Sunday, July 31, 2011

Resolution Update: April, May, June, and July

Good thing I didn't make a resolution to actually make monthly updates about my resolutions. I managed to only do that once. Next time it was a two month update. This time it's a four month update. It seems you shouldn't expect the next one until the end of the year, considering the pattern I've established. Or maybe I'll change and become a diligent monthly updater. Guess we'll just have to wait and see. But without further ado, here's wehre I stand on my resolutions with 7/12 of the years behind us.

Resolution One: Write or Edit Creative Works for at Least One Hour Five Days a Week
April-July: This was an overall fail. I'm not really sure this is a good goal for me. I've honestly been trying to do this for years, but I've never been able to. I write in spurts, which works to an extent, especially if I'm content to write short stories, but I'll never be prolific or be able to turn out a novel with the sporadic writing schedule I maintain. My other problem is that I've been swamped with paying work. I know you have to "pay yourself first," but when I have paid work hanging over my head, I find it really hard to put my creative work first. For the month of August, I'm going to make a concerted effort to actually stick to this goal and thus have a better idea of how I feel about the concept of writing for one hour every day.

Resolution Two: Get a Story Published
April-July: No success of this front either, though I have decided on three stories I plan to submit to journals come fall, and I've had two of the three reviewed by fellow writers. I need to make some final revises this month and then send them out in September.

Resolution Three: Submit Chapter Book to Agent/Publisher
April-July: I may be throwing the towel in on this one, and I'm going to do it without guilt. I'm just not into this goal right now. With the limited amount of time I have for creative writing, this isn't my highest priority. It will remain living on my hard drive, and I may one day bring it back out, but for now, it's in hibernation.

Resolution Four: Get Two New Freelance Clients
April-July: Technically, I already achieved this goal, but I like to overachieve (and there' s the other matter of never knowing when you might lose a client). In this period, I did both---gained and lost. On the success front, I won a bid for a job from the Freer & Sackler galleries that involves editing an entire catalogue. On loss front, I am no longer freelancing from Groupon. They decided to end their entire freelance program, which was, honestly, a relief as that company is one hot mess and they were not paying me anywhere near what I'm worth (and I'm not even valuing myself that highly at this point!). Overall, the freelancing is going quite well, keeping me busy on a full-time basis these days.

Resolution Five: Reenvision, Relaunch, and Maintain Blog
April-July: My enthusiasm for blogging has definitely waned. After busy days of work (some stretching late into the night these days), it's just not what I want to do. I also haven't been reading too many other blogs. I keep up with friends and pop in on favorite blogs every now and then, but I've found myself disconnecting from the online world lately and feeling rather fantastic about it. To put it simply, I've been more interested in living and enjoying my own real life rather than reading about the adventures (or more often the banalities) of people that I don't really know. That's not to say I'm going to become an online hermit. There are blogs I get enjoyment from reading. I do love to read about what my friends have been up to. But I've given up on keeping up with the masses online. It's just not me, and I like me the way I and in person and, when I feel like it, online.

Resolution Six: Ride a Century
April-July: There's definitely been progress on this front. Most importantly, I've finally gotten a road bike. Hooray! I've also been doing some riding, both short little trips during the week and longer weekend rides, and I'm on track with the training plan I have for the October 30 event I plan to ride. Progress. Good stuff.

Resolution Seven: Cook One New Thing Each Week
April-July: I don't know if we've literally cooked one new thing each week, but we are regularly cooking new things, so I consider this goal a success. Our menu for this upcoming week is loaded with new items, all making meals out of our garden abundance, particularly in regards to tomatoes.

Resolution Eight: Sew a Piece of Clothing to Wear  
April-July: I'm not going to be wearing a new piece of clothing sewed by myself this summer, but I did use my sewing machine to fix a bag, and I'm working on altering a dress I bought on clearance, so, again, progress.

Resolution Nine: Take a Class to Learn Something New 
April-July: I've already checked this goal off the list. Hooray. No overachieving to report.

Resolution Ten: Read a Minimum of 25 Books
April-July: I put the hurt on this goal over the last few months, and I'm already at a total of 20 books read for the year. I have all confidence that I will surpass this goal. Books I've read in the past four months include: The Age of Orphans by Laleh Khadevi, What is Left the Daughter by Howard Norman, Dear Husband by Joyce Carol Oates, You Lost Me There by Rosecrans Baldwin, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed, The Gendarme by Mark Mustian, Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat, Solo by Rana Dasgupta, The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer, Still Alice by Lisa Genova, A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, and The Personal History of Rachel DuPress by Ann Weisgarber.

Resolution Eleven: Have an Adventure Every Month  
April-July: We kept the adventures rolling over the past few months. April was busy with a trip to Houston for Cristina's wedding and then a spur-of-the-moment roadtrip to Florida. We hoped to see the launch of the space shuttle Endeavor, the second to last NASA launch, but technical difficulties kept the launch from happening. Instead, we met up with friends Taylor & Courtney in Daytona, toured St. Augustine, and wandered Savannah all in one weekend. It was great fun, though I really wish we could have seen the shuttle launch. In May, we drove to Louisville for the Derby, Jeff's first. It was fun, maybe a bit too much for one person in this partnership, his name to be withheld :-) Our other May adventure was a weeklong trip to the Litchfield Beach in South Carolina with my family, which was relaxing and fun per usual. In June, we actually kept our adventures in state, enjoying our own town. We did, however, make it to the beach, checking out North Carolina's Kure Beach for the first time. In July, we headed out to Seattle for the Fourth of July. While there, we made it to the Olympics (my first time), saw the Mariners, and took part in a lot of Bainbridge traditions. It was an adventuresome first seven months. Hopefully the next five prove to be so as well.