Monday, January 1, 2018

Welcome, 2018



First, a summary of my reading challenges for the year. I was only doing two that I can track easily. For the Goodreads Challenge for total books read, I've been beating my prediction for several years, so keep upping it. I think I found the limit. I managed to hit 162 of my 160-book target (finished one last book at 10 p.m. New Year's Eve!), but it felt forced. I'll scale back for next year, as I didn't care for the fake pressure the goal created, and want to read because I feel like it. The second challenge was the GMGR A to Z Challenge. I hit all but 8 letters, and that was without making any special effort. This year, I think I'll make an effort, since part of the point is to read books I might not otherwise.

Now on to 2018...

Since I already did a 2017 summary in my December IWSG post, I'll celebrate the New Year by looking forward. There are some things I know will happen, some I expect, and a whole lot of not being sure exactly what will occur, including some things I'm going to plan on doing. But I'm not making resolutions. I'm making plans.

I know that I will be releasing the third book in the Pismawallops PTA mystery series, probably in early February. Look for a cover reveal in the next couple of weeks, along with a firm release date.

I expect to draft a new novel, though I'm still debating which idea to follow up for that. And I plan to (finally!) return to Gorg the Troll and see what kind of mess I made for him during NaNo 2016.

I am also planning to write and submit more short stories. There are a couple of reasons for that. One is that I think it's a good way to increase my visibility as a writer. But it's also because some big life changes coming up make make it tough to manage long-form fiction for a while.

So what are the changes? Well, the spouse is retiring May 31, 2018. I will shed my own responsibilities in the weeks following that, so that we can spend the summer hiking and working on our house. And we are planning to spend most of the next year traveling, in the US and abroad, though plans are not yet set in concrete. It is my intention to keep writing--but I'm also very aware of how hard it is to do much writing when traveling, so I'm trying to keep my expectations in check. As the spring moves along, I will decide on some specific goals, in hopes that having a concrete plan will enable me to keep writing.

2017 was the year of the Empty Nest (our younger son started college in September). 2018 will be the year of upending the nest and shaking everything out. Should be interesting--but you may see something less of me here!

How about you? What's in store for you in 2018?

10 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement and year of traveling. My hubby took early retirement at the end of 2013 to help me take care of my Mom who was living with us with Alzheimer. After Mom's passing, we took to the roads making some bucket list trips and loved it. Hope you have as much fun as we did. :) We still love to travel and have a trip planned for June to Yellowstone and around that area. It's nice to not be on a time schedule so if you see something you want to see you just take the side road and go.

    We finished our new home in 2017 so we are very happy to be moved in and able to enjoy it more in 2018. Wanting to get my large bell collection put back up and do some outside things but that's going to have to wait for warmer weather.

    My wish for 2018 is to be happy, content and to stay healthy (well as much as I can). There are tons of great books in my TBR pile with more added every day. Life is good in the Ozark Mountains and I'm just thriled to be part of it!

    Happy New Year - may it bring you happiness, good health and amazing fun in your new adventures!

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    1. A giant TBR pile and a comfy home...sounds pretty good! May 2018 bring you all the best!

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  2. I hear you re the Goodreads goal feeling forced. That happened to me one year, and since then I tend to keep it on the lower end for me. In 2017, my goal was 85 books, and I read about 90. This year, I set the goal for 80 so it should be doable but in a relaxed way. :)

    Wishing you all the best for 2018!

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    1. Of course, by scaling it back to what I will read regardless, I guess I don't make it much of a challenge. But really, 3 books/week, even with the number of kids' books I read, is plenty. I don't think I need to try to read more! (Might try to read more adult books, but maybe not. They are so often depressing :) ).

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  3. Sounds like you have a very interesting year coming up. Writing while traveling is hard. I thought I would do more of it when we were cruising in the Bahamas last year, but it didn't happen. All the best for the coming year!

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    1. Yes, I expect I'll write less than I hope to. My son does a good job of writing when we are backpacking/camping, but he doesn't have to do the cooking, etc. Plus, I like to keep a journal when traveling, and that takes a lot of writing energy. So we'll see. I'll do best if I have a plan/outline in place before leaving home.

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  4. It sounds like you have had some lofty adjustments this year with your son. I wish the best of writing on all your hiking adventures ahead. Maybe the change will send your mind into a creative whirlwind and when you return, you will have all sorts of new and fun ideas. I hope your husband enjoys his retirement too :)

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    1. I think my husband is half-retired in his mind already :) And I do hope that even if I don't write much while we are traveling, I come back with a brain full of new things and ready to write!

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