Archive for category Resolutions

Recapping: 2013 – Goals & Resolutions

Now that we have crossed into 2014, let’s take a look back at what I had hoped to accomplish this past year.

I had mentioned last year that, “Instead of “Resolutions” I’m going to invoke “Goals”… I think I was already leaning that way last year, but I think “Resolution” suggests something to complete. Some of the things on my mind are more about progressing towards… not necessarily completing.”

1) Improve my consistency… working on time management, my BIC/WOP (Butt in Chair/Words on [the] Page), and my general productivity.
This saw improvement, mostly later in the year. I did some experimenting (which I’ve been meaning to detail here properly), and found some tricks that work for me that I intend to incorporate from the top of the year. That experimentation worked well enough to get me across the finish line for a (very rough) first draft of the thesis, which is a plus.

2) Work on improving my fitness & reducing my weight. I have a 10 month old. The day job is sedentary. Writing is likewise a generally sedentary thing. Improving the physical aspect should lend itself to keeping up with my son, as well being conducive for slinging ink. And slinging ink then improves # 1 above.
Meh…I shaved a few pounds (I now float between the 210-215 range, where at VP a year ago I was claiming 225 for the sake of accommodations for the Cessna).

3) Continue reading – another post to follow, since I have a challenge to discuss… [The point of that other post: See how close to reading 100 books in a year I could get.]
I managed 24 complete reads (3 of which were re-reads), as well as significant portions of a handful of others.

4) Make progress on some domestic projects that have been idle for far too long… photo scans, cleaning out the garage, etc.
Results have been mixed, but will be of primary concern the first few months of 2014 with two more kids on the way.

In short, lay some new foundations.

 

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2013 – Goals (Reading, Expanded)

It has often been said that writers read. It’s the understood rule of anyone that aspires to publication, or to improvement of craft. For the past few years I’ve been keeping a running list of what I have been reading, both for my own memory, but also for those that might be interested in discovering new books or see what might be influencing the imagination.

My average has been 30-ish books in a year. Considering that I am reading around living a life, a full-time job, and trying to write my own novel, I would say that’s not a terrible amount. It’s probably higher than the average books per year for someone my age, but I don’t have any concrete numbers that would either refute or support the idea. I have friends that read a lot more than I do, some less.

But I like reading. And I want to read more. If I could puree the pages and mainline the words to get the same effect, I would give it a try. It doesn’t work that way, but what if…?

Which is why I decided to try something this year. While I will still be reading (and maintaining a similar goal of 30+ new books read through the year), I wondered how high can I get? Nicholas Sparks said once that he reads about 100 books per year (or, did at the time of that interview). Can I make it to 100? How close can I get?

The picture above is my revised stack for 2013 with most of my “prioritized” reading materials to be chosen from. Note I said “most.” There are also quite a few ebooks that I have intention of reading that are, obviously, not pictured.

So that’s the challenge I mentioned the other day. Anything you have on your reading agenda?

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2013 – Goals & Resolutions

I mentioned the other day about how my 2012 Resolutions settled out. While I still like the list approach, and I do have a sketched out list of things – both professional and personal – I’m going to steal something from Scalzi here.

Instead of “Resolutions” I’m going to invoke “Goals”… I think I was already leaning that way last year, but I think “Resolution” suggests something to complete. Some of the things on my mind are more about progressing towards… not necessarily completing.

1) Improve my consistency… working on time management, my BIC/WOP (Butt in Chair/Words on [the] Page), and my general productivity.*

2) Work on improving my fitness & reducing my weight. I have a 10 month old. The day job is sedentary. Writing is likewise a generally sedentary thing. Improving the physical aspect should lend itself to keeping up with my son, as well being conducive for slinging ink. And slinging ink then improves # 1 above.

3) Continue reading – another post to follow, since I have a challenge to discuss…

4) Make progress on some domestic projects that have been idle for far too long… photo scans, cleaning out the garage, etc.

In short, lay some new foundations.

* Balance is a key thing, and the biggest thing I have struggled with for years, even before Mary Catherine. Last summer, after getting accepted to both Glasgow and Seton Hill I entered a brief mental funk trying to figure out which way to go. I got second, third and fourth opinions. I even had someone do a tarot card reading, to get yet another perspective (or, to get out of my own headspace and think a little differently). One of the results of the reading was helping me do some self-reflection and realization of just how out of whack my time management can get. Something I then started working on late in the year, but with shortcomings in consistency as my fall term wore on.

