Goals

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Maybe This Time

Happy New Year, everyone! May it be somehow better than that dumpster fire known as 2016.

This is my now-traditional start-of-the-year post in which I lay out my big goals for the coming year. (note: these are just the broad, ultimate goals. The breakdown as to how I might actually accomplish said goals does exist, but for brevity’s sake, I don’t share it in this post.)

Usually, this post begins with a recap of how well I did with the goals from the year before, but we’ll be skipping that portion this time around. Mostly because I have a lot of the exact same goals. Mostly because I failed to accomplish them the first time around.

But it’s okay. I’m totally cool with it. Really.

no-it-not-okay-gif
Well…maybe not.

Onto the goals! First up, as always, is…

The Writing Goal

Publish Second Nature.

As it was featured on various social media sites multiple times over the last year, you may remember this picture:

20160101_152815 (Medium)
It was taken on the first of January 2016, and marked the start of my editing process. Turns out, I can post it again today because I. Am. Still. Editing. Part of this is because of the amount of time I was forced to take off last year, but a larger (and much more important) part is that I’m not yet happy with it. I can’t put out a book I’m not happy with, so that’s that.

As of this post, I have nine scenes across five chapters still awaiting my attention. Four of which I have absolutely no idea how to improve to my satisfaction. (There’s a woman in my critique group who believes I have some kind of manuscript dysmorphia. Which is probably a blog post in itself.) The other scenes are, in theory anyway, easier fixes. Just time-consuming.

At any rate, finishing these freaking edits once and for all is Priority #1.

Then I’ll worry about the rest of it. (Except that’s kind of a lie. I worry about everything all the time.)

I’m aiming for a May 30th release. I know that’s only five months away. And I know I’m probably just going to end up watching as it sails on by, but I have a book fair event scheduled for the start of June, and I would really love to have Second Nature ready for that event. Again, I don’t know how realistic a goal this is (It’s not. At all.) but go big or go home, right?

The Reading Goal

Read 40 books this year.

This goal just keeps shrinking and shrinking. I used to set much larger reading goals, but keep on falling short. Last year, I only managed to read thirty-something books. Low thirties, even. Not my best showing. I must improve in this area.

The Fitness Goal

A few years ago, I was actually in a good fitness routine. Regular work-outs, actual willpower when it came to oversized baked goods, that kind of thing—and I was healthier and happier. (I think. It’s been a while.) And then, something happened. I don’t remember what the something was, but I fell out of the habit, and it’s gotten worse since I’ve been living in this ridiculous, entirely-too-warm, swamp state Florida. (I do not like to go outside in Florida. I like to sit in front of my air conditioner and weep.)

Hence, my goal is to get back into that fitness routine. Some way, some how. Probably not jogging, though…

Ann on Jogging

The De-Cluttering Goal

This is probably pretty self-explanatory. There’s way too much clutter in certain parts of the house (i.e., the rooms I happen to inhabit. I don’t know why.) and I would like to change that. Or, at least improve on it. We’ve been in the Florida house for almost two years now (whimper…) and I still have a bunch of stuff in boxes. Which means I could probably get rid of all of it. Most of it. Well, maybe just some of it.

Anyway, it’s time to get organized and whatever. This goal, I like to think, will become Priority #1 once Second Nature actually makes it to the proofreader. I’ll need something else on which to focus then…

We’ll see how it goes, I guess.

Well, except for the books and weaponry, of course...

Well, except for the books and weaponry, of course…

And on that note, I am outta here. Those edits will not complete themselves. I should know…I’ve certainly waited long enough for that to happen.

Did you set any goals for 2017?

The Year of Doing Better (The 2016 Edition)

Happy New Year, everyone!

This is my now-traditional post where I lay out my goals for the brand-new year. I have a lot planned for this year, partly because I like to set myself big and challenging goals, but it’s mostly because I had a pretty terrible 2015, where goals were concerned.

I now feel the need to make for that.

