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Tag: short story

New cover for an old story!

Tim and Sara” was the first story I published, and even now, 8 years later, it’s still one of my favorites. Every few years I try to breathe life into it with a new cover. Here’s the latest.

Tim and Sara cover

The victim of debilitating flashbacks, Tim is content to spend the rest of his life at Kirkbride, a state mental hospital. But his friend and fellow resident Sara is concerned that she has to save her soul before it’s too late, and so she devises a plan to break them out of the hospital.

Can Tim help his friend while holding onto what’s left of his sanity?

This story is just $.99 and available on Amazon and Smashwords. And if you’re a Medium member, you can read it there too.

Weekend Writing Warrior 8/16/20 #8Sunday

The Maiden in the Tower coverIt’s been a crazy week! We started off getting one of those things that can only happen in 2020, like murder hornets and Tiger King – a hurricane in the Midwest. My power was knocked out for about 50 hours due to the 90mph derecho winds that swept through, and while my house was okay, there’s a ton of damage in the area that’s still getting cleaned up. The widespread power outage (about 125,000 people, or roughly half in my city) affected businesses and services too, leaving me to conclude that there just is no new normal anymore and never will be again.

On a happier note, the first book in my Viking fairy tales series launches in just a couple weeks! This week will be the last excerpt from the standalone prequel short story, “The Maiden in the Tower,” my retelling of Rapunzel set in the Viking-infused world of The Heartsbane Saga, before I switch to book 1.

Last week left off with Storm falling in love with Carys and vowing to rescue her from her servitude in a tower. They’ve been talking to each other for a couple days, and now we’re skipping just a little ahead this week to the part you’re all probably waiting for – how does he get up to see her??

* * * * * * *

“There’s no way for you to come down to the street?” he asked her as dusk fell on the second day.

“No,” Carys said, her tone frustrated, “my mistress locks the door and only she has the key.”

“Then I suppose I’ll have to find a way up.” He paused, considering possible options. “Do you have thread in your chamber, and a basket?”

She laughed. “Aye, but nothing strong enough or big enough to haul you up.”

He returned the next night at dusk; Carys was waiting for him at the window.

“Lower down your basket,” he instructed her.

“Did you find a magic potion to make yourself smaller?”

* * * * * * *

And here’s the rest of that scene:

“No, but I did find a rope.”

When the basket reached him, he tied the rope to the handle. “Now pull the basket back up.”

She did as he said, and when it reached the top she untied the rope and disappeared into her room for a moment before reappearing at the window. “I tied my end to the bed post.”

“Perfect.” Storm tugged on his end. “Here’s hoping the knot is secure!”

Night had fully descended but still Storm climbed the wall as quickly as he could. The street outside the window was barely more than an alley, but he didn’t want to take any chances of being found out.

Once at the top, he pulled himself into the chamber. The room was larger than he’d expected, filled with luxurious furnishings, but he only had eyes for Carys.

She watched him closely, seeming unsure of herself. He reminded himself that she’d been locked up here for years, with only a bitter old woman for company. And then suddenly he was unsure of himself too. What was he even doing up here? He barely knew this girl.

But then she smiled at him, giving herself a dazzling confidence. Storm smiled back, and Carys laughed.

“What are you laughing about?” he asked.

“I dinnae even know,” she answered, still laughing. “Maybe the absurdity of you scaling the wall to be here with me in my mistress’s chamber.”

“It’ll be a funny story to tell our children some day.”

Carys raised an eyebrow, and Storm’s face grew uncharacteristically warm.

“I mean, my children and your children. Not necessarily the same children.”

His stammering response only made her laugh more.

* * * * * * *

Read the rest of “The Maiden in the Tower,” just $.99 at Amazon, then post a link to your eight-ten sentence blog entry or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website. Also, book 1, Captive and the Cursed (which is Beauty and the Beast – with Vikings!) releases September 1st and is available for pre-order now.

