February 2019 Goals

Before we get started, allow me to do just one quick thing…

THE PATRIOTS WON THE SUPERBOWL!!!



Okay. I’m done.
(Narrator: MJ was probably not done. But you probably knew that already. She apologizes if you either hate football and/or the Pats and will try to keep her glee to a minimum. She also apologizes if she kept you up with her endless screaming at the TV.)
All right, so this is my first post of the month, which means it’s time for me to set some goals. I had a fairly productive January (at least for me), so I’m hoping to keep that momentum-like thing going this month.



1. Complete first draft of the Terrible, Horrible No-Good, Bad Romance novel.

I’m close to being done with this. I know I have said this before and it’s proven to be nothing more than a big, fat lie, but I think I might mean it this time. And I know I have said that about this before and it’s proven to be nothing more than a big, fat lie, but it’s different now. Probably. If you follow me on social media, you may have seen that I’m now working on the very last scene: the happy ending. This is as close as I have ever felt to being done with this project. So close that I’m actually a little pissed that I couldn’t get it wrapped up before January ended. I mean, I don’t know about you, but it felt to me like January lasted approximately nine million days. Nine million days, and I still didn’t manage to finish this draft.

This happy(ish) ending will be the death of me. May February be the month I manage to cross over that finish line.

2. Read four books.


I’m proud to say that I’m already behind in my 2019 reading goal, and I don’t expect to catch up anytime soon. This month, I am looking to not fall any farther behind. I suspect this may be aided by the fact that football season is over and baseball season has not yet started.

I was going to make another Patriots-winning-the-Superbowl
reference here, but I found the above gif, which looks exactly
like Fat cat, so I decided to go with this instead.

3. Walk at least three miles every day or a total of 84 miles for the month.


This is the one goal on which I am actually ahead. I hope to keep it that way. I’ll have to work a little harder now that I won’t be pacing during playoff games, but I’m sure I can find something else over which to fret.

And you know what? I think that’s it for goals this month. Or it could just be that I’m currently too distracted by

THE PATRIOTS WINNING THE SUPERBOWL


to think clearly at this time.
So I’m going to stop here.
Tune in Wednesday when I may possibly be down from my Patriots-winning-the-Superbowl high
(Narrator: Yeah. Good luck with that.)
just in time to talk about my latest writing insecurities.
Oh—one last thing: congratulations to my boyfriend, Julien Edelman, on being named the Superbowl MVP. You certainly earned it, but I think we all know who the true MVP is of this post-season: my couch.
You were a very fine couch, couch. Your sacrifice this season will always be remembered.
Oh—one last one last thing. Did you see the Avengers: Endgame trailer last night? Can’t wait for April!

The One With The Goals

Here it is: the post for which you’ve been waiting. The mother of all goal posts, AKA my 2019 To-Do list.

Usually, this is a two-part post. The first part is where I review the previous year’s goals and tell you how well they went, but as I only managed to accomplish one thing on that list last year I didn’t really feel the need to devote an entire post to it.

But here’s the thing. The one 2018 goal I accomplished was to publish Second Nature, which was my number one writing goal for last year. And as that goal goes, so goes my year. So the fact that I didn’t manage to do anything else I had wanted to do doesn’t bother me as much as it normally would because I did this:

Which means my 2019 goal list will look awfully similar to last year’s list…with one notable exception. I can’t wait to find out what the new Number One Goal will be.

 

The Writing Goals


1. Publish the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Bad Romance Novel


I’m currently about three months behind where I wanted to be with this WIP at this time, so I may be setting myself up for a big, fat failure here but I’m going to attempt to do this all the same. Go big or go home, right?

Right.

In the plus column, I may have actually hit upon a possible workable ending. I know I’ve said that before, but I think I may mean it this time. Fingers crossed!

2. Publish Retail Rhapsody

This is the collection of sarcastic haiku I wrote about my day job. It fell by the wayside last year (too many other things going on) and that may well happen again this year, but I’m still going to try.

3. Complete the first draft of Full Circle


Full Circle is the third book in my fantasy series. It’s kind of in a state of limbo right now. I feel like the original plan I had for it no longer works, but I don’t yet have a new plan in place. Which means, right now, this is a big, fat mess. Anyway, I’d like to finish the first draft this year, but I think I would really be okay if I only managed to figure out what that first draft should be.

The Reading Goals


I would like to read 52 books this year. I was a good ten or eleven books short of this goal last year,  but I’m sticking with the same number this year. One book a week doesn’t seem like it should be too difficult.

*gives self suspicious side-eye*

The Fitness Goals

1. Log 1500 miles


This can be in walking, running, biking, kayaking, whatever. It will most likely just be walking, however, because despite my best intentions I never do any of the others.

