Happy 2020!

Howdy, howdy!  Welcome to 2020!  I hope you all have a wonderful year and even better decade!  The 2010s were a weird decade for me.  My mother passed away (don’t be sorry, I’m not), I finished my BA at SMU, got my MFA from Stonecoast, got published a couple of times, earned a LOT of rejections, lost some pups, got a new one, and the list goes on.  Ultimately, it seems like there were more ups than downs, and that’s all one can really hope for.  It’s all I want out of 2020 as well, both the year and the decade.  Anyway, since it’s the 1st, I’m just going to list my goals for the year.  I suppose I should have some kind of 10 year plan, but I don’t.  I never think that far ahead, at least not seriously.  So, you’re stuck with my plan for the year like usual.

Happy-New-Year-Wallpaper-2020-Download

My 2020 goals in no particular order:

1. Finish revising DS1.  I plan on getting back to this today.  The only major change I’m looking at making is changing the tense of the story from past to present because it just reads better that way.  This goal is my priority for this year.  Hopefully, it will only take me a few months.  After I look at it, I’ll set a realistic deadline and share it with people who can hold me accountable.

2. Read 30 books.  I’ll definitely read 12 new/recently released books for the monthly book reviews (yeah, that’s still going to be a thing).  That leaves 18 books.  I’m planning on 8-10 of those being books from my “to re-read” list and the rest being books that are new to me, but not necessarily new.  At least that’s the plan.  We’ll see how it goes.

what-shall-i-read-today-harry-potter-pile-of-unread-42868636
Maybe I will start with Harry Potter. After I read some books my secret Santa sent me for the Pseudopod book exchange.

3. Keep submitting.  This will be my third year of consistent submissions.  At least two stories every week (or the equivalent if I get sick and miss some weeks like last year).  I’ve gotten about 210 rejections for my short stories since I started keeping track in 2014, plus 101 rejections from agents for G&G, so I’d say I’m doing pretty well.  The few acceptances I’ve earned make it not so discouraging.  All of my acceptances so far have been for semi-pro level payment and I’ve received positive feedback on rejections from pro level markets, so hopefully 2020 will be the year of my first pro level acceptance.  A girl can wish, right?

4. Query 100 agents (or fewer if I find one).  Once I finish the revisions to DS1, the plan is to query agents.  It’s drastically different from G&G, so I’ll have to go through the process of finding agents with a taste for this particular genre.  But at least this time I’ll have had some experience and know where to start my search.  I dread writing the query letter, though.  It’s harder to write than a novel.

center
Except I’m not a lady and I have no stash yet, but one day it will be glorious.

5. Crochet.  Yes, my new hobby is still a thing.  I’m getting pretty far along with my first project (the unfinished hat doesn’t count).  And I already have like 10 free patterns saved to try and 20 paid patterns in my favorites on Ravelry to buy when/if I decide to do them.  But it’s just a hobby and will have to be done after my writing and revising each day.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself.  I’ll make it work.  Eventually.

Those are my goals for the year.  I’ll add new writing goals once I finish my revisions.  And I’m not even going to say anything about trying to be more social because we all know it’s not going to happen.  What about your goals?  Any plans you want to share for your 2020?  As always, feel free to share your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages!

Early Christmas Break

Hello, hello!  Is everyone ready for the holidays?  I hope so.  Anyway, I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to come up with a topic for this week’s post and I keep coming up blank.  Since I’m doing a book review on Christmas instead of taking a break, I figured I would take this week off.  So, here are some festive photos of my chair that Dad decorated and a couple from the MDA Holiday Party in lieu of an actual post!

Merry (early) Christmas!

December Goals: 2019

Hello, hello!  It’s the last month of 2019 and I haven’t really accomplished much the last few months.  I’m not really looking to do much this month either.  Shame on me, I know.  But it’s true.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m not going to be able to shake the writing blahs any time soon.  But I still have some goals that I intend to work on.  And I haven’t shared a goal post in a while, so that’s what I’m doing now.  Sorry that I have nothing better to ramble about.

4BFD4D99-CD6B-4A86-A917-BF032C06C221

So, here are those goals in no particular order:

1. Keep submitting to two places each week.  I fell behind on this when I was sick earlier this year, but I caught up and have no plans to give up now.  I’ve gathered a lot of rejections, mostly form, but with some really nice personal ones sprinkled throughout.  You know about the acceptances if you stalk me at all.  It’s been a really good year submission-wise.

2. Read 2 more books.  I know I originally wanted to read 30 books this year, but I think I’m going to top out around 27.  I just finished number 25.  If I hadn’t gotten sick, I probably could’ve squeezed in a few extra.  But honestly, I’ll be happy if I only get through 26.

crochet-is-not-a-hobby-its-a-post-apocalyptic-life-skill-b542f
Zombies need sweaters too.

