The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Chance of Snow

Weather predictions have me pretty excited that we might actually get snow here in the Carolinas tonight. Regardless of the fact that it got up to sixty degrees yesterday, a cold front is supposed to push through tonight and bring temperatures down to the low 20's and high teens. With 100% chance of precipitation, we are expecting up to 6 inches of snow and possibly a "wintry mix" of sleet, rain, ice and more snow. I'm not necessarily looking forward to more dangerous roads, but I am definitely looking forward to seeing snow on the ground for a couple of days.

Last year, the biggest snow of the year occurred when I was out of town and I completely missed it. This time, I'm home and I'm prepared. I bought some extra gallons of water just in case, and we have plenty of food in the house. Hopefully, what they are calling a "winter storm" won't be bad enough to take out our power, which would render most of our frozen foods and soups useless. We still have chips and crackers and peanut butter and bread and such though, so I think we'll be okay for a day or two just in case we do get a terrible storm.

Of course, usually when I'm prepared for such things, nothing happens and what they thought would be a "Storm" turns out to just be a night of light rain that passes over without it ever getting cold enough for snow. We'll see. I'm definitely looking forward to some snow this season.

Plotting

Coming up with a great plot isn't easy. In fact, once you've come into your own voice and started to really write well, plot is one of the main things that can hold a writer back from getting published. My rejection from Silhouette Desire seemed to be mostly about plot. According to the letter, I am a "strong storyteller" but flaws in the plot slowed down the pacing of the novel. Now that I am working on something with less rigid guidelines, holding onto a tight plot is even more difficult.

In my current WIP, I only have about 1/4 of the novel plotted out. Control freak that I am, I really want to know what's going to happen. It's difficult for me to just let the plot flow as I write, because nine times out of ten, I get so far into a plot that isn't working that I end up having to throw away dozens of pages and start over. Maybe as time goes by and I write more, my intuition about these things will get better, but for now, I need to work out the plot in advance.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that I don't ever leave room for changes or spontaneous ideas when I'm writing. I just like to have a basic outline of the plot with a short description of what's going to happen in the scene. When I'm actually writing out that scene, however, there are always new things that come in. If something really comes through and surprises me, I am open to going through the later outlined scenes and making changes to fit the new development. I try to keep an open mind despite my control freak personality.

Today, I am meeting with my noveling group and we are, for the first time, discussing my work. I am so nervous, but also excited to get some feedback. There's a contest I want to enter by Feb. 1st, so some good feedback might help me decide how to go about revising my first 25 pages for the contest. (I'm entering the YA category and the final judge is from Berkley Publishing, which could be a HUGE opportunity!) Hopefully they will help me with some plot issues I'm having and help steer me in the right direction.

How Important is A Book Title?

This is a question I ask myself every once in a while, and even though I'm writing about it today, I don't have an answer. An author choosing their own book title, from what I hear, is a rare occurrence. Sure, authors choose a title when they're writing it and then when they submit to an agent or publisher. But from what I've heard from my author friends (particularly in the romance industry), the title is usually changed by the marketing department or the editor anyway. People are mainly "given" their book title rather than getting to choose it themselves.

Which makes me wonder just how important it is when you are a writer just starting out. "Pandemic" is what I've tentatively been calling my WIP for quite some time now. My sister, on the other hand, doesn't think that title is very indicative of what the book is truly about. She suggested, since it's going to be a three book series, using something like "Rising" in the first book's title, and "Falling" in the second book title - with the third yet to be determined until we think of some 'ing word that works :P. I definitely think she has a point, and part of me wants to spend countless hours trying to think of the perfect title for my book.

But how important is my own book title? I need a catchy title in order to catch the eye of an agent, but since they know how often an author's title is changed, do they really care so much what you call it? Or do they look mostly at the synopsis and writing? My guess is that the title can catch their eye, but for the most part, title is one of the least important parts of a query. I'd love to hear from an agent whether that's actually true or if I'm just guessing incorrectly. Sometimes, I think having a good title is just for the author's sake. When you're writing something new and thinkng about the book, it is just helpful to have a great title in mind. And maybe, if it's brilliant enough, the editor will let you keep it ;).

Home Again: Getting Back into Routine

The hardest part about going away for a few days is trying to get back into my routine after I get home. Even just four days of being away and out of my regular routine has me totally screwed up. I'm tired, out of practice, and in some ways, less motivated than normal. It would seem to make sense that a small vacation would give me more energy and motivation, but that's just not the case.

