Planning A Year

happy-new-year

It’s officially 2017. I hope everyone’s New Year so far is shaping up as they had hoped. I’m sure there’s lots of new goals and resolutions and hope out there. Whatever you’re aiming to better or do this year, good for you; and if you have no resolutions, well, then, good for you too.

After talking about my accomplishments, half accomplishments, and failures of last year’s goals on Friday, I spent the last couple days thinking over goals and resolutions and trying to organize myself for the new year. Normally I don’t do resolutions, I just do goals, but this year I seem to have written a few things off as resolutions.

Which brings me to something interesting I saw. The other day I was searching Google images for something relating to goals and resolutions. In a lot of images I found they were crossing out the word “resolutions” and replacing it with “goals”. Or they were simply saying “goals, not resolutions”. That took me a little be surprise and I wondered, “why?” Why do they say goals not resolutions?

Naturally, I looked into it a bit and found that the meaning behind those images were to set goals that you could physically work toward, a plan, not a resolution that you don’t know how to go about. Think about it…

Say your resolution this year was to get fit. Okay, great. You want to get fit. Now if I were to ask you how are you going to do that, would you have an answer for me right away? Would you have a plan? Maybe some of you do, but when you list something so vague and broad, it can leave you fumbling.

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That’s why they say make goals, not resolutions. Goals can be specific, goals can have a path you can follow toward. Goals can make you plan how to go about achieving it in tiny steps so it doesn’t look so daunting a monster to conquer. I’ve learned that over the past year, and now I’m really starting to see why it’s so much easier that way. Even so, it can be easy to overbook yourself on goals if you feed them too many growth hormones. Never forget though that goals can be broken down. Even the most humungous and fiercest of them all can be broken down into tiny little pieces, limb by limb, stage by stage until the monster you built can be seen as tiny little monsterlings that are more easily conquerable.  And each monsterling you conquer you can put back into place, now tamed, and watch how your goal is shaping up and building until you are so close to achieving it and becoming the master.

mistake-goal

That gives you motivation. To watch it grow, to watch yourself actually achieving the steps toward that monster of a goal. No matter your goal, it can be the same process, you only have to be careful you make the goal realistic in the time frame you set yourself for it, otherwise your monster will become too scary and seem to grow bigger and bigger day by day until he crushes you instead of you taming him.

And that brings me to the goals I’ve been putzing over the past couple days. I found myself labeling some things as resolutions, but only because they are something I want to make habit in a sense. They are still goals in a way that I have a plan on how to go about them, but for the sake of organization I labeled them as resolutions because they aren’t a one-and-done type of goal. They are constant.

Once I finally had my goals listed out and I had begun to shape out my planner, I tried to work out a timeframe that I could work with for each one. To do that I grabbed notecards — one for each month, and one simply for daily things — and started mapping things out.

While I may have a rough time frame worked out now, I still do not have a detailed, written plan of every goal. That was today’s plan, because it is much easier to type it out as I think in a post and then copy it down to my secondary planner, then it is to write it once on paper — in pen — and be perfect. I work it out in head here and then I’ll be good to copy it all to paper and get to work on achieving things.

So here we go. Down the rabbit hole for a look into the way my mind thinks. Hopefully you don’t get scared off by the monsters that are my goals.

RESOLUTIONS

As I said above, I am simply labeling daily things I wish to make more habit in my life as resolutions, but they are still goals I can work toward and achieve in order to make them habit.

Meditate
This is something I began to try my hand at last year and it never really worked out. That was partly due to the fact I wasn’t entirely sure on what I was doing. I had always believed that in meditation my mind was supposed to be utterly quiet, not a single wisp of thought. In just three days alone since this new year began I learned that isn’t quite true, and it’s already begun to help, because now I’m not so frustrated that I’m yelling at my mind to be quiet and I’m actually getting somewhere. (Yelling at yourself in mediation doesn’t exactly help you relax.)

So this is something I wish to become a daily habit, even if it’s only for a couple minutes a day. It certainly helps to have someone doing it with you, too, both for support and for making sure you did it. It also helps to follow a 30 day challenge to get yourself some instruction — if you’re a bit of a beginner like myself — or to simply remember to do it.

Do Yoga/Workout Once a Day
Another thing I wish to make a daily habit. Once again, I started doing both yoga and small workouts last year but it’s hard to have any free or alone time in my home to be able to do it. The only open enough space I have to work out is in the living room, and with a constant hovering patron of this house, it’s extra hard to get any alone time to simply do this. If I get lucky enough to score the house to myself, great! Either yoga or a small workout session is the first thing I’ll go to downstairs. If not, then I might be waiting until midnight to have the chance to be alone downstairs.

Granted, I can do some minor things that don’t require space in my own room, but it isn’t much I can do. Also, once the weather turns to spring, I can easily go outside to get away to complete this daily. I think the best thing about this one is I’m giving myself some leeway with it. Perhaps one day I’ll get to do some yoga and the next two or so I won’t be able to due to space constraints, but I’ll still be able to do some easier workouts that don’t require the same space. Or perhaps once it warms up I’ll count my workout as going for a walk, or a run. It won’t always be the same, and that’ll give me flexibility so I don’t get bored with it or tired of it quickly.

I won’t need to join a gym or spend a ton of money to do this either. I could grab a couple things from where I work that I can workout at home with, and there’s always YouTube to look up any kind of workout video imaginable. It’s not the same as a gym, but it’s still better than nothing and easier to fit into an ever-changing work schedule.

Be Awake By 11am
Everyone knows I’m a major night owl. In the past month or so I started to really, really sleep in late. My day wouldn’t really start until one or two in the afternoon because I wasn’t getting up until noon or later. I partly blame that on work and just being exhausted over the holiday season, but it’s also cutting into the ability to manage my time.

To help that, I’m trying to make myself be in bed, lights out, by or at 3am. That way even if I need to be up around eight or nine for work I’m still getting five to six hours of sleep, instead of my two or three I did a lot last year, and the year before. The reasoning behind this is to hopefully have somewhere between six to seven hours a night and still be able to get things done as I hope to since I’m most active at night. That’s the hope at least, we’ll see how it works out, especially if I start getting the ungodly shift of 5am again.

Better Time Management
I royally sucked at this last year and let a lot of things slide until last minute that left a lot of scrambling, a lot of stress, and a lot of weight on my shoulders. I hope to change that this year.

At one point I asked a friend last year how she did it. Her response was a simple one, but it stuck with me.

“It’s easier to stay caught up than to play catch up.”

Alright, so that may not be the exact words of months ago, but that’s the concept. It’s never left my mind, and I’ve realized just how right she is. It’s much easier to simply stay on track than to be running to catch up, especially when you have so much going on.

So this year I am going to try to manage my time better. Part of that ties in with being up a little earlier. As things come, I’m going to try to complete them. For instance… The Snippet Sunday blog hop always happens on Sunday (though it technically starts Saturday with a couple), so by Monday night I want to have gone through all the blogs so I don’t have to worry about it the rest of the week. If I work the long afternoon to close shift on a blog post day, I want to try to complete that post before I go to bed, or at least have a draft of it so I’m not scrambling the next day to write a half-assed one. As mail comes in, junk or otherwise, I want to have it gone through, paid, replied to, pitched and/or filed away within a day or two. If I shop at all, I want to put things away in a timely fashion instead of leaving them sit in the corner of my room as I started doing. Keeping my desk clear is going to be the same concept. Scheduling my Sunday Snippet posts will be something I take one or two at a time, so that doing four or five at a time doesn’t take so long.

