POEM: “a shared cup”

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a shared cup”      


first		we sit
place coats on backs of chairs
make ourselves comfortable
as we ease into place

talking of nothing
we let the tea steep
boiling water unfurls dried leaves
full green tips unfold their agony

within their porcelain prison
unleashing hidden flavors
they release the scent of Indian soil
beneath brilliant burning suns

the shared story of mankind sits between us
bequeathed by queens and kings, smugglers 
and emperors, peasant monks, campfire caravans, and rebels
that sparked revolution with midnight revels

each fragile china cup contains
a common history: tales of blood and war
served with sweetly savored cakes
to balance bitterness

we savor this small oasis in time
thirst for more than mere water
this still and quiet refuge made precious
by its rarity in our swift flowing universe

steam rises between us
our tongues release with gentle practice
we speak more deeply
with time and space enough	to breathe

each sip		a shared communion.




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I know that last week I said I was switching to mostly current events and writing prompts, but I wanted to share this newly finished poem with you as soon as possible! 


Next Friday, I’ll also post on my Patreon.  If you’d like to read about my progress and plans for this year, as well as craft tips, you can subscribe to my Patreon and support my work for just $1 a month! Until next time, stay safe and well, and read often!

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CURRENT EVENTS:  Creative BREAKS and Permission for Self Care

A-1 Bookstore of Canton, Ohio (photo taken by Cat Russell, 2021)

While I’m rewriting my draft for my second novel, Hera Unbound, I’m altering my monthly content from poems to either writing prompts or short posts about current events.  

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CURRENT EVENTS:

Last November I utilized the resources of National Novel Writing Month–aka NaNoWriMo–to create the first draft of my next novel, a retelling of the Olypian coup against Zeus by his wife, Hera, goddess of marriage. Most people who are passingly familiar with Greek mythology only know Hera as the goddess of marriage demonized as the persecutor of her husband’s mistresses/victims. I wanted to tell her story. 

Originally I planned to take a couple months off and begin the second draft in the new year, but my family has been hit by one thing after another and honestly, it just kept getting put on the back burner. I had a couple false starts that didn’t really pan out. Then, after months of triaging my life, I finally decided that instead of trying to edit the original draft, I’d just start over.  I looked over my original draft–including notes on things that needed to be addressed, redrafted a new outline that corrected the previous problems, and started over. I’m currently on chapter two.

WRITER PERMISSION: I’m giving myself permission to ease my commitments to my blog, writing short summaries instead of creating fresh poems for each post, in order to concentrate on this larger project. I also give myself permission to take a step back if and when needed, as many times as needed. I may be a writer, but I’m also a person, and my mental health comes first.

I am including this, not only to reaffirm this to myself, but to tell any other struggling writers out there, it’s okay to take a break when you need one. If you can’t write anything, go work on something else. Or binge The Walking Dead. Do whatever you need to do to find your equilibrium again. It’s not only okay, it’s necessary.

Thank you.

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*image taken by myself in 2021 of A-1 Bookstore in Canton, Ohio.

*Next Friday, I’ll also post a short followup on my Patreon.  If you’d like to read about my progress and plans for this year, you can subscribe there to support my work for as little as $1 a month! Until next time, stay safe and well, and read often!

FOUND POEM: “book-wrapt”

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book-wrapt”

The quintessential connection to books
a private sanctuary  programmed
for escapism.

delightful displayed in the home
they work wonders en masse
exuding breath of generations, 
nourish senses, slay boredom   
relieve distress.

read a passage and be inspired
all authors are alive  
where a jumble of books ends

we hold possibility  

as if desperately waiting an unused book
a library is never done




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Next Friday, I’ll also post on my Patreon.  If you’d like to read about my progress and plans for this year, you can subscribe to my Patreon and support my work for just $1 a month! Until next time, stay safe and well, and read often!

#*found poem inspired and taken from (Dec 24, 2021) The New York Times article by Julie Lasky titled “How Many Books Does It Take to Make a Place Feel Like Home?

