Tag: goals

In which I do not manage to summarize 2012

I started writing up some great state of the year post yesterday. I stopped when an owl came to visit. In the last week, the snow has finally arrived. There are tracks running through the backyard–dog, fox, children–and the leaves we didn’t rake are now hidden away.

The skies have been gray as well, and against such a background–dull silver and the black of branches–a flying owl stands out clearly. She landed in one of the pines and stayed there for much of the afternoon. During the winter, when the nights are so silent, owl calls carry a long way. It’s how I’ve come to think of winter nights since moving here fifteen years ago, a time of moonlight on snow and great echoing voices.

The owl came to usher 2012 out. The sun is here to welcome in 2013.

I’m not sure what to say about 2012. If I take a simple arithmetic approach, it had many pluses. It was a year in which I had seven stories published, completely overshadowing 2011’s two. There was a brief giddy period in the spring in which I sold every story I had available to sell, and I suddenly felt like a WRITER.

What I discovered is that I am very much in my adolescence as a writer. I’m tripping over my own feet everywhere I go, and stressing over the unruly state of my hair in the morning. At some point I will grow out of it, know who I am and where I am going.

But…but there is power in adolescence too. There is freedom in not yet knowing it all, in testing and trying and rushing into places that maturity would dictate foolish.

There is fun.

The thing about writerhood is that there is no clear graduation date. I’ve passed most of my arbitrary markers at this point. I sold my first story. I made my first professional sale. I earned my SFWA membership. I received an invitation to submit. I made it on to paper and into the library. I have an agent.

I still don’t feel like I know what I’m doing.

Both my children are involved in wilderness skills classes. They have fire challenges regularly. Make a fire that …burns this long, this high, with these materials. Make your bow drill, find your tinder, work with wet logs.

The path to the fire varies. The fire itself still warms.

This is my 2013 goal. Keep learning. Find those challenges and test my skills. Learn to keep my feet under me, learn that unruly hair has its own beauty. Listen to the owls on winter nights, enjoy the sun on my face on a January day.

Happy New Year to you all!

Sprinting through

I’m going to be a little scarce for the next few days. There’s only one week this year when I am not with my children the vast majority of the time, and this is it. I’ve made a pretty unattainable list of goals for myself. We’ll see what actually gets done. If nothing else, I should have Wren ready to send out to my readers by next Monday (yay!). One of those unattainable goals is to come up with a real name for the story, but we know how I am with titles. (Incidentally, both stories mentioned in that post sold, questionable titles and all.)

I’m leaving comments open here today, in case anyone wants to share some goals. Preferably writing, though if you really want to talk about your master plumber’s license, go for it. I’m going to be in and out, so if it takes a while for your comment to come through moderation, don’t despair. It’ll happen.


This year was the year of short fiction for me. In October 2010 I sent out my first short story. I sold it on January 3, 2011, and I spent the rest of 2011 devoted to writing shorts, all while telling myself I was just taking a month off from my novel.

It’s been a good year. I’ve written enough stories that I currently have a backlog waiting for revision. Two years ago my siblings and parents gave me a little netbook for writing (after absorbing my fear that the Frankenputer sitting on my desk would finally die for good, and all would be lost). I’ve managed to fill it up nicely.

(I should put in a plug for W1S1 here. While I’m something of a ghost member, it’s a wonderful place to find encouragement to write.)

But this coming year needs to be all about novels. I’ve got this series, see, that I promised myself I would finish as part of my writing education. I’m achingly close to being done. I have to get back to that world and complete what needs completing, so I can earn my homemade graduation tassel.

At least that’s what I tell myself today.