These aren't New Year's resolutions. These are goals. Because resolutions are made to be broken, and goals are more attainable. Unless you're referencing my brief career as the Shuffling Log on a track and field team. Then, not so attainable.
These are the five things I hope to accomplish before the calendar turns to 2013 (or the world blows up Dec. 12). Authors out there, feel free to grab this list idea and run with it. I'm interested to know what other people have in store.
1) Collaborate more with other authors with the Maynard Soloman series. It was, after all, a collaboration with Giovanni Gelati in Who Whacked the Blogger? that launched this short story crime fiction humor series. I can already scratch this one off, because I'll be working with Montreal sex authority Laura Roberts on Maynard Soloman Gets Laid in Montreal. (That's the working title, anyway.)
Sub-goal: Come up with a better term for "short story crime fiction humor series." That's six words too long to describe this thing.
2) Sell more Cleansing Eden crime novels. This should be helped by the print version that will come out in 2012, maybe even this month.
Sub-goal: Stop worrying about everything I should've done differently with Cleansing Eden. Hindsight is always 20/20, especially with writing. "Regret" is too strong of a word. "My writing style changed entirely since I wrote that novel" is a better way to put it. Still, I'm proud of this novel. It's me, even if it's the me that doesn't write that way any more. Writing is a fluid thing. If I hadn't changed since 2008, when I really started hammering it, then I'd be worried. Five years from now, I'll look back at what I'm doing now and shake my head.
3) Finish and publish crime novel number two. The concept for this novel I've kept under wraps for some time. When Giovanni Gelati asked about it in this recent podcast, I said it's "about a fraudulent detective." That's pretty close. Here's the logline, which I've already written in addition to the first 10,000 words:
Fraudulent psychic Irena Politski has seven days to find a missing Wisconsin college student before authorities shut down her paranormal services business.
This is subject to change, of course, but this one sentence helps steer my writing. It also helps to have a logline ready for the query stage. I also did a back cover-style description that's a little more lengthy:
When the trail of a missing Wisconsin college student goes cold, authorities turn to psychic Irena Politski to find a breakthrough. Irena knows she has no paranormal abilities, only a keen sense of observation and a history of extraordinary luck. The cops know this, too, and are looking for a reason to shut down her business. While working alongside a saboteur investigator, Irena must find the missing student before her fragile livelihood also disappears.
It is somewhat based on two true stories. First, there really was a "psychic" in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, who conned people out of money before disappearing (i.e. skipped town). The story is set in Stevens Point, which is where my wife and I lived for some time.
Second, this YouTube clip served as the inspiration for the entire novel:
4) Figure out what to do with the other novel I started. This one is also about fraud, but centered on an alternative energy company in North Dakota. It had a promising start, but petered off a cliff right around 25,000 words. I don't have the gumption right now to fix that sucker. I want to get the other fraud novel down first.
5) Eat healthier. How did a resolution get on this list? It's not so much a hollow dietary commitment as a recognition that when I eat better, my writing is better. The days I started with fruit and oatmeal were much more productive than the ones that raided the cookie supply. My limited medical view attributes this to blood sugar. When it's spiking and crashing, workflow isn't consistent. When it's at an even keel, I can keep my focus.
Sub-goal: Eat more pierogies. I'm a Pollack, I can't help myself.
What are your writing goals for 2012?