Monthly Archives: December 2013

A New Year

Tomorrow is the last day of the year.

I am happy about this because 2013 was a bit exhausting for me. My life changed in so many drastic ways, some expected, some not expected, some wonderful, some awful, and all of them pushing me to places I didn’t know I needed to be pushed. It’s good though. That’s what helps me grow, right? That’s what enrichs my writing, right? That’s what makes it okay when I eat gallons of chocolate covered cinnamon bears, right?

For this new year, my goals are really intense and important. The first one is to make three ice cream cakes. I made one for my son this last week and it made me laugh and be happy. It also seemed harder than it was so people were impressed. I love to impress people. I might make one for you! So #1 Three ice cream cakes for the win.

My next goal is to find things. I keep losing things I just had in my hand. Like my wallet. Or my brush. Or twenty dollars. Recently it’s been my one and only rice bag that keeps me warm. It keeps disappearing and makes me feel crazy. I don’t know if this means I’m going to try to be more organized or more mindful. Either way, I’m going to stop losing things . . . maybe. #2 Keep my head on straight.

Goal number 3 is to write what I want to write. I hope to finish a long lost project and start and finish a new one. I want to write with my heart and for fun and let anything come and not worry about how it sounds or how it doesn’t sound and just play–one of my favorite things about writing that too often gets pushed aside. So goal #3 Finish things–and do this by not worrying so much. Play play play!

And goal number 4 is to write more regularly. I’m not teaching this semester so I hope hope hope I’ll have at least one night set aside to focus on the people in my head. I can’t lie: the people in real life are much much much more important than any person I create. And always real people demand more attention than the poor people in my brain. However, I have learned and I have said over and over, I have more patience for the real people when the fake people get a little time to grow. #4 Write every day.

And finally, goal number 5 is to be a better writer friend. I feel like I’ve dropped the ball this year on this area. I haven’t been able to go to many signings. I haven’t even been able to read many books. I haven’t been able to go to any conferences, or dinners, or writing nights. And I haven’t been able to read very many manuscripts, etc. I hope that this year I will be just a little more free so that I can be there for my friends. Because I love you and this community. And I feel like I’ve been in a cave. #5 Open my heart more.

That’s all for tonight I guess. Tomorrow I’m going to make gyoza for dinner and I’m going to make my kids watch The Sound of Music and I’m going fold laundry and I’m going to go to water aerobics and I’m going to kiss my husband and I’m going to dream big and happy and I’m going to write whatever my heart feels like.

Happy New Year everyone! Ice cream cakes for all!!!!!!!


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Here We Are Again

Below, I have the goals I could find that we made last year. As you will see, I probably don’t have everyone’s. But at some point today I am going downstairs and seeing if my computer is working still and then I will add any extras. Unless you remember. Then please add yourself.

However–in a couple of days– 2014! Yippee ti yi yo!!!!!

What are your new goals?

This year I want to keep things more simple. My biggest goal this coming year is something I didn’t do last year but I wanted to:

Write like a professional writer.

That’s it.

What about you?

And how did you do?

And and–most important of all:

Happy 2014, Writer Friends!



Count me in too: my stated goals have been to
write 2 blogs twice a week (so I can get a little ahead)
mentor goal-setting for some of the people in my main critique group
continue to meet weekly with the new critique group
write an average of 1850 words five days a week . . .
teach my writing class (starting Jan. 15) in Canyons School District
That said, I am going to cut the word count to 1500 (will start in Feb.) and now, through the rest of January, read instead of writing:
read and read and read what I’ve already written of “Boudica’s Head”
read and read and read the research materials I have on “BH”
If/when I finish “BH,” (hopefully by May) I’ll set the next goals—can’t plan too much until I resolve health issues


This year my goals are simple: 1) Revise my Nano book. 2) Draft a new book. That’s it. Count me in for the Friday check-ins. This week, I just want to do something/anything on my Nano revisions. I need to wet me feet since I haven’t looked at it for weeks.


1. I would love to get representation this year. I know, I know that’s very far-fetched, but it’s a GOAL, right? You can have high hopes for a lucky year. {Lucky 13}
I think that this is going to be a year where I really just, writewritewrite. Last year I finished my novel, but I want to do more than that. I wanna get serious about this. {farealmaaan} Not that I’m not, but you know what I mean.

2. I want to finish and perfect my two new stories. I am stuck in the middle of both of them and I am like blah. But I think that I can get at least one of them at least written by the end of next month and the other one a very rough draft by my birthday.
Is this boring? Yeah, I think so, too.

3. I actually don’t want to share my third goal.


The biggest thing I want to accomplish with my writing this year is just to finish the two novels I’m working on. Like, finish the early drafts and move all the way through revisions. It will take a lot of balancing and some really good time management in order for me to accomplish this. But that’s my goal.


1. Work on my own memoir. Write one short essay a week (I’ll allow three weeks off).
2. Write like a writer. I want to really write. REALLY use each day. Look at my work as though this is my job. Because it is. And I want to do better at it. So my goal is 1000-2500 words a day.
3. Read ten books for big people. I want to revisit some of my faves, like EAST OF EDEN and HUCKLEBERRY FINN and LIGHT IN AUGUST.
and here’s one more–4. Write two more drafts of books. Either non-fiction or a middle grade or even something with Ann Dee. Yup, we may have thought of an idea.


1. Keep writing. Not quit.

2. Read something for me.

3. Get on a bike.


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Merry Few Days Before Your Christmas!

We hope you are happy this week, that you get and give what you need and that you experience true joy.

Merry Christmas!

See you soon.

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Three Thing Thursday–Writing Presents I’m giving myself for Christmas

1. I finished my class Tuesday night. For the final we did a reading at the Maeser Building at BYU complete with spotlight, red curtain, black stool and a microphone. I loved hearing my students’ final pieces. What they chose to read up on the stage in front of everyone. That kind of experience is transformative. After they read, they talked about something they learned. One student mentioned how through another classmate he got turned onto Billy Collins. I love Billy Collins. I forget about Billy Collins and poetry. For Christmas, I am giving myself permission to read more poetry.

2. In that class, someone said I reminded them of a girl on Seinfeld that Kramer was trying to hit on with Newman’s help. We watched the clip in class (I keep trying to find it and I can’t. Boo) and I forgot how funny Seinfeld could be. For Christmas, I’m going to try to laugh more. Lighten up and maybe have more fun when I write.

3. And finally, I had my students read this book. I ordered it blind off a list and I loved it. For Christmas, I’m going to read it again, more slowly, and write about reading it. 




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