Goals and Aspirations in Review – April 2017


Is it really May already? Maybe it has something to do with getting older, or maybe my brain is just refusing to acknowledge the passage of time these days, but I really can’t believe that April is over already and I’m going into another monthly review post! o.O Ah well, let’s just jump right into it, I guess!

The month started out okay as far as writing was concerned, although I was mostly just writing blog posts for the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Then things got slower…and slower…and slower. And the result was 7266 words written in the month of April. Not my best month, not my worst, but mostly annoying because those words were all blogging, no fiction.

To make things even worse though, I didn’t even succeed in the A-to-Z Challenge. If you were following me throughout the month you may have noticed that I just stopped posting at some point. There were a few posts that had been pre-scheduled, but about half-way through the month I just…gave up. This was partially my lovely brand of memory loss (missed one day…then two, before noticing I’d done it), but mainly because I just couldn’t seem to find the time to sit down and write the posts. Excuses, excuses, I know, but it’s true. Lately I feel like I’m always doing 20 things at once, and yet there’s always a list of 50 more things to do. I really don’t know how I’m going to find the time to write once I actually, you know…go back to work. o_o

Mini-Goal #1.a. Publish more erotic fairy tales.
I’m starting to feel like maybe I should remove this mini-goal from the list, but then, if I leave it here at least I’ve got the monthly reminder that I’m failing to follow through on it. 😛

Mini-Goal #1.b. Start writing blog posts again.
I tested this out this past month by doing the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge, and as previously stated it didn’t actually go so well. In the past I’ve always dedicated to the challenge a month or two in advance, and planned out and scheduled the posts before April even began. This year I actually tried to do it IN April, and yeah…it just didn’t work out.

On the other hand of things, I managed to finally catch up on the backlog of sharing our YouTube videos on the blog, so I can move forward with sharing them as they’re posted and hopefully squeaking in a “real” post here and there when I’ve got something to talk about. At least, that’s the hope. Fingers crossed!

Mini-Goal #1.c. Find ways to promote the book(s).
This one is still going about as well as it has been. I did manage to snag a sweet deal on a lifetime subscription with Self-Publisher’s Showcase, so hopefully that will help net me a sale here and there, but thus far there hasn’t been much action. I sold…very few books in April, and I have to admit that that depresses me, especially since I’m having such a hard time finding other ways to promote the books, other than just spamming social media and driving everyone nuts.

#2. Get healthier.
Short answer: I have not. lol I keep consistently failing to do this daily 10-minute exercise routine (trying it again from scratch this month!), and I’m absolutely the WORST at eating properly, although that might get a little better since Jason is starting to get on board as well. More crossed fingers. @_@

Mini-Goal #2.a. Walk/run 10k 8k steps per day.
April was the best month I’ve had so far this year for this goal, although I was still a bit off. I managed to hit 8000 steps or more on 13 days, got really REALLY close to 8000 steps on maybe 5-6 other days, and then failed miserably on the remaining days. lol Overall, my average steps per day worked out to 7834, which is close enough to 8000 for me to be happy, but also far enough away for me to be all, “Dammit! DO BETTER NEXT MONTH!”

Mini-Goal #2.b. Take daily “me time”.
As always, this is hard to quantify, but for April I’d say it’s a bit of a failure. I feel like I’ve spent the entire month doing chores, housework, filming, shopping, and basically barely ever relaxing. I suppose I could admit that I’ve watched several movies with Jason throughout the month, but that’s not ME time, it’s US time, you know what I mean? I think you do.

#3. Work on my online presence – specifically, YouTube.
 I feel like this is all I do lately, and yet at the same time, I’m not doing enough. I can spend 2-3 hours sending/answering emails, responding to comments, hanging out on the social media, in a single day, and yet it feels like I’ve accomplished positively jack. I’m not sure if that’s me being paranoid, or if I really am accomplishing jack. I’ll have to let you know how I feel about it next month. 😛

Mini-Goal #3.a. Learn to respond immediately.
This mini-goal went out the window in April. I’ve been trying, I really have, but I spent a LOT of time out of the house this month, and I find it very difficult to respond to things (particularly emails) while I’m out because of the amount of thumb-typing-on-my-phone that’s required and the fact that I do the majority of the driving. So yeah, I got behind a LOT this month, but I think I’ve managed to catch up in time for a new try in May.

Mini-Goal #3.b. Focus more on daily social media.
Still working on this one, and I basically have good stretches and bad stretches. Some days I’m all over the social media, and other days I got 3-4 days without saying anything and don’t even realize what happened. I’m continuing on with making it a daily “to-do” item in my planner though, so hopefully things will slowly get better.