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2012 The Year in Review (Part 1: Resolutions)

So, to remind everyone of where we started from, here’s the original list I posted last January, with color commentary on the outcomes below each point.

What I can do:
1) (a) Write. The daily routine (250-500 words per day – on a project).
I’ve had higher goals in the past, but then when things got down to it, there were days that wouldn’t hit mark, and days that would sail clear over. Writing by hand (as I’ve been deciding to do for longer, more creative pieces), this means writing about one to two pages a day. Not necessarily a lot, but considering books are measured in pages, it’s not too bad of an idea. Besides. I will likely write a lot more, depending on how many projects I’m looking at, and that doesn’t even take into account any blog posts, or “non-project productive” things (emails) I might write.

1) (b) Write multiple things.
This isn’t to say “have a dozen projects going at once” (although I might, to some degree), but to write different types of things. To paraphrase the Book of Scalzi: Non-fiction/technical/editorial pieces may not be romantic, but they can pay pretty well, and there’s a lot more places for them. And those types of pieces are more likely to help pay bills while the fiction is still making the rounds.

1) (c) Marketing and sending submissions out.
A writer cannot be published if they do not send anything out.

A general response to all of the above: A mixed bag. I was inconsistent when looking at daily word counts, and sunk a lot of time (early in the year) to finalizing and submitting Graduate School applications, as well as some scholarship applications back in September. WIth those applications came some essays, and with the first semester of the MFA program came “reader response” sorts of things – brief essays that are more like mini-blog posts of a sort. In the same breath, I can say I’ve logged over 20k words for what is intended to be my MFA thesis novel (mostly revised existing work I had done years ago, but I DID retype everything – as well as added close to 8k words that were original to this effort). I did also write an original short story (closer to Flash Fiction) out of what has been labeled “The Horror of Thursday” from my Viable Paradise experience.

2) Get weight down… The ultimate goal will be to get to between 175-185 (target), but for now the idea is to get into (and stick with) a fitness routine, using some of the things that I’ve learned over the past year. For future reference, I’m starting the year between 215-220.

Meh… still about the same, which, considering the day job is 99.9% sedentary I think that maintaining is only slightly on the “victory” side… not a good thing for long term considerations, but at least it’s better than the opposite.

3) Read 30-40 “new” books.
I’ve got a slew of holdovers from my stack that I assembled in 2011, including both new purchases and gifts from throughout the year. While I would really like to clear this one by at least double, volume of other activities may continue to keep the numbers modest.

Close, but not quite. The official count was 29 for the year, but there were two that I cleared the halfway point in December, and a third that was underway, but didn’t quite finish. But that falls into the “average” range for my past few years.

What I am hoping for:
1) (a) Writing output: Projects can be unruly, and what may start out as a good idea for a short grows longer with each synapse that fires. Novel ideas may only work as a sub-plot. In the past, I have listed specific content generation goals which, for someone still starting out and figuring out my own balance, has proven the axiom that my eyes were bigger than my stomach. I hope to complete at least two stories (short, novella or novel – however they grow), with at least six stories “thought through” (brainstormed, outlined, etc). Depending on how the school applications go, the specific working stories may already be determined.

1) (b) Publications/Presentations/Conferences: I am planning on applying for two writer’s workshops this year, in addition to the pending applications for graduate school. I will also consider submitting for other presentations and conferences, but those are lower on my priority list until at least after June (which means, any proposals will likely be for 2013 events).

See the above response regarding 1a… As for B… As I mentioned above, I applied and was accepted to Viable Paradise. The other workshop I was considering applying to would have been Clarion West, but dates conflicted with the Residency schedule for the MFA program I was accepted to. Since the MFA program is a low-residency one, that means no change in employment. However, that also means having to be frugal with any days out of work (to cover the time I am away at the residencies), so any plans for conference presentations any great distance from the home turf is out of the question (shame… I was considering some topics for the IAFA conference in March, which features Neil Gaiman as a GOH).

