Wednesday, March 3, 2021

IWSG - Epiphany & Streeeeetching

 It's time for the March Insecure Writer's Support Group.


Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG exists for writers to get support and lend support. Anyone can join. Just click on Alex's name and sign up, then hope around and visit as many people as you can, including these great co-hosts:

Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose!

This month's optional question is: Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

I read pretty much anything. I'm not big on romance, but read some here and there. Historical would also be less read, as would science fiction. But if I hear of a story that sounds good, I'm going to read it, no matter the genre. Plus, I read friends' books, no matter the genre. I will say that I lean more toward horror, urban fantasy, and mystery/thriller. I also enjoy memoir, comedy, and some women's fiction. I should probably note that I do also write in other genres, so it's all a matter of the nature of story I think of and what I feel like writing. I just usually tend to want to write horror.

For this month, my insecurities stem from having recently had a bit of an epiphany that sprung from being hurt by something that occurred in the local horror community, though nothing was done to purposely set out to target me in any way. With Stoker Con coming up, and with it having been initially scheduled to occur in Denver (it's now online this year and in Denver next year, which I thought I would be really excited by), a souvenir book was put out by a publisher in Denver that's to be sent to everyone registered for the conference, featuring a smorgasbord of Colorado horror authors, as well as bigwig authors in other states. This was done by invite, not by a submission process.

I wasn't in the book.

Of additional note, I'm in the HWA (Horror Writers Association) with most of the other people published (and a bunch of people who I feel have also earned their place there, but didn't make it). Now, it wasn't meant to be a be-all, end-all of Colorado horror authors, but I feel it was certainly meant to be representative. Several of the people published in the book don't even really write horror. Some have dabbled, but really write in other genres. So on and so forth. Having said that, I'm sure it's a great collection of stories. They're all talented writers.

Short version of the story: it hurt deeply that I wasn't included. 

I was contacted by the publisher and they apologized for making me feel like I wasn't part of the local horror community. I want to put that part out there so people are aware that there is a good person behind this who didn't do anything to intentionally leave me or anyone else out. They said they knew other people who they also would have loved to include, but they had only so much latitude.

For me, it was just one more slight in a series of slights that, again, aren't necessarily personal, but that it's hard not to TAKE personally. You see, I don't live in Denver. So while I do get invited to speak at a couple cons in Denver, there are a lot of things I'm excluded from, because I'm not in the right city. Denver is *the big city,* and thus they control a lot of who is seen and who isn't. You'd think it would help knowing it's not about me, but about not living in the right city and therefore being out of sight, out of mind, but it doesn't. Because how do I fix it if it's not about my abilities?

I did try, by the way, to fix it. I finally joined the HWA after avoiding it because I saw the same group of people constantly representing them, and they were almost all from Denver. I didn't feel there would be a place for me. But I finally joined after some coaxing from a couple other members who live down here in Colorado Springs, and what I ended up dealing with was a man leading the group who had led it for decades, had no administration or other "board" members, and had never considered any sort of election to run the group. With the HWA being a national group (which due to another national group I'd been part of, was part of why I avoided the HWA to begin with), I would have thought there was a stricter way of running a satellite group. Then during the pandemic, things went a bit crazy. That crazy escalated into what appears to have been a full blown breakdown by the Denver HWA president that ended in a very ugly fashion and shattered the group. So I got to spend what was already a stressful few months dealing with this inevitable escalation that ended so badly.

Luckily, those people who had originally encouraged me to join started a satellite group in Colorado Springs, and when the Denver group exploded, most of the folks from the Denver group moved to the Springs one, and I was asked to be a founding member. 

And as a founding member, I was STILL left out of that book. Myself and one other founding member. The rest of that group are in it.

So honestly, I'm likely skipping this year's conference, and I'm not positive I'll attend next year. Mixed in with the above, there was also a LOT of drama concerning the conference, and I went from being asked to help out as a volunteer to suddenly being completely in the dark, because the Denver president made a decision about the conference that got planning and such removed completely from the Colorado satellite's hands. I'm also not delighted with the way national handled ANY of what went down, both when it was just conference stuff and during the breakdown.