Once you get into your routine, it's habit. It's easier to follow it. It's more automatic. But when you break it, suddenly the routine seem mundane or difficult. Hard to maintain.

So how do I get back into my routine after four or five days of being away? I guess I could ease into it. I could do a half routine today and then add the rest of everything tomorrow so that by Thursday, I'm definitely back on track. OR - I could just jump in head first today. Get back to work and do everything I'm supposed to do. Twice as hard in some ways, but also twice as productive. While I'm more of an ease into kind of girl, G is definitely a proponent of the jump back in philosophy. I guess there's no better time to try out his theory and see what happens. Why is it so hard sometimes to just jump back into routine? Maybe once I get going today, I'll hardly feel tired or out of sync at all.

Couture Lollipops and Turning 33

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I saw this pic yesterday of Kim Kardashian with a Sugar Factory Lolli and it made me smile! I may not look like Kim, but I have my own Sugar Factory Couture lollipop. It's basically just a rhinestone-encrusted stick that has a giant yummy lollipop that screws into it. Once you're done with the sucker part, you unscrew it from the stick, throw it out, and put another one in. The one I bought is pink, and I love it!

If you're wondering how much these things costs, I'll tell you what I paid in Las Vegas. (I think Kim in the picture is celebrating a grand opening of the store in Los Angeles.) My couture lollipop from the Sugar Factory cost $23. Yes, yes, I know, it's incredibly silly and indulgent, but isn't that what being in Vegas is all about? The sucker refills were $12 for a pack of three.

So far, I ate one of the suckers on my wedding night and haven't had one of the refills yet. Maybe my 33rd birthday calls for another sucker :). I am heading home to Georgia this morning (my back, mercifully, is feeling so much better so far this morning) to be with my family. So many January birthdays, especially with the addition of Sami last year! It should be a fun time, so I am looking forward to it. Of course, this will also be the first time I am away from G since he became my husband, so that's sad and I'll miss him, but at least it is only a few days.

As far as turning 33 goes, I'm not exactly thrilled about it. I keep thinking that I wish I was only turning 23. I wish I had found G sooner and made better choices earlier on. 33 feels so old in some ways. It's not fair for us women who have a biological clock that ticks and counts down our years of child-bearing possibilities. Just about everyone I know already has a kid, and I'm just not sure I'm ready yet...but 33 means only so many years left to go down that path. Then again, there are still years and there's no rush. I just tend to freak out on my birthdays these days. So... 33. I guess now that I've added some more double letters to my name (and since I took my maiden name on as my middle name legally), now I have four sets of double letters in my full name. Might as well as a double age to that mix. Maybe there's some sort of magic in that. Maybe this is the year that I become the person I know I can be. My birthday is coming either way, so I might as well view it as some magical age that will help to bring awesomeness into my life :).

One thing is for certain: I am coming into this age happier than I have been in a very long time. My wonderful husband has a lot to do with that. :) And so does, perhaps, my couture lollipop.

Making up Names for Fiction Writing

It's the bane of my writing existence, really.

Naming things and people. You would think it would be easy since pretty much anything goes...but no. It's not easy for me. I know I can just make things up, but there's always this nagging voice in the back of my mind saying, "If this book takes off, do you really think that's the best name for this character?" Okay, so that's probably a huge part of my problem - always worrying about what other people will think of my choices if and when I ever publish a novel. I guess understanding the problem is a huge step, but it doesn't exactly make it easier either.

In my current WIP (work in progress), I need to name three major things.

  1. The evil Sorcerer (nothing will ever be as cool as Voldemort! How can I come up with anything that could compete, but not sound like I'm trying to copy JK Rowling?)
  2. The alternate dimension in which the magical people live. (Originally, this was going to be Pandora. Brilliant, right? Then freaking Avatar had to come out and be the number box office hit of the past 10 years - featuring an alien planet called Pandora. Sigh.)
  3. Finally, I need to name the group of teens who act as guardians to make sure the Sorcerer does not get out of his Earthly prison. (Yes, this is a zombie apocalypse book, but with magic :).
I try not to let my lack of decision-making when it comes to names hold the writing back. For instance, I will just put Sorcerer as the guy's name (or should it be a sorceress? see? more decisions!) and keep trucking. But eventually, I will have to come to a decision. I wish I could call up JK Rowling or Stephen King and ask them how they name characters. What's the process involved? Or did you just pluck them out of thin air? I'd love to know, but something tells me JK Rowling doesn't read my blog :P.