BONUS POEM: “i wandered carefree as a weed”

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i wandered carefree as a weed(a lyric in honor of my lawn--as well as Wordsworth’s I wandered lonely as a Cloud)

I wandered carefree as a weed
that floats through clouds and skies of blue,
unlike the golden daffodils
landlocked in groups of ten and two,
narcissus bent faces downcast
despite the sunny bright forecast.
 
the daffodils herald spring days,
the dandelions announce them too,
but one lasts weeks, then petals shed
must twelve months wait until renewed,
while hardy yellow lion’s teeth
dot greenery, rebirth, unsheathe
 
after a short time within
their green leaves folded over blades
the hue of sun transmutate
to angel wings of snowy grace 
while daffodil’s corpse litters ground
the lowly weeds’ freedom is found
 
the cultivated daffodil
lives lonely, keeping company
with others of its kind plus one
red tulip flushing prettily.
vanity did isolate it,
its love is unreciprocated. 
 
meanwhile the humble sunlit weed
keeps face upturned to heaven’s vault:
the azure skies, the cotton clouds,
even the thunderstorm’s assault
of mowing blade now sharp and cruel
that can’t defeat this disdained jewel 
 
Often I lie upon my bed
and wonder that resilient bloom, 
its color bright, its upturned head,
survives despite the farmers’ doom.
Daffodils may dance sublime,
but me? I love the dandelion.  
 
 
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This poem is posted in honor of the 30th Annual Dandelion May Fest, which takes place this weekend. If you’d like to read about my progress and plans for this year, you can subscribe to my Patreon and support my work for just $1 a month! Until next time, stay safe and well, and read often!

POEM: “watercolors”

Photo by Beckett on Pexels.com
watercolors” 

practice trains you
to observe everyday details
the exact blue of heaven isn’t blue
it’s cobalt, azure, gold and scarlet,
rose blooms into violet,
silver marbles the horizon
before blackest night

awash in color
Rorschachs blossom
my mind’s edges cauliflower
errors discover possibility
fill each canvas with pauses
lightening then brightening 
always saving the darkest for last
nothing cannot be adapted
to something new, sometimes better
forgiveness is pigment 
forgiveness is water, brush, paper
always ready to soak up excess
or spread radiant hues

ad libbing elements
an individual choice
     ships may soar dew-kissed sky
     clouds break like china cups
     black holes rip gaping edges 
     in the empty vault of heaven
     ready to swallow all

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Next Friday, I’ll also post on my Patreon.  If you’d like to read about my progress and plans for this year, you can subscribe to my Patreon and support my work for just $1 a month! Until next time, stay safe and well, and read often!

*inspired by several YouTube videos on watercolor, as well as a watercolor class I took at the North Canton Public Library led by artist Jack Fetzer.

POEM: “morning routine”

morning routine

the kettle calls,
the song of steamed leaves,
sugarcane, and the warm cup
in my hands. over toast
i view the tea warmer's flame,
the hearth and heart of our happy home



Next Friday, I’ll also post on my Patreon.  If you’d like to read about my progress and plans for this year, you can subscribe to my Patreon and support my work for just $1 a month! Until next time, stay safe and well, and read often!

*image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net via Creative Commons Licensing.

POEM: “paper journeys”

paper journeys”

Long lonely childhood days 
I lounged beneath the mulberry tree,
just Thisbee and me, 
waiting for Pyramus 
to take us away, I'd play 
host to Hermes and Zeus, 
coast wine-dark seas 
devour siren song, 
draw Labyrinthian threads 
through Minotaur’s home, 
and soar cornflower sky
beside Daedalus before 
my waxen wings would melt; 
lofty flight cut short by sun 
and seafoam, left alone 

in my room, immersed in biblichor, 
i buried myself beneath thin sheets,
knowing only myths’ allure: 
my escape into fantasy

i knew no other hope 
for awkward me,
so dreamed gods and heroes 
fell for my charms, left heaven itself
to save me from earthly woes,
protect me from those
i could not bear to face.

those travels served me well,
provided refuge--fiction and facts
to complement the lessons of experience: 
wilder girls braved the unknown;
Lois Lane endured without Superman;
Nelly Bly broke stories, wrote and made
history; the deaf and blind may see 
farther without the gift of sight; 
despite millennia, a woman's verse
survives in fragments of paper mache, 
and princesses are heroes too.

the old saying rings true:
the journey is more important
than the destination, though
each step needed to be 
to arrive at now. i needed 
to grow up to learn 
saviors exist outside books alone, 
adventures are not what we await 
but opportunities we create 
stepping outside our comfort zone: 

the heart of each encounter
when we brave enough
to rescue ourselves.

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Next Friday, I’ll also post on my Patreon.  If you’d like to read about my progress and plans for this year, you can subscribe to my Patreon and support my work for just $1 a month! Until next time, stay safe and well, and read often!

