Tuesday, December 31, 2013


As the year eats its own tail and begins again, it is time for that annual reflection on “Did I Managed last years' goals?” and “What the heck is the plan for this year?”

I've been known to do a string of these, draw out my goals with piles of specificity, and I believe that helps, but somehow with my two weeks off, I've managed to fill the with crazy 'didn't get done yet' stuff that needed doing. So I will be a bit briefer than in past years.

[I heard that sigh of relief]


Last year's goal: Lose about 80 pounds...
Last year's result: Lost 54 pounds, but in the last three months have gained about half back.
Conclusion: I did pretty good, then not so good, but at least this year I only have 50 to lose.

The How for 2014: Weight Watchers, Walking... Pretty much exactly the same as I did it LAST YEAR but without changing jobs and publishing a serial (both of which have made things super hard since July). I find the new year is a good time to just get my nose back to it. If you want the REAL specifics, just see LAST YEAR'S PLAN.

Also... I now have a carpet in my basement and a yoga mat, so I have a more feasible plan for getting some core stuff into my routine.


Last Year's Goal was about Family stuff, and there we had a pretty good year. I am very proud to say as of Friday, HWMNBMOTI has had a year of sobriety. This has meant some changes at home, 98% of them good. My daughter successfully graduated high school and completed her first semester at community college. There was a juvenile delinquency misstep with Thing 2 and some graffiti, but it is over and there are no lasting repercussions. I've come to accept that my children are just never going to do things the easy way. It is the price of marrying the hot bad boy... tell your daughters.

My 2014 balance goals are a little more loosey goosey. I am trying to get each of my family members to commit to a TV show with me—I know it sounds pathetic, but none of them want to walk with me and the other things my kids would want to do with me all cost money, so we are starting with this.

And READING... I haven't done a specific reading goal before—I sort of fit in what I can between editing and beta reading. But I found one that looks like the PERFECT size, hosted by Lori at Escape with Dollycas. It is to read through the alphabet, which is just one book every two weeks. You DON'T have to go in order. I think it will help me push myself just a little and be a good excuse to work in some of those 'classics' we are all supposed to have read that I haven't managed yet... and it will give me a way to pick WHICH of all of your great books I plan to get to next (because if I don't PICK I end up doing something silly like rereading because I am overwhelmed... this is a way to whelm me... or something)

And then the Writing Plan:

GREEN: 2013 goal MET
RED: 2013 goal NOT MET
PURPLE: 2013 goal MIXED
BLUE: 2014 goat SET

Medium Wrong DID get polished and into ABNA, but didn't pass the pitch stage... I have notes for another revision so I think it will also be THIS year's ABNA (but hopefully with a passable pitch)

What Ales Me: DID have it's revisions and is currently with Ellen (and out of my hands) SUCCESS in terms of what I could control. 2014 plan is to leave it in Ellen's capable hands unless and until she tells me otherwise.

Kahlotus Disposal Site: I sort of petered out on this. After Amy didn't have luck submitting and admitted she'd fallen out of love with it, I decided I needed a little time to think about it and haven't worked back up to it yet. My 2014 goal with it is really to decide where it fits in with my other stuff, as there is a YA PLAN *BUWAHAHAHAHAHA*

Begonia Bribe was successfully released and work prepping Keeping Mum is done. 2014, March 4, I release Keeping Mum (so need to do a marketing campaign).

Wrote Also Appearing for BuNoWriMo and unexpectedly wrote much of a teen armageddon one (Endangered) for what I dibbed March Madness. The FORMER is part of my 2014 YA plan, the LATTER I will release serially, but not until 2015.

And from there the rest of the 2013 plan went to heck because I INSTEAD decided to serially release Shot in the Light, which has been an INSANE adventure—tons of writing, editing, learning... It hasn't been a financial success, and it isn't DONE yet... I've released 5 of 12... it fits better at this point with my 2014 plan than my 2013 review, so lets change gears.

Shot In the Light: Episodes 6 and 7 to release in January, 8 in February, 9 in March, 10 and 11 in April and 12 in May... I am ALSO releasing them in paperback (bundled 4 at a time). 10-12 still need to be written, though there is a path for each character—closer to an outline than I normally do.

That, and the release of Keeping Mum, are big enough jobs that the only OTHER thing I plan to do in 1st quarter is this ABNA prep.

2nd Quarter: Finish Shot release until DONE. Revision of Also Appearing (see plan below), and Writing 2nd Artful Ales Book (BuNoWriMo)--It is my deep hope Ellen will be able to sell the Artful Ales series... I should KNOW by the end of 2nd quarter, but even if I don't KNOW, I am going to release them one way or another, and there will need to be at least 3, so I might as well keep writing.

