Category Archives: year-end review

2017 Year-End Review and 2018 Goals

Time has been flying! Holy cow! It’s almost 2018 already, and and and —

Okay, I’m a bit early. I don’t expect much to change drastically in 3 days, so here we are.

So how did I do?

~Release 1 book (besides Ever Touched) ~NOT DONE, although I got a new cover for In Flames and put Reaper Girl into KDP Select. 
~Publish Ever Touched (set for May release)~DONE! 
~Start revision of Pirouette/Death Dancer ~NOT DONE, but had an interesting idea the other day about Alisia’s lineage. 
~Finish Covenant ~NOT DONE, but it’s at 24k now. Wanted to hit 30k before the new year, but I’m not sure that’s possible now. 😦 
~Start Elysium ~NOT DONE. At all.
~Finish and release Fireborn ~DONE. Rewrote it and submitted it to TDP for publication next year.
~Outline book #1 in Fey Touched spin-off series ~NOT DONE. May toy with this next year.
~Get on a consistent, simple exercise plan and STICK WITH IT ~NOPE. 
~Eat healthier/Gluten-free ~NOT DONE.  😦 Well, made the attempt, anyway…
~Get back into darkroom when hands are better ~NOT DONE.
~Add in a second writing session twice a week (8 minutes)~NOT DONE. Have been fighting pain and exhaustion.
~Try to write more short fiction ~DONE! Fireborn (55k) and When She Sleeps (projected 60k) 
~Continue with FYFB class (so behind right now!)~NOPE. Downloaded everything that’s available that I haven’t gotten to.
~Start working on Survivor Rewrite outline again ~DONE! Not finished due to wrist issues.

This year has been roughly for me physically. I have been exhausted more, and the trigeminal neuralgia flared up again so we’ve been trying to find the right combination of meds to control the pain. So far, we haven’t been very successful.

I was also laid off from my job in August, so there’s been some upheaval there. I have been working on my freelancing/virtual assistant business to try to bring in more money. Things are kind of up in the air, and it has been wreaking havoc on my productivity.

I have decided to buckle down and make things happen in 2018!

Goals:

~2nd round of edits/release secret project (early 2018)
~Revise and release Fireborn
~Get serious about exercise and DO SOMETHING
~Take pictures regularly (once a month, 1 a day for x amount of days, etc)
~Get moving with dictation again
~Progress on Covenant
~Progress on When She Sleeps
~Start Survivor Rewrite for reals this time
~Do something with Death Dancer/Pirouette
~Get better with planning
~Start writing every day again, even if it’s 100 words
~Figure out Reaper Girl #3, Faeborn

I’ve written roughly 80k this year, which is down from last year. Would like to hit 100k and more in 2018.

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2016 Year-in-Review and 2017 Goals

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Here we are with my 2016 Year-in-Review and 2017 Goals. This year FLEW by, and I had a lot of health stuff crop up, so things did not go as smoothly, and some things had to be put on the back burner. All in all, I think I did pretty damn well considering. I wrote around 130,000 words for the year, which is excellent. I did a lot of editing and revising, and that’s not counted in the total.

The two major accomplishments for this year were submitting Pirouette/Death Dancer to a publisher and one agent. I got frustrated by the process, and realized that my ability to meet deadlines due to my health is compromised, and besides that, I like having control over things, so I decided to stop trying with traditional publishing and try to publish Pirouette independently. That’s not to say I’m done with traditional publishing; it just means that Pirouette will probably at some point be a Turtleduck Press release.

The second one is Ever Touched. I finished it and submitted it to my editor by my deadline of December 1st. Due to life craziness and a computer in the shop for 11 days, it was a struggle, but I’m glad to say that I made it. I’ve already received my edits back, and have started the 2nd round.

Also, Turtleduck Press published To Rule the Stars, an anthology of space princess stories. My story, Bound, is part of it (and a sneak peek of Ever Touched!). Check it out here.princess-antho-cover-image-1-1-642x1024

What about everything else?

