2018: It Was A Year

Hello, hello!  First and foremost, I want to once again thank J. R. Dawson for her awesome guest post last week.  If you haven’t read it yet, go and do the thing.  Now, on to this week’s post!  Since December is speeding toward its end, I thought I would take a moment to look back on the year.  Don’t worry.  I don’t plan on getting all insightful and nostalgic.  But I do plan on sharing five memorable things that have occurred this year in no particular order.

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Before the year washes away completely…

1.  The great wheelchair debacle of 2018.  As many of you know, I recently got my new wheelchair after months (about 7 months) of fighting for it.  Technically, Dad did most of the fighting, I was just stubborn about what I wanted.  Instead of telling us up front that they didn’t normally deal with Quickie chairs, the company we were getting the chair through assured us they could get one, then proceeded to try pushing an Invacare chair on me.  They talked me into trying a molded seat despite the fact that I’ve always hated that type of seat.  All along they said it would work with a Quickie, but when they went to send it out, chair and all, they told us it was an Invacare chair.  They tried to convince us that’s what we agreed to, which went over like a lead balloon.  After much arguing and being punished by not getting a seat I didn’t want in the first place, I have my Quickie and it even has the motors I wanted (though we had to pay the extra for them out of pocket, which is fine).  I just don’t have any pictures of it to share yet.

2.  Getting published (and getting paid for it).  I know you’re probably tired of hearing about it, but it was an exciting part of my year.  We even went down to Port Neches for the book launch, which was a nice little vacation for us even though the seafood was severely disappointing.  And, of course, I can’t write about it without dropping a link where you can purchase the book.  So, if you haven’t read it yet, you can find my story “Lying Eyes” in Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers Vol. 3.  You can find purchase info at the bottom of the linked page.

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It would look good on your bookshelf!

3.  A new Thanksgiving tradition?  I don’t know if it’ll become a tradition or not (we’ll see what happens next year), but we had a lovely meal at Texas de Brazil this year.  After 32+ years, Dad wasn’t up for cooking the usual feast, so we took our neighbor to the Brazilian steakhouse.  They had a few Thanksgiving staples alongside their normal menu.  It was delicious as ever.  The only sad thing was there were no leftovers.

4.  Saw the Moody Blues live.  I admit that 2018 wasn’t the best year for concerts, but with everything going down in Deep Ellum, it didn’t feel like a good idea to go down there too often.  Plus, there weren’t many bands I actually wanted to see.  But back in January, Dad surprised me with a trip to the Toyota Music Factory to see the Moody Blues play.  They are an amazing band with some awesome music.  Seeing them live was a real treat!

5.  Dad’s hernia surgery.  Most of you already know, but Dad had hernia surgery on the 11th.  His primary doctor finally confirmed he had one last month even though Dad had been vocal about pain and swelling for the last 6 months.  The doctor acted like the swelling was something new.  Then again, this is the same doctor who forgot he put Dad on a diet.  So, Dad found a place called NTTC Surgery Center, which provides routine surgical procedures for a flat (affordable) rate.  It’s basically a collaborative effort from local doctors to provide affordable options for people without insurance.  The facility is nice and the staff was wonderful.  Though, it was a bit of a surprise when the surgeon required his portion in cash, which we weren’t warned about.  But other than that, the whole experience was smooth and everyone was very reassuring.  Dad just had his post-op check up and is healing well.  He’s getting a bit antsy to get back to his normal routine, but he has to take it easy for three more weeks.

How was your year?  Feel free to share some memories (good, bad, scary, exciting, or otherwise) here or on my social media pages!

The Year Of Persistence, Revision, And Submissions

Hello, hello!  Welcome to 2018.  I hope everyone has a wonderful year.  May the year be filled with everything you need and something you want!  A few weeks ago, I talked about my goals for the new year (here).  So, I thought I would go ahead and share my January goals this week.  Even though it’s only been two days, I’ve been doing pretty well so far.  Let’s hope the rest of the month is just as productive!

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Definitely not the view here in Texas.

So, here are my January goals in no particular order.

1. Get DS1’s (the current novel attempt’s code name) shitty first draft to at least 60,000 words.  It’s currently 44,000 and I’m aiming for a complete draft of 70-75,000ish words.  For a month, 16,000 words is a pretty reasonable goal.  Hopefully, I’ll get further, but it’s always a good idea to stick with tough but reasonable goals.

