Tag Archives: Awaken Me

2016 Year-in-Review and 2017 Goals


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?



On Grief

On Wednesday, I found out that my former co-worker Leo passed away. I’d known him for almost 15 years, and he was like a grandfather to me. His health hadn’t been the best, but it still came as a shock to us. I had just spoken to him last week (and realized how different his voice sounded) and he was seen at a food show as well. In a wheelchair, but there nonetheless. So we were shocked and a bit freaked out.

It didn’t really hit me until i was at the viewing and saw him there. He looked almost the same, which was cool (because sometimes despite best efforts, the deceased usually doesn’t look like him or herself) and he had his pipe in his pocket, which tickled me because he was always smoking that pipe! His car had that pipe-smoke smell, and I will probably always associate it with him.

Leo was a fun person to work with. He was always cracking jokes and lightening the mood. We got along very well, mainly because we both had dirty minds. 😉 When my mother couldn’t drive me to work because she was sick, Leo made sure I got there. When I had to wait outside for my hubby to pick me up after work, Leo would let me sit in his car with him so I didn’t freeze to death. I always thanked him for it, and he always said he didn’t mind. But no one else would help, and it meant so much to me that he cared enough to do it. He would also feed me baklava before I became allergic to nuts. Sometimes when it was slow we’d talk about things and he’d tell me about his time in the service, or past experiences being a salesman. He was driven to sell, and a good salesman, and taught us a lot. Up until he got sick, he was always there, always ready with a joke or a prank, always just being his crazy self.

He was 85, and lived a good life. I used to think he’d live forever, he was just so alive. And now, he’s gone.

So I have been in mourning. Weepy on and off this whole weekend. Unexpected things would hit me, like his famous sayings that I find myself repeating without a second thought. Just yesterday I said one, and my breath caught. He’s…gone. I’ll never hear him say another one ever again. And it would hit me like a ton of bricks all over again.

I’ve been thinking of the memories we made, and the things he taught me, and all of the good times we shared. And I get weepy and emotional, and it’s hard for me to believe he’s not in this world anymore. It’s inconceivable to me. But the reality is there and it hurts.

This is the first writing I’ve done since Friday. I tried — I had my document out and waiting, and…the words wouldn’t come. It’s been weird because I write through just about everything, and writing is my primary way of coping with things. A writer friend suggested that my muse was sleeping (after I said I thought she was in mourning with me) and to let her sleep. And I think that’s so true. Sometimes, for whatever reasons, the muse (or “writer brain” or whatever you want to call it) needs a break. It needs time to reflect and rest and maybe even to grieve, too. So I decided that I wouldn’t push it. If the words come, great, but if they don’t, it’s okay, too.

I haven’t felt like doing much of anything this weekend. I did clean, only because I had to, and I tend to clean when I’m upset. I keep telling myself that he’s in a better place, but my heart hurts. I feel his loss so strongly, it’s like my life has turned on its ear. He’s gone. The man who lived life so fully and was dear to me as a grandfather, is no longer here. How do I move on? How do I cope?

I’m taking one day at a time, and I know that in time, my grief will lessen and I will be able to smile instead of cry when I think of him. He impacted my life so much — he taught me that laughter really is the best medicine in all things, and his kindness…I hope to be as kind as he was to me. I want to live a full life as he did, and make memories, and impact peoples’ lives. He was a rare kind of person, and I will never forget him. Never.

I also believe that he’s still around in some form. When I tell some of his jokes, I’m sure he’s close by, laughing with us. When I look at his seat, and feel a presence, I’ll know he’s there. When I smell his pipe, I know he’s around. When I eat Greek food, and wish for the baklava he used to give me, he’s there. He’s everywhere, if I know where to look.

(I have plans to eat a donut in his honor every year on his birthday because he loved donuts.)

I’m also planning on dedicating Awaken Me in his memory. Why Awaken Me? Because he’d get a kick out of it. (Dirty mind, remember?) Maybe this will give me the kick in the pants I need to finish it and get it submitted somewhere.

So, Leo, my friend, your memory will stay alive in my heart. Rest in peace, and safe journey. You are deeply missed.

Year of No Fear: 2014 Manifesto – June Progress Report

Here we are again with another Year of No Fear Progress Report! I did some things in June, and I’m proud to say that I’m feeling pretty good about them.

Here’s how the month shook out:

Photography/New place: Went to the Clinton River Park with my hubby and took some awesome pictures! And, it was a new place, so it counts under my “Go to new places” thing.

