Tag Archives: updates

2016: A Year in Review

Hello everyone!

So, I’m only a couple of days late with this post, and for that I am very proud of myself. Since we’ve dived joyously into 2017, now is a good time to reflect over the past year and talk about some goals moving forward.

I don’t think I have to address what a dumpster fire 2016 was, so I’m going to move right into the good stuff.

2016 was both a successful year and a not-so-successful year for me, writing-wise. In February, I was accepted into a MFA program (hooray!) but I seriously underestimated how much time I was going to have to devote to writing and reading for class. This time came right out of the extra time I would have used working on my personal writing. But, I did finish several short stories, one of which is currently out on submission, so yay for small victories! I never really found a balance between grad school, work, life, and writing in 2016, so that’s going to be something I work on this year.

Umm…what else did I do this year (checks Instagram)…oh yeah. Saw a lot of ‘rasslin shows, celebrated my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary, took a visit to my alma mater, saw a good friend get married, revealed the official title for #codenamehotprieststory (The Girls of Fall), buzzed both sides of my head, won first place in a Halloween costume contest, got two promotions at my day job (huzzah!), attempted NaNoWriMo, bought new floors for my condo, turned 28 and wore a mermaid princess crown. Shew. I guess my year was pretty busy after all, when you put it that way. 🙂

I’ve spent the last few days planning out what I’d like to accomplish in 2017 and going journalahead and writing things down in my planner. If a thing is written down, I’m more likely to actually do the thing. I bought a brand new notebook — the Leuchtturm 1917 — to use as a project journal and keep better track of all my writing projects — progress and notes.

If you’re following me on Instagram, you might have already seen some of my 2017 goals and resolutions, but I’ve added even more goals since that post, so let’s break them down here as well.

  • Complete second draft of The Girls of Fall by 3/1 — this one is pretty self-explanatory. I’m about exactly halfway through the second draft and I’ve calculated how many words I will have to write each day/week to meet this goal, and it’s very achievable!goals
  • Establish and protect a writing time — I need to write when I sit down and say I’m going to write. Whether that’s a few hours each night, or a big chunk of time on the weekend.
  • Read 30 books — This was my goal number for 2016, and I fell short by about 6 books. Going for 30 again this year!
  • Do Zumba two times per week — gotta go shake that booty.
  • No soda, coke, sweet tea, etc. — I’ve made a spot in my planner to check off the days I’ve been soda-free…only one check mark so far…WHOOPS.
  • Pack lunch for work — saving $$ plus eating healthy.
  • Temper phone time/social media time — I’m still ironing out the details of this one, but I would like to stop using my phone an hour or two before bed and use that time to read instead. And then go straight to bed, not spend another 45 minuets aimlessly scrolling through Instagram.
  • Send a quarterly author newsletter — Subscribers, you’re guaranteed to hear from me at least 4 times a year!
  • Attend a writing conference — I’ve already got one picked out, so now I just need to register.
  • Get all A’s in classes — Ugh, I’ve gotten all A’s and B’s so far, but I want those A’s, dagnabbit!
  • Do a quarterly review of goals — Each quarter, I’d like to sit down with myself and review the goals I’ve outlined here, maybe make some new ones, and just evaluate how the year is going overall.

Okay, I think I’m finished for now, whew!

I’m participating in an author life photo challenge on Instagram this month, so if you want to know more about me and how I’m tackling the new year, head on over and check out the hashtag, #IGAuthorLifeJan.

Happy New Year!

P.S. If anyone has any tips on how to manage your social media time more efficiently/effectively, let me know!

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A Very Merry Bookiversary!

*peaks out from under rock*

Oh, hai.

Well, I’m not dead! Just been busy working, writing, worry about working, worrying about writing, struggling to make ends meet, making big life decisions – you know, all that adult-related nonsense we have to put up with. So I just stopped by to check in with y’all and bring you a giveaway! That’s right folks. To celebrate the 6 month-ish bookiversary of Stones and Finger Bones, I’m giving away two signed copies over on Goodreads! Sincerest apologies to all my out-of-country peeps, but this author is on a budget so I could only open the giveaway to the US.

