2019 Writing Goals

 

Welcome to 2019! I am so excited. Last year was a bit tough with all that was going on, but I still made some great strides. I don’t usually do this, but in the spirit of making some changes, here are a few 2019 predictions:

  • My calendar will be time blocked better this year, making me more effective and efficient
  • I will submit at least one finished project to an agent
  • I will actually take a vacation this year where I don’t do work–well, real estate work anyway

Now, on to my writing goals for 2019…

 

GOAL 1: Submit Clever Tom to an agent

This will happen. My best shot at it is first quarter 2019, since by spring the real estate market is in full swing. So, by mid-January, I want to have two potential agents to submit to. For that to happen, I am going back to Twitter to see the agents who participated in PBPitch in October and research them a bit more. Then by the end of January, I want my query letter polished and ready to go, so that the beginning of February my submission will be out the door.

GOAL 2: Participate in STORYSTORM

This started today. We come up with 30 book ideas over 30 days in January. I’ve won the last few years. If I really think on ideas that have been brewing in my head, it should happen again. I’ve already got my list on my computer waiting to go. In the past, I’ve blogged about my ideas. Now, they aren’t all centered around children’s literature, so I keep a running list on my computer.

GOAL 3: Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids 

This was a missed goal from 2018. In order to make it happen, I need to review their themes for 2019 (DONE). The holiday issue in December still seems the likely candidate. By the end of February, I want to come up with two possible ideas for short stories (500 words or fewer). First draft needs to be done by May so that I can submit in June or July while we are on vacation.

GOAL 4: Write 10 chapters of Amelia’s Mission

I need to finish this project. I love it so much and feedback has been great. If I can write one chapter a month, taking two months in the calendar off to concentrate on Clever Tom and my Guardian Angel Kids submission, I might be able to do this. Writing group meets once a month (first Monday of the month), so if I work on the chapter the last three weeks of the month, by the next meeting I should have something to submit.

GOAL 5: Maintain my blogs

I made some excellent strides in 2018 where my blogs are concerned. In addition to my four main blogs, I brought a blog out of hiatus and now contribute to 4RV Publishing Reading, Writing, & Art News and Christian Children’s Authors. My hope is that by the end of tonight (or by tomorrow) my calendar is updated with all my regular blogging dates.

Here is the key to it all–my calendar. My husband set up Outlook to automatically populate my phone–which is helpful–but I am still a paper calendar kind of person. If I can get at least the first quarter together this week, I have the chance of creating a good habit to bring me through the rest of the year.

Now, you know my goals, what are some of yours? What are you especially excited to accomplish in 2019?

 

2018 Goals Review

 

It is that time of year again–time to review my goals and see how the year went. I’m a person who looks at the positives. Focusing on the negatives or what I didn’t accomplish is counterproductive. This was a year when real estate and caring for my in-laws took center stage. My latest book, Amos Faces His Bully, was also released by Guardian Angel Publishing. I’m satisfied with the progress made, even if it wasn’t all I wanted.

GOAL 1: Submit Clever Tom to agents – Made progress

This is a cute and funny story that came out of last year’s STORYSTORM. Though I didn’t submit it to agents yet, I did tweak it a bit before researching a few agents. I also participated in PBPITCH on Twitter a couple of times.

GOAL 2: Participate in STORYSTORM – DONE

I love this annual event. Thirty story ideas over 30 days. It’s tough, but not impossible. When picture book writers follow this up with National Picture Book Writing Week then great things happen.

GOAL 3: Blog twice a week on all four blogs – Blogged more than last year and made some additions

I started out with four blogs at the beginning of the year. The Book Connection and The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection are the ones that probably got the most attention. An Imperfect Christian Mom was probably the next most active. Books Can Be Deadly was active, but had some gaps. I resurrected Cheryl’s Christian Book Connection. I also began blogging twice a month at the 4RV Reading, Writing & Art News blog–which belongs to one of my publishers. I’m also still contributing to Christian Children’s Authors and play around with Laura’s Little Houses (my Little House blog) when I have time.

GOAL 4: Guest blog at least once a quarter – Not really

With the release of my new book in January, I did a bunch of guest blogging. Simply haven’t done much since.

GOAL 5: Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids this year – Tiny bit of progress

I took a look at themes this year, but only felt a connection to the December issue. I’m really not a short story person, which doesn’t help. I might still try it again this year.

GOAL 6: Finish Amelia’s Mission and get it ready for submission – Laughs a bit

Now twenty chapters in, Amelia is stuck at school when she receives some bad news from home. I’m dedicated to finishing this, but I am such a s-l-o-w writer. I have been attending most of the monthly writing meetings to help move things along. Our group has grown, so I don’t always get feedback right away.

