Week in Review: Year of the Short Story and the 5K Donut Challenge

I love the turn of the year and the opportunity to  set goals for the upcoming year. Each December Steve and I review our budget, make a budget for the following year, and set our 1 year, five year, and ten year goals. I’m not going to talk about all my goals here because some of them are pretty personal, but I will talk about my writing and fitness goals.

The Year of the Short Story

I have declared 2019 to be The Year of the Short Story. So what does that mean? Initially I thought a goal of finishing a short story a week would be a good plan, but I have given it more thought. Here is my current plan (subject to change):

  • I will take Writing and Selling Short Stories from Dean Wesley Smith in January and I will finish at least two short stories in January.
  • I will submit a short story each quarter to the Writers of the Future competition.
  • I will write a short story for each of my novel’s characters to better learn them.
  • Each month I will re-commit to The Year of the Short Story with a new short story challenge for that month. Stay tuned!

Does this mean that I won’t be finishing my novel? Nope! Finishing my novel is also a writing goal for 2019.

Couch to 5K Donut Challenge

It’s been a long time since I’ve run so I’m going to start with a modest challenge: complete the Lolofit Galloway Couch to 5K. The link takes you to the app I’m using. It is the same app that Steve used to successfully train for two marathons (though obviously he used the marathon-training app and not the 5k app). Once I finish the 5k I’m going to indulge in these amazing Fossil Fuel vegan donuts that I supported in Kickstarter. They arrived today and are now in the freezer waiting for my success. I love donuts so this is pretty motivating for me! I ran the first run today, so I’m getting a bit of an early start on 2019 in that respect. What happens after the 5K? I don’t know. We’ll see how the 5K goes.

I’m also continuing my commitment to whole food, plant-based eating starting with a breakfast of veggies each morning. That’s been working for me. (Though in the interest of full disclosure I need to mention that I ate food I shouldn’t at my writing group’s holiday party and at lunch with the Egyptologist mentioned in my gratitude segment.)


Time for Gratitude!

Every week I experience things that make me better and that I’m grateful for. Some are books, podcasts, websites, or videos. Some are simple experiences. I share them here.

Lots to be grateful for this week!

First I met with Suzanne Onstine, a prominent Egyptologist, and she helped me figure out a number of exciting directions my novel could go and had some great ideas on where to hide bodies in ancient Egypt. Thank you Suzanne!

My writing group had a holiday party that was just a joy. I love these people! We played Pitchstorm, which turned out to be a lot of fun. In the game you play a Hollywood writer pitching a movie to the world’s worst executive producer. It was hilarious! Recommended.

I finished Dean Wesley Smith and Kathryn Rusch’s Depth in Writing class and it did my writing a world of good. I’m surprised by my level of improvement in the six weeks. The class worked for me, but it may not be for everyone. Dean Wesley Smith has a rambling folksy manner and I know that can be off-putting to some people. I found it reassuring. His comments on the assignments helped me hone in on the lessons. Your mileage may vary. If you want to try out their stuff, they have a Christmas deal available for the next five days: The WMG Surprise Gift Box for Writers. It has twelve ebooks, one classic workshop and one lecture for just $50. It really is a deal since normally a classic workshop costs $150 and the lectures cost $50 each.


GOALS map divider sm

Primary Novel Goal: 12,500 words per week

Additional Writing in Secondary Novel, Short Story, Farland or DWS Class Assignment, or Sea History Adventures blog: 1000 words per week

Primary Novel Editing: Half of the Book by January 1, 2019 and complete by January 16.

First three chapters of the Primary Novel sent to Eric Flint for review on December 6, 2018.

Healthful Unprocessed Diet through December 31, 2018.


Here is where I stand as of today:

Whomsoever Saves One Life (Primary Novel): 46,141 words

Ten Reasons the Pirates Always Win (Secondary Novel): 15,125 words

Completed Sea History Adventures Blog Entries: 2

Short Stories Completed: 2

Writing Assignments (This Week): 1000 words

Healthy Eating Streak (started on Sept. 27, 2018): 80 days

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sandra Newberger Hreenberg says:

    Good for you Carolyn.
    I know you will be successful. because you are working hard at it.

    Also because you are “A Born Writer” and always have been.
    Love, Mom

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