2023 Goals and Word of the Year: Health

In 2021 I told myself I would work like a maniac for two years (2021 included) in order to build my career. I’ve done that in spades and I’m not going to lie, I’m exhausted. I can’t keep going the way I am and hope to live to write all the books I want to. That’s why I want 2023 to be all about me–not in a selfish way, but in a self-care, finding balance kind of way.

I picked my Word of the Year several weeks ago after a phone call with my agent in which she begged me (her word) to slow down. She made me promise not to write anything new until at least April so that I can focus on marketing and give my creative self a break. The moment I realized someone had given me permission to stop working at a breakneck pace, I felt so much peace come over me. My muscles unclenched and started thinking of things I want to do for fun. (Remember that concept?)

So that is why my 2023 Word of the Year is health. I’m going to focus on my physical health by eating right and making time to work out; my mental health my slowing down on the writing and doing some things just for fun; and my spiritual health by praying and meditating more and reading related books that interest me.

Now, that being said, you know I am not one to let moss grow and I have lots of books coming out in 2023, so here are my writing and personal goals:

Writing

  • Edit Catherine’s Mercy
  • Do additional marketing for Sex and the City
  • Market and successfully release:
    • Raising Our Voices (the League of Women Voters book)
    • America’s Forgotten Suffragists
    • Catherine’s Mercy
    • The project I haven’t talked about yet
    • The Arthurian Ethics book (if published in 2023)
    • Fierce Females in Television (if published in 2023)
  • Write
    • Revolutionary War book (started)
    • 1920s book (research started)
    • Stretch goal: WWII (halfway done)
  • Attend the Historical Novel Society Conference in June
  • Speak as a member of the Missouri Speaker’s Bureau
  • Learn how to better use TikTok
  • Continue writing poetry

Personal

  • Enjoy life!
  • Lose about 70 lbs
  • Get into a habit exercise and healthy eating
  • Pay down debt (I promised my Chicago friends I would move there by the end of 2024)
  • Get reaquatinted with my spiritual side
  • Celebrate 20 years at my day job and keep it until I can write full time
  • As for fun: go see more concerts (Placebo in April in Chicago!), theatre (Les Mis and Six this month!), dance, get into gaming again (maybe on Twitch?), etc.

And yes, this is me slowing down! ūüėČ Obviously, I have no idea what the year will bring, but I’m looking forward to seizing every opportunity and being grateful for every day and every blessing I’m given! Hope all of you have a great 2023!

2022 Wrap Up

I’m poking my head out of the writing cave (“Fierce Females in Television: A Cultural History” is due January 6) long enough to do quick review of 2022 and ponder what may be to come in 2023. Do I really have time to do this? No–the book is going slowly and while there is no way it will be done tonight (my original self-imposed deadline), I will meet the real one.

Okay, so, yeah, how is it New Year’s Eve already?

Oh yeah, I’ve been on so many book deadlines this year I can barely breathe. (I can hear my past baby author self sarcastically saying “I wish I had that problem!”) In 2022 I:

  • Wrote 2 books (Catherine’s Mercy and Fierce Females in Television) and 2 book chapters (for the Arthurian ethics book and one I haven’t announced yet)
  • Edited 3 books (The League of Women Voters Book, Sex and the City, America’s Forgotten Suffragists) and 2 two book chapters (same as above)
  • Published the Sex and the City book and held a big book release party for it (I know, I still owe you guys a post about it and photos…it is on my to-do list)
  • Spent some time on a ghostwriting project that ultimately didn’t work out, which I’m honestly glad about for multiple reasons, the least of which is one less thing on my already over-full plate

I also:

  • Celebrated by 19th anniversary at my day job.
  • Attended 2 conferences (Chanticleer and the Midwest Pop Culture Association.
  • Completed 8 speaking/teaching events.
  • Won 2 awards.
  • Started using TikTok and Twitch.
  • Left Twitter
  • Was hospitalized for blood clots and finally got COVID
  • Continued writing poetry
  • Read around 50 books (not including those for research)
  • Helped start a foundation (more on that next year)
  • Did something I never thought I would do (more on that soon as well)

My head is spinning just remembering it all.

