Sunday, December 22, 2013

Scrooge Level: 5

Every year, millions of Americans suffer the stress and emotional hangovers that go along with everything December: Christmas/Holiday shopping and spending, end of the year realizations that goals have not been met, hot buttons being pushed by family members and friends, and everything else. It's like all our issues and flaws are amplified in December. 

Like a lot of people, I celebrate Christmas as a strictly secular holiday. I don't have children, and I live thousands of miles away from my own family, so I have managed to minimize a lot of the triggers in my life. Yet, every year I am faced with my own inefficiencies as a human being. I have many good intentions, but rarely follow through. There just never seems to be enough Time and/or Money!
  1. I intend to show my love and appreciation for the people in my life by rewarding them with something I know that they want, need, or like, and making homemade gifts like art and cookies. 
  2. I intend to carry on my Italian heritage tradition of making a homemade lasagna for Christmas Day. Perhaps even biscotti, and ambitiously, cannoli.
  3. I intend to clear my home, tidy up for the end of the year to make room for the new one, and decorate- SPARSELY- for the season. (A wreath, a few sprigs of mistletoe or holly, a small display of cards and stockings, etc. So far, I only ever get the cards pinned up on the wall each year.)
  4. I intend to send holiday cards to all my friends and family, well in advance of the 25th. In reality, some years I don't get cards out at all, and others, like this one, I am sure they are going to arrive Dec. 26th or later, if I'm lucky.
My job is busy. I'm not sure that it is busier now than any month of the year, but it is busy. And I'm still struggling with keeping my finances in some semblance of an order, but the timing is still never quite right. When I have time to shop or make things, I don't have the dough, and when I do, there's not enough time. I'm working on changing that; I am constantly reminding myself of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, which I interpret thus: Time is relative, so there is always enough time. There is enough time to do what needs to be done, to do it well, and to enjoy it. I suppose it is a bit more of an affirmation than a reminder, at that.

So what were my goals this year? I had seventeen of them. (I prefer the term "goals" to "resolutions".) 

  1. Finish Revisions (3rd/4th draft) on How I Spent My Zombie Apocalypse novel.
  2. Take HISMZA to the PNWA Conference - buy tickets in March.
  3. Send out Query Letters for HISMZA.
  4. Send out 12 Short Story Sumbissions.
  5. Enter 3 writing contests.
  6. Get a kitten!
  7. Organize Home...Bedroom, closets, bookshelves, desk, kitchen...
  8. The Spare Room.
  9. Put together under-the-sink caddy.
  10. Get new regional DVD player.
  11. Get regular with the workouts.
  12. Find a damn dance class that I want to take (Could someone in Seattle please start a Broadway class or an Angie Dickinson 60's Style Jazz class?!?)
  13. Continue Language Skills... Brushing up on French & Japanese
  14. Start Italian lessons.
  15. Start using Juicer again.
  16. Work on Non-Fic Massage Manual Book.
  17. Submit two articles on Massage/IFR.
Six of those pertain to writing. I did finish the 3rd draft of my novel, How I Spent My Zombie Apocalypse (#1) and take it to the PNWA conference (#2), but haven't sent out my query letters, because I've discovered I need to do yet another draft of the novel to improve upon what I've got. Okay, well, this is my first time going through this process, with a 'finished' novel, so I'm learning as I go. No biggie. Sometimes I want to kick myself, but I continue to try to remember to be nice to myself, instead, and allow myself the space and time (it's all relative!) to create the best novel I can create.

As far as short work submissions go, I thought I might be behind, since I have been focusing on my novels most of the year. But, a quick check at my page on (the best website for writers ever), told me differently- I have actually sent out 12 submissions the past 12 months! Just the right number. I believe I've only entered one contest, not the three I had planned, but that's okay. It's not like I've been slacking!

I haven't touched goals #16 or #17, unfortunately. I will have to transfer them onto 2014's list. 

As far as the non-writing goals go, I did okay: #6 Yep! Frankie Fourpaws was adopted in January; #7/8 Some effort was made, but no major progress; #9 Yes; #10 No; #11 Inconsistent efforts and results; #12 Nope; #13/14 I downloaded some apps... does that count? #15 Another inconsistent effort. 

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