~Release one novel – <–DONE, technically. I released Reaper Girl as a perk of signing up for my newsletter. I am working on releasing it everywhere.
~Finish and release Fireborn <–NOT DONE. I am close, though. I was never able to get it done to my satisfaction. It’s my #1 goal in 2017 after Ever Touched edits are done.
~Finish Pirouette revision and submit to publisher. If rejected, make a ruling as to what to do with it (trad or indie)<–DONE. Was rejected by both publisher and agent. Have decided to publish it with TDP.
~Begin Flamebound rewrite <–NOT DONE. Would love to do something with it in 2017.
~Begin Survivor rewrite <–NOT DONE. Definitely going to be a project for 2017. I am DYING to get this one out there.
~Make progress on Awaken Me <–NOT DONE, unless thinking about it counts!
~Finish Ever Touched <–DONE and turned in on time. Slated for May 2017 release.
~Get back into darkroom <–DONE. Processed a test roll of film, but have not been able to do any printing. And b/c of my skin issues, it’s not looking likely for awhile. 😦 
~Try not to stress so much <–NOT DONE. LOL. It feels like all I did was stress out about things.
~Experiment with plotting techniques <–DONE! “Plotting from the Middle” and Monica Leonelle’s techniques.
~Finish up Changeling serial <–DONE! And as of Feb. 1st, I am starting a new one in the Fey Touched world.
~Get back on diet/eat healthy/exercise<–KINDA SORTA. I’ve been trying to get better with exercise, but a sprained knee screwed me up. Likewise with the diet. Been trying, but have been losing and gaining the SAME FIVE POUNDS. Ugh.
~My word for this year is NURTURE: nurture myself, nurture my creativity, nurture my dreams.

So, all in all, not too shabby. Here are my goals for 2017:

~Release 1 book (besides Ever Touched)
~Publish Ever Touched (set for May release)
~Start revision of Pirouette/Death Dancer
~Finish Covenant
~Start Elysium
~Finish and release Fireborn
~Outline book #1 in Fey Touched spin-off series
~Get on a consistent, simple exercise plan and STICK WITH IT
~Eat healthier/Gluten-free
~Get back into darkroom when hands are better
~Add in a second writing session twice a week (8 minutes)
~Try to write more short fiction
~Continue with FYFB class (so behind right now!)
~Start working on Survivor Rewrite outline again

I think that’s enough for now. What are your goals for 2017?

2015 Year-in-Review and 2016 Goals

Happy New Year!

I’ve been doing this for at least 5 years now, maybe more, because it helps to take stock of what I’ve accomplished (and what I haven’t) and it also helps me to set concrete goals for the new year. So, here we go!

This year’s goals:

~Publish Grave Touched, pending approval, in May (tentative) – DONE! Grave Touched was published May 1st, after a 2-year hiatus. It was my biggest accomplishment in 2015, hands down!
~Write Fireborn, Reaper Girl novella – MOSTLY DONE. I started Fireborn in January, but got tied up with GT’s release and lost momentum. Started it back up after, and ran into some problems, and had to rewrite a portion of it. It’s at 19k currently, with maybe 5-10k left to go. I am hoping to finish it and release it this year.
~Figure out a plot for Ever Touched – DONE
~
Start writing Ever Touched – DONE for NanowriMo, and it’s at 32k currently.
~
Poke at Survivor (my book, not the TV show) on Sundays – DONE. Poking has happened, as well as a revised outline. Have not started the rewrite, but plan to this year.
~Start rewrite of Flamebound – NOT DONE, but planned for this year.
~
Write 1 poem per week minimum – NOT DONE, but wrote 10 poems over the course of the year.
~Do something with darkroom – DONE. Began cleaning and replenishing chemicals.  Shot a test roll of b&w film that I will be developing soon. Also got my 35mm automatic camera working again so I can continue shooting more b&w. Also planning on shooting b&w infrared.