In all I just need to keep on top of things instead of simply shrugging them off for later. “Later” is a word I want to stop using this year.

Use My Planner
This is what’s going to help with my time management. I started using a simple, kind of stupid planner last year. After the first two months maybe I just kind of stopped looking at it. This year I bought a new one, a better one, and the hope is to keep at this year.

The best things about this one are I can actually flip to a certain month via tabs, and it has both a monthly calendar and pages of day by day to write things in. The calendar itself will allow me to write down events, birthdays, mercury’s retrogrades, deadlines, what days need posts, and so forth. The day to day pages will help me plan out my week with everything else.

I used to keep a simple lined notebook that I would write down “Week of January 1st” at the top and then list the things I wanted to do that week. I never broke it down further though. Now, since I still use that notebook to help organize myself — and that’s actually the notebook I will copy these goals down into — I can organize even further by breaking that week page down into daily by writing them into my planner.

Now so long as I stick to that and actually open both my planner and notebook, I should be good.

Write Consistently
This was a goal I held last year as well, and pretty much failed on. This year I’m going to try once more to hold myself accountable to writing at least something each week, even if it’s simply a 100 words a day, even if it’s fifty words a day. I don’t care if it ends up being a 100 words a week, I just need to stop letting myself fall off the wagon during non-NaNo months.

This year, I hope that the support of friends will help hold me accountable to doing this. If they are expecting a snippet of something I wrote that week then I have to deliver every week for the group to see my proof of creativity, or be pestered until there is a fire lit under my ass. Even just working with them to make us all write should make it that much more manageable and easy to accomplish.

The goal of this group is to take the NaNo out of NaNoWriMo. That way every month simply becomes a Writing Month, even if the word count isn’t as huge as actual NaNo months. Just so long as I am doing something every week toward my goals of writing and publishing, whether it be writing or editing. And if we can make it more interactive with each other like NaNo then there’s motivation.

The only problem in this is that we all have to make the commitment to not slack off on each other, and then actually stick to the commitment, no matter how hectic life gets.

GOALS

So while all my resolutions are goals in a way, they are not the one-and-done type of goals as the rest of these are.

Read Two Books A Month
Alright, so this technically could have counted as a resolution to simply read more. However, as I talked of, the goal to simply read more is vague. Which is why I came up with the goal of reading two books a month, at least.

Ever since I started working and writing more the time for me to read dwindled further and further. As an author, reading is a must no matter what you think. This goal will help me get back into reading. It doesn’t matter what the book is, how long it is, what it’s about, as long as I am reading something. For instance, my first choice of this month was a book called Meditation For Beginners.

I did, however, give myself a little bit of leeway again in this goal. During the three NaNo months, I let myself slide on only needing to read one book that month.

The easiest way I’m going to accomplish this goal is if I set aside a specific time to read. I came to the conclusion that best time would be at night. If my goal is to be in bed, lights out, by 3am, then by 2:30am I need to be off my computer, phone, whatever I’m working on so that I can sit in bed for half an hour and read. Doing this might even help me sleep, it’s been proven that reading can help you sleep.

Revamp Blog Layout/Info
This is something I should have done last year. I want to go back through my pages and update any information in the About pages so that it is current and reflecting of me. Since, you know, I haven’t changed any of that since I first made this blog…two years ago now I believe. (Wow… Doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.)

I also want to rework the pages that hold information on my stories and books. Instead of being one long list of books on the page, I want to turn each book into a tab under the page. On top of that, I wanted to create a separate page (and hopefully one day more tabs) for anything that is physically published and available for purchase, not my freebies on Wattpad.

I plan to have this completed by the end of January, so if you start seeing things changing a bit, that’s why.

Finish and Submit Clockwork Heart
This is one of my bigger ones that I’ve broken up into two parts. The first part is to simply outline and write the story; the second part is to edit it and submit it with all necessary information.

I have until February 20th to do this.

If the title Clockwork Heart rings a bell that’s because it was the title of one of my Wednesday Words last month. Just like with Embermyst, the story sprung into a full on plot bunny and I’m going to be submitting this to VTP’s Spring Anthology for another chance at publication. That deadline is obviously February 2oth.

By working out a timeline on how to go about this, if I can outline and write it — including a dreaded blurb — by the end of January, that will give me about two and a half weeks to edit and polish it before sending it in. I plan to have it outlined and begin writing by the end of this week.

Complete 2016 Camping Journal Entries
This goal looks very familiar, doesn’t it? That’s because, like the year before, I failed miserably at staying on top of those entries during the camping season. So once more, I have six entries to write before May, and I think maybe one or two sets of notes to complete in order to do so again as well.

Since I have Clockwork Heart to focus on right now, I’m not going to plan to start these until the week of February 19th. Like last year, I will do one a week and I will complete them just in time for the start of April’s Camp NaNo.

The other side to this goal is when the 2017 season starts I need to stay on top of them this year so this goal doesn’t become something that happens every year. I believe I’ve figured out how I can do that too. The last few years I’ve only taken off work the days of the trip, this year I am going to take off the day after each trip as well. That extra day will allow me to catch up on lost sleep, get organized, and also sit down to write the entry while it’s fresh in my mind, as well as loading any pictures I took of that week to my Facebook. If I can do that, I won’t be scrambling at the last moment to write or finish an entry before the next trip rolls around right quick when they are normally only two weeks apart.

Obtain Driver’s License
Alright… This one was on last year’s list as well. To my credit I got half way to it last year, I got my permit. I just never got out much to practice due to circumstances beyond my control.

It’s nearly certain I will not get that dumb little plastic card by the time my permit runs out, so once more I have myself listed to re-acquire my permit once this one runs out of time. Just like last year, I hope to have gotten my license sometime before the snow falls. Say maybe by the end of October.

Providing schedules can work out better this year, I can hope that this goal will be achieved this year.

Re-edit Rivers of Black
This goal is also quite familiar if you recall my last post. Re-editing this story was a goal I set myself last year and I just never quite started to edit it. I’m going to try again this year and I plan to use the month of May to edit it and re-release it on the Wattpad world.

I figured May would be a good time because it’s coming off a maddened induced month of writing for Camp NaNo and will be a little bit of a break from writing. Granted, I’ll still try to hold myself accountable to writing, but my focus will be on editing that month.

Finish Fated to Darkness
Yes, this was another goal I held last year as well. I got close to completing part of this goal last year, but my lack of follow through in non-NaNo months is what became my downfall on the goal.

Now that I’m only about six chapters away from the end of this book, I can definitely finish it this year. If I don’t, there’s something wrong with me. However, it is more than just completing the first draft that I want to accomplish with this novel this year. I also want to have the concordance completed so that I have something to look over in editing to help keep me straight. Lastly, I want to have this rough draft printed and in a binder by the end of the year to be able to begin editing next year. That print out may also include a print out of a list of notes and questions I left myself within the Word doc for when editing comes along. I haven’t decided if I want to simply print them or copy them to a notebook to have handy. Printing might be easier.

To do all this, I planned to have completed writing the book by the end of May. Honestly, if I don’t finish it by the end of April with Camp NaNo or even before that I’m going to kick myself. The more time I have to work on the concordance and print outs, the better. Because, you know, I only have 500 some pages to read through to make notes of and stuff.

If I finish writing hopefully by the end of April, then I will focus on completing the concordance by the end of October, before the holiday madness begins. That gives me time to worry about nothing else but NaNo in November and then gifts and work for the rest of the year. Printing everything will also be easy to do when I’m already out running errands during that time of year.

