2019 Writing Goals Update

Well, the first quarter of 2019 has come and gone. My, it has been busy. Each quarter I take a look at my writing goals to see where I stand. This gives me a chance to pat myself on the back and also make any necessary adjustments. Here’s where things stand:

GOAL 1: Submit Clever Tom to an agent

I figured the first quarter would be the key to getting this done, but it seems life had other plans–like real estate work and editing a manuscript for a publisher. I’ve been writing down some possible agents to research. I’ve also set myself a deadline of next week to have at least two agents to pitch this project to and also to draft the query letter.

GOAL 2: Participate in STORYSTORM

Done and won! There are now 30 new story ideas to review and consider. Some I am really excited about. Others, not so much. I’m on the fence about participating next year, but that is a decision for the final quarter of 2019.

GOAL 3: Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids 

Sometimes I wonder if I am trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I’m not a short story or article person. That said, I want to see if I can put something together by July to contribute to the December issue.

GOAL 4: Write 10 chapters of Amelia’s Mission

This is going to be a tough goal, but I’ve written one chapter and started another. Maybe vacation in July will bring me closer to this goal.

GOAL 5: Maintain my blogs

I’m not doing too bad here. This blog and Books Can Be Deadly are the two that suffer the most. The Book Connection and An Imperfect Christian Mom get most of my attention.

The first quarter brought some progress. Maybe not as much as I would have liked, but the key remains time blocking. I need to avoid social media too. I’m still working on that one.

How are your goals coming along? Anything you are struggling with? What is one of your accomplishments?

STORYSTORM 2019 Winner and The Giver Graphic Novel

 

Though I finished early this year, I am now an official STORYSTORM 2019 winner! I have 31 new ideas to turn into stories. I’m excited about several of these.

Browsing through my inbox today, I discovered that Lois Lowry’s The Giver was adapted into a graphic novel. Check out the cover!

 

The Giver is a modern classic and one of the most influential books of our time.

Now in graphic novel format, Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal–winning classic story of a young boy discovering the dark secrets behind his seemingly ideal world is accompanied by renowned artist P. Craig Russell’s beautifully haunting illustrations. 

Placed on countless reading lists, translated into more than forty languages, and made into a feature film, The Giver is the first book in The Giver Quartet that also includes Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

In this new graphic novel edition, readers experience the haunting story of twelve-year-old Jonas and his seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment, through the brilliant art of P. Craig Russell that truly brings The Giver to life.

Witness Jonas’s assignment as the Receiver of Memory, watch as he begins to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community, and follow the explosion of color into his world like never before.

Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 – 9
Series: Giver Quartet (Book 1)
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (February 5, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0544157885
ISBN-13: 978-0544157880

Purchase here!

Speed Dates by Juliet Clare Bell

Photo credit: Jesse Chan-Norris

Ever hear of speed dating? It’s an organized activity where people looking for romantic relationships have a series of short conversations with potential partners to see if they share mutual interests. Today, on Writing for Kids (While Raising Them), guest blogger Juliet Clare Bell talked about speed dating with your 30 STORYSTORM ideas. I totally fell in love with this idea and wanted to share it so that my fellow authors could take advantage of the process.

Want to learn more? Check out Day 27 of STORYSTORM today by clicking here.

What’s New

 

It has been a while since I posted here. Bad me. I really hit the ground running with goal setting for all areas of my life in January. That sometimes slows down blogging duties. Try not to remind me right now that one of my goals for 2019 is to maintain my blogs. Okay? I’m a work in progress. 🙂

In case you missed it, I blogged about character interviews and questionnaires last week at the 4RV Publishing blog. You can find that article at https://4rvreading-writingnewsletter.blogspot.com/2019/01/character-interviews-and-questionnaires.html

Also, though it will be the end of January before I have a winner’s badge, I just posted idea #31 in my STORYSTORM log!!!! I am so excited. Many of them are fabulous ideas too. Maybe I’ll spend the rest of January plotting out a few of them.

Hope you have a great Monday!

STORYSTORM 2019

On the off chance you missed it, STORYSTORM starts today. This annual event–now into its 10th year–is for all of us interested in brainstorming new story ideas. Here’s how it works:

  1. Register.
  2. Read daily posts at Tara Lazar’s blog.
  3. Write down story ideas.

That’s pretty much it.

At the end of January, if you have at least 30 new ideas, you can sign the STORYSTORM PLEDGE and be eligible for PRIZES. Prizes include professional consults, signed books, original art, writerly gadgets and gizmos.

If you want to join us, you can register here. Registration closes on January 7, so sign up now.

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?

STORYSTORM Winner and Goal Updates

 

Don’t think I ever announced that I completed STORYSTORM in January. By the end of the 31 days, I had 31 ideas to reconsider and figure out which ones I would work on this year. Some of the most promising are juvenile or cozy mysteries, a few new Beatrice and Charlotte adventures, and an Easter story.

Even though it’s early, I’ll use this time to review my writing goals.

GOAL 1: Submit Clever Tom to agents

Deadline on this was February 15, so I didn’t make it. Still a top priority on my list. Might be able to research a couple of agents this month.

GOAL 2: Participate in STORYSTORM

Done and won!!!!

GOAL 3: Blog twice a week on all four blogs

Not doing too badly on this. Until we went on vacation mid-February I was staying on top of this. I’m already set to blog at all four blogs this week.

GOAL 4: Guest blog at least once a quarter

I need to get this in soon. I guest blogged in December 2017, but not so far this year.

GOAL 5: Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids this year

I’m considering a contribution to the August, September, October or December issues.

GOAL 6: Finish Amelia’s Mission and get it ready for submission

I’m into the middle of Chapter 18 now. I’ve been using writing group time to move the story along. In addition, while we were away, I wrote an emotional scene that will change Amelia’s life.

Here’s looking forward to the next quarter of 2018 and what I can accomplish. Feel free to share some of your goals with us. We would love to hear them.