Back Pain Blues

For the past couple of days, I've had some ugly back pains. Pretty much to the point where it's difficult to sit down at my computer to type for more than thirty minute segments. Yesterday, I spent most of the day in bed with a heating pad, reading "Under the Dome" on my eReader. Since I've also had a bad cold, I decided to take a couple Benadryl and get a good night's sleep.

Man, that shit will knock you out. I slept through the night, no problem. Which is nice, since I didn't sleep at all the night before. (And when I say not at all, I don't mean an hour here and there, I mean, zero sleep due to the pain.) Unfortunately, my back still feels sore this morning. So, how do I continue to work toward my goals on days where I am feeling less than healthy? I can't sit up in bed, because that hurts my back as well, so how do I write? I wonder what someone like Nora Roberts would have to say. After all, she's the one who writes something like four or five books a year and claims to only take a couple of days off between books before it's back to 8 hour workdays. I wonder what she does if she's having aches and pains.

I just hope that I'm all better by Thursday since I'll be driving home to Georgia to see my family. My niece's first birthday is tomorrow, then mine on Saturday, and my sister's on the 28th, so we are planning to have a fun birthday weekend. Part of me thinks the best thing to do is rest again today for the most part, only writing or doing computer work for short bursts, then going back to put an ice pack on my back in between. Taking it easy when you have all these goals to complete isn't necessarily easy or happy, but sometimes getting healthy needs to be the goal. See, this is why I need to be successful - so I can afford to go to the chiropractor. :P

Another Week Gone

It sometimes amazes me how fast time flies as we get older. When I was in third grade, for example, it seemed like a week was a really long unit of time (especially on weeks where something excited was going on that weekend and I had to wait seemingly forever for it to get here). Summers were an eternity. But now, only 8 days away from my 33rd birthday, time is flying by. I was just getting used to 32! And, by the way, what the hell happened to my twenties?!? :p

There is so much I want to accomplish in 2010. Even though we're still early in the year, we're also already two full weeks in. Time is flying by faster than ever and one thing is certain - you can never get it back. Once a day has passed, there's no way to go back and make up for the time that was lost or wasted.

I started this week determined to make the most of the week. Did I accomplish that? Not completely to my satisfaction, no. Monday was an amazing day where I got everything on my to-do list done (well, no, I only wrote 800 words instead of my 2,000 word goal), but the rest of the week was only mediocre. I got some jazzercise in, taught my voice lessons and made some money, wrote a few articles online, and so far have written almost 4,000 words for the week. Not bad, and certainly a good start compared to this time last year. On the other hand, there's so much room for improvement.

Here's the truth of it, though - while it's true that we can't get back wasted time, it's also true that it doesn't do any good to beat yourself up over it. Dwelling on days | weeks | months | even years of wasted time does absolutely no good unless it can somehow super inspire you to get to work and make the most of today and tomorrow and the next day. G always likes to say that "If you're not moving forward, you're moving backward." And he's right. Standing still isn't good enough, because you're falling behind. We always need to be getting better, moving forward, making the most of the time we have now. Even though another week is gone, I still have today to make the most of - and next week is a whole new chance to improve.

Writer's Block

When you hear writers in the movies talking about having 'writer's block', they make it sound like some mystical thing they have no control over. I don't know that I really believe in 'writer's block', exactly. But something is going on with me over the past few days, and I don't like it!

I wouldn't go so far as to say I am blocked, but stopped up or something? Maybe. I was excited about starting over and getting to work on a new format for my novel, but when I sit down to write, nothing comes out. I have barely written a thousand words in the past four days! My goal is more like 2,000 words a day, so suffice it to say... I'm behind.

Tonight I meet with my YA critique group, and by midnight tonight, I'm supposed to upload 50 new pages for them to critique. I don't have 50 pages! I have 5 pages. Ouch! There's no way I'm going to write 45 pages by midnight tonight, so I'm screwed when it comes to meeting that goal. I'll have to figure something else out.

As for the main problem - this writer's block episode - I need to come up with a solution that works for me. Something to get my writing back on track. Tricks of the trade, so to speak. Today, I am fortunate to be able to dedicate my entire day to writing (almost), so the first thing I plan to try is getting out of the house. Sometimes when I just go to coffee shop or to the bookstore or library, being out of the house and in a place where I have to focus on the writing instead of playing with the dog or cleaning up or whatever, helps tremendously. I think I'll go to Panera - one of my very favorite places to go write because coffee refills are cheap. Once I get there, if the writing isn't coming naturally, I'll try the trick of thinking of one small event. A tiny scene that needs to be written. Then, I'll give myself permission to write badly as long as I can get through that one connecting scene. When it's written, maybe I'll find that I want to write the next scene too.

