Goals and Aspirations in Review – May 2017


I know that I say this every month, but I seriously feel as though May swept out from under me in a few short moments. I have no idea where the time keeps going on me, and it’s more than a little bit frightening for a number of reasons.

So with that pleasant thought in mind, let’s go ahead and delve into what happened throughout the month of May 2017:

I was hoping that May would be a more fruitful month when it came to writing, but as mentioned, the month just flew away from me. It’s amazing how I can go four…five…eight..ten days in a row without writing and not even realize that it happened. I did, however, manage to have a few decent days throughout the month, and amazingly, it was all fiction aside from a single day of blog-writing. Throughout the month I managed to write a combined total of 7054 words, which isn’t my best month so far this year, but not bad, all things considered. Here’s hoping to have a better month in June, though!

Mini-Goal #1.a. Publish more erotic fairy tales.
I’m glad that I didn’t remove this mini-goal in April because I actually made some headway in May! Not only did I complete and publish a second erotic fairy tale, but I also wrote, completed, and published the first in a second series of more supernatural erotic stories. Success! None of the stories are selling particularly well, but it certainly doesn’t hurt me to have them sitting there, just waiting to be found and purchased!

Mini-Goal #1.b. Start writing blog posts again.
I’m not going to spend much time on this one because, to be perfectly blunt, I barely posted any blog posts this month, and they were basically all just sharing videos, so there’s not much to talk about.

Mini-Goal #1.c. Find ways to promote the book(s).
Still working on this one. Still taking suggestions too! This is definitely going to be the worst goal of the year, I’m thinking.

#2. Get healthier.
This is, of course, an ongoing challenge, but I don’t think I did half bad throughout the month of May. I’ve been taking a lot of baby steps. One is dedicating myself to more walking, which we’ll talk about in a moment. Another has been trying to eat better, which is a struggle, no doubt, but I’ve been doing better. I’ve been drinking a lot more water, having fruit-and-yogurt smoothies for breakfast (Jason’s even been drinking them too!) and working hard to eat smaller portions and restrict the amount of junk food I have. I regularly have bad days when I end up gorging on chocolate, but, like I said…baby steps.

Mini-Goal #2.a. Walk/run 10k 8k steps per day.
Well, would you look at this! I can actually report some modicum of success for this goal this month! No, I didn’t walk 8k steps each day throughout May, but I did manage it for 18 of the 31 days, and on top of that, I managed to do an average of 8276 steps per day! That’s the best I’ve done so far this year, so I’m pretty pleased with myself, I must say. Here’s hoping that, by the end of the year I’ll have managed to actually work my way up to 10k per day!

Mini-Goal #2.b. Take daily “me time”.
As I keep explaining, this is a difficult one to keep track of, but I would say May was probably a pretty decent month for this one. I’ve found myself getting used to spending a few minutes a day playing a phone game or watching an episode of one of the shows I love that Jason doesn’t. It’s little stuff, but it helps to keep the stress down a bit.

#3. Work on my online presence – specifically, YouTube.
Another ongoing battle, of course. It’s difficult to quantify how much or how little success I had in May because between time slipping away and my brain being a little bit fuddled this past month, well…you get it. That said, I know for a fact that my subscribers, followers, and so on  have all gone up – if only a little – in the past month, so I’m going to go ahead and say it’s going well enough. 

Mini-Goal #3.a. Learn to respond immediately.
I have a lot of ups and downs with this goal, as I’ve mentioned before, but I believe I’ve been doing a lot better. My weak point seems to be emails, because they always seem to come while I’m out and too busy to respond, but I’m getting much better with the social media stuff, and I’m learning to juggle multiple conversations at once for sure. So put one in the plus column for me!

Mini-Goal #3.b. Focus more on daily social media.
There have been hiccups, but I’m doing a lot better on this one as well. I’m much better with tweets and Facebook than Instagram and Snapchat, but I’m definitely doing a lot better, and I hope it’s helping with the media presence!

Mini-Goal #3.c. Come up with new video ideas.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha….never mind. Just…never mind.

So that was May! How was your month? Did you get anything accomplished? Do anything cool? Please feel free to share!

Goals and Aspirations in Review – January 2017


Well, we’re a full month into 2017, so as tradition entails, I shall share the success-or-failure concerning the goals and aspirations I set myself for this particular year. And I’m warning you in advance: it’s not gonna be a happy tale.

I hate to sound so dismal with the first ‘goal review’ post of the year, but January was just a really odd month. I’ve felt very strongly like time is being swept out from under me on a momentary basis. Even as I’m typing this, I feel like it was only two minutes ago that I was looking at the clock and growling, “When did it become 10 o’clock?” and now I’m looking at the clock on my laptop to see that it’s only a few minutes away from 11. How is this happening?