* * * * * * *

About “The Maiden in the Tower:”

Rapunzel – with Vikings!

Carys barely remembers her life before her father sold her to pay his debts. Locked away in her mistress’s chamber, she doesn’t dare to dream of anything better for herself, until a chance encounter with a traveling merchant changes her life forever.

Storm has traveled the lengths of the known world, yet when he sees a servant girl locked in a tower, he knows he’ll do anything to rescue her.

Can Storm and Carys overcome the obstacles in their path and reach the happily ever after they both want?

The Maiden in the Tower is a standalone short story that accompanies a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings. If you like sassy heroines, adventures spanning the medieval world, and a touch of romance, you’ll love The Heartsbane Saga, E.D. Martin’s new historical fantasy series.

Weekend Writing Warrior 8/9/20 #8Sunday

The Maiden in the Tower coverHappy Sunday and happy Weekend Writing Warrior blog hop!

This week’s excerpt is from “The Maiden in the Tower,” my retelling of Rapunzel set in the Viking-infused world of The Heartsbane Saga. I’m continuing on from last week, when our heroine Carys dropped her cleaning supplies out her tower window and onto a dude’s head. Her mistress then showed up and Carys ducked back inside.

* * * * * * *

Storm Llanfaell stood beneath the window, waiting for it to reopen. He’d traveled half the known world, and yet the woman he’d just met had just captured his heart.

The rain continued and still he stood there in the street, waiting. Finally, as night fell and his stomach rumbled in protest, he made a note of where he was and went searching for dinner.

He entered the first tavern his path crossed. As he waited for his drink and meal, he asked the barkeep, “Tell me, sir, who lives in that large stone house three streets over from here?”

“There are a lot of large stone houses in this part of the city.”

“The one with the shuttered windows on the fourth floor of a tower.”

“That be Llyswa,” the man beside him at the bar said. “A witch of a woman if ever there was one.”

* * * * * * *

And here’s the rest of that scene:

“Oh?”

“Aye,” the barkeep said. “She’ll help ya out of a pinch, but only in exchange for your soul.”

“Or your children’s souls,” added the customer. “She trades the wee ones all over the country, although the prettier girls tend to end up working the whorehouses here in town.”

“She’s a slaver,” Storm said flatly. Slavery was outlawed in Llogeria, but that didn’t stop the trade.

“She’s a cousin of the king, is what she is,” the customer said with a laugh. “That makes her a debt collector.”

Storm thought about what he’d learned as he lay awake in bed that night. A merchant by trade, he well knew that there were different rules for the rich and the nobility. Still, it hardly seemed fair that this woman could sell children with the king’s blessing.

The woman he’d talked to today wasn’t a child, though. Even four stories above him he could tell she was beautiful: long golden hair he wanted to run his fingers through, full red lips he longed to kiss….

He would find a way to rescue her. Even if she didn’t return his feelings, he wouldn’t rest until she was free.

* * * * * * *

Read the rest of “The Maiden in the Tower,” just $.99 at Amazon, then post a link to your eight-ten sentence blog entry or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website. Also, book 1, Captive and the Cursed (which is Beauty and the Beast – with Vikings!) releases September 1st and is available for pre-order now.

* * * * * * *

About “The Maiden in the Tower:”

Rapunzel – with Vikings!

Carys barely remembers her life before her father sold her to pay his debts. Locked away in her mistress’s chamber, she doesn’t dare to dream of anything better for herself, until a chance encounter with a traveling merchant changes her life forever.

Storm has traveled the lengths of the known world, yet when he sees a servant girl locked in a tower, he knows he’ll do anything to rescue her.

Can Storm and Carys overcome the obstacles in their path and reach the happily ever after they both want?

The Maiden in the Tower is a standalone short story that accompanies a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings. If you like sassy heroines, adventures spanning the medieval world, and a touch of romance, you’ll love The Heartsbane Saga, E.D. Martin’s new historical fantasy series.

