I’m just going to admit something here: Lately I’ve had a LOT of balls in the air. Last year IÂ had several book releases: Grime And Punishment, My Cowboy Heart, Grime Doesn’t Pay and Lost and Found. I also wrote two more books, My Heartache Cowboy and a new one no one has even heard about yet, tentatively titled Home The Hard Way, which I finished on New Year’s Day (and totaled 90,000 words) when I typed in the last period.
On top of that, I’m really not writing in a vacuum. It seems I have a home and a husband and four kids, without whom none of this is meaningful at all… I have friends. I also have a rich and vibrant fantasy life. I dunno. Sometimes I drop the ball. Last year I failed to post things when I was supposed to, which is why sometimes you get more than one Tuesday Teaser at a time, or more than one Sunday Brunch Question. (Like today.)
And I’ve been unforgivably slow to post prizes in the mail. (I even found one of them in my car this week, because I had forgotten to post it at all.) I’ve been lax in keeping up cherished correspondences. I’ve given close local friends the impression I can’t be bothered to be social…
So, I think since this week’s first question is:
âWhat are your New Yearâs Resolutions and which one do you think youâll break first.â
I ZAM, will cherish my friends and family even more this year.
I will not be as much of a hermit.
I will brave the post office, even in the holiday season (or I will get everything out way ahead) Or I will send gift cards through the World Wide Web and you will not be disappointed by me ever again.
I will set aside one day each week to create blog posts and stick to that schedule.
I will not procrastinate.
Those are mine, and I would say procrastination and schedules are the ones I’m likely to break first. ~~Author Z.A Maxfield
You can give Z.A. Maxfield Holy Hell if she forgets any of these things, at her email address zamaxfield at zamaxfield dot com.
Leave me your New Years’ Resolutions in the comment section below, please, I’m sure we’ll all enjoy looking back with the contentment of a job well done at the end of the year… OR NOT. *blushes*
My New Year’s resolution was going to be not to commit to so much, because I’m exhausted! Â But I broke that last night when I started writing a short story for a charity anthology at the urging of two (*aherm*) friends. Â It was also going to be to make the diet stick– and I can honestly say I’ve been doing that. Â Of course I’ve been sick and generally disgusting, and even fudge is unappetizing, so I’ve sort of had some help on that front. Â And I was going to keep my business matters more in check, but then a credit card got pirated and IÂ stillÂ need to buy plane tickets to Florida. Â But IÂ definitelyÂ need to find my lost Kindle. Â This year. Â I can only read so much on my phone.
~~Author Amy Lane
First of all, hiya Zam! I so love coming over to hang out with you. The camaraderie, the cupcakes, the prospect of sighting one of your many vintage and uber-nerd-girl cool lunch boxesâ¦ well, I gotta admit it give me happy clappy hands. [Editor's Note: YOU ARE SO SWEET]
Every. Single. Time.
Now that that is our of the way, I want to say hello to my fellow New Yearâs Resolversâ¦
*psst. Zam. Is that a word? Resolver? Eh, I think the readers will get what I mean. Or, you know, point and laugh. Thatâs good too.* [Editor's Note: I like to think of myself as a *Resolutionary* Vive la Resolution]
Right. Resolutions? Let me lay them out for you. Because hey, when I started thinking about New Yearâs Resolutions, I started thinking about the changes I want to see in my life this year, the ones that I want to be an embodiment of, and the ones whose glory I want to bask in.
*Oh. Didja see that? Iâm pretty sure I just dangled a participle. Quick, scope out the room, Zam… Are there any editors whimpering and clutching their red pens? Wincing and cuddling up to their laptops or tablets? Ouch.*
Ahem. Right. On to the resolve. Resolutely forward.
1) Plan stuff and things out better. Seriously. Backwards planning. How long it takes to do such and such. When it needs to be done. When I need to startâ¦ yeah, already blew that one to hell and gone. Moving right along, then, nothing to see here, nothing to see. What? The woman flying by the seat of her pants and making it up as she goes? Seriously, nothing to see here. Ahem.
2) Lose weight. Mainly for my health, but also because I am vain. No, really. And I have extreme shoe envy. Yes, yes, Marie Sexton, I am talking about your divine shoe collection. *salivates* Because I wanna wear my sexy shoes again, and at this weight my back wonât take the added stress. But if I slim down, I can *likely* wear heels for short bursts of time. Just long enough to make me happy and feed my sexy shoe fetish.
3) Exercise more. Health, and did I mention Iâm just a wee bit vain? I want to look and feel my best. Plus, when I exercise I have so much more energy to write with! That right there is winning with a side of win.
4) Write more. âNuff said.
5) Study harder *eh, or smarter, whichever comes first* in school. Yes, Iâm back in school. Business major. Because there is just so much of this authoring that is all about the business aspects, and I figure I need to get myself rocking in that arena. The creativity? Got it. The writing skills? I learn a little more every day, and hope that every single book I put out is a little better than the one before. One day I want to hear folk sayâ¦ âDo you see how much she grew as a writer over the course of her career?â And then of course, they can launch into a lovely soliloquy about how very brilliant my later works are. That would be awesome.
