Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Review and 2014 Goals


I've neglected this blog a bit more this year. I've been lost in revisions most of the year, and wrote a NaNoWriMo novel. Then there's life! I've done my best to up with updates, so here's a 2013 recap!
Google+ made this neat video of my year in pictures and some video that I thought would be fun to share! 

video

There's not much I can complain about when you look at such a list and the video! This is our first full year in San Diego, and from what you can see, it's been a whirlwind. We're so thankful for new friends and the old ones who traveled to see us. 

Now what about those goals I set out for myself?

2013 Goals
1) Organize writings. Make a Scrivener document with ideas and clean out my Google Docs. Let's see what kind of treasures I can find!
2) Write more short stories. Once a month I'm going to open a Scrivener document to write a short story and they will be collected in this file, along with first liners and ideas. The Merry Fates book, The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories persuaded me to try something different now that I'm writing full time. It'll also keep me writing even when I'm revising. 
I started one short story, and the other became my NaNoWriMo project. Hmm.
3) Submit! I feel I'm very close to having something ready for submission and this is the biggest (and scariest goal) I want to see happen this year.I'm in the waiting phase right now
4) Climb a mountain. I grew up on the prairie and surrounded by hills. Fargo was flat. It's strange living somewhere with mountains and I would like to go hiking. It will also help me continue to get my health on. 
We did plenty of climbing on our San Diego Country trip. See blog post above.
5) Rewrite my life list.I found my old one and was surprised by how much I crossed off since getting married seven years ago. It's time to look at the bigger picture.
6) Attend a writer's conference. Now that I'm on the West Coast, there are more to choose from. I would love to go to the summer SCBWI since I'm less than two hours away. Let's see where I'm at in eight months! 

I didn't attend one in person, but I did participate in WriteOnCon. So, for now, I'm going to count that!
7) Get involved in a writer community like AbsoluteWrite. I'm finding YAHighway as a wonderful resource in the meantime, but would love to get in more discussions and ask/give help. 

I've met so many wonderful writers this year online. I'm so excited to see people achieve their goals and dreams in the coming years. Next year, my first column for YAInterrobang will be published about YA fanart. 

Now that I look at this list, I think I've done fairly well for myself in 2013. I will admit, I was a little bummed since I feel like I could have done more. That's one of the reasons why I write posts like this--- it sheds some perspective on that sullen point of view. 


Now what should I do next?

2014 Goals
1) Finish writing my NaNoWriMo project Death Notice.
2) I will have three books to revise once I complete Death Notice. I would like to have two out of the three revised.
3) Write another book. I have several ideas in my head, and I'm thinking this will be the year I write about witches!
4) Write one short story.
5) I was diagnosed with a condition where I need to change my diet. I was at first a bit devastated since I'm already vegan and eat quite healthy. However, this will be the next step to get my body in best working order. I would like to have a handle on knowing on what carbs are best for me. Also, I'm determined to be consistent in walking 10 miles every week and work my way up from there.
6) Whale watching is something I can say we didn't have back in North Dakota and I really want to go out on the ocean for a look. It'll also be fun to go out onto the ocean in a boat for the first time!
7) I'm really in love with the YouTube cartoon Bee and Puppycat. I would love to make a costume for this! I probably should get ideas and update my Jedi costume for 2015!

Looks like I'm going for the number 7 again this year! 

I'm wishing everyone a great 2014 with much adventure and reaching your goals! I'm hoping for bigger things (like an agent), but there are things you can't control. I've learned that it's okay--- and to have the flux of emotions to come with it. My yearly goals have always had one purpose: Keep Moving Forward.

What are you looking forward to most in 2014?

Natasha

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Rest of My NaNoWriMo Check-In

Katniss special at my local BN.
This blog has taken a hit in entries for various reasons. The number one reason? I've done a lot of revising and writing this year--- and it feels great!

NaNoWriMo was in full swing in November. Once I finished writing for the day, I didn't feel like staying on the computer. I managed to get my writing done by sprinting with fellow writers and hanging out in the different cafes in my local area. One of the reasons why I love, love, love doing NaNoWriMo is the people. I met so many great writers this year and I'm so proud of the hard work everyone did. 


The thing about NaNoWriMo is it's about getting words on the page. More specifically, the first 50,000 words. For some projects it can be enough, but mine is about halfway completed. There's about another month or two worth of writing before it's finished. This is the first time that I've used an outline like this, and I have to say, it's working out really well. Usually when I hit the middle, I'm frantically trying to keep my confidence high enough to keep going. Reviewing over my outline again, I'm revved up to complete this story. I'm ready for more times in the cafe and crossing the next finish line--- a first draft. 

Congrats to all the fellow NaNoWriMo participants! I consider us all winners since we all worked hard and learned something from the experience. Even if it means finding out NaNoWriMo isn't the right thing for you. I believe finding more about yourself and your process is worth a lot. 

Here's to more writing and revision!
Natasha

BONUS! The top three songs from DEATH NOTICE'S playlist
1) Kill Your Heroes by AWOLNATION
Morana holds the life of her teacher (hero) in her hands if she fails her trial. 
"I say ya kill your heroes and
Fly, fly, baby don't cry.
No need to worry cause
Everybody will die.
Every day we just
Go, go, baby don't go.
Don't you worry we
Love you more than you know."


2) Just Breathe by Pearl Jam 
Morana also finds herself having the life of a human in her hands since she's training to become a Reaper.
"Nothing you would take
Everything you gave
Hold me til I die
Meet you on the other side..."

3) Live Your Life by MIKA
Mortifer, Morana's trainer, has to re-evaluate the end of his life and what it means. 
"You've got the whole world in your pocket
But you just don't know
Everybody's smilin' at you everywhere you go
It's like you've got that secret
That everybody else wants to know"