So here we go…

The Writing Goals

1. Publish Second Nature.

If you follow me on other social media sites, you may have already seen this picture:

20160101_152815 (Medium)
That is my manuscript—all 841 pages, and 325,000 words of it. I’m aiming to edit approximately 60 pages a day (Naturally, I’m already behind) with the hopes of getting it into the hands of the beta readers in February (Do you hear that, beta readers of mine? I’m coming for you…). After that I don’t know. There’s just darkness and some dragons (Name! That! Reference!) but should we get through the darkness and the dragons, we’ll working toward publication.

2. Complete first draft of Full Circle.

Full Circle is book three in my fantasy series. There’s currently no real plan for it because the events of Second Nature blew the original plan to smithereens. So this year will be about figuring out a new plan and getting the damn thing written. I honestly don’t have a lot of faith that I can accomplish this goal this year, given the other writing goal that’s in play, but I’m going to be working on it anyway, so why not make it a goal?

The Reading/Blogging Goals

1. Read 50 books this year.

I really dropped the ball on the reading goal last year. I had a goal of 60 books, and only managed about 32. My personal worst, by a long shot. This year. the number is set at 50 in order to accommodate that whole “publishing a book” goal I have. I will admit, though, it kind of makes me feel like a slacker.

2. Be better about reviewing the books I read.

I used to do this all the time, but for some reason I fell out of the habit of doing so. I need to correct that. There’s really nothing more to be said.

3. Be better about updating this blog.

My reading and reviewing were not the only things to be neglected last year. My Pet Blog was woefully ignored, so I’d like to get back to my old blogging schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday, with Fridays being set aside for guest posts. So if you’re an author out there with a book or two or twelve that you’d like to promote, please let me know! Otherwise, I might have to talk about all the TV I watch.

The Fitness Goals

1. Walk, run, or bike at least 750 miles this year.

Another goal I neglected last year. Don’t want to do it again. I’m not off to a very good start, but I can totally catch up. Probably.

2. Eat healthier.

I add this goal to the list every damn year. I have yet to accomplish it. But perhaps 2016 will be my year. Probably won’t because I have zero willpower where cake is concerned, but it makes me feel better if I at least say I’m going to attempt it. But stranger things have happened, so who knows?

I do. I know.

And on that happy note, I’m going to sign off for the day. I still have a good 700 pages to read and edit. I wonder how many highlighters and red pens I’ll go through. Place your bets below!!

In Which I Bring Back Goal Posts

But not, like, for soccer or football or whatever. I am referring to a blog post—this blog post, as it happens—in which I set goals for an upcoming month.

Fascinated already, aren’t you?

Sherlock Sleeping
That’s what I thought.

Anyway, I haven’t done a monthly goal post for a while now. I just checked—the last post concerning a goal that wasn’t “Pack up my belongings and move to the other end of the East Coast” was back in October 2014. There were two goals set that month:

1) Finish Part Two of my then-current (and, hell, still-current) WIP, Second Nature.

and

2) Walk, run, or bike at least 88 miles.

Ann on Jogging

But I never blogged about whether I had accomplished these goals. I know for a fact that I didn’t make the first one, as I didn’t finish Part Two until March of this year. I went back and checked the mileage log (Yes, I have a mileage log. Yes, I know it’s weird.) and saw that I only logged 50 miles last October, with a note written in the margin that October 2014 was the month I was dealing with my horrendous back injury. So, given that, I think 50 miles was pretty damn good.

Anyway, as part of my goal to get back into the swing of things following the Big Move, I am bringing back my monthly goal setting, and I am posting them for all to see on this blog to help hold me accountable.

And now, without any further ado, here are my goals for the month of July:

1) Win Camp NaNoWriMo and, by doing so, complete this never-ending draft of Second Nature.

I am so excited for Camp to start this Wednesday. And scared. But excited. And scared. But, you know, excited. Really. It’s going to be great. Or, potentially,  a huge disaster. But it’s going to be great. Have I mentioned that I’m excited? (And scared…) I really want to finish this book this July.

