Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reflections 2013

                I just read the blog post I wrote last year about reflections.  I enjoyed reading about what I accomplished in 2012, so I will write about what I achieved in 2013 including my hopes for next year.  As always reading is at the top of the list.  Unfortunately, in September life became a bit complicated with an increase in writing activity and volunteering.  I stopped putting down the books I finished with the total being 40 books.  Opps!  I am changing my strategy and instead of listing books on a spreadsheet, I am going to post them on pinterest.  This will be a nice change for 2014.  As for what I read last year, I have to say I didn’t really have any books that stood out.  I read a lot of free books that I received off of Book Bub.  This year I am hoping to work more off my old reliable favorite authors list and suggestions from friends.

                The book I wanted to finish this year was the Bible.  Alas, I got about three fourths of the way done and stopped.  I feel guilty, but I ended up facilitating a Bible study twice a week and chairing a committee for a church retreat.  All of this took up a lot of time and really made for a great excuse.  Now is my quiet time of the year, so hopefully I will finish up this very special book.  With this, I ended up not reading the entire book of Saint Jerome’s writings.  To be honest, this became a little boring after a while, but I may pick it up again.  This year I am going back to Saint Frances de Sales’ work.  He entertained me a lot.  Besides, he is the patron saint of writers, so I have missed learning about him these last two years when I worked with different saints.  Also, I am keeping the words delight and joy in the forefront of my thoughts for the year.  Last year the word was discipline.  I did become more disciplined in my writing, but the word seems a little oppressive.  I want light and airy this year which delight and joy definitely fit.

                I am very excited about my writing journey the past year.  I didn’t keep up with the blog as much as I would like, but I grew in leaps and bounds with the word count, editing, and publishing.  The latter I added in the spring to learn about how to indie publish.  My goal for words I surpassed by 26,000.  I wrote 91,000 words of new fiction and the rest of my 227,000 words were all non-fiction.  This next year I am going to shoot to add 50,000 words to the total by doubling my fiction words and reducing my non-fiction by a little bit.  My daughter thinks I need to have a goal of 315,000 because this is what I need to reach 1,000,000 words.  I told her I would indeed try, but I am not going to worry too much.  As for my editing, I think I finally became better at rewriting my scenes and developing them.  I worked really hard on five short stories and my novel.  I blew past my goal by 2800 minutes.  For someone who hates to edit, I think I did awesome.  I went over my publishing minutes by 1500.  Really in both the editing and publishing, I am not sure how much time I should be spending on the tasks.  I probably need to do a lot more, but each year I increase the goals.  At some point I will find the correct number.  As always, this year I will strive to do more including indie e-publishing my work.

                Adventures were abundant this past year.  The family flew to Cancun to take in the resort scene; plus, we traveled to Chichen Itza to see the Mayan structures.  At some point, I still need to write the short story that my muse excitedly helped me write out an outline for during the vacation.  Throughout the summer, I went on a couple of hikes in areas I haven’t been before which I enjoyed immensely.  I also visited an area that I hadn’t been to in years, Ross Creek Cedars.  I want to go back this next year when the light is better to do some photo shoots.  The Cedars will be in a book idea I have down the road.  In the early fall, I took in some Scandinavian history and culture in both Washington and Montana.  Oh, I also visited an Amish store.  My last grand adventure took place in Missouri.  I visited the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  This next year I am not sure where I will explore.  I believe I will stay closer to home.  Falcons have become an interest for me in the last couple of months, so I want to visit a bird sanctuary about 200 miles from my home.  I suspect I will work on hiking into a waterfall I have wanted to explore for many years.  My options are unlimited.  In fact, a friend posted a link to a bucket list for Montana.  I have done 26 of the 100 activities.  If I add my bucket list items, I have plenty of adventures to choose from.

                This year I am adding a new goal to my arsenal.  Since I have retired, I have concentrated on healing, writing, gardening, multiple projects, and just enjoying life.  Because of the aches and pains from my autoimmune diseases, I have allowed myself to get out of shape.  I have exercised a bit, but hiking long distances has been out of the question.  I don’t want this to be my future.  I worry that my writing goals will suffer from the added stress working out will do to my body, but I hope over time I will be rewarded.  Besides, I really want to make it into the falls.  Hopefully, I will be sharing pictures of this in May or June.

                So, come on 2014, I look forward to all the fun and work we have in store. 

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