3. Crocheting.  I was stupid and chose a big ambitious project as a newbie.  There’s no way I’m finishing it this year, but I want to get a big chunk of it done, so in January I can switch my main focus back to writing like I should’ve done a long time ago.  I have to remind myself that crocheting is just supposed to be a hobby.

4. Being more social.  I went to SMU’s Celebration of Lights with Dad and some friends.  We even have another holiday thing planned with them.  But I also really need to text and Facebook message some people because I have been hermitting really bad.  Like worse than usual.  I blame the crochet because it doesn’t involve the computer, so I can’t multitask when I’m doing it.  But really, I’m just enjoying my own company.

download (5)

5. Get in a festive mood.  It’s hard.  I can’t get into Christmas music.  I’m not in the mood to look at lights.  I thought going to SMU’s thing would help, but it didn’t do much for me.  Maybe the holiday party will help.  Or maybe I’m just a Grinch.  But I have eggnog, so I’m a happy Grinch.

What about you?  Do you have any December goals?  Are you already filled with the holiday spirit or are you struggling too?  As always, feel free to share your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages!

Thanksgiving: 2019

Howdy, howdy!  How is everyone doing this week?  November is speeding along, much like the rest of this year.  I have no idea where the time went.  I’m still stuck in April or May.  Is it just me?  Yeah?  Okay then.  But Thanksgiving is only eight days away, so I thought it would be a good time to make a list of things I’m thankful for this year.  I know I should probably do this closer to Thanksgiving, but next week is my book review post.  Anyway, in no particular order, here are five things I’m thankful for this year.

12310696_10153290948051716_4911173510513371495_n
We’ll get a new picture of us eventually.

1. Dad.  I know it’s sappy, but I am thankful for him.  He does everything for me.  Even the gross stuff no one wants to know about.  And I don’t say thanks enough.  Mostly because I don’t really know how to express myself well (my social skills suck, even with family).  But I know he’s reading this.  So, you are appreciated.  Even if you’re a dick sometimes.  That’s as sappy as I get.

Crochet-Patterns-Funny-These-funny-Crochet-Memes-are-sure-hilarious.-You-will-laugh-and-be-entertained
Replace cleaning the house with writing and it’s me!

2. Tunisian/Afghan crochet hooks.  They’re super long and designed for a special type of crochet, but I just use them for regular crochet so far.  My discovery of these earlier this year has allowed me to be creative in a whole new way.  And they prove my hands can still do cool things if I set my mind to it.  I’m not entirely useless after all!

When-you-are-reading-a-book-and-get-to-the-part-where-the-title-makes-sense
Unless the title has nothing to do with the book and you’re just disappointed.

3. NetGalley.  I’m not usually thankful for specific websites, but I admit that this one is pretty cool.  I’ve been able to read a bunch of books that I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise.  I even found a couple of authors that I’m still following.  Plus, it gives me something to blog about each month, which is super helpful.

BFF8-5ac2eb883418c600374ef459
Or maybe because I already know too much.  My friends are crazy.  Don’t deny it.

4. Friends.  Again, sappy.  But it’s true.  Especially the ones who randomly check in on me even when I’m in full hermit mode and being a shit friend myself.  You know who you are.  You’re all appreciated.  And sorry I am such a hermit.  I try not to be, but it never works out.

internet-memes-7

5.  The Interwebz.  It’s where all my friends live.  But really, because it simultaneously lets me stalk people and keep up with their lives while helping limit my need to use the phone or leave the house.  Need to activate that card? Do it online!  Want to buy something?  There’s a website for that.  It’s basically an introvert’s dream.  But never read the comments.

What about you?  What are you thankful for this year?  It can be small or large.  Serious or funny.  Or anything in between.  Feel free to share your lists and thoughts here or on my social media pages!

Things I’d Rather Be Doing Than Blogging

Howdy, howdy! As I’m writing this on Tuesday, it’s a warm (mid-80s), dreary day in October.  Not unusual for north Texas around this time of year.  But it has me feeling blah and lazy.  It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling to come up with topics for my blog each week, so I thought I would take the chance to let you know what I would rather be doing.  Some of which I will probably indulge in after I finish this post.  Please forgive me if it’s a little shorter than usual, but I’m really lacking motivation.  Without further ado, here are three things I’d rather be doing at this exact moment.

A13usaonutL._CLa_2140,2000_61BfXXlV84L.png_0,0,2140,2000+0.0,0.0,2140.0,2000.0._UX522_
I mean, Christmas is coming up.  Or my birthday.  Size XL.  Just saying.

