Saturday, January 6, 2018

2017 Reflections, 2018 Goals (ft. Some Exciting Announcements!)

Yes, I know I'm late. But I knew you guys would all be terribly disappointed if I didn't post this, SO HERE YOU GO, OK? 

2017 is, where do I start? There have been so many ups and many tragedies and joys... I other words, I have a lot of mixed feelings about 2017. And HOW DID IT GO BY SO FAST!!?!?!? Like, whaaaaaat? Tbh, no other year has gone by this fast. I'm not kidding. SOMETHING made this year go by faster than previous years and whatever it was I want it to STOP. Seriously.
2017 held a lot of challenges for me, but most of them were positive. I'm going to give you some of the things that happened to me during 2017, followed by what I plan/hope to achieve this year because of those things. We'll see if this actually works or not. Bear with me please. ;) 

~ 2017 College Reflections ~
I finished my first year of college during last year. Lots of nail-biting moments, late night stress dreams, exhausted mind and body while cramming for upcoming tests...but I completed that milestone and it felt great. :) 
~ 2018 College Goals ~
I want to be able to finish my second year of college and wrap up my Associates degree with the hope that I can then go on to get a Bachelor's degree in English at some point in the future.

~ 2017 Job Reflections ~
Last year I got my first actual job (cleaning grandparents houses hardly counts as a job after all) as a nanny for one baby girl. When that job fell through, God immediately gave me a follow-up opportunity with another family. Now I watch two little girls, four hours a day, three days a week (sometimes more, sometimes less). 
~ 2018 Job Goals ~
This next year, with my nanny job still going full steam ahead with no end in sight, I'm excited to watch the two girls grow in their education and personality as well as hopefully gain a relationship with Christ. As for me, I will probably become a master Mac and Cheese chef and learn how to come up with even more creative ways to keep their active hands busy in a good way. ;) 

~ 2017 Author Reflections ~
I published my first novel-length book in the spring of 2017. "The Princess and I" has been my greatest creation yet and I was so blessed to see it welcomed by my community of author friends and loved to pieces by family members and church members. My favorite compliment I received from our church's assistant pastor's wife. She said she forgot she was reading a book by me because she was so caught up in the story. 
Though I didn't officially "do" National Novel Writing Month in November, I completed a novella within Thanksgiving break. The outlining, plotting, research and writing...all of it...within a week. It was one of those story ideas that latched on and didn't let go until I had it all out. Not only that, but I sent it off to an editor and had a cover artist make a cover and promotional material for me too. (If you don't know which book I'm talking about, it's "Sleeping Handsome", a retelling of Sleeping Beauty...sort of.) 
To top my writing of last year off, I wrote a total of 42,537 words in "A New Name" and am beginning to realize that this might be one of those books that have 100,000+ words and take up a third of your shelf space. O.o I keep deepening the plot and realizing I'm going to have quite the challenge climbing back out again.
~ 2018 Author Goals~  
I'm hoping to publish my first exclusive e-book edition of "Sleeping Handsome" on Valentine's Day of this year. So far, I haven't heard back from my editor so plans may have to change a bit. But we'll hope for the best in the meantime. 
Also, I'm having to do a chunk of re-writing in "Ocean Mist", but I'm hoping to have it ready for publication by this summer. 
Though "Alice and Alyssa" has been finished for over two years now, I have ye to actually get it that is something I'm hoping to accomplish within this year. The sooner the better.
And finally, as if three books isn't enough, I'm planning on having the first completed draft of "A New Name" written by the end of this year. (Maybe actually PARTICIPATING in NaNoWriMo this year for the first time?) 
Yeah. I'm crazy. I know. Wish me luck! XD 

~ 2017 Reader Reflections ~
I was sadly unable to read 100 books this year (at least I failed to record them if I did). But I did discover several new authors I now love, and had the privilege of beta-reading for a couple dear author friends. Beyond that, I also discovered I'm not a huge fan of college textbooks *cough* and WHY DO I NOT GO TO BARNES & NOBLE MORE OFTEN?? 
However, I was able to finish reading through my Bible in a year, although I started a bit late and finished a bit late. STILL. 
My bookshelf has four shelves stuffed full of books...and I have officially run out of room. At this rate I will have to start laying books on my books that are lined up in height order. Not the prettiest sight, but sometimes extreme measures must be taken. Ignore the fact that I could just stop buying books. (Who does that anyways?) 
~ 2018 Reader Goals ~
Yes, I signed up to try to read 100 books again. *shrugs* Might as well, right? With a pile of books on my dresser as we speak just WAITING to be read, a virtual TBR list that is miles high and teetering dangerously on the brink of toppling over, and more on my shelves that need tender loving care, I've got my work cut out for me...all I need now is time. *laughs* Sounds so easy. NOT.

