Wednesday, January 31, 2018

February Goals

All right. So, 2018 got off to a pretty crappy start, and I can't say I dealt with it particularly well. I've been feeling rather...lost or unmoored or stuck. (I know those last two are opposites, but it fits, strangely enough.) I admit it's been like that for a good long while now, but January certainly aggravated things past the point of appreciated.

So February finds me in need of getting back on track. Or, at the very least, getting to a point where I can find the track. Actually getting back on track might end up being a March thing. (Or a never thing. We'll have to see how it goes.)

With that in mind, I present my goals for the month of February.

1. Send Second Nature to the printer.

I guess the good news to be found in my crappy start is that at least nothing else has gone wrong with this book. Of course, that's mostly because I've barely done anything at all with this book lately, but a girl will occasionally take whatever wins she can get. So February's goal is to get the formatting all wrapped up and be finished with this book once and for all.

2. Read at least four books.

My 2018 reading goal is to read 52 books. I am just slightly behind that pace, so the goal this month is really just not to get further behind. Titles I'm looking forward to maybe getting around to read include Still Me by Jojo Moyes and Artemis by Andy Weir.

3. Walk, run, or bike at least three miles a day.

I am woefully behind in my mileage goal. I like to think that if I can get myself more active more often that it could help with my being-stuck issues. It certainly couldn't hurt, right?

4. Do two fifteen-minute yoga workouts each week.

Doing more yoga was a part of my yearly goals, and I have yet to complete a single workout. I really need to change that up.

Things I'm Looking Forward To This Month 

1. The Super Bowl (Go Pats! And yes, I know you likely hate them and/or football. I'm cool with that. Also interesting fun fact, The Man is looking for somewhere else to watch the game because he can only take so much of me jumping up and down on the furniture while losing my mind. It's been a loooooooong season.)

2. The next episode of This Is Us (Even though I already know that I am going to sob so freaking hard. Seriously. Even the preview for this episode had me in tears.)

3. The Black Panther movie (Even though it means we're one movie closer to the next Avengers movie, which will likely see me sobbing so freaking hard.)

4. A vist to the Florida Renaissance Faire (I haven't been to a Ren Faire since I moved to this godforsaken state. (Sorry, anyone who likes Florida. I just...don't.) I really can't wait to have a nice yard of beer and go shopping for weaponry.)

5. The Winter Olympics (I really do love watching the Olympics. Even curling. Maybe even especially curling.)

What's on your to-do list for February?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Up In Flames (IWSG + Flaming Crimes Bloghop)

Hey everyone. It's Double Blogfest Day on My Pet Blog, and we've got a lot going on, so we're going to jump right into it. If you're here for the IWSG, please keep on reading. If you're here for the Flaming Crimes Blogfest, scroll on down.


It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writers Support Group. (Click on the link for more information, or a complete list of participants...)

This month's co-hosts are Tyrean Martinson, Ellen @ the Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Jennifer Lane, and Rachna Chhaabria.

This month's (optional) question asks, "What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?"

On Monday, I blogged about my goals for 2018 which laid out four big writing goals—publishing three books, and completing the first draft of a fourth (I won't get into details here—you can check out the post, if you're interested)—to be completed by the end of the year.

What I didn't blog about was how I then break up those goals into monthly, weekly, and daily goals because my goal posts are long enough already.

Today's goal, for example, is two-fold.

1. To not burst into tears when I think about the latest and (not to sound super dramatic or anything...) most soul-crushing setback in my quest to publish Second Nature. (Again, not to sound dramatic...)

2. Work out a new weekly and monthly plan that the aforementioned setback so willfully destroyed yesterday.

I'm really starting to get a complex here. But eventually I will run out of delays and setbacks, right? I mean, at some point, there will just be nothing left to get in the way, right?

Next up, is the Flaming Crimes Blogfest, hosted by author Chrys Fey, who has a brand new book out today—the latest installment in her Disaster Crimes series.

Congrats, Chrys!!

Participants are asked to answer the following question:

What is something ridiculous you would save if there was a fire?

So, last April, my area of Florida was more dry than usual, and a series of wildfires broke out. One such fire broke out very near our house. I was in a car on my way to Maine at the time, but The Man sent a text informing me of the situation and how people were preparing to evacuate. I called him to tell him the pets' packing list and the exact order that pets and all of their required items needed to go into the car. (I may have a slight case of OCD. Whatever.) This was then followed by a request that he save the following:

—My hand-drawn map for my fantasy series
—The storyboard (the little one, not the big one) for my WIP at the time
—My collection of Ellen Emerson White books that I've had since the seventh grade
—The little pewter pegasus on my desk (he's a story inspiration that I would be devastated to lose)

and then I told him he could save whatever else his little heart desired. Which I'm sure he greatly appreciated. And followed to the letter.