That’s the detailed goal, now I only need to stick to it again. I’m itching to get to work on it, but Clockwork Heart is going to take precedence right now with a looming deadline.

Get Rid of Yard Sale Items
This goal is the result of one of my goals last year. I had cleaned out my entire room and held a yard sale to sell what I no longer wanted or use. Unfortunately, the yard sale was less than successful and it left me with more than half the stuff I wanted to get rid of sitting around here with no time to do anything with it.

The goal this year is to simply get rid of it all. Whether it be by donating it, craigslist to try to sell more, a Facebook group to sell it, throwing some stuff out, or trying a thrift shop. This will be a good thing to do in June when camping will start to take up some of my time. Simple and easy, as long as I don’t start cleaning something else out in this house. Like the spare room.

Meet a Friend
I only have this listed as a goal because I have a couple online friends I have never actually met face to face. Well, one I have half met face to face thanks to a lovely thing called webcams and Skype, but I still have yet to meet the other.

It doesn’t help when both of you are such introverts that you talk of making plans to meet but then just never follow through on it. I’m totally guilty of that.

So to put it simply, I just want to finally make that meeting happen sometime during this year. Maybe after the snow stops flying though.

END RESOLUTIONS/GOALS

That’s it then. That’s my year in a nutshell. 365 days of planning down to one rather long, detailed blog post. Now I can be held accountable to these goals. They are officially written down in some form. All that’s left to do is copy them to my notebook and start getting to work.

Although, I have one last parting thought. If you were to consider one word as your attainable goal this year, what would you pick? What would you strive for? If I had to choose, my word would be creativity. Simply because it can cover such a wide variety of my goals in writing. Or it would be time management, since that is what I need to work on.

If I accomplish even half of these goals, I will be happy with myself. If I make nearly all of them happen, I will be ecstatic. If by some chance I am able to check off every single goal at the end of this year, and will proudly be able to say I didn’t give up on yoga, reading, meditation, writing, and working out, I will be without words. My hope is that this year I finally begin to take my life back in my own hands after years on end of struggling, and that in making new daily habits I will no longer be sitting around lazily or scrolling through my phone because I’m bored.

Here’s to a better year than 2016, and a brighter, better, happier me.

Reflecting On 2016

I’ve been quite absent here the past week or so. Last week was a total madhouse of things going on with the holiday season. The week before Christmas is the final and worst Hell Week when you work retail. Since I had my own things I had to finish to be ready for the holiday on top of working I was going non-stop and a lot slipped my mind, like blog posts. I hardly slept last week with the final rush of things.

(I know I’ve said something similar to this before but roughly ten hours of sleep in a matter of three days is not recommended. I crashed for about 18 hours after that little doozy of a nightmare.)

Things have finally begun to quiet down now that it’s over. At least, work has quieted down from the chicken without a head rushing, there’s still lots to do though. Home life, on the other hand, has not taken the memo to quiet down this week. After putting in two weeks of overtime, I somehow managed to score four days off this week and I was so looking forward to it because this introvert needs about three weeks of calm to realign after the last several weeks before she has to hit another two or three weeks of madness due to inventory.

Unfortunately that calm has not worked out.

Monday into Tuesday morning was my sleep for about 18 hours spell. Tuesday was my first day off (other than Christmas, I didn’t exactly count Christmas as off since there was still no relaxing about it) and I had completely planned for it to be a “fuck it all” kind of day where I was simply going to just sit around and relax finally. I didn’t care if I got anything done or not, and I was not planning to go anywhere.

Right off the bat that got screwed because I had to go out to finish an errand that I couldn’t do on Monday since the post office was closed the day after Christmas, and of course, other people wanted me to do things that day. I said no. The relaxation also got a little cancelled by a bummed out and irritated mood thanks to certain events. Thankfully, by the end of the night I was pretty alright though.

Wednesday I worked and upon getting home I began to hear the news about the company All Romance eBooks closing its doors at the end of the year quite abruptly without warning and basically screwing over its authors and publishers. It gave me a mini heart attack because for a moment I couldn’t remember if my publisher for Embermyst had used them or not. I got lucky, but many others haven’t, and just hearing about it is making me reel and shaking me off center a little.

Now Thursday into today has pretty much been an irritating hell in which nothing has gone to plan thanks to uncontrollable circumstances that don’t even involve me but end up effecting me. I even had off today and, yeah, nothing has gotten done.

At this point, all I’m praying for to whichever god or goddess will hear me is that the rest of this night goes more calmly and that tomorrow mellows out into a good day since I’m again off. Tomorrow better be a good day because it’ll be the first time I get to spend one on one time with someone I hardly see. I don’t want anything to ruin it, not the slightest hitch. You hear me, universe? Not one hitch. No ifs, ands, or buts. That’s my one and only warning. I need something good to end this nightmare year on.

Speaking of this nightmare year, it’s just about over. I think a lot of people are saying “fucking finally” and will be jumping for joy when this year ends tomorrow, or they’ll be flicking off the ball as it drops. Myself included. There have been a few good spots to 2016 but there’s also been a lot of bad that has left a shadow of darkness hanging over this year forever. I honestly believe it will be a year that goes down in history as one nobody ever wants to speak of again.

As I sit here with six candles to light my room, my diffuser running with a blend of essential oils to try to ease my stress and relax, and a CD of hammer dulcimer instruments playing softly, I can’t help but look back on 2016. (Can you tell I was meditating before I began this post?)

A lot has happened this year, and a lot also hasn’t happened this year. Some things were amazing, others were horrific. Some things were half started and never finished, others were never began, and others still were huge accomplishments. It has certainly been a royal roller coaster of a year, and not just for me but for a lot of the world.

The world was rocked by terrorist attacks on Paris. Outrage flew out over the Pulse shootings in Florida. The world reeled at the results of the US Presidential Election. So many influential and amazing actors/actresses, singers, songwriters, producers, and authors passed away this year. DAPL’s heinous acts have gotten little media coverage and left many people outraged by greed and fighting back with the risk to their lives by this point. The Zika virus outbreak caused much panic in women and over the Olympic games. Let’s face it, no one was happy where the Olympic games took place either.

There were spots of light amongst the darkness though.

Thanks to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge of oh so long ago, the gene responsible for the disease has been identified, giving us new ground to work toward an effective treatment. Scientists learned how to link robotic arms with the part of the brain linked to intent so that they may use them just as we use our own limbs, just by doing. Endangered species’ numbers are growing, like tigers, and pandas, and manatees. World crime is still declining — even if it doesn’t seem like it after this year. A bank firm paid the college tuition for children of employees killed in 9/11. After the Pulse shootings, the Orlando Shakespeare Festival showed up at the funeral for the victims with angel wings to block the view of anti-gay protestors from the proceedings. The world of Harry Potter has not ended with a new book and movie out.

2016 has seemed bleak and despairing, but if we only look at the bad, we will never see the bits of good that have bloomed out of the darkness against all odds either.

The world has seen its massive ups and downs this year, that much is for sure, but what about for me?

With the year ending tomorrow I have found myself reflecting back on the goals I had for this year. Some I had actually completed, others I tried but didn’t quite get very far. A few fell through, and still 2016 held a couple surprises.

Does anyone remember what my goals were? (No cheating by clicking on the link. Lol) Well, I suppose I’d be surprised if ya’ll remembered what my goals were. Somehow I managed to remember them, maybe because I wrote them all down in a nice little journal entry at the beginning of the year.

