Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 Goal Setting and Inadvertent Hiatus

Oh boy, it's that time again. Time to set some goals for myself. I hate to call them resolutions, but I do like to look at the year to come and consider what I'd like to accomplish before the end of the next year.

Before I do that, I wanted to say a belated Merry Christmas! I took a somewhat inadvertent hiatus last week. My laptop died. My NEW laptop died. Apparently, it has hardware issues. I had access to other computers, but knew I wouldn't be able to do the Wednesday links post or photo post (I have my photos on my laptop, as well as the spreadsheet where I list any links I come across that I want to pass along). Luckily, my superhero hubby was able to take everything off that hard drive, put it on a new one in a different laptop that is currently either a temporary loaner or just my new laptop until we get this all worked out. I decided it was a great reason to give myself a break for a week, and ducked out of work-related items, as well. It was a pretty good break, all things considered, but I stressed about the things I should be doing, so not as good a break as it could have been.

Anyway, I'm back! I hope your week was wonderful.

Back to goal setting.

What did I achieve this year? 

  • I sold my first paid short story (only to have the magazine tank). 
  • I joined a critique group.
  • I jumped into a fun collaborative writing project, and though it may never see a completed novel out of it, I don't feel like I wasted my time. It was a valuable experience.
  • I un-trunked my first novel, because I decided it was worthwhile, and I have a plan of attack.
  • I nearly finished my second novel. Soooo close now.
  • I finished quite a few short stories.
  • I participated in some great online projects, including the Tree of Life and Composers for the Philippines.
And I'm sure there are other things, but this is a good list for now, I think.

What would I like to achieve in 2014?

  • Better self-discipline.
  • Finish novel #2.
  • Edit novel #1.
  • Submit at least three short stories.
  • Work out a better schedule (this is a perpetual goal...and one I never seem to achieve.)
  • Spend more time writing.
  • Do something writing-related that makes me nervous. Example: Submit to a pro-paying market I think I stand no chance of getting into.
  • Write something different than what I typically write. For instance, a genre I don't dabble in typically. Romance? Erotica? Steampunk? 

Okay, enough goals for now. I wanted to make a do-able goal list. I'm tired of stressing myself out.

What are your goals for the year (or any time period)? Do you like setting goals for yourself, or would you rather avoid that whole rigmarole? When was the last time you did something in writing that scared you? What are your achievements for the year (I don't care how minor)? Do you keep your goals minor or do you like to use them to really stretch yourself? 

May you find your Muse.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Composers for Relief: Spes et Libertas

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday week. I took a bit of a hiatus to enjoy family time and get some work done.

As I slip back into things, I wanted to share my entry for Composers for Relief, put together by Samantha Restreake Geary, Peter Ebbinghouse, and others. Composers for Relief is a collaborative effort, first by composers from multiple countries, and then by writers, asked to write pieces full of hope inspired by the gorgeous musical pieces put together by the composers. All proceeds from sales of the album, Composers for Relief: Supporting the Philippines, and of the upcoming e-book anthology featuring the written pieces (due out in January 2014), will go to Gawad Kalinga (Give Care), a charity supporting the people of the Philippines with food, assistance in rebuilding, and much more.

The piece of music I was moved to write to was Spes et Libertas (Hope and Freedom), composed by Iliya Zaki. You can go to Samantha's blog and look in the right sidebar to listen to the music as you read.

Spes et Libertas


Bezumond struggled against the ropes that bound him, skin tearing as the fibers dug in, tightened. The whip fell upon his back again.


His flesh ruptured, blood flowing down his back in a torrent, but still the whip was brought down upon him, feeding the fight that grew within him.


His people stirred, moved by the stoicism with which he withstood the enemy's torments. They turned against their captors, fought for their lives.


This would be the last time the lash would touch his back, for if his people could rise against this invasion, so too could Bezumond. As the braided leather arced through the air toward the torn flesh of his shoulders, he ripped his hands free of their bonds and grabbed the whip before it could strike him again. He heard the call of his people, scattered voices at first, but they rose even as the fighting continued, swelling together into a roar, a wave of sound that signaled to their enemies that there was no beating down the people of this kingdom.

No, there was no winning against men with souls of flame. No fierce storm, no crashing wave, no possible weapon could equal the power Bezumond's people bore within them.