Mini-Goal #3.c. Come up with new video ideas.
Not even going to get into it. I’ve come up with no new ideas. Jason has had a few, but not me, because I suck. 😛

Have you ever noticed that my goal responses get shorter and saucier as I move down the list? It must have something do with feeling progressively worse about myself as I realize how little I’ve done. -_- ANYWAY…how was your April? Did you accomplish more than me? I’d be willing to wager that you did. 🙂

Goals and Aspirations in Review – March 2017


March has come and gone – even if Winter damn well refuses to do so – so it’s time for another update. Let’s just get right into it, shall we? Here’s how my goals and aspirations went for March 2017:

You’re not going to believe this, but I have decent news to report this month around! March was far from my best month ever when it comes to writing, but it was MUCH better than both January and February were this year so far. I did equal parts blog posts (mostly advance writing for April’s A-to-Z Blogging Challenge) and fiction writing toward “The Other World: Book Two”, and managed to put together 9435 words in March. That’s nearly twice January and February combined! Go me! Mind you I don’t want to get cocky. I want to do better in April, for sure. But I also feel a little proud to have finally had my first good month in a long time, as far as writing is concerned.

Mini-Goal #1.a. Publish more erotic fairy tales.
As far as this mini-goal is concerned, things have ground to a halt. I do still intend to move forward with this one, but most of February and March was very focused on getting “The Other World: Book One” out and available, and once that happened I became more focused on writing “The Other World: Book Two”, so the erotic fairy tales just got pushed onto the back burner. That said, I do hope to go back and finish the one that’s been sitting in waiting sometime soon.

Mini-Goal #1.b. Start writing blog posts again.
I’m working toward this one, I swear! Ha ha ha… Actually, April will be the month, since I am, in fact, doing the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge again. In addition to that, though, I’m also pretty much caught up on posting videos, so soon I should actually have an empty slot here and there with which to try doing some actual blogging again. Wish me luck!

Mini-Goal #1.c. Find ways to promote the book(s).
Still waiting on some advice for this one, especially now that I have two books to promote. I’ve had a suggestion here and there, but nothing that’s really going to be doable. I’ve been staring at Goodreads for months, waiting for them to make their ebook giveaway option available outside the US, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen any time soon, and I’m not in a spot financially right now where I can afford to ship out free paperbacks in return for reviews and the like. So, yeah, again, if anyone has any suggestions, please hit me up.

#2. Get healthier.
Remember that 30-day program that I mentioned I was going to do last month? *cough cough* I made it about six days in, I think. But that just gives me another chance to try it this month! That’s called staying positive people, STAYING POSITIVE!

Mini-Goal #2.a. Walk/run 10k 8k 
steps per day.
In all seriousness though, I am continually impressed/disgusted by my inability to get my steps in. It’s sick. I managed 6 days this month during which I hit my 8k-steps goal, and the average overall was 6485 steps per day. That’s so pathetic.

Let’s say it together, shall we? I. Must. Stop. Being. Such. A. Sedentary. BLOB!

Mini-Goal #2.b. Take daily “me time”.
I can’t say anything particularly good or bad about this one, but I think I’ve been doing okay. I had some hot baths, some snuggling-up and watching movies with the kid, a bit of lounging with a mobile game every so often. I’m not taking huge swathes of time to relax by any means, but I’m getting my moments in here and there.

#3. Work on my online presence – specifically, YouTube.
I’m never sure how to quantify this one, but I think it’s going okay. We grew a little over the past month because of an awesome giveaway we did with The Collectors Case, and I’ve been trying to be more active on things like Twitter and Instagram, which I’m pretty sure is working out well, so all in all, I’d say it was a pretty decent month. I’m also hoping that I might build my presence a little in the coming month with the Blogging Challenge, so fingers crossed for that. 

Mini-Goal #3.a. Learn to respond immediately.
This one may have taken a little nosedive this past month. I know for a fact that I’ve gotten better overall, but for whatever reason this past month felt really rushed and busy, and so there were definitely a number of times that I skipped responding to something and forgot about it for a couple of days. In fact, as I write this there’s an email that I’ve been meaning to get back to for at least 48 hours and I feel really bad about it. So yeah, I’m going to try to get back to it on this one in the coming month (and I’m going to respond to that email the second I finish this post)!

Mini-Goal #3.b. Focus more on daily social media.
I think this one is going to be one of those things that I struggle with right through to the end of the year, but I’m definitely getting better. Like I said earlier, I’ve been trying to focus a lot more on Twitter and Instagram, and it’s been going fairly well. Facebook is a little bit more of a drag, just because I find it harder to think of things that are interesting to post, whereas Tweets and random pics on Instagram are easier to come up with. Snapchat is right out there…ha ha ha…I enjoy it, but I often just flat-out forget about it for days at a time. I’m totally still trying though!