2. Get back into the yoga habit


I firmly believe that yoga can help with my chronic back issues. I just need to stop being so damn lazy about it.

3. Attempt to establish a somewhat normal-ish sleep schedule


My sleep schedule/patterns/whatever was/were obliterated in 2018 because…reasons, and I believe it really screwed with my productivity. I know. Imagine that, right? So in 2019, I would like to attempt to correct this issue. Or figure out a way to just manage my time better. Whichever’s easier.

 

And on that note, I’m outta here.

Happy Monday, everyone. Have a great week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Asked and Answered (An IWSG Post)

Hello, everyone!

Happy New Year!

It’s the first Wednesday of the month (and the year), which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writers Support Group.

I am assuming everyone coming to this blog already knows what that means, but if you would like more information or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.

This month’s awesome co-hosts are Patricia Lynne, Lisa Buie-Collard, Kim Lajevardi, and Fundy Blue!

This month’s (optional) question asks, “What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?”

I feel a ramble coming on…

Here’s the thing. My social anxiety is at such a level that I pretty much live in fear of anyone asking me anything because I always end up feeling like Cletus the Slack-jawed Yokel when I attempt to answer. Only not nearly as eloquent. Then the person who asked the question is probably standing there, looking at me, and wondering if someone who can’t speak in complete sentences could possibly have written a book that could possibly be worth reading.

(But I try. I know that jerk Yoda is all, “there is no try,” but there is, Yoda, and I’m doing it. Trying, I mean. So there.)

In this regard, every question is my least favorite question. Because if someone takes the time to ask me some writing-related something, then I really do want to be able to answer them, but it’s just so damn terrifying and I am so damn awkward.

But there is one question

My Least Favorite Question


“Have you considered breaking up your novel into three shorter novels?”

So, there’s a little backstory that goes along with this question. There’s an author I know who asks me this every single time we see each other. And every single time he asks me this, I answer as follows:

“Yes, I have considered that. Effigy clocks in at something like 580 pages. Second Nature is considerably longer. So a while back, before they were published, I did consider breaking up each book into three shorter books but found I didn’t like it, so I decided to keep it the way it is.”

Other authors/readers have asked me this, nodded at my explanation, and we go about our day. But this one author…I don’t know. Maybe he forgets that we’ve talked about this many, many times before. Maybe he doesn’t care. Whatever the reason, it wears on me.

(Bottom line: If someone doesn’t want to read my books because they’re too long, I fully respect that decision. I occasionally decide not to buy a book because I think it’s too short. Goes both ways.)

My Favorite Question


“Why do you have to be so mean to your characters?”

This question has come in various forms and is occasionally just accusations of cruelty from my critique partners when they point out the tear stains they left on the page. However it’s asked or presented, or however awkward I may be on the outside, this is usually what I’m doing on the inside:

Because if I’m getting that question/reaction, then I’m doing my job.

All right. That’s going to be it for me today. I’m on a sort of mini vacation this week, as I have many friends visiting from away and I’m trying (TAKE THAT, YODA!) to pack in as much time as possible with all of them before they leave. Which means I may be slow to respond to comments and visit other blogs, but I will get there eventually.

Best wishes for a wonderful 2019, all!

Go Big or Go Home (2018 Goals)

Happy New Year, everyone! May it somehow be better than last year.

So, it has become my habit to set a series of goals on the first of the year to be completed by the end of the year. These are big, bold goals, or occasionally very silly things. One year, I set a goal to eat more donuts. Don’t ask me how I intended to measure my success with that goal, but at least I had a reason to eat a lot of donuts.

Because, you know, I need reasons to eat a lot of donuts.

But there shall be no donut goals this year. Instead, I am laying out my biggest, toughest, boldest (possibly stupidest) goals yet. And yeah, there’s an excellent chance that I shall outright fail, but I like to think that there’s also the outside possibility that I might not. Or perhaps I’ll fall somewhere in the middle. Regardless of where I end up come December, I feel like bold is the way to go this year. To paraphrase a line from an episode of The West Wing (and you shall receive super ultra mega bonus points if you can name the episode), if I’m going to run into a wall, I’m going to do so at full speed.

So…just remind me of that when, in six months’ time (or six days’ time…), I’m hiding under my desk and crying into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Let’s begin…

 

The Writing Goal


This is the goal by which my entire year is always measured. I don’t care if I achieve everything else on this list. If I haven’t accomplished what I wanted to do here, my year has been a failure. Which is, perhaps, not super healthy, but it is the truth. That said, here are my truly insane writing goals for 2018:

1. Publish Second Nature. If for no other reason that I’m so sick of having to write out this goal every January. And I’m close. Just so, so close. I hope.