Fortunately, the fire department and national guard were able to get the fire under control, and The Man never had to evacuate. But boy, that was a nerve-wracking day–and I wasn't even in Florida at the time.


Beth and Donovan are now happily married, and what Beth wants more than anything is a baby. Her dream of starting a family is put on hold as fires burn dangerously close and Donovan becomes a victim of sabotage.

Donovan escapes what could've been a deadly wreck. Their past enemies have been eliminated, so who is cutting brake lines and leaving bloody messages? He vows to find out, for the sake of the woman he loves and the life they're trying to build.

Amidst a criminal mind game, a fire ignites next to their home. They battle the flames and fight to keep their house safe from the blaze pressing in on all sides, but neither of them expects to confront a psychotic adversary in the middle of the inferno.

Their lives may just go up in flames…

About The Author

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s partnered with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and runs their Goodreads book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

Find her online: Website | Blog | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Go Big Or Go Home (2018 Goals)

Happy New Year, everyone! May it somehow be better than last year.

So, it has become my habit to set a series of goals on the first of the year to be completed by the end of the year. These are big, bold goals, or occasionally very silly things. One year, I set a goal to eat more donuts. Don't ask me how I intended to measure my success with that goal, but at least I had a reason to eat a lot of donuts.

Because, you know, I need reasons to eat a lot of donuts.

But there shall be no donut goals this year. Instead, I am laying out my biggest, toughest, boldest (possibly stupidest) goals yet. And yeah, there's an excellent chance that I shall outright fail, but I like to think that there's also the outside possibility that I might not. Or perhaps I'll fall somewhere in the middle. Regardless of where I end up come December, I feel like bold is the way to go this year. To paraphrase a line from an episode of The West Wing (and you shall receive super ultra mega bonus points if you can name the episode), if I'm going to run into a wall, I'm going to do so at full speed.

So...just remind me of that when, in six months' time (or six days' time...), I'm hiding under my desk and crying into a pint of Ben & Jerry's.

Let's begin...

The Writing Goal

This is the goal by which my entire year is always measured. I don't care if I achieve everything else on this list. If I haven't accomplished what I wanted to do here, my year has been a failure. Which is, perhaps, not super healthy, but it is the truth. That said, here are my truly insane writing goals for 2018:

1. Publish Second Nature. If for no other reason that I'm so sick of having to write out this goal every January. And I'm close. Just so, so close. I hope.

2. Publish Vinnie & Ellie (working title). This is that (potentially crappy) romance novel I've been playing with off and on for a while. I'd love to have it available for this big book fair I have coming up this year, so it's on the list. And yes, I realize this means I'll have to come up with a much better title for it. And, you know, finish it.

3. Publish book of work-related sarcastic haiku. I'd love to have this available for the same book fair as mentioned above. I have half a plan for this book, and I'm looking forward to working out the rest. Including a title. The working title is Retail Rhapsody, but I think I need something better.

4. Complete first draft of Full Circle, otherwise known as Book Three of my fantasy series. I'm really looking forward to finally getting into this story. I mean, there's a scene where my characters are happy (Well, happy-ish. For a couple of paragraphs, anyway...All right, fine. Maybe just the one paragraph. Or the first half of that paragraph. Still, they're happy. Ish.) and that's just so weird. I can't wait to find out where this story will end up because I know it's probably nowhere near where I think it will end. I mean, I am totally in control of my characters and what they do.

The Reading Goal

I create one of those Goodreads challenges every year, too. Last year was 40 book. This year, I've decided to go with 52. Because I don't already have enough planned for this year.

The Fitness Goal

As I reached my 2017 mileage goal with relative ease, I've decided to up this year's goal as well. Instead of running, walking, or biking at least 3 miles each day, I'm aiming for a yearly total of 1500 miles, which comes out to approximately 4.10 miles each day. I know I won't actually log 4.10 miles each and every day, though. Unless I get one of those treadmill desks. Well, maybe not even then.

The other part of my fitness goal is to start doing yoga again. I fell out of the habit a while ago, and I really want to get back into it to see if it can help with my chronic back issues. I plan to start off with two yoga workouts a week with the intention of moving up to three someday.

No weightlifting, though. Here's some footage of the last time I attempted to lift weights:

And I think that's where I'm going to cap the goals this year. There's more than enough on that plate, and I'll drive myself crazy enough as it is.

Wish me luck! (or just call the men with the giant butterfly nets to come and take me away now because I have so very obviously lost it...)

Did you set any goals and/or resolutions for 2018?