Quote of the Moment

"Magic comes from what is inside you. It is part of you. You can't weave together a spell you don't believe in." - Jim Butcher

Thursday, January 04, 2018

2018... What? Already?

Nothing like the end of a year and the beginning of the next sneaking up on you. I'd love to snap a picture of my 1-Year Plan written in my Bullet Journal for this post, but alas it hasn't made it into the Bullet Journal yet.

At least I have a 1-Year Plan, even if it's only in a Word doc right now. Guess what? I have a 5-Year Plan, too! That was pretty damned hard to do, though it's only drafting, revising, and publication goals.

Last year, I jumped into the year with too high expectations for my productivity. I can declare this, since I didn't hit all of my goals. But I'm still thrilled with the progress I did make. So this year, I'm going to be more realistic. I crunched numbers (numbers are fun), and my plan for this year follows how productive I was last year. Yay for realism? Hehe.

Before I get into a few items from my 1-Year Plan, just know, if you're patient, you'll discover which Tarot card won in my survey. You just have to read to the end for it. Oh, the suspense! ;)

I decided I needed a few mantras for 2018. Maybe if I repeat these every day, they'll sink in. And I think they say a lot about where I am in my writing career right now.

2018 Writing Mantras

❦ Slow Down.

❦ Just Write.

❦ Live.

❦ One Word At A Time.

❦ Any Progress Is Good Progress.

❦ All In Time.

Writing kind of took over my life last year, which is why the first one is, "Slow Down." I love to write and I have a writing career to build, but I don't want to sacrifice everything else in my life, including family time. In 2017, I felt like I was scrambling with writing all year and ignoring everything else too much.

With that said, my main writing goals for this year follow! (Note: This excludes any developmental editing and beta reading work -- I do have a limit of work hours per week scheduled for that as well, though.)

2018 Writing Goals

❦ 10 hours per week of writing and writing related tasks. (No more, no less -- though I have some scheduled weeks off.)

❦ Maximum 2 hours per week of critiquing.

❦ Complete revisions and do an edit of Thorns Entwine the Blade.

❦ Draft, revise, and edit the next Fortunes of Fate story. (What card will it be based on? Keep reading!)

❦ Start revisions on the poor, neglected novel, Dead As Dreams

❦ 1 newsletter per month -- each one will include a chapter of the first draft of Chains of Nect: Obsidian's Obsession in mobi and epub formats!

❦ 1 blog post every 2 weeks. (Yup, I'm reducing the blog post frequency again -- I may have a few extras, though, depending on how the year goes.)

That's the main stuff. Oh, you wanted to know about publications? Yes, yes. I still plan to release two titles in 2018, but right now I don't have publication dates. I don't want to stress myself out with firm deadlines. Progress is what's important.

2018 Publications

Thorns Entwine the Blade (Trinity Torn, 2)

Untitled Fate Story (Fortunes of Fate, 7) -- Sorry there's no title yet!

This post has gotten rather long already. So I won't go into my 5-Year Plan extensively, but I will mention some general details. Again, it mostly contains word count goals for drafting and revision along with hopeful publication dates. I expect it to change each year, as a plan like this is mainly just to see where I'm heading and isn't set in stone.

You already know the publication goals for 2018. So... 2019 -- Dead As Dreams and GSD vs. Everything. 2020 -- I'll be working on the draft and revisions of the third Trinity Torn novel for most of the year, so publications will hopefully be 1 Fate story and 1 other story connected to Trinity Torn. 2021 -- The third Trinity Torn novel, a Fractured Fairies story, and a Devil Made Me story. 2022 -- Downward Spiral, the first title in my Urban Unicorn novel series, 1 Fate story, and 1 collection of short stories (old and new).

5-Year Plans are scary, no? I think they are.

OK, I promised to reveal the Tarot card, didn't I? This post is huge! Maybe I should leave it for next time. You can wait two weeks, right?

Fine, fine. I'll be nice.

I had 2 votes each for:

❦ The Chariot
❦ Temperance
❦ The Empress

But there was a card I had 3 votes for. And that card is...

❦ The Hermit

So that's the next one I'll be doing! This will be interesting. Jasp, the protagonist of the last Fortunes of Fate story, was a bit hermit-like. Which means it will be fun to see what I can do to make this next story completely different. The options are plentiful, especially since I can pull from the upright and reversed meanings of the card.

Thank you to all who voted!

I hope everyone excels with their 2018 goals. I'd be happy to hear what anyone else has planned for the year, writing related or not!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Oh, 2017, Where Have You Gone?

Delayed post again -- sorry about that. Still getting over sickness and the to do list for December has been crazy (I still haven't sent out my holiday cards yet...).

