Friday, January 10, 2014

Goals and Dreams 2014


These are concrete, specific, and well-thought out, I hope.  They have the force of will behind them and a purpose in the long-term plan of my life.  Whether or not I complete everything on time, I will make a sincere effort.

Get Published!


  • Revise and Submit "Kinuyo and the Kitsune," "Second Chance," "Necklace," "Julia Kaiser," and 1 more to Ether
  • Self-Publish "Lucidity" on Amazon
  • Learn how to Format
  • Learn how to Design Covers
  • Create an Author Page
  • Write and/ or Revise Short Stories for Other Magazines/ Contests  
Deadline: First Story to Ether by end of January; Amazon by End of Summer
I'm tired of not being published.  At the very least, I'll self-publish a short story on Amazon.  I might or might not get paid for these stories, but at the least, I'll get my name out there.  Also, self-publishing will create a trial run for when/ if I need to publish The Changelings, Company, or any other longer work.

Finish the 2nd Draft of The Originals (At Least the Middle Section)
(Est. Pages: 400-600)


  • Read/ Critique Previous Draft 
  • Brainstorm Backstory/ Background 
  • Create Maps and Collect Images
  • Research (Climate, Armies, Revolution, Disease, Etc.)
  • Write 

Deadline: Hopefully, the first 200 pages will be finished by spring; the next 200-400 pages should be complete by the end of the year.
I'm starting to realize this epic will be complicated and slow, no matter what I do.  I want to try a new method of writing.  During NaNoWriMo, I spend at least a month researching and brainstorming before forcing myself to spit out a 200 page draft.  I'm going to see if this works for 2nd drafts as well as first.  The focus here is creating a consistent and logical plot, working on my secondary characters, building settings, and making sure my ideas are strong--very basic levels of story-telling.  No one needs to see this draft.

Finish Three Floating Coffins 
(Est. Pages: 150)


  • Start/ Finish "Isle of Darkness" Segment
  • Start/ Finish Ending
  • Revise Opening Chapters

Deadline: The Isle of Darkness ought to be done by spring.  I have the rest of the year to finish the rest.
Ideally, I can finish this story this year, and have it edited and sent out to agents by 2015.

Increase Income


  • Explore New Job Options (Back to Drawing Board)
  • Career Assessment
  • Temp job in the summer?

Deadline: By end of Spring, come back with more concrete plans
I really can't survive on less than $6000 a year.  Since it might be several years before I get paid for my stories, I'll have to look for a new way of making money.  At the very least, I should get a summer job to increase my income in the months I don't work.

Agents and Self-Publishing


  • Research and Query 20-30 Agents
  • If Rejected, Make Plans for Publishers and/ or Self-Publishing
  • If Accepted... Figure out What to Do Next!
  • Keep Agent Info... Might Need it for Coffins!

Deadline: I ought to have the first 20 agents queried by February; if I find another 10 agents, I ought to finish querying them by the start of summer.  The second half of the year, I'll have to make more concrete plans.
I still want to try traditional publishing, but my Changeling story might be too long and too specialized for it.  In that case, I'll have to look at self-publishing options, or possibly submitting directly to the publisher.

Write Manzanar Ghost Story
(Est. Pages: 50-100)


  • Gather Research/ Research Blog?
  • Brainstorm
  • Write the Story (Use a NaNoWriMo if Necessary)

Deadline: End of Year
I've spent so much time researching this story, I'd like to write it down.  I'd like to experiment with ways of organizing facts, so I'm not all over the place every time I'm forced to do research.  My secret hope is to make money off this story, either through magazine, contests, or self-publishing.

Go to Literary Orange and Los Angeles Festival of Books


  • Plan for the Day
  • Take Lots of Notes
  • Blog Afterward

Deadline: Both Events Take Place in Spring
Networking, hopefully.  If not, at least it will serve as entries for blogs.  Maybe someone will want to know what happened there.

Get Company Critiqued


  • Self-Critique
  • Find Online Critique Group
  • Find Other Readers
  • Decide What To Do With It

Deadline: I'm not sure yet.
First, I need to find a group of Beta Readers--someone to read my story, aside from my dad.  Second, I like this story, but I'm not really sure what to do with it.  Should I self-publish?  Submit?  How should I edit?  I'll have to see.



  • Weekly Update
  • Additional Content Twice a Month (Reviews, Dissecting Fantasy, Travel, Etc.)
  • Read/ Comment on Other Blogs 
  • Research Blog?

Deadline: All Year, Excluding Vacation Weeks
Blogging is a good way to market and so I'll keep trying.  If nothing else, it helps me keep track of various stuff going on in my life.


The vague and wispy ideas.  I'd like to do these things, but either I don't think I'll have the time/ will to commit to them this year or I have no particular system or I just don't think they'll happen.  At any rate, I'm happy with them floating in the back of my mind.  For now.

  • Practice Japanese--I'm going to try to review, but I don't know if I'll have the will to commit to any strenuous study.
  • Lose Weight--The usual New Year Resolution; we'll see how it goes.
  • Get My Own Apartment and Dog--because, damn it, I want to be independent (and puppies are cute).
  • Compile Information on Bakumatsu into Blog--I really, really want to do this, but I don't think I'll have time this year.
  • Write Spin-Off Story About Gryphons--I'll probably get to this eventually, I just don't know about this year.
  • Get Coffins to Agents--again, I doubt I'll have time this year
  • Make Money off My Writing--Sigh, it would be nice.
  • Learn How to Network, Market, Platform, and Sell--I'm so clueless about how to do this.


  1. Excellent, Becky! I like how detailed they are. One issue I've been trying to solve in my own goals is making sure they are concrete and measurable. d:)

  2. Terrific GDRs, Becky. You've set the bar high but I know you can achieve great heights.

    A summer job could be fun. You could choose something exotic and seasonal.