*Written for Cuyahoga Library’s Read+Write+Poetry writing prompt for April 2nd, 2021.

**The female heroes I refer to later in the poem (both fictional and real) are Laura Wilder, Lois Lane, Nelly Bly, Helen Keller, Sappho, and Wonder Woman.

**image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net via Creative Commons Licensing.

CURRENT EVENTS: Books Read in 2021

photo inside of A1 Bookstore: 6067 Navarre Rd SW, Canton, OH 44706

Happy New Year! 

It’s that special time of year again…you know what I’m talking about: January! The month to make and break resolutions, recover from holiday hangovers, and of course that most important event of all–reviewing the books I’ve read in the past year! You know you’ve been waiting for it. 

Seriously though, several years ago I started keeping a list of the books I read as part of a local library challenge to read fifty books a year. For every fifty books, the library would put your name into a raffle to win a gift card. I’d never bothered to count the books I read before, so I started keeping track to enter the raffle, and lo! a post-holiday tradition was born. One of these days I’d like to be able to enter twice!

So, I hope that by sharing the books I’ve enjoyed–and a few I didn’t–you might find your next great read! I consume books in multiple genres and formats, so I’ll indicate which ones as well as link to where you can find them:  Amazon, Audible, local sources, or free/low cost downloads from other places. Since my appetite for books exceeds my ability to buy all the ones I’d like, many on my list are library holds, while others were purchased from local authors or indie presses; I try to spend my dollars where they’ll have the most impact and support content creators. Enjoy!

BOOKS READ 2021:

1 Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler (ebook via Humble Bundle)

2 Naked Toes: second edition by Sara Minges (Trade paperback)

uplifting and personal collection of poems about inner strength

3 Jacaranda by Cherie Priest (ebook via Humble Bundle)

4 Evidence of Starving by Sandra Feen <ebook unavailable. Email author at poeteach@msn.com to buy a paperback copy for $7 (postage included)>

moving and vulnerable poems on the theme of consumption

5 Erotica Romana by Johann Wolfgang Gothenburg (ebook via Overdrive)

6 A Little History of Poetry by John Carey (ebook via Overdrive)

7 Paradise Lost by John Milton (audiobook via Overdrive)

this epic poem, arguably the best poem written in the English language, needs no introduction, so all I’ll say is if you haven’t read this yet, READ IT. It’s staggeringly beautiful.

8 THE GREAT COURSES: Life and Writings of John Milton (Prof. Seth Lerer) via AUDIBLE

9 City of Truth by James Morrow (ebook via Humble Bundle)

10 The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (ebook via Overdrive)

11 The Witcher: The Last Wish (short story collection) by Andrzej Sapkowski (ebook via Overdrive)

12 Black like Me by John Howard Griffin (ebook via Overdrive and The Ohio Digital Library)

13 In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan (audiobook via HOOPLA)

14 Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K. Dick (ebook via Overdrive)

15 The Prestige by Christopher Priest (ebook via Overdrive)

16 A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (ebook via Overdrive)

17 Limit Theory by Ronald E. Holtman & illustrations by Amanda Vacharat (hardback via Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Main Library)

18 Lock In by John Scalzi (ebook via Overdrive)

19 Head On by John Scalzi (ebook via Overdrive)

20 Damned novel by Chuck Palahniuk (ebook via Overdrive)

21 Doomed novel by Chuck Palahniuk (ebook via Overdrive)

22 The River Styx, Ohio, and Other Poems by Mary Oliver (hardback via Library)

23 I Bring the Fire: Wolves by C. Gockel (ebook via NOOK)

24 I Bring the Fire: Monsters by C. Gockel (ebook via NOOK)

25 I Bring the Fire: Chaos by C. Gockel (ebook via NOOK)

26 I Bring the Fire: Fates by C. Gockel (ebook via NOOK)

27 Whiskey Sweet by Sara Minges (poetry collection, ebook ARC via author)

28 Iliad by Homer (audiobook, 1st part of Audible book HOMER translated by WHD Rouse, read by Anthony Heald, ILIAD AND ODYSSEY)