So, as is tradition, let’s check out how I did on my goals for the year, which I couldn’t even recall until I went back to that blog post.

2022 Goals

Contracted¬†(meaning I’m contractually obligated to do these)

  • Research and write the Fierce Females book (due Jan. 13, 2023) DONE
  • Edit League of Women Voters book (Jan 2022) DONE
  • Edit Minor bio (Jan- March 2002) DONE
  • Edit SATC book (TBD) DONE

Other Writing-Related

  • Project involving Daughter of Destiny (Jan 2022) THIS FELL THROUGH
  • Write and record Historical Fiction Master Class (Jan 2022) THIS HAS BEEN POSTPONED
  • Attend the Chanticleer Conference (June 2022) DONE
  • Write more fiction! I DIDN’T TOUCH ANY OF THESE BECAUSE OTHER PROJECTS CAME UP
    • WWII (halfway done)
    • Isolde
    • Revolutionary War book
    • Female inventor
  • A few fun side projects:
    • Family cookbook (using recipes from my parents, grandparents and other relatives) STARTED IT BUT NEVER GOT BACK TO IT
    • Studying tarot and other metaphysical topics DIDN’T TOUCH THIS
    • Dream Atelier through the School of Self image STARTED BUT ABANDONED
    • Write my own magazine based on the Live Like An Editor workshop from last year PART-WAY DONE
    • Continue writing poetry DONE

Personal

  • Continue taking classes through the School of Self Image. This is doing so much for all areas of my life. It’s cheaper than therapy and makes me very happy. I DID THIS FOR A WHILE BUT THEN QUIT TO SAVE MONEY
  • Lose 55 lbs (I’m on a weight control plan with my doctor and am working with a health coach. Focusing on eating well, medicine, mindset, and exercise) UM, THIS DIDN’T HAPPEN, BUT NOT FOR LACK OF TRYING. I WEIGH MORE NOW THAN I EVER HAVE.
  • Learn to dance – whatever I can do without a partner. I LOVE to dance, need to move, and I want to feel sexy again. DIDN’T DO THIS
  • Find balance between work and writing; slowly start to shift in the direction of more writing. I have a long-term goal of becoming a full time author. ME, BALANCE?
  • Pay off debt – This is not only smart, but it is necessary for me to be able to move. I have three cities in mind where I’d like to live in the future. I’m not ready to add that to my list yet, but this is a baby step in that direction. YES AND NO. I MADE PROGRESS BUT I ALSO MADE MORE BILLS
  • Assuming COVID lets us: attend more cultural events like theatre, ballet, opera, symphony, dance, etc. DONE!

If you are still reading this, I’m impressed (thank you)! Despite some ups and downs, 2022 was really good year for me. Tonight I’m going to finish cleaning my house, pour some prosecco and continue writing. Here’s to 2023 being an even better year than 2022! *clinks glass* Happy New Year everyone!

2022 Goals and Word of the Year: Glam

Artist unknown. This image is so beautiful to me. And its also me trying to make COVID go away.

2021 was my busiest year yet on purpose, but I also discovered my limits. I really believe that we design our own lives and therefore I want to design a life I love that includes all the things that are important to me.

FIRST: Go away COVID so we can do things in-person again! I want to go back to church, see my friends again, be able to go to the pool, travel, etc.

2022 Word of the Year: Glam (updated 1/25)

I had enticing as my Word of the Year, but the more I sat with that, the more it just didn’t feel right. The word glam has been in my world since December (it all started with this video–I think she is my spirit animal) and I really, really like it. It fits my overall ascetic and how I want to feel and be regarded. And besides, what is more glam than success??!

