Saturday, December 29, 2018

Resolution Wrap-Up -- So Long, 2018

This wild bronco named 2018 is finally going out to pasture.

It has been a bumpy ride, to say the least. Yet, I am by no means complaining. My daughter Mackenzie continues to recover. She is no longer using her walker -- and she returned to driving! (Which I am sure makes her feel very happy and much more independent than she has been in the last two months.)

Thanks to all who have sent prayers and positive vibes, and especially to all the good-deed-doers who have reached out during the last couple weeks.

I am feeling very peaceful right now. Still trying to be mindful of the here and now. Still doing my best not to fret about the future.

But it is time to take a glimpse into the past twelve months and reflect upon how I did with my New Year's Resolutions... Turns out 2017 was a much more accomplished year, in comparison. But I still got a few achievements unlocked. Here's the final Score Card:

1) Finish writing a new novel / chapter book:

SUCCESS. ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED. I took the easy path and wrote a chapter book (only 72 pages), but that still counts. This is the bug themed book I had mentioned in previous posts. My agent gave me some great feedback and I have since turned in a second draft. Still waiting to find out if she'll be sending it off to publishers.

2) Sell a New Picture Book:

SUCCESS? ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED. I sold a sequel to an existing book. I don't think I can officially announce it yet -- but I'm very grateful and excited to be working with this publishing house again!

3) Write / Sell a New Play

SUCCESS. ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED. My latest one-act comedy, Escape Room, was picked up by Eldridge Plays! It came out this November. I hope high school drama teachers and students are captivated by it!

4) Complete 200 days of writing (30 minute sessions)

FAIL. I lost the official count of this goal, but I am pretty darn sure I reached 100 days at best. THere were times when I wrote much longer than 30 minutes -- but all in all, considering I'm supposedly a professional writer now, I didn't get nearly enough writing done. In fact, I would guess that majority of this writing was done on my blog, whining about how I don't have time to write!

5) Participate in 10 Book Events

SUCCESS. ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED. (Much to my amazement.)

1) Friends of the Library
2) Bridgeport Elementary in January
3) Chantelle's School
4) Open Book, Papa Bear Launch
5) Burbank Barnes and Noble
6) SCBWI Mentorship
7) SCBWI Los Angeles Conference
8) Los Angeles Independent Book Sellers
9) Hamilton Elementary
10) Bridgeport Book Fair
11) Once Upon a Bookstore
12) Author's Luncheon
13) Orange County Book Festival

I thought that I had only accomplished about seven or eight of these... but looking back at my calendar I am pleasantly surprised that I participated in no less than 13 events. Not too shabby.

6) Complete 100 five minute work-out sessions:

SUCCESS. ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED. I believe I accomplished this one by setting the bar rather low. (The push up bar, that is -- yuk yuk!) I'm not that much stronger, but the love handles have gone, and I've maintained an average weight of 162 pounds for over six months. I think at my heaviest I was 175 -- which isn't horrible, but I can really feel a difference in energy and health. So, I will be keeping up this resolution for as long as my old bones can stand it.

7) Practice Drawing / Coloring for 100 Hours

FAIL. In the last couple days I've been fooling around with the Wacom tablet -- and I really suck. It's gonna take some serious dedication if I ever want to return to Duck Town, or some of ther art based project. 100 hours should be very attainable... but I am guessing if you added up all of my art time, you'd have less than 24 hours. Out of all my failed resolutions, this one might be the most disappointing. But hey, there's always next year!

8) Develop a Stronger Marketing Platform

FAIL. Social media is really just a bunch of brand new ways for me to be popular. Millions of other people (most of them far younger than me) are a heckuva lot better at gaining and keeping a following. I think my main issue is that I'm not very consistent and I'm not all that interested in developing a brand. But I'm tryin'! Honest I am!

9) Create a portfolio of at least 12 awesome photos:

PENDING. I think I've got at least 12 calendar worthy snapshots, but I haven't curated them yet. Maybe I'll finish this one today. (One problem, though, the resolution on this old iPod touch is rather a hindrance.

10) Learn to play Ashokan Farewell on the piano:

COMPLETE FAIL. I practiced once, the whole lousy year. Guess I'm not going be a musician!

All in all, a fulfilling year. Way better than that crappy 2016 (RIP Princess Leia). I wish you and yours a healthy and prosperous 2019.

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