Mini-Goal #3.c. Come up with new video ideas.
And the response for this one is pretty much the same as last month’s: it more or less hasn’t happened. There’s been so much else going on! I will say, though, that Jason did come up with a few interesting ideas, and we might be using them as collaborations with a few other channels, so that could be interesting. Fingers crossed!

That was my March! How was yours? Did you get anything accomplished? Do anything awesome? Feel free to drop a comment!

Goals and Aspirations in Review – February 2017


February is the shortest month in the year, so one would be forgiven for feeling as though it just up and disappeared in a breath and a blink. Therefore I won’t spend too much time talking about how I swear to puppies it was February 1st just yesterday. Instead, let’s jump right into the details. How did February go for me?

I hate that I’m having to admit this again, but February was an even worse month than January for writing. Looking back at last month’s post I realize that I didn’t even give you guys any numbers, so I’ll rectify that now. In January, during my epic, EPIC writer’s block episode, I wrote a grand total of 4396 words, most of them for a handful of blog posts. During February, I wrote a grand total of 1468 words, ALL of them for a handful of blog posts. That could hardly be more pathetic if I was actively attempting to be pathetic.

THAT SAID…I’m giving myself a bit of a pass for this month, because it’s not like I wasn’t doing anything. I spent a large portion of the month going through final edits for “The Other World: Book One”. I took all the notes from my beta-readers, fixed a number of typos and small issues, and began a final read to make minor changes where I felt they were needed. Because of this work I am currently only a couple of chapters away from having a completed manuscript, and as soon as my cover artist has his bit ready, I’ll be prepared to upload everything to CreateSpace and order my personal copy to ensure that everything looks good.

So yeah, I’m gonna let myself off for this one. JUST for this month, I swear.

Mini-Goal #1.a. Publish more erotic fairy tales.
This mini-goal has been put on a temporary hold, in part because of that huge stint of writer’s block in January and in part because of everything I just previously wrote. I haven’t got back around to finishing the current story I’m working on because I’ve been focusing my energy instead on “The Other World”, which I consider to be much more important. Be assured, however, that I’m very close to finishing another of these tales, and I’m confident that I’ll have half a dozen or so up by the end of the year. *fingers crossed*

Mini-Goal #1.b. Start writing blog posts again.
No excuses for this one; it simply hasn’t been happening. I do still want to start writing blog posts again, but for now, since I’ve got more important stuff I’ve been working on, I’m just worrying about catching up on sharing my YouTube videos. Once I’ve actually got to a point where I’m sharing the videos as they’re being posted, there will be lots of empty days available where I can possibly start writing actual posts again. *fingers crossed again*

Mini-Goal #1.c. Find ways to promote the book.
This is not going well. Someone help. Please. Seriously. I have no idea what to do.

In all seriousness though, I am at a bit of a loss. I can’t afford to spend money on things like advertisements and the like, and other options I’ve found aren’t currently available to me (I’ve been patiently waiting to be able to do a Goodreads E-Book giveaway, but it’s still only an option for those in the US). Any suggestions would seriously be deeply appreciated.

#2. Get healthier.
Um…what? Why do I do these things to myself? lol Okay, okay, I’ve been trying, I have, but more in little stints than reasonable leaps. I’ve been trying to drink more water, although I can’t cut out the coffee and tea without passing out multiple times a day, and I’ve been attempting to eat more fruit and veggies, but god DAMN candy is so tempting. 😀 I’m not complaining or making excuses, I swear, I’m just…not very good at being healthy. lol I’m trying though, I promise. I really am. I’m even starting a 30-day program this month that basically trains you to be able to do long stints of push-ups, squats, crunches, and lunges. Wish me luck!

Mini-Goal #2.a. Walk/run 10k 8k 
steps per day.
If you read last-month’s post, you’ll know that I’ve lowered this particular goal from 10k steps to 8k, as suggested to me by my saucy, saucy FitBit. Unfortunately it seems as though lowering the goal has only served to create a situation in which I lower my output as well. Throughout February I only had four days on which I hit the 8k goal, and my overall average for the month was only 6635 steps per day. That’s sad, really.

Now, in my defense, there were a few days on which my steps were not recorded properly because my stupid FitBit has been dying a lot quicker lately for some reason, and occasionally I won’t notice that it’s conked-out until I’ve lost half a day’s steps. But even considering that, I doubt my true average was any higher than 7000 steps, which is still frustrating. So with that said, this month I’m going to do my best to take an actual walk each day, even if it’s only 15 minutes of going up and down my street. I have got to get those numbers up before I become a completely sedentary blob.

Mini-Goal #2.b. Take daily “me time”.
I’m actually wondering why I bothered to include this as a mini-goal, since I’m not actively attempting to record anything for it. I have nothing to report, really, other than that I think probably succeeded for the most part? I’ve had several nice baths, some solo shopping, and usually I spend at least a few minutes a day just laying down and watching a couple of YouTube videos, so I think we’re pretty good with this one.