1. Binge watching anime that I’ve fallen behind on.  I was watching a new episode of Fruits Basket as it came out each week and now I’m suddenly nine episodes behind.  I don’t even remember what initially interrupted my watching streak.  It wasn’t that I got bored with the show, I know that much.  Plus I have at least ten shows in my queue that I either want to watch or rewatch.  No idea why I haven’t made time for anime, but on days like this, watching it is all I really feel like doing.

j0idratherbecrocheting_j_Pink

2. Crocheting.  Yeah.  That hobby I talked about trying months ago is still a thing I’m working on.  I don’t have any finished products yet, but I’m really enjoying doing something with my hands.  And seeing the progress I’m making is really cool.  It’s a creative outlet that’s so different from writing.  I’ve always been a super harsh judge of my writing.  Mistakes and shitty storylines that I have to keep reworking are annoying as all get out.  But with crochet, I see errors and loose stitches and I’m still at a point where I can overlook them and see my improvement.  It’s still fun.  And if I ever finish anything, I’ll be sure to share it (warts and all) here.

e95330c3fdb28c201cb3d999f5043bd5

3. Reading.  I’m currently trying to finish up a book to review.  I have one more chapter left.  But I also have a bunch of books I want to start when I’m done, including one to review next month.  So many choices, so little time.  If I’m honest, I should read the next review book and get ahead a little, but I’ll probably pick something fun that I’ve been wanting to read for a while.  Maybe a cozy.  Maybe not.  If you follow me on GoodReads, you’ll find out when I decide.

That’s enough blogging today.  I think I’m going to go finish reading that book real quick, then get in some crocheting before other things distract me.  What about you?  What would you rather be doing on gloomy work days?  Would you like to snuggle up with a good book and a glass of something yummy?  Or maybe you’d rather go for a jog?  Whatever you decide, tell me about it.  Feel free to share your lists or thoughts here or on my social media pages!

Hobbies Are Important I Guess…

Howdy, howdy!  I’ve kind of been in a funk for a long time.  None of the things that used to excite me (anime, manga, even music) have held much interest for me.  While I was sick, I even stopped playing my mindless games for a few weeks.  The only thing I’ve been consistently doing is reading, and that hasn’t really drawn me in either.  I read a chapter or two at a time, then get bored no matter whether I’m enjoying the book or not.  And I think we all know (if you’ve been following my blog) that my writing schedule has been super inconsistent.  So, I decided to try finding some kind of hobby that might interest me.

5bee4c9035325
Apathetic, not sad.  Thank you very much.

While we were running errands on Friday, Dad and I stopped by Hobby Lobby for some yarn for a project he’s doing in the pond.  As he was searching for a certain type of yarn in green, I looked around the aisle just for the fun of it.  I like yarn and random crafts.  I used to love cross-stitching.  But I don’t do anything like that anymore because I have a stupidly limited range of motion and can’t get my hands close enough together to manipulate everything that needs manipulating.  It’s the same reason I stopped playing video games.

Anyway, when I was younger, I had tried crocheting.  I never finished anything and have no idea why I stopped, but I never started back up because the hooks were all too short for me to reach with both hands.  Needless to say, I was surprised to see a few hooks that were super long hanging above the normal crochet hooks at Hobby Lobby.  After much internal debate, I decided to get one and a skein of multi-colored yarn.  Actually, Dad got them for me (thanks, again!).

290448bbf3972effbe5a996f96ea4383--judith-memes
This is going to be more fun than I thought.

A lot of writers I know seem to knit or crochet or have similar hobbies, so when I saw that hook (which is apparently a Tunisian/Afghan hook designed for a special type of crocheting, but can be used like a regular hook) I figured I could give it a shot.  Granted, I remember absolutely nothing from my earlier attempts at the craft, so all I’ve been doing thus far is research, but I feel that little tug of excitement that I’ve been missing.  I have a project picked out (and approved of by a friend who crochets as something a beginner can handle).  I’ve been watching videos of how to do the chain and single crochet, as well as how to sew the project together when I reach that point.  All I’m missing is a yarn or tapestry needle, but I won’t need that until I get the crocheting done.  I hope to start on that part soon.

200 (2)
Me: “Wish me luck?” Also me: “Nope.”

What about you?  Do you have a particular hobby (or two, three, forty)?  What drew you to it?  Are you currently looking for a hobby or learning a new one?  Feel free to share your thoughts or comments or questions here or on my social media pages!

P.S. If I succeed at my first project, I’ll make sure to post pictures!  If I fail, I’ll probably just let this whole thing fade into oblivion with no further mention.