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.
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.
Lose 40-50 lbs by June 1.
Walk outside when the weather is nice. Swim if the pools open again.
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?
Finish chapter for non-fiction Arthurian book (due March 2020). Nailed it!
Finish and sell/self publish Minor biography. It’s finished and Amy is doing her best to sell it.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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!
2014 is the year our lives will bloom. Photo by Lee Safar. Used with permission.
They say that what you put out into the Universe becomes your reality. That’s what I’m doing in this post: setting my intentions and goals for the new year, putting them out into the Universe.
My friend Courtney had an interesting idea. She suggesting picking one word for the year, defining it and writing a personal statement about it. I liked that idea because it forces me to distill all the amazing things I’d like to accomplish down to a single concept.
The word of 2014 for me is: Bloom.
I got this idea from a tweet from my dear friend Lee Safar in which she said “2014 feels like the year that flowers will bloom!” The more I got to thinking about it, the more I realized how appropriate it is for where I am in my career and life. I’ve spent the last several years sowing the seeds of success. Last year was definitely one of sprouting seedlings and watching them grow. Now it’s time for them to bloom.
In 2014, I will see my career as an author and various things in my personal life bloom and come into fruition, bringing with them beauty and joy into the world.
Now, I can’t just sit back and wait for it to happen. I have to work at it with all my might. To that end, I have a series of goals for things I want to achieve this year. They include:
Delivering book 3 and another non-related book I’m working on to my agent by the end of June.
Finally being able to announce when Guinevere book 1 will be available to the world.
Researching and beginning writing another Celtic era historical fiction novel.
Attending the Sirens Conference with several of my writer friends in October (and possibly speaking there if I can come up with a topic and get it approved).
Finding balance in my life between my day job, writing and all the other demands of life.
Getting healthier so that I can have more energy to devote to the things I love.