#3. Work on my online presence – specifically, YouTube.
This is another one that’s hard to quantify, particularly through February, because there was a lot going on, some stuff to catch up on, people to talk with, packages to send, and so on and so forth. We didn’t film and upload as many videos as I’m sure Jason would have liked us to, but I don’t think it was as bad as all that, considering a number of different factors. That said, I’m still working on a few things, and if I could get my mood under control it would be a lot easier to focus on this goal in the future.

Mini-Goal #3.a. Learn to respond immediately.
This is one for which I can honestly say that I’m getting a lot better. There are still the occasional times when I’m out shopping or driving and can’t get back to someone immediately, but I’ve been putting a lot of focus into making sure I get back to people asap before I forget about them. I’m regularly responding to emails, personal messages, YouTube comments, and so on as soon as I catch wind of the opportunity, and I’m happy with the progress. Now if only the people I’m talking to could manage the same courtesy. ^_~

Mini-Goal #3.b. Focus more on daily social media.
I’m still working on this one, but I’m definitely getting better. I’ve been focusing mostly on Twitter, but also trying to throw a few extra things on Instagram here and there. Facebook is still slow because, honestly, having a Facebook Fan Page is a little extraneous when all your followers have you on the more active social media outlets as well, but I’ve been trying to throw some extra fun stuff in the Basement Geeks group as a way of socializing more. Still a bit behind on SnapChat though. I just can’t get really INTO that one. 😛 

Mini-Goal #3.c. Come up with new video ideas.
And last but not least…you know what? I’m not even going to try to bullshit you guys on this one. I have absolutely not been coming up with new video ideas. I’ve been focused too much on the other fifty things going on. So let’s just not even bother. I’ll try harder in the future. 😛

So that was my February, and honestly, as I was writing this post I realized that it wasn’t all that great, but I’m okay with that. February had a lot of issues, but I still managed to get a fair bit done, and it has served to steel my nerves for March. I’ve got plans and determination, and I’m confident that next month’s post is going to be a much more positive one, so I’m going to focus on that. 🙂

How was your February? 😀

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! ❤

September 2016 Goals in Review


Okay, I’m gonna go ahead and warn you guys in advance that September was simply not a great month for any of my goals. Part of that is because of being busy with various life stuff, and getting totally stressed out because of my job, but if I’m honest I have to say that I’m not even really quite sure what happened in September. The month just seemed to completely fall apart on me in numerous ways. So let’s just go ahead and get this ‘Month in Review’ over with, shall we?

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.

Goal #1 is probably the most epic fail of the month because I didn’t even manage to accomplish a part of it. For one thing, out of the entire month, there was only one day on which I managed to hit 10k steps. One day. That’s ridiculous even for me. And to add to that, my average steps were only 6550, which is the second lowest average I’ve had all year. That number should actually be slightly higher, because there was one day during which I’d forgotten to charge my FitBit and it died on me, but the extra steps would probably only boost the average buy a couple dozen. Totally pathetic.

But to make matters worse, I didn’t even manage to pull off the 15 minutes of “me time”…not by a long shot. I counted 19 days where I managed to do something – usually just lounging on 9Gag on my phone or playing that silly Sailor Drops game. That means there were 11 days in September during which I couldn’t even manage to find myself 15 minutes. Not 15 minutes. And that is just depressing.

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.

The second goal isn’t a complete fail, but I’m not really feeling a huge level of success here either. I’ve definitely been trying to put more time and effort into things like the YouTube channel’s social media, interacting with other channels and the like, and that’s definitely a good thing but it doesn’t seem like it’s doing a whole lot of good, really. We’ve stagnated a bit in terms of new subscribers and followers, and while that’s not necessarily our fault (it could be any number of things, really), you also can’t help but feel a little like you’re climbing uphill with no shoes.

Meanwhile, a little bit of good news is that the new cover for Nowhere to Hide does, in fact, seem to be making a difference. I still wouldn’t call my sales anything worth talking about, but at least there’s the occasional e-book sale, the occasional number of Kindle Normalized Pages Read popping up, instead of months of a completely dead graph. So cheers for that! I definitely need to put more effort into promoting the book though, because I’ve really been neglecting that aspect of being an author lately. Bad Tracey.

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

And then there’s this. I wrote a grand total of 6689 words this month which, like my step average above, is the second worst number I’ve come up with all year so far. It’s better than nothing, there’s no doubt about that, but I’m consistently depressed with my apparent inability to commit myself to the thing that I actually love doing the most.