What's funny about all this is that I'd quit a volunteer position in a different writer's group back in September, because I wanted to have a writing community for which I wasn't doing a huge chunk of the work and where I didn't have to be involved in drama and politics of any sort. In short, I wanted to be just enough of an outsider that I no longer knew what all was happening behind the scenes, who was and wasn't doing the work to keep the organization running, etc. I just wanted to be a member, to have a community, and to be able to do things without having to run those things. It's been a long, long time since that was the case. In fact, I didn't even get to be that person for more than a couple months when I first joined that first group, because I got sucked into taking first one then another volunteer position pretty quickly when they saw someone eager to help.

I'd been desperate all this time to have a community specifically about horror, because horror, like romance, is often on the outskirts and people have a very particular view of it and the people who write it. There is also often a significant lack of understanding and even a feeling of being uncomfortable with the topics a horror writer discusses.

What I got was a crap ton more drama.

So that was awful long, more than I intended, and it doesn't actually cover half of it. It's a pretty vague summary, actually, and probably doesn't truly convey the issues. But it was this combination of things, paired with the fact that I haven't sold a short story since about September, I think it was, that sent me into a full blown spiral of depression and self-doubt. 

But it also led to an epiphany. 

It's past time for me to change things up. To diversify. I've been focusing on primarily horror short stories for a while, and those stories have been kind to me. I was stunned when I was accepted as a REAL writer, despite not being a novelist. And the thing is, I WAS accepted and included in the larger writing community, and that should have been enough. But it's time for me to re-evaluate what I do. It's time to focus on the novels and craft books that have been rotating like a patient twister in the background, constantly on my mind, but overshadowed as I tried to produce, produce, produce the horror short stories, because those were what I was selling. And I didn't know HOW to slow down, how to not be constantly going for that next acceptance. I've mentioned before that the process of submitting short stories is addictive. Each sale you make drives you to sell more, more, more, to get into that publication you haven't been in yet. 

It's time to slow down on that (I'm not leaving it completely behind). It's time to switch things up, to push myself, to stretch myself, and to try my hand at the things I've only really been thinking of up until now.

I also think it's time to stop shopping my novel, to give it one more polish, and to start self-publishing my contemporary fantasy monster hunter books. Waiting for that agent "yes," and more recently that self-publisher "yes," made it so I didn't get a book published before my dad died. I can't stress to you how significant a goal that was for me. I wanted him to see that I could do it, and he never will. He'll also never see me get the degree I'm currently working on, and it was so important to him that I get a degree. He always had full faith that I'd succeed in whatever I did, yet he never got to see that realized. I'm done waiting. I'm done with the molasses-slow process of traditional publishing. At least for that book. It doesn't mean I won't try with future books or series, but I want this baby out in the world, and I want something I love to be seen.



So a hurt that wasn't intentional (and, frankly, it was very kind of the publisher to reach out to me when I lamented on Facebook that I'd been left out once again--I'm not proud of that post, but I was hurt deeply enough that my husband found me shaking and sobbing over it, and I'm not a cryer), along with a series of, as I called them elsewhere, flesh wounds involving the publishing world and writing community, made me realize I'd gotten way too comfortable. While I saw myself as stretching because I tried to write short stories in different genres or even stories that were types of horror I didn't usually write, or responding to calls that were outside my wheelhouse, or just to write in a different style, I wasn't. They were baby stretches. I was stretching, but still within a portion of my comfort zone. 

While school is still going to take precedence right now, know that in the next year there are going to be exciting announcements. I'd like to think of this stage as my chrysalis. From that chrysalis, I intend to come out as a new person with new goodies to offer. By this time next year, I intend to have a business degree and to have metamorphosed my writing career.


And, finally, instead of feeling insecure and struggling as I have been for months and months (some of which I've expressed on here and on Facebook during major bouts of depression), I feel excited again. And any trepidation I have is simply about pursuing the unknown in new adventures. I can't wait to get done with school so I can fully dive in, but until then I'll do what I can.

As for where I stand with writing communities, the jury's still out. I've started thinking that the only way to get everything I've been wanting is to completely withdraw from the communities around here. I can still be friends with those I've become friends with, but I don't need to strive to be part of something more than that.

Aside from that, there have been other life stresses, some of which I've posted about on here, some of which I haven't. Bear with me while I go through these changes, please. 