Weekend Writing Warrior 8/2/20 #8Sunday

The Maiden in the Tower coverHow is it already August, yet it seems as if 2020 has lasted forever and probably will never end? Anyone else feeling that way too?

Regardless of what kind of timeless alternate timeline we’ve found ourselves in, today is Sunday which means I’m again participating in the Weekend Writing Warrior blog hop.

This week’s excerpt is from “The Maiden in the Tower,” my retelling of Rapunzel set in the Viking-infused world of The Heartsbane Saga. This skips forward from last week’s excerpt, to Carys’s new life sold into servitude to pay her father’s debts.

* * * * * * *

And so the years passed, until one day when Carys was fifteen and her mistress was once again gone. A gentle spring rain was falling outside, pattering against the tin roof overhead as she dusted her lady’s chamber. On an impulse, she threw open the shutters and stuck her head out the window. She giggled as the water dripped down her upturned face, bringing back muddled memories of running through the rain in Orllewinol. So caught up was she in this long-forgotten memory, she relaxed her grip on her duster.

“Hey there, watch what you’re doing!”

An angry shout roused her and she quickly looked down at the street below, at the young man rubbing his head.

“I’m quite sorry, sir! It’s the rain’s fault though, and not any ill will towards you.”

* * * * * * *

And here’s the rest of that scene:

As he looked up at her, the man’s face broke out into a smile. “The rain, you say?”

“Yes, the rain! I hadn’t felt it on my face in so long, and I suppose I got caught up in the sensation and lost track of what I was doing.”

“I suppose then it’s best it was just the duster that fell and not you.” He paused. “At least four floors to fall past.”

“It is a long ways down.” Carys frowned. “I dinnae suppose you could throw the duster back up?”

“Wouldn’t it just be easier for you to come down and get it?” he asked.

“Perhaps if I were a bird and could fly down.” She laughed at the image. “But I’m just a girl, and I can’t leave my mistress’s chamber.”

Now it was the man’s turn to frown. “Are you a prisoner then?”

* * * * * * *

Read the rest of “The Maiden in the Tower,” just $.99 at Amazon, then post a link to your eight-ten sentence blog entry or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website. Also, book 1, Captive and the Cursed (which is Beauty and the Beast – with Vikings!) releases September 1st and is available for pre-order now.

* * * * * * *

About “The Maiden in the Tower:”

Rapunzel – with Vikings!

Carys barely remembers her life before her father sold her to pay his debts. Locked away in her mistress’s chamber, she doesn’t dare to dream of anything better for herself, until a chance encounter with a traveling merchant changes her life forever.

Storm has traveled the lengths of the known world, yet when he sees a servant girl locked in a tower, he knows he’ll do anything to rescue her.

Can Storm and Carys overcome the obstacles in their path and reach the happily ever after they both want?

The Maiden in the Tower is a standalone short story that accompanies a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings. If you like sassy heroines, adventures spanning the medieval world, and a touch of romance, you’ll love The Heartsbane Saga, E.D. Martin’s new historical fantasy series.

Weekend Writing Warrior 7/26/20 #8Sunday

Wow, it’s been almost two years since I’ve participated in the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop, and it’s good to be back – with a new release, no less! This week’s excerpt is from “The Maiden in the Tower,” my retelling of Rapunzel set in the Viking-infused world of The Heartsbane Saga.

* * * * * * *

The Maiden in the Tower cover“Race you,” Carys called to her friends as they ran from the village green to the river bordering their tiny village.

“No fair,” one boy shouted after her, “you already started!”

“Then you should run faster!” Carys said with a laugh.

Carys didn’t actually care about winning. For her, the race was all about the rush of the wind in her long hair, the feel of the cool grass beneath her bare feet. She had lots of chores waiting for her in her father’s small cottage on the edge of the village, but right now, on this beautiful spring day, it was all about the moment.

