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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

The New Year Is Coming

Hello, hello!  The new year is almost upon us.  Unlike a lot of people I know, I have to say that 2016 wasn’t a bad year for me.  Personally, it was a quiet and uneventful year.  Yeah, bad and scary things happened in the world, but good things also happened.  For example, Spinraza was approved by the FDA as the first therapy for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (which was one of my diagnoses over the years, but I was assured 7 or 8 years ago that I actually have Ullrich Congenital Muscular Dystrophy).  Also, a lot of people were lost this year, including icons like Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder, and Carrie Fisher.  But we’ve survived.  We’re still here to make 2017 a better year.  To make ourselves better people.

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R.I.P. General Organa

 If we want the new year to be better, we have to start with ourselves.  Many people make New Year’s Resolutions, which are great if you stick with them, but most of us don’t.  A week into January and that resolution to exercise more flies out the window with that first pulled muscle.  That resolution to be more positive disappears with the jerk who dents your car in the grocery store parking lot and doesn’t bother leaving a note.  It’s hard to change our habits.  And that’s okay.  But if you really want the year to be better, you’re going to have to make an effort.  That’s why I’m making a goal for myself for 2017.

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That’s how it goes.

 For 2017, instead of trying to change my habits (which is what resolutions usually entail), I’ve decided to pick one area of my life that I want to advance in and create a high (but reachable) goal for myself.  Right now, I’m mostly concerned about my career, so my goal is to find an agent by the end of 2017.  Hopefully, it won’t take an entire year, but it’s a goal I’m comfortable with.  If I were feeling courageous, I might go so far as to make my goal having my first novel published, but that takes time and requires an agent first (okay, so I don’t technically have to have an agent and I could go the whole self-publishing route for those who want to argue those points, but I don’t feel comfortable with those options for myself, so an agent I shall search for).

So, that’s my one big goal for 2017: find an agent.

I simply feel that if we aim to improve one part of our lives at a time (whether it’s our career, personal relationships, health, or whatever) with a concrete and reachable goal, we’ll have a better chance of achieving it and thus improving our year.  By all means, make some resolutions or extravagant goals.  Aim to change the world if that’s what you’re into, but remember that change starts at home.  By improving yourself, you’re improving the world.  Don’t let anyone tell you different.

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Exactly.

 Do you have any resolutions or goals for the coming year?  What area of your life would you most like to advance in during 2017?  Leave a comment here or on my social media pages to share your plans for the year.

See you next year!