But most of all, I hope I can help to fulfill Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s wish:

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
So the most important hope for this coming year, is that I make a lot of mistakes – ones that I can learn from, grow through, and will ultimately improve me in ways both expected and not.  And I hope the same for you.
Yes, I would say I made several mistakes… things that I could have (and probably should have) done better… some of which I will address another time.

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Resolutions for 2012

I will start again with the skeleton of years past, flesh it out with a few new thoughts, and complete with the hopes for the coming year.

What I can do:
1) (a) Write. The daily routine (250-500 words per day – on a project).
I’ve had higher goals in the past, but then when things got down to it, there were days that wouldn’t hit mark, and days that would sail clear over. Writing by hand (as I’ve been deciding to do for longer, more creative pieces), this means writing about one to two pages a day. Not necessarily a lot, but considering books are measured in pages, it’s not too bad of an idea. Besides. I will likely write a lot more, depending on how many projects I’m looking at, and that doesn’t even take into account any blog posts, or “non-project productive” things (emails) I might write.

1) (b) Write multiple things.
This isn’t to say “have a dozen projects going at once” (although I might, to some degree), but to write different types of things. To paraphrase the Book of Scalzi: Non-fiction/technical/editorial pieces may not be romantic, but they can pay pretty well, and there’s a lot more places for them. And those types of pieces are more likely to help pay bills while the fiction is still making the rounds.

1) (c) Marketing and sending submissions out.
A writer cannot be published if they do not send anything out.

2) Get weight down… The ultimate goal will be to get to between 175-185 (target), but for now the idea is to get into (and stick with) a fitness routine, using some of the things that I’ve learned over the past year. For future reference, I’m starting the year between 215-220.

3) Read 30-40 “new” books.
I’ve got a slew of holdovers from my stack that I assembled in 2011, including both new purchases and gifts from throughout the year. While I would really like to clear this one by at least double, volume of other activities may continue to keep the numbers modest.

What I am hoping for:
1) (a) Writing output: Projects can be unruly, and what may start out as a good idea for a short grows longer with each synapse that fires. Novel ideas may only work as a sub-plot. In the past, I have listed specific content generation goals which, for someone still starting out and figuring out my own balance, has proven the axiom that my eyes were bigger than my stomach. I hope to complete at least two stories (short, novella or novel – however they grow), with at least six stories “thought through” (brainstormed, outlined, etc). Depending on how the school applications go, the specific working stories may already be determined.

1) (b) Publications/Presentations/Conferences: I am planning on applying for two writer’s workshops this year, in addition to the pending applications for graduate school. I will also consider submitting for other presentations and conferences, but those are lower on my priority list until at least after June (which means, any proposals will likely be for 2013 events).

But most of all, I hope I can help to fulfill Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s wish:

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
So the most important hope for this coming year, is that I make a lot of mistakes – ones that I can learn from, grow through, and will ultimately improve me in ways both expected and not.  And I hope the same for you.

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2011 Resolutions in Review

I started with the skeleton of years past, fleshed it out with new thoughts, and completed with the regular mixed results that come from inconsistancy. However, there were also areas of growth that may not have furthered fulfilling the resolutions directly, but did help towards my finding my own awareness and focus… an important first step, eh?

What I can do:
1) (a) Write. The daily routine (250-500 words per day – on a project).
I’ve had higher goals in the past, but then when things got down to it, there were days that wouldn’t hit mark, and days that would sail clear over. Writing by hand (as I’ve been deciding to do for longer, more creative pieces), this means writing about one to two pages a day. Not necessarily a lot, but considering books are measured in pages, it’s not too bad of an idea. Besides. I will likely write a lot more, depending on how many projects I’m looking at, and that doesn’t even take into account any blog posts, or “non-project productive” things (emails) I might write.
Not quite as well as I had hoped… I slipped into a mental “decompression” after lots of focused writing as an undergraduate, and had a similar slide during the summer of 2010, right before the push to compile my graduate thesis. And hit hard this year (but again, awareness!) – I felt myself sliding, and wrote a few scenes and brain stormed some ideas, but most of the production was not until late in the year… more below.

1) (b) Write multiple things.
This isn’t to say “have a dozen projects going at once” (although I might, to some degree), but to write different types of things. To paraphrase the Book of Scalzi: Non-fiction/technical/editorial pieces may not be romantic, but they can pay pretty well, and there’s a lot more places for them. And those types of pieces are more likely to help pay bills while the fiction is still making the rounds.
I wrote an academic paper which was presented at Worldcon, which was, aside from the documents required for graduate school applications, the main extent of my non-fiction work.

