Not so resolute

The past few years, I’ve tried different methods of planning out new year’s resolutions–I’ve made lists of several resolutions/goals, I’ve kept 3×5 index cards on the fridge, I’ve coordinated with a friend to be resolutions buddies, I’ve narrowed it down to one goal–all with varied results. Oddly enough, the years where I’ve made long lists have been about as successful as those where I just picked one thing to focus on.

What did I decide to do this year? A big, fat nothing. I haven’t so much given up on resolutions as I’ve decided that I just don’t want to be “that guy/girl” who sets lofty goals and then fails to succeed in those goals. Does that mean I have no goals for this year? No, but I’m not aiming for anything that could be quantified as a “resolution,” and I kinda started the list long before the new year rolled around. Hell, I started working towards the list before the new year rolled around.

I want my WIP to be published. I want Book 2 to be revised and polished enough for submission to the publisher. I want to learn more embroidery and sewing techniques, both modern and medieval. I want to enter something in an SCA Arts and Sciences competition. I want to advance in rapier training. I want to keep up with the exercise routine I have with my friends. I want to not break my freakin’ foot again.

All perfectly reasonable goals, right? But I’m not going to call them “resolutions.” That sounds cliche and empty. How many people who make new year’s resolutions actually keep them? I don’t have statistics on that (and really am too lazy to Google it), but I’m going to make a blind generalization that the majority of the people who make new year’s resolutions don’t follow through to the end goal. I’m basing this not on science, but on my perception as viewed through social media and friends’ and family members’ experiences. Because third-hand data, especially data that has not actually been documented and studied, is so reliable. Hey, what can I say? Being informed and accurate is not one of my goals. 😉

I’m not saying that new year’s resolutions are doomed to fail. I’ve succeeded in several over the years. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t resolve to resolve just for the sake of resolving. If you want to make it a true “resolution” to change something in your life at the start of a new year, cool beans. If you just want to set goals for yourself at your own time and pace, that’s cool too. You do what you do, I’ll do what I do, and we’ll get there eventually.

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‘Tis the season

Just a few more days until Christmas! Not that I’m Christian, but I like to celebrate the spirit of gift giving this time of year. I think that giving presents to friends and family to show your appreciation of them is something I can totally get on board with, regardless of the religious reason for said gift giving.

I’m a little disappointed that I’m not going to get done sewing one present in time to mail it out, and that I wasn’t able to get to the post office to mail out another one. Then there’s the one I ordered last-minute the wasn’t on the Prime program, so it won’t arrive before Christmas. And it took me forever to figure out what I was getting my husband–so that will be late, too. Boo. None of the recipients mind that their gifts will be late, but I still feel guilty that I didn’t get everything in on time.

Despite the fact that I create an Amazon wish list every year of stuff I’d like to get, I’m not really concerned with what I end up getting. Its the spirit of the season, those friends and family that I mentioned before, that really matter. Seeing how happy they are with their gift(s) (or pretend-happy, depending on how good a job I did of selecting/making said gift) is what makes me happy, not necessarily what kind of haul I end up getting. To be honest, I don’t know if I’d even be disappointed in the slightest if I got no presents–so long as I still was able to buy/make for those I care about.

As the year draws to a close, I think back on my one “resolution”/goal for the new year: to get the first draft of my WIP in finished. I blew past that goal and even finished the first draft of the sequel, plus got a publishing deal. I’m still amazed that I accomplished that much.

This isn’t where I usually post my goals for the next year, but since I mentioned it let’s just get that post out of the way, shall we? Here goes:

  • I want to continue working out with my husband and my friends to gain strength and endurance (and hopefully lose a bit of weight)
  • don’t want to break my motherfucking foot again…or any other bones
  • I want to continue to learn and grow in my rapier practice–maybe win a small tournament? We’ll see
  • I want to get Book 2 finished enough to send it to my publisher for consideration
  • Oh yeah, I want Book 1 to be published. I want to see it in print in a bookstore. Maybe some book signings? We’ll see on that one, too. Oh, and to get at least started on Book 3 🙂
  • I want to make it through my current sewing project list and then some (that one might take up the entire year lol)
  • I want to do my hardest to push back some of this social anxiety to the point where I can enjoy SCA events more and not get overwhelmed by the number of people I don’t know that are around me
  • I want to learn a new art/craft. I’ve already started trying to embroider something, but that might be my “new” thing seeing as how I’ve only just barely started
  • I want to stand up for myself more. On those occasions where my social anxiety is not under control or for events/meetings that I don’t want to go to, I want to be able to say “Hey, honey, I don’t want to do Thing X; can I stay home/in the tent for it or maybe do Thing Y instead?”
  • I want to move into our own home and out of this freakin’ apartment

This probably isn’t a comprehensive list of goals for the coming year, but I think they’re all reasonable. Attainable.

