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!

To Write, or Not to Write: An IWSG Post

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This time of year is always extremely frustrating and stressful for me because it’s non-stop stuff that has to be done. I have to get numerous tasks out of the way before winter hits. I have to make my daughter’s (and sometimes my husband’s) Halloween costumes. I have to start cleaning for the upcoming holidays, not to mention shop…a lot. There’s chores and work, and tasks concerning my daughter’s school. These days there’s also YouTube and all that having a channel entails.

And then National Novel Writing Month comes around, and it’s like, “God DAMMIT, why couldn’t Chris Baty have decided to create this challenge in, like, March?

I’m having a hard time deciding whether or not I’m going to do NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve gotten so busy, between my work, and YouTube and all the other random stuff that comes with accursed adulthood, that it’s been months since I wrote more than 10k in 30 days, never mind writing 50k in the same amount of time. And I know that NaNo is as much about having a reason to write as it is completing the goal, but I really really don’t like not completing the goal. Last year I competed and lost, and while I still managed to write a nice number of words, it felt frustrating losing the challenge.

And honestly, that’s where I’m going to leave it for today, because I already got a bunch of whining and moaning out in yesterday’s “Goals in Review” post, and I don’t think it really needs repeating. 😛

How are you guys feeling about NaNoWriMo 2016?

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?

Small Changes = Small Victories (an IWSG Post on the Proper Day)

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So, in the drunken-stupor-like haze that has apparently become my life, I actually posted my IWSG post last week on what my brain was telling me was Wed, Sept 1st, but was actually Wed, Aug 31st. I posted it early in the morning and went to work fully certain that it was Sept 1st, and didn’t really figure it out until late in the evening, by which time I’d gotten a few comments on the post, making me not want to reschedule it. So…yeah. If you want to read the post that was meant for today, here it is:


And someone, for the love of god, please figure out how I can get an extra 4-5 hours of sleep per night without completely destroying what little productivity I have. @_@

August Goals in Review


We are into September, ladies and gentlemen, and although I do have a few good things to mention, I’m going to go ahead right now and admit that it has been a stressful, headachy month, so let’s just jump right into it, 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.

This, right here…just no. This was a really, really bad month for this goal.

Okay, I’ll admit that the steps part wasn’t all that bad. I did manage to have nine 10k step days and about a dozen other days that were extremely close to 10k but just didn’t quite make it. On the average I walked 8509 steps per day, although that number isn’t exact because my FitBit actually crapped out on me and I ended up losing two days, so I had to estimate based on what I remembered seeing those days. (Sidenote: after a long and arduous troubleshooting session with FitBit they did, in fact, send me a replacement tracker).

The other stuff though? Man…I did not take care of myself this month, and to be honest, I was a ball of stress most of the month. I only managed 21 days with “me” time, and most of that was just watching Sailor Moon at the end of the night at camp while half falling asleep. And it wasn’t actually for lack of trying so much as it was completely forgetting to even try. I’ve been so busy, so tired, and so supremely stressed out (have I mentioned that yet?) that on several days I just flat-out forgot to try to have a few minutes to myself. It’s been absolutely ridiculous.

One thing that I’m trying for September is just to write a few paragraphs in a journal every day. It’s not going to be a useful journal with anything that will ever be shared; the whole point is basically just going to be to get stuff off my chest, even if it’s just to my computer, so I can hopefully breath a little afterwards.

So that was that.

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.

Strangely this was probably the best goal of the month. Jason and I did lots of fun videos, including a Facebook-only live event that we called “Pops & Shots” (spoiler alert: I got really, really drunk). I also began contacting possible sponsors/partners in an attempt to make the YouTube channel more viable and have new content, and I’ve already managed to hook three subscription box companies into sending me a free box to review. One of them is even running a giveaway along with the video, so hopefully that’ll bring me some new views and subscribers.

On the book side of things, I finally got the new cover and summary up for “Nowhere to Hide“. If you’re looking at this blog from the actual blog and not the WordPress Reader, you’ll see that I’ve updated the theme to reflect this fact. I’m not sure I like it, but I wanted to have my one published book be a defining feature of the blog, so feel free to tell me what you think. And, of course, check out the book! I’ve been sharing it on different social media, and several of my lovely Basement Geeks have already picked it up, so that’s pretty awesome, although it looks like sales are stagnating again. I’ve set up my first ever ad campaign through Kindle, so fingers crossed that that goes somewhere.

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

And finally, there’s this goal, which is almost never where I want it to be, but on this particular month it was just absolutely pitiful. There was just no time! I couldn’t find moments to write, never mind genuine chunks of time. All in all I managed to write a grand total of 3279 words this month, which – I’m not absolutely positive, but I think – is my worst month so far this year. That in itself is extremely depressing, and is definitely one of the subjects of my stress. At least most of the words I did write were fiction, but still, that’s so pitiful. Most serious writers have that kind of word count in a DAY, never mind an entire month. Gah. I don’t even want to talk about it anymore.

So yeah, long story short, that was my month. It wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, although I’ll definitely admit that the marketing side of things isn’t going half bad. But seriously, if anyone has any ideas as to how I can get 2-3 fewer hours of sleep each night without turning into a howling, emotional wreck, that would be extremely helpful because there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

And with that said, I’m off to try to relax for 15 minutes. 😛 What was your month like?

