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Insert Goals Here

Well, against all odds, it seems, we have made it to May. I’m not sure I had actually planned on making it this far into this year because I’m having a hard time figuring out my goals for the month.

But I’m going to start with a recap of last month’s goals. Maybe I’ll figure something out along the way…

April Goals

Win Camp NaNoWriMo

As you may have seen on various social media platforms, or even the shiny new badge over there on the right, I did do this. The goal had been set for 30,000 words (the Camp sessions allow you to set your own word count goal) and while I didn’t always meet the daily word count goal (1000 words/day), I crossed the finish line a few days early with a final tally of 32,358 words.

Apply revisions to the Terrible Romance Novel

I think I only get partial credit here. I completed the bulk of the changes I wanted to make, but I have a couple of pages of leftover edits (you know, pretty much anything that required more than thirty seconds of concentration to fix…) and my punch list of overused words and phrases still to go.

Prep for and run video conferencing thingamajig for local writers group

I did this. Perhaps not particularly well, but I did it. It seemed to go all right. I mean, I was my usual awkward self, but absolutely NOTHING will change that.

Log at least 100 miles

I did this. I didn’t think it would be a problem, as I’ve been walking even more than usual. I walked 111 miles this month.

Read a book

I did this. Sure, it was a 200-paged book that was probably 80% short lines of dialogue, and sure, it took me until last two days of the month to even open it, but I did this. I read a book. I even read two books. How very sad that this is such an achievement for me.

May Goals

All right. What am I going to do this month? Let’s see…Okay, so I always start with a writing goal. So let’s try that.

Finish the revisions for the Terrible Romance Novel

It’s kind of feeling like it’s now or never with this project, so I guess I’m going to try and make it now. I really don’t want to disappoint my goddaughter.

Read more books

The two books I mentioned reading earlier were the first two books in Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series. It’s a series about a Boston-based private detective that I first discovered back in high school. It’s been a while since I’ve read this series all the way through, so I have decided to try to jumpstart my reading habit with the Great Spenser Re-Reading Project. In theory, what I am going to do is reread the entire series from the beginning and each Friday, I will post which books I’ve read and a little about what I thought of them.

Walk at least 100 miles

Just want to stay active. Or as active as I get.

And, I think, on that note that I’m done.

Sorry, y’all, but I am seriously lacking in enthusiasm these days.

Hope everyone is doing all right out there. Be safe, and take care.

Goalapalooza

It’s the beginning of a new month, which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of…Goal Post Monday.

First up, a recap at last month’s goals…

March Goals

Work out the timeline for Part Two of Full Circle

Welp. At the start of March, I thought I’d have to do another major word purge in my manuscript because despite all my careful plotting and planning, the characters were all, “Yeah…we’re not going to do that” and went and did their own thing because of course they did. I mean, the story will ultimately be better for it, but it has left me feeling a little like…

So, I only managed to work out about half the timeline. Not terrible, certainly, but also not the progress I had been hoping to make.

Work on another round of edits/revisions on the Terrible Romance Novel

I did this, actually. (I know. It surprised me, too). What’s more is there were parts of it I didn’t totally hate. (I know. It surprised me, too.) I finished the read-through part and made my notes and corrections (none of them too overly difficult to fix, I don’t think…she said, jinxing herself horribly). So yeah. Move this goal into the “completed” category!

Log at least 93 miles and try to throw in some yoga once a week

Okay, so once again, I did the miles part of the goal. I walked 137 miles last month. But I did no yoga whatsoever.

Read two books

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Yeah…I didn’t do this. Y’all, I just have no interest in reading. Like, anything. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

April Goals

Win Camp NaNoWriMo

As you may have seen on various forms of social media and, you know, the big-ass picture at the top of this post, I am participating in this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo session. My project is Full Circle, and my goal is set for 30,000 words. Thus far, I have managed to stay on or just above par. May that trend continue.

Apply revisions to the Terrible Romance Novel and maybe start researching potential proofreading-type people, if time allows

This goal will be the thing I work on when I get stuck on my Camp project. Which will NEVER happen, so…Yeah. This goal will probably be finished by the end of this post.

Prep for and run video conferencing thingamajig for local writers group

So, as has been mentioned a couple of times on this blog, I somehow ended up running four writers groups in the area. All meetings have been postponed indefinitely, but whiskey I came up with the brilliant idea of doing a video conferencing thingamajig. It’s scheduled for Saturday the 11th. I’ll be giving a presentation on some writing-related topic (as soon as I come up with one) and yeah…So there’s that. This has filled me with such dread. I can barely get through a presentation without the added pressure of having to remember how to use technology. Look for me to possibly become the latest internet sensation with whatever video conferencing gaff I make.

Log at least 100 miles

This will not be a problem. Since the whole quarantine thing started, I’ve been walking a lot more. Fortunately, my neighborhood is good for walking and spacious enough that even if the neighbors are also out walking, we’re well spaced apart.

Read a book

Seriously, M.J., I cannot make this goal any easier for you. It’s getting super pathetic now. I beg you…just read a damn book. Any book.

On that note, I’m outta here. Hope everyone is healthy and well. Take care!

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same (An IWSG Post)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

(I’m assuming that anyone reading is post is already well-versed in the IWSG, but if you’re on the prowl for additional information and/or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.)

This month’s awesome co-hosts are: Diane Burton, JH Moncrieff, Anna @ Emaginette, Karen @ Reprobate Typewriter, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard.

This month’s (optional) question asks, “In this time, when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, how are things in your world?”