29 Lunch Poems by Frank O’Hara (AUDIBLE audiobook)

30 I Bring the Fire: Warriors by C. Gockel (ebook via NOOK)

31 I Bring the Fire: Ragnarok by C. Gockel (ebook via NOOK)

32 Ten Days in a Madhouse by Nellie Bly (ebook via Manybooks.net)

33 On the Bus with Rosa Parks by Rita Dove (hardback via Barberton Public Library)

34 Head to Toe of It by Rikki Santer (Trade paperback poetry collection)

35 Metamorphosis by Ovid (AUDIBLE audiobook)

36 BEASTARS VOLUME 1, story and art by Paru Itagaki (Graphic Novel via Library loan)

37 Dreaming of Babylon by Richard Brautigan (audiobook via HOOPLA)

38 The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (ebook via manybooks.net)

39 Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (ebook via manybooks.net)

40 Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster (ebook via manybooks.net)

41 BEASTARS VOLUME 2, story and art by Paru Itagaki (Graphic Novel, paper)

42 The Prince and The Pauper by Mark Twain (ebook via manybooks.net)

43 THE GREAT COURSES: English Grammar Boot Camp by Anne Curzan (AUDIBLE audiobook)

44 Ancient Greece 101: Greek History, Myth, and Civilization by Christopher M. Bellitto (AUDIBLE audiobook)

45 My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

46  300 by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

47 No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre (Book Analysis): Detailed Summary, Analysis and Reading Guide (ebook via HOOPLA)

48 Y: The Last Man, Vol 1: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

49 Y: The Last Man, Vol 2: Cycles by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

50 Y: The Last Man, Vol 3: One Small Step by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

51 Y: The Last Man, Vol 4: Safeword by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

52 Y: The Last Man, Vol 5: Ring of Truth by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

53 Y: The Last Man, Vol 6: Girl on Girl by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

54 Y: The Last Man, Vol 7: Paper Dolls by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

55 Y: The Last Man, Vol 8: Kimono Dragons by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

56 Y: The Last Man, Vol 9: Motherland by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

57 Y: The Last Man, Vol 10: Whys and Wherefores by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

58 The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country by Amanda Gorman (hardback via library checkout)

59 The Good Place and Philosophy: Get an Afterlife by Steven A. Benko (ebook via HOOPLA)

60 Feminism in Greek Literature by Frederick Adam Wright (audiobook via Librivox.org)

61 The Bible Repairman and Other Stories by Tim Powers (gifted paperback)

62 Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes (ebook via Overdrive)

63 BEASTARS VOLUME 3, story and art by Paru Itagaki (Graphic Novel, paper)

64 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (ebook via Overdrive)

65 Hesiod: The Works and Days/ The Theogony/ The Shield of Herakles by Hesiod (audiobook via Librivox)

66 One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (ebook via Overdrive)

67 Gawayne and The Green Knight by Anonymous/ Charlton Miner Lewis (ebook via Project Gutenberg)

68 College Hacks by Keith Bradford (paperback)

69 Evidence of Starving by Sandra Feen (paperback chapbook)

<Even though I read this in January as an ebook, I’m including it again, bc it’s a different format and therefore a different experience. Email author at poeteach@msn.com to buy a paperback copy for $7 (postage included)>

moving and vulnerable poems on the theme of consumption

70 BEASTARS 4 by Paru Itagaki (Trade paperback)

71 Swim by Faryl and S.T. Hoover (ebook via Kindle app)

–(from my Amazon review) “This is the book I was reading when my son told me, “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but stop reading and watch television with the family!” It’s absorbing, mesmerizing, and hard to put down.”

72 The Philosopher’s Apprentice by James Morrow (ebook via Overdrive)

73 Poetic Memoir Chapbook Challenge by Barbara Marie Minney (misspelled on cover as Minnie)

74 Whale Day and Other Poems by Billy Collins (hardback)

75 Storm Front: A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (ebook via Overdrive)

76 The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (ebook via Overdrive)

77 Dear Youngstown by Karen Schubert (paperback)

78 Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (ebook via Overdrive)

