New Year’s Reset

One more year, one more reset. I love resets. I’m one of those crazy people who LOVE Mondays, because it’s the beginning of the week and a new chance for me to fix the stuff that went wrong last week. I’ve already written a blog about that if you’re curious.

Today ups the reset button to eleven. You know, like in Spinal Tap. On this day, the first of a new year, we get to reflect on the year that was and dream about the year that will be. And I’m not just talking about the lottery, even though that seems to be an important focus for the national news. I’m talking about goal setting and dreaming about what our life will be like when we reach all those summits. This is what I envision for my new year.


I set my Goodreads reading goal for the year. I used to maintain lists on paper. It’s nice to have a digital database, that I don’t have to maintain, to keep my reading in order. My goal last year of 23 books I exceeded with 29 read. I’ve set this year’s goal to 24. Want to join me? Click here and set your own.

Kevin and I used to go to the movies constantly. Children and jobs and small paychecks stopped us many years ago. I miss it. I want to see a movie in the theater once a month with my husband. That’s only twelve a year. I’d hardly call that excessive. We saw two movies in the theater this year. It’s time to up our game!


I love to compare my productivity with last year. Writing has become my most dedicated career for a person who thought she’d never find a job that would keep her entertained and challenged and fulfilled. Mind you, I could do with a few less challenges, but nothing worth doing is easy. As you can see, I wrote more and revised/edited more this year. (Again, the editing numbers are weird because I recorded chapters, or full short stories, in 2018 under revision.) I didn’t beat my best month, but I also wrote more than my lowest month in 2017. Upward progress is upward progress. (If you’re curious about what 2016 looked like, check it out here.)

Part of the reason I didn’t get as many books written as planned is because I underestimated how many words I would need for Tarbin’s False Prophet. I don’t want to repeat that mistake so I’ve removed a project from my goals for this year. The Case of the Fallen Dragon will have to wait for its rewrite until I finish the Tarbin series. Unless something drastic changes, I’ll see you in 2021 Fitz and Trey and Adeline.

I’ve shared the Inklings projects as well because I’m not sure what I was trying to keep secret. Those fans want their books as soon as possible and those goals are easy to make. For me anyway. The authors might have something else to say about it.

I have to say, I’m more thrilled than ever with this Jamie Raintree spreadsheet. It has a planner section at the beginning where I could actually put dates and make my goals much more visible, forcing me to be more realistic. She has the revision section set as pages, but my brain can’t handle that kind of math. So, I’m sticking with chapters (or full short stories) for my revision goals.

Speaking of short stories, I wrote three last year, all of which were accepted for publication. I really like the break to explore new characters and new worlds while I’m bogged down with the heavy epic fantasy. I’m shooting for four more this year. We’ll see if I can maintain my all-accepted-for-publication streak.

For those of you keeping score, you might notice that The Innkeeper’s Daughter is back on the list. That’s because I had an epiphany at one of the writer conventions I attended in 2018. It completely changes the flow and the overarching theme of the book leading to the series. I’ve pulled it from all submissions until I can make those changes. As soon as I finish the revision of Tarbin’s False Prophet I’ll dive into those. It elevates the project from cute and entertaining to awe-inspiring and adorable. I can’t wait until you read it.

Physical activity

The downside to being an author is the sedentary lifestyle of my every day. I joined a gym this year, but crippling pain sent me to the doctor where I discovered I have a bone spur. His sage advice? Quit walking. Thanks, doc. Now I have a membership contract to a gym that has only weights and treadmills because it was the closest and that’s all I wanted when I signed on the dotted line. I didn’t know the minor pain I experienced would blossom to an intensity that stopped me walking altogether.

A new gym opened even closer to my house that has a pool and yoga classes, both activities I can participate in without losing all mobility. But how in the heck can I pay for two gym memberships? I’m not sure how to solve this problem, but the New Year Fairy will come to me with a solution. That’s how it works, right? I really want to get into better shape so I can ride Leo by the end of the year. Now that’s a goal worth striving for. Come on, Fairy!


Another thing I have to straighten out this year to maintain my sanity involves divulging myself of some of my volunteer responsibilities. I simply have too much on my plate. And as many wise people have said, you can’t have it all at the same time. As my writing career flourishes and demands more of my time and energy, I’ve got to let go of another part of my life. For the past fifteen years I’ve dedicated an incalculable amount of time to Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and the schools and I’ve loved every minute of it. But I’ve served my time and it’s time for a new generation to take over. I won’t stop altogether. We’ll never stop volunteering at the Air Show and I’m adding mentorships to other writers.

I guess what I’m saying is I’m transitioning my volunteerism from child-centered to adult-centered. With some very close friends in the child-centered programs, it’s going to be a tough transition. Yet, there comes a time when you have to consider self-care before everything falls apart.

Show me your goals

Set aside resolutions. We choose too many of those that we just can’t control. Think of something you know you can control and aim for it. Progress counts even if you don’t quite get there. There will be another one of these magical days same time next year. You can set the same goal and it will be even closer. Keep moving forward. So what are your goals for this brand, spanking new year?

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