All right. I’ve put this off long enough: the FINAL RECKONING on my Bucket List.
To start off with a weaselly caveat, the purpose of this list was to help me define goals and keep them in mind. So just making the list is a teensy little triumph in itself. (Right? Right????) The four-month timeline was because, well, that’s how much time was left before Season for Temptation began its eccentric yet benevolent journey through bookstores.
As of October 4, Season is journeying. So let’s see how I did on my goals.
1. Stop biting my fingernails.
Grade: B. I finally got new nail polish, since I hadn’t bought any since Mr. R and I were dating–which was significantly longer ago than the average lifespan of nail polish. I did this because if I paint my nails, I don’t bite them. Ta da!
Although: if I paint them, I get distracted by the Shiny Pretty Colors all the time. They’re currently kind of a sparkly whitish color. Shiny! Pretty! I’m really hoping the saying about forming a habit in 21 days is true, so I can go back to forgetting about my fingernails until I slam them in a car door, like normal people do.
2. Go on a date with my DH every month.
Grade: A. Kind of. My mother kept Little Miss R overnight, and Mr. R and I therefore supposedly had a date. So we went out to dinner and took as long as we wanted at the restaurant, since no one—not even Mr. R!—got all fidgety and started coloring on the table.
And then we came home, and—get ready for some serious romance-writer talk—I fell asleep. And I slept for FIFTEEN HOURS. And lo, it was good.
So I’m not sure how much of a date that really was, but I had a fantastic time. I hope to do it again soon!
3. Get all my photos into albums and my digital photos backed up onto DVD.
Grade: C. Grumble. I had this all done, but then I went on a family trip, and now I have three camera memory cards worth of photos to go through. I know, some people really like to sort through photos and put them in albums and make the albums pretty. Those people probably also have nicely decorated houses.
4. Keep our plants alive.
Grade: A. Last month, a lot of things had to be replanted. This month, we even got them to grow. How? Sprinkler system, baby. After 6 years in our house, Mr. R and I finally had a sprinkler system installed. In our flat part of the U.S., this is the only way to keep landscaping alive in a reliable fashion. (Yes, even if you use native plants. Which I guess begs the question: are they really native plants, or are we living on land that really wants to be a desert? Probably so.)
The installation of the system was kind of fun, because it involved guys making trenches in our desolate yard and stuffing hoses into the holes. Then it looked like baby kraken were attacking our property. Cool!
Since the installation, we’ve had two valves crack, which causes Big-Time Mudification of the ground. Caused by faulty parts? Or wrackspurts? I don’t know. But the system will be shut off for the winter soon, so further drama will just have to be patient until spring.
1. Plan a blog tour.
Grade: A. Planned! Not to mention signed, sealed, delivered. You can check out the Home or News pages for the schedule. (Hint: the RomCon giveaway is still going on!) It’s amazing how often I ended up talking about food on the blog tour. Without even meaning to!
So, what’s next? I’ll be doing a few guest blog posts here and there over the next few weeks. Specifically: “here” means Spice’s Bites, and “there” means author Joan Swan. But don’t let that stop you from buying 25 copies of Season as early holiday gifts for your relatives!
2. Read a history or research book every month.
Grade: F. I didn’t do this. I didn’t read any nonfiction this month, unless you count the annotations in the New Annotated Sherlock Holmes (of which I am in volume 3: Novels). Hey, can we count those annotations? Maybe I get an A after all.
All right, that’s pushing it. Actually, this reading goal has been a weak item for me all along. That’s kind of a surprise to me, since I’m so astoundingly scholarly and sophisticated.
WARNING WARNING WARNING EXTREME FACETIOUSNESS
See? “Facetiousness.” That’s how sophisticated people say “liar liar pants on fire.”
Anyway, I really like reading narrative nonfiction, and I need to do better at seeking it out. Well-read writers have more fun, right? I think I saw that on a bumper sticker once.
3. Set a sustainable page/word count goal and meet it every week.
Grade: A. This is important. This is red-letter-worthy. I have author Serena Bell to thank for this one. She’s one of my dear Twitter friends (tweeps, I suppose, is what the kids call them these days). Serena’s good-natured humor is outstripped only by her amazing work ethic. To pace herself and not type until her arms fell off, she suggested: 1,000 new words or one revised scene per day. 5 days a week.
I thought that sounded great. It allows for both 1) intrusions from that darn real life, and 2) the undeniable need to revise stories so they don’t veer into crazy-making places.
So we’ve been checking up on each other for the past few weeks. It’s lovely having a workout buddy for writing. (No, I don’t have a workout buddy for working out. That can go on next year’s Bucket List.)
4. Get my TBR pile from three towers down to one.
Grade: B. Last month there were 33 books in the TBR tower(s). This month, I’m down to 29…at least until the 5 books I’ve pre-ordered reach me before October’s end.
I’m glad I wrote this goal down, because now, after four months, I realize that I’ve demonstrated very little behavior change. But I also realize that my reading and buying happen at about the same rate. So, I’ll probably always have 30-35 books in the queue. And that’s ok by me. (Which is good, because there’s obviously nothing I can do about it. Stop buying books? Don’t be ridiculous.)
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To quote Emperor Joseph II: “Well. There it is.” The end of the Bucket List, at least for 2011. Got any words of wisdom for me? I could sure use them. Or—have you been working toward any goals lately? Do tell!