Submission stats for February:

9 submissions

2 "rejections" due to magazines shutting down :(

11 rejections other than those 2

0 acceptances

10 submissions currently on submission (I've got 7 rejections I haven't turned back around yet)

What are your insecurities? What genres do you read? Have you ever been part of a national writing group? What were your experiences like? Have you ever made a large career change? Have you ever changed direction in your writing?

May you find your Muse.

*Butterfly clipart, OCAL, clker.com

*Gymnastic clipart, OCAl, clker.com

*People Group clipart, OCAL, clker.com

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Media Roundup

 It's once again been a while. School keeps me busy, as does life these days. But I'm trucking along, and I'm still reading every night. I kinda' have to if I want to have any chance at sleeping.

BOOKS

The Glass Forest, by Cynthia Swanson


A mystery about a disappearance and a...suicide? Murder?

The author wraps in a character's story leading up to her disappearance, interspersed with the current investigation of her husband, found dead in the forest behind their house. Skillfully done. A story that will touch your heart and fold you into it as you try to figure out what's actually happening. But sometimes the secret keepers are really good at keeping those secrets.

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family, by Robert Kolker


This one was fascinating, not just for its study of a family where a majority of their kids have schizophrenia, but because of the glimpses of history it gave me of the city I live in. I couldn't help but feel deeply for the mother, left to deal with all these kids, many of whom had schizophrenia in varying degrees of severity, by a man who was more intent on getting what he wanted than caring for the family he had. The story of this family is truly heartbreaking, but the studies done on them have and will help future generations.

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, by Hallie Rubenhold


The research that went into this is astounding. A truly human look at the canonical five victims of Jack the Ripper. If you're looking for a book about Jack, this isn't the one. This is a set of mini biographies about the victims, most of whom were wrongly stereotyped as sex workers. The author pulls no punches, giving an honest look at the troubled lives of these women. The streets of England were cruel, even without a homicidal maniac running around. How anyone survived is beyond me.

Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction, by Lisa Kroger and Melanie R. Anderson


This is a collection of mini biographies of the women who shaped horror and speculative fiction. It includes recommendations of books each one wrote, plus similar books if you'd like to explore more. 

Lucky Man: A Memoir, by Michael J. Fox


I grew up with Michael J. Fox on TV and in movies. This book traces the discovery of his Parkinson's Disease, but also his arrival in Hollywood and the shape it took. It's honest and raw. A good read if you're a Fox fan.

Mexican Gothic, by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia


A gothic horror novel set in Mexico, it's a different spin on the genre. Though it took me some time to get into the main character, Noemi, I realized that what I struggled with about the character was the very thing that made the character so real: her ability to act flighty and fickle, because that's what others around her expected. Creepy, with a setting that's a character, the book takes the reader to different world.

The Women of Brewster Place, by Gloria Naylor


Powerful. Stunning. Heartbreaking. Amazing.

This one caught me by the fingernails and dragged me along with it. The stories of several from a certain neighborhood revolve, some of them coming into contact, to give an unabashed look at the lives and struggles of black women in a troubled era. Raw, real, beautifully written. I wanted to know more.

Angel Falls, by Tess Thompson


Actually written by two women (Charlene Tess and Judi Thompson), it's a romantic suspense that focuses more on the romance, I'd say. The characters are good, especially the main character's abuela. Definitely a different spin on the usual romantic suspense. Magdalena runs a troubled resort plagued by issues. When one of those issues becomes a body in the water tank, it's clear things have escalated to a new level. Then Russell walks in out of the mountains with a backpack full of secrets. It was a little more romance than suspense for me, but once it picked up further along in the story, it grabbed my attention. Lots of little twists.

Night of the Mannequins, by Stephen Graham Jones


It all starts with a prank perpetrated by a group of teens. They dress up a mannequin and sneak him into the movie theater to trick the theater manager. But at the end of the movie, Manny gets up and walks out. Now they're dying off one by one. Is it Manny or something else? A nice, short piece of horror that will twist you up and horrify you.

Flipped: A Jillian McElroy Flipping Mystery, by K.A. Olgren


A cozy mystery that takes place during a house flip. Jillian McElroy knows what she wants, and she's determined to make it happen. But a villainous neighbor wants to stop her. What happened to the previous owner? What's the neighbor after? There's a great sense of humor and a fun cast of characters.