It's time for me, though, to take a look at all that I've accomplished in 2017. While I didn't publish as much as I did in 2016, I've still been making a lot of forward progress with my goals. This year I think I'll even throw some numbers out, just for fun. I love numbers. Don't you love numbers? OK, just another thing that makes me weird then. I own up to my weirdness.

First, the publication list for 2017!

2017 Publications

Edge of Sorrow (Fortunes of Fate, 6)

Dreams in Shadow (Fortunes of Fate, 1) - Paperback Edition

Hell On Wheels (Devil Made Me, 2)

Short, but sweet. I had so much fun writing both new titles I released this year. It should always be that way, right? If I feel the joy of writing, I hope readers get that same joy while reading!

Now, of course the publications aren't the only thing I have to show for in 2017. Writing is like a play -- tons of stuff goes on back stage. Here's where some of the numbers come in. And since I have handy charts to track everything each year, I didn't have to do some extra number crunching for this post.

2017 Progress

❦ Completed the rough draft and 20% through a revision of Thorns Entwine the Blade (Trinity Torn, 2)

❦ Added over 5,000 words to the rough draft of GSD vs. Everything

❦ Set up and posted several stories on Patreon

❦ Set up and started beta reading and developmental editing under Haunted Unicorn Publishing

❦ Wrote 93,444 words of first draft material

❦ Revised 53,039 words

❦ Posted 38 blog posts (including this one)

❦ Spent 165.63 hours writing, revising, and editing

❦ Spent 49.1 hours either writing blog posts or updating my website

❦ Spent 36.95 hours formatting, creating cover art, and uploading titles to be published

❦ In totality, including the hours above, I spent 490.43 hours total on writing related tasks (up to the date of this post -- still have a couple more hours to put in before the end of the month)

Whew. That seems like a lot more when I type it all up. I know for some writers the numbers might seem low, but remember I'm not doing this full-time right now (kids, kids, oh the kids). Though I didn't hit all of my hopeful goals (if you want to compare to what my initial goals for the year were, look back at Setting My Sights on 2017), I am proud of myself for making so much progress and keeping at it.

Next year, I'm going to make my goals more realistic and base them on my productivity from this year. But that's my post for next week!

I hope you all had a productive 2017!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok... Rocks!

***WARNING: Spoilers! Spoilers! If you haven't seen Thor: Ragnarok yet and don't want things to be ruined for you, you're advised to click away and not read the comments below.***

Yes, yes, the title is a little cheesy. Forgive me, I just got over super sick and now I'm getting sick again. I'd put this post off longer, but it's been put off long enough. But I promise you, since it's the holidays and everyone is busy, this will be short and sweet. It's hard to be my chatty self when I'm not feeling the best. ;)

We went to see Thor: Ragnarok opening weekend, and it lived up to my excitement going into it. I know the previous two Thor movies weren't the best, but from the previews of Thor: Ragnarok, I had high hopes for this one. And it didn't disappoint.

It is kind of sad, though, that it took three movies to finally get to a decent Thor movie. Thor: Ragnarok is by far the best of the bunch.

I think the biggest highlight of this movie was the character arc for Thor. This movie was truly a coming-of-age movie for him. Anything that came before this pretty much boils down to the antics of youth. I guess when you're a god, adolescence might extend a bit longer than most people, so even though Thor was never clearly a teenager in any of the previous MCU movies, once Thor: Ragnarok was released, you could completely feel how his previous actions were very much like a teenager.

Well, Thor finally had to grow up, and it was done with a great conflict with Hela. The fact that she was his sister made the conflict all the better. And you got to have Loki in the mix with all of that -- his ever selfish self. Loki was definitely true to character, and you know he snatched the Tesseract even as he was helping Asgard rid itself of Hela (I mean, it's got to be available for Thanos to grab for Avengers: Infinity War).

The other endearing thing about this movie was the humor. I am by and far a Guardians of the Galaxy fan girl, and most of that is due to the humor. I was glad to see that kind of humor brought into a Thor movie. Even though the core conflict was pretty serious, the humor added to the story and rounded out the characters.

However, I do admit at points they took the humor a little too far. There were a few spots that it felt inappropriate. The main one that comes to mind is near the end when Korg mentions squishing his friend. It's a rather serious moment as they're escaping an exploding Asgard, and I felt the attempted humor was misplaced at that point.

I promised short and sweet, didn't I? Well, that's all I got for now. I highly recommend Thor: Ragnarok, if you haven't seen it yet. If anything, you'll get a laugh, but I'm happy to say that the story and character growth was there as well instead of the humor being used as a crutch. I can't wait to see what Thor does next now that he's had to grow up.