I used to grab a 3×5 index card and jot all these goals down, sticking the card on the fridge for “motivation,” but I don’t think I’ll do that this year. I can keep a running tally in my head of things I’ve accomplished that I set out to do.

Speaking of things to do, I had better get cracking on the gift I’m currently working on. It’s taking a lot of hand sewing because I can’t figure out a good way to use the sewing machine on the weird angles without screwing it up.

Until next time!

New year, same ol’ routine

Cats, apparently, do not understand the concept of a new year. That, or Rory has resolved to be as annoying as ever in the wee hours of the morning.

On the plus side, in between naps (which Rory keeps interrupting), I’ve been able to start revisions on Book 1. It’s slow going–I need more objective feedback, but I can’t keep waiting forever on my alpha reader–but at least it’s something.

No new sewing this morning, partly because I have been so sleepy and partly because my husband wants to take down the Christmas decorations and clean up the living room today, so no sense starting a project like sewing when I’m going to have to do that. Revisions, yeah, I can hit “save” and come back to it later. Sewing? I have to make sure I’m not mid-seam or something.

have to get some sewing done today, though. I can’t keep putting it off. I have two full costumes to make for my husband and myself, plus a commission costume that I’ll have to make soon. All three need to be done by the end of May…which I can do, but I don’t want to leave myself under a ton of pressure. Again. Not to mention there’s leatherworking to learn for two of them and ruffles/gathering to learn for one.

Yeah, so far the new year is just like the last. I was asleep long before midnight. I woke up around 2:15am. I dozed off a few times. And I’ve been hard at work on my next book. That about sums up 2016.

I gotta learn to amp things up. Or to stop being afraid of change.

Something poignant on New Year’s Eve

There. I wrote “something poignant” on New Year’s Eve.

To be honest, I have no idea what I’m going to write. Has 2016 sucked? Well, yes and no. Yeah, a lot of celebrities died; it happens. A lot of them were older, some of them were younger. Social media has made this more visible, with more “tributes” and memorials that last as long as the individual person’s grief does. Prince has been dead for months–and I still see memorial posts on Twitter. Same with David Bowie. Grief lasts forever when people don’t let go of it.

2016 has also been pretty good to me… personally at least. I’ve advanced significantly in my sewing and cosplay skills. I’ve advanced at work. I’ve finished the first draft of my next novel and started in on the sequel.

It hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows. I’ve gained a lot of weight…a lot. So I need to work on that in the next year and the years to follow. I have to make life changes as opposed to resolutions, I think. I’ve got to try to find time/ways to exercise, and try to resist the urge to eat sweets and drink sodas. And resist Frappuccinos. I’m addicted to those.

For next year, I hope to be able to revise and edit my second novel to the point where it’s ready for self publication. I’m still quite anxious when I think about the process of submitting to agents and publishers. Like, full-on panic attack mode. Sick to my stomach, frantic thoughts, freezing up…yeah, all that and more. I have friends who encourage me, but sometimes friendly encouragement isn’t the same as personal confidence. I need to build up myself and tell myself that I can do it. And maybe, just maybe, having a series in mind will help me sell my book to a publisher. Also it will help that I’m not working in as much of a narrow-niche genre as Whispers of Death was.

I also hope to increase my cosplay work and skills. I want to make more costumes with more details. Hell, I want to increase all my art. I want to use the EVA and craft foam to create actual art pieces. I want to draw and paint more. I want to get back to working with clay to create art. I want to bring beauty into my life.

Let’s see…what else? I want to read more. I want to write more. I want to do more. Live my life. Be alive. Enjoy life. I’m reminded again of Carrie Fisher. Yes, I’ve already written a post on her and I just mentioned above about the drawn-out grief on social media, but she was an amazing woman. I want to get a Jedi Order tattoo (yeah, yeah, say what you will, but I wanted it before Carrie Fisher died). I want to be more open, to be more of myself but still myself…if that makes any sense.

So that’s my year-end review and my hopes for the coming year. Perhaps some of it was a bit poignant, but mostly it’s just me being me…and that is, I think, a great thing to be.