Gratitude: Just started a Gratitude Journal at http://soulfearless.wordpress.com . (Ahem. I also need to update it, oops!)

Erotica: Made some progress on Awaken Me.

Diet: Integrating more veggies into meals. Also initiated a new rule: 1 low-calorie meal per week to start, and at some point, I’ll add at least one more. Trying to watch my portions.

Self-portraits: Lots of ideas. Just need to implement them.

Grave Touched Rewrite/Flamebound Revision: 46k into the Grave Touched Rewrite and going strong; I have a possible new direction for Flamebound which might prove to be better. I’m starting to get excited about it again which is cool.

A bit lean this month. I meant to try to write some more poetry, but it just didn’t happen. Still working on that. Life’s been kind of crazy lately, so once things calm down a bit, I should be able to focus on this stuff better.

#ROW80 Final Check-in Round 2

I’ve been so insanely busy that I missed the two previous check-ins. But I wanted to make this one for sure.

As you know, I’ve made some decent progress on several projects. I’ve finished just shy of 10k, which is 25k below my initial goal. Life took some big swings at me, and I haven’t been writing as much. I’ve been mostly editing, which I didn’t factor into my total numbers. I’m finally finished with Reaper Girl and all that’s left is copyedits on the other stories (and Reaper Girl at the end). After that’s put to bed, my next priority is the Grave Touched rewrite. That really, really, really needs to get going again. I think I wrote only once on it this month. I’m ~40k in, ~80k to go.

So next round, that will be the priority. And possibly a side project, just to keep my muse from gnawing on me too much.

Final stats!

Words written: ~10,000
Words remaining: ~25,000
Projects worked on: 4 (Reaper Girl, Awaken Me, Soulfire, and Grave Touched)
Times wrist was a problem: 2
Times used voice recognition: 1
Times FINIS: 1 (Reaper Girl)
Chocolate consumption: 29 mentions total, 5 mentions of “a lot” or “too much,” 2 mentions of “none.” (!!!)
Music: Adam Lambert, In Flames, Def Leppard, Within Temptation, Goo Goo Dolls, The Fray, Device, Halestorm

Annnnd that’s it for this round. Thanks for visiting.

#ROW80 Check-in 6/11/14 – I can haz words

Finally, after days of nothing, I got words! 1,041 of them over the past two days. It’s been tough getting back into the story. Even though I was caught up, and even though I’m excited about it. It feels like I’ve been visiting some friends I haven’t seen in awhile. Familiar, but a bit different. So I’ve been slowly making my way through the current scene. I have broken 41k which is awesome.

As for my HTWAS project, which I’m calling the Gaia series (subject to change), I have some coursework that I need to do between now and Sunday. It’s actually an easy thing, but I want to be in the right mindset. Lately I’ve been go-go-go and I wanted to be calmer. So that’s happening.

I want to write a bit on Awaken Me, too, per my agreement with myself that I’d work on something on the side. A few hundred words, nothing big, but enough to stay in the story.

I also had an MRI today which was….torture. I won’t bore you with the details, but I will say this — severe back pain + severe claustrophobia = one freaked out woman. And my anti-anxiety pill barely worked. Luckily, they gave me music to listen to (actually GOOD music) so I just tried to focus on that. It helped tremendously. Now we wait for the results.

The return of the stats! Yay!

Words written: 1,041 words/8,392 written so far
Words remaining: 26,608 words (it’s obvious that I won’t make it, but next round is looking good!)
What’s happening: The MC and her extended family are throwing her twin sister a surprise homecoming party.
What’s next: Some very, very odd occurrences (oh let’s see…the room turning icy cold; voices; MC getting another migraine; what appears to be a hallucination but isn’t….to name a few).
Feeling: Okay. Better now that I have words to report.
Eye report: Yesterday it sucked like a sucking thing, today it’s much better
Back report: Twinge-y. Better than this morning.
Chocolate consumption: WW snack, chocolate ice cream last night, M&Ms, a WW snack yesterday…..lots of chocolate. And we all know that it stimulates brain cells. *wink, wink*

#ROW80 Check-in 6/4/14 – No words, just reading

I’ve been rereading Grave Touched. I’m up to page 31. I haven’t written anything, although the urge has been there. I’ve been kind of busy, and my eye’s been hurting for the past few days. This has been sort of like a mini-break. But I want to start writing again!

My cat shifters have been gnawing on my brain. So I might do something with Awaken Me sometime soon.

