Resolutions and Goals for 2019

Waddup Savi Crew!

As promised, I am stating my resolutions and goals for 2019. I will be splitting these resolutions into different goal sections: Reading Goals, Writing Goals, Personal Development Goals, Health Goals, Money Goals, Spiritual Goals and Mental Goals.

At the end of 2019 I will revisit these goals and comment on whether I’ve achieved them or not. And not to worry, I’ll do the occasional monthly updates in case you’re like me and don’t wanna wait all year long lolz.

Okay, now onto the goals!

READING GOALS:

I don’t read which—for an aspiring novelist might sound like an oxymoron—but I’ve been trying to improve this deficit especially by supporting indie authors (since that’s the path I hope to follow and support is everything in the independent publishing industry). Anyway, my goal is to read 10 novels.

Look, I’m fully aware that some Booktubers inhale 10 novels a week (or a day if they’re unemployed) but remember I don’t read at all. And you have to start somewhere. Besides goals must be S.M.A.R.T – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. So 10 novels seems like a safe jumping-off point.

WRITING GOALS:

I have three WIPs in differing stages of completion: First, my YA anime-inspired fantasy novel that I’ve blogged about ad nauseum for the latter part of last year. My goal is to complete the third draft and send out for beta feedback. Since there are two Camp Nanos and one Nano I might consider using one of those again to do my draft. Only time will tell.

Second, my middle grade contemporary fiction, Life of Gabby (or LOG series). Early Savi Crew members might vaguely remember my blogs about the plot and characters but the story has evolved since the beta reading debacle early last year. I’ve rewritten the plot and reworked a few things and the story is way better than I could have imagined.

I hope to salvage just enough from the third draft to build a solid story middle graders will love. My goal is to write the first draft (or is it the fourth since it’s technically the same story?). This one is definitely gonna be one of the Nanos’ projects. It all depends on the readiness of the overall plotline.

Third, my Catholic fantasy fiction that I started in Nano last year but couldn’t finish since my other planned project — yup, you guessed it, YA anime-inspired fantasy — took up much of my creative fuel leaving nothing for the shiny new plot bunny. My goal is to complete the first draft, for real this time. It might make for a fun Camp Nano project. We’ll see. Planning is hard, folks.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS:

And this is where ish gets real. Reading and writing goals are fine, I can plan those I my sleep. But personal development? Introspection? Yikes! Hard pass. But it’s important to foster and grow — no matter how old we are — so here goes nothing. My goal is to learn to cook as well as learn to swim. Now, I may not do both this year but I plan to get at least one completed which, if you knew me personally, says a lot.

I don’t cook and this may not entirely be my fault since my Mom and sister typically throw down in the kitchen (and Granny when she was alive). Part of me regrets not paying more attention when she was cooking. Oh well, YouTube and recipe books will have to make do. I guess a cooking class wouldn’t hurt either. Stay tuned.

I never learned to swim (didn’t graduate to the deep side of the pool after my brother left me in the dust) which is a shame since I live on a twin island surrounded by water. It doesn’t help that I almost drowned three times, once as an adult and twice as a child but I’m determined to learn since nephew will most likely be swimming soon (9 months old going on 30, I like to say) and I’d like to be able to handle myself in the water especially when he’s in it. Ah, the things that motivate us.

HEALTH GOALS:

My goal is to have a complete physical done and also to start back exercising, particularly Zumba at home. It’s been almost six months since I’ve exercised and while I’m not exactly unhealthy — and eternally greatful for my health and strength everyday — I miss doing Zumba for the major endorphin release as well as the epic Salsa dance moves.

MONEY GOALS:

My goal is to save enough money to start travelling again. I want to go to Canada, namely Toronto to visit my cousins; California and Texas to visit the Head Offices of the company I work for. I also want to visit Colorado since a coworker friend insists I’ll fall in love with mountain life — the hot springs do sound great though! Jamaica might fit in there somewhere since I’m due for a Dunn’s River Falls reboot. Oh and I guess I miss my Trini cousin who works over there lolz.