2. Submit stuff 10 times (2 every Monday).  This refers only to short stories, flash fiction, and poetry.  Not agent searching.  Last year, I focused primarily on my novel and neglected my other work.  I don’t want to do that this year.  Sure, it means more rejections, but I can’t get any acceptances if I don’t submit, right?  (More positive thinking is also something I’m working on this year.)

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Sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, but I’ll try it.

3. Write 1 flash piece OR short story.  I should probably include poems in this, but it’s been so long since I’ve written any poetry that I probably suck at it now.  That’s not negative thinking, it’s just the truth.  I’ll probably set aside some time for writing poetry when I start focusing on my revisions.  For now, I’ll stick with short stories and flash fiction.

4. Read 2 books.  I recently joined GoodReads to try to keep better track of what I’ve read throughout the year.  I’m a slow reader, so my goal is to read 24 books in 2018.  I’m currently halfway through a book I started a week ago, so I guess technically my January goal is only 1.5 books.  Is that cheating?

5. Stop dwelling on rejections and sucking and just do the damn work.  This is where the positive thinking really comes in.  I’ve been down about all the agent rejections I received last year.  After 100 rejections (or just flat out being ignored), it’s hard not to think it’s me and my suckiness.  But!  I just need to suck it up and move on.  I’ve got other projects that might interest people.  It’s time to focus on those!

6. Make time for people.  I always say that I need to talk to more people and I always fail.  But I will keep adding it to my goals until it actually happens!  I used to be so good at keeping in touch with people back when Yahoo chatrooms were a thing.  I don’t know what happened to that me.

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This is not wrong.

7. Turn 32.  Yup, I’m a January baby.  In about 9 days, I’ll be turning 32.  I’m old.  But I’m okay with that.

That’s my plan for January.  What about you?  Do you have any goals for this month?  What about goals for the new year?  Feel free to share them here or on my social media pages!

Looking Forward: 2018 Goals

Howdy, howdy!  A couple of months ago, a friend asked me if I would be interested in creating some writing goals for the new year and sharing them with each other for accountability purposes.  I agreed, because accountability is the best way to motivate me.  So, since we’re (not so) slowly making our way through December, I thought I would go ahead and share them with everyone.  As I’ve probably said before, I don’t care for the idea of making resolutions, because they’re usually vague things (eating healthier, exercising more, going out more, spending less, etc.) that people keep up with for a few days or even weeks then forget.  Goals, on the other hand, tend to be more specific, thus easier to keep track of and definitively complete.  So, here are my writerly goals for 2018.

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Pretty much.

1. Finish the first draft of DS1 (code name for my novel-in-progress).  I probably should’ve finished this by the end of December, but I hit a road block and decided to work on my fetish fairy tales for a little while.  I’ll finish the fairy tale I’m working on this week, then get back into DS1.  I should finish that by the end of January/middle of February.

2. Revise LR1 (code name for the shitty first draft of the last novel I wrote).  I’m actually really interested in getting back to this one.  No idea if it’s still as awesome as it felt while I was writing it (first drafts never are), but I’m looking forward to tearing it apart and making it better.  Hopefully revisions won’t take me more than two months, but we’ll see.  I’m not the best at revising things.

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It’s not wrong.  Though, I’m still using .doc instead of .docx.

3. Revise DS1.  Despite getting a little stuck on this one, I still absolutely love the idea and the characters.  I hope I feel the same way after I finish it.  My biggest problem is that I know the ending, I just don’t know how to elegantly connect it to what I have thus far.  I guess I’ll smash it all together and smooth things out during the revision process!

4. Query 100 agents for LR1 or DS1 depending on which is better.  I’ve decided to put G&G away for a while and focus on the other two novels.  Hopefully one of them will have more appeal for agents.  I can always go back to G&G later, but after 100 rejections, Bailey definitely deserves a nice little break.

5. Write 10 short stories/flash pieces OR 1 new novel.  I really want to use 2018 as the year of revision.  But at the same time, I also want to keep producing new work.  I’m leaning more towards the short stories/flash fiction option because I could take a couple of days off of revision each month to work on something fresh, but like I mentioned above, I don’t really know how long revision will take me.  If it doesn’t take too long, I wouldn’t mind working on another novel.

6. Submit short stories/flash pieces (2+ subs a week).  I admit that I’ve been neglecting my short story submissions this year.  I want to change that in 2018.  Maybe I’ll eventually snag someone’s attention!

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Maybe.  I doubt it.  Reassurance, please!

And those are my writing goals for 2018.  Do you have any goals for next year yet?  Feel free to share them here or on my social media pages!