Monthly Archives: December 2013

Wrapping It Up

It’s the end of the ROW 80 round, and of the year 2013. Wow, that came up fast! I haven’t been posting much, but I’m feeling good about what I’ve been up to, and excited for what’s to come.

Now that the mad rush to finish all the holiday preparations is over, I’ve been doing more contemplation. I’m savoring the process of picking out a Word of the Year. I’m reading through my journals from 2013, making notes on ideas I might pursue, collecting reminders and inspirations, and reflecting on what I want for 2014. I haven’t yet fully formulated my intentions and writing goals, but they are rolling around in my mind like brightly colored marbles. I’m feeling hopeful, inspired, and thankful.

I’ll have a list of new goals when the new round begins, but in the meantime I’m enjoying the process, nurturing my ideas and letting them grow slowly and naturally. It’s not a feeling I’m used to, but I guess the sensation I’m trying to describe is inspired contentment. Instead of pushing myself and striving to get to the next level, I’m happy with where I am, and confident that my creative life will continue to expand. It’s a very good feeling.

Here’s a recap of how it went with my goals this past round. Please note that life had lots of other plans for me, and I’m not disappointed at all with the things I did and didn’t manage to accomplish.


Successfully participate in my first-ever NaNoWriMo, completing the first draft of a novel. I’ll be doing this in collaboration with my partner BlackLion. I absolutely loved NaNoWriMo. What an amazing experience. It has opened up new vistas of creativity for me, and for BlackLion too. If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend it.

  • October: Prepare for NaNoWriMo. Create outlines and capture other useful story ideas, read tips from other writers who’ve done it, and sign up for the challenge. DONE. We ended up having a sketch of an outline, and filled it in further as we moved forward with the novel, which worked well for us.
  • November: Write at least 2,000 words per day. DONE. Or at least, it averaged out that way. I made my 50K goal.
  • December: Begin editing and revising the new novel! Not yet. Put this on the shelf due to holiday craziness. We’ll be starting in January.

Post to my Starcat’s Corner blog at least 3 times per week, and on this blog at least 2 times per week. Nope. Didn’t reach this goal. I plan to ramp back up on blogging in the new year.

Write and edit at least 3 guest blog posts and have them posted. Nope. I did secure another slot on Kind Over Matter, this time for February. I’ll get more focused on this in the new year, too.

Learning and Sharing

Invite people to purchase our Feline Dreamers wares and my books. Do it with joy and from a place of feeling positive and confident. As part of this process, learn more about effective, ethical promotion techniques. Yes! I feel like I did well with this. I used social media, primarily Facebook, to promote my books. I’ve been gradually increasing the amount of sales, and feel like my numbers will continue to rise as I learn and do more. I have a couple of books on my Kindle to read that look like they’ll be great resources. I’m excited to continue to learn and practice more ethical promotion techniques.

Learn to use Amazon’s indie author resources to promote and sell my Cultivating Self Love e-book. Didn’t really end up going that route, but I have been learning more about promotion.

Promote and sell my Starcat’s Corner: Essays on Pagan Living book. Working on it, in a small way. Will continue to ramp this up, too.

Explore creating a hard-copy version of Cultivating Self-Love. Not yet.

Practicing Wellness

Continue my daily practice of writing morning pages and affirmations in my journal (4 pages each day). Doing pretty well with this practice.

Do at least 20 minutes each day of dancing. Haven’t done it much but want to get back to it soon.

Practice drumming at least 3 times per week, plus the weekly troupe practice. Need to refocus on this, too.

Do yoga at least 3 times per week. I did pretty well for a while, then hurt my back and got out of the habit. I want to get back into it.

Eat well. This means eating healthy vegan foods, avoiding sugar and junk foods, and drinking plenty of water. Did great until the past couple of weeks, when I overindulged with the sugar. But I’m confident I can get back to cleaner living.

Spend more time outdoors. Walk, hike, and meditate. Relax and enjoy the autumn weather. I slacked off on this, mostly due to being really busy. I’m mostly shelving it for the winter, as I don’t enjoy the cold and wet (well, I am a cat!). I’ll ramp up my indoor physical activity, and maybe get to some cross-country skiing with Quester now and then. 

Happy New Year everyone! May your 2014 be creative, joyful, and prosperous!


Filed under ROW 80

Advance and Retreat

Let’s start with the advance part, shall we? A huge leap forward: on my first try, I’m a NaNoWriMo winner!


My partner and I collaborated on a novel, and our combined total is 105,332 words. I’m rather pleased with our first draft, and I loved the “loose outline” process that we developed as we went. We’ve set our novel aside for a bit in order to focus on holiday preparations (which are a big thing around our household), but I’m already looking forward to combining our documents and beginning the revisions, most likely in January.

There has also been some retreat. During the last couple weeks of November, I hardly got to any of my daily practices. Understandably so, as I was focused on my word count, and I had some extra shifts at my part-time job. But then once NaNoWriMo was done (and I’d finished with the extra work hours), I’ve continued to experience a sort of slump.

All I can figure is a potent combination of worry (my Aunt had surgery – she’s fine now but it triggered a lot of emotions), grief, hormones, and a dash of darkest-part-of-the-year. Bleah.

I told a friend yesterday, “It’s like NaNo just sort of deferred my grief, and now I’m right back where I was.” Her reply was, “no, honey, don’t worry. It just takes time.” Sigh.

So, not as much journal writing (though I’ve gotten back on track the last couple of days), exercise (ditto with the dancing), or drumming (that will come – my troupe is going to be gearing up for a New Year’s Eve gig) as usual. But I’m trying not to get down on myself about it.

My revised goals for the rest of the round are simple. I’m going to focus on: my new gratitude practice, my other daily practices, self-nurturing, and holiday preparations. I’ll start back up with the new calendar year, after Winter Solstice, when the days are beginning to lengthen again. I’ve done a lot, I’ve been through a lot, and I deserve a break. So be it.


Filed under ROW 80