I think the key is just to not stop trying. To not give up on your writing or get so frustrated by the missed days that you cripple your inspiration. Never lose faith in your ability to create. I know that this will pass, and when it does, the floodgates will open as everything I've wanted to say but couldn't, can finally be expressed.

Loving my Sony Reader

I have definitely been wanting an ereader for a while now, but I thought it would be a bit before I could really afford to shell out the money for one. Imagine my surprise when I opened a brand new Sony Pocket Edition (PRS-300) from my parents for Christmas! I was super excited!

As far as what type of reader I wanted, I couldn't have asked for a better one. I knew I didn't really want a Kindle. They are much more proprietary and it's much more difficult to put your pdf's and things on there. With the Sony, I can easily upload my chapters in pdf format and read them on the digital reader, which is helpful since I'm in two critique groups now. The Barnes and Noble Nook looks great, too, but with it being more expensive and new (ie hard to get since they sold out so fast), the Sony was the perfect choice.

So far, I have uploaded a bunch of Harlequin books that I purchased last year and didn't get around to reading. In addition, I put some of my own stories on there to read. But the most use I've gotten out of the reader so far is now that I purchased Stephen King's newest novel "Under the Dome." Instead of hauling around a 1000 page giant hardcover book, I can just turn on my super light and convenient reader. (And so far, the book is amazing.)

Of course, I also bought this sweet pink leather cover from the M-Edge store. It's called the Platform Jacket, because (as shown above) when you open it up, it stands up like a little platform so you can set it up on your desk. So far, I haven't really used that feature, though. Mostly, I've been reading before bed, but can I tell you how much I love the lightness of this reader compared to a bulky book that I have to use two hands to hold? I LOVE IT!

If you haven't invested in a reader yet, but you are thinking about it, I highly recommend you do some research, pick the one that will fit your needs best, and go for it. It's worth it if you like to read.

The Joy of Writing

I have spent the last two years doing what I love to do - writing. Becoming a writer was always a secret dream of mine, even when I was heading toward a career in music. I have always devoured poetry and cherished good books in a multitude of genres from horror to literary fiction. With a few "good" rejections under my belt, a full novel and a novella as well as countless started (but never finished) attempts, I know that I am closer than ever to finding that magic thing in my own writing that leads me to a published novel. My big question is - what genre does my voice truly fit best?

"Voice" is that elusive, undefinable thing that gives a novel its differentness. When I think of voice, the first novel that pops into mind is "Bridget Jones' Diary". Talk about voice! That book is saturated with one of the most distinctive voices in all of commercial fiction. I adore Bridget Jones and it is simply one of those books that makes me think, "Damn, I wish I'd written that!" I recently started reading "Under the Dome", Stephen King's newest novel, and boy does he have a recognizable voice. There is a smoothness of tone, a colloquial way of speaking that sounds down-home and real and honest. He is the ultimate story-teller and I would follow him anywhere.

But how does a writer find their voice? Practice, Practice, Practice. That's my guess anyway. That, and listening to yourself with honest ears until something hits that perfect note that resonates so clearly deep inside. I am still looking for my voice as a writer. My first solid attempt at a novel was a horror novel/paranormal mystery that is still sitting here in my office incomplete. It's not a bad voice and it was fun to write, but I can't for the life of me think of an ending for that novel. My second, and possibly more successful, novel is a highly soap-opera-type novel targeted toward a specific Silhouette category. That book was rejected, but is still in the running for a Golden Heart, and I won't totally give up on that voice just yet. On the other hand, writing a category romance was, by and large, torturous. Trying to follow those specific guidelines and match my voice and style to the other authors in the line enough to sound similar, while still holding onto something fresh and unique - yikes.

Now, I am trying my hand at young adult paranormal fiction. Even though I technically started this book early last year, I chucked most of that and started over last night. What I am determined to find out is whether writing in the young adult genre is fun for me. Do I have a natural voice that speaks to teen readers? I'm not sure yet, but I do know that trying to voice a "teen" voice is futile. I'll know soon enough, though. Just have to keep punching away until it's finished.

What I really am looking for when I say that I'm looking for my "voice" is something more like joy. What really makes me happy? This past weekend after the Heart of Carolina Romance Writer's meeting, I was lucky enough to be talking with celebrated romance author Claudia Dain. When I asked her if writing her courtesan books made her happy, she got a beautiful smile on her face and said absolutely. Writing those stories gives her joy. I want to find my writing joy.