~ 2017 Blogger Reflections ~
Instead of the record breaking 100 posts I wrote during 2016, I only posted 47 times last year. However, I'm about four posts away from having a 300th blog post, which is pretty mind-boggling. 
I gained over twenty amazing followers this last year, and can I take a moment to say how much I appreciate both you who have been following me from the start and you who have joined recently or sort of recently. Every new face I see pop up brings a smile to my face and brightens my day. You have no idea how much your comments mean to me and how much I love watching you react to my posts. Blogger's don't post for themselves, they post for the enjoyment of others, and we love watching our audience interact within themselves and with us! :) 
It's been incredible to be a part of the teen writer community, and I'm beyond thrilled to call many of you my friends. Some of you I've been able to actually meet face to face, and I look forward to maybe meeting more of you someday. :) 
I have to admit, I've been very scattered on here recently. You never know WHAT I'm going to post about next. It's been a roller coaster of a year and that impacted my blogging. Having a lot of you faithfully checking my blog and leaving comments gives me a bad case of "the warm fuzzies". ;) 
~ 2018 Blogger Goals ~ 
You may have noticed the new theme if you're a slightly observant person. Guys, my dear friend Savannah Grace from Scattered Scribblings has cheerfully offered her services when I asked for someone's help in designing a new blog template. Personally, I LOVE how it turned out, and I'm sure you guys will too... Once the actual theme has been put into the system, that is. Yes, I'm leaving you with a construction theme right now, but this is only temporary, I assure you. Patience, guys. ;) 
Thanks to a certain post from a certain fellow blogger *coughs* I'm hoping to get this blog more professional and streamlined with a bigger focus on writing. However, since I don't have a newsletter email yet, I'll still be doing my monthly overview posts more or less on a regular basis. ;) Just so you guys know what's up in Western Washington. 
I'm hoping to also keep up better on my other blog, Simply Stories, with regular posts on behind-the-scenes stuff about my books. So if you are interested in character interviews, pictures, sketches, or backstory details, that will be the place to go. 
In short, I'm going to TRY to get more organized. We'll see how that goes.

~ A Couple Exciting Announcements ~
~ (as promised) ~

First, "The Princess and I" is OFFICIALLY out as a paperback and e-book on Amazon/kindle as well as being found at Barnes & Nobles, the iBook store, nook, and of course Lulu. So to those of you who have been waiting patiently for my slow release of the ebook form of my book IT'S AVAILABLE NOW! 

Second, I'll be announcing a cover reveal sign-up for "Sleeping Handsome" in a week, so stay tuned for that post coming up! 

Third, I'm going to begin my search for a group of FIVE core alpha readers for "A New Name" sometime in the next couple months, so if you're interested in that, keep an eye out for that post coming up. 

Fourth, I'm hoping to have a group of betas read through "Alice and Alyssa" and finally get that book published for good. I have it sort of published, but I have yet to go through the whole system yet.

Finally, to wrap this post up, I'll give you the list of goals I made for myself at the end of 2016 and make a new list of goals for this year. (To be completely frank, I don't think I even glanced at this list since maybe spring? *sheepish laugh*) 

Here they are, my official list of goals for 2017!

~ Goals of 2017 ~ 
-Read through the Bible
(I actually did do this one, barely.) 
-Read 100 books
(*cough* better luck this year, eh?)
-Make new friends who help me grow closer to God
(I did make a couple new freinds. Looking forward to getting to know them even better this year! ^_^)
-Have stronger relationships with siblings
(In all honesty, I did get closer to my siblings. Some more than others, but in general too.)
-Finish writing "A New Name", "Alone", and "Beyond the Galaxy"
(Nope. Though I made significant progress in at least two of those stories.)
-Publish "The Princess & I" and "Alice & Alyssa"
(One down, one to go. I can do this!)
-Complete a year of college
(*sings hallelujah chorus while checking this off with a florish*) 
-Have a closer relationship with God
(I feel like I could have done better with this goal. I'm not saying I think my walk with Him has grown more distant, but I feel like I could definitely be a lot closer. However crazy my life gets, God still needs to be at the center.)

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for, a list of 2018 goals! 

~ Goals for 2018 ~
-Memorize the book of Daniel
-Read 100 books
-Attend a writing conference
-Have a consistent prayer life
-Grow closer to my family members
-Finish writing "A New Name"
-Publish "Sleeping Handsome", "Ocean Mist", and "Alice and Alyssa"
-Complete my second year of college and get my Associate's Degree
-Have a closer relationship with God

Think I can do it? Well I guess time will tell. ;) What were some of your goals for the new year? Do any of you guys have major writing milestones planned this year? How about reading goals? 

Until next time, let everything you do be done for the glory of God! :) 


  1. Wow, that is A LOT of books you're working on! Good for you! The reader struggle IS REAL. I have so many books crammed into my room that I don't have time to read, and . . . somehow I'm still getting more books? Not sure how that happens ;)

    Congratulations on finishing your first year of college, and happy 2018!

  2. Fun catching up with you, Rebekah, and glad to see you're doing so well! And excited to see what the Lord teaches you in 2018. Keep up the good work and I hope college goes well for you this semester, I'm sure it's hard but keep it up! Blessings!

  3. Congratulations on all your accomplishments of 2017! You have some great goals for 2018. I look forward to seeing more of your posts. :) (Do you think you could do one of those "21 Answers to the Question..." posts? Those are fun to read. :)



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