I’ve also been reading a lot — actual books by other authors. Currently I’m reading Pure by Jennifer Armentrout and Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews. Both are very, very good. (Typically, I read two books at the same time. It’s more fun that way. Plus, how else would I get through my ever-growing TBR pile?)

Let’s see…haven’t been having a lot of chocolate! Must remedy that ASAP.

No stats, as they’re pretty much the same as before.

Sooooo exciting, I know!

Year of No Fear – 2014 Manifesto – May Progress Report

May was the month where I finally made some awesome headway on conquering my fears. Here’s what I did:

~Poetry: Wrote 10 (!!) drafts, edited 2 old drafts, and 3 of the 10 poems written were about a subject I haven’t been able to write about for 5 years. I’d say that’s progress!

~Photography: First shoot done on 5/10. Low light/Church. Beautiful pictures. 😀

~Erotica: I started Awaken Me on 5/4, a novella about cat shifters. Still in progress.

~Self-portraits: Been taking them hit and miss. Still nothing artsy, but I have been keeping my eye out for something cool to wear that won’t break the bank.

~Revision: Restarting Grave Touched today or tomorrow.

~New project: Although it’s not technically part of my Year of No Fear, I did start a new novel called Soulfire. It has a cool concept. Usually, I’d wait till I finished something, but I feared (!!) the enthusiasm and ideas would just vanish. Or it would take over and I’d mess up my deadlines. Well, no. I decided to start on it anyway and work on it when I could. I am trusting that I can do this without screwing things up.

So I’m pretty happy with what I’ve done so far. Here’s to much more!

#ROW80 Check-in 6/1/14

Here we are again!  I missed Wednesday’s Check-in (the first time so far!) because hubby and I were out that evening and by the time I got back, I was so tired.  So I skipped.  *shifty look*   But I’m back now!

Writing’s been going very, very slowly.  I can’t really figure it out — between Soulfire and Awaken Me, I’ve got a ton of inspiration, but no motivation to write.  Part of it might be my back — I’ve been having some pretty severe pain.

This month is revision month for both Reaper Girl and Grave Touched.  Revisions for Reaper Girl are due back on the 22nd, and I’d like to make some good progress on Grave Touched before the end of the month.  We shall see.


Words written: 927 words/7,351 total
Words remaining: 27,649 words
What’s happening: The words were on both WIPs.
What’s next: Both of these will be on hold for awhile, unfortunately.
Feeling: Extremely unmotivated
Eye report: Okay.
Back report: So far, so good. *knocks on cyber-wood*
Chocolate consumption: Too much!  We had a birthday party yesterday, and there was Sander’s Chocolate Bumpy cake, Chocolate Brownie ice cream.  Today I’ve already devoured a box of Junior Mints….
Mood music: Device and Halestorm

#ROW80 Check-in 5/18/14

Doing fairly good over here. I’m writing again, hoping the wrist holds up. I’m considering going back to voice recognition, at least part of the time. I need a new headset though — the one you get is heavy and gives me migraines. I found a smaller, less bulky Bluetooth headset on Amazon. Just need the money to buy it (it’s not cheap).

Awaken Me is going well. I’m pretty much winging it, and the plot is moving a bit faster than I planned. I think that’s okay, actually, as I want it to be no longer than, say, 50k. Possibly less.

I also wrote some poetry — 2 poems and 1 haiku. It feels nice to be writing poetry again. I’ve been jotting down every single possible phrase that comes to my mind that remotely sounds poetic. Just need to get deeper into the mindset. I used to write a ton of poems a day — well, actually, they were freewrites that I turned into poems. This is before I started writing novels. I’d like to — ideally — write 1000 poems. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s something to aim for, and there’s no deadline, really. (I got the idea from another poet’s website. He actually gave himself a deadline, though.)

And lastly…my muse wants me to write the first scene of Soulfire today. After weeks of procrastinating, she’s saying today’s the day. Muses are crazy sometimes.


Words written: 1,101 words / 5,701 words total
Words remaining: 29,299 words
What’s happening: Beth is discovering some stunning secrets about herself
What’s next: Her initiation into the group
Feeling: Okay, I suppose. Wrist is already getting twinge-y, dang it.
Eye report: Twinge-y but tolerable
Chocolate consumption: At least a few pieces a day since the last check-in. It helps stimulate brain cells. *nod, nod*
Mood music: The Fray and the Goo Goo Dolls