New Year, New Adventure

I was sufficiently vague about some of my resolutions last week, but I can at least specify one of my  exciting new initiatives: I’m starting grad school today!

I was accepted into ASU’s MA in English program, a thrilling personal and professional development. My first graduate program was for Leadership, and I know I eventually want to get my doctorate — but would like to do something in an area in which I am passionate. As is evidenced by my blog, manuscripts & marginalia and not “motivation & management” or, you know, whatever.

I’m slightly nervous; it’s been almost four years since I took classes for my last graduate program. Can I remember how to student? To balance a full-time job with classes? I’m pushing myself to hit the ground running, notably with loading up on double classes for Sessions A and B in the first semester. There’s going to be a lot of reading with these classes and a fair amount of writing, too. I had my first anxiety dream in months last night, because I’m putting a lot on my shoulders this year and I’m nervous that I can’t carry this load, and that I’ll burn out. At the same time, I need to see what I’m capable of and test myself.

There are a lot of things I want from this life, in this world. It’s time I started earning them.

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Lofty Goals for 2016

In case you missed it, my first post of the year was about my 2016 word, forge. Go back and read it; this will set the stage for today’s post.

2016 goals

2015 was a good year, but with getting married and going on the best honeymoon ever (seriously, Japan is where it’s at; you’ll be going to beaches for the next ten-fifteen years if you have kids anyway), there was kind of this weird “plan everything around this three weeks of being MIA.” I had some cool ideas for things I wanted to start, but leading up to our wedding was bonkers and it felt odd to start something and then be gone for weeks, and then I just avoided the real world as much as possible after coming back; three weeks away from work is phenomenal and I wanted to put off responsibilities to keep that blissed out feeling burning as long as possible.

Of course it didn’t last, and it couldn’t, and now I’m more than ready to hit the ground running and get shit done for the year.


My broad goal: Write more, write more often. I’m still getting used to my new routine for the year and trying to make all the pieces fit together, but I’m going to try to work on my manuscript every other day. I also want to submit something for publication at least once a month — which means incorporating more flash fiction and short stories into my rotation.

(Oh, and one of the micro fiction pieces I submitted last year was published yesterday at The Drabble! Read “Something Like a Prayer” here!)

I’m also looking at expanding into more creative outlets, still focusing on writing but at a different level. Details forthcoming later in the year, I hope.


Guys like everyone is doing #HamAlong so I guess I’m doing #HamAlong, too. Which makes one of my goals to be actually stick with a readalong!

I’m also going to do Book Riot’s #ReadHarder challenge, though I don’t know where to start and would loooooove suggestions!

I’m also trying to read 50 books this year, my usual Goodreads tally. I barely hit my goal last year, which makes this year — with its own to be announced, exciting challenges — even more of a push. But I can do it.

Of course, I want to read more diversely and plan to incorporate more variety into my reading. Every year I end up focusing on one thing – mystery or horror or SFF – and I want this year to be a little bit of everything.

Also, I should probably clear out some shelves.


I feel like this blog is in a constant state of flux, and I’d like to have more stability and consistency this year. I’ll be resuming the Women in Fiction series next Friday, and I’m looking forward to having a full year to focus and hone that feature. I decided that I’m not going to do anything that I, effectively, can’t sustain – so weekly releases are out. I might talk about some books generally if I’m really excited about an upcoming release, but every week? Kill me. Listen to the All the Books podcast instead.


I don’t talk about a ton of personal stuff on the blog, but I want to be better about managing my time and prioritizing. I have some exciting things coming up this year (more next week on that particular front!), but I want this year to be just packed with experiences.

I’m also (re)committing to being healthier. My day job is the busiest around Thanksgiving (at least for me), and I got laid out by congestion and allergy/sinus shenanigans for most of December. The last couple of months I haven’t been great about fitness because my health goals have been “be able to breathe today.”

So yeah. 2016. Bring it.

What are your goals for the year? 

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One Little Word for 2016

This year I’m fully committing to Ali Edwards’ One Little Word project. I’ve already gotten a lot from the workshop so far, including tips on how to select a stellar word. I have to say, I am head over heels in love with mine (though it balks at being called “little”).


I thought a lot about what I wanted to accomplish this year, capitalizing on a great 2015 and pushing myself forward.

In fact, I considered “push” but found it to be wanting: negative, overly forceful, discourteous, and lacking respect. I wanted something with force, with momentum, and I sought similar words: drive, strive, propel.

Forge took hold of me and I gave it my consent. Not a soft, sweet “yes” like with my word for 2015, an “oh, you’ll do quite nicely;” instead, a loud, hearty bellow of agreement, the kind that echoes in your core.

My word is active, and that is one thing I want to define 2016. I have grown complacent in my adulthood, borderline lazy and certainly passive. I will give up easy comfort this year. I will work hard. I will hustle. I will earn.

It can also be grueling: hammering metal, bearing that awesome heat. Dangerous, repetitive, but a skilled act of creation. The same as writing, if you’ve been doing it long enough that it smolders within you and you have to find the right way to temper the flames, to let it burn without consuming.

And the seeming contradiction; the softer, human side that is less industry, more emotion: forging relationships. Something I have neglected somewhat, being an independent introvert. But something I will challenge myself to do. I let people in more in 2015, but I know that I am the friend valuable in the present, forgotten in the future, left behind in your past. I accept that, but I also commit to changing it, to creating stronger relationships and being a better partner.

To forge ahead: 2016 requires it. I loved 2015, but I know I can do better. I can make better, more often, with more people. There is more to achieve, and I will do it.

I will.

What’s your word for 2016? How can we support each other this year? 

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