Chris Higgins

Portland-Based Author of "The Blogger Abides"
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2013 By the Numbers

1 January, 2014
Tetris masters look on at the final match in the 2013 Classic Tetris World Championship.

I don’t think I’ve done a year-in-review post before, since they seem kind of braggy. Then again, I’m trying to sell books about writing here, so why not.

2013 was a huge year for me, both personally and professionally. Here are some quantifiable reasons why:

5 Features Written for The Magazine – Starting on January 3, 2013, I wrote a series of five reported stories for The Magazine, and I’m immensely proud of that work. I have done magazine work before, but this is the year I cranked into gear. Stay tuned for 2014, as there’s way more where that came from. (Funny — the day I posted this review, a sixth feature was published. But that goes in the 2014 bucket.)

44 Hours of Interview Audio Recorded – Oy, this makes me tired just typing it.

2 Books Published: The Blogger Abides (by me), and Breakfast on Mars (with 36 other nice authors). Long story short, I wrote a book about writing, and people seem to like it. I contributed the title essay (and a second essay) to a book for kids about writing essays, and people seem to like it.

304 Blog Posts Written for mental_floss – It actually might be more, but this is what I had listed in my notes. I’ve been writing a daily column for the lovely folks at mental_floss since 2007. Pretty soon I’ll get my wings.

2 Speaking Gigs – UC Davis, talking about The Blogger Abides; and Ziba Design, talking about the Monkey Puzzle Trees of Portland (you kinda had to be there).

1 Book Signing – San Francisco, signing Breakfast on Mars at The Booksmith. It was a fun event, and proves my motto: always bring your own Sharpie. (I recommend the silver ones, they stand out nicely.) Still haven’t made a print version of the other book, so no signing parties there.

1 Tetris Tournament Refereed – I was Head Referee at this year’s Classic Tetris World Championship, which is where that photo above comes from (taken during the tense final match). The difference between Head Ref and Regular Ref (the latter is what I did in 2012 and led to this article) is mostly a matter of perspective.

2 Reporting Trips – I traveled to Seattle and San Francisco to report on stories. It’s a privilege to be able to go and see people where they work, and stay with friends while you do it. Thank you, Sabrina and Connor!

18 Articles Written for Pearson – I’m not sure if these are published yet, or if they’ll have my name on them. In any case, I wrote a nice set of articles for kids. I’m probably contractually obligated not to say much more, aside from it being some of the best totally reading-level-appropriate material your kid’s gonna read next year. (Ahem.)

12,828 Photos Taken – Uh, I took too many pictures this year. A few thousand of those were for the Trek in the Park feature for The Magazine. My big take-away: the Nikon D7100 is a dramatically better camera than my old D7000. “Old.” Hah!

409 flower bulbs planted – And I still have a few dozen waiting in the crawlspace. I’ve been busy.

11 African Violets Propagated – Including two vigorous clones from an Optimara “space violet” I bought the day I moved to Portland, nearly fourteen years ago. I got it at a New Seasons or a Whole Foods, I can’t remember which. In any case, cloning is totally a thing!

1 Tweeter Replaced – It took me years, but I finally found a working replacement tweeter for my Bowers & Wilkins DM603 speaker. This is a big deal if you’re a dork like me with a blown tweeter.

1 Day Job Quit – I’m proud of the work I’ve done in technology, and immensely grateful to the friends who have worked with me on it. But the truth is my heart is less in software and more in words lately, so I had to hang up my software-writing hat in 2013.

1 Wedding & 9 Wedding Receptions – Rochelle and I were married this year, and that’s really the biggest headline here. She supported me in doing all the stuff above, and I quite literally could not have done it without her — she is my first reader and informal editor on everything that goes to print. After our wedding, we hosted nine tiny receptions at our house through the summer and fall. Pro tip: people love a garden party…but only when it’s above 60 degrees outside. I would offer you another pro tip about whom to marry, but she’s taken.

Reading through this list, it seems like both a lot and a little — part of me aches that I didn’t do more (I think I could have, if I had tried harder), though the larger part sits back and says, “That’ll do, pig.”

I have plenty of work ahead of me, but I’m going to take the evening off. Please send me your year-end list, and take a moment to be proud of your achievements. Then — back to work!

2 Comments

  1. Jesse says:

    Sounds like a pretty great year all around. I’m really glad you got the final say on Trek In The Park. It was definitely one of the best pieces ever written about us:)