January Wrap Up

file00025755561I don’t have a lot of accountability these days.

My original and hard-working critique group broke up, my second critique group didn’t work for my schedule, writer friends moved away…even Mister Man, who, if we’re being perfectly honest refused to read any of my writing but would listen to me talk about it as long as there was food involved, up and left me. And so it’s pretty much up to me, what (or if) Β I write.

Then I thought about you, dear writer friends. You can be my accountability! And then you can say, “Oh, yes, Cathy, that sounds fabulous!” Or, “Really, Cathy, you can do lots better than that.” Maybe even, “Sounds good to me, pass the garlic rolls.”

And so here I go:

I finished 30 ideas with Storystorm! It’s a list of the good, the bad, and the ugly, but I did it.

I made a goal over at Goodreads to read 50 books this year, and for January, I read four books. (I didn’t make my reading goal last year but whee! It’s January and I’m on track. So far.)

I talked to my Lovely Agent about 2017 and the direction we could go. I have Stuff To Do; I haven’t quite started on that stuff yet.

I wrote up…let me count that again…yes, um…one, er, one story and sent it out into the world. It seemed like a big deal at the time, y’all.

I had an SCBWI writer’s workshop–awesome author Heather L. Montgomery presented–and it was well-attended and lots of fun! (P.S. She was here doing quite a few school visits and kids LOVE her, so if you want a science geek author for your school, contact Heather!) The first of the year is busy in my position at SCBWI; lots of organizing, lots of emails, lots of planning, but I got it all done. That’s probably why I didn’t get much writing done. Yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket.

Oh! I finally finished my latest Darakwon book! Whew! I had started it back in the spring, I think, so yeah, it was beginning to be like The Song That Never Ends.

You know, I wasn’t feeling very accomplished twenty minutes ago, but I feel a bit better, now that I see my January Wrap Up. All things considered, right?

So how about you? How’s your January started? Brag a little, whine a little, and pass the garlic rolls. You’re with friends here!


32 thoughts on “January Wrap Up

  1. You are way ahead of me in the accomplishment department πŸ™‚ I’m moving slowly but steadily into the new year-LOL Thank you for inspiring me to try harder, Cathy. Wishing you all the best as you move forward. it sounds like you’ve got yourself going in a good direction. Hugs sweet lady ❀

    • I’m glad to inspire you, Charlotte, but there will be no comparing–comparison is the thief of joy, remember? πŸ™‚ Slow and steady also wins the race, I hear, so congrats to you, Charlotte. And P.S. I’ll take those hugs, thank you very much! β™₯

  2. January has been so much Southern Breeze, so little writing… but I also started a nonfiction project. Because apparently I am crazy. πŸ™‚ On a positive note, School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kids’ Books added PBs to their contenders list, so I’ve already read 5 of 16!

  3. Yay, Cathy! Will you give me food? I also finished Storystorm w/30 ideas and I sent off 1 sub this month and applied for the Writing With the Stars mentorship, too. No luck and I m a bummed today. But February is just around the corner. We’ll get there. At least you have an awesome agent and your awesome self. Hugs, the Other Kathy

    • Here, have a garlic roll, Kathy! πŸ™‚ Congrats on making your Storystorm pledge! And please don’t be too bummed–think of all those folks who didn’t have the courage to apply to Writing With the Stars but you did! And yes, I do have an awesome agent and one day soon, you will, too. β™₯

  4. I’m very impressed, Cathy! In my opinion, you are a dynamo. I wish I could report all kinds of exciting things, but instead must console myself with hoping February will be better.

  5. Yum, garlic rolls. Congrats on all your accomplishments! I finished Storystorm w/32 ideas and am way over my head with 2 work-for-hire freelance projects + teaching. Too bad about all your critique groups. We’re all here for you.

  6. You are so industrious and involved. loved the part about your hubby listening only if there was food involved. My family won’t read my stuff either I submitted my fifth piece today and am way behind what i usually do. Markets are shrinking faster than I am. it gets discouraging.

