Power Words, Resolutions and a New Year, Oh my!

FINISH

Hey y’all! (I’m in the south now, so I think I might need to stop with the “you guys” thing. *wink, wink*) I’ve seen a ton of people sharing their New Year’s Resolutions and Power Words for 2018 and thought I’d chime in with my personal goals, as well. What better way for accountability than telling the whole world, right? 

So, if you haven’t guessed, my Power Word for 2018 is written above! Yep! FINISH. Sounds so simple yet this is definitely something I struggle with. In fact I’m sitting down right now to work on my novel that I began in August with the intention of finishing by September 30th. Which didn’t happen. *blink, blink* So I then moved the deadline to October 31st. Which again didn’t happen. *ducks head* So I moved the deadline…uh, yeah, I think you’ve got the picture. Sooo…FINISH. That is my goal for many things this year. 

If you’re interested in other goals I have–(I hate to use the word Resolution, since I always make multiple yearly goals and like to think the word “goal” means I’ll stick with them!)–check out my list below. I’m positive I’ll add to it as time goes on, and most assuredly a few of these might be revised or drop off, but hey, at least I’ve got some direction!

  1. Submit at least one flash fiction piece to a contest or publication each month.
  2. Submit at least one devotional for publication each month.
  3. Finish re-writing/editing/revising KEEN by the time the Realm Makers Conference rolls by so I can pitch it!
  4. Revise/edit a book I wrote in 2013. (Yes, it still floats around my head torturing me to bring it to a close!)

What about you? What are your NY Resolutions? Or do you have a Power Word you’d rather stick with? Feel free to leave a comment below!

~Laura

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Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash

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Flash Fiction: New Year’s Resolutions

A noise pulled Sophia from her dreams. She grabbed her blankie and toddled toward the soft glow that came from the kitchen.

“Daddy?” she said.

The figure behind the refrigerator door jumped. “No, sorry ‘bout that, Little One.” He finished chewing the bite of corndog he held. “Didn’t mean to wake you. Go back to bed.”

Sophia crinkled her forehead with lots of lines, just like Mama always did when she was angry. “Who are you and why’re you in my house?” For some reason she still kept her voice soft.

The man’s mouth made a perfect circle. “Oh, I’m Baby New Year.” His smile had chocolate in one corner and there was hotdog stuck in one tooth.

The six-year-old looked him up and down. He wasn’t tall but definitely weighed more than her Daddy. His belly hung low over his sweatpants and his shirt was two sizes too small. His face had stubble and his hair stuck in strange directions.

He lifted his shoulders in embarrassment. “Oh, well, see…I was a baby yesterday, but ever since I’ve been making my rounds, I’ve grown a little.” His laugh sounded hollow.

“But why are you here?”

“Oh! I’m here to help you with your New Year’s Resolutions. It’s my job.” His grin was back again.

Sophia crossed her arms. “Oh yeah? What’re you doing eating all our food?”

His eyes went wide. “This?” He held up the tub of ice cream that melted on the countertop. “I’m helping your mom out with her resolution to lose weight. If there isn’t any junk food in the house, she won’t be able to eat it, right?”

The girl twisted her mouth in thought. “Okay. What’s with all these books then?” She pointed to a mound of reading material that covered the dining table.

“That’s for your dad. He wants to read more in the New Year.” The man leaned in and lowered his voice. “Although, just between you and me? He won’t even get past book three before he’ll fall off the wagon.”

“The wagon?” Sophia scrunched her face up but the man just waved the comment away. “Well, what about mine?” She straightened her shoulders, her face bright.

The man took another bite of donut. “Depends. What’s your resolution?”

“Not to fight with my sister anymore.” Sophia lifted her chin a little higher. She felt quite grown up thinking so responsibly.

He nodded. “Done. Now run on back to bed so I can finish helping your mom out.” His gaze was on the leftover cupcakes.

Sophia did as she was told and fell right to sleep.

The next morning she awoke to someone screaming in the bathroom. She jumped from her bed and ran to see what could be wrong.

“What happened to me?” But instead of her sister, there was a boy in her place.

Sophia gasped. Baby New Year had done quite a job!

She would never fight with her sister again!

 

©Laura L. Zimmerman 2017

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Those Three Dreaded Words…

Have you uttered them yet? Those three dreaded words that somehow define (or at least overshadow?) the start of every year?

New Year’s Resolution

Ack! No! It burns! It burns! Make it go away! *Runs to cower in the corner until January is over*

It’s like the scariest horror movie ever, amiright?

Okay, fine. Maybe they’re not so bad. I may have heard of a few people who’ve stuck to their guns and actually accomplished what they set out to do. (Oh wait…were those just urban legends? Oops.) Either way, I am firmly against them. *Stands tall with a stiff upper lip* They never work and usually end up causing nothing but guilt.

Except that I sort of already have guilt. A lot of it, actually. *Gulp*

If you haven’t been paying attention, I decided to go easy on my blog for the month of December, seeing that I’d come right off NaNoWriMo and that it was the month of ‘big holidays’ and all, right? Right. Except that maybe it wasn’t so much as a break as just flat out procrastination.

