Thursday, December 31, 2015

To the New Year - 2016 Goals

It's my birthday! :) Today I am twenty-seven years old. I'm not really sure how I feel about being a year older. I have those weird little thoughts of...

Yep, but I'm sure it'll get better?

Anyway, since a new year starts tomorrow, I'm sharing my goals for the new year!

Goals for 2016

Writing Goals –

“Silent Beauty”
* Query another round of agents
* Consider self-publishing
* Hire editor/cover designer

* Finish first draft by April
* Revise
* Send to critique partners
* Revise again

“Somebody to Love”
* Rewrite second draft
* Send to critique partners
* Consider self-publishing

NaNoWriMo – November
* Write a new novel

Personal –

* Read at least 50 books
* Find a literary agent
* Finish rereading the Harry Potter series
* Learn a new talent
* Start saving money

Those are my goals for next year and hopefully they go well! :) What are your goals for next year? I'm off to celebrate my birthday with my friends and family! Happy Birthday to me and to Lord Voldemort! :) Happy New Year!

I keep forgetting to put Kili on my birthday list...

Monday, December 28, 2015

Wrapping Up 2015

Another year is over? Let me check my calendar, that can't be true. Oh, I guess it is! :) It's been a busy year and it's time to wrap up what happened this year with my writing goals!

Goals for 2015

“Nothing Left to Lose”
* Complete first round of revisions by February
* Send to critique partners
* Revise again
* Query/consider self-publishing

“Silent Beauty”
* Query another round of agents
* Consider self-publishing
* Hire editor/cover designer

“Cold to the Touch”
* Finish first draft by April
* Revise and consider submitting to small publishing houses

NaNoWriMo – November
* Write a new novel

Personal –
* Read at least 50 books
* Find a literary agent
* Learn to drive a manual
* Attend a Writer’s Convention

"Nothing Left to Lose"
I finished a rewrite of this book in April, but I'm not still not too sure how I feel about it. I made a major plot change and reworked one of the characters, but the story is still pretty rough.

"Silent Beauty"
I'm still very dedicated with this one! I entered it into a contest in February and had a few requests. Still waiting to hear back from one of them and a few other full requests. I'm really crossing my fingers on this one! It's my favorite book I've written to date and it's the one that I really want to get published. :)

"Cold to the Touch"
For now, I've put this book away. It was YA Science Fiction and not my normal genre I write. I might pick it up again, but for now it will sit uncomplete.

NaNoWriMo novel - "Summer of Lies"
I actually started this one in July and struggled for months to write it. It's the hardest book I've had to write, but I did finally finish it in November. I may try to revise it next year, but I'm not sure yet.

My baby sister and I
While I may not have finished all of my writing goals for this year, I did read 54 books, beating my goal of 50 books this year. I've had four different jobs just this year, so I'm really proud of what I did accomplish with my writing. I did learn to drive a manual! I'm awful at it, but I now know the basics of it and I've made it up 35 mph while driving it. (But only in the parking lot, I'm not ready for real streets.)

I hope your goals from 2015 went well! I'll be sharing my new goals on Thursday. Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

What I Want for Christmas

It's only 12 days until Christmas. While there are presents wrapped in colored paper beneath my geeky Christmas tree, complete with Star Trek ornaments and the Tardis lighting up, there's something missing. I've struggled with Christmas for the last three years. I'm not a child anymore and while those lights and Christmas carols still excite me, I've lost something in Christmas. I feel a little bit like Cindy Lou-Who, who had a crisis of Christmas. She just wanted to know the meaning.

As we rush around to get the perfect gifts for our loved ones, darting around others in the store, not always apologizing, and sometimes being rude to the clerk, who'd rather the whole season be over with, we're not understanding. I've been raised believing that Jesus was born on Christmas and that's why we celebrate. I won't push my beliefs on you. I still believe that and celebrate that. But no matter if you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or any of the numerous holidays in December (including my birthday on the 31st), I don't want us to loose ourselves in the buying of gifts and spending of money.

