Cover Me

The first day of the new year: 2018. It is currently twenty-eight degrees outside; which is hideous for New Orleans. Much as I would rather spend the day curled up beneath blankets with a good book today, I am venturing out for an early lunch with a friend before heading back home for the LSU bowl game. I am currently wrapped in a wool blanket sipping my first cup of coffee. I didn’t want to leave the warmth of my bed this morning; it was comfortable and warm in there under all those blankets. Tomorrow I have to work a long day which will entail getting up quite early; I am not looking forward to that as the temperature is supposed to be around the same as it is this morning.

Not a pleasant start to the new year, but i am grateful that at least our thermostat is in the positive numbers.

Yesterday after lunch at Commander’s, I stopped at Garden District Books and bought myself a blank journal; while watching the Saints lose (seriously, they couldn’t have played worse if they were trying to lose) I wrote three pages of notes on the WIP in it; and they are good notes. Sometimes, it’s necessary to go back to your roots to kick the cobwebs out of your mind and get things together. I’m glad I remembered that I used to do this with my journals, and I can carry it with me everywhere, just like I used to; and I can just scribble notes, even just brainstorming and free association the way I used to rather than rabidly checking my phone.

So, here are my goals for 2018. I prefer to set goals rather than make resolutions; goals sounds, for one thing, more positive, and not reaching a goal isn’t like failing; breaking a resolution sounds almost criminal, whereas not making a goal doesn’t mean the goal isn’t still attainable; just taking longer than originally anticipated. So, here goes.

Get to the gym at least twice a week. I was doing quite well with doing crunches at home several days a week, until I got sick a few weeks ago and it flattened me out. It will be easier to get to the gym now on the weekends since football season is past; ideally I should make it three times per week; but two is better than once; and once is better than never. Getting into a regular routine will help me get back into better physical condition; being in better physical condition will help me sleep better and help regulate my vitals–blood pressure, etc.

Write a short story every month. I always try to write more short stories; I set this goal every year, and I am even going to allow myself a little more wiggle room here with this one; I am going to expand it to mean just working on a short story every month. I have any number of short stories in a draft form, either unfinished or in need of rewriting/revising/polishing, and the sooner I can get those files off my desk the more room I will have on my desk.

Get an agent. This was a goal last year that I didn’t achieve; but last year I did start submitting queries. Now that I’ve ripped off that bandage, I am going to get going on this and get somewhere with it. However, part of this is having something to submit; and the WIP needs more work. So, I am setting May 1 as the goal date of having the WIP in shape and submittable. That gives me four months, and I should be able to get it done in that amount of time.

Finish the new Scotty and a young adult novel. I’ve had to stop the current Scotty because it was kind of a mess; I am debating whether any of the chapters I’ve written are even usable. I’ll need to reread them all, of course, but I am thinking that not only does the title need to be changed but the book itself needs to be overhauled. This is do-able. I also have about 40k of another y/a novel that’s been haunting my files for several years. It needed about another 20k, and I wasn’t totally satisfied with the plot. I think I know how to fix the plot and get it up to about 60k; with a goal of getting that finished by the end of the summer.

Pay down my debt. Buying a new car and having to have full insurance coverage on it put a major dent in my finances this year; so much so that it’s almost frightening how close to the edge I’ve skated at times. Obviously, the best way to not have financial concerns would be to pay down the debt that I owe, rather than just, as I said, skating along the way I have been, which means tightening my belt and maybe doing without. I am already denying myself new books until I clean out my TBR pile substantially (I will make exceptions, of course, to this rule), and frugality is the key to this year.

Do a better job of staying on top of the household chores, and maybe add a cleaning project each week. The condition of the Lost Apartment is really appalling, and trying to stay on top of things has been much harder than it should have been, but if I add one extra chore to the weekly ones rather than trying to do a massive, over-all all-at-once clean, I can get the house back under control in a matter of months and having it under control after a matter of months is better than never at all, right?

Those are all attainable, and putting them out there in public does make it slightly more likely that I will get them done.

And on that note, tis back to the spice mines. I need to finish the laundry and grab a shower before lunch.

Here’s a Happy New Year hunk to kick off the year for you, Constant Reader, and as always, thanks for being here.


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