I’ll blog tomorrow, I’d say. And then a week would pass. They’re not expecting anything, I’d tell myself. Except that I saw plenty of posts from other bloggers who weren’t spending all their blogging time binge-watching Gilmore Girls. (Totally worth it, BTW. Coffee! *Sigh*)

Ugh. Massive ‘loser complex’ has set in, and all over the fact that I’ve neglected my poor little CF world. I mean, I didn’t even blog to tell you I had not one but two guests posts on other blogs! How lame is that?! Sorry guys!! 

Sooo…to join the masses around the world who have declared to make a change this year–and those who, sadly, have already given up, since we’re already on day 5!–I have set my NYR! I aim to post much more often for the year of 2017! Yippee!! *Party banners wave, confetti rains down*

Wasn’t that sort of what you said on your blog last year around this time? Shhh! Don’t point it out to everyone. Geez!

Oh. Okay, but aren’t we already into January and this is your first post of the year? Shut it! I’m working on it! This might take some time. But I’m fully committed. Seriously. I’ve got my Girl Scout fingers raised and everything.

All right. Hopefully I’ve got you at least laughing at my dilema, but I will say, I’m mostly serious about doing this. Mostly. For the most part. Ack…let me keep working on that motivation.

In the meantime, I’d love some encouragement! When I reached out to others and asked for some during NaNo, I got lots and lots and lots and it totally helped me achieve my goal! Woohoo! So, if you have any words of wisdom, or just want to help by checking in every once in a while and yelling at me to blog more, I’ll take it!

What about you? Did you whisper those three little words? What is your resolution and how’s it going so far? Feel free to comment below! I’d love to dialogue with you!!

Happy writing, friends!

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Photo credit Unsplash by Annie Spratt

2015 Year in Review – Caffeinated Fiction

Is it my imagination, or did we just celebrate New Years Eve a couple months ago? I feel like I blinked and another year is gone. In reflection of all the changes that have occurred in my life, I thought a Year in Review was in order for the blog! Enjoy!

2015 Year in Review – Caffeinated Fiction

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The Blog – I wrote 54 blogposts this year and had just over 1200 visitors to the site. Not bad for it’s 2nd year in existence!

My Books – I wrote two complete manuscripts this year. One that will likely never see the light of day – that’s ok, because it was my first exercise in learning to be a “Pantser” – and another which I hope to see published in the near future! I also edited a book I had written a few years ago and got good feedback from my beta readers. That book is on the shelf right now, since it needs some major revision before I will pursue publication.

Conferences – This year I attended three different Writers Conferences: Lancaster Christian Writers Super Saturday in April; Greater Philly ‘Write His Answer’ conference in July; and Keystone Writer’s Conference in November. All were integral in changing the way I write and how my perspective has changed regarding my journey (both past and future.) I hope to get a couple more conferences in before we move to Hawaii!

Groups – One thing I gleaned from the LCW conference was the need to really get connected with other writers and organizations. In the spring I joined American Christian Fiction Writers, which put me in touch with 2 separate writing groups that help encourage and keep me accountable – one for writing and one for editing. My writing has drastically changed, thanks to these groups! I’ve continued to attend Lancaster Christian Writers on a regular basis, and I also joined Scribes Oasis – a weekly writing group where we encourage and critique each other’s work. Once a month I try to make it to Re:Create Art Initiative’s writers group, too!

Publishing NewsWhat? Did you read that right? The answer is… well, maybe! After the Philly conference, I realized my passion for writing had nothing to do with whether I ever get published (traditionally) or not. I decided to focus on getting better at my craft and allowing God to do the work. In November I had the opportunity to turn my most recent manuscript over to an agent who in turn asked to ‘meet’ with me to discuss ways I could ‘clean up’ my work. We had a 45-minute conversation and I was extended the opportunity to resubmit my work to see if this agent would like to work with me. So… maybe! I must admit, I’m very excited for this ‘maybe’! And I’m not lying when I say, even if the answer that comes back is a flat ‘no’, I will still be thrilled! I had an agent appreciate my work and tell me I had something to work with, so I couldn’t be more pleased. We shall see what 2016 holds in regards to publishing news! 

Reading – I read 41 books this year, according to Goodreads. Not a lot in comparison to other years, but all I can do right now. I love to read but know it needs to take a back seat if I’m going to focus on my writing now.

The Move – And of course, my family has felt a call to move far, far away. No, not to a another galaxy, although that would be super cool! But to the island of Hawaii. The plan is to leave sometime in the late spring. Hopefully I’ll be blogging the second half of the New Year from the beach!

Overall, I did and I didn’t meet the goals I had set for 2015. They actually changed throughout the year, which made it hard to meet some of them. But what I did accomplish (with God’s help) certainly surpassed my expectations! I can’t wait to see what 2016 holds for my family and my writing!

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How about you? How was your year and did you accomplish the goals you had set? I’d love to hear feedback in the comments section!

Happy reading, friends!