But for now let’s set aside the concern that I may have been cursed with some kind of mystical time-stealing spell, and get into January’s review.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…You know when things are so bad that all you can really do is laugh? I wrote about this yesterday for the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group post, but I’ll reiterate in shorter form: I’ve had the worst kind of writer’s block that I could possibly imagine. Literally every time that I’ve sat myself down and tried to write, I’ve just stared at the screen for an hour or so before closing the program. Nothing wants to come to my brain. I am a blank slate. I’m a crappy desktop computer sitting on the blue screen of death. I’ve got nothing, and it has been one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever experienced. I need to rectify this in February, but I’m not even sure how because I’ve never actually experienced a complete and utter inability to write anything before. Literally the only writing I actually did was the two blog posts at the beginning of the month. 
Mini-Goal #1.a. Publish more erotic fairy tales.
One of my unspoken mini-goals for January in particular was to publish the second fairy tale, which I already had 90% written. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, due to the above-mentioned inability to write. You’d think, if anything, complete and utter smut would be easy enough to write, but nope…I couldn’t even do that. So this goal had a 0% accomplishment rating for January.
Mini-Goal #1.b. Start writing blog posts again.
HA. This was actually suggested to me as a way to maybe work my way into writing again, but it definitely wasn’t on my mind in January. It was a busy month, and as I previously mentioned, any time I did find to write I foolishly spent staring at a blank Scrivener screen. Maybe I should have tried to blog instead, but it genuinely never even occurred to me because I was too busy staring at those blank screens. That said, I promise to keep this in mind for February if I continue to be completely and utterly incapable of writing fiction. 
Mini-Goal #1.c. Find ways to promote the book.
          I will honestly say that I did, in fact, attempt this one in January. Unfortunately I just didn’t figure anything out. 😐 There are a million ways on the internet to promote a book, but you’d be amazed at how many stipulations there are to keep people like me from being able to use them. For instance, many free promotion sites require your book to actually be free, which is an option, but not something I really want to do since I’ve already done free e-book promotions multiple times and gotten absolutely nothing out of them. Other sites want you to pay to be promoted, and the cost far outweighs the likely return. Other sites require that you have a certain number of reviews on Amazon before you’re even allowed to apply. I could go on, but I think you get the point. So this one just continues on, I suppose.

#2. Get healthier.
I’m not actually sure what to say about this one. There were definitely moments throughout January that worked toward this goal – I went for a couple of runs, made a point of standing instead of sitting where I could, got my first eye exam in (no joke), 27 years, and have been making a point of trying to drink more water (although I can’t give up my coffee and tea). On the other hand, there’s been a lot of eating of bad foods and sugary crap, and at this point I can’t tell if I’m tired because there’s genuinely something wrong with me, or because I’m actually sleeping too much in an attempt not to be tired, or because of some other issue. Straighten up and fly right, body! GEEZ. On the upside, at least I haven’t gained any weight lately. 😛
Mini-Goal #2.a. Walk/run 10k steps per day.
Another laughable one! According to my records I accomplished precisely two 10k-step days in January, and my average daily steps was 7050. My FitBit even cheekily suggested that I reduce my daily step goal to 8000. I’m not even joking. And I did it; I let FitBit tell me that I’m fat and lazy and need to make “more reasonable” goals. Henceforth, until I learn how to not be fat and lazy, this mini-goal will be changed to “Walk/run 8k steps per day.” 
Mini-Goal #2.b. Take daily “me time”.
          This one is debatable. Since I haven’t been actually tracking it like I did last year, I’m not really sure exactly how well I did because I’ve been too busy to really be able to remember. lol I think I did half-decent on this one though. There were days I had hot baths, days I sequestered myself away and played stupid phone games, and days I curled up on the couch with my cross-stitch project for a few minutes. There were probably a couple of days when I was absolutely non-stop from dusk ’til dawn, but I think for the most part I did take at least a few minutes a day for myself.

#3. Work on my online presence – specifically, YouTube.
I’ll give myself at least a few props on this particular goal, although, as usual, most of the props should be given to Jason. In particular he made a “promise” on our social media that we were going to do a video-a-day for the week of our 1-year anniversary as “Tracey’s Basement”. So I was kinda forced to do it. But I did still do it, so I’m taking my accolades, whether I deserve them or not.
Seriously though, above and beyond the videos we did at the beginning of the month, we filmed and published 8 vids in 7 days during our anniversary week, and only one of them was a major pain in the ass. Slowly but surely I’m learning how to speak better, flow better, keep my volume up, and all those other little things. So yay for me.
Mini-Goal #3.a. Learn to respond immediately.
There’s not much that really needs to be said about this, although I will say that I am getting better. I’ve been responding to most social media/comments/etc immediately. My weak point is emails, because they take longer, so I tend to consider them as something that can wait, but then I forget to get back to them, so I’m still working on that one.
Mini-Goal #3.b. Focus more on daily social media.
This is an uphill battle, but I do think that I’m getting better. Some things are harder than others. Tweeting is something that can be done fairly easily on a daily basis, but I often don’t know what to do with things like Instagram (for which Jason takes most of the channel-related pictures) and Facebook (which is basically just a place to repost the Instagram stuff), and most of the time I just forget that SnapChat even exists. I’ve been trying to encourage myself to do more by making all four platforms part of the daily checklist in my planner, but I also often forget to even look at the planner, so it hasn’t been helping as much as I thought it would. lol Twitter though? I’m doing okay on Twitter. 
Mini-Goal #3.c. Come up with new video ideas.
This last one, I’m not really sure what much to say. I guess it’s going okay? Jason and I filmed a few different things in January (mostly different styles of collectibles, which has been a long time coming anyway), and I managed to convince a few different companies to send us stuff to review, so I suppose that counts as “new video ideas”. And we’ve also been working on trying to set up some gameplay videos via a program that should sync the gameplay and webcam footage so that we don’t have the delay problems we had way back during the last ones we did, so that’s a distinct possibility for the new future. So, yeah, okay…I’m gonna say that this one went well for January.

So that was January. There were a few good points, no doubt, but overall I mostly feel like I blinked, and the month was gone, and I’d accomplished next to nothing. Hopefully things will perk up in February; I’m hoping for a little more sun, since dreary weather seems to exacerbate time slipping away from me.

Here’s to February! Oh, and I just wanted to remind you all that if anyone figures out how I can subsist on 2-3 hours of sleep per night, I’m still patiently waiting for that very important information. 😛

How was your January?