6) Spend more time with my kidlet. Structured time. With body armor, a whip and a chair, becauseâ¦ sheesh. Have you seen a teenager lately? They are scary beasts, I tell you what. Yes. Iâno, I am not joking about the whip and chair. Okay, maybe a little bit joking. But only literally. There is no joking about needing all three of those things figuratively when dealing with the dreaded teen beast. So, this leads me directly to my next resolution.
7) Receive a Presidential Medal of Courage in Parenting. *see above*
8) Be more organized and stuff. *hmm. I may have mentioned this already. Lists are good. I like lists. And color coding them. Never mind.*
9) Write every day. This one? Is the realio dealio, I am pushing to make this a reality. Because writing every day leads to writing better prose every day. Which in turn will spur me to be more organized, which will free up time to spend with the dreaded teen *cracking of whip sounds*, leading to being nominated for that Presidential award, freeing up time to exercise, which in turn leads to the weight loss and my ultimate goal of affording *via scads of book sales* the sexy shoes which my new, strongly muscled and svelte figure will enable me to do more than gaze at longingly.
10) Possibly swear less, drink less coffee and give up chocolate. *bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha*
Everything hinges on the whole writing every day thing.
Well, everything hinges on daily writing except for number ten. That oneâs fucking impossible. Especially without fortifying myself with coffee and chocolate first. So Iâll go right ahead and plan to break #10 at every given opportunity, because if I managed to fulfill all ten resolutionsâ¦ well, youâd be obligated to go find the freaky space pod that ate my brains and produced the false, caffeine and chocolate free Cherie
*Oh dear, I canât even say that without weeping just a little.*
I have been writing every day. Writing my fingers and toes off since the first of the year, thatâs what Iâve been doing. In fact I even started earlier. Novemberâ¦ yep, thatâs when I started the current push to be better about writing, editing, blog posting and hosting and promo, oh myâ¦ all the bits and bobs that go with being an authorâ¦ November and December were a wee bit rocky for various reasons, but every single day since the first of the year Iâve been right on target. I can feel those sexy shoes getting closer and closer every day. My first product of this improved organization and stuff is the Big Bone Lick Anthology, which publishes January 24th. Kendall McKenna, Jambrea Jo Jones and I all wrote a story for the anthology set in and around Big Bone Lick Park.
Blurb: Welcome to theÂ Big Bone Lick Pack: A more friendly and hospitable group of werewolves youâll never meet! Visit with;Â âDevil Dog & Bad Wolfâ,Â aÂ âBig Bad BearâÂ and enjoy someÂ âShifty Fox Shenanigansâ. Watch yourself, âround the state park, âcause we had a grizzly on the loose, just a bit ago. Our brave men and woman of the Boone County Sheriffâs Department have everything under control. (Except maybe their own love lives!) But if you find yourself needing a doctor, head on down to Rabbit Hash clinic, or St. Elizabethâs Hospital is just up the road a piece. We hope you enjoy your stay.
If you want more info on the silly behind the scenes shenanigans that went into creating the Big Bone Lick Pack, or the chance to win some fun prizes like the sweet fox pictured here, catch us on tour. Here’s the link:
Again, thanks for having me over for brunch, Zam!
I have a funny relationship with New Yearâs resolutions. Iâm generally against them. For starters, new yearâs day is an entirely arbitrary date on the calendar with no relation whatsoever to any celestial phenomenon. Seriously, itâs what? Roughly a week and a half past the winter solstice? I realize the calendar is a mess to begin with, but that would actually make sense for the end of one year and start of the new one. Think of itâthe day of the solstice is the rebirth of the sun after the longest night, so why not make it the start of the new year? Itâs perfect!
Quixotic calls for calendar reform aside, I also think that if somethingâs worth doing, itâs worth doing when you think of it. Why wait for an artificial date on a calendar? Plan to do something improving in the new year? Great! Why not start now? In my case I wanted to get back in shape before the DSP Authors Weekend in Portland in April, so I hit returned to the gym in the middle of December instead of joining the new yearâs resolutionaries on January 1st. [Editor's Note: See? And I didn't even read this before and I coined that phrase above. Proof we share a brain. I think you got all the best parts though. Just saying']
That said, I do make one resolution every year. Itâs the same resolution every year, and I blow that sucker out of the water before lunch. I resolve not to mock the deeply-held beliefs of others.
Well, what did you expect? Itâs like you donât even know me. Oh well, as Sue Brown remarked, my head would explode if I tried to keep that one.
You can find me online at christopherkoehler.net/blog, on Facebook, or on Twitter @christopherink.
Settling the Score is the fourth book in the CalPac Crew series, all available at Dreamspinner Press. It was released on December 16, 2013.
Sunday Brunch - 1/12/14