So, all in all, I didn’t do too badly. Other notable accomplishments:

~Started a new novel, Covenant, which is up to 13k currently
~Wrote and posted the second and third installments of my fantasy serial, Changeling, at Turtleduck Press
~Got Reaper Girl ready for publication
~Wrote around 100k for the year
~Made concrete plans for more novellas
~Began the revision of Pirouette for a publisher. Pirouette has been languishing for 4 years because I didn’t know what to do with it

Non-writing accomplishments:

~Diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia + meds which is improving my quality of life greatly
~Obtained a digital-converted-DSLR and began experimenting with digital infrared
~Began reviving my darkroom and have plans to start working in it this year.
~Revived my editing business and have landed several jobs

So what are my goals for 2016?

~Release one novel
~Finish and release Fireborn
~Finish Pirouette revision and submit to publisher. If rejected, make a ruling as to what to do with it (trad or indie)
~Begin Flamebound rewrite
~Begin Survivor rewrite
~Make progress on Awaken Me
~Finish Ever Touched
~Get back into darkroom
~Try not to stress so much
~Experiment with plotting techniques
~Finish up Changeling serial
~Get back on diet/eat healthy/exercise
~My word for this year is NURTURE: nurture myself, nurture my creativity, nurture my dreams.

Annnd I believe that’s enough.  I have a good feeling about this year, and I hope to get lots done and take care of myself better. 🙂

What are your goals for this year?

 

 

2014 Year-End Review and 2015 Goals

 

2014 was a busy, productive year for me.  It was also my (first) Year of No Fear, which went pretty well.  I know I’m slightly late with this, but hey — better late than never, right?

So, first up: Year of No Fear.  I did a review on the Turtleduck Press blog recently and rather than repeat myself, I will point you to that post here. In summary, I did pretty well.  A lot got crossed of the list, and other things weren’t done.  But overall, I’m happy with my progress and will be carrying it forward this year (*points to 2015 Manifesto above*).  As always, you’re welcome to join me. *grin*

Okay, next up: 2014 goals.  How did I do on them?

~Rewrite and revise Grave Touched by deadline (Sept/Oct – we’re not sure yet) ~It turned out to be January 1st and I’m happy to report that I’ve turned it in to my editor and am (*twitches*) waiting to hear what she thinks.
~Continue working on another draft of something (Flamebound is the top contender) if it doesn’t interfere with GT ~This did not happen as such.  I ended up starting an erotica novella as part of my Year of No Fear, which is on the backburner for now, and also wrote a novella for a TDP anthology.  So, yes, new drafts, but nothing from the revision pile yet.
~Continue the Flamebound revision (ties into the draft above) ~Not done for the above reasons.  But I have been doing a massive amount of thinking about it and that is progress. *fierce look*
~Make some type of ruling on Survivor – when to work on it and COMMIT to it ~Yes!  I’ve decided to poke at it on Sundays, which is what I did back in 2004 when I started the draft.  I can probably handle another book on one day, and this gives it a separation so I don’t mess myself up.  It’ll be slow, for now, but I hope to increase the pace sometime soon.
~Plan/plot/figure out Ever Touched ~ Eh, been working on this.  I’m sure of a few things, but not of others.  The main players have changed, however.
~Write more flash stories/poetry ~Done.  Wrote 10 poems and edited 2 drafts.  On flash – wrote and posted to TDP this year: Changeling, part 1: The Faerie Lights, Warped, The Contract, and The Penitent. More to come!

And now, finally, 2015 goals.  I have so much I want to accomplish this year, but don’t want to put myself under too much pressure.  So, here goes:

~Publish Grave Touched, pending approval, in May (tentative)
~Write Fireborn, Reaper Girl novella
~Figure out a plot for Ever Touched
~
Start writing Ever Touched
~
Poke at Survivor (my book, not the TV show) on Sundays
~Start rewrite of Flamebound
~
Write 1 poem per week minimum
~Do something with darkroom

Annnd I’m stopping there, as that’s enough to wrap my head around.  I’m hoping to do some of that writing stuff simultaneously so it doesn’t look so daunting…yeah, I will be busy!

Your turn!  What are your goals for 2015?