1) (c) Marketing and sending submissions out.
A writer cannot be published if they do not send anything out.
A handful of submission through the middle of the year… no sales.

2) Get weight down… The ultimate goal will be to get to between 175-185 (target), but for now the idea is to get into (and stick with) a fitness routine, using some of the things that I’ve learned over the past year. For future reference, I’m starting the year between 215-220.
Starting 2012 at ~224. During the summer, I participated in a research study that measured average daily steps (aka – how many steps taken in a day) over a 12 week period. Didn’t use the information much during the year, but it’s helped me to put a few things into perspective as 2011 wound down. 

3) Read 30-40 “new” books.
I’ve got about 8-10 holdovers from my stack I started 2010 with. Along the way, between required “class” reading, I’ve added other books that glued themselves to my hand, preempting others from the stack. I’m going to try a list approach this year: 100 books. Pick about 75 titles as my “To Read” list, early on, and leave room for another 25 to be added from ones that may be picked up during the year.
32 books read, with a handful of partials that are rolling over into 2012. 

What I am hoping for:
1) (a) Writing output: Projects can be unruly, and what may start out as a good idea for a short grows longer with each synapse that fires. Novel ideas may only work as a sub-plot. What I would like to produce by the end of the year are some combination of the following: 1-2 novels (50k+ words), 2-3 polished short stories/novellas. 6-10 (academic) articles, nonfiction pieces, or other similar works.
As noted above, not so much…

1) (b) Publications/Presentations/Conferences: I’m brewing a couple of ideas for some academic papers that I would like to present at conferences. I am also looking at a writing conference/workshop late in the year, as well as trying to get into some “workshop” tracks at conventions (specifically looking at WorldCon, but maybe others).
Mentioned above, I presented at Worldcon… I was also able to get into a workshop session at Worldcon, I went to “Uncle Orson’s” Writing Workshop (the short version of his Bootcamp course). I also applied to Viable Paradise, and while I was not selected (due to some logistical issues), I have spoken a lot with the administrative staff and will be applying again for 2012.

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New Year’s Resolutions – 2011


I shall start with the skeleton of years past, and flesh it out with new thoughts. In the essence of reducing excessive repetition, I’ll just list the high-mark professional and personal items. Changing things up a little bit, though, I’ll give you the list in two parts: Things I can control, and “Things I would like and will try for” but are ultimately outside my direct, sphere of influence.

What I can do:
1) (a) Write. The daily routine (250-500 words per day – on a project).
I’ve had higher goals in the past, but then when things got down to it, there were days that wouldn’t hit mark, and days that would sail clear over. Writing by hand (as I’ve been deciding to do for longer, more creative pieces), this means writing about one to two pages a day. Not necessarily a lot, but considering books are measured in pages, it’s not too bad of an idea. Besides. I will likely write a lot more, depending on how many projects I’m looking at, and that doesn’t even take into account any blog posts, or “non-project productive” things (emails) I might write.

1) (b) Write multiple things.
This isn’t to say “have a dozen projects going at once” (although I might, to some degree), but to write different types of things. To paraphrase the Book of Scalzi: Non-fiction/technical/editorial pieces may not be romantic, but they can pay pretty well, and there’s a lot more places for them. And those types of pieces are more likely to help pay bills while the fiction is still making the rounds.

1) (c) Marketing and sending submissions out.
A writer cannot be published if they do not send anything out.

2) Get weight down… The ultimate goal will be to get to between 175-185 (target), but for now the idea is to get into (and stick with) a fitness routine, using some of the things that I’ve learned over the past year. For future reference, I’m starting the year between 215-220.

3) Read 30-40 “new” books.
I’ve got about 8-10 holdovers from my stack I started 2010 with. Along the way, between required “class” reading, I’ve added other books that glued themselves to my hand, preempting others from the stack. I’m going to try a list approach this year: 100 books. Pick about 75 titles as my “To Read” list, early on, and leave room for another 25 to be added from ones that may be picked up during the year.