Trials, Tribulations, and Zombies: An IWSG Post

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The past month was all over the place for me, as far as writing is concerned anyway. So let’s take these subjects one at a time and make our way through them in an orderly fashion. 🙂

First off, while commiserating to a fellow writer that sales of “Nowhere to Hide” are abysmal (and that’s an understatement), she suggested that I rewrite the book’s summary (which is pretty boring) and change the cover (which was created by me and is thus significantly less than professional). I’ve known that I should consider these changes for a while, but I’ve continuously put it off because this book was my baby, designed 100% by me from cover to cover, and so I was loathe to change anything about it. In mid-July, however, I changed my mind. Myself and my closest friends and family all have copies of the original version of the book, so why not now do what I can to present a better face to the average paying customer? With that in mind I recently rewrote the back-cover blurb, while a talented cover artist has been working on the new imagery for me. When I get home from work this time around my father is going to take a professional photo of me for the back cover, and then we’ll be off to the races. There’s no guarantee that this will help sales, of course, but I figure it’s worth a try.

Secondly, and speaking of zombies, I had a really shift of work at the beginning of July. Why is that important? Well, it inspired me to start something that I’ve been getting questions about since the first few people read “Nowhere to Hide“: a sequel. Okay, technically it’s not a sequel, exactly – it’s more of a companion story that takes place at the same time as the first one, but in a different part of the country with different characters. While the first book started out in suburbia and moved mostly through residential areas, this new one takes place mainly in an oil sands facility. Do you see where this is going? I’ll give you a hint: I work at an oil sands facility.

So, long story short: I don’t know how this new story – which I’ve tentatively named “Nowhere to Run” – will end up going anywhere, but for now it’s an extremely cathartic exercise. I plan to do a great deal of damage to my “fictional” site and work camp, and while several of my coworkers are bound to be heroes in one way or another, there are also a few people who are slated to meet an extremely messy end. Does that make me sound like a ghoul? Perhaps. But I justify it in saying, screw it! I’m writing, and that’s a good thing…right? Right.

Finally, if you read my previous IWSG post, you might be wondering about the release of the erotic fairy tale. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been writing a series of short erotic fairy tales, partly just for the fun of trying something new and (extremely) different, but also partly for the curiosity of how such stories would sell as compared to the (again, abysmal) sales of my zombie novel. Last month I mentioned that I had officially self-published the first story in this erotic series under a psudonym, so the experiment was on.

Well I won’t say that the first month was a failure, but it definitely wasn’t a success either, due to some unforeseen road blocks in the promotional department. The main problem is that the story is obviously public domain, being based on a well-known fairy tale, and what I didn’t know was that this means it is not eligible for any of the Kindle/Amazon marketing and promotion options. I can’t do a free book promo, a Kindle Countdown Deal, or even purchase an ad package to promote the book in its category. So that right there pretty much destroyed my ability to get the story out there.

So now it had become a game of “how the hell do I let people know that this thing exists?” I started the only way I could think to: by setting up a Facebook and Twitter account for my pseudonym, and joining a bunch of groups and lists that allow self-advertising. While doing this I found two Facebook groups who specialize in sharing erotic and romance novels. I got each of those pages to share mine, and as a result I saw a whopping four sales over eight days…and that’s all there’s been so far.

Now, granted I haven’t spent much time marketing the story since then – I’ve kinda got a lot on my plate to be spending too much time on the internet pretending to be my pseudonym – but it is a little frustrating that the first release didn’t go as planned. My original intention had been to have a free book promo to get those download numbers going, and then release the second story to spark more interest, but now I feel that releasing the second one would be a bit pointless because no one even knows there’s a first one yet. I need a strategy that doesn’t rely on the usual methods of promotion, and I just don’t know exactly how I’m going to go about that yet…

***EDIT: Turns out I was wrong about this; see the comments if you’re interested in the details. 🙂

So that was my month for writing. A little bit of fun, a little bit of work, and a little bit of disappointment. I’m all over the place in a sea of emotions, and “insecure” is definitely one of them!

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!

Let the Experiment Begin: An IWSG Post

IWSG badge

Hello, fellow writers. It’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group time, and this month I’m gonna talk about something equal parts amusing and uncomfortable.

Okay, so quick background in case this is your first time here: almost two years ago now I self-published my first novel, “Nowhere to Hide“. And while I am very proud of the book, and it’s gotten some great reviews from the few people who actually read it (*chuckle completely lacking in humor*) it hasn’t been a particularly successful release. There are a number of factors that contribute to this lack of success, but the fact of the matter is basically that people are not buying the book. End of story.

Now, for a while I’ve been making jokes to my husband and coworkers about how I’m going to quit my job (as a commissioning technician on the Alberta oil sands) and just start writing erotica. It’s a joke I’ve made when I’m having a bad day, or when really crappy stuff happens (like the huge pay cut we just took), but I’ve only really been half kidding this whole time.

Because, you see, a while back I read an article about how (supposedly) easy it is to make money from writing erotica, and it got me wondering if I could write a short erotic novel that is more successful than my zombie novel has been.

So during last year’s National Novel Writing Month I decided to give it a go. I chose a theme for my novella’s that was something I thought I could easily stick to – fairy tales – and I started jotting down ideas and scenes for different characters. Several months later and two nights ago, I compiled and uploaded the first in the series. It is now available on Amazon. @_@

Now, let’s get something straight right off the bat: this is not a good story. And while just the admission of that might make some of you cringe, I have to respond by asking if you’ve ever actually read any erotica? None of it is good. It’s designed to do the job, as it were, and half the time even the popular stuff isn’t so much as properly edited. So no, this story is never going to be a glowing mark on my writing career. As such, I decided to write it under a pseudonym, and I’m definitely not going to share the book link on my blog as a big shining beacon that says, “HEY! I WROTE THIS!”

Why, then, am I sharing this with you now? Well, I just thought you’d find it interesting, basically. 😀

So let the experiment begin! I definitely don’t expect anything substantial out of this little idea, but I’m interested to see what happens, and if nothing, it was pretty fun to write. XD

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!