2017 in Review + 2018 Goals

I’m not quite sure how 2018 is already peeking its head around the corner at us. The past year has seemed blurrier than any I’ve experienced before, but I suppose chasing around a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old will do that to you.

Pippin & Rose at Union Station

2017 in Review

Writing

That being said, any year in which you end it having become a published writer is a rather good one, and 2017 was that for me.

My Storyworld, My Sister the Werewolf, has been one of the top three in-app purchases in the Bedtime Stories app since it was published, and it shares company with an amazing set of diverse authors from all around the world.  It is really a privilege to be included, and I’m happy Ferdinand and Luna are finding a small audience.  If you haven’t checked out the app yet, it’s free to download, and the first story in every Storyworld is free to check out.  If you and your kiddo like a Storyworld, it’s just $1.99 to download 4 more stories that you can read and make your own to your hearts content.

Beyond that, I was relieved when my one-hour drama pilot, Hellcats of the Caribbean, ended up a second rounder at the Austin Film Festival. That was the only place I entered it, and it was basically on a whim, so it was a pleasant surprise. A polish in 2018 is on my agenda before more submitting and querying.

Editing and drinking.

I know they say, “Write drunk, edit sober,” but the script was about pirates, so throwing the rules to the wind seemed appropriate.

Elsewhere on the writing front, I squeezed in a zero draft of a feature script, had my first true failure at NaNoWriMo (thanks to said zero draft and a big freelance project), and managed a couple of short stories and a poem.

Per usual, I’d intended to get a lot more writing done, but as I noted in 2016, that’s life these days. As long as I’m getting work done each year, even if I fall a bit short of my initial goals, I think it’s OK to call the year a success.

Reading

I read pretty consistently this year. Shooting for more novels next year, but not unhappy with what I read this year.

Novels

  • Turtles All the Way Down
  • There’s Someone Inside Your House
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (reread)
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (reread)
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (reread)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (reread)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (reread)
  • And We’re Off
  • Exit West
  • The Underground Railroad

Trades/Standalone Graphic Noels

  • Vision, Vols. 1 & 2
  • Paper Girls, Vol. 1 & 2
  • How to Talk to Girls at Parties
  • March, Books 1, 2 & 3
  • Y the Last Man, Deluxe Editions Books 2 & 3
  • Snotgirl, Vol. 1
  • Nimona
  • The Graveyard Book, Vol. 1

Single Comics Issues

  • The Mighty Thor (all published in 2017)
  • Generations: The Unworthy Thor & the Mighty Thor #1
  • Saga (all published in 2017)
  • Sleepless #1
  • Go Go Power Rangers #1-3
  • The Jetsons #1
  • Victor Lavalle’s Destroyer #1-6
  • Darth Maul #1
  • Captain Phasma #1
  • Justice League/Power Rangers (#1-6)
  • Eternal Empire #1
  • Secret Weapons #1
  • Romulus #1
  • Bitch Planet/ Bitch Planet: Triple Feature (all published in 2017)
  • Lady Castle #1-4

Miscellaneous

  • Short Story Advent Calendar 2017
  • the princess saves herself in this one (a poetry collection)

Children’s Fiction (the highlights)

I read too many books to count, but a few of note, if you’re looking for ones that won’t make you tear your hair out:

  • Where the Wild Things Are — I didn’t particularly care for it as a child, but I have a new appreciation for this book now as a parent.
  • Zen Socks, Zen Ties, Zen Shorts, Zen Ghosts — Beautiful illustrations and stories focused around mindfulness.
  • Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery — This is the most bonkers children’s story I’ve ever read. There’s one more in the series: Captain Raptor and the Space Pirates.
  • A Child of Books + Here We Are — Oliver Jeffers is always a safe bet.
  • Chicken Soup with Rice
  • Sneetches and Other Stories
  • Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite
  • Star Wars: I Am a Princess — Rose’s favorite book for a while.
  • The Wolf, the Duck & the  Mouse — Highly amusing fable.

Other Goals

I actually failed at most of my other goals in 2017, which means I need to implement some better strategies for things I consider priorities in 2018.

Which brings us to:

Goals for 2018

In no particular order:

  • Write on average 3500 words per week, or 10 pages per week, or edit/rewrite 7 hours per week.
  • Rewrite and rewrite The Family Jewels, hopefully in time to submit to a few places this year.
  • Query managers, and anywhere else that feels appropriate.
  • Submit stories/screenplays/anything at least 24 times this year.
  • Write a second set of stories for My Sister the Werewolf.
  • Write a second Storyworld, if they’ll have another one from me.
  • Make health and wellness a TOP priority this year (amusing since it’s toward the bottom of this list, I know)
  • Budget more effectively.
  • Track film & TV watched in order to aim for a better balance between TV and film (definitely been TV heavy the past couple of years).

One Word for 2018: BUILD

Build

While I didn’t achieve everything I’d hoped to in 2017, I achieved a couple of things I didn’t expect. After several years of failures on the writing front, I find myself ending the year having achieved some small level of totally unexpected success this year.

It took dedication and hard work to write the stories that led to those achievements, and yet that level of persistence wasn’t consistent throughout the year.  My phrase in 2018 represents an intention to build upon the habits that led to those achievements in order to give myself a better chance at achieving more in the coming year.

Best Wishes for Us All in 2018

That’s it! I hope you all have found some bits of joy in 2017, despite, well, everything. Let’s keep carrying on, searching for those bits, and adding them ourselves when we can, OK?

Stay Happy

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