New Year, New Row

I’ve been away from the blog for a while, between holidays and fighting off the crud. Seems like everyone around here has had it: something between a bad cold and a mild flu. My husband and daughter kicked it in three days; it’s taken me a couple of weeks (thanks to Adrenal Fatigue). But I’m feeling better now, just in time to go back to work. Not how I wanted to spend the five days off I’d planned plus holidays, but I am grateful I was able to take the time away from the office, plus three more days.

Christmas itself was fine, other than me and my parents all being sick. We ate Christmas dinner at my house off of paper plates, so no one had to do dishes. That helped a lot. And everyone got gifts they wanted. New Year’s was a laid back evening with friends at my house.

One thing I did a lot of during my sick time was read. I read two unpublished nonfiction books by friends, one of which was pretty rough-draft, but both of which held my attention. I read several published books, too.

spirits of the seasonsmithsmonthly14What I’ve been reading: I finished the other four stories in the Spirits of the Season box set. One wasn’t really my thing, but good enough to finish, and the others were really enjoyable, especially Bandit’s Hollow, by Diane J. Reed. (It was time travel; of course I enjoyed it!). I also read Dean Wesley Smith’s Smith’s Monthly #14. For those who aren’t familiar with Smith, he puts out a monthly magazine that is 100% his original fiction. Each issue includes four or five short stories, a couple of poems, one or two segments of serialized novels, and one complete novel. So each one is a lot of reading, and they are always entertaining. He’s due to release Issue #25–I’m only a year behind. 😀

And now it’s time for goals. In some ways, New Year’s Day seems like a silly holiday–we’re just celebrating turning over the calendar–but that’s also a perfect time to assess, reassess, and set new goals with a clean slate (which is worth celebrating). Like most writers I know, I did not get as much done as I wanted, but I still got a respectable amount of stuff done. I finished and released a new novel in my Saturn Society world, set up a Readers Group newsletter, and actually did a little promotion, something I’ve avoided thus far (and my sales have shown it). I also began a new novella related to that latest release, which brings me to this quarter’s goals–or ROW80, Round 1.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Goals for Round 1: I am going to keep these simple, though I have several other goals not directly related to my writing–things I’m doing for Mythical Press, some website development and related learning, and so on. A lot of writers whose blogs I’ve read want to focus more on writing this year, and I count myself with them. I do want to keep doing promotion, but hope to spend less time on it now that some aspects of it are now setup and running (my newsletter and sign-up process, for example). I also want to keep learning, both craft and business. So here are my writing goals:

  1. Finish 1 craft workshop (I’m currently about halfway through it), and practice what I’m learning there.
  2. Finish the current novella in progress, and get it to beta readers, and if they turn it around in time, turn it in to my publisher.
  3. Review what I’ve already done on Saturn Society Book 3, and sketch out (outline) the second half of the book.

And here are this week’s goals:

  1. Finish two more scenes on the novella
  2. Complete last week’s assignment for the workshop (due tonight)
  3. Watch the workshop lesson videos for next week
  4. BONUS: Start the following scene in the novella.

What about you–how were your holidays? I hope you and your family stayed well, or if you had the crud, that you’re getting better! How did your 2015 goals turn out? And whether or not you’re participating in ROW80, what kind of goals are you working on now? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

12 Responses to \