And ’tis the season to take a walk down memory lane from the whole year so I might as well start walking to see what I accomplished — or didn’t accomplish — this year. Care to join me?

THE GOALS

Write Consistently
I suppose my only resolution of this year was to simply write consistently instead of my jumping around in writing this month and doing nothing the next month and so forth. Unfortunately, I still failed pretty miserably at that resolution. I need more discipline to make it work. Something I’m not at all good at.

However, this was the first year I successfully managed a win for NaNoWriMo in November, so I call that an accomplishment. (I tried for it in 2015 too but I had computer issues that rendered me unable to do it.)

After three NaNo sessions working on Fated to Darkness and my short story Embermyst, at the very least I wrote 156,792 words this year. And that doesn’t even include all my Shards of Imagination flash fiction writing or any other writing I did in non-NaNo months. So it’s safe to say I did at least write over 200k this year. (It’d be pretty cool to see what the actual number was if I could ever figure it out.)

*Couple minutes later*

Okay, I did part of the math. If I add in all the words I wrote for Shards of Imagination, I get 203, 177 words. That doesn’t include any of the little bits of writing I did on Fated to Darkness in non-NaNo months so I am definitely over 200k for the year. I wish that number was higher, and I wish I could know just how much I wrote, but I’m not sure I could figure it out exactly. Well… Maybe if I went back through my email to find where I kept leaving off in writing I could get pretty darn close to the exact number. As cool as it’d be to find out I’m not going to try. The 203k also doesn’t include any editing or rewriting I did on Embermyst either.

That’s still a lot of words though.

Re-edit Rivers of Black
This had been one of my “dammit do it already” goals for 2016. I’ve been meaning to re-edit this story for quite some time because I believe it will get some better reads on Wattpad if I clean it up more. (I wrote it years ago at this point.) However, this was one of the goals I failed to get to. I started to get ready for it, I got everything I wanted organized to begin editing it. I just never actually started on it.

Fingers crossed this is something I can actually get to in 2017. (Someone better nag at me to do this.)

Complete 2015 Camping Journal Entries
This goal really should have been completed in 2015 after every single trip I had, as I did the year before. Obviously that didn’t happen in 2015 if it was a goal for this year, and I still haven’t learned my lesson on that one for this past season either, but I did get them done. Almost on the same time frame I had hoped to have them done too: one a week until they were completed. I think I finished about a week late on them but that’s pretty damn good for me that I stuck to it!

Hooray for that accomplishment at least, but I still need to learn my lesson on those entries, because, um, yeah, I did it again this year. Guess who still has all six entries of this year’s season to still write? I’m an idiot.

Obtain My Driver’s License
Yeah… About this one…

This goal had been one of my big, big ones. I’ve only been putting it off and putting it off — for multiple reasons — for a few years now.

To my credit, I got half way to this goal. I did manage to get my permit by the deadline I set myself, which was back in March. However, I’ve only been out to drive less than ten times and haven’t been out in probably five months. Part of that is because I hardly see my dad, who is the only person I trust enough and am comfortable with to teach me to drive; and part of that is simply because the idea of driving on the road still scares the living shit out of me.

Okay, let me rephrase that: it’s not the driving on the road that scares me. It’s the driving with other cars around that scares me. Last night, coming home from work at 3am when the roads were empty I would have been perfectly fine to ask my dad if I could try driving home, even though it was snowing lightly. In fact, he almost thought about asking me that, and if he had I’m 99% sure I would have said yes. But if you ask me to drive on the road during the day… I freeze up.

Sadly, the year limit on my permit will be up in a couple months and I’ll have to go through this whole process again because I know I will not have my license by then. Not when I’ve begun seeing my dad even less than the beginning of this year. Who says next year is going to be any different either with our jobs?

Start Horseback Riding Again
At the beginning of the year, I had really missed riding and had wanted desperately to go back. After talking with a couple friends, I was encouraged to pursue it again because it could have been that one thing that helped me get through each week in a life I was beginning to deem miserable for eternity.

Well, a few months ago I finally took that step and went back to riding at the academy I used to attend. However… While it started out great and I was beginning to gain the confidence I lost three years ago due to my fall, riding rapidly began to lose its charm.

The horse I normally rode switched to a different one that I enjoyed at first but then began to get frustrated with because I was spending more time trying to slow him down from running into the rider in front of me (I ride in a group of three or four per lesson) than I was having fun. I also tended to work every morning before riding and by the time I was getting home I’d have to change and leave. It became exhausting, it became more of a chore than something I enjoyed doing and looked forward to.

Now I haven’t ridden in probably a month and a half between the lesson itself being cancelled or me deciding not to go because I’m exhausted or have had too much to do. I’m to the point now that I’m honestly thinking of dropping the lessons once more, because it really isn’t doing what it used to for me. Perhaps it would be less of a chore if I could get those days totally off work, or if I could get a different horse again, but riding a different horse isn’t up to me, and I had enough trouble the first month or so with my boss screwing my schedule up. I can only imagine how much it’d be screwed again if I asked for Wednesday’s off completely now.

So I accomplished the goal, I went back, but I’m on the verge of giving it up again.

Organize Closet
This was one of my major goals of 2016. At the beginning of the year I didn’t actually believe I would accomplish it. I surprised myself though.

Not only did I organize and clean out my closet, I organized and cleaned out my entire room. I even held a yard sale to try to get rid of the stuff I no longer wanted. To my dismay the yard sale hardly panned out and wasn’t worth half the stress and sleepless nights I put on myself over this goal. Even now I’m still sitting on half the stuff I couldn’t sell because I have had no time to go through it and do something with it since then.

The intent of this goal was so I could finally start to reclaim my room as my own after about four years. Needless to say, it hasn’t really worked out. The only way it’s going to work out is if the spare room is cleaned out as well. Which shouldn’t be a problem since I just did one room, right? Wrong. Not when half the stuff in there is your lazy mother’s who can’t hold a single penny to her word and who is pretty much useless and disrupting if I were to do it anyways.

So while I managed to accomplish the goal of cleaning my closet and room out, it left a mess of things I still have to find a way to work with. I need to get onto either a Facebook group or Craigslist to try to sell the rest of the stuff, and start either donating what I can or throwing the other stuff out.

Finish Fated to Darkness
This… This was my most major of goals for 2016. The one that if I would have completed it I wouldn’t have cared if I accomplished nothing else all year.

Now, this goal included finishing the first draft of the novel and working out the concordance so when I began to edit next year in theory I wouldn’t be so lost. So there was a lot of work involved in this goal.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get all that work done.

To my credit, I nearly accomplished half of that work. The first draft is about six chapters away from being completed after writing feverishly on it for every NaNoWriMo month there was this year, as well as in between at times. I put in over 150k to this story this year, and no, I’m not going to tell you how long it actually is. (I’m hoping editing takes it down in word count a little, the length is even starting to worry me.)

It’s been quite a ride with it this year. Some chapters I stared at my screen slack-jawed in shock with what I just wrote. One in particular I did. Others I wanted to tear my hair out. I got stuck a few times and other times I was on fire, but now I really do see the light at the end of the tunnel after almost two years of working on this novel.

I’m oh so close to the end of the first draft.

And while I wish I could have made it — I probably could have finished it this month if not for work madness — I’m proud of how far I came in it. It’s got a long way to go, and I would be much further if every other month was a NaNo month, but I’m proud of how it — and my writing style — have grown over this year.

