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New Year’s Musings

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. To me, it feels like setting myself up for disappointment, so I set goals instead, and take some time to look back on the year that’s just ended.

I have to say 2010 was a much better year than 2009. I began the year by finally landing a job, which I started on January 4. This term I’m teaching ESL and Grade 10, a nice low-stress combination. My father’s health scare had a positive outcome, there were no crises in Everett’s family, I got one book written and published and am closing in on finishing another. I’m playing guitar again, and making slow but steady progress on getting in shape. Officially, nine pounds and 11.5 inches down since starting at Curves. At this rate, meeting my goal of 20 pounds by mid-March seems doable.

Personal goals for 2011: To stay with my exercise and healthy eating program permanently and let my body find its natural weight. To contact friends more often, on and off-line. To remember to be grateful, each and every day, for all the good things in my life. I read somewhere once that if the only prayer a person ever says is ‘thank you’, that can be enough.

Writing goals: To finish Shattered, Home Child (my half-completed middle-grade novel), and McShannon’s Land (Nathan Munroe’s story). To become more savvy and efficient at publicity for my books (Yeah, there’s a reason why I write books set way before the computer age. I like blogging and I like playing on the ‘net, but to really USE it is another story.) To reach out more to other bloggers – there’s a lot of good stuff out there. To continue to grow my craft, in every way possible, so that each book is better than the last.

I’ve got another story brewing in my mind, about Liam Cochrane’s older brother Nolan. I’m thinking of an exotic setting, perhaps colonial India at the turn of the twentieth century. I think it would suit Nolan’s adventurous spirit. Perhaps, when I get all my WIPs off my plate, I’ll hop on a clipper ship with my black Irish sailor lad and do some traveling.

People of blogland, how are you seeing the year ahead?


  1. Ann Stewart
    January 3, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    WOW, Jennie. You have a lot planned for the year ahead and I believe you will do it all! Congrats on the weight loss. I'm working towards that goal as well this year and hope to lose a couple dress sizes for the RWA conf. in New York. Can't want to read the new stories. Keep them coming.

  2. Jennie Marsland
    January 3, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Hi Ann! It's not as much writing as it sounds – another 15k should wind up the first draft of Liam's story, and another 20k should do for the children's book. As for that troublesome Nate, I have four chapters of his and Lorie's story, so that's about 100k to finish the lot. Then maybe 80k for Nolan's story, if that's the direction I choose. 180k for a year is only 500 words a day – doable, right? Right! And if I don't finish Nolan's book before year end, so be it.

    Oh, I hope I can go to NY! I've applied for a grant to cover costs, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Wouldn't it be fun to meet in person?

  3. Anne MacFarlane
    January 3, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Happy New Year, Jennie. Sounds to me like you are off to a terrific start. I plan to go to New York so hope you can make it, too.

  4. Jennie Marsland
    January 3, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Hi Anne! Sending good thoughts New York-ward.

  5. Janet
    January 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    What a fantastic 2010 you had, Jennie! And 2011 looks like it's shaping up nicely – I love the idea of remaining grateful for everything that comes your way 🙂

    Nolan's story sounds very interesting – I love books set in India in that era!

    Happy New Year!!

  6. Jennie Marsland
    January 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Hi, Janet. I'm rather smitten with Nolan. He'd like to distract me from his brother's story, but I'm trying hard not to let him, lol!

    Almost every winter I reread Kipling's Kim. It's a great antidote for the winter blahs. He did setting so well you can smell the hot dust, see the colors and taste the food. So, India it might be for Nolan and Annie, but I'm not certain yet. First things first.

  7. tarenn98
    January 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    I am hoping for good health. As I now have to have bilateral knee replacements.Augh. I am also waiting for McShannon's Heart to hit the shelves.Good luck on the weight loss.

  8. Jennie Marsland
    January 4, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Hi April, thanks for dropping by! Knee replacements – no fun! But hopefully you'll feel a lot better when it's over. Heart should be out in print in late February or early March.

  9. worddreams
    January 5, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Good goals, every one, Jennie. I like the story brewing in your brain. I love historic fiction. Isn't it great when a new story pops up out of nowhere, waiting to be written. Personally, I don't quite understand writer's block. It seems if we listen to our characters, there's always something 'brewing'.

    Have a great year!