Goals and Aspirations for 2017


Okay, so yesterday I told you all about how 2016 went for me, personally, and I explained that I wasn’t horribly disappointed or anything, but that it definitely could have gone better. But that’s looking into the past, and a new year is about looking into the future. So where do I hope to take myself in 2017?

Well, to be honest, I have more goals and aspirations than I’d like to admit for the coming year. Not that having goals and aspirations is a bad thing; it’s just that I’ve found in the past that having too many of them tends to stretch a person thin and make it damn near impossible to accomplish anything. That said, I’m finding it difficult, if not impossible, to narrow the list down any, so I’m just going to go ahead and explain what I hope to accomplish, and we’ll see where the chips fall.


This is my major goal for 2017, because let’s be honest here: I can hardly even call myself a writer with the amount of time and effort I actually expend writing. And here’s the thing: I might never be a success at it, and I might never actually become popular or make any real money, but it is literally the only thing I’ve ever truly wanted to do ever since grade school, and I hate that I perpetually take none of the steps necessary to make it a reality. I wrote one book – go me – and have failed miserably at both promoting it and following it up. A writer has to write, and being a writer is extremely important to me, and I won’t be happy unless I strive toward that. End of discussion.

Mini-Goal #1.a. Publish more erotic fairy tales.
I was genuinely curious to see where that venture would lead, but I managed to stop at precisely one publication, which anyone in erotica will tell you is completely and utterly pointless. So I’d like to follow up some more on that throughout 2017, hopefully putting out one each month or so.

Mini-Goal #1.b. Start writing blog posts again.
I’m not committing to anything by any stretch of the imagination, because the truth is that it’s hard enough to find time to write my fiction, never mind spending time on things like blogging, but I would like to start throwing something up on here every now and then again so that it’s not just links to YouTube videos day after day.

Mini-Goal #1.c. Find ways to promote the book.
I mentioned this yesterday, and also pointed out that I have absolutely no ideas on how to do so, but I’m determined to figure it out one way or the other because my book sales are abysmal and I can’t stand to look at them any longer. So if anyone has any ideas, please feel free to send them my way!

#2. Get healthier.

Staying really broad on this one because I want it to be an overall thing. Would I like to lose some weight? Absolutely. Would I like to eat better? You betcha. Would I liked to wrangle my mental health into something that resembles a reasonable, well-adjusted human being? Damn straight. And that all falls under “health”, so let’s just go ahead and say that I want to be healthier, in general, whatever that should mean.

Mini-Goal #2.a. Walk/run 10k steps per day.
I don’t know why I insist on setting myself up for failure with goals like these, but I have to admit that it does make me feel good when my FitBit vibrates to let me know that I just hit the 10k mark, so why not keep trying?

Mini-Goal #2.b. Take daily “me time”.
I’m not making this a specific part of the main goal this year, and I’m not going to try to time it out or anything, but I’m still dedicating myself to attempting to spend at least a few minutes a day on something that is 100% all about me, whether that be coloring, cross-stitching, reading, or curling up and watching a show that neither Jason or the kid could give two damns about.

#3. Work on my online presence – specifically, YouTube.

And of course, there is YouTube, which has been growing and expanding and has become kind of a life unto itself. This goal has lots of aspects to it, but the main part is just to focus and do my best to put my all into it.

Mini-Goal #3.a. Learn to respond immediately.
One of the biggest flaws that I have when it comes to having an online presence is response time. I am horrible for checking a notification on my phone, swiping it away without responding to it (whether it be a comment, tweet response, e-mail, whatever), and then forgetting about it until a day or two later. I want to start working on responding to things immediately so that I don’t end up with huge build-ups of things to get back to all at once.

Mini-Goal #3.b. Focus more on daily social media.
There are entire days during which my Twitter feed is blank, and sometimes there are huge stretches of days during which I neither Snap, nor update a Facebook status, nor post something in the Basement Geeks group. That has to be rectified. I have to start taking to these platforms daily to keep my online presence fresh.

Mini-Goal #3.c. Come up with new video ideas.
And this is the difficult one because, to be honest, I’ve been feeling a bit in a rut. Not only just because Funko Pops are drowning me and I’m so sick of people assuming that Pops are all we do on the channel, but also because there’s a lot more effort involved in switching things up than one might thing. Want us to do a gameplay video? Awesome…it only takes two hours and fifteen headaches in order to set up the living room with the lights, camera, and gameplay capture equipment, not to mention rearranging the furniture into a format that works for recording. Want us to start talking more about horror stuff and our creepy collectibles? We’d love to! Except that it looks stupid talking about that stuff in front of the Pop wall, and clearing out the room with all the horror movie stuff requires us to find a new place for our “photo studio” set-up and throw away several stacks of stuff that there is simply nowhere else in the house to put. I’m not trying to sound self-defeating or anything, it’s just that as much as I’d love to just say, “Today we’re going to try doing THIS kind of video!” it’s never just that simple. It generally requires a lot of extra work that no one sees or appreciates, which also takes up a ton of extra time that I don’t really have. So, yeah. I didn’t mean to end off these goals on a sour note, but there it is. lol

So there you go. Above are all the tortures that are going to rip at me throughout the year of 2017. Sounds like fun, right? I’m totally not over-extending myself, right? Right.

So with all that said, I’m off to actually, you know…attempt to get moving on some of these things. Wish me luck, and feel free to share your goals and aspirations for 2017! Cheers, everyone!