Not only that, but I can also proudly say while I didn’t finish this goal, I did accomplish something else completely unexpected and huge:

My debut publication with Victory Tales Press for my story Embermyst in their Halloween anthology, Paranormal Pleasures.

This publication quite honestly made up for not finishing Fated to Darkness. It’s a foot in the door on a dream I hold, it’s the beginning of making a name for myself, and it’s also credibility for when I try to publish my series. So it was huge. Beyond huge even.

END OF GOALS

Overall, I think I came out about fifty-fifty on my goals. That’s better than I thought I would do, and probably better than any year before too. So I’ll take that as not so bad. Other than my publication I finally passed 100 followers on my Wattpad account, and I even passed 100 WordPress followers here. I call those two things accomplishments as well.

Looking back I think the way I laid out my goals and organized them worked fairly well. It could maybe use a little tweaking for how I do next year’s goals, and I also need to set up my calendar and planner for next year, but I think it’s going to be something I try again. Of course, that would work out even better if I knew what next year’s goals were yet. Because I don’t have a list of them yet, maybe a vague idea, but not a list of them.

That’s the next thing to tackle tonight and tomorrow. Well, that and organizing Christmas gifts I got, as well as setting up my Sunday Snippet posts for January. I think I need to just start with making a list of everything I want to do and go from there.

Hopefully by Tuesday’s post I’ll have an idea on my goals and how I’m laying them out. See ya in 2017, folks. Happy Freaking New Year a day early. Let’s hope this next one doesn’t suck as much.

Running On Fumes

It’s the last day of September? Already? Where has this month gone?! It seriously feels like it just started and already it’s over.

It may feel like it was really short, but in terms of things I had going on and exhaustion, it’s been a really, really long month. Tomorrow is my first free day in which I have nothing I have to do since September 13th… Out of my entire calendar for this month, there are only four blank days in which I had nothing going on, three of which happened in the first week of September. Really, even those blank days were spent working on the publication probably.

No wonder I’m so damn exhausted.

Speaking of exhausted, I was just awake for 29 hours straight (because 5am work starts are cruel and unusual punishment for a night owl) so I’m a walking zombie yet. The so-called nap I took after work hasn’t done me much good because I couldn’t stay asleep. So basically, this blog post could sound a lot like this:

add

So, yeah, if this post sounds as jumpy and sporadic as that saying…you’ve been warned. Daelyn is running on fumes.

Anywho, um… Where was I going with this again?

Not sure why I’m asking that question. If I can’t decipher my own brain you guys sure as hell aren’t going to be able to either. You’d probably run from a single glimpse in my head. I run from it sometimes. (Is that possible?)

Seriously, where was I going with this?

*Retraces steps*

Sporadic and random post, no sleep, exhausted, September ov– OH!

(I think I need a liter of Dr. Pepper instead of just a bottle to wake the hell up at this point. Or I need to go back to bed, but I couldn’t sleep, and sleep brought a really freaky dream that managed to unnerve me sooo… Yeah, I don’t want to sleep right now. Said dream would make a great plot though — and yes, being the writer I am I wrote it down.)

ANYWHO! (Focus, brain! … Nope, it’s laughing at me.)

So I was talking about September being over and normally that means I recap my goals for the month. So in that spectrum… *Ponders, blinks* Um, what were my goals for September? Honestly, I can’t think of them right now. I’ve been so non-stop busy that I haven’t had time for anything other than working my goddamn ass off and working for the publication.

What the hell were my goals for September again?

*Wanders off through the land of blog posts to go find out*

Oh right! Oh… Right… *Cringes*

Er, well, so my goals of September were to complete all my camping journal notes — 3 by the end of the month, write three of the camping entries — one a week, finish all catch up Shards I had to write — I had two left, write 15k on Fated to Darkness, and whatever work popped up for the publication.

And out of those five things I’ve done… *Cringes again* Well, I know I started the camping notes. I got through one and a half, I still had two more to do though. I did get the Shards caught up! Those are all done and I’ve managed to stay up to date with them despite everything going on. I did not get any camping entries written out, and I…did not…write a word on…Fated to Darkness

I know! I know! My characters hate me and feel so neglected and are yelling like crazy. I had so many hopes to have this book finished soon and everything just keeps getting in the way. I’m still struggling with the chapter I’m on, and I’m just so tired. I now have three months to accomplish my goal of finishing the first draft this year, along with the notes. And the holiday season is already beginning in retail, which means… Yeah, I don’t want to think about it. I’m going to go hibernate like a bear with my writing supplies for the next three months so I’ll actually have time to write.

Which… That reminds me of something else that’s been nagging at the back of my head since a certain conversation I had, but…I don’t want to talk about that right now.

So September is over, I failed massively on my goals, and don’t even ask me what my October goals are because I haven’t the foggiest idea. Nor do I have any coherence up in this head of mine right now to figure it out. That post will have to wait till next week, probably Friday because I think I know what Tuesday’s post will be–OH!

That’s what I forgot to mention! The paperback print copy of Paranormal Pleasures is coming out in a couple days! *Happy dance* I’ll do another launch post of that on Tuesday. I can’t wait!

I’ll talk about the launch and anything else regarding it next Tuesday and then hopefully by Friday I’ll have a set of October goals figured out to ramble on about. And don’t forget, this Sunday’s post will begin featuring my short story, Embermyst, from Paranormal Pleasures for all my snippets next month!

Oh, crap, now I realized this publication means I need to create a new page on this blog for Published Works. Great… One more thing to add to the ever growing list that never ends! *Headdesk*

Now I think that was all I wanted to say. I think… If not, oh well, it’ll come to me an hour after I lay back down for sleep tonight and by that point it’ll be screw it. I’m going to go hibernate this weekend now, since, you know, it’s the first time I’ll have two days off in a row in over a month, and the first day I’ve had in two and a half weeks that I have nothing I need to do. (Sort of. Nothing out of the house at least.)

So I wasn’t too sporadic on this post, was I?

*Glances back through*

…Okay, scratch that.

Roller Coasters

Roller coasters are fun!

Well, let me rephrase that. The ones in amusement parks are tons of fun, the ones life likes to send you on emotionally and physically are not so much fun.

For the past week life has had me on a very wild and twisty one that’s had me going down a very steep hill pretty damn fast and has made me sick. Literally.

So yes, I know I missed Wednesday’s and Friday’s post last week. (Shame on me.) But no, I did not forget about my blog. I did not have another computer crash — thank the Gods. I did not give up on this blog or anything. I just… I had a really, really rough week.

My Wednesday post never came because I was caught up dealing with contracts, work, and horseback riding, and then I ended up psyching myself out rather greatly by the end of the night on multiple fronts so I was severely down in a deep, dark place. I never even wrote my Shard for that Wednesday yet. By Friday I wasn’t any better and I was away the weekend so I didn’t have a lot of time to write a post anyways, and I still had no heart or will to force out a post.

Therefore, I skipped both posts. I apologize. I hate skipping or missing a post, but I am back and rolling again, and in a bit better spirits finally.

Okay, “bit better spirits” may be an understatement right about now. I think I’m living a dream and someone needs to pinch me. Or maybe I’m walking on air again.

See what I mean? These life coasters are a royal bitch!

I did say literally to being sick, too, right? Because I am. Well, I’m getting over it now, finally. Wednesday night I could feel it starting to hit me and it just got worse day after day until I finally woke up starting to feel better today. I’m not coughing anymore really, and I’m able to sing and have enough energy to squeal and jump around in excitement, as well as dancing, so I think that’s a good sign finally.