To accentuate this personal failure, I’ve been getting reminders in my email about how National Novel Writing Month is less than a month away, and I just don’t know what to do with that info. I want to participate, because I’ve participated every year since I discovered the challenge, but I know I’ll fail. I haven’t written 50k words over the course of the last five months, so what are the chances I’ll be able to write that many in one month? Pretty slim I’d say, and I just don’t know if I feel like setting myself up for that failure right now.

So that’s that, I guess. I didn’t intend for this post to be so moody and depressing, but those are the facts, I guess. And it doesn’t help that I’ve been feeling tired, stressed, and pretty much just burnt out in general. Tomorrow is another day, right? I promise I’ll try to keep telling myself that, if you guys promise to believe it.

How was your month?

March 2016 Goals in Review


It’s another month in review, just a few days late because I figured with the A-Z Challenge going on I might as well just wait for the only day of the week for which a post wasn’t already scheduled. 🙂

It was a good month in many ways, a bad one in a few ways, and overall it just seemed that the 31 days of March flew by in a flash, leaving me standing here, blinking, wondering what the hell had happened. That seems to happen to me a lot, doesn’t it? Maybe I should just start taking it as a given. 😛

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.

I should move this goal to the bottom of the list so that I’m not always starting off these posts on a sour note. It’s genuinely depressing how poorly I did on this goal throughout March. Right off the get go, out of 31 days there were only 9 on which I hit the 10k step goal. That’s absolutely abysmal. I haven’t had a month yet during which I managed it every day, but at least the other months averaged out a bit; big days brought up the average on behalf of bad days. This month, not so much. My average for daily steps throughout the month was 7527. Definitely not as bad as it could be, but also definitely pretty awful considering that I spent 14 of those days at work, working in the field, wandering around all day.

As far as “me” time, that wasn’t too, too bad. I only missed three days during which I didn’t find two seconds to relax, never mind 15 minutes, but on many of those other days I spent longer periods of time just sitting around doing fun stuff, so I can’t berate myself too much. I also got an amazing massage, and that just pushes things up super-high. God, I love getting massages.

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 is much more positive, although only on the YouTube side of things. Thanks in great part to my husband, we’ve got a system pretty much down at this point. I’m shooting more and better videos, sharing everything on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, interacting with people tons, and generally just doing well all around. My follower stats keep rising, I posted 10 videos throughout March (1 every 3 days ain’t bad for someone with a full-time job!), and I continue my trend of mostly managing to avoid arseholes on YouTube, which is a miracle in and of itself.

On the author side of things I don’t even want to talk. I’ve come to a point where I don’t even know what to do with “Nowhere to Hide”. Any of my friends, family, and coworkers who give a damn already have the book, and no amount of promotion online seems to help at all. The only sales I’ve gotten in the past several months (which was, like…two or three ebooks) have been at complete random from across the pond somewhere. I’m just at a stalemate I think…no one cares about zombies anymore, and it’s not the kind of genre for which you go hunting for indie books.

I am however promoting the first book of “The Other World” for my A-Z Challenge this year, so hopefully that will help build some interest and maybe gain me some new blog followers who will actually be excited for the book to become available. *fingers crossed*

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

Now this goal I can’t complain about at all because it was a pretty damn good month. My only concern is that a large chunk of my word count came from loosely scripting YouTube videos (because my MEMORY, people…my GOD my MEMORY), but I accept it because at least it’s some kind of writing, right? RIGHT? I know you guys understand this, so answer me, for the love of puppies. ;_;

So, anyway, for the month of March I wrote 19,131 words toward blog entries (including flash fiction posts, which I forgot to separate again), 7195 toward my journal, 1446 words toward fiction (finishing up the current draft of book one of “The Other World”), and 15,127 words toward the scripting I just mentioned. All together that’s a total of 42,899 words for the month, which works out to an average of 1383 words per day. That’s way better than I’ve done in a long while, so I’m pretty happy about that. I wish more of it had been fiction, but since the A-Z Challenge always gets me well ahead on blog posts, I expect I’ll be able to focus more on fiction for April.

There you have it, then. A few ups and downs, but a pretty decent month over all. I think I’ll give myself a pat on the back for this one.

How did your March go? Did you get anything accomplished? Do anything for yourself? Have any kind of awesome fun? Please share!

January 2016 Goals in Review


Wow…have we really gone through an entire month already? This is…this is craziness. I can’t handle this. There’s some kind of crazy witchcraft going on right now because I can not accept that four weeks of 2016 have already passed me by. I need a moment to regain myself.

Okay, I’m good.

So we’re into February already, which means that I have to look back at January and determine whether I succeeded or failed at adhering to my goals. I’ve got a rum and coke sitting next to me as I’m typing this, so I think I can handle the results, so we may as well get right into it.

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.