So, yeah. It turns out that my lifestyle is best described as ‘social distancing self-quarantine’ because nothing’s really changed all that much. (I am very fortunate to be able to say that, I know, and I am grateful for it.) I’m still an anxiety-ridden introvert who has decided to take on too many projects in an attempt to keep from worrying about things over which she has absolutely no control.

For example, I’m working on putting together a video conferencing thingamajig (probably not the proper terminology) for one of the writers groups that I run. (Yes. I run four writers groups in my area. I don’t know how it happened, either.) I’m planning to do some trial runs before the actual meeting date so I can attempt to become slightly more comfortable with the technology. I remain optimistic, however, that no matter how much practice I do, I will completely forget how to do everything on the actual day. (I apologize in advance, group!)

I signed up for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo session because I figured if I was going to be staying home and avoiding people even more than I already do, I might as well attempt to use that time to finish up the first draft of Full Circle. The goal is set for 30,000 because I’m honestly not sure if there’s 50,000-words worth of story left to tell. I could be wrong, though. It’s hard to be sure. I think I’ve traumatized my characters to the breaking point. Seriously, one of them has just been sitting at a table, staring into the abyss, for, like, a month now, and I can’t get him to do anything else. I would tell him that things were going to get better, but he’s gone through two and a half books with me so far. He knows exactly how much of a lie that would be.

I’m working on a manuscript critique for a writer acquaintance (a post-apocalyptic novel, actually, which feels a little too timely these days…). He also asked me to review a short story he had written for a contest.

And last, but not least, I’m also working on a read-through of the Terrible Romance Novel in the hopes of getting it to a proofreader-type person in the possibly-not-so-distant future. I had pretty much decided to stick that story in a drawer, but my niece texted me over the weekend to ask how much longer it would be before that book was published because she really wants a copy, and in doing so managed to shame me into pulling the manuscript back out of the drawer because I love my nieces and nephews and would do anything for them. Even write a terrible romance novel.

So yeah. I now have entirely too much to do, but at least that’s a pressure/anxiety I kind of sort of know how to deal with a little bit. Maybe. In theory.

On a slightly more serious note, I hope everyone’s doing all right out there. Please, please, please take care of yourselves. Love to all.

New Year, Same Goals

Happy New Year, all! Hope everyone out there had a wonderful holiday season.

As has become my own little tradition, this post will be all about goals. I’ll be laying out what I hope to accomplish during the course of the year, as well as what I hope to do this month. It’s like double coupon day at the grocery store. Only instead of saving money on your groceries, you get to read an extra-long list of my goals.

Many of these goals will be no different from last year’s, as I pretty much failed to achieve each and every one of them. Oops. This year, however, I hope to do a bit better. Which shouldn’t be hard considering, again, that I pretty much failed to achieve each and every one of them.

In the interest of time and making this post as short as possible, I’ve decided to add a little bullet point at the end of each goal to detail what I’m planning to do on each particular goal during the month of January.

Are you ready? I know I can’t wait…

The 2020 Goals

—Publish Love & Other Lies

More affectionately known as the Terrible Romance Novel, this WIP has been creeping toward publication for a while now. With a little luck, 2020 just may be the year it sees the light of day. I still have to write a blurb for it, though, so it could really go either way.

  • January’s goal: Write the first draft of a possible blurb

—Complete first draft of Full Circle

Otherwise known as Book Three of my fantasy series, I added a good 50,000 words to this manuscript during last November’s NaNoWriMo event. I still have a loooooooooong way to go. Like, just so long. The plot continues to give me trouble. I know where I would like it to start and end, but everything in between is just…not right. Yet, anyway. I’ll figure it out eventually. I hope.

  • January’s goal: Complete Part One (note: it is, by far, the most complete of the novel’s three parts. If I can just work out this pesky timeline issue, this goal is totally doable. I hope.)

—Write the first draft of the Terrible Romance Sequel

Yep. There’s a sequel. My goddaughter (who loved the Terrible Romance Novel) would like to read another installment, so I decided to write one for her. Or try, at least. There isn’t very much of it yet, but the goal here will be to really begin the first draft during NaNoWriMo in November. So I have some time yet.

  • January’s goal: Jot down any ideas I may come up with during the course of the day, but for now this project’s on the back burner. I mean, did you see the second goal?!?

—Read at least 52 books

I have seriously dropped the reading ball the last few years. I don’t know why, but I’m seriously lacking in focus. I’m sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of time I spend playing that Harry Potter Wizards Unite game.

Anyway, I’m maintaining hope that one book a week isn’t too much of a stretch.

  • January’s goal: Read four books

—Walk at least three miles per day

The one goal I actually managed to achieve last year! I’m hoping to keep that momentum going this year, as well as adding in some yoga and other aerobics to my fitness routine. You know, to keep things interesting and to prevent me from becoming part of my couch and/or desk chair.

  • January’s goal: Log 93 miles and complete at least one 15-minute yoga workout each week

—Declutter and Downsize

This will come as a shocking surprise, I know, but I am a scary hoarder of office supplies…and a few other things. This year, however, I aim to eliminate some of the clutter. Starting with the closet in my office. That is a super scary place that my significant other is currently not allowed to even look in. So I should probably change that. If I can. Once I go into that closet, though, I may never find my way back out…

  • January’s goal: Clean out and organize the office closet

And on that not-at-all ominous note, I’m outta here. I have a lot to do this month. And this year.

What was I thinking?

Did you set any goals for the year? Want to do some of mine for me?