Tracker, as I’d realized I would need it for the various timelines going forwards.) At this point, we were past 125,000 words.

November 2020 put in 32k more, so now we’re past 150k AND past what I consider the halfway point. So that’s something. (It then wasn’t until early March of this year, 2021, that I had time to tidy things up a bit more from Nov 30th.)

I really really hope you enjoy it when it arrives. ;.;

As far as coins go for 2020 – read “Time & Tied” if you don’t understand why this is interesting – the pandemic has done the unthinkable for me and made cashless the default.

Yes, coins and a pandemic do not mix well, though I did occasionally pay with cash. Either to keep my debit payments low (not all places take credit cards) or in all honesty to see if there *were* 2020 coins out there.

Fun fact, in the USA there was a reported Coin Shortage (that’s an article from July 2020, updated in January). This problem last summer actually resulted in MORE minted coins in 2020 as compared to previous years, but also with rationing of the inventory (so we see less). Supposedly the situation is now stabilizing.

Of course, I live in Canada.

Consider, to end 2015, I had 42 coins from that year. During 2016 I got 37 coins minted then (some in BC). During 2017 I got 20 coins minted that year (some before June). During 2018 I got 21 coins minted that year. During 2019 I got 17 coins minted that year. During 2020 I got one.

Yes, one. A toonie, in the fall. Commemorative, so that’s something.

However when I was returning some empty wine bottles to the beer store in the first week of January 2021 (after the holidays), I got a quarter as part of the change. So I’m counting it. Partly as proof that they exist. Image included, as usual.

What will 2021 bring? A lot of staying at home as Ontario’s Conservative Government misfires on the vaccine rollout, it would seem. I may stop tracking coins altogether.

FUTURE POSTS

At any rate, with “Untied” still not in shape for posting, there’s some other options; largely the same ones I suggested back in September 2017. “Virga Mysteries” was the clear winner then, hence we got all of that online over the past three years.

The other options were all tied, those being:
1) Marmalade Mercury, a fusion fic. Sailor Moon R meets Marmalade Boy.
2) The Girl Who Speaks With Algebra, Rose Thorne’s origin as a crossover with MathTans. It has been posted elsewhere (like Wattpad during NaNo) but not on this site.
3) Parody Stories (involving puns and send-ups of Quantum Leap). Once posted in mathNEWS (while I was at University) and don’t seem to be on that site any more.

So which would you prefer?

As I mentioned, the plan is still to go every two weeks. That should give me time to do any edits. In addition, WordPress seems to have gone full on with their New Editor; I can’t call up the Classic Editor any more.

Well, okay, I was able to back door my way in for recent posts (including this one), but looks like I’ll need to figure out how to realign images and handle HTML in the new system. That will take time.

Incidentally, if you missed it, there was another April Fool entry this year. That brings us to a total of five since the blog started in Sept 2014. (Six if we count 2017’s Any ~Qs on the comic blog). We had 2015 for “Epsilon 2”, 2016 for “Epsilon 3”, 2017 for “Time & Tied 4”, 2018 for “Virga Mysteries” and now 2021.

In fact I was a late addition this year due to a dropout and Alexander Hollins approaching me, so thanks there. Initially I didn’t expect time to read, let alone write. (I haven’t done anything with the Time Travel Nexus in over a year either.) So I really do appreciate that you, dear reader, are still with me.

The polls in the last “Epsilon” entry are still open, if you didn’t get a chance to vote. Feel free to drop a comment if you want to elaborate on anything, or have questions about things like “Time Untied”. And take care of yourselves out there.

See you in a couple weeks.

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