When the month of January first began I was very determined with this goal. Then, around the third or so day of the month reality hit me like a 50 lb sack of potatoes. In case you weren’t around for the woe-begotten post that I wrote a few weeks ago, I got sick. Very, very sick. I wound up with numerous infections, two of which made my head feel like someone was driving a railroad spike through one of my ears and into my brain. Needless to say, the result of this was that I didn’t move a whole hell of a lot for several days. I was so frustrated at the time, because for the first couple of days I was dedicated to running in place or walking in circles around my kitchen just to make sure that I got my 10,000 steps per day, but then I hit the wall of infection and could hardly even move. As a result of this sickness – which clung to me for almost two full weeks – I only hit my 10,000 step-per-day goal on 17 of the 31 days of January.

But there’s good news! See, my job occasionally changes up a bit, and during this particular shift that just ended I was doing a hell of a lot of walking. During those 14 days at work I walked well over 10,000 steps per day. One day I even demolished my personal record; a coworker and I were competing to see who could get the most steps and we were both so determined to destroy each other that we both closed out the day with something like 23,000 steps. As a result of all those awesome days, my average steps per day for the month of January works out to 10,486, which is amazing considering that several of my sick days clocked in at less than 3000! So yeah, I’m calling that one a win.

As for taking my 15-minutes per day of fun/relaxation time, I didn’t have a perfect month but I had a pretty damn good one. I made a point of writing down what I’d relaxed with every day, so I can tell you that I had my 15 minutes (or more) for 29 of the 31 days of January. My most common relaxation technique was curling up in bed and watching Doctor Who, but I also had a few gaming nights, a few lounge-around-on-YouTube nights, and a few pampering nights with face masks and soft music. All around, it was an excellent month for taking a few moments out for myself. 🙂

So yeah, as far as taking care of myself goes – aside from the illness that just kinda tackled me in the beginning of the month – I think I did pretty well for the first four weeks of the year!

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.

Ha ha ha ha…oh dear… Okay, so this is where I become a bit of a downer because I totally flopped on this goal for the first month.

Okay, I might be being a bit harsh on myself, so let’s look at this a bit at a time:

I will admit that I think I did pretty okay with the blog posts this month. I posted a few things that people seemed to enjoy, picked up a few new followers, got a few nice comments, and even got nominated for a “Versatile Blogger Award”, which I will address later on in the week. Not too shabby there.

Shooting fun and different YouTube videos definitely did not happen, although I can’t really get too down on myself on that front. Two of the weeks of the month were spent at work in the oil patch, where I can’t very well be shooting videos, and almost the entire other two weeks were spent feeling like my skull was being split open. I did put some effort into planning out the answers for the Q&A Answer video that I’ll be shooting very soon, and my husband came up with some cute new ideas for the channel (shut up, I’m counting his effort as my effort), so that’s not too bad. In the end, not much happened in January, but I feel fairly prepared for February.

Self-promotion was definitely the big flop concerning this goal. I really didn’t do a damn thing, other than mentioning “Nowhere to Hide” in a blog post. I feel completely ashamed of my total lack of effort in this area.

So yeah, maybe this goal wasn’t as pathetic as I originally thought, but there’s definitely a ton of room for improvement.

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

I have major mixed feelings about this goal, which is really nothing new as I always intend to write a lot more than I end up doing, but it’s not all bad. First let’s look at the hard numbers. I wrote 13,710 words toward blog posts, and 1657 fiction words that were also posted on the blog under Flash Fiction Fridays. I also write 3143 non-fiction words via my personal journal, plus 1203 non-fiction words toward other sources. That’s a grand total of 19,713 words for the month, which works out to an average of approximately 636 words per day. Definitely nothing to scoff at.

What annoys me about this goal is that, if you’ll notice in the numbers above, none of those words were toward that novel that I’m supposed to be writing within the year. I tried to convince myself to sit down and write a dozen or more times, but between being sick and being at work (12-hour days plus an hour’s worth of travel per day don’t really put you in the mood for further work of any kind) it just never happened. And though I justified every night of procrastination with the fact that I deserved to lay down and relax, I’m still extremely disappointed in myself for never once even opening the Scrivener file that holds my incomplete manuscript. For shame, for shame.


So, basically, we’ve got some major ups and downs for January. It’s not all good, and it’s not all bad. On average I’d say it’s more good than bad though, so that’s definitely something to lean on!

My hopes for February? Well I’d definitely like to spread the step count out a bit better (hopefully I won’t get sick again!), and I’m planning on recording a number of videos. There are plans in the works for a YouTube channel reboot, and I’ve got a bunch of blog posts already planned out, so hopefully that will help in leaving some extra time for self-promotion. Ooh, and I’m definitely going to have some nice, hot baths as part of my “me-time” goal.

In general, I just hope to do better, always better. ^_^

How was your January? Did you get anything accomplished? Do anything fun? Please share!