    • Ha! I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only writer whose family ignores her, Linda! I have a feeling that in the February wrap-up we’ll hear how some of those five pieces are out in the world–btw, I read your piece in Sasee about the sledding. Dang, it was good! There will always be a market for good writing like yours!

  7. Cathy—Since I bring my rolls with me wherever I go (on my stomach, on my hips) I will pass on the garlic rolls.

    I’m impressed. Four books already this month? What books did you read? (I’m always looking for new titles.)

    Have you considered an online group? I’m sure there are at least a few St. Louis writers who would agree to be one of your groupies…

    • Hahahahahaa! You and your rolls, Sioux…I read a rather eclectic mix: BAD GIRLS, a nonfiction about sirens, Jezebels, murderesses, etc. by Jane Yolen and her daughter, UNTIL I BREAK by Kara Bietz (I posted about this YA a few weeks ago), SHADOW MAGIC by Joshua Khan, a really great MG fantasy, and 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN by Don Piper, which wasn’t so much about heaven but was interesting/inspirational. (P. S. If you were on Goodreads you could get ALL kinds of book recs!)

      And online groups…I’m not sure. Could we still gossip? πŸ™‚

  8. You forgot to mention all those great blog posts you got done that helped so many of us out there. My big “Yeehaw” for january is finally deciding that, YES, I will illustrate my own picture book AND figuring out the method I will use. Turns out teaching art to all those elementary, middle, and high schoolers paid off in more ways than one. Can’t wait to show you when I finish. In the meantime, keep on keeping on. You are awesome!

  9. Woo hoo. You’re going great guns. I’m looking forward to seeing you in March. I’ll say, β€œSounds good. Pass the garlic rolls, please.”

    I have blogged a few times this month. I’m happy about that. And I’ve done a lot of work for my clients.

    But I’m most happy about working and working on my schedule to try to get my workflow running well.

    • Looking forward to seeing you, too! And I know you’ve been blogging–I’ve been reading and enjoying–your posts, Sally. And good for you with that workflow situation, always a challenge, that, but glad you got a handle on it. (Did you catch that little pun there? flow? handle? πŸ™‚ )

  10. Loved the post, Cathy! I completely reworked a PB ms that had been giving me stress for a while and sent it to my agent. I finished edits for a story that will be out in April’s Cricket, and I dove back in to a novel in verse I hadn’t touched in months. Thanks! I AM feeling more accomplished now that I wrote that down. Now, how about those rolls? πŸ™‚

  11. You accomplish so much! You always have. That’s just one of the many reasons why you’re my Yoda. πŸ™‚ One of my goals for this year is to up my reading. I read a lot, but not as much as I used to, and I know I’m missing out on some great books. Congrats on the new Darakwon and being on track with your reading, too.

    P.S. I also miss the Inklets.

    • We need to have a long lunch, Lisa, so you can tell me about your latest stuff–I may not read the whole thing but I’ll eat rolls and you can tell me alllllll about it. πŸ™‚

  12. Oh Cathy. So glad you are reaching upwards and sharing your insights. There are days when I’m navigating through torrential rain with shotty windshield wipers that can keep up with the volume of downpour. I grit my teeth (which is probably why I had to get another crown last week) and hope to God I don’t hit a pot hole. In other words, I am here for you, white knuckled but present. Hopefully our paths will cross again! Let me know if you want to ms swap online. Hugs.

  13. Hi Cathy! So many things are chainging in your life! In my opinion, that means the universe has something newer and shinier in store for you. You’re moving up to a new level of super awesomeness. Critique groups come and go, but in the end, we still have the friends we made there. Projects come and go, and in the end, they finally get done. (I too, have a Song That Never Ends with Darakwon. But I’m in the home stretch with it now!) You read four books. (FOUR, CUATRO, VIELE!) That’s huge! I’ve read 1/2 a book. You sent out a STORY!!! I haven’t. So see? You’re way ahead of other people in the game. So my advice, (take it or leave it,) is to relax, keep doing what you’re doing, give yourself time to heal, and enjoy whatever the universe sends your way next. Love you!

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