Good-Bye 2016 – Goals (and a Year) in Review


Hey everyone; it’s been a while, hasn’t it? As is my custom, any kind of organization and keeping up with things goes right out the window somewhere around mid-November and continues on through to the end of the year. One of these years I’m going to get a handle on that, but not this year.

2016 was a very up-and-down kind of year. There was lots of good, plenty of bad, a fair share of stress and frustration, and all of the celebrities died. Like, seriously…what the hell?

(And on a related note, man…I still can’t believe that Princess Leia is gone!)

So I thought I’d take a moment on this lovely New Year’s Day to quickly go through my goals from 2016 and see where I landed on them overall. Strap in and join me as I wave good-bye to 2016 and kick it in the ass on the way out. ^_~

1. Take good care of myself, specifically by walking 10,000 steps a day and taking at least 15 minutes per day to do something fun/relaxing.

As is the norm with most health-related goals, this one was all over the map throughout 2016. I had excellent months filled with many 10k-step days, and many months that were the exact opposite of that. Sometimes I did an excellent job of giving myself my 15 minutes (or more!) per day, and other times I went weeks without even realizing that I wasn’t doing it. Lack of focus was my biggest fault, oftentimes simply not paying enough attention to realize what I was or wasn’t doing.

There were so specific good moments of 2016 concerning health, however. For one thing I discovered that my B-12 levels have been through the floor (literally about as low as they could be unless I was dead), and adding the supplement to my diet seems to have made some big differences. I’ve been feeling much more awake and alert that I have in a long time, I’ve been losing (a reasonable amount of) weight without even trying, and I’ve overall just felt a ton healthier.

In addition to that, I discovered that a medication I’ve been taking hasn’t been doing me any favors because of a resulting hormonal imbalance. I won’t get into that one because it’s a bit more of the personal nature, but the point is that changing that medication up has made a big difference in a number of ways, and the results get two thumbs up from me.

And lastly – and this one is going to sound odd to some of you – I got laid off, and I’ve been significantly less stressed out since. I know that sounds completely backwards, but in my line of work being laid off sometimes is part of the system, and I’d been waiting for a lay-off from this particular job for quite a while. Being free of that particular site, and that particular work camp, feels like an enormous weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I’ve finally been able to relax a bit for the first time in a long time.

Goal Conclusion: I mostly failed the specifics of the goal, but all in all I do think that my health – both physical and mental – was much better at the end of 2016 than it was at the beginning.

2. Build readership/viewership by putting more focus and energy into my blog posts, shooting fun and different YouTube videos, and putting more effort into self-promotion.

First off, we all know that the “blog posts” part of this goal went to heck about halfway through the year because I decided to more-or-less stop blogging in order to focus more on actual writing. So we’ll just set that one aside as it doesn’t really apply anymore.

For “shooting fun and different YouTube videos” I can give a thumbs up, although I also have to give much of the credit to my husband, who has put a huge amount of effort into the channel, making it better in a huge number of ways. I started the year just hitting 1000 subscribers, and thanks in a great part to Jason’s input and joining in to the actual videos, we ended off the year with just over 3100 subscribers. That’s a hell of an increase, and I hope we’ll continue to grow with that kind of fervor.

The self-promotion bit is the “up-and-down” winner for this goal. The YouTube channel and it’s associated social media has definitely grown by leaps and bounds, but as I mentioned, most of that is thanks to Jason. And the “readership” bit – relating, of course, to getting people to read my book – continues to fail rather quite amazingly. I did take the jump in 2016 to getting an actual professional cover created for the book, and for about a month it seemed to help, but that success was extremely short-lived. I’ve returned to few-to-no books being sold month-by-month, and to be honest I haven’t really learned much about what to do about it in the past year. I am definitely aware of the fact that I do very, very little self-promotion when it comes to the book, but I am also acutely aware of the fact that the available avenues for self-promotion become extremely tiresome and annoying very quickly, and I don’t want to put people off. Something must be done, I just haven’t figured out what yet.

3. Write as much as I can, including writing an entire novel from start to finish.

I purposely left this goal vague this year, because I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself into any specific numbers – that has done me no good in the past. So how did my vague writing goal work out?

I can tell you that with the NaNoWriMo words that I failed to report to you in November, I hit a grand total of 191058 words which, unfortunately, is about 25,000 words less than I wrote in 2015. That, I have to admit, is a kick in the pants, but it’s also a bit understanding considering I spent the majority of the calendar year at my aforementioned extremely tiring and time-consuming job, combined with the fact that there’s been a lot more going on with the channel since last Spring. So I suppose I’ll give myself a bit of a pass on that one, although I won’t go so far as to claim that I’m not disappointed.

As for the “novel from start to finish” bit; the success or failure of that one depends on how you look at it. Technically I did not accomplish this task, in the sense of completing an actual novel-length manuscript, and part of the problem is that I allowed myself to get distracted again, and instead of focusing on one manuscript I once again branched off until I was writing 3-4 different stories at any given time. That said, I did complete one manuscript that had been about a quarter complete when the year started (only the first draft though, so don’t get too excited!), plus I wrote the first quarter-or-so of a new zombie novel that I’m excited about, and I also wrote and published an erotic novelette which is, surprisingly, getting occasional page reads on Kindle Unlimited. So yay for that!

All total, what I can say for 2016 and the goals I had set for myself during it is that I’m not terribly impressed, but I’m also not horribly disappointed. I didn’t accomplish a great deal of what I had set out to, but there were good points as well, and I believe that I am now in a good place to set my foot firmly down upon the beginning of 2017.