Step one? Getting out of my own way and letting the joy come in. Sometimes I spend so much time worrying and being down on myself that I don't leave room for the pure joy of loving that I can write full time. It's a blessing, I know, and one that I take for granted all too often. Today, I want to step out of that worry box, light this amazing new sugar cookie candle on my desk, and write from the heart. Maybe then I'll start to find my voice.

Week 2

Well, it's officially week 2 of the new year. So far, I haven't lived up to my hopes for 2010, have you?

It's easy to blame the cold I had last week or the terrible back pains, but this morning I feel fine. Okay, so I'm a little bit tired from staying up too late reading Stephen King's newest book, Under the Dome, last night on my new Sony reader... but that's not really an excuse. This morning is the beginning of my 2010 in some ways since I was feeling ill most of last week.

So what are my daily goals?

  • Write 2,000 words a day on "Pandemic" until the first draft is complete. (I'm basically committing the cardinal sin of writing today and pretty much tossing out the 30k words I've written on it so far and starting over. Ouch, but necessary.)
  • Jazzercise, walk the dog, ride the stationary bike at least 10 minutes a day
  • Work on my wedding website for at least an hour a day.
Three basic daily goals. Sounds so easy and so simple. At almost 33 years old, I should be able to do anything I set my mind to, but somehow that's been difficult for me the past several years. So much confidence lost. But it's never too late, is it? It's never too late to start working towards your goals again and to start becoming the person you wish you had the courage to be.

No Snow

Well, last night the weather forecast said snow from midnight to 5 am, but alas, all it did was rain. It must have warmed up too much for snow to fall, and that makes me sad. :( There have been several days so far this year that snow was in the forecast, but I have yet to actually see any snow. Last year, the big snow occurred when I was in Georgia awaiting the birth of my beautiful niece. G took pictures for me, but by the time I got home, all that was left was a tiny dirty ice block in the shady corner of the yard.

This year, there was a little bit of snow while G and I were in Las Vegas getting married. Hopefully, we didn't miss the only snow of the year, but if we did, at least it was worth it! Haha.

Isn't it funny how here I am praying for snow while other parts of the country are praying for exactly the opposite? It's hard to remember what life was like when I lived in Indiana and would wake up on a regular basis to find snow and ice covering the ground. Of course, snow isn't as fun there in some ways because it happens so often, they rarely let out school or work, whereas here just an inch of snow might be enough to make everyone stand still for a while. Snow also isn't as fun there because it happens to be accompanied by months of not seeing the sun. The sky would somehow grey over and not return to a sunny blue until well into the new year. March, sometimes April. Yuck. Too much grey. At least here the sun still shines in winter. I'll take that over snow anyday.

Non-Stop Dreams

Wow, talk about dreams! G and I both woke up this morning exhausted from dreaming all night. Why have we been dreaming so much lately? It's been so many nights over the past week or two that we have both felt that we dreamed a lot and didn't get much rest.

Last night, my dreams were about Vegas, I think. Except in my dream it was a foreign country and I was there with a friend of mine from college who I haven't thought about in a very long time. We ordered bananas and coffee from some guy that brought it to us in a little van and then charged us $100. And sometime later, I dreamed that I was in Savannah, but the President of the United States lived there and me and my brother got to meet his children - but they weren't Obama's kids, just some other little kids, so lord knows who was pres. in my dream. My brother and I were young, though, like 10 and 5 or something. And we all went swimming in this lazy river that was cold and had a lot of fish in it. Strange dreams, but nothing too crazy I guess. They were largely hooked in reality, so no flying bears or anything weird. Just enough to keep me from ever really feeling like I was resting.

I still think it's strange how we both dream on the same nights. It seems like every time I wake up feeling like I dreamed all night, G feels the same way. It's as if our energy mixes or plays off each other even when we are asleep. Is that really even possible? For one person's dreams to affect someone else's? I have no idea, but it might be time to research this question.

A Common Cold

Having a cold sucks. It's torture, really. Slow, agonizing, torture. Aside from swallowing what is essentially snot all day, your throat burns and you have a constant desire to cough, which then burns. Not to mention the fact that you're tired and run down and can never really breathe through both nostrils at once.