November 2015 Goals in Review


Phew! Is it seriously December already? Well that’s just insanity, that’s what I think. November really got away from me there, but it’s all good because I’m not going back to work now until the New Year. Go me! ^_^

And on that cheery note, let’s take a quick look at how November treated me, shall we?

Goal #1: Take care of myself more.

Ha ha ha ha ha…oh man…wait, that wasn’t a joke? Oh, gee, sorry.

November seemed to happen so fast that it’s not surprising that I didn’t really find the time to “take care of myself”, exactly. That’s not to say that I was overly hard on myself, but there were definitely a few too many fast food meals, too few relaxing moments, and more than a little “Oh crap, Christmas is coming fast” stress.

All in all though, I can’t really say a whole lot about this topic simply because November disappeared on me so quickly that I hardly even noticed that I wasn’t really taking care of myself. So I guess we’ll just call it a wash? Ha ha…hopefully I’ll find some time for a few hot baths and maybe a massage during December.

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

Okay, I was going to laugh again, but I’ll restrain myself this time.

The truth is that I did do a few things toward this goal this month, although most of it was a bit unintentional. I, for instance, filmed a couple of videos that people really seemed to like, and therefore I had a nice little spike in YouTube followers. My rants about Hot Topic and the GameStop Black Friday Funko box also brought a number of new people to the blog, so that was pretty nice. I was also contacted by a few different companies wanting me to try out their product in return for a fair review on YouTube, which was very nice, although one of those companies has yet to actually send me the product, so I’m not sure if that one is actually going to happen.

On the book sales side of things, there is literally nothing to report because there haven’t been any sales. Not one book or e-book since October. That’s a little bit of a kick in the gut, but it’s softened by the fact that I got two new really nice reviews on the book, and one of those reviews was posted on three different sites. So that’s pretty nice, and definitely brightened my day when I saw them.

Goal #3: Write. Write a lot.

And so we come to the writing and the real question of the month…how did NaNoWriMo go? Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag, just like last year. I did not, in fact, complete NaNo, which makes me more than a little bit sad, but I’m also okay with it because I gave up the chance in order to get important things done (like working on my daughter’s birthday plans and Christmas shopping and the like). I really, really hoped that I would be able to squeeze the words in this year, and I was actually doing good, but it all came to a grinding halt around the 23rd. I was flying home from my shift, and since I’m off for the entire month of December I ended up having a few drinks with my coworkers at the airport, since I won’t see them for two months. Then I flew all night and all day, trying my best to get some sleep in on the way, and almost immediately after getting home I dove into the big pre-decorating clean, Black Friday shopping, tree-trimming, and so on, and I just didn’t really find any time at all to sit down and write.

That said, I’m not too disappointed in myself because I wound up with over 40,000 words throughout the month. I don’t have the exact number on me right now because I kept forgetting to update my spreadsheet as well as the NaNo page, but I know for a fact that it’s over 40,000 and that’s double what I wrote on my most productive months previously in the year. Not too shabby at all, and I’ve got lots of interesting scenes laid out for when I get the chance to sit down and really think about what I want to do with this Fairy Tales idea. So, all in all, I can’t say that it wasn’t an excellent month.

How was your November? If you participated in NaNoWriMo did you manage to cross the finish line? Did you get anything else accomplished? Are you excited for the holidays? Please share! ^_^

March 2015 – Goals in Review

amonthinreviewThough it is, first and foremost, A to Z Challenge month, there are still a few other posts I’ll have to do throughout April, and this is one of them. The fact that it’s a couple of days late? Blame that one on the run that nearly killed me…but more on that in a minute.

March had its ups and downs, but I made it through, so I guess that means it’s time to take a look at my goals.

Goal #1: Take care of myself more.

I’m going to go right ahead and say it: I did a horrible job of this goal in March. There’s no one particular example that I can give; I just wasn’t really in tune with myself this past month. I didn’t relax much, I ate horribly, and I somehow managed to never get enough sleep, even on the nights that I slept 9 or more hours. And to top things off, I realized that what ever rose-colored glasses I’ve been wearing the past few months have shattered… That is to say that I’ve fallen back into a funk concerning my body. I’m not talking specifically about weight, because I wasn’t even paying attention to that; I just looked in the mirror one day recently and realized that I am not happy with the reflection.

Cue the run I mentioned, which occurred on the last day of March and very nearly destroyed me. I was exhausted, all my muscles seized up, and my right foot still hurts like someone took a hammer to my toes and heel. Ladies and gents, I am the very furthest thing from being in shape. The furthest.