79 Working Hypothesis by Charles Malone (paperback)

80 Playlist for the Apocalypse: Poems by Rita Dove (ebook via Overdrive)

81 Woman with a Fan: On Maria Blanchard by Diane Kendig (paperback)

82 Versed in Country Things by Robert Frost (Photographs by B.A. King) <hardcover>

83 Miracles: The Wonder of Life by Walt Whitman <small hardback>

84 A Threadbare Universe by Jason Baldinger (paperback poetry collection)

85 I Will Pass Even to Acheron by Amanda Newell (chapbook via Rattle magazine subscription)

86 The Just City by Jo Walton (ebook via Overdrive)

87 Fool Moon (Dresden Files #2) by Jim Butcher (ebook via Overdrive)

88 Grave Peril (Dresden Files #3) by Jim Butcher (ebook via Overdrive)

89 Summer Knight (Dresden Files #4) by Jim Butcher (ebook via Overdrive)

90 Death Masks (Dresden Files #5) by Jim Butcher (ebook via Overdrive)

91 Stopover by Rikki Santer (perfect bound book)

92 Blood Rites (Dresden Files #6) by Jim Butcher (ebook via Overdrive)

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CURRENTLY READING

Dead Beat (Dresden Files #7) by Jim Butcher

As you may have noticed, I’m hooked on the urban fantasy series,the Dresden Files, which I started a month or two ago: Harry Dresden is a wizard working openly in modern Chicago while facing all sorts of supernatural threats and cracking wise. It’s packed with action, adventure, and a fair amount of silliness. Harry Dresden is a rogue that’s both action/superhero and comedian. The novels are mysteries that unpack a fantasy world that gets more complex with each novel. They’re so much fun. I love them!

Tachyon by William F. DeVault

The other book I am currently reading is Tachyon by U.S. Beat Poet Emeritus William F. DeVault. He writes romantic poetry that’s strong on form, beat, rhythm, rhyme, and imagery. Each poem is exquisitely crafted, and since I’ve loved his poetry in the past I know that I’ll love this book as well. I’m only a little bit into the book at the moment, since some poetry takes me longer to read than others. In general, I read poetry more slowly than fiction, because with poetry it’s important to savor the lines; good poems benefit from multiple readings. Fiction can be approached the same way, but poetry focuses on the form and nuance of individual lines. However, fiction is usually more concerned with plot and character. There is overlap too, which is always enjoyable! 

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Next Friday, I’ll also post a companion piece on my Patreon, listing my favorite reads in the past year–including some I didn’t list here because they were not read from start to finish. If you’d like to read it, you can subscribe to my Patreon and support my work for just $1 a month! Until next time, stay safe and well, and read often!

*photo taken by myself of A-1 Books in Massillon, Ohio. The bookstore is located inside an old gas station and shares the building with a towing company.

First Two Chapters of Pinholes as a FREE audio!

Pinholes book cover

As a New Year’s gift to you all (which has absolutely nothing to do with book promotion), I’m making the first two chapters of my latest book, Pinholes: Traveling Through the Curtain of the Night, available as a free audio! Here is the link for its Internet Archive page below. Enjoy!

FREE AUDIO LINK: https://archive.org/details/pinholes-promo-podcast-2chapters-released-january-2022

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If, after listening to the first two chapters, you can’t wait to find out what happens next, you can buy Pinholes: Traveling Through the Curtain of the Night as a Kindle ebook for only $5.99! And if that still isn’t enough for you, I’ve included obligatory legal information to read below. You’re welcome.

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*The sound effects were provided by Zapsplat.com.

*The music was used via Free Music Archive: Kevin MacLeod’s Aurea Carmina and his Impact intermezzo via Creative Commons License. Both the sound effects and the music were modified for this recording, and their use does not imply endorsement by the creators.

*The book’s cover image was included purely for promotional purposes.

Cover Art: Stars Forming Like Pearls In A Clam https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=151450

Cover Artist: Nona Lohr https://nona-lohr.pixels.com/

CURRENT EVENTS: New Year’s Resolutions Past and Present

In the grand blogging tradition I’ve observed the past several years, my December post will be solely about my New Year’s Resolutions: how I did (or not) accomplish my 2021 goals, what my plans are for 2022, and reflections on what I’ve learned. Hopefully, you’ll find my experiences helpful as well!

MY 2021 RESOLUTIONS:

Finish compiling my second poetry collection.

SUCCESS. I completed this goal midway through the year, sent it out to a beta reader for feedback, then re-edited the manuscript based on feedback. It’s currently being considered by a publisher. I’ve gotten favorable indications but no definite commitments yet.

Submit my second poetry collection to a publisher.

SUCCESS. I queried several indie presses and also investigated literary agents. As I said, it’s currently being considered for publication, but I haven’t gotten a definite acceptance yet.

Regain my former schedule.