SPIRITUAL GOALS:

My goal is to pray the Rosary every day and read my Bible more. Sadly, I’ve been slacking off in my prayer life and if that’s not your thing, cool, indulge me for a minute please since this is a goal and it’s worth at least an honourable mention. I also hope to attend more daily Masses and spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The latter two goals will depend highly on the flexibility of my work schedule. But God is a miracle-working God and all things are possible.

MENTAL GOALS:

In this day and age, mental health is uber important so don’t forget to include mental goals in your resolutions. My goal is simple, to love myself. Which is harder than it sounds. I always feel as though I don’t belong in the world, a pariah taking from it and not putting anything in return.

But before you pull the tissues out or start DMing me psychiatrist recommendations, as part of the goal I will seek a spiritual mentor or therapist since I believe the majority of my self-esteem issues lies in my childhood. The only way I’ll have a better future is if I conquer my past… and I can’t do it alone.

Anyways, I’m rambling again which means it’s time to sign off… Toodles for now. And remember, no matter where you live, take a little time to enjoy the island life! Happy Writing!

Lessons I Learned in 2018 (with GIFs!)

Waddup Savi Crew!

As we experience the last few minutes of 2018 (or hours depending on which time zone you’re in when you’re reading this), I thought it’d be fun to reflect on the past year and write about the lessons I’ve learned. And, since I’m all about the GIF life, why not have a GIF to encapsulate those different lessons?

Now, confession time, I don’t really like New Year’s—never have—I always feel sad for the outgoing year and anxious about the incoming year. Don’t even get me started with that Auld Lang Syne song either. While my family members clink their wine glasses together and toast to the new year amid loud fireworks in the distant sky, I’m off in some corner praying that this year will be better than the last. But it will be nephew’s first New Year’s so that’s something to look forward to, I guess. Okay, so what have I learned in 2018? I’m so glad you asked!

Lesson #1: I am not perfect. Mistakes will be made. Move on.

I am a perfectionist which, added to that, a control freak is a lethal combination. This year I learned that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. It’s one of the best things about being human.

Lesson #2: God is always on time. Let go of the worry. Trust him.

Perhaps an extension of control issues, I find it difficult to just trust that God has a plan for my life and that plan is in motion. I might have a plan and a certain time frame to achieve things but that’s not how God works.

Lesson #3: Negativity is a slippery slope. So is complaining. Think positive.

I’m a naturally bubbly and positive person. But I’ve noticed that lately I’ve been leaning towards the dark side, so to speak. The negative side. So I’ve started hitting the reset button this year. And next year. Wish me luck.

Lesson #4: No one can steal my blessing. Because they’re mine. Surrender all.

This year I got a new job — a remote job — after 20 years in an office environment and 3 years of unemployment. A dream come true which lets me write novels, travel the world and spend time with my beloved nephew.

Lesson #5: Life will get better. It always gets better. Period.

2018 was a mixed bag of ups and downs — mostly ups — but I get the feeling that 2019 will be a great year. And even if it isn’t, life is always worth living and enjoying. I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Be sure to tune in next week, where I will writing about my resolutions and goals for 2019. Anyways, I’m rambling again which means it’s time to sign off… Toodles for now. And remember, no matter where you live, take a little time to enjoy the island life! Happy Writing!

Merry Christmas!

Waddup Savi Crew!

Keeping it short and sweet this week (not to mention posting hella late on a different day lolz). But my house has been so hectic this past weekend — and with good reason — Christmas!

Christmas season is a BIG deal in Trinidad — akin to Thanksgiving in the USA — so even though I didn’t post last Friday, I couldn’t let this week go by without taking the time out to wish everyone who celebrates a happy and holy Christmas!

While I haven’t done any writing, I have found lots of inspiration through Lifetime and Hallmark Christmas movies. I know what you’re thinking, “Cheesy rom-coms aren’t really gonna help your novel, Sio!” But I beg to differ. Even though the plots are fairly predictable (yup, I can admit that), some of the characters have given me ideas on how to build more complexity with my own WIP characters (more on that in later blogs).

It has been refreshing not having to write, edit or revise (which is something I typically impose on myself every December). I find that I come back in January bursting with new ideas and eager to read my WIPs with fresh eyes. Plus the break gives me a chance to catch up on Authortube after the timely whirlwind that is NaNoWriMo.