 

 

2013 in Review and 2014 Goals: Year of No Fear

This has been a very tough, challenging year for me because of my eye problems and everything that went along with it. An awful lot got compromised and set aside. But, I have accomplished some things that I am very proud of:

~I didn’t write for 3 months and did not go insane or kill anyone. That’s a big plus, right?
~I finished the revision of Grave Touched and turned it in on time. (Unfortunately, it needs a rewrite. More on that later).
~I took Holly Lisle’s Flash Fiction class and wrote 7 flash stories, 6 of which I self-pubbed as an anthology called In Flames. I also contributed to the Turtleduck Press Freebies with actual stories: Beloved(sci-fi) and Mirror (horror). I have another flash story going up on the TDP website on Jan. 1st, The Penitent (supernatural/horror).
~I made great progress on the Flamebound. I’m up to lesson 17 of 22.
~I took Holly Lisle’s Motivation class and learned some very, very important things that I have been trying to put into practice. Not quite there yet, but it’s happening.
~I got several new story ideas to add to the ever-growing writing queue.
~I worked a bit on Darklight as well.
inflames1a
Other goals I set not mentioned above:

~Reread Survivor and make notes for rewrite <–This has been started, but not much work done on it to be honest.
~Start a new novel? (Contenders: Darkweaver and Soul Touched, Fey Touched book 3) <–Not done. Darkweaver's still in the queue, and Fey Touched book #3 has been changed to Ever Touched. I can haz a plan!
~Redesign website so it makes sense Have decided to put this on hold.
~Get on a regular blogging schedule Started, with WWW Wednesdays. Would like to add more.
~Continue to look for more freelance editing/proofreading jobs <–Not really done, as my eye thing made it impossible to do anything except drafting for a loooong time. Still not out of the question — just not right now.

So you see I'm working little by little on reclaiming my life. It might not look like much at all, but I did things — I didn't bemoan my fate and give up. I kept plugging away. And while my writing numbers are quite low, I managed to release an anthology, write 7 flash stories, and finish Grave Touched. Not bad in my book. (I also want to add that as of November-ish, I’ve written just shy of 150k for the year. Not bad for having eye pain for almost a year!).

A little aside about Grave Touched… What can I say? I was be-bopping along, thinking I’d nailed it (or came close to it), only to find out that I screwed up. Bigtime. I believe I might have been a bit delusional. I won’t blame my eye entirely, but it did mess a bit with my creativity and story decisions. My editor — bless her soul — is totally right. It needs a rewrite. I know I am up to the challenge, and I know the book will be better and stronger for it. Am I disappointed? Hell yeah. But I consider myself a professional, and a professional would take a step back, shed the ego, and really look at what’s going on. Once I did that, I knew she was right. And I’ve already started on the planning, and I have some good ideas for improving it. So, no big.

As for the release date…we’re rejigging our release schedule and tentatively it looks like around February 2015. That may seem like a loooooong time, but in writing time, it’s not. It’s partly to accommodate the new schedule and to accommodate my need for enough time to do a thorough rewrite. So that’s the story.

As for 2014 goals…I’ve made some big decisions for this year. I am going to do things that I’ve been afraid to do. Fear is a HUGE factor in motivation, I found out. And when I dug in and followed the path to the source, it was mostly fear that was holding me back. So I want to fix this in 2014. Along with the following:

~Rewrite and revise Grave Touched by deadline (Sept/Oct – we’re not sure yet)
~Continue working on another draft of something (Flamebound is the top contender) if it doesn’t interfere with GT
~Continue the Flamebound revision (ties into the draft above)
~Make some type of ruling on Survivor – when to work on it and COMMIT to it
~Plan/plot/figure out Ever Touched
~Write more flash stories/poetry

As for the non-writing goals, check out my 2014 Manifesto (forthcoming!)

Hopefully, things will settle down in 2014 and I can get more creative stuff going. I miss photography and I want to grow and enrich my life. I also hope to nail the GT rewrite and get back on track with the series. And WRITE MORE.

Happy 2014. See you on the flip side.

2012 in Review and 2013 Goals: Year of the Crazy

This year has been nuts, and it feels like a whirlwind. But I managed to accomplish a lot, so it’s all good.