Recently, a friend of mine gave me a gift-card for groceries. I work two jobs and sometimes I still struggle to make ends meet. Food usually goes to the end of the list after all the bills and gas for the car. I don't always make the right choices for food because I'm trying to find something quick and easy so I can rush to my next job. I felt so loved when she did this for me and grateful.

I went to the grocery store to buy groceries, excited that I could actually buy more than bread and milk to last the week until the next paycheck. It wasn't much, but it made me very happy. I picked out healthy foods and filled the shopping basket. I went up to the line and stepped behind an elderly man, who was talking to the cashier, patting his pockets and looking a bit frazzled. He couldn't find his wallet and he figured he left it at home. I could see his bill was greater than the gift-card in my hand. The cashier bagged his things and pushed them to the front so he could come back. The woman rang up my items. I couldn't. Instead, I pulled out my debit card and paid for my groceries.

Before leaving the store, I went up to the manager who'd taken the man's cart and told her I had a weird request. I wanted the man who forgot his wallet to have my gift-card. She pursed her lips, busy and confused saying that he'd left. I kindly told her that I wanted him to have it when he came back, so he could use it. She nodded and tucked it into her pocket, saying she would.

I could have used the gift-card and thought nothing of it. But I couldn't. That man needed it more than I did. I wanted to give him a gift, even if he'll never thank me and I'll probably never see him again. I just wanted to show him the kindness that someone showed me and give it to him.

That's what I want really want for Christmas this year. I want others to show people kindness. Strangers or friends, to love them and some times be spontaneously kind. Yes, I'd love to find a literary agent before Christmas or to meet the guy of my dreams or to be able to have time to read a book every day, but those are dreams that can wait. I want people to remember that Christmas is a time to tell others that we love them and to spend time together, laughing and making memories.

What I really want for Christmas is for people to be kind and love.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

IWSG - We are Writers

Today is the first Wednesday of December; it's time for another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, (created by our Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh) . I accidentally posted yesterday, but I fixed it! :) We meet on the first Wednesday of every month to share our insecurities without judgment or to share what we've learned as writers.

I've decided that I want to share how grateful I am! I'm thankful that we have such a great group of supportive writers and we have such an amazing passion. What other legal passion can spend crazy hours staring at the computer, killing people and making them fall in love? We hear those voices in our heads and write the stories that they tell us. Some people may think we are crazy, but I think writers are pretty incredible people.

I hope you guys had a wonderful year and have a splendid December! :) What's your favorite thing about writing from this past year? :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December Goals

Only 24 days until Christmas! I'm starting my countdown today since I'm also wrapping presents and watching "The Grinch" with Jim Carrey. I'm excited for a month of celebrating with friends and family! I invited a friend over for Thanksgiving last month, who, since because of working on Black Friday, he couldn't make it home to see his family for Thanksgiving. It was so wonderful to share with another person and be thankful with them! I'm looking forward to spending time with my sisters, brothers, cousins, aunt, friends, and parents. I love the Christmas season. :)

It's time for an update in goals!

Here are my goals from November:
* Write to 50,000 words on "Summer of Lies"

I completed my only goal from last month! I finally finished writing the book that's been plaguing me for months. Granted, it has lots of problems, but it's done. :) I also finished my reading goal of 50 books this year, so I'm doing some fun reading to celebrate by rereading the Harry Potter series! Here's what I read last month, the rereads are in purple.

A Faerie's Revenge (Creepy Hollow #5) by Rachel Morgan
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord
Until Friday Night (The Field Party #1) by Abbi Glines
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

I have no idea how I managed to write a book and read six books, but I did! :)

Goals for December:
* Finish rereading the Harry Potter series

* Create writing/personal goals for 2016

* Celebrate Christmas with my family and friends

Have a great December! How did your goals from last month go? :)