He joined his men in this fight for their salvation. He met fist with fist, blow with blow, bodies clashing around him.

The man he fought drew a sword. Bezumond was unarmed, but he carried the only weapon he would ever need. Within him was the drive to save his people, the determination to see them through this. He could no more let them down than he could take his own life or the life of his dearest love, she who bore his unborn child within her, waiting on the other side of the gate to be saved. 

He unleashed the power that hungered within him, power that had been subdued by suffering as hope was stripped from him and from his people. The man fell before him, his brethren soon to follow, no match for Bezumond and his men. Where once his men had given up, resolved to die and have done with it, they now held the vision of freedom, and that hope burgeoned within them as they fought back.

The tide had turned.

No more were they overpowered, subjugated. No more were they held beneath the filthy boots of their invaders. A fierce glow overtook the battlefield as the sparks within each of them lit, flared up into the gallant flames they had once been. Their remaining enemies saw this, and fear filled them, took over their beings, for they held no flames within them. They were weak, cowardly, mere shades. Looking back, Bezumond couldn't understand how these gutless marauders had taken control, twisted his people's lives into the hell they'd been living. Not living, no, suffering, tolerating, barely surviving.

No more.

Solomon, his general, came up beside him, an axe at his side, stolen from one of the horde. Out of his chest grew a bright white light, flickering from him, seeming to surround him, to fill him even as it was created inside him. Bezumond knew the same was happening to him, to all of his men. His people, noble and righteous, would once more know peace and contentment, but this time they would be wise, as well.

Even as he thought forward to what they must do, their enemies fell at their feet, dying one by one, slayed by the brave men who stood beside Bezumond, prepared to take back everything that rightfully belonged to them. Theirs was a desire for life that could not be quelled. No one could destroy them now.

Inspired by their victory, but not sated, he and his men marched forward to reclaim what had been stolen. For theirs was a kingdom that would thrive forever, an empire of the soul.

May you find your Muse, as I did above. My thanks to Sam for presenting this opportunity to us.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cutlass Cover Reveal & Links

In lieu of [Mostly] Wordless Wednesday, I'd like to present Ashley Nixon's Cutlass cover!

Publication Date: April 23, 2014
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy

Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy's fiancĂ© seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it. 

Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancĂ© to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard. 

But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.

Ashley asked us to share a pirate joke with the release, so here's mine (from

Question: What's a pirate's favorite Christmas carol?
Answer: We Three Kings of Orient Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

You can find Ashley at:

Ashley is giving away two $25 Amazon gift cards. One via the Rafflecopter drawing you'll find at the bottom of this post, the other on her Facebook page (find the link above).

Now for some links!

Accepting Submissions:

The Cafe Irreal is a quarterly webzine looking for flash fiction. Irreal is the genre, meaning a fantastical fiction that isn't focused on realistic characters or situations, or even on satisfying endings. Up to 2000 words. Pays $.01 per word, with a $2 minimum. Winter deadline is January 1, for publication February 1.

Dark Oak is closing submissions for Big Bad 2 - An Anthology of Evil, Volume 2, on January 1. Short story, 3000-9000 words. Royalty payment. They want your baddest bad guy stories.

Mega Thump Publishing is accepting short stories for a horror/sci-fi hybrid anthology: What Has Two Heads, Ten Eyes, and Terrifying Table Manners? Deadline January 1. Pays $20 and a contributor copy. They want scary horror/sci-fi in the fashion of Alien, Event Horizon, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Chicken Soup for the Soul has several calls coming to a close soon. My Guardian Angel - December 31, The Cat Did What? - January 5, The Dog Did What? - January 5, Reboot Your Life - January 30. Non-fiction poems and stories up to 1200 words. Pays $200 upon publication. 

Cecile's Writers Magazine is open for submissions year-round. They seek authors with intercultural voices (see the link for an explanation of this). They accept flash fiction, short stories, novel excerpts, personal essays, and memoirs. I didn't find mention of payment, so you'll want to look into that.

Essence Magazine is looking for stories. Must send proposals first, not actual stories. Payment is not mentioned. See link for descriptions of types of articles.

Drunk Monkeys will open for submissions on January 1 (they closed down during the holidays). They accept short stories, poetry, TV recaps, interviews, art, comics, photographs, videos, and essays. Unsure of pay.