2022 Goals

Contracted¬†(meaning I’m contractually obligated to do these)

  • Research and write the Fierce Females book (due Jan. 13, 2023)
  • Edit League of Women Voters book (Jan 2022)
  • Edit Minor bio (Jan- March 2002)
  • Edit SATC book (TBD)

Other Writing-Related

  • Project involving Daughter of Destiny (Jan 2022)
  • Write and record Historical Fiction Master Class (Jan 2022)
  • Attend the Chanticleer Conference (April 2022 – I am SO excited to see my friends again! This is such an important vacation for me.)
  • Write more fiction! (I know I won’t get all of these done, but this is my dream list, in no particular order)
    • WWII (halfway done)
    • Isolde (have 50,000 words I cut from Camelot’s Queen. Would love to have this done by April, but I doubt that will happen)
    • Revolutionary War book (started)
    • Female inventor (held over from last year’s goals)
  • A few fun side projects:
    • Family cookbook (using recipes from my parents, grandparents and other relatives)
    • Studying tarot and other metaphysical topics
    • Dream Atelier through the School of Self image
    • Write my own magazine based on the Live Like An Editor workshop from last year
    • Continue writing poetry

Personal

  • Continue taking classes through the School of Self Image. This is doing so much for all areas of my life. It’s cheaper than therapy and makes me very happy.
  • Lose 55 lbs (I’m on a weight control plan with my doctor and am working with a health coach. Focusing on eating well, medicine, mindset, and exercise)
  • Learn to dance – whatever I can do without a partner. I LOVE to dance, need to move, and I want to feel sexy again.
  • Find balance between work and writing; slowly start to shift in the direction of more writing. I have a long-term goal of becoming a full time author.
  • Pay off debt – This is not only smart, but it is necessary for me to be able to move. I have three cities in mind where I’d like to live in the future. I’m not ready to add that to my list yet, but this is a baby step in that direction.
  • Assuming COVID lets us: attend more cultural events like theatre, ballet, opera, symphony, dance, etc.

2021 Word of the Year and Goals

I feel like in the last six months, and especially in the last two to three weeks, I have popped out of some kind of opaque chrysalis that I didn’t know I was living in into a new life, a new me. I have a new outlook on life, a greater feeling of maturity (I’ve always been a little emotionally behind others my age), and an energizing feeling of direction and purpose.

I know with crystal clarity what kind of life I want to live and am taking steps in all aspects to get what I want.

I feel like there is no limit on what I can do. That’s why I chose the phrase “infinite possibilities,” as my Word of the Year for 2021. I am optimistic that this year will bring me endless possibilities for success, growth, money, and all good things. And I plan to take advantage of every one of them.

To that end, I’ve established both author and personal goals for 2021. I’m fine with sharing both here because I am the same person whether you are talking to me as an author or a regular person and I aim to be authentic in all I do.

Writing Goals:

  • Get a contract for Minor bio. (Okay, that’s more in my agent’s hands than mine.)
  • Finish Colonial/Revolutionary War histfic by end of July.
  • Finish WWII histfic by end of July.
  • Write female inventor histfic by end of 2021.
  • Start on modern retelling of a classic (I’ll be working on ideas for this while I am writing the other books) by the end of the year.
  • Write poetry again. (I did this as a child and teenager, but I’ve lacked the confidence as an adult.)
  • Attend the Biographer’s International and Historical Novel Society virtual conferences.
  • Hopefully the Ethics in Arthurian Legend book a I wrote a chapter for will be published. (That is out of my hands.)
  • Do what I can to get Madame Presidentess and Daughter of Destiny optioned.

Personal Goals:

  • Lose 40-50 lbs by June 1.
    • Walk outside when the weather is nice. Swim if the pools open again.
    • Dance, barre, basic cardio, weight lifting indoors.
    • Eat a mostly pescatarian/Mediterranean diet.
    • Stop eating delivery.
  • Pay off debt.
    • Focus on paying off credit card.
    • Every time I have the urge to buy something, put that amount of money in my savings account and use it to pay on credit card that month.
    • Continue to pay off loans.
  • Continue working with the League of Women voters to fund a permanent suffrage memorial of some kind in St. Louis.
  • Learn to read French.
  • Teach myself to sew.
  • There’s another one that I’m not ready to talk about yet, but I will if it ends up working out.

