New Year’s Resolutions (Better Late Than Never)

I actually thought about my resolutions on New Years Day. By the 2nd or 3rd I knew what I wanted to say but, thanks to having no understanding of the supposedly simple Word press software I use on my punkeroo.ca site, said site is totally screwed up. All I did was try to update! So for now I am here on a WordPress.com site. Hopefully I can resurrect punkeroo.ca soon.

Anyway, better late than never so…

My New Years Resolutions

1. Write a novel.

2. Blog.

3. Obtain my highest grades ever.

4. Save, earn, obtain money.

5. Build the life I actually want.

These are the big, important, and hopefully attainable goals in my life right now. Subject to change, and of course there are others, but I feel quite committed to these 5.

Now a little explanation of each.

1. Write a novel. Seems pretty huge. But doable if I stick to it. I have carried plot lines, characters, settings, whole worlds in my head for as long as I can remember. Often I have made some attempt at committing something coherent to paper, with varying degrees of success. But distractions, depression, discouragement, fear, or laziness have always prevented me from completing any given project.

This year shall be different. This year I shall, in the words of the almighty writer god Chuck Wendig, “finish my shit!” This year I shall follow the teachings of my writerly guru and spew words onto pages even if they suck. I shall frog-march myself through the muck and the mire of fear and self doubt. I shall chain myself to my laptop with sound proof headphones in coffee shops, the library, or under the bed to rid myself of distractions and excuses to not write. I SHALL BE THE NEXT GREAT CANADIAN NOVELIST!

Realistically, I have a number of good, solid tools at my disposal. I have explored the “Snowflake Method” of outlining and structuring, and with a few tweaks I think its a good fit for me. This from someone who has never outlined an essay or short story in her life. I have the infinitely inspirational blog of Chuck Wendig at terribleminds.com. I highly recommend him to any would-be writer, as long as said writer has a sense of humour and a tolerance for gratuitous profanity. I also have a Facebook meme, which has strangely graven itself indelibly upon my mind. It crossed my newsfeed on January 1st. It said simply “Today is the first of 365 blank pages. Fill them well”. Mind-blowing epiphany! 365 pages = 1 novel. -ish. Certainly a workable first draft, and not an overwhelming demand on a day-to-day basis. So that is my goal.

2. Blog. Hence this site. I began blogging on punkeroo.ca when my little boy and I went on a 5 week trip east in the summer of 2012. I enjoyed it. Blogging that is. But found it difficult to keep up while traveling. My access to reliable internet was spotty at best and editing photos and video was time consuming. I posted as much as I could, but gradually fell behind. By the time I returned home it seemed redundant to continue and other demands of life took precedence.

But now I feel that I want to blog regularly. Maybe not every day, but whenever I have something to say. I plan to use this blog as an outlet, as writing practice, as a way of keeping in touch with people, and as a way to build a presence and an audience for my future novels. So feel free to share this blog with all and sundry. Once a week I will post a response to Chuck Wendig’s Friday writing prompt. Other post could be anything and everything. Buyer beware.

3. Obtain my highest grades ever. Apparently I am well on my way to this one. I got 91.6% on my Christmas exam in Linguistics 1F94, the highest grade in the class. Mind you, it is a first year course, and I am accustomed to the demands of 3rd and 4th year courses, but still, not too shabby. I have three courses this term. Introductory Lingistics (1F94), Intermediate French (1F50), and Greek Comedy (4P31). I went into this year with 19/20 credits towards an honours degree with a 75% overall grade average. I have been attending university on and off since 1997. Eventually I will graduate, probably with a degree in Integrated Studies. Which means I don’t have any specific degree because I take classes from whatever department looks interesting at any given time.

This year I have tackled 3 credits – 2 more than usual. Linguistics and French are first year classes, full year (Sept-Apr), one credit each. Greek is two fourth year half credit courses. First term was Greek Oratory, which I failed. I have not taken a course in Greek for 6 years I think. Translating ancient Athenian legal speeches was one hell of a slog. It got better as the term progressed and grammar and vocabulary started coming back to me, but I was just too far behind to pull it off. Too often I simply was not able to prepare the entire reading for class, I missed some classes because of illness or the kids or whatever, and my memory was not up to the task of translating under exam conditions. However, this term will be better. As poorly as I did last term, the practice has prepared me for this term. I am starting fresh, with a subject I am familiar with, a (to me anyway) more accessible text, and a determination to do well. Also our assignments are on metrics, which I enjoy.

So, this term I have the potential to do very well. My marks in my two full year courses are about 90% and 85%ish going into term 2. And the new Greek course, while still challenging, is well within my ability. 95% – here I come!

4. Save, earn, obtain money. Pretty self explanatory. I’m tired of being poor. My prospects for employment are dismal, but there are other options.

5. Build the life I actually want. This is complicated and I don’t feel like talking about it. Suffice it to say I don’t like my life and changes are immanent. Even if I have to break the rules.

So that’s it. New site, new year. Heavy to-do list.

Enjoy 2014.

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