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2014: already exciting
wednesday, january 01, 2014

i really thought about posting an entry yesterday and...just couldn't seem to get into it. suffice it to say, i made some goals, dropped a bunch others, and didn't make the rest for 2013. it was a weird year, to be honest, with the majority of it lost in the caves of editing really bad stuff. so glad i resigned that job for the most part (there is one author i will stay on for, but ONLY for her work; definitely not interested in most of what the press considers publishable). my routines got completely out of whack, we got on our feet financially a little, even had a buffer for a bit, then the car died and the buffer went to the new car. it wasn't a bad year, but it wasn't a great year, and certainly didn't live up to my early expectations. it was busy, but not quite in the ways i thought it would be. truth be told, i kinda...zoned out most of it. stuff happened, but very little has really stuck in my head (well, dragon con! lol). when there's not much about the year you really remember (other than lots of really bad writing, or maybe because of the bad writing?), what is there to post about? i could write about losing vagner, but all anyone needs to know is that i still feel guilty that we couldn't do more for him, and i miss him dearly.

this year already has a couple major things on the horizon: taz is done with school in may and my first novel assassin's choice is slated to come out via drakkina press, an author co-op (it's self-publishing, but with the support of other authors who want to "do it right", including actual editing and custom covers, etc.), in september. with those things in play, one of my major goals this year is to figure out how to keep up and get everything done i need to get done, especially when kiddo is out of school. even if we weren't planning to do anything to keep him engaged (which we are—the kid will be spending time in the kitchen quite a bit with me), somehow him being home takes up time. and having him help in the kitchen will definitely increase the time to get anything done, but i refuse to let him turn into a t.v. vegetable, and him holding a job may be problematic since he still tantrums upon occasion. the good thing is that the two events—kiddo finishing school and the novel release—are far enough apart to hopefully give me time to make schedule and routine adjustments.

we also hope to hit dragon con again. we'll buy the tickets with our tax return, and between now and then, we have to figure out how to save up for it. this will be tricky since, as i noted, what little bit of a buffer we had has been eaten up by our car payments. saxy is due a raise at at least one of the three jobs, but i don't think it will be big enough to help much, plus in june, our lease comes up and the rent will go up. as much as a move might be desirable, it's also highly unlikely and unaffordable (especially since the only move i'd want to make at this time is into a house; i hate apartment living for oh so many reasons). and we now have medical expenses to think about!

yes, because of the a.c.a., we now have health care for 3 of us (taz is on medicaid). it's cheap ($17/month, of which $10 is some kind of stupid processing fee). there is $1500 in total deductibles that have to be paid ($500 in prescriptions, which is where i suspect most our money will go initially), but there are free wellness checks and such that will be more likely what we use. but we have medical insurance. for the first time in 3 years for me and over a decade for the husband.

i know a load of people are pissed that the a.c.a. passed, many of whom are in the "we don't want to pay for them" boat. news for you: you already do. that you pay for indigents is part of the reason for the high costs of health care in this country. that doesn't even count things like lost work hours and other things that result from a nation of people in poor health. others are upset over being forced to get health care, but we're forced to pay for car insurance and other things by law. the only way this works to bring costs down is to get everyone on it. and for people like me, who could never begin to afford insurance because of preexisting conditions, the a.c.a. is a godsend. if you can't think about it in relation to yourself, what about members of your family? show some compassion for those in need even if you aren't there yet. and that's the last thing i will say about this: we're all an accident or health crises away from needing insurance, and in most cases, you can't plan and save up for that car wreck or heart attack in advance. things happen without warning, and that's one of the things insurance is all about.

even with the various change i know are coming spread out the way they are, it's kinda a good thing that my goals this year are relatively few. just working on keeping on top of things is going to be a major undertaking for me. i've gotten good at making and using my to do lists, i just don't do well at getting through everything on those lists! this is why i ended up making one day a week (fridays, actually) a web day. if i didn't, my sites would continue to see the pathetic lack of updating they did last year, and with the novel coming out, that's a bad thing.

among my other goals:

lose 35 pounds. lost 25 in 2013 (5 pounds short of goal and 2 pounds less than 2012), but this seemed to be more a year of...focusing on inches and health and so on. i went from a lower 5X to an upper 2X last year, lost 7" around my waist, and 7 1/2" from my hips. i'm stronger, more flexible, and have less pain in my back. my bp went from 172/92 to 149/88. still high, but sooo much better, and my head thanks me for the change—my storm headaches are no longer as frequent or at migraine level pain. so, the weight loss isn't what i wanted, but there were good advances anyway. and for all i know, i actually did lose that other 5 pounds, but gained enough muscle to hide it, so to speak.

read 45 books. 2013's count was 40, of which 5 or so didn't get finished (see my goodreads list here; with most the books i didn't finish, i list my reasons why i put the book down). i'm actually surprised at how much more frequently i'll reach for my nook than a hard copy book these days. there are some authors, though, that i will always want in hard copy and when those books come in, the nook gets pushed aside no matter what else i'm reading. lol

writing, in addition to the baking for saxyk's cupcakes and sweets, is a huge focus for 2014. with assassin's coming out this year, i have three novels on the table that i need to work on: crown of tirs (second book in my randi kayde series—the first, blood charms, is still out with agents who all need nudges this month), chosen (first book in the series that inspired this post, and that i've waited long enough to get started on), and quest for ehlarayn (the book that comes after assassin's and so by requirement must be worked on). the good news: all three books are in different phases of my process (two are in revisions, but one is in the early sort it out stage, the other is in mid-draft stage). the bad news is that i've never managed to make more than two books at a time work. my word count dropped dramatically in 2013 because of all the editing i was doing for the press (the only years lower are the two early in my tracking; the first of which i didn't even make 100k), which left a lot less room for my own work. i should have gotten tirs at least tot he point where i was polishing it, but it's nowhere near that point.

the only other big goal on the list this year: possibly redesign alden.nu. it's had that same layout for a few years now and could use a fresher look, especially with the book coming out. the cons? it's a big project even when using (an older version of) word press to update. and i have no idea what i want for a new design. so this is more on the maybe and think about it list than do it asap list. finding time might be a big part of if/when this gets done since there's A LOT of catch up to do on fridays after only spot updating through 2013.

and speaking of time, i really need to head off and work on supper and feed the boy. i may be looking forward to quite a few exciting things in 2014, but there are a lot of things that will remain the same: exercise, housekeeping, and feeding family among them.

word of the moment: lamella

thin plate; a thin membrane that is one of the calcified layers that form bones; any of the radiating leaflike spore-producing structures on the underside of the cap of a mushroom or similar fungus
currently reading:
agents of lightness & dark


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