*hides in shame*

Anyway, if you’re currently residing in the states and want to get in on the action, head on over to the giveaway now!

Since we’re about half-way done with the year (how’d did that happen?!?) I thought this would be a good post to do a goal check-in and see where I’m at. In the spirit of brevity and clarity, I’m just going to copy/paste my 2015 goals and make notations about where I’m at. This was actually a good refresher for me, because I actually forgot about some of these – especially the writing ones. Oops.

Overall Heath & Wellness:

  • Continue making better food choices (Successful and ongoing! I’m actually doing a good job at tracking what I eat and making conscious better choices.)
  • Choose and start taking a vitamin D supplement (Sporadic. I forgot this was a goal.)
  • Stop tolerating sucky people (Doing pretty well here! I don’t voluntarily hang out with toxic people anymore and my social life drama is very minimal.)
  • Stop vehemently loathing work (yes, it takes away valuable time that could be used for writing or trolling the internet, but I have a mortgage to pay) (Still working on this one…)

Home Improvements:

  • Paint master bedroom and bath (Done and done!)
  • Find a bookshelf for room (Does pinning ideas count?)
  • Bring all books from home to new home (Not done, not started.)

Reading, Writing, & Publishing:

  • Finish 25 books. I know this might seem like a low number to some, but I’ve been really slacking on my reading habits. I don’t think I even finished 10 this year, which is terrible! (Very much on track to complete this goal!)
  • Do a better job of tracking these books, probably utilizing Goodreads (Success!)
  • Choose these books from the collection I already own and make list (Eh, not so much. A lot of the books I’ve read this year have been on my Kindle.)
  • Write at least 5,000 new words per month. I think this goal will complement my writing style better than daily or weekly goals, since I tend to write in fits and starts, and some days are more productive than others. (Nope…)
  • Outline book 2 of the Black Towers sequence (I think I need to be more diligent with outlining this one to make sure threads are being resolved, tangled, or cut as appropriate) (Double nope…)
  • Draft a Black Towers novella (Triple nope…)
  • Participate in bloggy activities. Blog more in general. Let’s aim for at least twice a month! (Hahahahahaha, nope.)

Well, I apparently still have some work to do before the year ends!

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Updates Galore!

Greetings, my lovely peeps!

Thing have been a little hectic here lately, and I don’t have the energy for a useful informative post, so you’ll have to settle for a “life update” post instead.

Business Item Number 1:

I started a new job about 3 weeks ago, which accounts for all the busyness I’ve been encountering recently. I haven’t had nearly enough time to cultivate and tend to my social media outlets. And my Pinterest boards. The struggle is real, y’all.

Business Item Number 2:

I got that infernal prologue written and sent it off to my editor. She returned it with minimal revisions (yay!), and I got it critiqued by my writing group last Monday. Besides a few piddly issues — like Track Changes deleting spaces — I’ve officially finished the heavy-duty editing process! Woop woop!

I cleaned up the piddly issues (hopefully) and literally just sent Stones off to a second round of beta readers.

With all that being said, here’s an updated, still-subject-to-change publication schedule:

September: Stones in the hands of new betas, start working on that back cover copy (do not want).

October: More editing and proofing. Depending on what kind of feedback I receive from betas, I may or may not send it back to my editor. If changes are minor, I’ll just prepare for a final proofread for small errors. Also, COVER REVEAL MONTH!

November: Formatting, final cover design for the paperback version, and any miscellaneous issues.

In my mind, I’m still on schedule for an early December release. Of course, since this is my first time, I could be seriously underestimating the time it takes to get Stones out and about. I also don’t think I’ve got much wiggle room for catastrophic events or grievous errors. Anyone know what those could be??

December seems to be creeping up on me so fast!

Oh, and I’ll be throwing promotional stuff around in there as well. Oy. So much to do!

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