I realize this is an ambitious list, but I always set high goals for myself. That is the way I am happiest. I plan to achieve them all but if I don’t, that is fine too.

What are your 2021 goals?

2020 Year in Review

Like everyone else, 2020 was a year unlike any other. My word of the year was Flow, which could not have been more apt, as COVID-19 taught us all to “go with the flow,” more than ever before.

Some of my struggles:

  • I worked harder at my day job that I ever have.
  • I transitioned to full-time working from home.
  • I hid from COVID-19 and worried about the future.
  • I dealt with burnout in my day job.

But for a crazy year, it had some amazing moments:

  • I signed with agent Amy Collins.
  • Daughter of Destiny did extremely well in a book-to-movie contest.
  • I finished the Minor biography.
  • I took a big step in the future of my day job, even if it ends up not going anywhere.
  • I started a new blog – I’ll be telling you all about it in the New Year.
  • I re-did practically my whole house myself (with a little help from dad).
  • I found my personal style/brand.
  • According to Goodreads, I read about 85 books (my goal was 100), not including research, which would have put it closer to 200.

And how did I do on my 2020 goals?

  1. Finish chapter for non-fiction Arthurian book (due March 2020). Nailed it!
  2. Finish and sell/self publish Minor biography. It’s finished and Amy is doing her best to sell it.
  3. Work on WWII historical fiction book. Wow, this one came in under the wire. The main character started talking to me again maybe two weeks ago (after more than a year of silence) and I have not quite 10,000 words written.
  4. Help with human trafficking anthology. Wrote my short story for this, but the anthology never got off the ground. I don’t think it is going to. Hopefully I will be able to share the short story in another way someday. I’m really proud of it. It’s in a contest right now, so we’ll see what others think of it.
  5. Continue working with local League of Women Voters chapter on Centennial Committee. Did this and had SO MUCH fun working with these women, attending events and getting the word out.
  6. Speak locally about the August 2020 centennial of women getting the right to vote. I was honored to be asked to speak about both Virginia Minor and suffrage in the state of Missouri. One of my audiences was the Missouri Chapter of the League of Women Voters, which was amazing!
  7. Adjust to new role of assistant editor for Novelist’s Inc. member newsletter, NINK. This was the worst possible year to take on this role, but I made it. I have to admit, I’m glad that it is over. It is not a hard job, but it is tough to handle when my day job is constantly in crisis mode.
  8. If we end up with a female presidential candidate, promote the heck out of Madame Presidentess. (This is no reflection on my personal political choices. I will, however, use it to my advantage if it becomes a reality.) This didn’t come to pass.
  9. Side projects to be worked on when/if have the time: Hallmark book, devotional, musical based on Kill Hannah songs. I thought about them. Does that count?
  10. Option Madame Presidentess again as well as the Guinevere Trilogy. (I realize this is out of my control, but I can have it on here in an effort to think positively, right?) This did not come to pass, but Daughter of Destiny did very well and is now in a second contest, so who knows what the future will bring?

Finally, I want to say thank you to everyone for your support this past year and always. I couldn’t do what I do without you and some days knowing that you are out there cheering me on is what gets me though. I wish all of you a safe, healthy and happy end to 2020 and a wonderful 2021. I’ll be back tomorrow with some thoughts about the New Year!

Preparing for 2020

I sat in my favorite local coffee shop the other day and tried to do a little planning for 2020 and it only kind of worked. I mean, I have a list of goals and to-dos, but I don’t have a clear-cut plan like I have in previous years. At first, this worried me, like the driven part of me was broken, but then I realized, it’s okay. In 2020, I’m just going to go with the flow. Which is why I chose flow as my 2020 word of the year.

I’ve pushed myself so hard for the last six years or so in order to build a career. Now I am at a point where I can reap the benefits and take opportunities as they come. Yes, I’ll still make things happen when I need to, but I don’t know that I need to be as intentional about it.