Human Echoes Podcast is holding a flash fiction contest. 1000 words at most. Talk about aliens and what would have happened if they'd come around way, way back in the day. Deadline is Christmas Day. Prize is $10 and your story produced in podcast form.

Blog Hops:

This is more of a Book Club than a Blog Hop, but M.L. Swift is holding The Progressive Book Club 2014 the third Wednesday of each month. Choose a book and post a review/discussion on it. That's it! Of course, you'll also want to hop around and visit the other readers.

L.G. Keltner is holding her Endings Blogfest to celebrate her second blogging anniversary. January 9. Post about an a book, a movie. Or talk about how you end stories. Make it mean what you'd like to and post an ending.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Anything you're interested in here? Anything to share? Any good publication news (rejections count! It means you're out there submitting!) How do you like Ashley's cover? Any good pirate jokes to share?

May you find your Muse.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Bad Santa Blog Hop - Christmas Outsourced

Christmas Outsourced, A Bad Santa Entry

"Kringle, you owe us for last year's toy-making. What makes you think we'd do it again?"

"Come on, man, you know I'm good for it. We're talking about Christmas here!"

"Forget it. I get a check, I won't send someone up there to kick your ass. But we're out. Find someone else to slave over toys for no pay."

Kris threw down the phone, the sound of jingle bells clanging as it hit a pile of them laying beside his desk. "Shit!"

Who was he going to get to make toys this year? The elves had walked out on him three years ago. Christmas wasn't terribly profitable. Well, not if your name was Santa Claus. Or Kris Kringle. Or St. Nick. Or any one of a billion other names it seemed people had for him. He was thinking of changing his name to George Smith and retiring to Florida. The world would get over it. Besides, the greed out there was horrific. No one REALLY deserved the gifts he was leaving. His Naughty list had grown so exponentially, thanks to lack of discipline, that he now had to fudge the Nice list just to keep kids on there.

He grabbed a candy cane and jabbed it in his mouth as he thought. Peppermint always got his brain working.

"Hmmm, who can I sucker into it this year?"

Flipping through his bedraggled Rolodex, Kris muttered. Maybe someone would bankroll Christmas this year. Oprah? Trump? Gates? Branson? He'd burned those bridges already.

No money bags meant no labor, which meant no toys. Maybe he could beg the elves. Gaffle would be the one to talk to. He'd always had the power to convince the others of anything. Then again, he'd been the one to declare they should all leave.

"All we are is slave labor. This prick doesn't care about us; he's used us for centuries. No pay, unless you count hot chocolate. No benefits (a pair of pliers does not a dentist make). I've heard there are plenty of jobs in India. Who's with me?"

Kris poured a finger of scotch, eyeballed it, poured a few more. Who was counting? Those tiny little bastards had abandoned him just like that. Not one miniature hat left behind. They'd even stolen a bunch of his tools when they'd gone.

"Rat finks."

The reindeer had moved to greener pastures. Literally. They got fed pretty well to work in America one season each year. Free food and a warm bed, year-round. Rudolph had looked sadly behind him before taking off into the air with the others. He'd been the only one to look back.

A frigid tear slid down Kris's cheek as he accidentally chomped down on the candy cane. "Bah!" He threw it across the room; it made significantly less noise than the phone had.

Then it hit him. No, not the candy cane. Penguins! Where better to outsource to than Antarctica?

"Yeah, penguins. Those freaky, flightless little twerps won't know what hit 'em."

This entry rings in at 500 words exactly. There's still time for you to write up your own Bad Santa story for the hop and enter at Bullish Ink.

How do you see Bad Santa? You think he's outsourcing? And do you think he has more or fewer kids on the Nice list these days?

May you find your Muse.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Cover Reveal - The Headhunters Race

I'm delighted to be a part of Kimberly Afe's The Headhunters Race cover reveal! Behold!

Sixteen-year-old Avene was sentenced to prison at thirteen for a crime she didn't commit. Now she has a chance to win her freedom back – if she enters the Headhunters Race. Second prize isn't so bad either, an upgrade to the Leisure Prison if you make it to the finish line. To win either prize, Avene and the other prisoners must navigate one hundred and fifty miles of dense forest, desert, and worst of all, cannibal territory.