MOVIES

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things
(Amazon Prime)


This film is delightful, but also sad once you get down to the background. Two teens are stuck in a time loop, repeating the day over and over. Each must figure out why it's happening and try to get back to normal. Of course, plenty of shenanigans must first ensue.

Walk of Shame
(HBO Max)


I found this under "NSFW Comedy," so take that as you may. There's nothing truly naughty or dirty in it. Elizabeth Banks plays an up and coming newscaster who gets caught in the ultimate walk of shame. After getting trapped on a fire escape outside a club, having had a few too many shots, she gods home with the bartender. Sneaking out before he wakes up, she discovers her car's been towed and she has no way back in the building, because there aren't any names on the bells, just apartment numbers. Plus, the door's locked. She must find her way through the big city in the middle of the night, with nothing but her car keys since her purse was in the car and she's left her cell phone in his apartment. Mistaken for a sex worker, she gets into progressively more trouble, chased by the cops and an angry cab driver, etc. A funny, if irreverent movie.

Irma la Douce
(Amazon Prime)


This was funny, adorable, and ridiculous. Perfect for a mental escape. I'm a bit late to the game since this came out in 1963. Starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, he's a too-honest cop and she's a sex worker. But when he gets fired for busting the police chief in a den of iniquity (whoops), he somehow ends up as her pimp. But he wants her to himself and devises a plan with an accomplice to keep her from sleeping with other men. Eventually, it leads to a lot of trouble. A Billy Wilder film, which probably tells you some of what you need to know.

TV

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel
(Netflix)


An at times overdramatic look at the Cecil Hotel and it's history. The Cecil is where Elisa Lamb met her mysterious fate in the water tank atop the hotel. Footage of her behaving oddly in the elevator is truly chilling every time it's played. They get down to the real details and the official call. 

The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch
(Netflix)


A "documentary" about investigating the background of Skinwalker Ranch and the reason behind all the strange events that happen there. I put documentary in quotes, because it was very dramatic and silly in some ways, but an interesting watch. If you can get past the cheesiness of the cast, it's worth a watch.

Call Me Kat
(Hulu)


A cute, lighthearted show where Mayim Bialik's character regularly breaks the fourth wall. The owner of a cat cafe, Kat gets into shenanigans on the regular.

The Crew
(Netflix)


A Kevin James show where he's NOT the buffoon. You heard me. It's a pleasant change. Does he get into dustups? Of course, but the buffoon comedy comes from a couple costars instead of him. My husband and I dipped our toes into this one with trepidation, but are both enjoying it. It's set in a NASCAR garage, with Kevin as the crew chief. The driver's an idiot, but he's good at his job. Along comes the owner's daughter, fresh out of business school and rearing to change everything. Kevin's the dinosaur who has to balance her out.

WandaVision
(Disney +)


Quirky fun that gets darker and more serious as the series progresses. Wanda and Vision are stuck in an alternate reality of some sort. Each episode of this show occurs in a different era, beginning with black and white and parodying the types of shows from each decade. The first episode is a bit Donna Reed and it keeps on going up through the last episode, which was very Modern Family. There are plenty of easter eggs for Marvel fans (many which I'm sure are escaping me). It'll be easier to watch if you're caught up on the Avenger series of films. I'd only seen the last one once, so it took me a bit of catching up at times. If you're familiar with the comics, I've heard there's tons in this show that play off the original stories.

PODCASTS

SmartLess


An amusing podcast with co-hosts Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett. I happened across this one accidentally, and I'm glad I did! Each episode one of them brings on a guest that's a surprise to the other two, and they come up with interview questions on the spot. Their guests include actors, comedians, and even a politician, so far.


I know I've watched other movies, but I can't for the life of me remember. What have you been watching or reading lately?


Monday, February 8, 2021

Rivals Cover Reveal

Title: Rivals
Author: Jennifer Lane
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: March 19, 2021
Cover Design: Dan Irons, Designs by Irons



“I embrace my rival. But only to strangle him.”
~Jean Racine


After landing her dream job as head volleyball coach at Ohio State University, Lauren Chase’s career has become a nightmare. Her only hope of saving her job is to recruit a star player to her team. Too bad the player’s twin has signed a football scholarship for OSU’s chief rival, Michigan. And too bad Michigan coach, Jeremy Trent, sends sparks through Lauren every time they cross paths. But no way will she pursue an attraction to a man who represents the university she hates.

