The Mid-Thirties

Four years ago, I started a new tradition: birthday goals. I’d gotten the idea from another blogger who’d list goals to accomplish by her next birthday instead of New Year’s resolutions. Somehow by labeling them birthday goals and not New Year’s resolutions they were less scary and more obtainable. Since 2010, I’ve accomplished at least one goal on my list, usually two.

Sad to say year 33 saw no goals accomplished. To refresh, here they are:

1) Secure another, more different publishing contract: This one was not for lack of trying. I submitted I think six manuscripts to five publishers without success. Some of these were books I’d written and polished last year or earlier. Only one was a brand new story that was ultimately turned down. One of these rejections led to my decision to self-publish, though, and I’m very, very excited to bring you Fracture, which will be available in April.

2) Finish my nephew’s baby blanket: HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Sigh. This is why I should not be allowed to do crafty things. Ever. Although I did manage to finish the birth announcement for my other nephew.

3) Read George Eliot’s Middlemarch: The book has since moved from the coffee table to my bookshelf. It does not have a spot in the TBR jar. My mother actually thought she’d lost this copy (until I reminded her I had it).

4) Modgepodge my coffee table: Nope. Nope nope nope. I have the book (Wind in the Willows). I have the Modge Podge. I could probably scare up a paint brush. Just haven’t done it.

Having not met any of my goals made me wonder why the fuck that was. I mean, I had free time. Not a lot of it, but enough that I could have accomplished at least the coffee table. So what happened? I still haven’t figured it out, but I think I’ve got an idea, and it shaped my goals for year number 34.

1) Finish Blink: In 2013, I started writing an urban fantasy about a young woman with foresight. Despite knowing exactly how to finish it, I never did. Part of it might be because I stopped at the beginning of where things are really about to go to shit and I wasn’t confident that the wrench I was about to toss into the works was enough to gum them up. Whatever. I’m going to finish this sucker. I have a hundred other writing projects I want to work on, but this one takes priority after getting Fracture and Hidden Scars ready for publication.

2) Pay off my credit card: I have one card that’s had a yo-yo balance for as long as I can remember. The rate is pretty low, as is the limit, and while I’ve managed to get it down below $500 multiple times in the past few years, I’ve never succeeded in paying it off completely. But I will this year. Swearz.

3) Create a calendar: There are multiple reasons for doing this. First is the aforementioned publications, and I’ll need something to keep track of all the little dates for those. Second, though, has to do with this month. I overextended myself on review books this month, and that was pretty much all I read. It started to feel like a never-ending book report. I had five titles to read that released this past Tuesday alone. Amanda needs to do a better job of paying attention. Bad Amanda.

4) Finish the bookcase: I know, I know, I didn’t finish the baby blanket. But this one is probably more important, mostly because I think the BF might kill me if I don’t. A few years ago, I rescued a five piece book case from my parents. I liked the design, hated the finish (it was this disgusting 70’s orange stain). I have two parts done and in use. We don’t have room for the remaining three parts to be set up, so I’ll only be using one, but I have to get it done. See, when we moved, I got rid of my desk. Demeter hated my desk because it meant she couldn’t sit on my lap, so I tend to work on the couch or at the dining room table. The idea is to use the bookcase for storage. Which means there are still eight boxes in the office, unpacked, more than a year after we moved into the house. I’m pissed they’re still there.

5) Watch more movies: This is really more a goal about taking more time for myself, trying to throttle back on the writing, et cetera. I wanted something more tangible, though, and I figured tackling my Netflix queue was a good way to go. The other night I sat down and watched an episode of MI-5, this British spy show I love. The last episode I’d watched was almost a year ago. There are over 200 movies in the queue, and I never make time to watch them, despite having the time to do so. I just choose to write instead. I’m hoping that if I try watching a movie a week, it’ll force me to use my writing time more efficiently. I know, I know, I’ve been trying to be a more efficient writer for a while now and not succeeded. Maybe this will stick.

6) Start a vacation account: The BF and I had a lovely plan to visit Ireland in February 2015. But between publishing costs, fixing our fireplace, and some job changes for the BF, we’ve had to put it off. While disappointing, it does give us an extra year to save, and it made me realize if I’m going to get to even half the places on my travel list, I need to do something to make them happen. Especially when my credit union has a high interest rate on their savings accounts.

I have high hopes for 34. Last year, I ended up with more obligations than I’d realized, and it’s taking a little more time than I’d like to get rid of some of them. But once they’re gone, the next year will be all about me. And I’m really looking forward to it.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. May you fall into a tryptophan coma and watch much football.


3 thoughts on “The Mid-Thirties

  1. So the secret to accomplishing goals is to come up with even more goals?
    Perhaps what you should have done was some revisionist thinking, so that last year’s reflected what you actually accomplished. Like, say, chairing a successful writing conference with some 300 attendees and a couple dozen well-known authors, agents, and editors. Or, you know, seeing your first book come out to great reviews and solid sales. Perhaps you could list (finally!!) finishing your delightful piece of sci-fi erotica? Yeah, I think you don’t need to feel all that bad about last year’s goals, because really, you did a helluva lot this year.

    Oh, and happy happy!

    1. You know, it’s funny, because I actually feel I didn’t accomplish a lot in the last year. The conference felt more and more like an obligation, though I’m happy I did it and I’m glad it turned out well. As for TOUCH…well, we’ll have to wait and see on that one 🙂

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