2014 Consumption — 2015 Creation

Today is January 1–a day typically known for goal setting and resolutions. For me I have been thinking about my 2015 goals for a couple of months. First let me tell you about 2014 (which I did not blog about my goals for the year). Then I will get into 2015’s goals.

2014 — A Year of Consumption

Some of the books I read in 2014
Some of the books I read in 2014

No, not a year of tuberculosis. That is a different kind of consumption than what I did in 2014. I made 2014 a year of reading. I know some people read a ton more books than I do; but for me, setting a goal is helpful to keep me reading. I did something similar in 2008 and 2009 when I had a goal of reading 800 pages a month. In 2008 the goal was an average for the year and 2009 was an attempt to not let any month drop below 800 pages.

For 2014 the goal was not a certain number of pages, but a certain number of books. I wanted to read 50 books for the year. My final total was 57 books. Total pages read was 13,275 (for an average of 1,106 pages a month).

I will go into much more analysis about the books in upcoming posts. Mainly I am breaking the analysis into smaller parts because of what it has to do with this year’s goals.

2015 — A Year of Creation

I have a big content creation goal for 2015. Of course I will still be reading through the year. I plan to write down each book I read (which I did better in 2014 than I have ever done before). It will be interesting to see if I actually read significantly less when I don’t have a specific goal.


Year of WritingThe bulk of my content creation will be in the form of writing. I plan to create at least 4 pieces of writing content per week. That will be spread over several websites. I have identified 8 places where I should be regularly creating content. That means that the 208 new pieces of writing won’t all be here. So it may not look like as much writing is going on if you just follow this one blog. This just happens to be the best place to talk about this and the place that can catch any random thoughts I have.

This is a total goal for the year and not necessarily a week-to-week or month-to-month goal. So if I don’t have 4 each week or 16 each month, I am allowing myself to catch up towards the end of the year. It is also possible that this goal is too meager. I will re-evaluate later and see if I need to increase the number as the year goes along. Based on the last couple of years, I don’t think this will be too low. I need to get back into more consistent writing.


Along with a writing goal, part of my creation will be evaluating my different websites. I want to seriously look at all the themes, plugins, functionality, and overall design of each one of my major websites. So each site will get an honest evaluation.

I want to standardize many of the plugins I use. Because I have built my various websites over the course of 15 years–with about 9 years focused on WordPress–I found the best plugin at the time for a particular job. But, that means that I am using about 4 different caching plugins and 3 different backup plugins (with some sites having no automatic backups at all). I want to unify my maintenance routine on the sites which will best be done by standardizing the way I work with each site.

Personal Goals

I have some other goals related to Bible study, health and ministry. Though I probably won’t post my Bible study goals explicitly, the fruit of those goals will show up on Genuine Leather Bible. BTW, in 2014 I was able to buy the .com domain for that website. I will probably keep the main content on .net, but now the .com will point traffic to the site. That has become, by far, my biggest source of traffic.

I had thought about having a minimum number of words that are needed to be considered a “piece of content,” but I never have problems writing too few words. I am tracking everything with the knowledge that if there is ever anything that is considered too short (300 words or less) those will be balanced out by the many blog posts and articles that will approach the 3,000 word mark throughout the year.

Happy 2015!

Review: Accessible EPUB 3 by Matt Garrish

Cover for Accessible EPUB 3As someone who is interested in the creation and formatting of ebooks I eagerly picked up Accessible EPUB 3 from O’Reilly’s blogger review program. I know little about the EPUB format as most of my study of ebook creation has been for the Kindle. Reading about EPUB would have given me more tools for complete ebook formatting.

I read the title, Accessible EPUB 3, to mean that the author would show me in an easy to understand (accessible) way to create and format books for the EPUB platform. Even reading the short description at the O’Reilly website did not change my thoughts on what the book was about. But I was completely wrong on who their target audience was. This is not a book for people who are new to EPUB and wanting to learn about it. In fact, the EPUB spec is not even explained in the book. This book is written under the assumption that the reader is already familiar with and understands EPUB.

The book is actually about how to make ebooks that are accessible to people with different abilities. There are sections specifically on how to make books with pictures more accessible to visually impaired readers as well as making audio content more accessible to those with hearing disabilities. This is what is meant by the word accessible.

