J. Lynn Rowan

The Obligatory New Year’s Goal Setting Post (Happy 2018)

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It’s been a while since my last post – holidays, you know how it is. This December seemed to fly by, and I swear lost a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas break. As for the holidays themselves – a whirlwind. To sum it up, we drove to Western PA and Upstate NY to visit family, and the following shenanigans occurred:

  1. Power went out on Christmas day, requiring my uncle to dig his grill out of over a foot of snow. He and my cousin proceeded to finish cooking Christmas dinner – a ham, a pot of sauce and meatballs, and a pot of homemade macaroni – on said grill. Neither snow nor lack of electricity will keep hungry Italians from their food. (Of course, the power came back on literally ten minutes before everything was done cooking.)
  2. It was freaking cold. Like single digits. And we just barely missed a huge lake effect storm in my hometown that dumped about 3 feet of snow overnight.
  3. Babycakes caught a 24-hour bug at the tail end of everything while we were at my in-laws’, which of course hit at 3am. So we were doing a bath and hair washing and bed-linen changing in the middle of the night. The only bright spot is that I happened to decide to sleep on the air mattress with the hubs, rather in the bed with Babycakes. Otherwise I would have gotten a face-full.
  4. We drove 10 hours (give or take) from PA to NC praying Babycakes wouldn’t puke in the car. Fortunately the worst that happened was that we ran out of windshield washer fluid just north of Beckley, WV, and had to go to THREE different gas stations before finally finding a place that wasn’t sold out.
  5. Every adult in the house has subsequently gone through some version of that same 24 hour bug. It’s been rough around here the past few days.

So I was very ready for 2017 to end.

Now that 2018 is here, it’s time to set some goals. Remember, if you’ve read past New Year’s goal-setting posts, I don’t really do resolutions so much as make a plan for things to accomplish. This year, I’m keeping it simple.

  1. Implement Operation Self-Care. I blogged a couple months ago about how I’ve been struggling with stress management, wellness, and so on. I have a general plan in mind and have been chipping away at a few small steps. Now it’s time to put things fully into motion. Improve my nutrition (or at least start taking vitamins regularly again). Fit in exercise. Sleep better. Soak in the garden tub while burning candles that smell like the beach. Read more books. Breathe.
  2. Survive the school year. This sounds more doom and gloom than it is. I’m involved in a couple very cool initiatives with the district Social Studies department, in preparation for a coaching role I’ll be undertaking next year that I’m very excited about. But it’s busy and a lot of work. And then there’s the actual teaching part of my job. Guess who realized this morning, thanks to a coworker’s Facebook post, that she didn’t actually write any plans for January 3rd-5th?
  3. Secure at least one new book contract. I’ve been a bit between projects since HE TAKES THE CAKE came out in June (and the print edition should be out later this spring or early summer, FYI). I submitted a historical romance to Avon Impulse at the beginning of September, but don’t expect to hear back until March. If March comes and goes with no word, I’ll start shopping it around elsewhere. In the meantime, I’ve just finished plotting a trilogy that spins-off THE ONE I’M WITH. Now to write it.

And that’s it! Three pretty simple goals that I think are manageable.

Bonus points if I figure out how to clone myself so I can still teach history but also stay at home with Babycakes and write.

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