10 for 2023: Second Quarter Update

I'm a bit past the deadline for this update because this is landing in the middle of July instead of the start, but as promised, here's the Second Quarter Update on my Goals for 2023.  I feel pretty good about 5-6 of these, so I'm feeling like 50% is a pretty decent accomplishment, but it could go as high as 7 or even 8 if I get my act together, which would be a very productive year indeed! 

Anyway, here's the update:

1. Big Writing Goal for the Year: Get Book 4 into the draft format by the end of the year. I'm currently working my way through Chapter 5 and I'm sitting at 25,744 words. It's been challenging so far: I'm sticking to a single POV for the first time in a book, I'm writing well outside my usual genre preferences so far, and writing consistently and well is hard, y'all. But enough is enough-- time to light this candle and git 'er done.

Update: Okay, so the good news is that I'm sitting at 43,826 words. There's not really bad news here, but you ever get a note so good that you can't ignore it? That happened to me. My main character gets divorced, uproots herself, and moves halfway across the country to try and build a life for herself-- after she decides to do that my original plan was to jump ahead six months or so and have her go off on a big adventure and find love but (and full credit to the Missus here, because it was her note) the Missus pointed out that my MC should probably have a fling a and get her 'groove' back as it were, so I'm going to skip the time jump and show her settling into her new life and job and getting her groove back. In essence, this is going to involve me drafting a few new chapters starting with Chapter Five... 

It's complicated, but I'm thinking hard and I'm gonna break into the new chapter this month and we'll see where we get.

2. Little Writing Goal(s) for the Year: I've got one story in my 'slush pile' that I'm submitting around. I want to add two more to the pile by the year's end and be consistent in submitting as many places as I can get. I'd like to do some world-building and prep work on future planned projects and while I'm not a frequent Wattpad user, I'd like to get writing consistently on platforms like Reddit (or Wattpad) again.

Update: The slush pile is still sitting at three stories, I'm upping (or trying to) up the number of submittals I'm sending in-- obviously no acceptances as of yet, but I've got ten submittals so far on the year with four rejections so far (plus two more rejections from last year.) Not much success on that front yet- but I have been working up at least one story a month to post over on Reddit- specifically the HFY subreddit, which fits very nicely with a lot of the stuff I write. So I'm happy with that- and I'm pondering taking some of those pieces and either adding them to the slush pile or releasing a short fiction anthology at some point. But we'll see. 

3. Lose thirty pounds: so this past year I discovered that I've got what's called diastasis recti, which is a fancy way of saying abdominal separation and a less fancy way is saying that when I do a sit-up, I look like that guy in Total Recall (the good one, not the remake) with the alien coming off him. Compounding that, I appear to have a small umbilical hernia going on and I don't want it to get bigger or cause actual problems. Losing weight is no longer a whistful dream, it's rapidly becoming a necessity. Ideally, I should probably lose fifty pounds, if not more, but I'll take thirty. That seems doable to me. At a bare minimum, I want to end the year weighing less than I do now. 

Update: I weigh less than I did in December (when, holy shit, I was at 266 lbs, which I think is the fattest I've ever been), but weigh more than I did in February, but am still down overall. This remains a struggle. But I'm still working on it. 

4. Build healthy habits: food, exercise, water consumption, writing, time management, stress management-- I expect everyone can do better handling most of these things in any given year, but I want to push the boat out on developing actual healthy habits on all fronts this year. (I don't know how I'm going to judge this one, so we'll see.)

Update: Still working on this one, as well. 

5. Grass seed! Our backyard is in dire need of proper seeding this year and I want to actually fence off a chunk to keep it (hopefully) free of dogs so it can actually grow.

Update: Well, we grew some grass. We might plant more when the weather starts to get cooler or we might put a trampoline- to replace our old one or a chicken coop in, since Iowa City relaxed their rules on backyard chickens.

6. Expand our vinyl collection! I'm pretty sure we're on the verge of needing a new needle, so we'll probably have to do that this year, but the itch to listen to sort of comes at me in waves, so I'd like to visit some actual record stores and see about picking up some new albums this year. 

Update: +4 for the year so far and needle replaced! Still haven't gone into an actual record store to snag an album yet, but I've got time. 

7. Get another tattoo. One of these years, I'm actually going to do it- so why not this year?

Update: Tentatively thinking of September for my birthday... (still!)

8. Goodreads Goal! I'm going to up my goal from 25 books to 35 books. Not an unreasonable goal, I don't think-- speaking of which, here's my official TBR 2023, so you'll have some idea of what I'll be reading this year. 

Update: Currently at 26 books and officially 8 books ahead of schedule. My TBR list is shrinking daily and I feel good about getting over the finish line on this one.

9. Reach a 600-day Duolingo streak: I was tempted to go straight to 730 days to double my current streak but decided to be a little conservative here. If I overachieve- great!

Update: I'm sitting at a 565-day streak and still rolling!

10. To make a list of New Year's Resolutions. (Yes, It's my annual 'control' resolution ensuring at least one of these goals will be successful.)

Update: Success! (Obviously!)

Results: I'm 2/10 so far, but I'm making tangible progress across the board on five more goals and have a good shot at getting a sixth across the finish line as well. #3 and #4 are probably the biggest question marks right now, but I can think about both and attempt to lay down some more concrete markers for the next update so I can track those better. 

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