ANYWHO!

That bit of the roller coaster aside — and no I’m not going into that dark and lonely path that I’ve been walking on for awhile — I’m a bit bummed to say the 2016 camping season is over for me. No more trips this year.

Though that also means I won’t be falling any further behind on those journal entries for it. So, yay?

I am excited to say that the publishing opportunity is for real now. Editing completed and contract signed for real. It’s happening, people. I’m living in a goddamn dream right now. There are way too many emotions going through me over this anthology book right now, but I’m not going to get into all those details until I know more of release dates and how I’m allowed or not allowed to promote and talk up the book.

But do stay tuned for that! It’s coming! *Squee!*

Actually, it’s coming on Friday’s post. (One of those speak of the devil and he shall come moments when you glance at email. LOL.) So, SQUEEEEEE!

Okay! Before I start rambling off into incoherent squeals, laughter, and sounds of excitement — I’m a writer and I have no words for this feeling right now — I think I better stop and go write some flash fiction.

Yes, go write, and ride this high a little longer.

Camp Journaling: Part Two — Writing The Entry

So on Friday I talked about how I take the notes for the camping journal I keep. Since that post was all about the notes, today I’m going to give you a look at how I actually write the entry based off those notes.

For this, I have a black composition notebook that is solely used for writing these entries and nothing else. Labeled and all. It even has an index page and a direction/layout page of how I write the entries so I don’t vary at all from year to year. (I’m actually on notebook number 2 for these entries. Half of the first one makes me cringe though since I was young and aspiring and still trying to figure out a groove on doing this.)

Anyways, for each season/year I designate a title page that even gets one of the flag sticky notes for easy access to each year. Underneath the title of “Year 2016” I’ll make my own little index of each trip for that year and what page that entry starts on. The overall index at the beginning of the notebook only lists the page numbers for the Year title page and then what trips were that year. My index on the Year title page has the page numbers for each individual entry.

(Did that make sense? It sounded better in my head then it did writing it out.)

Once I have those title pages done, the next page starts the first entry. I start by using a black pen and writing the name of the campground. On the three lines underneath the title space, I divide it into two columns, aligning to the margin lines for two separate things.

On the left hand side, I refer to my notes and the three ratings I talked about — Facilities, Activities, and Attractions — and list those going down. On the right hand side margin, I first list the dates in which we went, then the town and state the campground resides in, and then the time in which it took us to travel to the campground. On the fourth line down from the title, aligned center, I write Average for my rating and then using little star stickers for the average rating I gave the campground.

Once I have that header information, I set my black pen aside and go for a pencil so I can start writing the entry.

When I write these entries, I break them up into four paragraph topics: the facilities, other notes that do not include the facilities, places to eat and attractions, and if we are likely to return to the campground or not with final thoughts.

See how this runs parallel to how I wrote my notes?

Starting with the facilities, I’ll write out what the campground has to offer and whatever detail I have about them. What kind of stuff the game room had, how deep the pool was even if I remember to look, how well kept things were. Then there’s things like the camp store and what they have to offer. All that general information you might expect to find in a brochure or About Us section of a website. That all goes into the first paragraph.

My second paragraph is all the left over notes I have that don’t really fit in the category of talking about the facilities. Things like how level the sites are, if they’re expensive or reasonable priced. Perhaps it’s about how swampy the campground gets if it rains, or little interesting tidbits like some campgrounds may do street names for each lane of sites for fun. Like one campground that has a Skunk Hollow because they used to get a lot of skunks around that area of permanent sites. Anything that doesn’t fit into the first paragraph goes into this one.

The third paragraph will map out the places we can eat and any attractions around the campground. I start with the eateries, and make sure to note which one we went to and how good the food was. Then I start on the attractions. When I write the attractions, I go in order of closest to furthest away in travel time. I also try to keep similar attractions grouped together within those travel times as much as possible. When I talk about them I make sure to mention what they have to offer and what the place is if the attraction’s title is not enough.

All three of these paragraphs tend to vary in length depending on how much I have to write about. I’ve had attraction paragraphs last over a page long, and I do not write very big. Granted, I probably could and should break these up a little more, but this is just nice and easy organization to write the notes into three paragraphs of similar categories and topics.

The final paragraph is always the shortest, and easiest. I tend to start it off with the question of “would we go back?” Normally, the answer is yes. Sometimes it’s a sort of yes or a maybe, but rarely is it ever a no. Then again, I’m not always too picky when it comes to campgrounds. It’s a weekend away from work and stress after all. I’ll leave any closing comments about the campground and then that’s finally it for the trip.

I’m all done at that point and ready for the next adventure.

Normally, these entries range from about five pages long to maybe around seven or eight. Again it depends on how good my notes are, and how much I have to write about. Some are a lot easier than others. At the end of writing one, I will take the brochure of that campground and tuck it into the notebook at the start of that entry as well.

And that is how I journal for camping. I’ve been doing this for a couple years now, and plan to keep doing it. Speaking of which, I need to go write one of these entries now.

Camp Journaling: Part One — The Notes

So yesterday I spent some time working on my camping notes for journaling, since, ya know, I’m so far behind on all of it. I didn’t get all of them done just yet. I’ve got one and a half left. I would have had it all done if not for the fact I couldn’t get motivation to work with me yesterday. Maybe because I knew starting with today I am going to have a long ass weekend and a long ass week coming up in terms of work and hectic nature. I guess I just wanted to relax finally.

Anywho, since I spent some time working on that and I’ve been saying for a couple months now that one of these posts was going to be about how I journal these trips, I figured that would be a good enough topic for today.

(Partly because I’m drawing a blank on what else to write about as well. I haven’t gotten any other writing done yet. I need to though, because it’s Friday. And Friday means I have to have proof for a group I’m in to show I’ve been writing. So I need to write something. Soon. Today preferably…)

So, yes, journaling.

I’m not going to talk of actually writing the entry in my journal, I’m more so going to talk about how I do the notes today, and perhaps next Tuesday I’ll talk about how I write the entry from them. That sounds like a good idea. (I should have done this a Tuesday into Friday post instead then. Oh well.)

So how do I take notes for camping trips so that I can journal them?

Well, first I have this small hand held notebook that I can fit in my bag and I carry around with me so I can do these notes anywhere. The first thing I do before we even hit the road is write down the campground’s name and the dates of the trip. Then I leave a space for Time, as in how long it takes us to travel there.

After that I have little abbreviations listed: F, Act, and Atr. As well as the word Average to the side of them. These are what I use for rating the campground based on three categories that I, if you haven’t guessed, average out in the end for an overall score. My rating goes on a scale of one to five, five being great and one being poor.

F stands for Facilities. When I think facilities I think just about everything the campground has to offer. From the restrooms, to a playground, to a pool, camp store, everything. I don’t just look at what they have and how much they have though, I look at how well-kept it is also. Are the bathrooms and showers very clean? Is the miniature golf course falling apart or are the greens playable? Do they have much to do for activities that aren’t run down?

Act stands for Activities. Some campgrounds will have activities planned throughout the weekend so when you show up they’ll hand you a piece of paper with some title of “Hawaiian Weekend” or “Splash Zone Weekend” with a list of title related activities and times for them. A lot tend to be geared towards smaller kids, but some places do have ceramics or DJ’s or sometimes you’ll see a volleyball or kickball game listed depending on the campground. There may even be an adult swim at night at the pool, and bingo is quite common. Not all campgrounds have activities planned though, and they can be what makes or breaks a good weekend and place to go — along with the weather. So I look to see if they have activities, or if the facilities they have are enough for some activities.