What I am hoping for:
1) (a) Writing output: Projects can be unruly, and what may start out as a good idea for a short grows longer with each synapse that fires. Novel ideas may only work as a sub-plot. What I would like to produce by the end of the year are some combination of the following: 1-2 novels (50k+ words), 2-3 polished short stories/novellas. 6-10 (academic) articles, nonfiction pieces, or other similar works.

1) (b) Publications/Presentations/Conferences: I’m brewing a couple of ideas for some academic papers that I would like to present at conferences. I am also looking at a writing conference/workshop late in the year, as well as trying to get into some “workshop” tracks at conventions (specifically looking at WorldCon, but maybe others).

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Resolutions – 2010 in review



It’s that time of year again. Here’s what I posted last year for my 2010 goals, with some pity response to how things actually went down.

1) Get weight down… The ultimate goal will be to get to between 175-185 (target), but for 2010, I want to make sure I can get to and stay somewhere around the 190s. Along with this… spend time actually using Wii Fit, and improve my “Fit Age.”

Oh, yeah… I do have a Wii Fit, don’t I? I did manage to lose some weight, but it always managed to find its way back from the desolate backroads I had driven down to throw it out of the car. The upside here is that I have at least “maintained” instead of gaining more weight. Small consolation, but at least I learned a few tricks to help with an exercise routine.


2) Read 26-30 “new” books. [I have already gone through and pulled about twenty books, so far, to work on…] *I made it in 2009. Assuming I can do it again for the next two years as well, I’ll consider increasing the target, but for now, it’s still a good target.
Big 10-4. Final count was 35. I could have tried to squeeze one more in this last week, but just wasn’t feeling it, between the holidays, and just trying to claim “vacation” for a few days before the new year starts, and a new slate starts. More on that in the 2011 Outlook, still to come.

3) (a) Write. The daily routine (500-1000 words per day), with the year’s target being at least: 2 books (50k+ words) [finishing the two “Novels-in-Progress”], 6 short stories/novellas [three a given for class, and probably more that will be specifically going towards thesis plans], 1 script (long form) [draft]. Somewhere in all of this, I hope to also have most (if not all) of the thesis done. At the very least, I hope to have it ready to go so it can be submitted relatively early in the Spring 2011 semester, so I can call it a degree… Not quite. Almost there for the 6 shorts (a couple of them started as shorts, and the ideas kept growing into something bigger than a regular short story could hold, then they had to be turned in for class, still a fragment of what they are crying to be)… Scratch the script. The thesis was finished (not quite to the extent I was intending, but enough to graduate). And I wrote a few other things not listed above that has started me thinking about other types of writing as well. Except poetry.


3) (b) Marketing and sending submissions out.
Did some research, sent a few pieces out, but it was lower on my priority list while classes were in session.

4) Train for the local Biathlon (to be held 18 April 10 – 3 mile run, and 15 mile ride).

Nice thought, but missed the weekend.

5) Get “A”s in my classes. Close. Ended up with 1 B (from the same instructor that gave me my previous B), in a class that I didn’t really feel like it taught me anything that I was hoping to learn from it. But I graduated, a full semester ahead of when I was originally planning, and took an extra class that I didn’t really need but took it for the experience to boot.


6) Finish cleaning out at the old house. At this point, 99% of what I have left is stuff to be thrown away, which is something that I figure should be my work to do, not somebody elses.
With someone else living in the house, it becomes more an issue of matching schedules, or communicating fairly well to say, “Hey, mind if I come spend some time in your attic?” Circumstances improved late in the year to make the communicating a little easier, but getting good weekend time lined up has proven difficult.

7) Travel – like last year, 1-2 “good” trips, just me and MC, with a few weekend jaunts free of any familial obligations. [The “good” trips are already planned… A trip out to Denver in May so we can check out the area and a school out there that I’m considering for a PhD program, as well as a weekend trip to Boston in July for a conference.]

Denver was good, Boston (Burlington, actually) was fun. We went to Asheville (Biltmore House) for our anniversary just before Christmas, and to a B&B for my birthday weekend. I had a couple of solo trips out to the RDU area for writerly events (as noted in the “Summer Vacation” post).

8) Christmas shopping done by early November. [All of it, hopefully, but unlikely. At least enough to make the traditional “Thanksgiving to Christmas” madness easier to bear.]

Success all around… Only had a few last-minute things to pick up, and had most of them done by September. Go us.

