2019: A New Chapter



The weird thing about 2018 was that it was the first year I didn’t make my insane list of resolutions. I made my usual GoodReads’ Reading Goal and succeeded, but—other than that—nothing. No promises of weight loss or good grades. No pledges of learning to budget or sending out queries or getting published. In many ways, my lack of resolve led to an empty year, but it also gave me a chance (especially once I was on my own) to figure out what is really important for me to stick to, learn, and develop.

So, without further ado, I’d like to present my usual long ass list of resolutions. As always, I hope to accomplish at least half of these, but if I don’t then that’s okay too.

  • Read 52 new books. Last year, I set a reasonable goal of 40 and reached it by the end of the year with plenty of lazy wiggle room so I think—with my comps on the way—I can step it up this year. I’d also like to stipulate that at least a third of them should be books I currently own as of now.
  • Visit Powell’s Books while I’m in Portland for AWP. I’ve never been to this independent bookstore, but I follow them on Twitter and dream of exploring the stacks and finding treasures.
  • Nail my conference speech at the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference, and meet new people in my field at StokerCon. Am I nervous about presenting my paper about Rosemary’s Baby and food imagery? Yes. But I’m also excited about meeting horror writers and academics who love scary things as much as I do.
  • Finish a complete rough draft of Hymns for Deer Folk. I’m already about halfway through with my draft, but I’ve got more stories to write and then I need to figure out some kind of organization for my thesis. Still…progress!
  • Rewrite Stained. After almost nine years, I’ve decided it’s time to drastically ‘revamp’ my old novel. So, with some independent study credits, I’m rewriting the whole thing and hoping it will be much improved and closer to publishable quality.
  • Have at least one piece of my writing published professionally. I don’t care what it is: screenplay, poem, story, essay. I want my name out there.
  • Do well in my classes. I’ve been succeeding in grad school since I started, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
  • Assemble a thesis committee that will help me succeed. So far, I have two of my four members gathered, but I need to figure out the rest of my so-called Choir before summer.
  • Spend time with my friends and family. No matter what we do, it’s more fun doing it with people I love.
  • Go to more local events. I’m up for anything—Farmer’s Markets, concerts, art galleries, readings, etc. I need some excuse to get out of the apartment from time to time for fun things.
  • Cook and bake yummy foods and try new things. I have a cooking side hustle on Instagram and, so far, it’s going quite well even if I’m still figuring out the whole portioning-for-one thing.
  • Eat out at new restaurants and document my experiences. For the past few years, I tended to eat out at the same few restaurants and there are so many great places to explore instead.
  • Improve my overall health (physically, mentally, and spiritually). I’m not setting any concrete goals here, because all I want to do is take as many small steps as I can at a time to make big progress.
  • Blog more. I know I fell off the radar in 2018, but writing Reading Malone brings me joy so I’m going to keep at it.
  • Follow through with OcTerror 2019. Moving, school, and various factors contributed to me missing out last year, but I’m ready to jump back at my favorite month this year.
  • Host a gathering at my apartment. What with living with The Captain’s mother for most of 2018 and then just moving into The Bramford, I haven’t really entertained. So I need to tidy up and host a dinner, a game night, or a party of some kind.
  • Beat a videogame. I haven’t won a videogame since Lollipop Chainsaw, and I think it’s about time I change that.
  • Use and keep track of things (including expenses) with a planner. I love using a Happy Planner™ to maintain a schedule, but I kind of fell out of the habit in 2018. Need to get back on top of things!
  • Change passwords. I have important reasons for this. Namely, it should be done every now and again anyway and, secondly, The Captain knew most of my passwords and I’d rather be secure in my online security.
  • Be a more consistent writer. I’m what one would call a “sprinter.” This means that, even with short stories of 5,000+ words, I tend to write them in one to two day spurts. I would rather get in the good habit of writing a little, manageable bit every few days rather than working for hours upon hours into the sleepless morning to achieve my goals.

Maybe I won’t accomplish all of these, but I feel like most of them are vague enough for me to succeed without really trying. These are all things that make me happy and bring joy to my life without changing who I am. The key words for the year are happiness, success, and fun. With everything that happened last year, I think I need those three things and some good resolutions and memories in 2019.