The woods are just trees, the trees are just wood …

End of/beginning of the year post – it’s so much pressure. How do I sum up this past year? Some really fantastic stuff happened – milestones that I had almost given up on, in years past. I wrote a book, and more than that, it’s now published! “A Ragged Magic” can be found online and in stores – all you have to do is ask for it. How freaking amazing is that? Scott also had his first physical book published, “Homefront” (you can find others online, but this is the first one in PRINT, so that’s full of awesome) and we both did some author readings and signings, and are busy writing MOAR THINGS for to put in front of people’s eyeballs. This is all good stuff, and we are happy and hopeful in our current writing trajectories.

There were other good things – I have a new niecephew, and she’s adorable. The other niecephews (including my counsinphew, but we’re just gonna ignore the 2nds or once-removeds, because that’s too much work) are adorable, too, and I got to see them all over Thanksgiving. I danced in eXit SPACE’s show in the spring, which is always a wonderful time. The piece I choreographed for my friend was performed at the show, and was very well received by everyone. I continue to be able to dance, even though my knees are a wee bit crabby. Dancing is always a joy, and one I’m incredibly grateful for.

More other good things: I did well at my job. I started this website (with help). I had my first author picture taken. I was retweeted by the Bloggess a couple times this year. OK, that last thing is really only exciting to me, but I did squee. Celebrate the happy, as much as possible.

Some really not-great stuff happened, too. I don’t want to go much into that, but we (Scott and I) would like for all loved ones and liked ones and ones in general to get or to stay happy and healthy. Terrible things happened around the world, as the world is wont, but so many of them seem so much more awful than usual. I don’t know if that’s age, my own removal of personal blinders, or a feeling of futility, or what.

But I don’t want to write a post about how to make the world a better place at this time. I think it’s important, I have thoughts, but I’m not ready to talk about them here.  So for the time being I will stick to the personal. (In the personal realm that I don’t want to get into, either, I’d like to be able to realize some other dreams that seem even farther away than ever now, and I don’t know how to achieve them anymore. I’m working on it, but sometimes life gets overly complicated for no good reason, and that has been my set up for far too long. I’d like to simplify and make those dreams possible this year.) So instead, mostly writing and dancing – as it should be, on my writing blog. (You can’t get away from dancing. It’s always there.)

For 2015 I have goals – not resolutions, ‘cuz I hate those. “Resolutions” say that I must do it perfectly or fail, which will make me fail, because that is the set up. “Goals” say that even if I fall down, even when I can’t give my best so I give my medium, and even when I have no medium to give so I give squat-all, I’m still working. When I’m doing just a little, I can say at least I’m still working. When I have squat-all, I can say, I’ll work on it when I can. That way when the work happens again, it’s not starting from scratch. It’s picking up a thread that’s already there, and it’s less overwhelming.

My writing goal is to finish a rough draft for the sequel to “A Ragged Magic,” early on. Then once I have some feedback, write the second draft and get that done as soon as possible. (Once I have a publishing target, we can figure out editing passes, I guess). While that book is with my editor, I want to get back to writing the rough draft of my Not-Little-Red-Riding-Hood book. It’s about halfway done now, and it’s been sitting for a couple of years. I really want to finish the draft so it’s ready after I’m done with edits for the ARM sequel. Ready for what? Well, I guess I’ll figure that out when I’m done with it. And I’m going to try to make a new outline for my Dancer books, and figure out how to write them, or if I should just trunk it forever. Also I have a not-really-Rumplestiltskin story that’s been banging around my head for awhile, and I might get started on notes for that. Considering my writing pace, that’s probably enough goals for 2015. (and possibly 16)

For this blog – well, I am going to work on more content in general. I think posting up snippets from “A Ragged Magic” might be fun, and then as I get more polished in my draft of the sequel, snippets of that from time to time, to tease you. In the best way, my darlings. With fiction. I may start putting up reviews of things I’m reading, along with my thoughts on publishing, writing, and being a newbie in a changing publishing world. To facilitate that, I’d like to post at least twice a month, on a more regular schedule. I’ll work on it, and you’ll see the results here. You can always send me an email to remind me, if you want to.

For dance – well, I always have the goal to be stronger and more flexible and progress. But this year I think I’d really like to work on strength and balance in pirouettes. I’m always working on them, but as of yet I am not consistent in my ability to do a clean double on both sides, and I’d like to improve that finally. Consistency! I hear it’s key. I’d also like to improve my jetes. A better lift in the middle, a better stretch to my legs. And finally, I MUST get better at NOT LOOKING AT THE FLOOR – I’m better during performances, because I’m such a ham, but it will help me so much to be in the habit of looking out during rehearsal and class. If I can improve those things (along with a slew of other things, of course, but concentrate on small goals, dear), I think my dancing will be that much more solid and dependable for the choreographers – for the show this year, and beyond. And it will be more fun! Which is always the goal, after all. Fun is the best goal for dance.

There you are, my lovelies. I have listed out my wrap up and goals for your perusal and my own reminder. Whether you celebrated the new year on the 1st, or your cultural new year is at a later time, I wish you the very best in the coming months. Let’s all celebrate the happy where we can.

The title is from “Into the Woods” from the musical of the same name, by Stephen Sondheim. I sort of hate to ask it, but do you have a basket.