Jeremy detests his boss, and he hopes that signing the nation’s #1 recruit is the ticket he needs to become a head coach himself one day. Lauren Chase is already a head coach, and Jeremy has to admit that she intrigues the hell out of him. He wants to know why her performance has tanked after winning a national championship. He wants to see beneath Lauren’s fast pace and dirty mouth. But he can’t get with a Buckeye, right?

Maybe rivals don’t have to remain enemies. Maybe they can learn to appreciate their opponent’s strengths. And, if they’re lucky—if they excel at the game—maybe rivals can bring out the very best in each other.







Psychologist/author (psycho author) Jennifer Lane invites you to her world of sports romance and romantic suspense with a psychological twist!

Jen fell in love with sports at a young age and competed in swimming and volleyball in college. She went on to become the Honda Award Winner for Division III Athlete of the Year. She still gets high from the smell of chlorine and the satisfaction of smashing a beautiful volleyball set.

Jen’s latest novel is Rivals, a romance between coaches from rival universities. Her Blocked trilogy also explores the transformation from hate to love. Particularly in this time of division, Jen’s favorite theme is finding common ground.

A romantic suspense trilogy (The Conduct Series) and a psychological thriller (Twin Sacrifice) complete Jen’s collection of stories. She calls Ohio home and shares writing space with her two trusted feline collaborators: Tuxedo and Tessa.

Whether writing or reading, Jen loves stories that make her laugh and cry. In her spare time, she likes to exercise and visit her amazing sisters in Chicago and Hilton Head.



HOSTED BY:

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

IWSG - Is Change in the Air?

 It's time for the February Insecure Writer's Support Group, and boy am I insecure. 


Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG exists for writers to gain support and get support. Anyone can participate by signing up at Alex's blog or the IWSG site. It's more fun if you go around and visit old friends and new alike.

Speaking of friends, the optional question for this month is: Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It's often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere? 

Of course! When I first created my blog, it was because it was recommended for the big "P" word for writers just starting out (platform). What I didn't expect was to find these great things called blog hops (and the fun things that branched out from those), which led me to the AtoZ Challenge, which I got to co-host for a while, and then to the IWSG, which I also got to be a part of for a while. Both these led me to so many great friends, a couple who I've gotten to meet in real life at writing conferences. Hopefully there will be many more of those opportunities in the future. I was looking forward to meeting one of those bloggers at Stoker Con this year, as it's being held in Denver, but they're still holding it in person before most people have gotten vaccinations, which means I'm likely not going. We locals had sort of hoped the in-person would be delayed until next year, with an online one taking its place this year, but it doesn't look like that will happen. Hopefully next year's is somewhere I can afford to travel and a place I'm willing to go alone since I don't have a bunch of local horror friends to travel with me there as I might have for another different type of conference.

Thank you to this month's co-hosts:  Louise - Fundy Blue , Jennifer Lane, Mary Aalgaard, Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!

My insecurities from the last few IWSG posts have followed me into this one, and I've done a lot of thinking, with plenty more on the horizon. Some of it has involved a possible change of direction. But thanks to a surprising burst of support from editors lately, both past editors and ones I got recent rejections from, I will try to maintain my current path for a bit longer. In the meantime, I'm considering some options, including a change in genres and lengths. 

That seems like a good time to segue into my monthly stats, which I do to keep myself accountable and find the encouragement to keep submitting. In January:

10 submissions (all on the 29th and 30th when I took a night off to do some major editing and submitting to get caught back up after school took up all my time.)

0 acceptances

8 rejections

0 releases

19 stories currently on submission (this *may* be a record number of stories out at one time)

1 full MS requested and currently under review

1 novel query unanswered, but not yet at the point where I'm to consider it a no

Not much to the stats this month, but that's okay.

Because I keep squeaking my blog posts out with little time, I'm going to try to do a monthly round up of places open to submissions in the next month, so they'll all be in a single post. It just takes too much time these days to try to go through and find them each week then get all the necessary info for each post. So look for that later this month.