This week, I have a cold. Just a common cold, I guess. Probably unrelated to the flu-like symptoms of last week. (And I'll take cold over flu any day.) In some ways, it's like my body said, "Wait, the wedding is over? And you're back to normal, less important, everyday life? Okay, it's safe to get sick now!" And then it turned on me. Yes, thank God I wasn't sick during the wedding/honeymoon. But planning a bunch of goals at the beginning of the year and hoping to get off to a good start is just made more difficult by a common, annoying, miserable, cold.

For now, I'm just sucking on a cough drop and praying that today is the last day of this mess. And of course, I'm working through it. Rest is nice, but this is the year of achieving, not sleeping. Here's hoping this cold only lasts one more day, at most.

The Importance of Goals

I know I've talked about Goals before, but the topic has been on my mind a lot lately. I guess it's just that time of year, isn't it? Most people call them "resolutions", but basically that's the same thing as a goal. In the end, it's all about change. Changing something we do or say in order to obtain or reach something we want most in life. But how many times have we set the same new year's resolutions year after year? How many times have we set the same goals only to look back a year or so later and still have so far to go?

I, for one, have set the goal to lose weight every year for the past five or so. Am I so fat that it should take me five years to lose all the weight? No way. If I really worked on it everyday and made the right decisions, I could easily lose all the weight I needed in six months. A goal that can be obtained in six months following a set diet and exercise plan is an easy goal, too, comparatively.

What about the goal of publishing a novel? That's where things get tricky. Why? Because it isn't completely up to me. Sure, I can self-publish, but that will only count for me if I can reach a large audience of people. Being a successful author is difficult because it depends on a lot of people gaining access to my work and loving it for one reason or another. I can write the stories of my heart, but there's no guarantee it will speak to someone else's. And if this goal is a more difficult goal to accomplish, that means I have to work twice as hard to make it come true.

Think about your goals and resolutions. What do you want to change in your life? It can be something seemingly small like having more patience or spending more time with friends, or it can be a total life changing goal like reinventing yourself. Whatever your goals this year, let this new decade be a new beginning. A new chance to set goals and actually work hard to achieve. Let's not look back a year from now and wish we did. Let's actually do it this time. Think of how different your life could be if you took your own destiny by the reins and gained control of your own life. I think about it everyday.

This is a year for changes. For courage. For action.

New Year, New Name, New Goals

A beautiful wedding, a fun honeymoon, and a happy trip home to Georgia for the holidays put an end to a decade that was full of hard times and heartbreaks. Of course, it wasn't all bad, but any decade that brings two devastating housefires, a number of difficult relationship endings, and a physical assault that will haunt forever is a bad decade overall. It feels amazing to be letting that go and stepping forward into a new year, a new decade, and a new name. A new life with the right man. A new me with renewed confidence and real goals for the first time in a very long time. I know that the future holds amazing things for us, and I am anxious to get started on the hard work it will take to build that future.

I want 2010 to be a year where I work hard and see results. In 2009, I set the groundwork by finishing my first novel and getting it submitted to a major publishing house. The day before we left for Las Vegas, I got a rejection letter, but that does not mean it isn't a well-written novel. That's the thing about Harlequin/Silhouette. A novel can be well-written, but if it doesn't fit into their line the way they need/want it to, they just aren't going to buy it. But I am still very proud of the novel that I wrote and the work I did. This year, I want to do more.

I am hard at work on Pandemic, my YA zombie apocalypse novel. Although I am agonizing over the specific format I want to use to tell the story (first person POV? third? /shrug), I am enjoying the process. It's been largely sitting to the side since early December, but with the new year already 4 days old, it's time to get to work today organizing this novel and moving forward.

My writing goals this year are to finish two complete novels and get them submitted to major agents and publishing houses. If I could do one full novel last year, then this year it's two. I know I can do it. And I also know that they will be better than the one I wrote last year.

As always, I also have weight loss goals. Having lost around 10 pounds last year, I feel that I have built up a good momentum for 2010. My goal is to Jazzercise 3-4 times a week and keep working to eat right and take my vitamins. Since I doubled my writing goal, I need to at least double my weight loss goal. 20 lbs. Minimum. Of course, a huge bonus would be 30 pounds, which would put me right at my total goal weight of 150 pounds (and hopefully into a size 7 jeans).

As for any other goals, I just want to be a good wife. I want to work with my amazing new husband to save money and build a solid foundation for our future life together. A new beginning can come at any time, but there seems to be a certain energy in this new year. Can you feel it?

Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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Beautiful DemonsThe Time Traveler's WifeLoveroot: PoemsFear of FlyingWe the LivingAnthem

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