Monthly Archives: December 2016

2016 in Review

2016 in Review

New Year’s Eve is a fitting day to look back evaluate your progress. Have you accomplished what you wanted to do this year?

Creative Goals for 2016:

I overdid it. Everything I’ve read about goal-setting since mid-year says don’t set too many goals. I guess 14 are too ambitious.

Here’s what I did and didn’t achieve:

  1. Continue work on my three major works-in-progress, The Unicornologist, The God of Paradox, and The Night Runner, and begin the submission process with at least one of them. I decided to focus on The Unicornologist. If it ever gets done, it’ll be my first novel to be published. I’ve been working on it on and off for about twenty years, and several times I thought I was I was on the verge of completion, but I just started my second major revision of the year. So, nothing is about to be submitted. However, ­The Unicornologist is a much better story than it was at the beginning of the year, so progress has been made.
  2. Write a poem a day. Take Writing 201: A Poem a Day. WordPress revamped its Blogging U, and Writing 201 wasn’t offered this year. I did not write a poem a day, but I did write a bunch of poems.
  3. Oil_painting_palette wikipediaMake visual art. Finish the online drawing class on and integrate creating art into my week, maybe even take a class at the local community college. I did not finish the Craftsy course, or go back to college. But I did some zentangle, and I participated in the Index Card a Day challenge.
  4. Practice calligraphy. Fail.
  5. “Win” NaNoWriMo in November. Since I have so many unfinished works, I decided not to start a new one, and sat out National Novel Writing Month this year.
  6. Work humor into my writing. I’ve been reading How to Write Funny by John B. Kachuba, and I’ve tried a couple of humor pieces.
  7. File the papers stacked in my office so I can move in my sewing machine from the laundry room and start quilting again. Honest to goodness, I have spent hours on this goal every month, but my paper keeps multiplying. I still have two boxes of stuff to file. However, I joined the quilting ministry at my church, and so far I’ve made one comfort quilt, and three baby quilts for the Crisis Pregnancy Center.
  8. Practice zentangle. I did, a little.
  9. Write for the devotional markets. Fail.
  10. Write a piece for Huffington Post. Never got around to it.
  11. Color. No, though I did buy a cool Van Gogh coloring book.
  12. Practice guitar. Fail.
  13. Practice recorder. Fail. But I did practice piano for an hour almost every day.
  14. Rewrite and submit some of the unsold pieces in my files to new markets. I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but this will be on my list for next year.




I didn’t specify any goals for my blog, though I intended to continue it and improve it. I posted every day in 2016.

These were the top ten posts of 2016 in terms of views:

  1. Ballet Feet
  2. Go Mobile
  3. All Things Unicorn
  4. The Yarn Creations of Jan Furtado
  5. Art of Quilting Show at the Gilbert Historical Museum
  6. Collision of Science and Art
  7. In Praise of the Humble Recorder
  8. Jan van Eyck’s The Crucifixion and the Last Judgment: Painted by a Committee
  9. If I had my Life to Live Over
  10. ArtLifting

Have you read all of them?

The one I’m most proud of is the Art of Quilting Show, because of the sheer number of hours it took to take all the pictures (and then sort through about 200 of them), write the article, and design the post.

The one that surprises me the most didn’t make the list; it’s Arizona Fine Arts Expo, which only earned ten views. I actually reposted it from another blog I contribute to, Doing Life Together, which is not an arts blog, yet it netted me 135 views there. The post I authored that got the most views on Doing Life Together in 2016 was a memoir actually posted in 2015, Easters of my Childhood, which garnered 281 views in 2016, many more than any of my posts on ARHtistic License.

My readership is currently 206 as of this writing, which I know is substantially up from last year, but I don’t know by how much, since I didn’t record my number last year, and WordPress only gives me current follower statistics, not a growth graph. (Are you listening, WordPress?) Are you a subscriber to ARHtistic License? If not, please follow me. You can sign up on the sidebar on the right.

How about you? Did you meet your goals for 2016? Do you have goals for 2017? Have you written about your goals? Comment or share a link below.

Tomorrow I will post my creative goals for 2017 and issue a challenge to all my artistic readers and friends. See you then! And happy New Year!

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 52

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 52

My daughter and I went hiking at San Tan Mountain Regional Park near where she lives (more about that on January 28, 2017). For Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge this week I offer this odd little cactus all by itself, leaning at an angle:


Creative Juice #22

Creative Juice #22

Twelve articles to make lightbulbs shine above your head.

In the Meme Time: Paralyze Fear

In the Meme Time: Paralyze Fear




For Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge. This week’s prompt is glass.

The logo for my Friday feature, Creative Juice.

Creative Juice

The dish I use to serve cranberry sauce during the holidays.


Through the glass, a fish I saw at Butterfly Wonderland.


A reverse painting of fish on glass by Joshua Seraphin.


Guest Post: Russian Film Festival, Part One by Rich Brown

Guest Post: Russian Film Festival, Part One by Rich Brown

I never thought about watching classic foreign films for the music. If you’re a Prokofiev fan, you might enjoy this article, as I did. Thanks to Rich Brown of Good Music Speaks.

Good Music Speaks

I have three DVDs sitting on my desk waiting for me to have time for a Russian film festival.  I’m not sure if this will happen over one long afternoon, or over three separate nights. I stumbled upon these films because the music for each, was composed by some of my favorite Russian composers. Being a composer, or artist of any sort, in Stalinist Russia was an absolute nightmare.  More accurately, being a human being in Stalinist Russia was an absolute nightmare, and being a composer was no exception.  There was no such thing as due process under the law, nor freedom of speech, nor so many of the things I take for granted as a citizen of a free country.  There were several “purges” over the time Stalin was in power, whereby people who showed opposition to the Party, or some undesirable trait, were rounded up and imprisoned or…

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Video of the Week #79: Unblock

Video of the Week #79: Unblock

Have you made your Creative Goals for 2017? If you’re a writer, here’s a suggestion about how to achieve them:

Wordless Wednesday: Maw

Wordless Wednesday: Maw


Photo © by ARHuelsenbeck.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Duck Duck Goose

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Duck Duck Goose

I’m participating in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. The theme has been children’s games, and this week’s prompt is Duck, Duck, Goose.

So, here are some ducklings swimming in the canal near my home.


And some mallards in nearby Kiwanis Park.


And some coots. They’re almost ducks.


Oops! Not ducks or geese. Sorry.


Photos © by ARHuelsenbeck.featured-on-cee

Preparing to Set Creative Goals for 2017

Preparing to Set Creative Goals for 2017

Last year I thought I did a good job of setting goals. I started the year with seven.

By mid-year I had fourteen.

Saturday I’ll tell you how many I actually accomplished in 2016.

Next year I’m going to take some advice I read in this article and also this one.

Typing on laptop DeathtoStock

I especially like strategy #3 in the second article, which involves taking the step of planning how you will achieve your goals. Genius!

If you would like an accountability partner for achieving your creative goals in 2017, take the ARHtistic License Creative Goal Challenge. This year, I will be setting monthly goals for myself, and posting my progress monthly. You can, too.

Start thinking about your goals now—New Year is next week! I hope you read the articles linked above and are considering how you’ll set priorities and schedule your efforts. On Saturday I’m posting my final update for 2016, and Sunday I’ll launch the Challenge for 2017, so be sure check back. (You’re welcome to visit ARHtistic License every day—new content about the arts and the creative process is posted daily.)