With a mechanical collar timed to strangle the prisoners if they're not back in nine days, Avene allies herself with seventeen-year-old McCoy, another prisoner that insists on helping her at every turn and a boy she's trying hard not to fall for. Together they battle nature, other prisoners, and the timed death collars to win the coveted prize. But when Avene is tested with one deadly conflict after another, she realizes there is more at stake than winning her freedom – first she has to survive.  

Kimberly is the mother of two awesome kids, wife of the nicest man in the world, and her dog's best friend. She works by day and writes middle grade and young adult science fiction and fantasy novels in her spare time. She lives with her family in the beautiful Sonoran Desert.

You can find her in the following places:

Website     Goodreads     Twitter     Facebook     Blog

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

[Mostly] Wordless Wednesday - Ice, Ice Baby & Links

For [Mostly] Wordless Wednesday, how about a random pattern from the ice of a frozen pond? Just because.

And now for some links.

Please bear in mind that I'm not personally vetting any of these publications. I haven't research the validity of any of the below publications/contests/blog hops. Please do your due diligence before submitting to any publication or contest.

Accepting Submissions:

Mystichawker Press has reopened their anthology, Campfire Howls, for submissions until it is full. Combine the mystique of the cowboy with the terror of the werewolf. Pays $5, plus a contributor copy.

Martian Migraine Press is open for submissions to their anthology, The Conqueror Womb: Lusty Tales of Shub-Niggurath. They seek stories that both titillate and terrify. Deadline December 15. Token payment of $10CDN.

Skye Warren is putting together an anthology: Take the Heat. Deadline December 31. Payment $100.

Angry Robot is opening up to unagented submissions. December 31 deadline. They're seeking novels in the genres of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and WTF. Novel-length. Paying market.

Kaleidoscope is a "crowd-funded anthology of diverse contemporary YA Fantasy." They have already attained the funding successfully, so this is a definite. Deadline December 31. Pays $.05/word.

The Midnight Diner is open for submissions through December 31 for short fiction, poetry, and artwork. Genre work with a Christian slant. Pays various flat rates, dependent upon type of submission. $60 for short stories.

Sirens Call Publications is taking submissions for several types of publication. Flowers Are Overrated, romance/erotic anthology, December 31, pays royalties plus contributor copy. The Odd & The Bizarre is a horror anthology, January 31, royalties plus contributor copy.

American Style Magazine accepts articles from art lovers. Fee is negotiable upon acceptance of article.


Spinetingler Press is holding their 2013 Christmas Ghost Story Competition. 1st prize is 100 pounds and guaranteed inclusion in a future anthology. Deadline THIS FRIDAY, December 13.

Blog Hops:

Bullish Ink is holding their Third Annual Bad Santa Blog Hop. December 9-21. Judge's Winner receives a $25 Amazon GC; Reader's Favorite wins a $15 Amazon GC. Write a piece of flash fiction, up to 500 words, to air Santa's dirty secrets.

Any of these of interest to you? Seen any interesting shapes in the ice this winter? Anything to share? Publishing news to share?

May you find your Muse.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Roasting "The Bird", CheersFest 2.0

Today's the day of the CheersFest 2.0, where we honor Arlee "Lee" Bird.

CheersFest 2.0 is being hosted by Mark Koopmans, Morgan Shamy, David Powers King, Stephen Tremp, and Alex J. Cavanaugh.

We've been asked to answer four questions:

Why did Lee come up with the A-to-Z Challenge?
There's an issue sweeping the globe wherein people are losing the ability to alphabetize. Lee realized the issue and stepped forward to do his civic duty to educate the masses.

If someone dreams about being a juggler, what does it mean?
Straight up, it means they've got too much going on in life, that they feel like they're juggling important things. On the other hand, it could mean your brain is doing gymnastics.

Is a post by Mr. Bird worth two in the bush?
No jesting here, of course it is!

Who could play Lee in a documentary?
Paul Newman. Come on, tell me you don't see it...

Write a flash fiction piece, 100 words, with the required words:

The challenge was on, the room full of jugglers sweating in their intricate outfits. (One wore a suit of feathers.) They eyeballed each other, sneering and snarling, and then they began tossing jibes at each other.

"You couldn't juggle two oranges if they had strings attached!"

"Oh yeah, well you couldn't catch a bowling pin if it had super glue painted all over it!"

