The Bad News, I’m an addict; The Good News, I’m in Recovery

ScreamFor the last few years I forgot my main career goal, become a successful fiction writer. I was slapped in the face with this realization back in April. Years of goals not met sent me over the edge. That and the stress in my life was threatening to kill me, literally. Yes, literally. My immune system was on fire when I was knocked on my ass. I was an addict hitting rock bottom, my drug of choice distractions.

I’m certainly NOT looking for pity. It was one of the best things to ever happen to me. Sometimes we need to fall to get back up stronger and wiser. Now, I’m here to say, NO MORE!

The last few months have been very productive. That means I can fulfill one of my annual goals: telling fans what’s new and exciting in the worlds I create. something I’ll start doing quarterly for all my stories and monthly for The Courier series. This is my quarterly check in with fans.

margeryI sat down and brainstormed on specific content and announcements. What might the readers of The Courier series want? The answer came to me right away. Margery the demon. She makes sense because everyone who has read the first book mentions her. So I had a conversation with Margery. Those of you who have read Call for Obstruction know that Margery is the antagonist. You also know she’s a bit of a chain smoker, and that her cigarettes are packed with magic you want to avoid. Well, Margery has decided she wants to tell her backstory. Let’s just say that when she rolled one of her cigarettes between thumb and index finger, I got out of her way and let her have what she wants. So I’ll hand my blog over to Margery once a month, and I guarantee you’ll love her posts or you’ll risk her wrath. I’ll also email her stories to email subscribers, something I’ll set up in the next few weeks.

Call for Obstruction CoverI’d like to remind everyone that Call for Obstruction is available for free and will remain free through the end of the year at least. It’s been on Wattpad and is now available on Smashwords. And it’s absolutely positively edited and finished. In case you missed it, the story also has a new book cover that I revealed a few months back. It’s by the amazing RL Treadway of Artlink.

What’s that you ask? When’s the next book coming out. Well, I’m in the middle of a rewrite that’s taking longer than expected. Warrant for Damnation will release in parts starting the fourth quarter of this year. The book cover for book 2 was released a few months ago. Want to see it, CLICK HERE.

I’m also editing old flash fiction stories and re-releasing them on Wattpad. Road to Nowhere was released this week. I’m going to try to re-release a story a week and will put a link in the right column, but we’ll see how that goes. Read them while you can. They’ll only be there temporarily before they’re officially published in a collection.

That’s all for this quarter. Until October. Whoo hoo! Halloween!

Two Things at a Time

Weighing-Scales-1If only I weighed what this scale reads.

Week one with no sugar sucked and it’s only getting worse. Every day around 2:00 P.M. my nerves are on edge, and I could kill someone for a Jolly Rancher. What do I do to curb the cravings? I eat a tablespoon of raisins and half a handful of nuts.

Anyway, last week I decided to set 2 goals to get me started, lose one pound a week and quit the sugar during the first quarter of 2014. I’m kinda cheating though. Going cold turkey on the sugar alone equals one pound a week. Yeah, I can binge on that much sugar. In fact, I lost 3 pounds last week and I ate potato chips.

I’m only focusing on achieving my goal for the first quarter for two reasons. One, the one pound a week goal for the first quarter takes off 12 pounds and that sounds more than doable during the 3 months. It also allows for setbacks. Two, sugar withdrawal lasts up to 8 weeks. Because the sugar addiction is key to overcome first, 12 weeks should put me in a position to tackle the next set of goals much easier.

During the second quarter my goals won’t change much. They’re not firm, but I’m thinking of upping my weekly weight loss goal to 2 pounds a week. I’ll also spend the three months making sure sugar remains off the menu. I almost fee guilty for not working harder. Okay, maybe not so guilty.

Drop by next week and I’ll let you know if anyone has lost their life for a piece of gluten-free chocolate cake.