3rd Quarter: I want to get my YA house in order. Kahlotus Disposal Site and Medium Wrong are both stand-alones that may just have to wait to see how the plan goes. Because I have decided Also Appearing will be the first in a series of 'place' YA books, each independent, but all connected to Lake Chatcolet,w here I spent much of my childhood... it is lake furthest south of one BIG lake that is actually Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, a place with tiny towns, an Indian Reservation, rustic summer cabins... and serious potential. I looked through my book ideas and at least 4 of my 'good ideas' in addition to Also Appearing, could ALSO be set there (or around there) and I think that strong, familiar set of place makes for stronger books. There are a lot of issues that can be hit—some spooky, some serious (there is an Aryan Nation headquarters to the north, so teens thinking about issues of race, there is an area known for 'Devil Worshippers' so good ghost story fodder... and then there is normal teen drama...) I'm excited, know which book will be next—for NaNoWriMo maybe (Summer Bones).

Some of you may not agree with me, and that's fine, but I still happen to think YA can be a lot bigger with a publishing house behind me, and I KNOW how much work self publishing is now. So I am at least going to attempt to make this plan go traditionally. I may change my mind. Querying is at least as painful as sorting all the publishing details. But at least with querying, you reach a time you can let somebody ELSE take over all those details. I will try Amy again, first—I loved working with her and think it was the BOOK that was the trouble, not the two of US. And if I end up with an agent to help with ALL my YA stuff, maybe she can also help sort what PLAN makes most sense (though I do think this series all set in the same place is the right idea).

What about all of you? Do you have a PLAN!? *BUWAHAHAHAHAHA*


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad your son didn't get into serious trouble over the graffiti.
Will shout out the new episode next week and be happy to help with a blog tour for Keeping Mum. (Because Keeping Mum about it would be bad...)
Happy New Year, Hart!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

It is your life so live and plan it in ways that make sense to you.

People have limited shelf lives, but they are not written on our sides. The expiration date for someone you expect to be always around might be next week -- tell your kids that and that memories of the two or three of you joking around the TV set might become more precious than dollars sooner than they expect.

I wish you all the best with KEEPING MUM. (Great title).

Have a lovely 22014 and just wing a day or two of it for the sheer freedom of it, all right? :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Hart - you've achieved loads .. the serial and you've got Keeping Mum read to go in March .. then the family .. the kids will do their own thing, but will come through and learn from those mistakes .. lots to look forward to .. Happy New Year - cheers Hilary

Andrew Leon said...

That's so much plans, I think my eyes just crossed.
Good luck, though!
Or is that break a... something?

Michael Di Gesu said...


You survived a very active year.... Pat yourself on the back for all that is good and DON"T beat yourself up for the other stuff.

You gave it your best and that is all that matters...

Goals? What goals? I just want to get back to my life. Tragic accidents, healing, traveling for work/play ... and writing kept me busy in 2013...

Now BACK TO EDITING... I need to get my book published this year. I met my goal of publication in 2013 with published illustration, covers, and blurbs.... now it's time for my novel. HA! LOL.

ALL THE BEST.... you will do it Hart. I know you will!

Sending you lots of cyber hugs!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Hart, this sounds like a year full of accomplishments to me...and a terrific and well thought-out plan for 2014! Good luck with it.

Missed Periods said...

I love making plans too! Happy New Year!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm with you on the exercise goals. And if you're looking for good books to read, I just did my Recommended Reading post for December. :)

Happy 2014! Good luck with everything!

CA Heaven said...

Lost 54 pounds! Can't be much left of you then (unless I'm misdoing the pounds to kilogram conversion; I think 1 pound is approximately 0.5 kg).

It's really cool to see your books coming out, and I hope you'll make a hell of a lot of money on them.

Good that you get your kids into college. My older son finished highschool in the spring 2012, and since then he's been doing nothing but skiing (and working in the summer to finance the ski season). I hope he will return to school next fall.

Cold As Heaven

DMS said...

It sounds like 2013 was an excellent one for you and your family and that overall you met many of your goals- or you worked on them and made progress! Good job with the weight loss- and I agree it is nicer to be closer to your goal at the start of this year. We all have setbacks. :)

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2014 with lots of writing and reading. :)

Sarah Ahiers said...

Man! You really destroyed a lot of those goals!

I think i met all of my 2013 goals. I haven't made my 2014 goals yet because i have my first MFA residency next week and want to wait until that's over before i list out goals.

Though i did commit to try and read 100 books in 2014

Helena said...

I'm so glad your family is doing better and you lost so much weight. Of course some of came back on with all the stress and stuff. But if 2013 is any indication, 2014 will be fabulous for you.

I know just what you mean about self-publishing being tough. As you know even I am going to try the traditional pub route in 2014. As for my other resolutions -- I pretty much just resolved to get to bed earlier so that I'd get up earlier in the mornings. As for more ambitious plans -- I have those too, but I'm still plotting them out. Of course I do plan to read ALL your books and serials in 2014, but at the rate you're going that's an ambitious plan.

Michelle Wallace said...

You achieved a lot in 2013! Congrats!
Wishing you a happy, peaceful and productive 2014, Hart!
Take care.
Writer In Transit