Camp-Participant-2015-Twitter-Profile
2) Attempt to make some progress on my Goodreads Reading Challenge.

Back in January, I set a goal to read 60 books this year. In general, it’s not too difficult for me to achieve this…She says as she admits that last year, she only finished 56 books. And so far this year, I have managed only 19 books. According to Goodreads, I am ten books behind schedule. Could be worse, I suppose, but I’d like to make up some ground on that this month. This could be a crazy goal to set, given that I’m also attempting to write 50,000 words in July, but it’s not like I have a day job. (And it’s not like I’m still bitter about that, either.)

I Didn't Know You Could Read

3) Log some serious mileage.

I’m also way behind on my 2015 mileage goal. In January, I set out to log 800 miles (via walking, running, biking, etc.). I have 730 miles to go. So way, way behind. Last July, I managed 125 miles, so I’ll shoot to match that number this July. Again, it’s possible I’m setting myself up for failure come August, but go big or go home, right?

Right.

Just think of it this way: If I keep crazy busy, I won’t have time to dwell on how much I don’t enjoy living on the surface of the sun. (Yes, I know the surface of the sun is much, much hotter than Florida, and that if I truly did live on the surface of the sun, I would have been incinerated or whatever long before now, but C’MON! Just give me this one, okay?)

And on that note, I’m outta here. Gotta rest up while I can. July’s going to be rather busy. (I hope.)

Checking In

Hello all.

I know I promised you a post on my Storyboard Substitution, and I do intend to follow through on that promise, but I haven’t quite finished that post yet. (Translation: I have yet to start it.) Perhaps this coming Wednesday, I’ll have it done.

In the meantime, I thought I would announce my goals for 2015, as it is now January 12th, and I haven’t done it yet.

Last year, I did pretty well on my goals. I missed the mark on more than half of them (but let’s be honest—I was never going to make that healthy eating goal), but I did accomplish the Big Goal: the Publishing Of Effigy.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted this cover art here.
Unless you look over at the sidebar, but who does that, really?

And as I have often said, if I make the Big Goal, I am far less upset about missing any of the other ones. Turns out, I was even telling the truth.

But this year I have no publishing goal. I guess that means I have to do everything on the following list:

1. Finish Second Nature.

Second Nature is Effigy‘s sequel, the second book in the Coileáin Chronicles. I talked a little bit about this last week, but to recap: I need to finish up Parts Two and Three. The characters are being rebellious, and so this draft has been hanging on long past my point of appreciation or amusement. But I’m gaining, though (unemployment is agreeing with me. At least until I run out of money.), and have truly been writing a lot in the first twelve days of this new year.

Last week, I stated that I had ten scenes left to finish in Part Two. I wrote a lot (the word count is now sitting at 227,000 words.) this past week. So naturally, I now have eleven scenes left to finish before I can move on to Part Three. Because my characters decided to add three other scenes. Because they hate me. Because I’ve tortured them far too much. Because I’m a writer, and that’s what we do.

But anyway, the goal is to finish this book this year.

2. Read 60 books.


I had the same goal last year and only read 56 books. I was doing all right there for a while, but fell apart at the end of the year. Maybe I’ll be able to hold it together this year.

3. Walk, run, or bike 800 miles.


Last year the goal was to log 700 miles. I ended up with 768, so 800 isn’t much of a stretch. Of course, the fact that I have only recorded one lonely mile thus far in 2015 might make things interesting. Only 799 to go!

4. The requisite healthy eating goal.


I need to eat healthier. I’m not overweight by any stretch of the imagination (even my Wii tells me I need to gain weight), but I need to eat healthier. You know, have some fruits or vegetables once in a while. And no more soda. I don’t normally drink a lot of the stuff, but I fell into bad habits at the end of the year. Lots of soda. So no more…Unless I’m having a Jack & Coke.