Lastly, Atr stands for Attractions. Not everyone goes camping to see the sights around the place, some simply go for the weekend of relaxation around the campfire with a drink and a s’more, but others do like to go visit the sights. So for this I look at how many interesting places are around the campground, and are within an hours drive. Am I out in no man’s land at this campground? Or do I have lots to go see and do if the weather is crappy for a game of volleyball?

I normally save rating those three categories until I have spent the whole weekend there and I have written the rest of my notes. Now the rest of the notes are just small reminders of what I need to include when I write my entry.

I start by writing the route in which we traveled, and then add how long it took to my Time slot once we reach the campground to check in. These two things, along with the campground’s phone number and address even find themselves in a smaller notebook, sort of like an index of places we can go back to.

After we’re all settled in and we’ve gone out to dinner, I take a walk or bike ride around the campground seeing what they have to offer. I record everything from activity places and how run down they are, to the camp store and what it has to offer, to how nice the showers and bathrooms are and even if they want to charge you money for the showers. I list all that they offer with some details. I even get pictures of the facilities as this is more than just journaling.

Once I have those I start adding other little notes. How level the sites are, is it swampy or muddy if it rains that weekend? Are the owners friendly and helpful? Is the place on the expensive side or decently priced for a weekend? Do they have Wi-Fi and does it cost anything to use, not to mention how reliable is it? How’s the cell service? Is there shade from trees or are you baking in the sun? Are the sites cramped or spacious? Are the bugs a royally pain in the ass that weekend?

Like I said before, I go into detail about these places. While I am out getting the notes of what the campground has to offer to do I make sure to stop in the office and look for any brochures of nearby attractions, which I then collect and store away in a folder.

While we were out at dinner, I made sure to note the restaurants we passed by and recorded them as well, with rough times of travel to them. Whichever we chose to eat at I gave a few details about the food and price as well, labeling them as Eateries within my notebook.

Sometimes I get time to note the campground before we head out to dinner, it really all depends on what time we leave and arrive at the campground, and the weather. Although, it seems to wait till after mostly when tradition in our group is sit back and have a drink after the long drive and set up.

Once the trip is over and we return home, I ask family if they have any notes to add to mine about the place, then I take my handful of brochures and my computer and start Google mapping these places to see how far away they are and if they are any good to include in my entry. For each one I check, I write down approximate times under the attraction name and then give a brief description of what it is or has to offer. Is it a gift shop, a museum, a natural attraction, a water park or other amusement place, a fun center, shopping within a town? Whatever I find within reasonable distance I add.

I put the brochures away in another folder once I’ve finished, save for the brochure of the campground that I keep out for when I write the entry, then I am officially done with the notes for that campground!

Over the next few days I’ll upload my camping photos to Facebook within the albums I make for memories and eventually I get around to writing the journal entry itself. I used to be really good at writing them before the next trip. I’ve slacked the past two years.

But as for how I write those entries, well, I’ll save that look into my mind for Tuesday’s post.

Goal Stretching

So remember on Tuesday I said I’d have my in depth look to my September goals today because I honestly wasn’t quite sure on them yet?

Yeah…

I’m still not quite sure on them.

I think part of my problem in deciding on a goal is because I’m unsure how much more of my time the publication work is going to take up. I know there’s some work I still need to do on it, and I haven’t gotten it back yet to know what other suggestions I may have to edit yet so it’s really up in the air how long this back and forth is going to last.

Some of my goals from last month simply need to carry over, which, I think that’s just mainly going to be what September is about: finishing what I didn’t do in August because I got sidetracked on the submission.

I did manage to catch up on all blog hops earlier in the week so I’m back on track to that. I really need to start keeping up with them as the comments come rolling in on the thread. Which means starting on Saturday night/Sunday. Which could potentially start to become a problem when the holiday season sets in. I didn’t have to figure that out last year because I had no computer during that time last year. We’ll see how this starts to go soon.

I had put off the final two catch up Shards I had to write because of a tight deadline I was on so I need to do them. I’m thinking I can knock those two out tomorrow and get updates for Shards of Imagination caught up on Wattpad. Then whatever else little things I want to do tomorrow.

Then there’s also all those camping journal entries I need to write that I still have yet to get to. (I actually think I started the first one at some point and just never finished it. I think. I have to look.) There are five entries I have to write, and three sets of notes I have to finish. (I was apparently wrong when I said two on Tuesday.)

Obviously, to do all of them on top of writing and any publication work yet this month is going to be a lot. I could probably do it, but I’m also sure I’d be stressing myself out in my attempt to get it all done.

So what I’m thinking is this:

If I shoot to write at least three of them this month, then I’ll only have three left to write next month. (There’s one last trip this month then the season is over. Sad face.) That at least breaks it in half for me.

Next month I shouldn’t have to worry about the publication other than it’s release date and doing my own promoting of “Hey! I’m published! Come buy the book and read and support me!” so that’ll free up some of my time to focus on other writing obligations.

I can also finish the notes this month. They aren’t hard. My hardest part to them is looking at the attractions around the campground, giving a few details of them, then using Google Maps to estimate how far they are from the campground. (Oh yes, I am that detailed. One of these days I will write a blog post on it, maybe in a week or two.) I say that’s the hardest part because sometimes campgrounds don’t have attraction brochures in their office so I have to Google things anyways, which takes me more time. Like the last trip.

Here’s what I’m thinking on these camping goals then as a sort of time frame for pacing myself and leaving room for other writing. (Fated to Darkness is really starting to feel neglected.)

There’s four full weeks to September, and if I count all the notes as one thing then I have four things to accomplish this month in my camping journal. The notes and three written entries. That’s one a week.

That’s doable. I did it at the start of 2016 when I neglected 2015’s entries as well and it worked well for me. (I really need to learn to keep my ass on track with these things and write them before the next trip comes around. I used to be so good at that.)

So next week I am going to focus on finishing the three sets of notes. It’s more like two and a half but close enough. One is just finishing attraction notes. One won’t be so bad because it’s a same campground I went to last year but I have to add a little because they expanded since last year. And the last full one is a really small, simple campground so there won’t be too much to record on it.

Then after that I’ll write the first three entries of 2016’s camping season one a week. It’s something I can do on a day off and be done with each week, even though my writing them can take about an hour or so depending on how much the campground had and how many attractions are around. Some entries are easy, others seem to take forever.

If I stick to that thinking and schedule that’s what I’ll do for those goals. But I still need to get some novel writing in there.

Last month I had opted for a 20k goal on Fated to Darkness. Thanks to the submission, I only got about 5k written. I had wanted to be able to finish the book this month but I know that’s not going to happen now so I’ll have to push that back another month and aim for it next month.

(I really want to have this first draft finished before the holiday madness in retail hits that way I can focus on the easier concordance notes side of the book during those stressful months. So by…mid-November, even a little earlier, I want to be writing the end of the epilogue.)

But then what word count goal do I settle on for this month if I want to manage that?

I don’t know how many words I really have left to this novel. I’m horrible at estimating that as well but I’m thinking it’s under 50k, maybe under 40k. I hope.

A friend told me I should carry over the leftover of my goal from August, which is 15k words, and I’m starting to think that’s a good idea.

It’s not a huge goal in case I get swamped with submission work or the dreaded day job yet, but it’s also enough that I’d be back to where I wanted to be this month. More than 15k would be great, the less I have to write next month then, but I think I need to aim a little lower than I’d like just in case things pop up.

