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new year, new start
sunday, january 1, 2012

2011 is done and gone. thank goodness. shutting the door on everything except the good stuff: getting our car (which is still working!), phoenixcat getting engaged, saxy having a job he actually really enjoys, saxy graduating, and getting the laptop. everything else, gone. not worth the time, effort, or stress it all caused, so not worth dwelling on now. not even going to discuss last year's goals much. i managed to cross off some. i'll take that.

but now we're on to a new year and a new start. a year that i'm going into with a positive attitude. it will be better. saxy is a graduate now, so he's free to work when needed rather than around a school schedule, and my second novel is almost ready to be submitted and a better fit for the market. there are still concerns leftover from last year (last couple of years, actually), but things are looking up and that's how i'm going into the new year: with a fresh start, being positive, and new energy.

the goals this year are pretty close to last year's, though not exact. i've cut some things where i've learned a bit on my limitations while some are just a continuing progression (for example, the weight loss? going to take YEARS). and there are a few that i managed to make last year then somehow slipped up on later in the year but are important for me to keep working on.

that's the nice thing about goals versus resolutions: no self ass-kicking with goals. you mess up, you don't give up. you figure out where you went wrong, adjust your goal accordingly, and try again. they aren't broken promises; they're steps on the path to being a better you and doing better at whatever you want to be better at.

so, here they are, the goals for 2012.

financial :: while hesitant to really set down any goals until saxy gets a full time job, there is one thing we plan to do to help our finances: move. reducing our rent by even a couple of hundred will help immensely, and the hope is any place we decide on will be in better condition and not leak energy like a sieve. i'm considering having j.e. take a look when we find a place we're interested in just to make sure we're looking at a better deal utility wise. the plan is to use our tax return, assuming it's big enough or can be supplemented with a month's rent to be made big enough. and the hope is to be out by april or may. as an extra benefit, wherever we go will be infinitely healthier than where we are now. not just because of reduced stress but physically healthier.

personal :: i actually maintained about a 12 pound weight loss in the latter half of 2011 despite stress, not monitoring my food intake as well, and not exercising as consistently. i'm really proud of that, even though i really didn't do much to cause it. i also realized i need to adjust a few things. i'm not physically up to aerobic exercises 5 times a week, and it may be a few years before i am. too many joint problems and issues like a bad back. i still want to lose weight and get stronger and healthier, it's just going to have to be on a slower curve than i'd hoped. to help this time around, i've purchased living cookbook (which, seriously, was actually primarily for saxy to start putting in his restaurant recipes since it also has a pricing ability that should help immensely when he opens the restaurant in a few years; it just ended up being useful for me as well) so i can have a record of the nutritional values of the food i make, and i've joined lose it! to have a place to track my calories and exercise and whatnot.

» use the Mayo Clinic Pyramid Diet @ 1400 cals/day
» CR/stretch 3x/week
» AM/PM time stretch 6x/week
» lose 24 pounds
» replace my glasses

the mayo/calorie goal is combined because we currently can't afford a full on mayo diet. even going to a farmer's market, fruits are too expensive. i'm honestly lucky we've kept fresh vegetables in the diet. so i'll initially be watching cals. as we (hopefully) get more financially stable and can afford it, i'll start trying to track my food group servings.

and, yes, glasses, again. one thing about my old pair: couldn't read very well (they were 10 years old) but they were sturdy. the new pair, i still can't read very well (never going to lens crafters again; this prescription has been off from the beginning) but the frame broke within 2 months. i've kept them together with tape, but, yea, want to replace them. and going back to thick plastic frames again. these thin wire frames are useless.

reading & writing :: the one thing i barreled through last year? books. read 36 of them.

» finalize/submit Blood Charms
» finish/polish Music of the Mists
» Crown of Tirs to v3
» read 32 books

i was supposed to have charms finished by now, but i only have a week or two left, so i'm not too unhappy. it'll go off to beta readers by the 15th, be back in april, and i'll start submitting in may. there's so little left to do with it, it almost feels like a cheat to have it on the list, but it is a goal to get it done, so there it is. the books, i probably could have gone for a higher number, but a lot of my reading will end up being through the nook software on the computer (since they offer free ebooks, and we can't afford a lot of books right now), and it's so not my favorite way to read. when reading an actual book, i get drawn in and shut everything out. on the laptop, it's too easy to wander off and be distracted by the shineys on the net. the other two items are novels: a y.a. and the sequel to charms. i'll also be poking at quest, the sequel to assassin's, but until the latter sells, i have no goals in mind with the former.

there's no word count goal for this year because last year was my third year making 400,000 ore more words for the year. once you do that 2 or 3 years in a row, making a goal of it becomes kind of pointless, especially since 400k seems to be about a baseline for me. i do more when a book is in final polishing stages (2010 had a word count over 800,000 because i was prepping assassin's for submission), but there's no guarantee i'll be polishing a book every year from now on.

other/online :: my .net is gone, probably for good, domynoes.com and alden.nu are both riddled with out of date information and broken links. and i'm still building my presence as an author even after all these years, so all that is a priority for the year.

» move book reviews to LJ
» update Lessons, Meta, and Journeys once a month each
» link fixes: Alden.nu and d.com
» My Book external hard drive clean up

the book reviews were originally on my .net and i'd really like to keep them online. the lj, which is pretty much a hodgepodge of writing, editing, and reading related stuff with a dash of real life mixed in, seems like a good place to put them. they may also go up on my goodreads list, but we'll see about that. to be fair, it would be easier to move them to both places at the same time. ideally, i should update alden.nu more than 3 times a month, but until i have more stories being published, doing more is difficult. i focus mostly on the actual writing.

and that's about it. i also hope to update here at whysper more often and with more positive posts, but i can't guarantee anything. what i really want to be able to do is announce i have an agent and/or that a book sold, but that's definitely something i can't promise. all i can do is submit and hope someone loves my work.

i really feel we're due for something good that last longer than a few months. we're due to get out of the financial disaster we've been in for the past few years. we're due for something better.

here's hoping we see that start of that in 2012.


word of the moment: stodging

when a chef works as an apprentice for the experience without being paid; to stuff full especially with food

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