Another year, come and gone

‘Bout this time last year, I was sitting in the office of the BF’s studio and freezing my butt off. This time, I’m sitting in our guest room and the BF is complaining about his nose running. Yes, I’m another year older, although not necessarily wiser. And it’s time to sit back and reflect on what I’ve done in the last year (and good GOD does that sound all Doctor Phil-ish. I hate Doctor Phil.)

Anyway, last year I took a page from Grace over at Money Smart Fashion and set birthday goals. To recap:

1) Finish the manuscript for A lesson in vanishing.

2) Pay off at least one credit card.

3) Drink less soda.

4) Read at least one “classic” book.

How’d I do? Well…

I did finish the manuscript for Vanishing. Not only did I finish that, I finished writing four other books (yes, I finished my NaNo project today, but I’ll give a full report on that at a later date.) I didn’t pay off a credit card, but I’ve come close. The card that has the highest interest rate (thank you, Target) is close to being paid off. Should be done in the next few months. Woohoo!

Instead of cutting down on the amount of soda I drink, I think I’ve increased the amount I drink. I do believe there’s a reason for this, which I’ll explain shortly.

Finally, I am still not quite finished with, but have gotten most of the way through, both The Fountainhead and Notes from Underground. I do intend to finish both, possibly within the next month.

Overall, I’ll say WIN for the goals from last year, with the exception of the soda one, which I’ll stamp with a big, fat, FAIL. Le sigh.

Which brings me to this year’s goals:

1) Finish the editing for Vanishing. I’ve expressed my ambivalence to having it published. But I’d feel a lot better about locking it in a drawer if I felt like it was a semi-finished product. And what the hell. I’ll throw in the edits for the Shadowdemon trilogy and Iron Jewel as well. And maybe a short story or two. I’m feeling ambitious. I just finished a 75,000 word novel in less than a month. Who is awesome? Oh yeah. That’d be me 🙂

2) Take better care of myself. This goes with the whole cutting down on soda thing. I’m tired of being tired. And sick. Part of it is unavoidable (I swear, the area of the office I work in has a three times higher rate of illness than anywhere else in the company) but part of it I can do stuff to avoid. Like actually go to the gym. And take my stupid vitamins. And stop drinking so much soda. Oh, and get a flu shot. I promised my sister I’d get one this year, after I had the flu back in March. Still haven’t done that. This goal goes hand in hand with…

3) Find a new job. A lot of people don’t realize just how stressful my job really is. Imagine a) getting yelled at constantly for things that are either beyond your control or not your fault and b) talking to your grandparents all day, every day. That’s my job. My stomach is constantly upset (hence the soda drinking, which helps settle it. Odd, I know.) I’ve had a number of colds which wouldn’t have been a problem if my immune system wasn’t trying to compensate for the fact that I’m operating below optimum levels. I’ve had headaches. I’m short tempered a lot of the time. I’m tired a lot of the time, and even when I do get a full night of uninterrupted sleep, I’m still frickin’ tired. The stress level has ratcheted up in the last few months, and while my boss and I are taking steps to work on that, my long-term solution is to find a new job. Which, I’ll have you know, I’ve been looking for for almost a year now. Still no luck. I’m grateful I have one, because I’d sure hate to be unemployed and not have received a single response to any of the jobs I applied for.

4) Find representation. I think, by the end of the year at least, I’ll feel prepared to request representation for one, or several, of my manuscripts. I’m prepared to be rejected many, many times (Hello? Job search, no responses? Yeah. I can handle rejection). And I know I could circumvent the whole agent thing and just submit directly to the publisher, but so many have tightened their guidelines since 9/11, I think I’d rather have someone else do it for me. Someone who knows what they’re doing.

5) Actually do some good. To graduate from high school, I had to complete 150 hours of community service. Some of it I enjoyed, some of it I didn’t. But I’ve always felt like it’s more useful to donate my time rather than my money. So this year I’m going to act on my words and try and get out there, do some good. Starting with Rebuilding Together.

*image via studentbranding.com

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