Let’s go over my goals for the year, shall we?

Finish Fey Touched and eventually self-publish it (includes lots of revisions and lots of blood, sweat, and tears). It’s currently at 58.5k. Goal is 100k.Ding, ding, ding! DONE and published August 1st.
~Continue Flamebound revision, hopefully move on from lesson 8! Ding, ding, ding! DONE. I’m on lesson 13.
~Write a novel (to be determined later. Current contenders are Survivor Rewrite, Darkweaver, and Fey Touched 2)Ding, ding, ding! Began Grave Touched, book 2 in the Fey Touched series, and it’s currently at 73k. While I wanted to get something new rolling as well, it appears that I work best with only one book at a time.
~Get unstuck on Alpha Female (note I didn’t say – finish Alpha Female – this one I think is taking its sweet old time)Nada. However, I did give it some thought and have a possible new direction. Still in the thinking stages, though.
~Write more poetry (nebulous, yes. That’s all I’m willing to commit to)Ding, ding, ding! DONE. Wrote a total of 6 new poems for the TDP Blog Freebies. Not as much as I’d wanted, but it’s a start.
~Take more pictures (photography has been sooooo neglected and I miss it so much!)Hit and miss here. I’ve taken some, but I still haven’t been able to get out there and rock and roll due to my health. Soooooo, we’ll see what I do for next year.

~And lastly, WORK ON GETTING FREELANCE EDITING JOBS. I had a few opportunities this year but they didn’t work out, although one was a very close call. Not only do we need the money, but my long-term goal is to make enough money to leave my day job. Scary, yes. Impossible? I don’t think so, if I do this right. And I know this won’t happen overnight — in fact, it could take quite awhile – years, maybe. But, as long as I’m moving forward, making progress, that’s enough for me. I want to believe I can make this happen. But if I never start, how will I ever know? Ding, ding, ding! DONE. I have an ongoing proofreading job with a writer friend, so that’s a nice start! Would love to do more, though!

So, I’ve accomplished almost everything I set out to do. The biggie was getting Fey Touched finished and published, and I did that. It was a very educational experience, and I’ve learned some things about promotion/marketing. So it’s all good.

I did participate in NanoWriMo, but unofficially with a goal of 30k. I managed 29k, just shy of my goal. But I’m totally happy with that.

Also, I wrote 100k+ words this year, which is awesome!

So what’s cooking for the new year?

~Finish, revise, and publish Grave Touched tentatively for August 1st release
~Continue work on the Flamebound revision, hopefully finish!
~Reread Survivor and make notes for rewrite
~Start a new novel? (Contenders: Darkweaver and Soul Touched, Fey Touched book 3)
~Redesign website so it makes sense
~Get on a regular blogging schedule
~Continue to look for more freelance editing/proofreading jobs

Annd that’s all I’m declaring for now. Here’s to a healthy, productive new year!

What are your goals for next year? Share them in comments.

2010 in Review and 2011 goals

This year just flew by.  I don’t even know what happened to it.  It felt as if I were making no progess anywhere, but I did accomplish a few key things.  I also had to adjust my goals to accomodate Alpha Female, which wasn’t planned.  All in all, this was a pretty productive year.

What I accomplished:

~I finished the 3rd draft of Pirouette in May and am gearing up for the final revision (which is my #1 goal for 2011)
~I started the Flamebound revision using HTRYN.  Got to lesson 8 of 22.  Yeah, that was one of the things that got adjusted. 
~I wrote and rewrote and completed Alpha Female.  My original goal was to submit it to an anthology by the November 1st deadline.  After getting it back from a wonderful beta, I realized that it wasn’t going to work for the antho.  I decided to expand it, as most of the issues were due to trying to keep the wordcount within the limits (25k) and then decided to try to finish it up by the end of the year.  Which I pretty much did, if you don’t count the tweaks I’m currently working on.
~I started Broken and got it up to 12k.  Broken was a personal challenge to myself, as it’s got a bit of BDSM in it and I’d never written that before. It’s also a different genre for me. I am very pleased with how it’s going.
~I critiqued 3 novels for writer friends.  While this isn’t a huge thing, I made my deadlines for the most part and got the honor of reading some really good books.
~I joined up with a few writer friends and started Turtleduck Press, which is our publishing endeavor which will hopefully change the world, muhaaaa.
~I self-pubbed Life as a Moving Target through them, which has been a dream of mine since December 2002 when I wrote the very first poem in that collection.  After trying traditional publishing, I decided to go ahead and self-publish it.  I’ve gotten some great feedback so far.  And it’s so dear to my heart.
~I wrote approximately 100k this year.  Not bad considering I did mostly revising and editing.  Some writing, too.  I’m glad to have hit 100k.  It certainly didn’t feel like 100k.
~I wrote and rewrote my query letter for Pirouette.  I think I have it nailed.  We’ll see.

So, yep, not a bad year at all.

Goals for 2011:

~SUBMIT something.  This is HUGE.  This year was supposed to be the year for that, but I got a bit derailed.  I will submit something if it kills me.  Most likely either Alpha Female or Pirouette.
~Finish up Alpha Female and get it critted
~Do the final revision on Pirouette and get it to critters.
~Submit something!
~Continue Flamebound revision, hopefully finish (I see a rewrite in my future…)
~Finish Without Wings, my second poetry chapbook with Turtleduck Press, and get it to approvals by Feb. 1st.  This is a biggie because it still needs some work and time is ticking.
~Write (hopefully) Darkweaver.
~Work on Don’t Close Your Eyes, chapbook #3.
~Do not get derailed this time.  Stay to the goals.
~Get an agent

Will I accomplish all of that?  Perhaps.  But I will try for sure.  It feels like 2011 will be a good year.

2009 in review and 2010 goals

This year hasn’t been the best as far as emotional stuff is concerned.  The family drama that started in mid-October is still ongoing, and kind of derailed me a bit.  But, I persevere!

As far as productivity goes, I did very well.  I started and finished Pirouette’s five One-Pass Revision, got it out to critters, and have been rewriting the draft, implementing suggestions, cutting, adding, and hopefully making it better.  I’m almost halfway through the draft.  I hope to be done with it early next year.

It’s taken me longer than anticipated, which is okay, but sort of screwed up my schedule.  But it is really okay, b/c I’ll take however long it takes to make it submission-worthy.  As such, no query letters were sent.  I’ve decided to wait till the draft is done and critted.  The story, while essentially the same, has been morphing in interesting ways.  Hopefully in good ways.

Flamebound is on its way towards being totally revised, using Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel class.  I have high hopes for this.  I want to get Flamebound revised, critted, and submitted somewhere next year.  I can do this.

I planned on participating in Nanowrimo and writing a new novel.  Unfortunately, life had different plans.  Two days in I ended up quitting.  The book was to be Soulfire.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the timing just wasn’t right on this one.

I finished Survivor, which was a HUGE goal.   I hope to rewrite it in the next few years (depending on if I sell something, etc).

I don’t think I broke 100k on new words, but that, too, is okay.  Because I said I’d do some serious editing and finishing unfinished projects, which I accomplished.

I submitted my poetry chapbook, Life as a Moving Target, to a publisher.  Did not bite, but that’s okay.  I might try again next year.

For next year, I have a few more projects besides Pirouette the Third and Flamebound.  I have Unforgiven, which is a personal challenge to myself for various reasons.  I also have MindBound, the next book set in the Flamebound world.  And I’m seriously considering pulling out Darkweaver and starting work on it.  And then there’s Pirouette book 2 (Blood Dance). Ambitious, I know, but want to aim high.

I think the biggest goal for 2010 is to get something submitted somewhere, be it Flamebound, Pirouette the Third, or something else entirely.  I need to start moving forward with my goal of getting published.  I’ve been working like a madwoman, but I need to focus on that more.  So, hopefully I can do something about that next year.

So, to all, Happy New Year (a few days early!) and reach for the stars.