Pondering 2019

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Here we are, several days into 2019, and I haven’t made plans for this year. I’m not one for making resolutions, because even though I can be determined and steadfast, I rarely stay the course.

Long-term goals are easier to set. I’d love to blog on a regular basis again. I’d love to write over 1,000 words a day – or better yet, over 3,000 words a day. I’d love to take the time to read again. After reading 65 books in 2017, I logged a whopping eight books in 2018. I’d love to find the time for managing my business more efficiently. I want to handle social media and marketing in a more productive manner.

I need to limit my (escape) time playing Don’t Starve and hope the new edition of Don’t Starve Hamlet doesn’t hit the PS4 anytime soon.

All of my goals are realistic and doable. It’s worry and stress that keep me from accomplishing them, but I’m determined to mange that as well this year and make some forward progress.

We’ve reached the two-year point where Rich hasn’t been able to work. His health has recovered, but his back has not. I’ve been our sole breadwinner for seven months now, and I feel the pressure.

This brings me to sharing that I am coming up on an anniversary. February 8, 2012 was the day I sat down and tried my hand at writing. I can’t believe it’s been seven years. Honestly, seven years! It seems like just yesterday my family was laughing at me for even trying.

I would have never dreamed I would have sixteen books published by now, over 93,000 followers at BookBub, and sometime last summer, I crossed the $100,000 total earnings mark. That sounds really exciting, doesn’t it? It is – especially when I remember I only made $75 my first year. However, do the math. Averaged over six profitable years, it has been “helpful” income. I feel in my heart I can do better. I want 2019 to be a better year. I want to publish all three books in my new series, and I know I have one Two Sisters and a Journalist book in my head – two would be perfect. I get a tingly feeling of excitement just thinking about what I could accomplish if I can get my mindset right and forge ahead.

In other news, we have a new dog! We rescued Riley, a nine-year-old beagle/dachshund mix. He’s super sweet, well behaved, and an especially great companion for Rich. We think he wouldn’t mind riding on the motorcycle, because when Rich first showed it to him, he hopped right up.

riley_motorcycle

How are you doing with your resolutions/goals so far? What’s your number one goal for 2019? Does your dog ride a motorcycle?

Dipping My Toe in the Pool

Princess_Pancake_BeachI’ve been thinking about coming back to blogging on a regular basis.

My “few months” of hiatus turned into just over nine months of disappearance. Stepping away for a while was a good move for me, but I miss reading blogs and the friends I’ve made here.

I made two main goals for myself this year. One is to read every day, and one is to write every day.

I started my year of reading with Janet Evanovich’s book, Top Secret Twenty-One. I enjoyed the book, and I especially enjoyed seeing how many exclamation points she uses in her writing.

I’m currently reading two books – A Hardboiled Murder by Michelle Ann Hollstein and an autobiography, Dick Van Dyke. Both are good reads.

My writing goal is coming along just fine, and I think I’m in a groove now. My current work in progress is book number four in my Two Sisters and a Journalist series. I started it last week. Here’s the opening line: In exactly one minute, I was going to be a millionaire and quit my job as a private investigator.

I suppose Jo may be overly optimistic with that statement.

There isn’t much to tell about my hiatus, but here are a few highlights:

Our six-year-old granddaughter stayed with us again for six weeks over the summer. It was very fun … and very exhausting. That’s her in the beach picture above.

I managed to go nine months without a dryer. That’s right. My dryer laundryburned up last March, and I insisted I could hang laundry just fine. Rich bought a dryer last month. He finally had enough of jeans stiff enough to stand on their own and towels so rough, you could exfoliate your skin when you dried with them.

I power-watched all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls – late at night – under the covers – on my Kindle – twice. How did I not know about this show?

I changed my spot in the house for writing. After our granddaughter left, I claimed a nook in her room upstairs, so I could sit near a window and have a view of the center of town while I write. I’m surrounded by pink walls and pink Minnie Mouse curtains. It has been a productive move.

I cleaned up the mess I wrote for National Novel Writing Month in 2013 and wrangled it into a book – Murder Is Where the Heart Is.

I fulfilled the goal of having the two main characters in my two series meet. Buckeye Hunter is the seventh (and final) book in the Susan Hunter series. Murder Welcomes You to Buxley is the third book in the Two Sisters and a Journalist series.

All three books are currently in various stages of editing.

Three_BooksMost recently, I was getting out of our truck with my arms full of grocery bags, and I slipped on ice and fell. The only thing that broke was a box of tissues. I crushed it with my … er, never mind.

I hope to see you soon. I’m sure I’ll come and go, but I’m optimistic I can add blogging to my goals for the year.

What have I missed while I was gone? What’s new with you?