So, speaking of 2017, do I have any goals for the coming year? Why of course! But you’re going to have to wait until tomorrow to hear about them because this post has been drawn out enough as it is. ^_~ Cheers everyone! I hope 2016 treated you well, and if not I hope you’re able to give it a swift kick in it’s behind and move toward 2017 with your head held high. Happy New Year! ❤

July Goals in Review

Let me just start off by stating that July was one of those months that just vanishes in the blink of an eye and leaves me wondering what the hell happened. I accomplished very, very little of what I intended to, and part of that is because of a little thing you may have heard about called Pokemon Go. That’s not an excuse; I’m just stating the fact that I spent the greater part of the month collecting digital monsters instead of doing literally any of the stuff I should have been doing. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the goals for July.

Goal #1. Take good care of myself, specifically by walking 10,000 steps per day and taking at least 15 minutes per day to do something fun/relaxing.

This goal – and the success or failure thereof – really depends on which half of the month you’re looking at. The first half of July was pretty damn terrible. Part of the problem was that I had an incredibly awful shift at work. I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say that I had an exceptionally miserable two weeks in Alberta. As a result of that I did as little moving as possible and most of my “me time” boiled down to curling up in bed with a show playing on my computer while I plotted ways I could justify not going into work the next day.

On the other hand the second half of the month was very different. I was home, for one thing, which is always best. For another thing Pokemon Go became available in Canada, and while the addictive little pile of nostalgia has been hell on my productivity, it’s been a blessing on my FitBit. From wandering around town, trying to track down new Pokemon to catch, to simply walking back and forth in order to incubate eggs, I put more steps in in fewer days than I have in ages. Thanks to this game, I managed to partially cancel out the first half of the month and finished off July with seven 10K days and a daily average of 8478 steps. It’s not 10K, but guys, if you’d seen how little I was moving those first two weeks you’d be amazed that I managed to get the average up that high.

Plus mobile games totally count as “me time”, right? Right.

Goal #2. Build more readership/viewership by putting more focus and energy into my blog posts, shooting more fun YouTube videos, and putting more effort into self-promotion.

A reminder, in case you missed it: a few months ago I stopped blogging on a regular basis in order to spend more time on writing fiction, so keep that in mind. 🙂

This goal, unfortunately, represents the downside to becoming obsessed with invisible monsters on my phone. When it comes to the marketing side of things I actually did better during the two miserable weeks at work. Then Pokemon Go finally released in Canada, and Jason and I may have become a little bit obsessed.

During the first half of the month Jason was getting videos edited, getting glam shots of our hauls up on Instagram, and promoting the channel, while I was tweeting, hanging out with followers on SnapChat, working on updating “Nowhere to Hide”‘s description and cover art, and promoting my erotic fairy tale series via a set of new social media created for the series’ pseudonym author.

Once Pokemon Go hit the Play Store, however, everything pretty much ground to a dead stop as the two of us traipsed all over the province in search of our favorite little creatures. We didn’t even realize how bad it had gotten until the last two days before I flew back to work when we finally noticed I’d barely filmed any videos while I was home and we hadn’t uploaded anything for a straight week.

Now, in our defense there was a fair bit going on as well. We did a full-day shopping trip around the province to hunt for SDCC Summer Convention Pops. We took another day trip in order to test out the Playstation VR (which was awesome, by the way). And we took a trip back home to spend the end of a local festival with family and watch the fireworks together.

But, mostly we wasted an assload of time chasing pixels across the island with our smartphones.

That said, we did do one thing that was tons of fun and will probably be a great promo tool in the future. We tested out Facebook Live, allowing some of our friends and followers to talk to us in real time. It was a blast, and we’ll definitely be doing it again, hopefully when I get home next time.

So yeah, there were good bits and bad bits, but hopefully we’ll be able to curb our obsessions a bit in the coming weeks and make August a better month.

Goal #3. Write as much as I can, including writing an entire novel from start to finish.

I started out July thinking that this was going to be the best goal, but it went a bit sideways on me around mid-month. In the first few weeks, despite the aforementioned work misery, I was enjoying my new Rocketbook Wave and taking whatever opportunities I could to scribble out scenes for more erotic fairy tales. Then – if you’ll excuse my turn of phrase – some major bullshit went down at work, and I actually got more productive as I took out my frustrations on a new zombie novel that (*cough cough*) takes place on an oil sands facility.

But – and I know this is going to shock you – then Pokemon Go happened. And come on…if I wasn’t getting videos done and was basically completely ignoring all forms of social media, what do you think the chances are that I was writing?

Yeah, yeah, I know…I should be ashamed of myself.

So I finished off the month with about 7716 words, but on the upside the vast majority of those word were fiction, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Also, the new zombie book is highly amusing to me so far, so there’s that. XD

So, all things considered it was a bit of a rollercoaster of a month, and I was left wondering where the hell half of my summer had gone, but it was hardly the worst month I’ve had, that’s for sure.

How was your month? Did you get anything accomplished? Try anything new? Have you been out stalking Pokemon like me? Please feel free to share!

Happy Canada Day! Plus: June Goals in Review


Okay, first of all, where are my fellow Canucks? 😀  Happy Canada Day everyone! I wish I was having a drink at home with my family, but unfortunately I returned to work out West recently so I’ll have to subsist with knowing that everyone else is having a drink. lol

As it would happen, returning to work didn’t just screw up my Canada Day plans… It totally screwed up my month as I struggled to get back into a pattern and get stuff done before I had to fly. So let’s get this over with because it ain’t gonna be pretty…

Goal #1. Take good care of myself, specifically by walking 10,000 steps a day and taking at least 15 minutes per day to do something fun/relaxing.