So that’s going to do it for me today. I know this questions is late, but…Did you set any goals for yourself this year? Anyone else out there giving up soda? Are you having caffeine headaches as well?

See y’all next time. Thanks for stopping by.

September Goals And A Few Other Things

Considering it’s the tenth, I’m a little late with this post, but that’s been the theme of things of late. If possible, I seem to be getting worse at time management. Not that I was ever all that good at it before, truth be told, but it feels like I am only ever efficient when I’m at my day job these days.

Sigh.

I really wish the opposite was true.

But since it isn’t, let’s start with a quick review of the goals I had set way back in August, shall we?

1. Walk, run, or bike at least 103 miles.

I killed this goal, logging a grand total of 131.5 miles. This was aided by a ten mile hike, and a pair of 15 miles bike rides while I was on vacation in Acadia. Thanks, Acadia!

2. Make some progress on Part Two of Second Nature.

At the start of August, this WIP’s word count was sitting at 222,400. Now it’s currently sitting at 225,504. Technically progress. I’ve been feeling stuck and a tad uninspired. I created yet another plan, and we’ll see if this one sticks. Here’s how the old storyboard’s lookin’ (see if you can spot the moment where I stop knowing what the hell is happening):

20140907_134449 (Medium)


3. Read more books.

Yeah, this one didn’t go as well. I read two books last month, which isn’t terrible, but it’s much lower than my average. There’s just never enough time…and I’m an insomniac.

 

And now for the goals I’ve set for September (can you stand the excitement? I know I can’t…)

 

1. Walk, run, or bike at least 66 miles.

Apparently, I really slacked off last September, so this month’s mileage goal is pretty low. Which is nice considering how much I’ve been slacking off on the mileage front so far this month.

2. Part Two of Second Nature still needs to be finished.

The starting September word count is 225,504. Maybe it’ll be higher come October. (Crap…is it really almost October?)

3. Survive First Public Author Appearance.

That’s right…I have scheduled my first public author appearance. I’ll be at the Local Author Book Fair at the library on September 20th. I have books to sell and bookmarks to give away. Well, provided they arrive in time. Maybe if they don’t, I can stay home.

4. Read more!

I miss reading. I need to do more of it. Maybe I’ll manage that in September.

5. Plan a trip to the Ren Faire.

A while back, I promised myself that if I managed to publish EFFIGY, I could buy myself either a double bladed battle axe, or a matching pair of short swords at the Ren Faire. Well, I managed to publish the book, and now I shall buy swords. Or an axe. I haven’t really decided between the two yet, but I think the swords have a slight edge. I have a character who fights with two swords, so…Yeah. Probably the swords. Or maybe the axe.

 

And just one more announcement before I go…

 

Shelfie Blog HopI’m helping out with the Shelfie Blogfest, the brainchild of author Tara Tyler. Other co-hosts, co-conspirators, contributors are Heather M. GardnerChristine RainsVikki BiramCD CoffeltElizabeth Seckman, and Rena Rocford.

Dates: Now through Monday, Oct 6
How To Enter: Take a picture of you and your book(s) – your favorites or your own novels. Or you can just arrange the books in a special way and take the picture – but you do get extra points for being in the photo.
Formats: Post on Twitter, Facebook, Blog – just make sure to include a link(s) to each for us.

 

Enter today for a chance to win some fabulous prizes!

 

I’m planning to do some other, better, photos later on for this blogfest, but I thought today I’d post a pic of my Harry Potter books. I am what my significant other calls a Completist, meaning I feel compelled to have complete sets of everything. Meaning I have the American, British, French, and Russian Harry Potter series. Most in paperback and hardcover. Because I am a freak. Anyway, here’s a picture of my Harry Potter collection:

DSCN2968 (Medium)

And that is going to do it for me today. This has been a very long post, and if you made it all the way to the end of it, I applaud you. I’ll try to make the next one shorter.

Have a great day, all.