So, basically, I ended March on a sour note, having determined that I’ve let myself get into a pretty rough shape. I want to remedy this, but I’m unsure how to go about it since I don’t have much control over what I eat while I’m on shift out West, and I’ve gotten so badly out of shape that even the simplest exercises are a monumental effort. Sympathies and suggestions will be gratefully accepted.

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

I’m a bit on the fence about this goal throughout March. On the one hand, I sold a few books (not many, but a few) both online and to my coworkers. On the other hand my “comment for a chance to win a book” contest did not go as well as I hoped it would. That said, I did see several comments from people I’d never seen around the blog before, so that was nice. I also gained several new followers on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and got a few new Likes on the Facebook page, so that’s all nice.

The thing that really amused me during March? My Goodreads giveaway has amassed 200 entrants. ^_^ The giveaway doesn’t end until my birthday (the 11th), so if you’re interested, stop by here and check it out!

Oh, and the commenting contest I was having? Though it didn’t go as well as I’d hoped it would, I guess I should announce the winner, right? Well, after taking down all the commenters throughout the month and randomizing a winner, the name that came up was miss mortbane, of Dreamer, Awaken. I’ll be contacting my fellow blogger today to confirm that she would like to receive her prize. And thanks to everyone who commented throughout the month! You guys are the best!

Goal #3: Write. Write a lot.

At the end of February I said that I wanted to blow that month’s word count out of the water. Well, I don’t know if I would really say I “blew it out of the water”, but I definitely did better. Mostly through planning out my A to Z posts in advance, I manged to write 20507 words during March, which is almost a 5000 word increase from the previous month. I’m plenty happy with that, no doubt. My only small complaint is that I spent so much time on the blogging that virtually none of those words were fiction. As soon as I get the last few (difficult) A to Z posts out of the way I plan to dedicate April to finally writing some fun stuff for a change. What do you think?

How was your March? Did you accomplish anything awesome? Feel free to share!

February 2015 – Goals in Review

amonthinreviewGeez, has it already been another month? It feels like I just wrote January’s Goals in Review post! I must be getting old, man. *shudder*

This post is obviously several days late, but I wanted to get the contest post and my buddy Eric’s guest post out of the way first, so I imagine you’ll all forgive me.

Goal #1: Take care of myself more.

If I’m going to be totally honest, February was a horrible month for this goal, mainly because I returned to my work out on the Alberta oil sands and it is not easy to “take care of myself” from there. Between the 12-hour days, freezing cold weather, heavy and uncomfortable work gear, and the fact that almost all of the available food at camp makes me horribly ill, I spend most of my 14-day shift just trying to make it back to my crappy camp bed so I can collapse and binge-watch Castle until I pass out.

My days off at home were better, of course, but of those 14 days I spend almost a full two of them on cramped, overcrowded planes, another day recovering from the jet-lag, and two or three at the end of my days off getting more and more cranky by the second as I realize that I’m about to head back out for another shift. I did manage to have a couple of relaxing baths, snuggled up and watched a few movies with the little missy, and enjoyed some time spent fixing up the basement with my husband, so that’s all nice. I just feel like I really could have used some more relaxation time, you know?

Side note: one thing that I enjoy doing to relax is to paint my nails cute colors, but ever since I returned to work my nails have been splitting like crazy and constantly cracking off right to the skin. Grrrrrrr….

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

It wasn’t the best month for this goal either, unfortunately. I missed several blog days for a number of reasons (some of them good, some of them bad), and though I filmed a couple of YouTube videos I didn’t manage to edit and upload them yet. Despite my lapses I did manage to pick up a few new followers on the blog, Instagram, and Twitter. What I’m really looking for, however, is to get more people interested in checking out “Nowhere to Hide“. I’m expecting two semi-professional reviews in the future, but I don’t know if it’s going to be the near future or, like, months down the road. To be honest, the anticipation is killing me.

Goal #3: Write. Write a lot.

February was not as good as January, but that’s to be expected since it has fewer days, and I spent 14 of them working 12-hour shifts. Regardless of the obvious roadblocks, between blogging and working on “The Other World”, I did manage to write a respectable 15034 words last month. I had hoped to write quite a bit more since I was working on completing the current draft of my manuscript, but it just didn’t turn out that way. I am, however, satisfied with the result, though I hope to blow that number out of the water during March.

So that was my February; not great, but not horrible. How about you? Did you accomplish anything during the shortest month of the year? Please share!

Also, a reminder that I am running a contest throughout the month of March. For each comment you post on my blog throughout the month, you will receive one entry toward a draw for a hard-copy of my zombie apocalypse novel, “Nowhere to Hide”! Please note that in order to accept the prize, I will need you to give me a mailing address where I can have the book sent. If the winner drawn did not intend to enter the contest and/or does not want the book, I will draw another name. Please also note that obvious spam/duplicate comments/etc. will not be counted toward an entry…play fair! And good luck!