An unspoken goal that has been on my mind for a while came to fruition this year. I became an acquisitions editor intern for 4RV Publishing. I’m also editing a children’s book series right now. So, I am keeping one leg in the writing world while real estate and family responsibilities move in to consume me. Look for my 2019 goals coming soon. It’s going to be a great year!

What were some of your goals for 2018? What did you accomplish? Any idea on what your goals are for the new year?

Enter the 12 Days of Christmas Books Giveaway

 

Some of my fellow Christian children’s authors and I have gotten together to offer you the chance to win copies of our books during the 12 Days of Christmas Books Giveaway. Today my book, A Christmas Kindness, is featured. You can find today’s post at http://christianchildrensauthors.com/2018/11/28/12-days-of-christmas-books-featuring-a-christmas-kindness-by-cheryl-malandrinos/

Wishing you a blessed Christmas season.

Bring These Titles Home for the Holidays

mac-cheese-for-thanksgiving

Ten-year-old Macy is waiting for her grandparents to arrive on Thanksgiving. When the front door swings open, Grandma and Grandpa are covered with hugs and kisses. Crash! Everyone rushes in to find the dog gnawing a meaty turkey leg. Can Macy’s quick thinking save dinner?

Purchase at:

Guardian Angel Publishing
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Booksamillion
Indibound.org

Obed is in the hills outside Bethlehem when the angels appear to announce the Savior’s birth. Can he trust that the miracle of the first Christmas will keep his flock safe while he visits the newborn King?

Purchase at:

GAP website
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Indiebound.org

Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who only has one request for Santa, Robert is confused about what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?

Purchase softcover at:

4RV Publishing
Amazon softcover
Barnes and Noble softcover
Indiebound.org

Purchase digital at:

Amazon Kindle
Barnes and Noble Nook
KOBO

 

Amos is targeted by the town bully because he is so small. When word reaches Amos of his friend David’s battle with Goliath, he thinks back to what David told him about putting his faith in God’s protection. Perhaps the same God can help Amos face his bully, too.

Purchase at:

Guardian Angel Publishing
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Indiebound.org

Blogging at 4RV Blog

 

Yesterday was my Wednesday to blog over at 4RV Reading, Writing, & Art News. Considering year end is coming closer and goal setting for 2019 is not far behind, I’m talking about how writers can use positive thinking. Check out my article at http://4rvreading-writingnewsletter.blogspot.com/2018/10/how-can-writers-use-positive-thinking.html

 

2018 WriteAngles Conference Registration Open!

Registration for this year’s WriteAngles Conference has opened. The conference will take place on Saturday, November 17 at the Willits-Hallowell Center at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA.

Morning Speaker – Andrea Hairston

Afternoon Speaker – Edie Meidav

8:15 to 9:00 am – Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 to 9:30 am – Morning Keynote Speaker: Andrea Hairston (Morrison Room)

NOTE: Individual agent meetings will run concurrently with the morning panels, 9:45 to 12:30, by pre-arranged appointment.

PANEL SESSION I – 9:45 to 11:00 am (Choose one)

The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir: Writing the Journey of Your Life (Morrison Room)
Workshop leader: Jennifer Browdy

Writing Sex (Andreola Room)
Panelists: Sacchi Green, Emily Nagoski, Jupiter’s Slut (moderator), Cecilia Tan

She Did What? Weaving the Elements of Fiction into a Story (Executive Board Room)
Panelists: Liz Bedell, Jennifer Jacobson, Ellen Meeropol (moderator), Lisa C. Taylor

PANEL SESSION II – 11:15 am to 12:30 pm (Choose one)

Writing the Short Story (Executive Board Room)
Panelists: Jennifer Acker, Linda Rowland-Buckley (moderator), Linda McCullough Moore, Kate Senecal

Just the Facts: The Ins and Outs of Writing Historical and Research-Based Fiction & Nonfiction (Andreola Room)
Panelists: Joy Baglio, Maxine Schmidt, Jacqueline Sheehan, Marya Zilberberg (moderator)

Open Mic (Morrison Room)
Moderator: Ilya Parker

12:30 to 1:30 pm – Buffet Luncheon

1:30 to 1:45 pm – Celebration of WriteAngles Community Grant (Morrison Room)

Legal Clinic 1:30 to 4:00 pm (concurrent with afternoon keynote speech and panels)

1:45 to 2:45 pm – Afternoon Keynote Speaker: Edie Meidav (Morrison Room)

PANEL SESSION III – 3:00 to 4:15 pm (Choose one)

Agents Panel: Successful Loglines (Morrison Room)
Panelists: Serene Hakim, Christine J. Lee, Julie Stevenson, moderator TBA

Publishing Your Poems (Executive Board Room)
Panel moderator: Gail Thomas

4:15 to 4:30 pm – Wrap-up (Morrison Room)
Names will be drawn for attendance prizes. You must be present to win

Visit the WriteAngles website for more information