I guess I’m shooting for 15k at the least then.

And I guess that then wraps up what my goals are for September, now that I’ve literally figured them out by rambling to all you folks.

Two Shards and catch up updates to Wattpad, two and a half sets of camping notes, three camping journal entries, and at least 15k words to Fated to Darkness. Among whatever other submission work pops up.

That should be doable. That better be doable.

No Rest For The Wicked

Er, weary. No rest for the weary. Yeah, that’s what I meant.

I think…

Let me just say this as a forewarning, I’m a walking zombie as I write this so it could very well be all over the goddamn place and not make any sense at all. You could just be listening to me ramble for several paragraphs. You’ve been warned.

Obviously if I mentioned I’m a walking zombie, I’m beyond exhausted. I’ve worked eight days straight under a lot of stress in both work and home. Too many deadlines pressing down, too many things going wrong. There’s a lot of lack of sleep and not much sanity left now.

I’m grateful I validated for NaNo a week early, or I might not have made it over the past few days. Granted, this also means I haven’t made my 40k like I wanted. I’m only a little over 35k. I hardly managed to do 400 words yesterday. And now I’m going to be gone this whole weekend so there will more than likely not be any more writing done.

Then again, they are calling for rain all weekend so if I am stuck inside camping I might be able to hash some out. Maybe. We’ll see.

The problem is, I’m still really far behind on a lot of things. Camping journal entries. Cleaning for the yard sale. I haven’t even made the signs yet to advertise. I’ve missed blog hopping Snippets this week because of all the stress and exhaustion.

It just… Ugh. Just ugh. It’s been a really rough two weeks and it’s not going to get any better for most of August. I’m about ready to wave a white flag and go hide in a hole for a month to hibernate.

Once more the question is becoming: How the hell am I going to get myself caught up on everything?

To be painful honest, I don’t know. I’m burning out quickly with no end in sight. My Plan of Action obviously fell through two weeks ago now when I’ve become so far behind again, and I don’t see a way to make a new one that will work quickly enough without killing myself in exhaustion or stress.

The only solutions are either not working and making money so I have time around the house, or me pulling a ton of all nighters and I start living off energy drinks and caffeine. They only go so far though. And that kind of stress might kill me quicker than the slow overwhelmed stress.

The only thing I do know right now is that I’m more than likely not going to make 40k for the month, as much as I’d like the extra 4.5k I need. I also know I need sleep, and I’m not going to have a lot of that for awhile either.

Back to Normal! Almost…

I’m back, baby!

Sort of…

I know, I know, I haven’t had any posts other than my Snippets for almost two whole months now. Okay, more like a month and three quarters. Close enough. I was doing a post for Friday’s when I would stop at the library to blog hop for snippets, but someone is always quite nagging about how long I spend here so I haven’t had one the past two weeks. Not to mention a library computer has a limited allotted time I can use.

This post is still coming from the library, but I also have good news! Finally!

I have acquired a computer that is finally usable! (Well, I had gotten it about a week ago but it had no internet connection and it did not have Word. Both of which are the things I need.) Within the past few days, we have successfully managed to get Word on it and have finally acquired a wireless router for the internet which means I am saved!

Hopefully this weekend I will have a working computer set up and I will be back to normal on posting and writing! Hooray!

I’ve been going stir crazy without it.

Although, the computer I acquired is a desktop and not a laptop so it isn’t coming without its hitches. Obviously I can’t go anywhere with it, and I can’t leave my desk then. But it’s also bigger than I expected, which means I have to find some way to get it onto my small-ish desk. That shall be interesting. It does have wireless keyboard and mouse which certainly helps, but it’s still a pretty damn big screen. I have to putz around with the things on my desk to try to work out how I’m fitting it later today or tomorrow morning.

This also means I could try the cheap end of replacing the hard drive in my laptop for use of going places at least when my writing needs to be portable, like for camping. If it doesn’t work, I’m only out about $50, opposed to spending $800 or so on a new computer.

Did I mention I got this desktop computer for free as well? I got lucky times about ten.

In other news, I’ve done a little bit of flash fiction writing longhand, but nothing much. I’m still behind on what I wanted to do. I also have a camping entry I have to write yet this weekend since that has begun again. (If I had had a computer when it first began, one of my posts would have been how I journal it. Eh, I might still write that one.)

The next Camp NaNo starts in exactly two weeks, so this computer came in just the nick of time! I’m already signed up and ready to roll for the most part, though I need to familiarize myself with where I was again and go through some notes. I have a bit of time yet, not much, but some. I’m excited already, I’ve been excited for a month. Especially now that the nervous anxiety of not having a computer is over with.

In unrelated writing news, I’ve begun the daunting task of cleaning my room out and getting rid of things. I’ve been buried neck deep in Narnia for the past few days, but it is going great! As long as I can find somewhere to hold a yard sale I’d be set! (Where I live does not have that option, so if anyone has any suggestions on generic places that may allow me to set up a yard sale for a weekend, please, drop them here!) I’m amazed with the fact I’m actually beginning to accomplish one of my 2016 goals for the year. Actually, this might be the second one I’m accomplishing… This does amaze me!

So things are finally running smoothly for me again. Now I’m just praying it stays that way. Hopefully I will have a working computer set up this weekend now and you will see another post from me on my regular Tuesdays, back to schedule.

Wish me luck!

Still Computer-Less

Ugh. Just ugh.

It has been a rough couple weeks since my last manageable post.

So here I am — was — again, back at the library to schedule the Sunday Snippets since I’m still without a working computer. It really sucks, and I’m still such a lost puppy. I figured if I’m scheduling my snippets I might as well schedule a post for Friday while I’m at it for an update.

Yes, I am still computer-less. Sadly. Very sadly.

The verdict now seems to be I either need a whole new computer, or I need to get a new hard drive for mine. Except, we aren’t even completely sure the hard drive is the problem on mine. I’m guessing I’ll take it to get looked at somewhere, see what a real expert says and go from there.

However, I’m starting to have mini panic attacks. I mean, Camp NaNo for July starts in a month. A MONTH. Do you know how nervous I’m getting that I won’t have a working computer when that time comes? I’m extremely nervous. I want to be able to do NaNo. I want to finish this first novel in my series this year.

I can’t do that without a computer to work from.

This is an author’s worst nightmare. Well, okay maybe the worst, worst nightmare would be losing an entire page, chapter, novel… Yeah, that’s way worse. I had that scare once already, not going there again. This is pretty far up on the nightmare scale though.

Anyways, the past two weeks have been rough, and I’ve gotten absolutely nothing done as well. No editing, no writing really, no nothing. I’m kicking myself. I’ve started a couple of the flash fictions, but I just lack the motivation and will power to keep going without a computer and a deadline of midnight to get them written and posted.

(See? This blog really has kept me on track then.)

And let me just say that blog hopping snippets using a Kindle is a royal pain in the ass.

I’m hoping things are now going to be picking back up a little and won’t be such a…shoot-me-now kind of mood. And that’s partly due to the fact I have gone back to horseback riding. Also, I need to get my camping journal up and ready by next week now that that is starting back up. Maybe that’ll be the motivation I need to get my butt moving again.

Maybe. Hopefully…

And here’s hoping I have a working computer within the next couple weeks, again. This whole lost feeling is getting old quick. You know it’s bad when you find yourself literally wandering in circles in the middle of your room because you feel like you have nothing to do without your computer.