This was definitely my worst month for this goal. I managed to accomplish the 15 mins per day of relaxation (although most of that was mobile games, so I feel kinda pathetic for that…) but my steps were absolutely horrible. There were only two days during June that I got more than 10k steps, and the average for the month was my worst yet at 6484 per day. Absolutely pathetic, and that’s all I’ve got to say about that. 

Goal #2. Build readership/viewership by putting more focus and energy into my blog posts, shooting fun and different YouTube videos, and putting more effort into self-promotion.

This goal was pretty identical to last month. The YouTube channew is going great, steadily growing, but the book is at a complete stop and I don’t see that changing any time soon. There just aren’t enough hours in the day (especially now I’ve returned to work) to market bother aspects of my life amid all the other stuff I have to do.

Goal #3. Write as much as I can, including writing an entire novel from start to finish.

This one I though was going to be good this month. I started off pretty steady. But then I was trying to catch up on videos before I’d have to go to work, and I was trying to get stuff done with the kid and around the house… Long story short I only ended up with 8746 words for the month. I’m not sure exactly where that stands up to the previous months, but it’s definitely not as good as I was hoping it would be. That said, I’m happy to report that we’ll over half of those words were fiction, so I’m moving in the right direction there.

So that’s it for June! I realize this is a shorter post than I usually make, but I’m actually typing it on my phone during my lunch break, so you can understand that I’m kinda hard up for time right now. 😋

How was your June? Please tell me it was more productive than mine!

May 2016 Goals in Review


Okay! So I’ve had about a month off from this whole blogging thing, aside from sharing videos and the IWSG post from yesterday…so what have I been up to as far as goals? Let’s take a look!

Goal #1. Take good care of myself, specifically by walking 10,000 steps a day and taking at least 15 minutes per day to do something fun/relaxing.

This was probably my worst goal of the month, although it wasn’t as horrible as that first statement makes it sound.

Right off the bat, I came nowhere near 10,000 steps per day. It was actually an average of 7481 steps per day in May, and I only had 6 days that actually broke the 10k barrier. That’s my worst average and my fewest 10k days yet this year. So that’s a bit depressing, but there’s a bit of a…well, I guess you’d call it an excuse, but it’s kind of a good one. I’ve been out of work since the fires began in Fort McMurray. That means, basically, that I’ve had no reason to be up and walking around. At home I write, do a variety of things that involve sitting at a computer, and play with my daughter, so there’s not a lot of opportunity to work those steps in. There were a few days when I went for runs, and those were the ones that I did hit 10k. So, I guess, all in all, I don’t feel so bad about the numbers I wound up with here, because it’s a bit circumstantial. Yeah, I totally should have gone out for more runs and got those numbers up, but I’ve been focusing on other stuff so I don’t feel particularly guilty, to be perfectly honest.

As far as my 15-minutes-a-day…in a way this was the best month, and in another way it was the worst. It was the best because there was literally not one day when I didn’t manage to work in at least 15 minutes of some kind of relaxation. It was the worst because the overwhelming majority of those relaxation periods involved browsing 9gag or playing Sailor Moon Drops on my phone. I really have to start reading or something again. >.>

Goal #2. Build readership/viewership by putting more focus and energy into my blog posts, shooting fun and different YouTube videos, and putting more effort into self-promotion.

As far as YouTube goes, we’ve got this thing by the horns. My husband has been an amazingly huge help at building my brand and taking care of the editing process, and as a result we are almost up to 2000 subscribers, plus I’ve been increasing in subs on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and (newly) SnapChat. Plus we recently started a Facebook group called Basement Geeks for people to just hang out and be geeky together, and that really seems to be taking off as well. We posted 15 videos throughout May, and those videos combined have garnered 7860 views as of this date. Not too shabby at all!

On the book side of things we’re still basically dead in the water. I recently got some good advice from a fellow published author that I might put into effect in the near(ish) future, and I did attempt a very small (*cough*cheap*cough*) ad campaign, but no luck really. I got one sale and about 500 pages read via Kindle Unlimited, which nets me about…$2. Ha.

Goal #3. Write as much as I can, including writing an entire novel from start to finish.

This is the one that I’m most happy about this month. As you guys probably know I’ve – at least temporarily – quit regular blogging as a way to gain more time to write fiction, and thus far it’s working quite well. I managed to go through and do a bunch of edits to The Other World, Book One, and now that manuscript is off with my two lovely beta-readers. Once that was out of my hand I got to work on two separate projects: The Other World, Book Two, and the first book of a “Fairy Tails” series that I’m starting (yes, the spelling of “tails” is intentional).

Looking at the numbers, this past month I wrote 1302 words toward the blog, 3426 in my personal journal, 3139 words in random non-fiction stuff, and 5854 fiction words, for a total of 13,721 words. That’s not a lot of words, and I think it might be the least words I’ve written in a month so far this year, but it also represents words that were written while getting stuff done. Know what I mean? I know you know what I mean.

So all in all, I’m happy with this goal, and my mini-goal for the month of June is to make sure I write something absolutely every day, even if it’s just scribbling random stupidness in my notebook. Wish me luck!

April 2016 Goals in Review


Well, I literally just said that I was going to stop regular posts in order to focus on actual novel-writing, but it’s been a few days since April ended so I guess I’ll get the goals stuff out of the way. 🙂

Goal #1. Take good care of myself, specifically by walking 10,000 steps a day and taking at least 15 minutes per day to do something fun/relaxing.