Out with the old, in with the new year

It’s hard to keep the new year’s resolution to take better care of myself when there’s Christmas candy around.

Guess I have to eat it all before the new year. 😉

I brought a bag of candy to work yesterday to try to get rid of some of it (and to be nice, because I tend to forget that my coworkers like chocolates too), but not too much got eaten. Maybe everyone else is trying to eat better, too.

I still want to lose weight. I want to get fit. I’m just terrible at getting motivated.

Soon I’ll start on the cosplay again. I didn’t get any done this morning because I was exhausted from being up so early yesterday, so I went back to sleep after I fed the cat instead. There’s no getting back to sleep before feeding the cat…believe me, I’ve tried.

Hard to believe 2016 is almost over. I’ve already had to write 2017 on several appointment cards at work, and it feels weird. Didn’t 2016 just start? Where did it go?

It went to cosplay–lots of “cosplay crunch,” lots of sewing and trying new things. It went to a cross-country trip with my husband to our first out-of-state convention. It went to writing (first draft of my second novel completed, plus began the first draft of my 3rd novel). It went to my first big commission art project (with royalties and everything). It went to working…I learned a lot at my job this year. It went to working at Talk Nerdy With Us (though I don’t do as much as I’d like due to the day job’s hours and responsibilities).

I don’t know what 2017 will bring. I’m sure it will bring more cosplay, more writing (possibly publishing my second novel?), more work for sure, and more talking nerdy.

Beyond that? We shall see….

Bring it on, 2017!

Resolve

It’s that time of year again: the New Year’s resolutions that will get largely ignored by the end of January.

Well, not this coming year. Carrie Fisher’s untimely passing has opened my eyes. I need to take care of myself. As, er, big as I am, I’m at greater risk for heart disease…as well as diabetes and a whole host of physical illnesses (in addition to the mental illness that still lurks in the background, under control but never gone).

I’m going to finish and publish Book 1. It may not get “professionally” published, but I plan on at least self-publishing it…and pushing the marketing more than I did for Whispers of Death. I can’t waste time thinking I’m not in the mood to write or I don’t have time. I have to get it done.

I also hope to get the first draft for Book 2 done. Gotta keep that momentum going, because I hope for at least a trilogy, possibly a series out of this. There is a whole host of characters that need their stories told.

More cosplay. I need to create. I need to expand my mind and use it for things I’m still not 100% comfortable with, including sewing and construction.

Art. Art is so important to quality of life, and I need to get back to it. More paintings, clay crafting, foam crafts.

jedi4

I want to get a Jedi Order symbol tattoo. Cheesy, I know, but I wanted it before Carrie’s heart attack. This just cements it in my mind. I want the symbol of the Order with a quote from the new movie (even though Fisher isn’t truly in it): “I am one with the Force. The Force is with me.” Okay, so it’s a fictional religion–the point is, it’s a good point. Whether you call it God or the Goddess or the Universe, the Force is prevalent in everything. You change “the Force” to “God” or “the Universe,” etc, it is still a great mantra to have.

I’m going to make changes in my life. I’m going to make more time to create. I’m going to exercise more and eat less (or at least eat better). I’m going to make my life one I’m proud to live.

I am one with the Force. The Force is with me.

I am one with the Force. The Force is with me.

I am one with the Force, and the Force is with me.

Marathon

Well, political frustrations aside, my novel is zipping along. I don’t want to get too hopeful, but maybe, just maybe, if I keep going at the rate I am I might finish the first draft by the end of the year–my one and only New Year’s resolution this year. 🙂

I’m just now breaking 51k words with a long scene coming up. I’ve reached a point where I either need to figure out how to wrap the novel up or I need to decide if I’m going to break it off into a sequel/trilogy. I’m pretty sure that if I end up making it too long I have enough material for another book, so a sequel is possible, but I’m not sure I have enough for three books. We’ll see.

Pantsing most of this has been difficult, especially when my characters don’t behave, but lately they’ve been cooperating. It’s almost too good to be true. Lol I have a lot of ideas, and so far the characters agree. Well, they don’t necessarily agree with my choices, but they’re going along with it for now.

The second book–if that’s the route I take–will have more politics (yuck) but also, hopefully, plenty of action and intrigue.

It’s all going to very interesting places, and I’m excited to keep writing. Here’s hoping the Muses don’t get pissed off again any time soon!