Post-Christmas, Pre-New Year, Boxing Day Bonanza.

I’m American, so we don’t really have Boxing Day here in the States, but I’ve always been a little bit fascinated by it, a holiday built up around a distinction in class and/or appreciation of the tradespeople that make Christmas Day possible. Maybe I’m just partial to it because I’ve always worked in the service industry in some capacity. I did, however, have Christmas Day off, and people were very generous with their tips on the two days leading up to Christmas, so that’ll be quite nice in a few weeks when the extra money is processed through out system, oh yes indeed.

So happy Boxing Day, and I hope everyone who celebrates it (and even those of you who don’t) had a Merry Christmas, and I’m already looking forward to the new year. If you’re reading this, you know that I like to start “fresh” every week, so you can imagine how I feel about the Big Reset Button that is the new year. This little middle period in between Christmas and New Years kills me, because I’m so eager to get started, but I’m a stickler for details, so there’s no starting until January 1st. Them’s the rules! I’m excited to do my Year in Review posts with books and writing (it’s been a great year for my writing, only a fair year for reading), to start on some new organizational tactics, and really hone in on my publishing projects for 2017. It’s going to be a good time, but we’re not there yet!

This will be, however, the last Monday Morning Reset of 2016, though. And here’s what I hope to accomplish in the next week before we shift on over into 2017:

Reading: Holidays make a mess of my schedule, so I’m actually kind of irritated by how little reading I’ve gotten done, which means really hitting the books in this last week to try to blow through as many unfinished books as I can before January 1st. I’m really close to finishing a handful of them, so there will be one last influx of stuff to add to the “Read in 2016” list. The rest of the unfinished ones will, alas, exist in a limbo where they won’t count for either year. Because them’s the rules, arbitrary as they are. What’s really wild is that I’ve already got a list started of what to dive into for next year once it’s here. There will always be books eagerly waiting in the wings. Always.

Writing: I’m at 58 rejections for 2016, from when I started recording them in August. If I were to get two more before January 1st, I’d be ecstatic, because I like nicely rounded numbers like 60, but I know literary journals are likely enjoying their holidays too, so I’m not expecting to hear back from anyone soon. There’s a couple of deadlines I might try to throw stuff at before the first, but I’m mostly going to concentrate on typing up a finished story that has been shoved aside for the World Unknown Review.

Last week, I said I was going to start up a sequel to my Potters Field Six story, “Sleepwalker,” but I started something else, and saved this one for today. So we’ll hopefully get a look at Charlotte’s story (she goes by Charlie now) well after the events of “Sleepwalker,” and I’m kind of stoked for it. It’s a nice suspenseful thriller type of story, which I don’t do very often, so I’m excited to see how it turns out.

I’ve always been thinking quite a bit about how prolific I’ve been with getting stories written this year. For me, a very slow writer, I’m kind of blown away by how much I’ve been able to produce. It reminds me a bit of when I created a lot of the stories for Bowlful of Bunnies. Many of them came out of a daily story challenge from Morgan Dragonwillow, where she would provide images and prompt words to inspire writers to scribble out stories for an anthology that, unfortunately, never got momentum. And while I wasn’t able to get a story out every day, I did manage to pump out a lot of great tales for the collection, many of which (such as “Flesh and Feathers,” “The Space Between Worlds,” and potentially “Black Stones”) have found homes in other anthologies as well. So the idea of a story-a-day challenge is really appealing me right now, just because I want to have a fresh new crop of stories coming out in 2017, but I’ll definitely need prompts. I have a lot of stories in my head already, so coming up with new ones can be a challenge. If anyone has any suggestions on some great story prompt challenges going on into 2017, please let me know! I’d be eager to check out some new avenues of inspiration.

‘Rithmatic: As I mentioned, Christmas was pretty dang good, lots of sweet swag, happy times with family, and a ton of tamales in our fridge, but I’m really eager to have things stabilize a bit. The apartment is pure chaos, because there hasn’t been much time to balance everything. I haven’t had time to shop for groceries, either, so we’re living on a lot of leftover this and that at the moment (but it’s not too bad, since there’s always a lot!). I like holidays, but I love my routine, so I’m just eager to get back to business and the steady, usual, boring pace that rules my life. And, of course, to get started on all my exciting new projects.

Once more, I hope everyone else had a great holiday, too, and, while I know many are still celebrating, I hope everything gets nice and settled from the craziness that is holiday season. We’ve all got a bright new year looming around the corner; I hope it holds many wonderful things for everyone!

Happy reading!

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