Looking Back at 2019 Goals
I did a fair amount of this in my post on nearly driving myself to burnout (which I am proud to say I am emerging from – I’m back to working on the Minor biography after a month of rest), but I wanted to specifically examine my goals for 2019. I’m shocked to see I did better than expected, especially for a year in which I didn’t publish anything.

  1. Finish the proposal for, successfully pitch and sell a book I’m co-writing with another author. We did our best to pitch this book, but were unable to get a contract for it due to circumstances outside of our control.
  2. Finish the proposal for, successfully pitch and sell another book on the suffrage movement (different angle from above) I’m working on. After the experience of the book mentioned above, I shelved this. But the good news is that I might be able to use it for my dissertation when I go back to school in a few years.
  3. Write both of these books by their deadlines (I’m hoping both will be traditionally published by August 2020). N/A
  4. Finish the biography I‚Äôm working on (not Rose, someone else) and sell it. I think I get half credit on this. Research took a lot longer than I expected because I found so much more material than I thought would be available. I have a proposal and sample chapter done and am still querying agents. I’m nearing a second finished chapter.
  5. Attend three conferences and have successful speaking engagements at the ones I’m booked at. РWoot! Did this and it was FABULOUS!
  6. Possibly work on either Isolde or the gothic fiction book I‚Äôm planning. I’ve thought about both, does that count?
  7. Keep up to date on the progress of Madame Presidentess as it makes its way toward becoming a TV show or movie. РYeah, this was a disappointment, but I knew going in that it was unlikely to happen. But there is still hope for the future!

2020 Goals

  1. Finish chapter for non-fiction Arthurian book (due March 2020).
  2. Finish and sell/self publish Minor biography.
  3. Work on WWII historical fiction book.
  4. Help with human trafficking anthology.
  5. Continue working with local League of Women Voters chapter on Centennial Committee.
  6. Speak locally about the August 2020 centennial of women getting the right to vote.
  7. Adjust to new role of assistant editor for Novelist’s Inc. member newsletter, NINK.
  8. If we end up with a female presidential candidate, promote the heck out of Madame Presidentess. (This is no reflection on my personal political choices. I will, however, use it to my advantage if it becomes a reality.)
  9. Side projects to be worked on when/if have the time: Hallmark book, devotional, musical based on Kill Hannah songs.
  10. Option Madame Presidentess again as well as the Guinevere Trilogy. (I realize this is out of my control, but I can have it on here in an effort to think positively, right?)

So, yeah, I think that is plenty for one year, especially in addition to my more personal, non-writing goals. I’m excited to be headed into the ’20s. Let’s hope those flapper dresses make a comeback and that these ’20s don’t have the economic depression the 1920s did!

Long-Term Goal
I made a big decision the other day. I’m not sure when or where – it will depend on finances and what life has in store – but I’m going back to school to get my PhD in American History and Women’s Studies. My specialty will be the U.S. women’s suffrage movement. This will help me gain credibility in the non-fiction publishing world, as well as hopefully improve my fiction writing as well. What will I do with the degree? I would love to be a research professor (assuming I need a full-time job that isn’t writing).

What about you? What are your goals? Do you have a word of the year for 2020?

Looking Back on 2018/Word of the Year and Goals for 2019

It’s that time again. The one day a year I look back on my goals and laugh. Here’s what I planned to do this year, with commentary on how it turned out:

  1. Get Mistress of Legend done and published.¬†I accomplished this goal. It came out in September. I’m very happy with the way it turned out and it needed the extra time.
  2. Continue on the Rose Ferron biography, which I’m hoping to have done by late summer. I did get a fair amount of work done on this, but it got put on the back burner after that conference got canceled in June, which also canceled my archival trip. I’ll pick this back up again eventually, but I don’t know when.
  3. Research and start writing two WWII books that I’d like to get traditionally published.¬†I tried to start on this after Mistress of Legend came out but my brain wasn’t having it. It wanted me to work on another project, which I’ve since made great strides on.
  4. Research the feminism book I’d love to have out by August 2019 (I doubt it will be ready by then). This project changed scope. It was originally the history of feminism in the U.S. book (which I do still want to do), but it morphed into a book on the suffrage movement that I’m still hoping to have out by August 2020 (the centennial of women getting the right to vote in the U.S.)

