28-Day Blog Challenge

Happy first day of February! Wow, hard to believe how quickly this new year is already flying by.

I mentioned in my earlier post reviewing The Happiness Project that this year I am trying something different with my yearly goals: I’ve broken them up into topics and am trying to focus on one topic per month. In January, for example, I unveiled my Year of Kindness challenge. I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to focus on for February, and yesterday I serendipitously came across this post by Katy Widrick in her terrific blog “Healthy Living in a Hectic World” about her 28-Day Blog Challenge. Sign me up!

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The idea is to spend some time refreshing, rethinking, and reinvigorating your blog, however you see fit. I love how the challenge is self-guided while also having a community of motivators behind you. And I love how Katy includes in her post a long list of ideas to get you started. {Her Blogging Homework series is also great!}

Anyone want to join me? You can officially sign up to participate in the challenge here.

I’m looking forward to making little tweaks and perhaps some bigger changes, both onstage and behind the scenes, over the course of this month!

For today, I updated my Day-by-Day Masterpiece Facebook page, then took the leap {gulp} and invited all my Facebook friends to “like” my page. {For those of you would like to become a fan of Day-by-Day Masterpiece on Facebook, here’s the link: you will make my day!}

Have a fantastic Friday and a lovely weekend! Stay warm!

-Dallas

goals for 2013

Happy New Year! Wow, I can’t believe it’s 2013 already. I vividly remember driving around town with my parents and brother on New Year’s Eve 1999, when it seemed like all the radio stations were constantly playing Prince’s “I’m Gonna Party Like It’s 1999” and everyone was worried about Y2K… Crazy that was 13 years ago!!

Before I get into my goals for the year, here’s how I did on my goals for the week:

  • revise and update calendar and syllabus for the upcoming semester
  • read & respond to all the workshop stories for the Key West conference {almost done with this!}
  • finish getting email inbox and computer desktop cleaned out and organized
  • write goals for the upcoming year
  • work on short play to submit to festival
  • finish reading The Zero by Jess Walter
  • prepare for my new “Act of Kindness” blog initiative for the upcoming year!

Pretty good way to end the year and gear up for the new year!

Here are my goals for 2013. I organize them into multiple subtopics because it helps me feel like I have more of a handle on the different facets of my life.

Writing Goals
1. Write! 400 words. Every day. No excuses.
2. Revise thesis manuscript and send to agent.
3. Complete YA manuscript.
4. Resubmit story collection to prizes & small presses.
5. Write a new one-act play.
6. Write a full-length play.
7. Finish Verna novella & put out as an ebook.
8. Write three blog posts a week.
9. Read three short stories a week.
10. Read 40 books by end of year.

Write On! For Literacy Goals
1. Send out a newsletter every other month.
2. Teach a summer writing camp.
3. Teach a winter writing camp.
4. Teach a college essay writing camp.
5. Speak to 10 classes/orgs/radio shows.
6. Make Pimple an ebook.
7. Hold a Holiday Book Drive.
8. Compile writing camp ebook/online program.

Professional Goals
1. Apply to fellowships & Ph.D. programs.
2. Submit to a literary magazine every other week.
3. Submit a query for a freelance article every month.
4. Apply to at least 3 conferences/workshops.
5. Submit to Literary Awards.
6. Update & expand teaching website.
7. Put 10% of every paycheck into savings.
8. Put $1,000 into Roth IRA at end of year.

Healthy Life Goals
1. Exercise at least 3 days a week.
2. Do core work 6 days a week.
3. Stretch every day.
4. Continue with meal planning & healthy cooking schedule.
5. Clean apartment every weekend.
6. Chronicle weekly acts of kindness on blog.
7. Send a card/letter to Gramps every other week.
8. Call Grandma & Grandpap every other weekend.
9. Count my blessings every night.

What are your goals for 2013?

highlights of 2012

At the end of every year, before I set my goals and resolutions for the new year, I like to take some time to reflect on the year that is ending. This forces me to pause and appreciate all the blessings I have been given and what I accomplished from the hard work I put into pursuing my goals. This really motivates me for the upcoming year!

Here are some of my highlights of 2012:

Personal:

  • traveled to NYC to see the Off-Off Broadway production of my play as part of the Samuel French Short Play Festival {and had an adventure narrowly escaping Hurricane Sandy!}
  • attended my brother’s graduation from USC
  • visited my friends Holly & Janet in Nashville
  • was asked to be a bridesmaid in my cousin Amanda’s wedding {this upcoming June}
  • started this blog!
  • saw a bunch of terrific concerts, plays, and Broadway shows: Bob Dylan, Blind Pilot, Ringo Starr, Ingrid Michaelson, Florence + The Machine; Once, American Idiot, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Young Frankenstein; Jerry Seinfeld; The Strange Undoing of Prudenica Hart, The Understudy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and the beloved Lafayette Feast of the Hunter’s Moon festival
  • went to a Purdue basketball game with my brother when he visited me at school
  • learned to cook a bunch of new healthy recipes
  • read 48 books {follow me on Goodreads!}

Professional:

  • wrote a novel for my thesis manuscript and submitted the rough draft to my advisor
  • submitted my collection of short stories to a variety of small presses and it was a Finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction
  • published stories and essays in the Nashville Review, Prime Number, The Mom Egg, thickjam, Extract(s)
  • my short plays were produced in Los Angeles, New York, and Santa Paula
  • applied for and was accepted to teach undergraduate Business Writing at Purdue in addition to First-Year Composition; completed the required mentoring program
  • taught Intro to Creative Writing during the summer
  • taught a summer and winter writing camp through my organization Write On! For Literacy
  • was accepted to attend the Key West Literary Seminar in January and to present an academic paper at the Louisville Conference in February; attended the AWP Conference in Chicago
  • expanded my Holiday Book Drive to the Purdue community

nyc play

Tomorrow I’ll post my goals for the new year! What are some of your highlights from 2012?

goals through the end of the year

This holiday weekend was such a whirlwind that I forgot to post my goals on Sunday! Here’s how I did last week:

  • throw a terrific bridal shower for my cousin Amanda {see my recap post about it here}
  • take cookies and holiday cards to the local nursing home {here’s my “saturday upsides” post about that joyful experience}
  • read The Zero by Jess Walter {started this but didn’t finish it yet}
  • watch Christmas movies with Gramps
  • finish getting email inbox and computer desktop cleaned out and organized {started this, still have a couple things to do to finish up}
  • write goals for the upcoming year {need to finish this still!}
  • work on short play to submit to festival {completely didn’t have time for this at all}

And here they are, a few days late, my goals through the end of the year:

  • revise and update calendar and syllabus for the upcoming semester
  • read & respond to all the workshop stories for the Key West conference
  • finish getting email inbox and computer desktop cleaned out and organized
  • write goals for the upcoming year
  • work on short play to submit to festival
  • finish reading The Zero by Jess Walter
  • prepare for my new “Act of Kindness” blog initiative for the upcoming year!

What are your goals for the rest of the year? Feel free to share in the comments below!