Just as it looked about to come to blows, he walked in, the Man in the Brown Coat. He was a legend, a man they'd all heard of, one they all respected. The Bird. And he didn't need a feather suit to prove it.

"What's up fella's? Ready for the show?"

Feathers fainted, one tiny yellow bit of down floating gently to the ground.

And that's when everyone else in the room knew they'd already lost the challenge.

Now for my caption:

Carl looked at the pin with trepidation, knowing that it could only keep him upright for so long before it lost its balance.
All jests aside, I give my thanks to Lee for all he's done for the blogging community, for bringing so many of us together, and for creating something that a multitude have enjoyed these past few years. His support has meant a lot to me, and I hope for his success. Thank you for being you, Lee!

May you find your Muse.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lexa & Julie's Dream Destination Blog Hop

I'm a little late to this one (though still on time, really, so no lashings necessary). There are so many places I dream of going that it's hard to narrow it down to a dream destination. You see, I always thought I'd travel the world when I grew up, yet the only place I've been outside of the United States was Tijuana, Mexico when I was 18 years old. We basically went there to underage drink, so nothing I'm particularly fond of all these years later.

Each time I think I've decided on THE place to mention, I think of another place I want to go to just as badly. I thought about cheating and running down a list of each place I so badly want to visit, but looking around I see that people have pretty much stuck to one place, so I'll refrain from cheating. This time.

So where is my current dream destination (current meaning today), as requested by the delightful ladies, Lexa and Julie as they celebrate their book releases?


Peru combines so many things I'm looking for in a travel destination. The sentinel mountains, harboring the ruins of Machu Picchu. The exotic Amazon river teeming with species I've read so much about, but never seen. Pink river dolphins, people! Manatees. Giant river otters. Anacondas? EEK!

By Photographer: RubykPhotographer: Rubyk [CC-BY-SA-2.5 ( or CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

They even have their very own mystery of the ages: The Nazca Lines. 30 figures etched into the sands of the desert, fully visible only from the air, yet created well before they had the capability of human flight. How did they create these? And why? Oh, surely you guys know by now how much I love a good real-life mystery!?

By Unukorno (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

I would delight in the rich cultural heritage of Peru. In learning more about the country. Of seeing the history outlined throughout the country, its buildings, ruins, and people.

So today? Today my dream destination would be Peru, for it's a place that has danced its way into my imagination and beckons for me to learn more, to dance, to celebrate, to explore.

Where would you go? Have you been to Peru? Is it on your list at all?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group & Links

It's that time again, folks! The first Wednesday of the month means Insecure Writer's gather together to discuss their insecurities. Anyone is welcome to join this support group, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh. You can sign up here.

Do you constantly think about what you want to write, only to sit down and struggle with what to write (as in, which one?) or how to get started? Do your stories and characters run through your head all the time, yet elude you when you try to get them onto paper? Am I sounding a bit like an infomercial right now?

I attended a great workshop led by author Angel Smits this past month, and I wanted to share a bit about it for my fellow insecure writers. It's the second time I attended one similar to this that she's presented, and I always leave feeling inspired. Plus, I always leave with words on the page.

Angel gives us the tools to shut off our internal editor, our voice of self-doubt and criticism, by using improv writing. She gives ideas on multiple ways to get started writing, while evading your internal editor. First off, give your editor a name. Mine is Smurgle.  Next, set a timer for a certain amount of time and start writing. Doesn't matter what you're writing. You can write "I don't know what to say." You can write "I don't feel like doing this." You can write your grocery list. You can write whatever you want, as long as your pen stays on the paper (or your fingers keep moving across the keyboard). This activity disengages your editor and gets you in the writing mindset.

After that, you can use a variety of prompts. Pictures from a magazine, quotes or snippets of writing chosen at random (not necessarily the beginning of a sentence), random words, postcards, anything that may trigger a writing topic for you. Set a timer each time and start writing. Don't edit it as you go (though I will often cross out something I just wrote down and then continue immediately, I'm breakin' the rules). Just write. Write, write, write, until that timer ends.

Would you believe that she has written her novels over a series of Thursdays through the years with her improv group? In the two hours they meet, she takes each prompt as a jumpstart to the next section of her book and keeps it going. Pretty amazing.