“Carys,” a voice boomed after her, “Carys Tew!”

The children stopped and looked at each other, wide-eyed.

“Oh, Carys, you’re in trouble now,” one boy whispered.

* * * * * * *

Find out just what kind of trouble Carys is in by getting “The Maiden in the Tower,” just $.99 at Amazon, then post a link to your eight-ten sentence blog entry or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

* * * * * * *

About “The Maiden in the Tower:”

Rapunzel – with Vikings!

Carys barely remembers her life before her father sold her to pay his debts. Locked away in her mistress’s chamber, she doesn’t dare to dream of anything better for herself, until a chance encounter with a traveling merchant changes her life forever.

Storm has traveled the lengths of the known world, yet when he sees a servant girl locked in a tower, he knows he’ll do anything to rescue her.

Can Storm and Carys overcome the obstacles in their path and reach the happily ever after they both want?

The Maiden in the Tower is a standalone short story that accompanies a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings. If you like sassy heroines, adventures spanning the medieval world, and a touch of romance, you’ll love The Heartsbane Saga, E.D. Martin’s new historical fantasy series.

New release!!

The Maiden in the Tower coverAfter months and years of talking about The Heartsbane Saga, the new series I’ve been working on, I’ve finally released a book into the world!

Two books, actually.

The first is a standalone short story, “The Maiden in the Tower.”

Rapunzel – with Vikings!

Carys barely remembers her life before her father sold her to pay his debts. Locked away in her mistress’s chamber, she doesn’t dare to dream of anything better for herself, until a chance encounter with a traveling merchant changes her life forever.

Storm has traveled the lengths of the known world, yet when he sees a servant girl locked in a tower, he knows he’ll do anything to rescue her.

Can Storm and Carys overcome the obstacles in their path and reach the happily ever after they both want?

Captive and the Cursed CoverThe second release is Book 1, Captive and the Cursed.

Beauty and the Beast – with Vikings!

Nyah Llanfaell’s merchant father raised her and her younger sister Payton on tales of treasure and barbarians, but when he returns home from his latest trip addle-minded, Nyah must put aside her dreams of adventure and focus on more practical matters, such as securing their future through her betrothal to Wynne Maddox, the illiterate son of the village toísech. That future is threatened when a roving band of Karjalander barbarians kidnap Payton, and the village leaders, Wynne included, will do nothing to rescue her. Nyah has no choice but to take matters into her own hands. She offers herself in her sister’s place, doomed to travel with the barbarian army until their price is paid.

The army is led by Karjalander warrior Brandulfur Gudrodarson, a man who suffers from a hideous, painful curse that’s been put upon him and his court. Although the official reason he is in Llogeria is to aid his childhood friend in raising an army to support the Llogerian king, he’s on a personal quest for the book that holds the cure for his curse – a book that Nyah soon realizes her father stole from him.

Determined to return to her family, she’ll need all the allies she can get. But she soon realizes no one is who they seem, including the people closest to her. She’ll have to make hard choices if she wants her life to be the same as before – but is Nyah even the person she thinks she is?

“The Maiden in the Tower” is available through Amazon for just $.99, and Captive and the Cursed is available for preorder, scheduled to release September 1st. The short story will be wide within the next couple weeks, and Book 1 will be within a week of its release.

Make sure you get your copies, then read and review!

Summer 2020 goal review – ‘Ronaverse edition (again)

What is normal anymore? This pandemic has been going on for months. We’re adapting (kind of), but then what we’re adapting to changes. I don’t even know any more.

Anyways, here’s my quarterly review of how my progress towards my goals is going.