What are your insecurities? Have you made any friends in the blogging community? Have you been writing and submitting? What are your stats?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

SMART Goals for Writing, School, & Health

 Okay, I figured I'd hit some goals for the year. However, I'm just setting them for the next six months, and they'll be a mix of school, writing/publication, and health.

Since I'm elbow deep in business school stuff, why not use something I've had to deal with time and again in my classes, so far? SMART goals.

SMART stands for:

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant

Time-Constrained

So instead of saying, for example, I want to write three short stories, I'm going to dive a little deeper to align my goals with SMART goals.

School


I started out with the school accepting 39 credits from my Associate's (in Psychology, which is why more didn't transfer). That left me 84 credits to get my Bachelor's. Since starting October 1, I've completed 20 credits, leaving me 64 to graduate. 

SMART goal: I will complete 28 more credits, for a total of 48, by the end of this term March 31.

My stretch goal on this one would be to complete all remaining 64 by the end of the term, but the whole "achievable" category makes it a stretch, rather than the actual goal.

Writing


Short Story SMART goal: Write 2 short stories of at least 3000 words each by June 1.

Stretch goal: 4 short stories of at least 3000 words by June 1.

Novel SMART goal: Get current WIP to 50,000 words by June 1.

Submissions SMART goal: Submit/resubmit 10 stories by June 1.

Stretch goal: Submit/resubmit 20 stories by June 1.

Nonfiction SMART goal: Complete outline of NF WIP

Health

I don't think I've gone into it on here, but I am slow tapering off a medication I was put on for fibromyalgia that, unfortunately, caused significant debilitating side effects, including massive dips into a deep depression, increased physical pain (primarily spine and knees), hypertension, irregular heartbeat, and severe brain fog. As a result of the myriad of side effects (far more than I've mentioned), I've gone backwards in terms of health, including my weight increasing by a couple pounds. The medication can cause severe, prolonged withdrawal, which is why I'm having to do a slow taper that will take close to a year (I started it about two months ago).


With that in mind, I make the following SMART goals:

Exercise SMART goal: Complete at least 10 minutes of physical exercise each day for the next month (ending March 1), with a focus on Tai Chi, yoga, and walking.

Weight SMART goal: Lose 2 pounds from current weight (not posting it, haha) by April 1.

Diet SMART goal: Get back on a keto diet by March 1, in the first step of going on the anti-inflammatory diet to see if it helps with fibromyalgia and medication-caused pain.

Mental Wellness SMART goal: Meditate using apps for at least 5 minutes per day (in addition to any yoga meditation done for workout) until June 1.

Stretch Goal: Go on one hike in my usual location on the short loop by May 1.


Those seem reasonable.

The thing about goals is that you can't just pick them and leave them be, expecting them to magically happen. I've got my overall goals, so now I need to break them up and figure out how to reach them, including putting measures in place to track my progress. 

Okay, so it's more complicated than that, technically, but it would be a lot of blah, blah, blah. I want to approach my goals differently this year. Usually, I post what I'd like to complete for the next year, then I don't look at it until the end of the year. This time I intend to print them up and put them somewhere I'll see them every day. I've also set some with a closer end date, and none of them are for the year right now, because things change too rapidly currently for that to be reasonable. I will have my measures in a spreadsheet (which I will put together after I complete my current school project), so I can physically track them.


If I need to, I will adjust them. The medication side effects and withdrawal symptoms have made things harder than they need to be, and if I don't improve as quickly as I hope, I need to remain open to modifying the goals. The nature of the side effects makes them impactful as uncontrollable circumstances across all the categories. But I'm optimistic that I'll see increasing improvement in the next couple months.

I'm feeling pretty good about those goals! Did you set yourself goals this year? Do you usually break them down into more doable segments and track them or is it free-for-all where you check in at the end of the year? Maybe something in between? 

May you find your Muse.


*School (Country) - OCAL - clker.com

*Laptop - OCAL - clker.com

*Woman Practicing Yoga - OCAL - clker.com

*Swoosh - Blue - MD - OCAL - clker.com

*Checklist Panda - OCAL - clker.com

*Happy Panda - OCAL - clker.com