2019 Word of the Year and Goals
I was originally going to keep my word from last year (Leap), but I realized it doesn’t really fit anymore. It didn’t end up working out the way I thought it would, but it was still an appropriate word for 2018.

For 2019, I’ve chosen Prosper. I’ve had a heck of a 2018, especially toward the end, so I’m hoping this word will keep the good things coming and build on what 2018 started. I also think it is fitting because I’ve put in years of hard work (since 2008 with writing and since August 2015 with publishing) and it’s time to see them pay off.

That doesn’t mean, however, that I will take it easy in 2019. No-siree-bob. I don’t know how to take it easy. Writing-wise, this seems like it will be a non-fiction year for me, but you never know what may crop up.

  1. Finish the proposal for, successfully pitch and sell a book I’m co-writing with another author. This is the non-fiction on the suffrage movement I mentioned above.
  2. Finish the proposal for, successfully pitch and sell another book on the suffrage movement (different angle from above) I’m working on.
  3. Write both of these books by their deadlines (I’m hoping both will be traditionally published by August 2020).
  4. Finish the biography I’m working on (not Rose, someone else) and sell it.
  5. Attend three conferences and have successful speaking engagements at the ones I’m booked at.
  6. Possibly work on either Isolde or the gothic fiction book I’m planning.
  7. Keep up to date on the progress of Madame Presidentess as it makes its way toward becoming a TV show or movie.

I’ll release details on all the books mentioned above when I can. The two suffrage books and the biography will also help shape a book on St. Louis’ role in the suffrage movement that I have planned for the future. I may be¬†suffraged and non-fictioned out by the end of 2019, but I LOVE research so this will be a fun year.

2018 Word of the Year and Goals

All of the year-end Best Books of 2017 lists (and an article on 10-year planning I read) have brought me to a conclusion about 2018: I need to focus on getting traditionally published.

I’ve known all along that I would try that route again someday, but if I’m going to become “the Nora Roberts of Historical Fiction,”*¬†which is my goal, I don’t know that I can do it without at least a few traditionally published books. Plus:

  • I want to be on those year-end lists.
  • I want to get big-time exposure.
  • I want to get foreign rights deals so I can get more international fans.
  • I want to be on the USA Today and New York Times best-seller lists.

And realistically, the only way these are going to happen is either by an act of God (like Colleen Hoover and Bella Andre experienced with their indie careers) or with a traditional contract.

I’m hoping that my indie publishing successes will give me enough credence to make getting an agent/publisher easier than it was the last time. I know that because of what I’ve already experienced, I will go into this round of querying and submissions with so much more confidence. And probably less stress because I know this time that it’s not the be-all-and-end-all of my career; if it doesn’t work out, I can always self-publish the books.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN I’M GOING TO STOP INDIE PUBLISHING!

Not at all. I have plans to self-publish at least four or five more books related to the Guinevere series (Mistress of Legend, Isolde’s story, Morgan’s story, Soibian’s story and a companion guide, plus maybe a few novellas), and possibly the other three or four books in the Chicago Soulmates series, which began with Been Searching for You. Plus whatever else traditional publishing doesn’t take. I’ll become a hybrid author.

So that means 2018 is shaping up like this:

  1. Get Mistress of Legend done and published. (I know that will make many of you happy. Me as well! Publication date TBD.)
  2. Continue on the Rose Ferron biography, which I’m hoping to have done by late summer.
  3. Research and start writing two WWII books that I’d like to get traditionally published.
  4. Research the feminism book I’d love to have out by August 2019 (I doubt it will be ready by then).

In my fantasies, I will also have time to write Isolde and Sobian’s stories and start researching a 19th century historical that I am also going to try getting a traditional contract for. That might be possible if I wrote full-time, but I don’t. So just let me live in my deluded state. I’m happy here.