New Years Resolutions

calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutionsYeah, I’m going there. I have two resolutions this year, both pretty typical: quit eating refined sugar and lose 30 pounds. I don’t really have a choice with the sugar. I’m addicted to it like it’s heroine. No joke. If I go a few days without sugar, I go looking for a fix like a junkie. I not only eat it, I binge on it. For me, it’s been worse than trying to quit smoking cigarettes. It’s affecting my health and I’ve had enough, so it’s gotta go. As far as the extra 30 pounds, it’s been on me for over 5 years and I’m tired of having a closet full of clothes I can’t wear. I’m really hoping that being fed up along with a path to feeling better will be motivating factors to follow through this year.

Because I fully intend to keep my resolutions, I went out and did a little research about new years resolutions including odds of success and methods of follow through. Very interesting, below are the top new years resolutions found on WCTV. Appears I’m right in line with everyone else.

The University of Scranton’s top New Year’s resolutions for 2014 are: 1. lose weight 2. get organized 3. spend less, save more … 4. enjoy life to the fullest 5. stay fit and healthy 6. learn something exciting 7. quit smoking 8. help others in their dreams 9. fall in love 10. spend more time with family. Read more…

Then I found this information about success rates in the Huffington Post:

And today, making resolutions is very common. 41 percent of individuals make resolutions, and 56 percent of those who make such resolutions are so confident they will be successful that they initiate changes within one month. Tragically, only 46 percent actually do succeed in keeping their resolutions at 6 months, and only 19 percent at one year. Read more…

Well, that’s not very reassuring. 😐

Most important to me is keeping my new years resolutions, and considering what the Huffington Post said … I sought out advice and found the video below. It makes sense. I like the approach, but will it work for me? I’ll be writing every Monday about my progress using this method for a few months. Got my fingers crossed.

Here are a few more fun things I found helpful and interesting about keeping your new years resolutions this year:

How about you? Are you bothering with a new years resolution this year?

Goals . . . Again?!?!

Really. It’s time to set yearly goals . . . again? What happened to 2013? It went by in a flash!

Back in April I addressed getting back on track with my 2013 goals, but it never happened. I remember writing that I was happy with what I’d achieved early on in the year, but the problem was I had only achieved things that weren’t on my list of goals. Well that’s gotta change in 2014.

After sitting down with myself and having a long talk about my disappointments during 2013, I’ve decided to completely change directions next year. More about it next week. This week I’ll bore you with a list of accomplishments and nonfulfillments (nice way to say “goal not met,” huh?). Anyways . . . here’s the list:

Goals Met

  • Edit 110,000 Words of my own work – Achieved 175,000 of my own work
  • Read 100+ Books – Read just over 100 books, mostly children’s books for sitNread book reviews
  • Participate in Story a Day in May – Wrote 17 new stories
  • Update Call for Obstruction synopsis & descriptions – Done
  • Attend RMFW Colorado Gold Conference – Attended

Other Things Achieved

  • Finished business start up of a publishing co-op
  • Set up a technical publishing process for eBooks and paperbacks
  • Developed an eBook store for the co-op
  • Ran Friday Frights and Horror Chat for another year
  • Got the RMFW website functional
  • Edited & formatted a number of novels & short stories by other authors
  • There’s some other stuff, but basically my year was spent publishing other authors and managing a business.

Goals Not Met with Excuses

  • Write 250,000 New Words: Only 67,000 new words achieved. I told myself editing was more important in 2013, and while it was, I’m regretting the lack of new writing because I’m feeling out of practice. Besides that, I plotted out a new YA novel and was hoping to have a first draft complete by the end of the 3-Day Novel Contest or NaNoWriMo, which leads into the next unfulfilled goals.
  • Achieve 3-Day Novel Contest and Achieve NaNoWriMo: Exhaustion is my only excuse for not completing these goals.
  • Finish re-editing and re-publishing Call for Obstruction, Courier #1: This one REALLY pisses me off that I let this slip. GRRRR…
  • 2nd Draft of Warrant for Damnation, Courier #2 – Again, should have been done and a deciding factor for changing directions in 2014.

Well, that’s the list I’ve been reflecting on this month. Looking at it all mapped out, sure, I worked my ass off. Sure, I achieved a lot, but again, not what I had set out to do. That’s why we set goals, to stick to them.

Drop by next Monday for the 2014 list and details on my change in direction.

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