  1. Finish and submit/publish my Heartsbane series and 7+ related short stories.
    Still working on edits. Two short stories are done (.5, “The Maiden in the Tower” and 5.5 “The Fabiranum Town Thieves”). Edits are almost done for book 1 and I will FORCE MYSELF to get it to my editor in the next week. I need to get this done already.
  2. Publish to Medium at least twice a month.
    So far in 2020 I’ve published 16 stories on Medium, with one more submitted and waiting on publication. I’ve gotten at least 2 stories published every month since January, and 3 months I had 3-4 stories. Writing microfictions definitely helps with this.
  3. Continue to increase my networking.
    My goal is to comment on, clap for, and/or share at least 15 people’s blog posts or works, at least 4-5 times a week. I thought I’d be better with this since I’ve been mostly working from home the past several months, but I’m probably only meeting this about once a week. I’m doing a conference (virtual, unfortunately, due to the ‘rona) with Brian Cohen next month, and that should be great for networking.
  4. Buy a cabin on Lake Superior.
    Everything is still on hold with this. Craft shows are starting back up, but I don’t feel very comfortable being around unmasked people. Side counseling is also on hold due to the pandemic. AND the transmission just went out in my van; I’m fighting with my extended warranty company over fixing it, which could be very expensive if they won’t cover it. With retail and everything opening back up, I’m looking into maybe getting a part-time job, at least for the time being, because I really need this cabin for my mental well-being.
  5. Marie Kondo the shit outta my life.
    Living room is done and hasn’t really filled back up with clutter (other than the bags of stuff to go to Goodwill and my mask-making stuff all over the coffee table). Due to the nice weather I’ve switched gears to outside. My dad and I put in a retaining wall out front, with an herb garden in one bed and flowers in another. I added more vegetable beds and fruit trees outside too. It’s now super hot and humid here in the Midwest, so I’m back inside more than out. Time to tackle probably my dining room and my basement. One of the problems with the dining room, however, is that it’s filled with yarn and so every time I move a ball or skein I start making something with it. Oh well.
  6. Read 100 books.
    Right now I’m at 16 books for the year, which is 35 behind where I should be. I just haven’t been in the mood to read anything; work has been really emotionally draining over the past couple months, with lots of tough client situations, and when I unwind I don’t want to have to think. A few authors I enjoy have new books coming out soon though, so maybe this’ll pick up for me.

One thing I have done, that’s not reflected in the goals above, is knocked several travel destinations off my bucket list. My son and I drove out US Rte 6 to Boston in March (we drove the western part of it in 2016), so I’ve now driven the entire 3200 miles of it! We were supposed to go to New York too at the time, but our trip was cut short by the pandemic. I also finally made it to Carhenge on Memorial Day weekend, a place I’ve wanted to go since I was probably about 12 or 13. And I just got back from a road trip with my son to Delaware, which was the last of the lower 48 states we hadn’t been to. (For the last two trips, I camped most of the way, wore a mask when I was in public, and generally avoided people.) Google has this timeline thing where they put a dot on a map for every place you go when you have the location turned on for your phone, and my goal now is to fill in the missing dots. Upcoming possible destinations for camping road trips include southern Missouri/Arkansas and Michigan/Wisconsin/Minnesota, depending on how many vacation days I have and how stupid other people are being.

Carhenge

Carhenge is both stupidly awesome and awesomely stupid. Definitely worth the drive to see it.

Overall, I’m making progress on some goals, not so much on others. A large part of this is the pandemic; I have more time on my hands, and I’m always less productive when I don’t have dozens of things that HAVE to get done. I need external deadlines, not internal. If you have similar issues with ignoring self-imposed deadlines, please let me know in the comments below!

If you’ve set goals for yourself, what are they? How are you doing with them?

Spring 2020 goal review – ‘Ronaverse edition

Heartsbane Saga PromoHow is it that it’s already April and yet this year feels like it’s lasted a million years already?

I’m working from home right now, which is weird. I usually spend my work days running from the 3 area hospitals to the shelters and other places my homeless clients hang out, from the courthouse to the treatment facilities, and for the past couple weeks I’ve had to do everything by phone because I can’t have face-to-face contact with clients. It’s an adjustment, definitely. I’m trying to stay busy, but let’s be honest, I definitely have more free time now. So maybe I’ll make some progress on these goals?