Well, this one definitely could have been better, but it also could have been worse, so I’ll take that for what it is. As far as steps go, there were only 9 days during which I surpassed the 10,000 mark, and my average daily steps was only 8253, but that was actually better than March, so there’s improvement for sure. I blame my inability to at least hit the average on the fact that I spent several days of my shift doing paperwork in the office, and another several days working night shift, which isn’t exactly an active time. All in all, I feel half-decent about the average, although the 10-k days count is pretty pathetic.

As for my 15-minutes-per-day…I counted 25 days during which I manage to hold to that tiny level of relaxation. I’m not sure what happened the other 5 days, but I scribbled “EPIC FAIL” in my planner several times, so I’m assuming those were not good days. 😛

On a related note, now that the weather is starting to turn around, I’m thinking about starting up the “Zombies! Run!” program again. I’d feel really good about myself if I could ever actually manage to get all the way through the 12-week program. >.>

Goal #2. Build readership/viewership by putting more focus and energy into my blog posts, shooting fun and different YouTube videos, and putting more effort into self-promotion.

One thing that I can definitely say for sure is that I’ve been spending a lot of time shooting videos and interacting with my viewers, and the hubby has been working hard to make the YouTube channel fun and interesting. It seems to be going well because I started the year with just around 1000 subscribers, and now I’m inching toward 1700. Go Team Tracey’s Basement!

Self-promoting in terms of writing is another story entirely. I don’t even want to talk about it because it’s just pathetic. That said, this is part of the reason I’m quitting (regularly-scheduled) blogging, so I’ll be removing the “focus and energy into my blog posts) part from this goal for the remainder of the year.

Goal #3. Write as much as I can, including writing an entire novel from start to finish.

And here’s the BIG reason for the change to my blogging habits. This month I wrote 7307 words toward the blog, 1607 words in my personal journal, and 11,369 words toward various non-fiction stuff (including things such as answering the questions for Authors Answer, scripting for YouTube videos, and so on). That’s a total of 20,283 words for the month, which isn’t all that shabby, but it’s pathetic when you consider that precisely ZERO of those words were fiction. I’m a novelist, for the love of puppies, and I wrote ZERO fictional words over the course of an entire MONTH. That’s beyond sad, and it’s why I’m going to be blogging significantly less from now on. Having a platform is one thing, but if you’ve got no books to sell because the platform is all you focus on…well, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, does it?

So there you have it. Not a particularly great month for many aspects, but I feel good about the future. Let’s try and see that May is much better, shall we?

February 2016 Goals in Review


Man, I have a lot of mixed feelings about February. For one thing, I feel like it disappeared in a flash, but I also kinda feel like it dragged on forever, mainly based on the fact that my work shift felt insufferably long. I also thought I was doing pretty good on my goals, but when I started adding up some stats some stuff didn’t look all that great. So let’s just get right into it so I can get a feel on the overall quality of the month and decide whether it was a success or a failure.

Goal #1. Take good care of myself, specifically by walking 10,000 steps a day and taking at least 15 minutes per day to do something fun/relaxing.

Okay, I definitely feel ashamed of myself right off the bat. It’s not that the results of this goal were absolutely terrible, but they definitely weren’t great.

First off, my 10,000 steps-per-day goal wound up quite similar to January, with the most glaring problem being that I didn’t get anywhere near that daily goal on the days when I was home. 10,000 steps while I’m at work? No problem at all…I don’t even have to think about it because I spend so much time walking around in the field doing my job. But at home? I spend so much of that time sitting at the computer (writing/blogging/etc), sitting in front of a camera (filming YouTube videos), and sitting on the floor (playing with the kid), that I don’t come anywhere near the 10,000 steps. And my days are so full that I’m not usually able to find extra time to, say, go for a walk or something and get those steps up. Luckily the work days help to average out the home days, but this month I didn’t quite reach that number. Overall, I wound up with only 15 out of 29 days having reached the daily goal, and for the month I had a daily average of 9831 steps. Not horrible, but definitely a step down from January.

As for my 15 minutes of relaxation per day, February was definitely a huge step down from January. I actually had 6 days during which I didn’t find 2 minutes to myself, never mind 15. At least I did well on the other 23 days. I had a mixture of relaxing with YouTube, taking hot baths, playing video games, watching Doctor Who, and just laying the hell down with a face mask on. So, not a perfect month, but at least I managed to get a few minutes of relaxation on most of the days.

So, okay, I may have initially jumped the gun on how awful the month was for goal #1, but it was still not as good as January, which sucks because you’d presumably like to move forward, right? Right.

Goal #2. Build readership/viewership by putting more focus and energy into my blog posts, shooting fun and different YouTube videos, and putting more effort into self-promotion.

Before saying anything else, I have to tell you that the majority of the success of this goal for February is due entirely to my husband. He’s been working super-hard to make my YouTube channel better. He redesigned the entire channel, started editing videos for me, and encouraged me to create separate Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts specifically for the channel. He’s been taking Instagram photos for me, sharing things wherever he can, and oh, did I mention that he built me a studio?

The result is that the channel has gone up approximately 200 subscribers just in the past month. That’s pretty amazing.

Also, on hubby’s behest, I’ve begun keeping a regular morning-and-evening schedule of making sure to engage my followers across YouTube and all the channel’s social media so that I don’t get behind and leave people out. He’s definitely my motivator, and the main reason that I managed to make it through the month on the upside of this goal.

On the writing side, things weren’t quite so great. I did manage to keep the blog going strong all month, but I did little to no self-promotion as far as “Nowhere to Hide” or anything like that, and I didn’t sell any books across any platform. Baby steps, I guess.

Goal #3. Write as much as I can, including writing an entire novel from start to finish.

