It’s that time of year. You know how it is, food comas demand reflection on life choices when one year is winding down and another drawing first breath. This year has been filled with a lot of change, and a lot of sameness. We’ve seen four Rebel books hit the shelves, encountered one another at my first ever author events, found that we all (mostly) like hot men with beards, and drank the just-right amount of tequila. Well, I did the last one at least.

I looked at pictures y’all have posted of me, of us together, the pictures I’ve shared and the ones I haven’t, and I came to a decision. I flippin’ hate pictures, so you don’t get to see any of those.

Nope. Instead, I’ll show you a year in the life of MariaLisa through calendars! Doesn’t that sound exciting? See, there’s this website called Smashing Magazine that is a fabu resource for graphic designers, Web developers, and the people who try to keep them motivated, i.e. moi. It’s a blog-kinda site filled with posts about fonts and images, new technology and what’s phasing out. Techniques, tips, tricks, how to get your design approved in one easy meeting, and calendars. Once a month they post the results of a contest where graphic artists can submit their calendar designs for any given month. I love it because free desktop wallpaper that also helps me keep track of shit? What’s not to like!

I have three computers. Work (blech). Gaming (yippee). Writing (biggest yippee). So ample opportunity to avail myself of the gorgeous creations offered by Smashing Magazine. I found that over this year, Work and Gaming generally had the same backgrounds. A couple of times I mixed it up, but mostly they had the same. Sometimes, those computers would have two pictures in 30 days, because the offerings were so stinkin’ cute I couldn’t decide, so, “Both, please.” But sometimes, I would look at the calendar and suddenly realize it was more than 30 days old. Sometimes it was more than 60 days old. Work was crazy this year, even more so than ever before because … well, anything I say after that is technospeak and would sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher. So some months there was no time for frippery things like changing out the background on my computers. Whatever. I survived.

The Writing computer, however, had a single wallpaper all year. It was so inspiring, I included the words as part of the dedication for Jase, which released in May.

I believe it succinctly sums up the opportunity a new year brings us. We are given the chance to remake ourselves, or in my case, make myself for what felt like the first time. I’ve been lots of things in my life, held more than 40 jobs (most of those by age 21, which is crazy), but this is the first time I felt like the mantle of ‘author’ fit comfortably. Which is, in no small part, due to you. So, thank you for helping me find that part of me. This gig is kinda cool, and I’m glad you’re along for the ride.

Work and Gaming computer wallpaper calendars:






June 2015 – No calendar. 🙁

August 2015 – No calendar. 🙁
September 2015 – No calendar. It’s my flippin’ birthday month, and I was too busy to change my wallpaper?

November 2015 – No calendar. 🙁

For the Writing computer, as I said, there was a single wallpaper calendar all year. It’s still on here, in fact. I was looking at it just this morning, and I still love it. Created by Jordan Thomas, who I have decided I love and want to marry. And by that I mean I love her work and want to marry her pen. She’s that talented!

So, there you go. My year in calendars, when I had time to change them! Wonder what 2016 will have in store? Me, too!