Regardless, every three months or so I try to provide an update on how I’m doing with my annual goals, and it’s time for my spring update.

  1. Finish and submit/publish my Heartsbane series and 7+ related short stories.
    I’ve pitched the series to my publisher and am working on polishing up book 1 to give him very soon. I have an editor assigned, and we’re working on getting the cover artist. So, maybe mid summer for the release of book 1, possibly a little earlier for the first short story? The first 4 are written, just need revisions. And of course something I revise in the first book (“I’m a secret agent!” “I’m a secret villain!”) has to trickle down to the rest of them.
  2. Publish to Medium at least twice a month.
    So far in 2020 I’ve published 5 stories on Medium, with one more submitted and waiting on publication. And I’ve also done parts 1 and 2 of a short story, “Spice Pirates,” that’ll probably end up being 4 parts altogether. Yay, I’m meeting this goal!
  3. Continue to increase my networking.
    My goal is to comment on, clap for, and/or share at least 15 people’s blog posts or works, at least 4-5 times a week. I’ve been going in spurts on this, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to do this more consistently with the extra time I have on my hands right now.
  4. Buy a cabin on Lake Superior.
    Reaching this goal right now means upping my side hustles, which are kinda on hold right now. I’d intended to do some craft shows this spring but that’s obviously not happening. Neither is a side job at the moment, since counseling places aren’t really hiring for evenings right now. I’m still keeping my eyes open for extra income, and crocheting a TON so I’ll be set when/if things go back to normal.
  5. Marie Kondo the shit outta my life.
    I’ve been doing decent with this. I decided to go through each room of my house and make it exactly how I want it. I started with my living room; I repainted the tan walls pale blue and painted all the dark wood trim white, then rearranged the furniture. My dad made me a couple book shelves as well as some little shelves tucked into the walls, and I’ve put everything on those. Decluttering, as well as keeping the room decluttered, has been good for my mental health. I’m now working on my entry hallway and stairs. I repainted the lighter tan hallway a lighter pale blue and repainted the trim white as well. I got rid of a lot of the clutter that tends to congregate in the entryway. We stripped all the old stain and carpet glue off the stairs, and now I’m in the process of restaining and painting them. I should be done in the next couple of weeks, depending on how motivated I am. I’m also building a wall ladder plant holder (since my cats love eating my plants) to put at the bottom of the stairs. The colors are very calming, as is not having stuff everywhere. Then it’s on to my dining room, which is a cluttered disaster since it currently doubles as my office.
  6. Read 100 books.
    So far I’ve only read 9 of the 25 I should be at. I just haven’t been in a reading mood, I guess. I’ve been spending a lot of time writing and crocheting instead of reading. And I’ve started a bunch of books but lost interest in them halfway through. Maybe this would be a good time to unpause my reading around the world challenge.

So, there it is. Like usual, I’m making progress on some goals but not on others. Life is throwing us all a massive curveball right now, and I guess all we can do is try our best to keep things normal while everything is definitely not normal. Welcome to the ‘Ronaverse, I guess.

If you’ve set goals for yourself, what are they? How are you doing with them?

Coming soon – a new series with its own mascot!

Clyde happensFor the past year or so, most of my writing effort has been divided between short stories and The Heartsbane Saga, the new series I’m working on. I’ve been working on this series for years, actually, but it’s really gained its momentum over the last 12-15 months.

This series will be 7 novellas (so far, about 40-50k words each although I expect they’ll get longer as the series progresses) and 7 stand-alone-ish short stories, each of which is based on a different fairy tale.

Originally the series was just going to be one book, but then it morphed into 7. I had them all roughly plotted out. My writing group, Chicken Scratch QC, approved of the arc. I was all set.