2. Publish Vinnie & Ellie (working title). This is that (potentially crappy) romance novel I’ve been playing with off and on for a while. I’d love to have it available for this big book fair I have coming up this year, so it’s on the list. And yes, I realize this means I’ll have to come up with a much better title for it. And, you know, finish it.

3. Publish book of work-related sarcastic haiku. I’d love to have this available for the same book fair as mentioned above. I have half a plan for this book, and I’m looking forward to working out the rest. Including a title. The working title is Retail Rhapsody, but I think I need something better.

4. Complete first draft of Full Circle, otherwise known as Book Three of my fantasy series. I’m really looking forward to finally getting into this story. I mean, there’s a scene where my characters are happy (Well, happy-ish. For a couple of paragraphs, anyway…All right, fine. Maybe just the one paragraph. Or the first half of that paragraph. Still, they’re happy. Ish.) and that’s just so weird. I can’t wait to find out where this story will end up because I know it’s probably nowhere near where I think it will end. I mean, I am totally in control of my characters and what they do.

 

The Reading Goal


I create one of those Goodreads challenges every year, too. Last year was 40 books. This year, I’ve decided to go with 52. Because I don’t already have enough planned for this year.

 

The Fitness Goal


As I reached my 2017 mileage goal with relative ease, I’ve decided to up this year’s goal as well. Instead of running, walking, or biking at least 3 miles each day, I’m aiming for a yearly total of 1500 miles, which comes out to approximately 4.10 miles each day. I know I won’t actually log 4.10 miles each and every day, though. Unless I get one of those treadmill desks. Well, maybe not even then.

The other part of my fitness goal is to start doing yoga again. I fell out of the habit a while ago, and I really want to get back into it to see if it can help with my chronic back issues. I plan to start off with two yoga workouts a week with the intention of moving up to three someday.

 

And I think that’s where I’m going to cap the goals this year. There’s more than enough on that plate, and I’ll drive myself crazy enough as it is.

Wish me luck! (or just call the men with the giant butterfly nets to come and take me away now because I have so very obviously lost it…)

Did you set any goals and/or resolutions for 2018?

Editing Update

All right, so this blog has been largely ignored this entire year. Because that is what I do. But, in the event that you don’t already know, I have been working on releasing into the world the second book in my fantasy series, Second Nature.

With mixed results. Naturally.

The going has been slow, progress has been minimal, and I fluctuate daily (sometimes hourly) between loving and not loving this story. Right now, I’m in the latter category.

Which is not to say that I hate my book. Because I don’t. (Well, maybe on occasion.) It’s more…I don’t trust how things are going, or that I have managed to do anything even remotely close to the way it should actually be done.

You know, normal things.

Yet, despite of this, I seem to be making some semblance of progress.

Here’s how the To-Do list was looking when I started this “final” editing stage about a month ago:

—Implement the proofreader’s corrections/suggestions

—Complete corrections on the editing run-off list you will inevitably compile while implementing the proofreader’s corrections/suggestions

—Complete front and back matter (Acknowledgments, Bio, and Blurb)

—Contact formatter/book designer and get on her schedule

Where Things Are Today:

—Implement the proofreader’s corrections/suggestions

Done.

—Complete corrections on the editing run-off list you will inevitably compile while implementing the proofreader’s corrections/suggestions.

Nearly done. There’s one sentence with which I’m still not super happy. Just haven’t hit upon the right wording yet. It’s possible that I’m being entirely too picky about it, but I suppose there’s no way to know for sure.

—Complete front and back matter (Acknowledgments, Bio, and Blurb)

The bio is done, and the blurb is…mostly done. There’s one sentence in the blurb with which I’m not entirely pleased, but I don’t know how to fix it yet. Or even if it needs to be fixed. I’m still working on  the acknowledgements page. I’m struggling to find the right flow. Transitions in and out of paragraphs, and whatnot. Occasionally, I’m tempted to just write “YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WHY I LOVE YOU” and call it good, but they deserve better than that.

—Contact formatter/book designer and get on her schedule

Yeah. So here’s the thing…apparently, the woman who did the book design and formatting for Effigy is no longer in the book design and formatting business. Which is a bummer because I was looking forward to just handing over the manuscript and saying, “Please do what you did with the first one.” But now, instead, I have to find a new designer. I haven’t started that hunt yet, but I imagine I will be soon. I’m running out of other things to do. Though I do seem to be making those other things last as humanly possible.

Once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator, I guess.

But, however long it takes, I’ll keep working at it. And I’ll try to keep you informed of the progress.

Thanks for stopping by today.