MODERATE SUCCESS: Sadly, this was not possible due to circumstances outside my control, although I did do several in-person readings. Considering the limited venues this year, I count this as a limited success.

Do things that scare me.

SUCCESS. Again, due to circumstances beyond my control, the venues I scheduled were mostly solo–which makes me more nervous than usual before a reading, as the spotlight is solely on me. I also stepped outside my comfort zone to read in costume at an unusual event, Zombiepalooza! I experimented with face paint–another new thing for me!–and went dressed as a zombie unicorn from my short story, Quietus. That and other selections are found within my short story collection An Optimist’s Journal of the End of Days and Other Stories!

Honestly, I was extremely nervous for this one, as I didn’t know what to expect. It turned out that the audience was really too young for the zombie stories I had picked for the venue, so I count this one as a learning experience.

MY 2022 RESOLUTIONS:

I actually came up with these resolutions in September, as I was planning ahead for the next few months. I’ve come to several conclusions over the past couple years. For one thing, as I’ve grown older I’ve realized the need to pace myself. I also know that if I make resolutions that are too broad, like become more organized, I’ll keep them in the most lax way possible, so this year I thought I’d try something a little different. Also, I’ve learned in the past year how to adapt my goals to changing circumstances.

The following goals for 2022 contain self-imposed deadlines throughout the year, rather than simply saying I want to accomplish them by year’s end. By breaking them into smaller and more specific target goals, I hope to pace myself in such a way that I’m not overwhelmed by the enormity of any single project. 

With that in mind…

CLEAN OUT MY CRAFT ROOM/WORKSPACE BY JANUARY 31st

After completing my first draft of Hera Unchained in November, I want to give myself a month (or two) to let the manuscript sit before picking it up again. My craft room, once my pride and joy, has been sadly neglected and become a catch-all for things-that-have-no-official-spot in my home. So I aim to make this area a viable workspace once again–SO HELP ME, THOR.

WORK ON MY MANUSCRIPT IN TWO MONTH INTERVALS

By allowing myself two months for each pass, with a month-long break between each one, I hope to allow myself a strict enough personal deadline to keep my writing on track while also allowing myself enough breathing room to let the manuscript rest between revisions.

CLEAN OUT MY GARAGE BY APRIL 1st

During my month-long break from the manuscript, I plan to clean out my garage. By clean out my garage, I mean get rid of anything we don’t need, organize things we do by finding space for them, create a better system for storing our recyclables, sweep, and–last by not least–get rid of all the cobwebs! It’s a monumental task, and I fully expect to either be crushed beneath storage boxes, asphyxiate on dust-bunnies, or be found dangling from a giant spider web. However, if I accomplish my goal and somehow survive the experience, I fully intend to…

ORGANIZE BEDROOM JULY 1st

I like to write in bed, since it allows me to sit so that my back is supported. This way I can sit and work for longer periods without throwing my back out. As a consequence of this, as well as other things I store in this room, it tends to become cluttered. By organize my bedroom, I mean clean my closets, sort through my bedside (and other) storage–including my bookshelves. I’ll also dust. I promise.

SUBMIT HERA UNCHAINED TO PUBLISHER BY DECEMBER 31st

My overarching goal for the year. I will adhere to my schedule for multiple (content and grammar) edits, beta reads, formatting, and eventually submit a highly polished manuscript to my publisher.

YEAR ROUND: 

PROMOTE PINHOLES: TRAVELING THROUGH THE CURTAIN OF THE NIGHT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

I will continue to try to schedule in-person events, but barring that I will do videos, podcasts, or other venues. I’d also like to include some promotion for An Optimist’s Journal of the End of Days (…), although the focus will primarily be on the newer book. 

KEEP UP MY MONTHLY POSTING SCHEDULES FOR MY WRITING BLOG AND MY PATREON

I post once a month to my writing blog at www.catrussellwriter.wordpress.com as well as a separate post (usually complementary) to my Patreon at www.patreon.com/authorcatrussell.

2021 REFLECTIONS:

This year was better than last, although 2020 did set the bar pretty low. The absence of murder-hornets alone made that an easy accomplishment! All kidding aside, I’m proud of what I’ve learned and accomplished this past year. 

Thank you for visiting my blog, and I hope you’ll return in January. I’ll start 2022 with a post about the books I read in 2021, so maybe you’ll find your next great read! In the meantime, stay safe and well, and Happy New Year!

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*image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net via Creative Commons Licensing.