I wrote book 1. So far, so good. I started on book 2. And that’s when things started to go off the rails (although in a good way, because the direction I’m going in has a lot more depth and excitement and twists to it). Specifically, Clyde happened.

Clyde is a character who wasn’t supposed to be a character, who’s kinda become a legend in my local writing groups as a way to express when things aren’t going the way you thought they would in your story. “Dammit, Clyde” is frequently heard at writing gatherings.

In book 2, my main group of characters travels to Aghlabid, a far away country, and they’re accompanied by a couple nameless huskarler (bodyguards). Or at least, they were supposed to be nameless. Our conversation went a bit like this:

Character A: We want names.

Me: No.

Character B: I’ll be Gunnar.

Me: No.

Character A: And I’m Clyde.

Me: WTF. Clyde? Clyde is not a Viking name. At least Gunnar is a traditional Icelandic/Viking name.

Clyde: Also, we’re going to be integral to the plot.

Me: No.

Clyde: F your outline.

Me: Dammit, Clyde!

And Clyde’s been uncooperative ever since. I’ve had to redo my series outline at least three times now because of him, although again, each time the story’s become stronger and better for it.

But please, don’t tell Clyde that.

Heartsbane slideI’d originally planned to have the first book to my publisher earlier this spring, but due to changes to the series I’ve had to do some retconning (dammit, Clyde) and am now waiting until most of it is done before we release all the books a month or two apart, hopefully starting this spring. If you want to read sneak peaks, please head over to Patreon, where the first short story, “The Maiden in the Tower,” is posted as well as the first chapters of the books.

Fall 2019 goal review

Every three months or so, I try to provide an update on how I’m doing with my annual goals. Here’s my update for this fall.

  1. Publish to Medium at least weekly and Patreon monthly.
    Mid August, I offered to fill in running evening substance use groups as-needed. Turns out they needed me to do it three times a week until someone new was hired for the position. I’m currently on week 8 of this, and that 15 or so extra hours of work a week, in addition to my regular 40, has been kicking my butt creatively. I’ve been putting all my time into my novella series (see #2 below) and have only published 15 stories on Medium this year, compared to the 39 I should have at this point. I’ve also only posted 3 short stories on Patreon, compared to the 10 I should be at (but I don’t have any patrons, so I don’t really feel all that motivated to post).
  2. Finish my novella series.
    Book 3 is done and I’m planning on writing book 4 for NaNoWriMo this year. I also have a finished short story and a couple more half-written shorts. I’d planned to send the first book to my publisher already but have had to go back and change some stuff in it so that the plot flows better in later books. I’ve also completely re-outlined the series several times, as characters have not cooperated as they should’ve. However, I think this is making the series stronger because the plot and character development is now more natural.
  3. Increase my networking.
    14-hour work days will kill your networking. I’ll get back to this when I drop back down to filling in occasionally rather than 3 times a week.
  4. Read 100 books.
    I’m at 51 right now, which is 27 behind schedule. Again, no time to read.
  5. Keep going with my trauma-informed care/school social work writing.
    I have some ideas for posts on TIC but I haven’t written any yet. I need to get back to this.
  6. Have more adventures.
    I made it to Wichita and Truth or Consequences, NM, on our vacation to the Grand Canyon this summer, but for the most part the trip went well. We didn’t run out of gas like we did in Oregon a couple years ago. No ambulance rides like in Thailand last summer. No wild animal attacks or banks blocking my debit card or really weird tourist traps. My kid and I are spending a weekend in L.A. in December, so maybe that’ll turn into an adventure for us?

Unless something drastically changes soon (and I really, really, really hope it does not), it doesn’t look like I’ll be hitting my goals this year. But you know what? That’s okay. As Armando Perez once said, “Reach for the stars and if you don’t grab ’em, at least you’d fall on top of the world.” I may not be hitting my goals, but at least I’m writing!

If you’ve set goals for yourself, what are they? How are you doing with them?

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