Looking Back

Looking Back at 2019’s Goals

Looking Back

Each year I set goals for myself and then at the end of that year (or the beginning of the next one) I look back to see how well I’ve done at achieving those goals.

One of these years I’m going to find that balance between ambitious goals and trying to do too much in a year. When that happens I will reach all my goals without feeling like I am phoning it in.

This is not that year LOL

Completed goals are in bold

2019 Goals

Stuff:

  • Finish playing Divinity 2
    • I love this game but I keep taking loooooong breaks from it because reasons. Well, mostly because work reasons. I’d like to finish it so I can finally begin playing Dragon Age: Inquision in earnest… ya know, so I can maybe finish it before the next one comes out LOL

I did not finish this game. In my defense it’s not because I forgot or was working too much or whatever. It’s because the game pissed me off. Because of the character I was playing it was trying to force me into making a choice I just wouldn’t make… in theory there might be away to avoid making that choice, but in reality I spent hours and hours trying to figure out a way to win a battle without doing what the game wanted me to and it quickly became not fun at all.

I may go back and play it again sometime… probably from the very beginning and making some different choices but I dunno. I had a lot of time invested in it before it pushed me away.

  • Get good at making chicken/chorizo gumbo
    • Like really good. I want to like, craft a master recipe for my ultimate chicken/chorizo gumbo. I’m starting by mastering stock. I’m not even joking. See? I can over-complicate anything. It’s a skill, really.

Nailed it. But then I stopped eating pork. So… that was kind of a useless skill in the end LOL It was a fun process though because I really got to indulge the over-thinking part of my brain as well as the ‘Cooking means flexibility’ part.

  • Have a successful ‘Depth Year’
    • Jo and I decided to have a ‘depth year‘ this year, which basically means we aren’t buying anything that isn’t consumable. There are a few additional exceptions — for example I’d really like to fix our broken-ass back fence so home maintenance things don’t count — but mostly we aren’t buying things. The idea is it will eliminate impulse buying, stop adding clutter to our home, save us some money and help us appreciate the things we already have.

This was awesome. Seriously. I highly recommend it. Jo and I still bought things, but the purchases were well thought-out and planned. Reducing our impulse buying not only saved us a lot of money (more than I ever would have guessed) but it helped reduce the amount of *stuff* coming into the house. And it was much easier than I thought it would be.

Even though Depth Year is technically over, I think it has permanently changed our buying behaviour. Which is not to say we didn’t go a bit crazy at Giftmas, because we did, but we were better able to afford that because of the changes we’d made over the eleven months that came before it.

  • Empty a box every month
    • We’ve spent the last couple years on a serious de-clutter and purge mission, and it’s gone very well. There are still little piles here and there, though, so Jo and I have each got a banker box in our offices and the goal of filling it with things we can get rid of and then actually getting rid of them. Every month. We’re both really good at putting things in the box, it’s the moving them from there to out of our house part that is going to be the most challenging.

This went well until it didn’t. It became harder and harder to find things to put in the boxes (to the point Jo and I were negotiating who got to put things in their box when we found stuff we could part with) and then around about June I just totally forgot about filling the boxes at all.

Oops.

  • Take a vacation
    • Every year I book the month of July off to vacation with my family, and every year I end up working… just less. This year I want the only work I even think about doing in July to be occasionally reading Swashbuckling Cats submissions. That’s it and that’s all.

I worked in July. According to my planner I didn’t work a lot — I didn’t plan things for every day and only put one task per day on the days I did work — but I did work.

I did take short (four day/three night) vacations in April and December though during which I didn’t even think about work. And they were lovely. So I took a vacation. It just wasn’t the one I planned. I’m counting this as a success 🙂

  • Set up a Patreon
    • Related — sit down and schedule which promo dice I’m going to commission and when.

I did it, and it’s amazing. My Patreon currently has 33 patrons who support me for a total of $154 a month. Even more than the money (which, don’t get me wrong, is a-maz-ing), I love the feeling that these people care about what I’m doing. Best decision ever.

  • Establish and write down five and ten year goals

LoL I’ve been thinking about this. A lot. But I haven’t written anything down. I’m still having difficulties, especially with the ten year goals, though I think I’m getting closer to clarity every day.

  • Create, schedule and effectively host the anthology book club on my Facebook group.

I did this. It didn’t work out so well. And that’s okay. It was worth a try and not every project I start is going to go the way I’d like. Moving on, without any bitterness or regrets 🙂

  • Take two walks a day
    • They don’t need to be long, but I need to get up from my desk at least twice a day for at least twenty minutes and go for a walk. Inside on the treadmill, outside running errands or catching Pokemon, it doesn’t matter. I just need to do it. The idea is that it will break up my day and also get my blood moving a wee bit.
    • Note to self: Don’t even begin to pretend these little jaunts can take the place of actual workouts. They are in addition to, not instead of.

It’s funny how it’s always my resolutions to increase my physical activity that fall through. I don’t mean funny haha I mean funny curious. Because I enjoy these things while I’m doing them but actually stepping away from the desk to make them happen is a HUGE speed bump.

I’m going to have to find some strategies to deal with that.

  • Read 40 books
    • Books I begin in good faith but just can’t bring myself to finish totally count

I think, according to Goodreads, I read exactly 40 books this year. Plus a shit load of short stories LOL

  • Host another Giftmas Tour to benefit the Edmonton Food Bank

We raised $1,380 for the Edmonton Food Bank. Which is 4,140 meals. And that makes me feel good.