I'd like to start doing a bit of this timed free writing when I sit down to write. Maybe it will become part of my writing routine, maybe it won't. But I can't know until I try. I've also joined up with some friends to start an improv writing night we had previously been doing, so I'm looking forward to that.

I accomplished a lot with my writing Monday, but Tuesday I sat there undecided on what to start on. Today I need to get some writing done again.

Yours, in Insecurity!

Now for some links.

Please bear in mind that I am not personally vetting any of these publications. I haven't researched the validity of these offers. Please do your own due diligence before submitting to any publication.

Accepting Submissions:

The Capilano Review publishes "venturesome experimental writing and art" and is looking for submissions. Submission deadline is February 28 for the spring issue. Pays $50 per printed page. The theme is languages.

Workers Write is seeking poetry and prose from the cubicle dwellers point-of-view. 500-5000 words. December 31 deadline. Pays $5 to $50.

Angelic Knight Press is taking submissions for their anthology Demon Rum and Other Evil Spirits. Deadline December 31. I didn't find any indication of payment for this particular anthology, but their overall submission guidelines state quarterly royalties and a copy of the book. More information on this specific publication here.

Infinite Acacia is seeking short stories for a collection, Infinite Science Fiction. Deadline December 31. 2000-6000 words, Science Fiction. Pays $.01/word. They also have a short story collection entitled Mother Knows Best, same deadline. Pays 10 Euros, plus a contributor copy.

Firbolg Publishing is seeking environmental horror short stories for the fourth entry in their Enter At Your Own Risk series. Pays a flat $40 fee. Deadline is December 31.

Crossed Genres is taking submissions of Science Fiction and/or Fantasy short stories with the theme of "Runaway" for their April issue. Pays $.05/word. Deadline December 31.


Suspense Magazine is holding the Terri Ann Armstrong Short Story Contest. Deadline is December 31. Must be in the suspense/mystery/thriller genre. No cash prize is mentioned. May be published online or in their print publication.

21 Peaceful Genders is an anthology on Transgender healthcare being run as a contest. December 31 deadline. First prize is $500. This appears to be run by two individuals, rather than a publishing house, so please do your research before entering.


The Kindle Book Review, along with their partners, is giving away a $500 Amazon shopping spree (HOLY COW!) from now through December 15. This is a Rafflecopter giveaway, with the standard types of tasks in order to earn entries (like x on Twitter, share on Facebook, etc.)

Blog Hop:

Mark Koopmans is hosting the 50 States of Pray Event on Christmas Eve (December 24). The intention is for everyone to post a prayer, a thought, a hope, a regret, a memory, or a wish in about 100 words. It's a simple hop with a lot of heart.

What's your insecurity? What's your inner editor's name? Do you do constant battle with them? Any of these links of interest to you? Anything you'd like to share? Any publication news?

May you find your Muse.

Monday, December 2, 2013

How'd You Do?

It's December! Which, of course, means time will suddenly shorten, squish together, eat itself like the infinity snake. Cut everything you think you'll get done in half. Right? Okay, maybe that's just me. The craziness is already starting to smear itself across my calendar.

But December also means that NaNoWriMo has come to a close. Thusly, so has ShaNoShoStoWriEdSubMo.

How did you guys do? How many completed their goals for the month (whether NaNo or otherwise)? How many didn't complete their goals, but still feel good? How many are pounding their heads into walls right now?

Well, stop it!

If you got even one word written, one plot planned, one character created, pat yourself on the back. Beating yourself up will just make you have more trouble moving forward. No self-abuse or flagellating. The holidays can be stressful enough without beating oneself up.

As far as ShaNoShoStoWriEdSubMo, I didn't have any hardcore rules like NaNo, so I'm feeling pretty good about it. I touched base with my novel that needs editing, my WIP that I'm working on finishing, and I got some writing and editing done on short stories. Was I as productive as I envisioned myself? No. But I'm cool with it. This was a crazy month, and I knew it going in, so I told myself what I could do would be just fine, that anything accomplished was progress beyond what I had already.

I hope everyone's feeling good, or at least okay, with their progress over November.

And I hope Thanksgiving (or the weekend) were good to you, as well!

Are you setting goals for December? Or do you take the month "off" from writing pursuits? If you're setting goals, what are they? If you aren't, do you typically set yourself goals or go where life takes you? How was Thanksgiving?

May you find your Muse.