Thursday, January 1

2014 Goals Reviewed

Hello everyone!

Happy New Year! I meant to post this yesterday, but time got away from me and a million other things came up (story of my life). Oh well!

Below are my goals for 2014 and how I fared.


GOAL-- Finish AHR (write a synopsis and query this sucker): I will do this, even if it means I have to tie myself to a chair and force myself.

HOW I FARED-- Alas, I did not finish editing my book. I made a huge effort and nearly finished, but it did not happen. I'm disappointed in myself, but I also realize how busy this year was for my family and I.

GOAL--Write up detailed plots and query letters for the next two books in my Highlander series: You know, just in case I get the interest of an agent and he/she wants to know what I have planned.

HOW I FARED-- I did this...somewhat. Although I didn't technically write query letters or detailed plots, I did make a bunch of notes and I also wrote  loglines. Doing so helped me figure out where I want those stories to end up.

GOAL--Write every day: I don't care how much I write a day (well okay, I do, but that's besides the point). Either way, I must write every single day.

HOW I FARED-- I did not accomplish this goal. Although I love the idea of writing every single day, I find it impossible to achieve. I do want to try and write more, though. Of course, when baby comes, we'll see how that goes ;)

GOAL --Start a NA book for fun (write synopsis & query letter even if I decide not to query): I want to do this during the Celtic Hearts sprint challenge in January.

HOW I FARED-- I actually did this one. The synopsis, query letter, and story itself will never see the light of day, but I did work on it during the Celtic Hearts sprint in January. I also won with a whopping 56, 718 words! But like I said, they are hideous, ugly words.

GOAL --Start the second book in the Highlander series (?) This depends on how the first half of the year goes: Obviously I'm leaving my options open. If I've learned anything from the past two years it's that things crop up that you're least expecting. I figure I should prepare for everything.

HOW I FARED-- Nope! WAY too much cropped up. At least I was prepared for that possibility.

GOAL --Renew Celtic Hearts (?), RWA, and RT: There's a question mark besides Celtic Hearts because I'm not sure whether I will renew in March. I adore the friends I've made, but I'm not sure I'm getting my money's worth.

HOW I FARED-- Yep, I renewed all of my memberships.

GOAL --Attend RWA Nationals in July (?): This is the same as last year. Unless something changes, this won't happen but I figure I'll put it down anyway.

HOW I FARED-- Nope! My summer was so busy, there's no way I could have fit this in. Plus, money. Maybe in the next few years.

GOAL --Enter the Golden Heart contest in December: This depends on where I am in my writing career, but I'd love it if I could enter.

HOW I FARED-- Unfortunately, I decided not to pursue this goal this year. I really thought about it, since technically my story is done (not fully edited, however), but I don't want to enter a story that isn't 100% completed (even though the judges only look at the first 50 pages).

GOAL --Continue to critique for my CP, Jena Lang.

HOW I FARED-- Yeppers!

GOAL --Read at least 50 books & keep up on my NTR shelf.

HOW I FARED-- Accomplished. My complete list can be found here.

GOAL --Buy domain name for Murphy and create a website (?): Still not sure what I want to do with this issue. Along the same lines, I need to decide between Murphy and Nicholas. Once these decisions are made, I can order new business cards.

HOW I FARED-- Again, this one is still up in the air. I like the idea of double N's with Natalie Nicholas, but I have family and close friends who can't even spell Nicholas correctly, which makes me nervous about making that my author name. I know, I know, it's a really easy name, but people ALWAYS get it wrong.


GOAL --Plan a trip in February with my parents (?): They're coming down for a visit, but I don't know if we'll go anywhere.

HOW I FARED-- I actually did make plans for a few side trips in and around Roanoke, but we were snowed in!

GOAL --Watch at least 50 movies: Roni Loren does this challenge every year and I thought it sounded entertaining. These movies don't need to be new to me.

HOW I FARED-- This was such a breeze for me to complete. My full list can be found here. I also kept track of the seasons I watched--and I nearly reached 50 for those as well!

GOAL --Keep up on birthdays: Again, people seem to love this tradition, so I'll keep it up =)


GOAL --Find a job. Boo, hiss.

HOW I FARED-- I actually did fairly well here even though I didn't actually get a job. I know that sounds strange, but I garnered the interest of three separate publishing houses for line editor positions. Alas, lack of experience was my downfall. Oh well! I took steps in the spring to change that, but with baby on the way it doesn't seem to make much of a difference now.

GOAL --Attend my cousin's wedding on June 21st. Help her out however I can.

HOW I FARED-- My cousin cancelled her wedding. I did travel to Canada though, and I was able to see everyone for over two weeks. And before the big shindig was cancelled, I helped out with whatever I could.

GOAL --Continue to exercise regularly. I would like to reach my goal by July 8th (the one year anniversary).

HOW I FARED-- Well, I did continue to exercise until I found out I was pregnant and couldn't keep any food down. I'm slowly trying to use my elliptical again though--safely, of course.

GOAL --Plan a beach trip for me, my hubby, and my parents in August: Squee!

HOW I FARED-- Accomplished! It was a lovely trip.

Overall, I think I did pretty well with my goals, especially considering the rough year we had. I've decided to post a list of things that happened that we weren't expecting, but changed our plans nonetheless.

Writing Extra:

  • I entered the Golden Claddagh contest and ended up getting 2nd place in the historical category. I also received two full requests (for a book that isn't finished yet...shh).
  • I accepted an internship with Margaret Bail at Inklings Literary Agency from May 2 until September 3. This was my step to achieving more experience in the publishing world, but now I'm not sure it matters with our little girl due in the new year.
  • I beta read for several people.
  • I worked on a business plan with my critique partner, Jena Lang.
Personal Extra:
  • Sadly, the year started out with hardships for us. I lost not one, but two friends from high school. Seeing  as how I'm only 25 (24 when this occurred), it hit me pretty hard. To make matters worse, we lost Granddad at the beginning of the year. Several other extended family members also passed, making January to March a difficult time for all of us.
  • I planned and organized several family events, including Easter (both in Virginia and in Canada), a Labor Day BBQ, Canadian and American Thanksgivings, and Christmas. These events can be a lot of work, especially when trying to organize everyone. Sometimes it's like herding flies—impossible!
  • We went on a beach trip in July with my in-laws! They decided to treat us and rented a house in North Carolina. It had a pool. My life was complete.
  • I suffered extreme illness from the beginning of July until mid November and lost 20 pounds because…I'm pregnant! The first five weeks were the toughest, mainly because we weren't sure whether I was pregnant or dying! Thankfully it was the former ;) We are having a baby girl due April 6, 2105. Needless to say, this has taken up a lot of time and energy and is the main reason I didn't finish some of my other goals this year. My nausea was extremely difficult to deal with (for both of us). For several months, it was all I could do to make the bed during the day (and most of the time I ended up throwing up halfway through). Sad, but true. Now that I'm not throwing up as much anymore, exhaustion has hit full force. I can't seem to win!
Many other things happened this year, but this sums up the highlights, I think. I hope 2015 is an even better year!


  1. Well done! You accomplished a lot in 2014, which was no easy feat what with the losses, trips, and nausea. 2015 is going to be an amazing life-changing year for you. Enjoy every second!

    1. Thank you! I'm happy with how I did. I didn't finish some important things, but I accomplished a lot. I have to look at both sides of the equation before I grow too disappointed, ya know?

      Yep, 2015 is going to be VERY interesting, lol!


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