Releases:

  • Release Grimm, Grit and Gasoline
    • September.
    • I would like this anthology to have my best launch yet–beating all my other WWP anthology launch numbers. To pull that off I am going to need to come up with a great promo plan, and figure out how to give it an awesome launch outside of a convention setting.

Um… I’m not actually sure that this anthologies launch numbers beat Fae‘s (Fae is my bestselling book hands down ever so its numbers are tough to beat). However. It’s an amazing anthology which had a successful release and earned me my first ever starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.

True story — I didn’t even have to look hard for the link to that to share it, because I have never closed the browser tab with that review in it. Ever.

:-p

  • Release F is for Fairy
    • May 7th
    • I want to feel good about this release, to feel as though I’ve given the book the time and attention that it deserves and not just sort of thrown it to the wolves. I will need to assess and set some concrete, measurable goals for this and record them in my records for the book.

I did not assess or set concrete, measurable goals for this book’s launch. But I did launch it in a way that I feel good about and it is, by far, the best selling volume of the Alphabet Anthologies series. In part because it was part of a Story Bundle deal, but also, I think, because people just really like fairy stories 🙂

  • Release Earth: Giants, Golems and Gargoyles
    • August.
    • The timeline for this anthology is a bit shorter than usual but I want to make it work and give it a great launch, matching the success that we found with Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns

Earth had a really great launch (and I will never not drool over that cover) but it didn’t quite meet with the same success that Fire did. I’m fully willing to blame this on the sophomore curse (the second volume in all of my series seems to do worse than the first or third. I dunno what the cause is, but it’s a real thing LOL)

  • Release Shadows
    • Date TBD
    • Will be self-published and require production and promotion. This will need to be fitted in around other projects but I don’t want the results to feel like they’ve been fitted in around other projects.

I did not release Shadows because reasons. It’s a long, boring story but… the book is going to be serialized on my Patreon this spring and then released as an ebook and paperback toward the end of the year. So it’s not all bad news 😉

Submission Periods:

  • Have a successful submission period for Swashbuckling Cats
    • Submissions for this one end July 31st. I would like to have a Table of Contents decided by the end of August.

I don’t actually know when I had my ToC decided, and I’m too lazy to look it up in my planner LOL However, I did have a successful submission period for this anthology and I am looking forward to releasing it this spring 🙂

  • Have a successful submission period for Earth: Giants, Golems and Gargoyles
    • Submissions close on February 28th. I would like to have a Table of Contents by the end of March. This may be unreasonable, but that’s my goal.

Not only did I had a successful submission period, but also a successful launch. So yay!

  • Have a successful submission period for Hear Me Roar
    • This anthology closes to submissions in September. I would like to have the Table of Contents decided by October.

I had to extend the submission window for this anthology by a month because I told one person that the subs closed at the beginning of September and another that they closed at the end of September. Good job me!

Anyway, although it was longer than expected, the submission period was successful and resulted in a great Table of Contents. I’m working on edits for this anthology now and hope to be announcing the TOC and such next month.

Writing and Editing

  • Finish writing Eerie Edmonton

Worked my butt off to make it happen, and it did. The ebook became available earlier this month and the paperback will be released toward the end of it. I am very excited to have it out in the world 🙂

  • Complete edits on Hollow and hand those in to my publisher on time

Done and done. Hollow will be released this March. Don’t tell my other books but it’s my favourite release for this year 😉

  • Complete edits on Shadows

I did this. But now I have to do it again because I wrote a story that’s meant to come shortly before Shadows and it changes a couple tiny things.

  • Edit the next book in E. C. Bell’s Marie Jenner series

I had the pleasure of editing Haunting the Haunted by E.C. Bell

Done and done. This book finished off K’s Portland Hafu series wonderfully 🙂 I don’t actually know if I assisted in the promotion of the book all that much, but I sure did love it.

  • Copyedit and assist in the promotion of Book #3 in the Place in Time series by Wendy Nikel

Done! Again, I’m not sure that I actually assisted in the promotion, but I loved the book and enjoy telling people about it. There are actually four books out in this series now and I’m super proud to have worked on them all:

        • The Continuum (2018)
        • The Grandmother Paradox (2018)
        • The Cassandra Complex (2019)
        • The Causality Loop (2019)

I thought I should list them all because, as you can see, two of them actually came out last year. Not just the one I’d planned on 🙂

  • Outline the urban fantasy series I already have covers for
    • I don’t usually outline but for this project it just kinda feels right that I try it. So I’ll give it a whirl and we’ll see what happens.

I didn’t even get a chance to look at this in a serious way. But that’s okay, the covers aren’t going anywhere…

  • Finish the NovPad poem a day project I started and failed to finish last year

I also failed to finish it this year. I think I might need to accept that the subject matter I picked isn’t really inspiring me, abandon this and come up with a different topic.

  • Finish and begin querying Arcana

I’m currently in the process of querying this. Whoot!

Deadlines:

  • Submit Eerie Edmonton on schedule
    • The manuscript is due on April 15th. I want the first draft done by my birthday (March 15th) so there’s time for polish before I hand it in

Done and done.

  • Submit Grimm, Grit and Gasoline on schedule
    • The manuscript is due on April 15th. I would actually like to have it handed in by the end of February in order to free up space in my brain and on my desk for other projects. This means getting my butt in gear with regard to edits.

Also done and done 🙂

 

It was a good year.

In addition to meeting the goals I mentioned above I also successfully completed NaNoWriMo (which included finishing the first draft of a book I’m currently calling ‘The Anthropomorphic Dog Novel’), submitted a short story I really love to an anthology I was invited to (*fingers crossed*), had some poetry published and won the In Places Between short story contest.

All in all, I think I did pretty well 🙂

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