Happy New Year!

After a much-needed hiatus over the holidays, I’m back and ready to look back on 2017, as well as look forward to the year ahead.

So what in the heck did I accomplish in my author life in 2017 anyway?

  1. I wrote 2 books (the last two books in the Cloaked Series)!
  2. I found titles for those two books (a harder task than it sounds–it took all year!)
  3. I learned that an e-newsletter is not within my capabilities right now (but later, it will be!)
  4. I began re-writing Harbinger (Mythologicals Saga #1) (hint: it won’t be the first book in the series when I’m done!)
  5. I attended Emerald City Writers’ Conference for the second year in a row.
  6. I pitched Cloaked to three publishing professionals (and all three requested material!)
  7. I posted to this blog 46 times (which continued my run of success on one of my resolutions from all the way back in 2016, to post to the blog with regularity!)

Not too shabby, right?

That’s a high bar to live up to in 2018, but I think I can manage it. Here are my goals:

  1. Submit Cloaked to at least 50 agents/editors (or stop when I’m offered a contract!)
  2. Write All In (Cloaked #2.5) – which will fully finish the series.
  3. Complete the Mythologicals Saga re-write/re-order.
  4. Begin writing Corrolary (the last book in the Mythologicals Saga) for 2019 release
  5. Re-edit and re-release the Shift Series with new covers
  6. Write and publish Linking 2 (the second Shift Series Novella, telling more of Cici’s story.)
  7. Post to the blog at least 40 times.
  8. Attend Emerald City Writers’ Conference
  9. Bonus: Attend the RWA National Conference, if possible/reasonable.

Okay, so that’s a lot. When I started writing the list, I got a little overwhelmed, but when I read it back, it’s doable. And it’s awesome to list it all out like that, like zooming out on the year ahead and viewing my goals from 10,000 feet–which starts to look a whole lot more like a plan than a jumbled list of wants. This time, next year, I’ll come back to this post and check-off all the things I accomplished. Boo-ya!

So, what about you? What are your goals for 2018?

 

 

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Turkey Day Wishes

Cool Tools: Omnibox Timer

Hello again faithful readers! It’s time for another Cool Tools post, where I talk about the various hacks I use to keep myself productive.  This time, the tool is a Google Chrome app called Omnibox Timer!

Have you ever sat down to work, or read, only to get sucked into Facebook, or Twitter, or scrolling your Insta?

Yeah, me too.

Well, a few weeks ago, I got fed up with the time loss and went on a crusade to find a tool that would help me limit the social media time suck.  I discovered that there are tons of different tools out there, ranging from an owl who automatically closes your session on after a preset time limit is reached, to the simplest of the bunch: Omnibox Timer.

Seeing as how I like simplicity and flexibility, and I’m not lacking in the discipline to start the timer, I decided to give Omnibox Timer a try.

First off, it’s super easy:

In Chrome, the address bar is called the “Omnibox” because you can use it for Google searches, URLs, and activating apps–like the timer!

So all I have to do is open a tab, type ‘tm’ and a space into the Omnibox (address bar) and then the number of minutes I want the timer to run.  I can even add a message to pop up when the timer goes off.

Omnibox

Then, when the minutes are up, Omnibox Timer sends a desktop notification to my screen.  It’s quiet and unassuming, but it gets the job done without making me feel like I’m being punished. (I really hate that feeling.)

Omnibox2

For me, that’s all I need: a reminder of how much time has passed. Otherwise, I’ll get sucked into reading articles and think 10 minutes has passed–when it’s actually been 30. And, frankly, that twenty minutes can be the difference between getting to write or not.

So give it a try and tell me what you think!  Or, if you have a time management tool you love already, tell me about it! I always love to find a cool new tool!