I thought I’d create this page as a short-cut for me to track my progress on the 2014 Goals I set for myself in my January 6, 2014 post, found here. This way, instead of constantly having to refer to *that* post, I can just pop in here and make notations as needed, for myself and anyone else who has an interest in following along. This page will have more details about the reading goal also, such as a list of the books I’ve read so far towards my goal.
1) Read one book a week until B-Day in June, with an overall year goal of 25. (SEE BELOW–DONE!)
1. Love is the Law – by Nick Mamatas
2. You Are Not So Smart – by David McRaney
3. Fahrenheit 451 – by Ray Bradbury
4. The Child Thief – by Brom
5. We Have Always Lived in the Castle – by Shirley Jackson
6. 1Q84 (part 2) – by Haruki Murakami
7. Mindful Birthing – by Nancy Bardacke
8. Z – by Therese Anne Fowler
9. 1Q84 (part 3) – by Haruki Murakami
10. After the Apocalypse – by Maureen F. McHugh
11. Writer’s Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy – edited by Michael Knost
12. The 10% Solution – by Ken Rand
13. The Secret History – by Donna Tartt
14. Midnight Robber – by Nalo Hopkinson
15. The Sundial – by Shirley Jackson
16. The Weekend Novelist – by Robert J. Ray
17. But I Don’t See You as Asian: Curating Conversations About Race – by Bruce Reyes-Chow
18. Pretty Monsters – by Kelly Link
19. The Doom Stone – by Paul Zindel
20. Knight’s Castle – by Edward Eager
21. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – by Haruki Murakami
22. Grants Pass – edited by Jennifer Brozek & Amanda Pillar
23. The Rhino with Glue On Shoes – edited by Lucy H. Spelman & Ted Y. Mashima
24. Life and Death in Shanghai – by Cheng Nien
25. The Haunting of Hill House – by Shirley Jackson
(26.) The Little Finance Book That Could – Jennifer Brozek
(NOTE: I’ve allowed myself to count books that are 500 pages or more as two separate books (example: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami has three books within it, though it is technically one continuous story, but total is close to 900 pages.) If I can divide a book in half and have the total pages be at or over 250 pages, I may count it as two books. MAY, being the operative word, since I read Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke in about a week some years ago, and The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling in less than 24 hours when I was a kid–it *is* possible I may read faster than 250 pages a week, but I’m not going to require it.)
√ 2) Finish the rough draft of Shadow Engines. — COMPLETED! (January 15, 2014)
3) Get as many new short stories written/edited/submitted by B-Day in June so I have something to juggle even if I’m not writing much for those few months (6 = good, 10 = amazing). — At this point, with B-Day so close, I’m going to be a little more realistic: I’ve got two stories out circulating now, and I think I can get one more polished up and submitted before B-Day, but much beyond that I suspect will be a stretch. I may be able to get out more stories later in the year, but for now, I’m hedging on three tops pre-B-Day.
Submittable New Stories:
1. “Swallow” — Weird/Dark Fantasy/Horror
2. “The Mortal Coil” — Light SF
3. “Snap” — Contemp. Magical Realism
4. “Moments of Clarity” — Light Fantasy
5. “Rhapsody in Flesh Minor” — Humor/SF
4) Keep up with a reading journal every day to discuss what I’m currently reading.
+ (January 26, 2014): I’ve been rather bad at keeping this up for the past few weeks. I was doing extremely well using it as my journal before bed, but then got hung-up on the big “finish review” for my weekly books. Will have to figure out how to work those in, but for now, I’ll go back to the day-by-day journaling about reading.
+ (April 2, 2014): This has been a bit off-and-on of late, but I’m hoping to get back into it, because I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s a great way to wind-down before bed. Now that everything’s pretty much clear until B-Day, I’m going to redouble my efforts to keep up-to-date on this if I can.
+ (May 15, 2014): Temporarily shifted focus from a reading-specific journal to a regular daily journal, to better document this particularly interesting time of life (what with the Little Guy coming so soon, and the Hubby moving into 4th year med school & all that implies). I’m going to try to include some reading notes as I go, but mostly, this will be more day-to-day stuff, I suspect. We’ll see what it becomes.
+ (October 21, 2014): This goal has pretty much been a flop, and I think partly because I kept hoping to write out my thoughts in elegant (or tolerable) prose in a notebook specifically dedicated for this subject. What I’ve found, instead, is that I much more prefer bullet points to highlight my thoughts on whatever I’m reading, rather than trying to hash it out in prose. I’ve also–for YA/Children’s novels I’ve been reading as research–been going through and charting out the plots for these, as well as evaluating what worked and what didn’t work for me, so that’s been fascinating in its own right. So perhaps I shouldn’t say this goal has been a flop, so much as I’ve discovered different ways to think about fiction that doesn’t necessarily involve a day-to-day log. I used to incorporate what I was reading into my daily journal, so perhaps I should go back to doing that. I’ve only recently found the time to start journaling again, so maybe this will pick up with time.