But I will have more time to write because I’m only going to two conferences and am going to limit my speaking engagements. I may pull back on social media as well. I see 2018 as a year of retreat, and by that I don’t mean running away from battle; I mean it in the sense of a quiet, calming spiritual retreat, a chance to get away and focus. But instead of prayer, my focus will be writing, which for me is a spiritual act. I know I say every year that I’m going to focus on writing, but this year feels different.

They that when we make plans, God laughs. Yes, but God also knows that I need plans because he/she/it/they/whatever made me this way. At least I know that if things don’t follow my plan, it’s because¬†he/she/it/they/whatever has something better in store for me.

2018 Word of the Year
So this brings me to my 2018 Word of the Year: Leap. I’m tired of baby steps. Been there, done that. I’m ready for action, so I’m going to take the metaphoric leap of faith and soar into the unknown by trying once again to go traditional. I’m ready for success; I’m ready for the big time. As they say, God helps those who help themselves, so my helping myself is going to be writing several books with traditional potential and putting myself out there in the publishing industry again.

*For all of you wondering how I define being¬†“the Nora Roberts of Historical Fiction,” here’s my thinking: She’s prolific (perhaps too much so; I’m not aiming for that level), well-respected in her genre, beloved by her readers, and one of the queens of the author world. I don’t care so much about the last one (although I so want the perks like money, films, and bestseller status); the others are what really matters. I hope I’ve made a few strides in that direction already with my own small efforts. I plan to expand exponentially from here.

What is your 2018 Word of the Year?

Reflections on 2017 Goals and my 2018 Reading Goal

My book case of TBR books (the short one is research books).

So it’s the day after Christmas and the first real day of my vacation, so I thought I’d get my brain thinking about writing my looking back at my goals for this past year. Considering I didn’t know The Once and Future Queen was going to happen when I wrote these, this ought to be good.

  1. Write and publish at least two books. Yeah, so that didn’t happen. But I wrote one, so I get 50% credit, right?
  2. Write Isolde and Morgan’s stories for 2018 publication. Nope. But I have thought about both and did some planning for Isolde’s story. And then Sobian decided she wanted her own book…
  3. Continue to attend conferences and speak. This one I did and in spades! 2017 was quite a busy year for travel. The highlight had to be the Historical Novel Society (HNS) conference in Portland. Those are totally my people! Getting to sit on a panel with Patricia Bracewell and Mary Sharrat was such an honor and I am soooooo glad I got to meet Leanna Renee Hieber, my sister in all things feminism. The RWA conference was pretty awesome, too, but I don’t fit in as well there because I don’t write typical romance.
  4. Turn some of my blog posts/presentations into online classes. This is almost done. As soon as my voice is back to normal, I’m going to record these and get them live. Look for more information on or near January 1.
  5. Continue to learn about marketing and indie publishing.¬†I’ve done this. Being Self-Publishing liaison for my RWA chapter helped because it makes me more attuned.
  6. Break even on expenses incurred in 2016 and 2017 by the end of the year. HAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!! Um, not so much. I wish I would have made this one. But I am doing better than last year.
  7. Lose 30 lbs by my 20-year high school reunion in September, which means exercising regularly and eating right. Not so much. I actually gained more weight this year.
  8. Reignite my social life. Yeah not really. But I don’t really care anymore. I love my writing and that is my life outside of my day job.

I’ve already started on my goals for 2018, which I’ll share closer to the first of the year. But there is one I can share now:

Read only books I already own.¬†(This doesn’t include research, library books or those I review for HNS.)

Having been to so many conferences over the last two years (and having a serious weakness for book sales), I own at least 200 print books and probably another hundred ebooks that I haven’t read. So my goal is only read those; no purchasing of new books other than those already on pre-order. *smirks* we’ll see how long that lasts!

Plus, I plan to set my Goodreads goal to 100, since I’ve surpassed that the last two years.

Now I’m off to talk with Guinevere about Mistress of Legend!