Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking Ahead

I hope everyone has enjoyed the holidays. We'll be spending a very quiet New Years this time around - we're driving back from visiting my family in Pennsylvania, and will be much too tired by the time we get home to do anything but fall over.

In the final days of the year, I officially met two of my modest goals: The Prometheus Tapestry went out to my beta readers this morning, and I finished reading another book, bringing my total for the year to twelve. One book a month isn't great, but I feel like it's something I can build on next year, and again--it's better than I've done in some recent years. Maybe as the kids get older, I really will get my life under more control?

In between final editing passes these past couple of mornings, I've been motivated to set up a list of goals for next year. I don't want to lose momentum or bog myself down with too many commitments, so I'm taking a leaf from The Happiness Project and trying to focus on one area each month, each one with a handful of tasks that I know for a fact can be accomplished in a weekend.

January's focus has to be on (groan) finances, where I have a list of things I've been putting off. In the maintenance zone are exercise, where I just want to keep up with what I've been doing, and writing, where I will focus on researching the new book. Throw in a couple of social events, and the month will be over before I know it.

Which is good, because January is usually pretty gross.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Farewell to 2013

Happy Birthday to our sweet boy, who turns six today.

Happy Boxing Day to the rest of the world.

I finished the book a few days ago--been too busy to write even a short post about it. I've been giving it a final nip-and-tuck pass before sending it off to my crew of beta readers.

We had a very nice holiday, an apartment full of guests, and the kids had a blast. My oven died on Christmas Eve, but we worked around it. I'll be traveling for most of the next week and unlikely to have a chance to post here, so I will take this opportunity to wish every happy holidays, and may 2014 be full of joy.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2013 Wrap-Up

I haven't been so good about goals and tracking this year. Maybe that's something I need to get back to doing. Still, as we zoom toward the end of the year, it's a good time to see where I've been.

I finished last year feeling a pretty deep-seated depression, despite all of the good developments -- new job, Taos, etc. I'm not in that place any more, which is pretty great.

I have gotten exercise back into my life in a firm way. Did not meet my speed/mile goal, but I'm back to being able to do three miles in something like comfort. I lost ten pounds and then gained half of it back due to love of bagels. Having spent an interesting year there, I have stepped away from fandom. I went back to Twitter (now that's useful).

I read 10 new books, which is downright pathetic but still better than I did the year before.

I queried a lot of agents for Fury's Flight, I technically sold the book, and although after all was said and done nothing came of it, that was certainly an educational experience. I wrote nearly all of a brand-new novel, and may yet finish it by the end of the year. There have been low points in that process, but I feel a level of commitment to and comfort with my craft that has been missing.

I turned 40, and while I haven't had what I'd call a crisis, I do feel like I've been doing some emotional work related to aging. The crows-feet and gray hairs are multiplying; there's some required coming to terms with things that are never going to happen in my life. There's parenting, which I don't talk about much here, but which is certainly a big (stressful) part of my life.

Mostly for next year I want to keep going in this groove. I'll send the book to beta, revise and submit it. I'll write another one. I'll keep running, and maybe get my average time up.

2014 needs to be the Year of Budgeting. My God, we are horrible at this basic life skill, and I have recently discovered a  yen to travel (see: turning 40). 

That's really all I can think of. Happy holidays.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Crawling Toward the Finish

By an odd coincidence, the book starts in early December. 95,000 words at the moment, although that is slightly illusory--I have a bunch of NaNo dreck to trim out near the end, which is likely to lose me a thousand or two, and the rest of the fight scene to write, which I hope will make up for it. And this is in OpenOffice, which has some weird glitch that over-counts vs MS Word.

Of course, wordcount is not the be-all and end-all, but we have so little else that can be measured. I can say, "I believe I have two weeks of work remaining, assuming I get down to cases and don't waste too much time," and that has meaning to me, but not to anyone else.

Basically, I should have this damn book finished by the end of the year. While my beta readers whet their knives, I will finish what is likely to be my final fic (since it's half-done, I might as well tie it off) and then move on to the next novel in my queue. That was going to be one involving fey conflicts in post-Civil War Boston. At the moment, I feel like that's got too much in common with the one I just finished, and that I ought to do some SF instead, in which case it will be the Film Noir with Aliens. That should involve a lot of fun research, if nothing else.