Anyways, I’m rambling again which means it’s time to sign off… Toodles for now. And remember, no matter where you live, take a little time to enjoy the island life! Happy Writing!

When Life Throws You Lemons…

Waddup Savi Crew!

So, it’s gonna be a different kind of blog post this week. Because one, tomorrow’s my birthday and I tend to get introspective and sentimental the older I get (a tad more emotional too but that’s another story for another blog). And two, because I don’t shy away from sharing my organic—albeit embarrassing—experiences in my posts so Savi Crew members can identify, relate and hopefully learn how to cope.

This time last year I wrote my first draft for NaNoWriMo and had major delusions of grandeur that I would tweak it a few times and be ready to publish by December 2018. Cue the hysterical laughter. Oh, and I even made the rookie mistake of hiring a cover designer BEFORE completing the beta reading process. Yup, more laughter.

Well, that obviously didn’t happen and that story I wrote back in November 2017 is in varying stages of re-outline. I eventually had to shelve that project indefinitely and have the intention of revisiting it sometime in the near future. Eventually.

I say all this to say, we all have goals in life. Some realistic, some not. And the best laid plans can blow up in our faces. Case in point, my birthday plans fell through earlier this week and instead of spending it at a concert, I’ll be hanging out with my sister, nephew and cousins in a tree trimming party at our Granny’s house. While initially disappointed, I intend to thoroughly enjoy myself because life is precious and in the grand scheme of things, some people have real problems—getting stuck at a tree-trimming party isn’t one of them.

My point? As an aspiring writer with goals to publish and become a bestseller in multiple genres, I need to deal with the reality that millions of other people in the world have the same goal that I do. And the ones who make it are those who put themselves out there, i.e. make lemonade. Because life isn’t gonna hand out success. Book deals don’t just all out of the sky (but wouldn’t it be cool if they did though).

To pursue writing, means being used to constant rejection and criticism which for a shy and sensitive introvert (INFJ for the MBTI buffs out there, I see you) seems like a recipe for disaster. But I’m fairly resilient—anyone who can get rejected to their face, not to mention via text message, and still press on in the relationship department has to be—so my goal of becoming a multi-genre bestselling authorpreneur still stands. And with my YA anime-inspired fantasy novel series I might have an actual shot.

Anyways, I’m rambling again which means it’s time to sign off… Toodles for now. And remember, no matter where you live, take a little time to enjoy the island life! Happy Writing!

What Comes Next?

Waddup Savi Crew!

Another late post but it’s been that kind of week apparently. You know, no one realises how complicated daily life can be—unless you try to formulate a routine. Added to that, my mother was off on retreat this past week so babysitting the nephew was left up to my sister and I. Boy, did he have us going! Not to mention, I work a 40 hour work week but the job’s remote so no commute, no freezing office environment or annoying, unwelcome coworkers.

But the baby is eight months old and he’s crawling now so there’s LOTs to discover. His favourite item of choice? Cords. Fan cords. Computer laptop cords. Samsung and iPhone cords. The living room alone is Cord Central. I swear I’ve lost 10 lbs chasing homeboy all over the living room floor. But I digress, this ain’t no baby blog!

NaNoWriMo is over and I typically suffer from withdrawals at this point. Going from daily writing to no writing at all is a bit of a culture shock for my creative self but the break is more than necessary. After all, creative fuel can only flow so much. This month while I’m cleaning and preparing for the Christmas season, I will be filling the creative well so that come January and can get back into the writing groove again.

Furthermore, the break will permit me some time away from my WIP which will allow me to attack it with fresh eyes next year. Thus, I’ll be able to spot inconsistencies, pacing, continuity errors, etc. that I would not be able to decipher if I remained working on it through December.

But I will need to organise my writing projects for next year and set goals for each month. If I’m going to become a multi-genre bestselling author I’m gonna need to start dedicating more hours to my craft. And luckily the Savi Crew members are along for the ride!

Anyways, I’m rambling again which means it’s time to sign off… Toodles for now.

And remember, no matter where you live, take a little time to enjoy the island life! Happy Writing!