Okay, so let’s just get right to it and look at some numbers. The big number of the month is blog posts, for which I wrote 16,405 words. Some of those words are also fiction (for “Flash Fiction Fridays”), but I forgot to single them out so I’m not sure of the exact percentage. I also wrote 794 words in my journal, which went a bit by the wayside simply because I’ve decided that I don’t really want to be carrying that back and forth out West with me, but I might start a digital one on my laptop in March (which would have the added bonus of being quicker to do). In fiction not for the blog (i.e. “The Other World”) I wrote a paisley 224 words right at the end of the month, but since I’ve gotten back into the groove of the novel I’m expecting to do a lot better with that in March. And finally, in other words, I wrote 1669 words toward Authors Answer questions that are coming up over the course of the next two months.

So, to combine all that together, I wrote a total of 19,092 words for the month of February, which is actually not that much less than January, now that I’m looking at it. I’m pretty okay with that. That’s an average of 658 words per day, which isn’t too shabby at all.

Unfortunately I haven’t even started the novel that I’m supposed to write from start to finish, but at least I can say that I already wrote 38,809 words so far this year, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

So, okay, I started off this post a little on the downer side of things, but in the end it actually wasn’t that bad a month at all. My weak points were promoting the writing side and making sure to relax daily, but in general everything else was pretty good, and in particular the YouTube channel is taking leaps and strides (thank you, Jason!). So I guess I have to revise my former statement: February, you were pretty awesome.


September 2015 Goals in Review

amonthinreviewAnother month has come and gone in the blink of an eye…oh man…where is 2015 going on me? It’s gonna be freakin’ Christmas before I know it. But before the holidays sneak up on me there are a few more months worth of goal reviews to get into, so let’s go ahead and get September over with.

Goal #1: Take care of myself more.

I didn’t really think about this goal at all until right at this moment as I’m typing these words. Taking care of myself just wasn’t that much of a concern this month. However, having said that, it actually wasn’t that bad a month for this goal. Some of you may have read a post I wrote a few weeks ago about discovering that the prescribed medicine I was taking for anxiety was actually rotting my guts out from the inside via screwing with my pancreas. Figuring that out (even though I did it illicitly, without actually, you know…talking to my doctor) has made a pretty big change in my health. My guts are still in the mess that they were a year ago (before I’d ever been given the meds), but my original issue was just irritability, whereas the meds were actually causing major digestive issues and possibly even a host of side effects such as fatigue. So yeah, deciding to drop that prescription was a pretty big turning point.

Another thing that has been helping a lot, even though it may sound silly to some people, is learning how to meditate. I’ve been doing this with the help of the “Headspace” app, for which I received a three month free trial with my Summer Fab Fit Fun box. I won’t be continuing the app once the free trial is up because it’s, quite honestly, horribly overpriced (approximately $12/month for the right to access the audio files), but I’ve learned a lot so far and it’s been helping me quite a bit to make it through the mornings at work, which are always the worst for me for some reason.

Aside from the meditation I can’t honestly say that I’ve done a whole lot of relaxing…even when my husband thinks I’m taking it easy on my computer I’m actually writing, blogging, planning, editing, and so on. Plus there’s been writing contests, work was actually quite busy this past shift, and during my last days off we had a number of trips to take involving the purchase of a new vehicle. So, yeah, through the month of September I didn’t really take too many moments to just sit down and relax or take a bath or whatever. Then again, the month went by so quickly that I hardly even noticed the lack of relaxation. So…win? I guess? Maybe?

Goal #2. Continue to build my readership/viewership.

This has become the kind of goal that actually has a mind of its own, although I suppose that’s giving myself a lot less credit than I deserve. What I’ve been really trying to focus on is just interaction: responding to comments on the blog and YouTube videos, commenting on blog posts and videos from others that I like, interacting with the Twitterverse and Instagram and all that. I can’t claim that I’ve been actively trying to build readership/viewership, but focusing my limited energy on the interaction side of things definitely helps. I’m rapidly approaching 500 followers on YouTube, and WordPress tells me that between blog followers, email followers, and Facebook followers I’m up to about 1000. My Facebook Author page is fairly quite (I can’t blame people, since that’s the platform I find most difficult to actually interact with), but even that has gotten up to 133 followers, meaning that if you combine all those platforms plus Twitter and Instagram I’m looking at something like 2000 followers. That might not sound like a lot to some people, but if I could convince those 2000 people to buy a book I’d be doing pretty good. Ha!

Goal #3: Write. Write a lot.

Last month I was a bit depressed because my word count had gone down significantly from the previous months…and this month it went down again. That in and of itself is fairly depressing, but I’m not letting myself get down about it because there were other important things to focus on this month. For instance, during one 48-hour period when I could have easily written a few thousand words for the book or the blog, I was actually focusing on my second story for the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge. And speaking of that challenge, as I blogged about before, I got ten points out of a possible fifteen for my first story in the challenge, which was a major boost to my confidence, so even if I don’t continue on after the end of this round I’ll be happy with what I accomplished in the contest. 🙂

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I didn’t get all that much written in September. Most of the words I did get down were for the blog, and they only totaled 13,663. Not a horrible number, but not one I’m happy with either, particularly since the only fictional words I wrote during the month were the ones for the challenge and the ones for “Flash Fiction Friday”. So, this coming month, my mini-goal is going to be to focus on finally finishing the current draft of “The Other World: Book One” so I can throw it at my beta-reader and get to work on Book Two during NaNoWriMo.

Oh god…NaNoWriMo…I’d almost forgotten about that this year. It starts in 26 days. Writing gods, help me now.