After getting a better understanding of what the book was about, I enjoyed the book from a thought experiment point of view. There were specific examples on how to implement the concepts the author was proposing. However, as someone who doesn’t even understand EPUB programming, this information was merely theoretical and thought provoking. There are even points in the book where the author, Matt Garrish, admits that there may be a better way to be even more accessible in the future. His point is that he wants readers to think about people with various abilities who will be reading books. What is it they need and how can you go about programming your ebook to fit their needs?

Accessible EPUB 3  is an excerpt from a larger work expected to be published later this year (2012) called EPUB 3 Best Practices.

Accessible EPUB 3 is available for free at both O’Reilly and Amazon.

[Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book through O’Reilly Media.]

What Christians Want to Know

I have been given the opportunity to share my writing on What Christians Want to Know. It is a new website dedicated to encouraging and equipping Christians in their daily walk with the Lord. Every few days you will see one of my articles over there along with the articles of a couple of other writers.

Please take some time to see what the website is all about. The article that appears at the top of the page now is one I wrote about following God’s call to the mission field. If you want to look at all of my articles at the website, you can read through my author page which will be updated each time one of my articles appears.

Been busy writing, but no new posts

Though things have been quiet on the blog-front, I was very busy during the month of December writing articles at InfoBarrel. I was trying to win the monthly contest. You get points based on the number of words you write per article. I wrote 79 articles that were worth 5 points each and 1 that was worth only 1 point. I earned 396 points for the month. By the time we got to the last 10 days, there were only 2 of us fighting for the top position.

The girl I was competing against may have won 408 points, but we don’t know yet. Or, at least I don’t know. I can’t see how many points her articles are worth until the daily point tally is figured out. It usually updates about 3 AM, my time. But since last night was the end of the contest, the admins seem to manually review the points before posting the final numbers.

So we are in a waiting game.

Having cranked out so much content the last few weeks, I feel like I had to write something today even though there is no news yet on the final numbers. It probably won’t be until Monday or Tuesday before we know since the admins take the weekend off.

Recent Projects

While it has been quiet here, I have been actively putting out content in different venues. Some are very targeted and therefore don’t really fit here at My Thought Spot. However, I wanted to share some of the projects here as a way of informing and inviting you to join in any that seem appropriate.

Deaf Ministry
First we have been busy with the deaf ministry here in Argentina. You can read about our ministry and get updates at www.dpeach.com. I will be posting a new prayer letter there in a couple of days. We have started our second round of sign language classes at the church. That is going well. I am also taking a sign language class at the local deaf club which gives me many contacts with the community.

Missionary Talks
Missionary Talks is going well. While I have not had a lot of interviews lately, I have been very encouraged by the feedback I get from some of the recordings. The most recent interview was with a family who is currently raising their support. God used a Missionary Talks interview to teach them of a ministry where they could be involved.

If you are on Facebook you can join the Missionary Talks page by clicking the “Like” button at the top. You will be informed of all future episode releases right in your Facebook news feed. I also post short clips from interviews that are interesting, but don’t seem to fit with the rest of the show. Consider the Facebook page to be like the bonus features on a DVD.

I use my @DavidPeach account on Twitter to share ministry related news. That would be our personal ministry, or information about Missionary Talks.

Missionary Geek
I started a new website a few weeks ago intended to share news and information from the technology world that would be of interest to missionaries. It is called Missionary Geek. Missionary Geek also has a Facebook page that you can join. I look forward to sharing things through the website itself as well as news and information links via @MissionaryGeek on Twitter.

Discover Spanish With Us
While our Spanish vocabulary site, Discover Spanish With Us, has been sporadic since we left Mexico, I have been trying to keep it updated recently. It is a website where my wife and I type up an occasional new word that we learn. We tell how it is used. These are usually not normal words. The purpose of the website is not to teach a person how to speak Spanish, but how to use certain words (as we understand them) that may not be as common. The secondary purpose is that people would leave comments and tell us how we might be wrong on the usage, which then helps us become better speakers of the language.

Info Barrel
I have been writing articles at Info Barrel that don’t seem to fit anywhere else. I mentioned this in a previous post. I was planning to give a weekly update with a list of all of my articles that I wrote. However I probably will just highlight certain ones on occasion. My articles range from beekeeping to podcasting. There are also articles on riding bikes and taking pictures.

On top of all this, I am getting my running back under control. I have had a pretty miserable year since September of last year. I was plagued with different injuries dating back to October, 2008. Everything seems to be back in order and I am bringing my mileage up again. I am almost back to running as much per week as I was when I was in my best running shape.

Thanks for checking out the projects I have going. Join me in the different communities if they are appropriate for you.