Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday is a great meme created by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish that combines top ten lists and books. She’s come up with a great list of weekly discussion topics and I hope you’ll join in the discussion by commenting on this post or some of the other ones (you can find the list of participating blogs in this week's Top Ten Tuesday post on her site).

This week’s topic is Top Ten Goals/Resolutions for 2014.

Let me start by saying that I don’t make resolutions…the universe and my brain instantly sabotage me as soon as I do. I resolve to lose weight and suddenly all I crave is junk food and/or life gets insanely busy and I can’t get to the grocery store to buy healthy food. I resolve to exercise more and I suddenly need knee or foot surgery. That sort of thing.

So, having said that, here are my goals for 2014, which I WILL accomplish if the universe stays out of my way :-)
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1. Read More
I used to devour books; however, for the last few years, I’ve gotten so busy, my reading has slowed to a crawl. The pile of books in my house waiting to be read could crush a small child and my Goodreads list is depressingly long. So, I’ve already put in place a process to start plowing through these books: read one book from the physical pile, then two ebooks, then one from the physical pile, etc. The ebooks I read/buy will alternate between one from the top of the GR list (ones that have been languishing there forever), one from the middle, and then one from the end) (okay, yes, this is a little…er, “Type A,” but systems help me stay on track). It’s already working—I read 4 books in the last month of 2013, which is more than I read in all of the first half of 2013.

2. Publish Hereafter and Thereafter
So, I had some publishing woes in 2013. But now things are back on track and Hereafter is set to come out January 20th (::Kermit flail:: yippee!). The sequel, Thereafter, is almost ready and will be released May 1st—if all goes well.

As a side note, I’m about 75% done the first draft of Whereafter (Afterlife #3), and I’m really hoping to release it in the fall, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen. But I want to at least finish it and then I can release it at the beginning of 2015.

3.- 4. Finish Various Other Writing Projects
Now, it may surprise you to know that I do write stuff other than the Afterlife Series. :-) There is also a short story I’ve been writing that’s been languishing for forever, and I want to polish it up and send it out on submission. One of my long-term goals is to get published in Clarkesworld, and that’s the first place I’ll submit this story. Wish me luck! And, last but not least, I have a science fiction novel that’s been too long neglected, and I hope to finally finish it this year. It’s sort of (but not really) Firefly meets Battlestar Galatica—cowboys in space struggling to survive a cataclysmic event that destroys their society, leaving them lost and alone in space. I’m also thinking of publishing Say It Three Times—an atmospheric noir piece that I wrote ages ago.

5. Be a Better Blogger
Participating in TTT has taught me something important: when I have a prompt, I love blogging! When left to my own devices, to come up with topics cold, I bomb at blogging. So I've created two weekly bloggings memes to encourage myself to blog more regularly. I also need to make this blog more fun and interactive. I also need to make my Facebook Fan Page more interactive and social. I don't exactly have a plan for that stuff yet, but I'm working on it.

6. Participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
My mother died of breast cancer in 2009, and since then I participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in even numbered years. In 2010, I walked, but I had a torn tendon in my knee and only got 24 miles (instead of the full 40). :-( In 2012, I was a few hundred dollars short of the fundraising goal and so wasn’t allowed to walk :-( Now, it’s 2014 and guess what—I have bone spurs in one of my toe joints, but I'm not going to let that stop me! :-) I've already set up my fundraising page and if you can contribute - even if it's just a few dollars - I would really appreciate it. I have to raise $1,800 by April 30th in order to participate.

7. Get Back Into Horseback Riding
I used to ride regularly (was even leasing a horse), but stopped when I had knee surgery in 2010 (hard to get on the horse when you’re not allowed to bend your knee). Then my horse moved to Iowa, and my trainer moved away, and I haven’t had the time to find a new place to go riding. I recently just found a place, and I’m hoping that it’s a good fit so I can get back into this. I’m going to be 40 in February and will soon be too old to climb up on a horse (oh, my old lady body! LOL!).

8. Travel More
When I have vacation time, I have no money. When I have money, I have no vacation time. Well, for 2014, even if I have no money or no time, I’m going to travel more. Even if it’s just day trips to local attractions, I’m going to get OutOutOut!!!

9. Work/Life Balance/Spend More Time With Family and Friends
When I became a published author in 2012, writing went from being a hobby to being a job—a 60-80 hours per week job. I already had a 60-80 hours per week job (that I like very much), which means I now have two incredibly demanding full time jobs. Now, please, do not read that as me complaining. I’m not. I’m incredibly fortunate and I love both jobs very much. But, this has meant that my life for the last two years has been eat, sleep, work. No time for friends and family. No time for hobbies. No time for recreation. No time for travel. In short, life has become a blur and that has to stop!

10. Learn to Knit
I crochet—quite well and quite a bit. But all the really cute fashion scarf and shawl patterns are for knitting, so I’m going to attempt to learn to knit (again) (my grandmother tried to teach me when I was a teenager and it didn’t work out). We’ll see how it works out (and yes, I was just complaining I don’t have the time for my existing hobbies and I’ve just committed to picking up a new one. I’m also going to invest in a Time-Turner, so it will all work out, trust me).

And there you have it—my goals for 2014. What are yours? Share them in the comments below!

And remember—support bloggers. If you read it, comment on it! :-)

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TERRI BRUCE writes science fiction and fantasy stories with a literary bent from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats. Look for her contemporary fantasy Hereafter (Afterlife #1) coming January 20, 2014.