9) [Continue to] Send out birthday and anniversary cards, etc. in a timely manner.

Sort of. Most of the credit should go to MC. Even the ones that I remembered and she didn’t, she still did the legwork.

10) [Continue to] Work on the photography skills… [Which means, actually, taking a lot of pictures, and carrying a camera around on some of the expeditions… or plan “photo trips”…]… I’m already thinking of some photo trips, as well as possibly taking a couple of clinic-style classes later in the year.

No clinic classes (thanks to other academic needs), but I’ve read a couple of books (they at least helped with the compositional thought process, and looking for different angles for interesting pictures). The camera’s also gotten some milage from some of our trips (LOTS of pictures from Denver).

11) Process the Netflix queue – watch 50 movies from the queue. *Having failed to hit the 100 movie mark in either of the last two years, I’m scaling back the ceiling. With the advent later this year (spring ?) of Netflix being able to stream through a Wii, maybe I’ll be able to get close or clear it.

Still not even close. If anything, the number of movies watched has declined. The streaming availability is great (especially now that Wii doesn’t need the disc anymore, and that it’s available on some of the portables that I have is something good for traveling – as long as Wi-Fi access isn’t an astronomical rate). I think a lot of it was due to class schedules (Best time to watch movies? Nights. When were my classes? Nights. When would I do any homework? Nights.), so maybe I can get a few more out of the queue. Otherwise, I may look into changing my service tier.

In other happy news, looking back at the year that was 2010:
Mary Catherine and I made it past the two-years-of-marriage mark. I got to see a buddy (nay, almost a brother) that I hadn’t seen in about eight years [right before he and his family were sent to Germany for a 3-year duty assignment]. I’ve made a much bigger shift in my thought pattern about writing, being a writer (generally), and what I want to do as an aspiring-professional writer.

In sad news, we lost a cat, and we lost a nephew-dog.
My cat, Snoopy, got out of the house/yard while we were out of town one weekend [escaping past the pet-sitter], back in August. Despite canvasing the neighborhood speaking to neighbors, posting flyers, and a lot of walking around shaking a treat tub, we never saw a trace. The morbid romantic in me thinks he may have felt it was his time to die and wanted to save us from seeing it. Whether he is still alive or not, he was a few months short of ten when he left.

In a long, convoluted story, my nephew-dog was staying at my sister-in-laws house (just nod and accept it, and move on). He was a beagle named Petey, and was a few months past 15 when I took him to the vet for “the shot.” It was a quality of life thing. He wasn’t moving well (hardly at all, actually, even if he had to go to the bathroom), his hearing was (near) gone. He was old, and deserved some peace, and the trip was hard.

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The 2010 Resolutions

[started 12 Jan 2010…. finished much later]

So the new year is now a month gone, and I am finally getting the 2010 resolutions completed… They’ve been here, mostly, for a couple of weeks (in draft form, so you couldn’t see them… nener-nener) but still needed some finishing touches. Here they are, finally mostly-polished, and readt to take their feeble first steps into the world.

1) Get weight down… The ultimate goal will be to get to between 175-185 (target), but for 2010, I want to make sure I can get to and stay somewhere around the 190s. Along with this… spend time actually using Wii Fit, and improve my “Fit Age.”

2) Read 26-30 “new” books. [I have already gone through and pulled about twenty books, so far, to work on…] *I made it in 2009. Assuming I can do it again for the next two years as well, I’ll consider increasing the target, but for now, it’s still a good target.

3) (a) Write. The daily routine (500-1000 words per day), with the year’s target being at least: 2 books (50k+ words) [finishing the two “Novels-in-Progress”], 6 short stories/novellas [three a given for class, and probably more that will be specifically going towards thesis plans], 1 script (long form) [draft]. Somewhere in all of this, I hope to also have most (if not all) of the thesis done. At the very least, I hope to have it ready to go so it can be submitted relatively early in the Spring 2011 semester, so I can call it a degree…

3) (b) Marketing and sending submissions out.

4) Train for the local Biathlon (to be held 18 April 10 – 3 mile run, and 15 mile ride).

5) Get “A”s in my classes.

6) Finish cleaning out at the old house. At this point, 99% of what I have left is stuff to be thrown away, which is something that I figure should be my work to do, not somebody elses.

