Year of Consistency – Week 4/January Check-in

Hi! I’ve decided to move these check-ins to Mondays, since that’s the start of my week for exercise/diet stuff and it makes more sense for accountability…

HAPPY FEBRUARY! It’s a shiny new month! What are you hoping to accomplish?

Here’s my end-of-January check-in:

Writing: A week ago I sent my full six-page synopsis for IVY to Agent Jim. Historically I’m not an outliner, I’ve just created a loose spine with maybe a dozen plot points, but a synopsis requires a lot more outlining. The Playwright was an enormous help with that. I broke the plot down into four major threads — the ghost, the literary mystery, effed up family drama, and romance – and then tried to write out 10 plot points for each. Then I threaded them together. A synopsis  requires a lot of thinking about how the plot points relate to one another – if this happens, how does it affect this? How does Ivy react? – so it doesn’t read like a list of disjointed plot points. It was tough. But I’m so excited for this book now! I really hope it sells so I get the chance to write more of it. I am now in the Neurotic Waiting Stage to hear back from Agent Jim. And then presumably it will go out to editors and I’ll be back in the Neurotic Waiting Stage. Such fun. But ​I’m pretty proud of myself for revising the proposal and writing the synopsis and getting that out last month despite the rampaging Doubt Monsters. ​My February goal is to start work on my MG Steampunk Parent Trap idea. I spent some time last week doing image research and naming characters and just daydreaming about it, so this week I’d like to start the actual, um, writing…

​Reading: OMG. SUPER BIG FAIL on this  front. I only finished 4 books​ last month! And I have a huge TBR stack. My February reading list includes: INTO THE STILL BLUE, CRESS, THESE BROKEN STARS, EVERY DAY (for my local book club!), THE LIES WE TELL OURSELVES, BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE, LADY THIEF, MISTWALKER, FIRE & FLOOD, and THE SECRET DIAMOND SISTERS. Plus a couple of manuscripts for friends and critique clients. I really need to be better about making time to read if I want to a) stay on track with critiques and b) read 100 books this year!

Bethesda signing​Business/Promo: I did a super fun event on Saturday at the Bethesda Library in Maryland with authors Ellen Oh, Megan Shepherd, Victoria Schwab, and Stephanie Perkins! I love group signings and we had an amazing crowd. If you’re interested in signed copies of any of our books, I know Politics & Prose now has signed stock! LOLA & THE BOY NEXT DOOR is one of my most favorite books ever, so I was especially excited to meet and sign with Stephanie. She even gave me a supercute ANNA LOLA ISLA tote bag!…I’ve also been working on setting up some signings in April for the STAR CURSED paperback release – and I’ll be attending three different book festivals in March, so there have been emails aplenty about that too…The Playwright and I have resolved to be more responsible about our spending in 2014 (it’s tricky to budget when you’re both self-employed and paychecks are few and far between!), so I also spent a huge portion of my weekend doing our 2013 accounting and figuring out a 2014 budget. ​I will not tell you how much money I spent on books OR on clothes last year, but I will say I’ve resolved to cut WAY back this year. *shameface* In February I’m hoping to keep better track of our spending and to finish planning and be able to announce all the March + April events!

Health: ​I walked for four hours last week! I also decided to take one “cheat” day a month off from Weight Watchers where I don’t worry about counting points. Last Thursday I ordered in pizza and chocolate cake. I do think I need to get a stash of some Dove dark chocolates in the house, though, for moments when I’m craving just a little something sweet. (Tea also works for this for me – I’ve got a fantastic figgy pudding black tea and a lavender Earl Grey.) My February goal is to stay on track with walking at least 4 times/week and continue to eat more mindfully!

​Cooking: I cooked lots last week! Soup #5 was a Vegetable-Lentil Soup with Sherry, and it was great and super healthy (4/5 from both The Playwright and me). I also made Courtney Summers’ roasted tomato soup recipe twice because I love it and it’s super easy. And I cooked for my BFF when she came over for dinner on Tuesday. Ok, I guess that’s not a TON of cooking, but I ate lots of soup and very little takeout, so: win!

Social/Other:​ The Playwright and I sadly didn’t do game night, but we did spend a lot of time watching FRINGE. And I’ve been actually leaving the house and beign social! Two weekends ago I had tea with my college roomie on Friday, saw a play with The Playwright on Saturday, and brunched with the college roomie on Sunday. Tuesday I had my standing dinner date with my BFF. Last weekend I had the signing on Saturday, followed by an author dinner, and Sunday we watched the Super Bowl with friends. So I’ve had pretty fun, busy weekends. The next couple of weeks are busier socially with some book events in the middle of the week (not mine, but friends I want to go support). And then late in February I’m going on a weeklong writing retreat!

Overall, I feel like January was a good start to the year. What about you? How did your week /month go?


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