7) Travel – like last year, 1-2 “good” trips, just me and MC, with a few weekend jaunts free of any familial obligations. [The “good” trips are already planned… A trip out to Denver in May so we can check out the area and a school out there that I’m considering for a PhD program, as well as a weekend trip to Boston in July for a conference.]

8) Christmas shopping done by early November. [All of it, hopefully, but unlikely. At least enough to make the traditional “Thanksgiving to Christmas” madness easier to bear.]

9) [Continue to] Send out birthday and anniversary cards, etc. in a timely manner.

10) [Continue to] Work on the photography skills… [Which means, actually, taking a lot of pictures, and carrying a camera around on some of the expeditions… or plan “photo trips”…]… I’m already thinking of some phot trips, as well as possibly taking a couple of clinic-style classes later in the year.

11) Process the Netflix queue – watch 50 movies from the queue. *Having failed to hit the 100 movie mark in either of the last two years, I’m scaling back the ceiling. With the advent later this year (spring ?) of Netflix being able to stream through a Wii, maybe I’ll be able to get close or clear it.

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On 2009 Resolutions

It is time for a quick recap of the 2009 list of resolutions (which will be followed up shortly by the 2010 list in a second post…

1) Get weight down to between 175-185 (target). Didn’t happen, exactly. I did manage to shave off about ten pounds before the holidays hit, I was still a longway from the target goal. But some is better than none, and gives me a good place to start.

2) Read 26-30 “new” books. Holy crap, is the best phrase that comes to mind. 44 books. Even if you drop off the one reread (for a class), I still managed a helluva lot of reading, across a pretty wide range of works (from academic, to various forms of fiction, both short story collections & novels, and some writerly advice books). Epic win is another phrase that come to mind.

3) (a) Write. The daily routine (500-1000 words per day), with the year’s target being at least: 2 books (50k+ words), 6 short stories/novellas, 2 scripts (long form), and 2 scripts (1 act/short form). Lofty goals, but no dice. I do have two books at almost half-done, and a few other projects that were worked with, butnothing “complete” in the sense I was looking for.

3) (b) Marketing and sending submissions out. I started the process, and made some short story submissions. Meager volume of works out, but I broke the (mental) ice, and began solicitation. I even scored a Finalist spot in a writing contest! A modest first step, but room for a lot of growth in 2010.

4) Train for the local Biathlon (to be held 5 April 09 – 3 mile run, and 15 mile ride). Nope, darn it.

5) Get “A”s in my classes. Done.

6) Finish cleaning out at the old house. Um, close but not quite. There’s still a lot of stuff that is in the attic that will need to be hauled away, and will need weather that is somewhere in a more comfortable range (neither freezing, nor roasting) before I try to clear the rest out.

7) Travel – like last year, 1-2 “good” trips, just me and MC, with a few weekend jaunts free of any familial obligations. A weekend trip to Myrtle Beach, and a week in the Carribean. Call it done!

8) Christmas shopping done by early November. Success, actually. Most of our shopping (for other people) was done by early November, and we were able to handle shopping for each other without a lot of the extra stress in the weeks before Christmas.

9) Send out birthday and anniversary cards, etc. in a timely manner. Also done, er…. sort of. Thank you cards were pretty much on the ball, and most birthday stuff, butthere were a few that probably slipped through the cracks.

10) Work on the photography skills… [Which means, actually, taking a lot of pictures, and carrying a camera around on some of the expeditions… or plan “photo trips”…] Sort of done, with some side credits. I played quite a bit with my phone’s camera (at concerts, etc.), and took quite a few pictures on our Carribean trip. Got a new camera for Christmas, and am readingthrough some stuff to be able to start getting some pretty nice shots. Definitely on the agenda for 2010 to try a variety of things.

11) Process the Netflix queue – watch 100 movies from the queue. Not quite. Made it the the 1/4 mark before the end of the year hit.

12) Work on my Wii Fit age (which, I suppose, goes with # 1). And I have not gotten on the Fit recently… which translates into a severe fail on my part.

All told, not too bad for the year. Not a glowing, star-studded success, but featuring a lot of areas that saw significant steps towards some level of acheivement. Which is part of the point. I think resolutions should be something to create a challenge, so completion carries some sense of accomplishment. And it’s the challenge that keeps things interesting along the way.

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