2023 GOALS – End of Year Review

2023 GOALS – End of Year Review

Wow, that went by fast.  Some goals I did great in, some not so hot.  Some I didn’t complete and it was my fault, and some I had challenges I could not overcome.  So, let’s see how I did…

    1. Finish editing through it: It stands at 163 pages at the moment.  I’d like to get it down to at least 143 pages, the length of the first screenplay.  DONE
    2. Submit it to my screenplay critique group. DONE
    3. Make changes based on the feedback from my screenplay critique group. DONE

This one I completed.  Now that I have left it alone for a while, it will be time to pick it up again and see how I can edit it further.  Then I’ll start on the novelization.

  1. UPDATE FRIST STEAMPUNK SCREENPLAY BASED ON CHANGES TO FIRST NOVEL: This actually shouldn’t take that long.  I’ll do it while my screenplay critique group goes through my second screenplay.  STILL WORKING ON NOVEL, TRYING TO GET IT TO 80,000 WORDS.

This one I did not get to because I’m still working on the novel.  But it should go fast once I complete the novel.  I’m not making any major changes in the story, more like expansions of scenes and a few scenes that wouldn’t make it in the movie anyway. 

  1. START WRITING SECOND STEAMPUNK NOVEL: This I can do once I finish going through the second screenplay after my critique group reviews it.
    1. Break down screenplay into chapters.
    2. Write Chapter One by 2/19/23 Oops!  I’m behind.  Plan to catch up by end of month.
    3. Write Chapter Two by 3/21/23 Rewrites on first novel taking precedence.
    4. Write Chapter Three by 3/16/23
    5. Write Chapter Four by 4/9/23
    6. Write Chapter Five by 4/23/23
    7. Write Chapter Six by 5/14/23
    8. Write Chapter Seven by 5/28/23
    9. Witte Chapter Eight by 6/11/23
    10. Write Chapter Nine by 6/25/23
    11. Write Chapter Ten by 7/9/23
    12. Write Chapter Eleven by 7/23/23
    13. Write Chapter Twelve by 8/6/23
    14. Write Chapter Thirteen by 8/20/23
    15. Write Chapter Fourteen by 9/3/23
    16. Write Chapter Fifteen by 9/17/23
    17. Write Chapter Sixteen by 10/1/23
    18. Write Chapter Seventeen by 10/15/23
    19. Write Chapter Eighteen by 10/28/23
    20. Write Chapter Nineteen by 11/12/23

Well, this one was a total bust!  But that is because an agent who I respect and would like to work with said he would like to see my 72,000 word novel closer to 80,000 words.  There are publishing reasons for that, and that’s what’s been taking up my writing time.

  1. SAVE UP FOR A PROFESSIONAL EDITOR FOR MY FIRST NOVEL: I hope it will go better than last year.  NOT DONE

There have been countless financial challenges this year.  It’s been frustrating, but I haven’t been able to save up anything for this very important next step.  But if things don’t improve in the next three months…  “Not to worry, me Lord, I have a cunning plan.”

  1. SUBMIT MY NOVEL TO A PROFESSIONAL EDITOR: I already have one in mind, but it will depend on the above.  NOT DONE, SEE ABOVE

See above.

  1. START WRITING MY THIRD STEAMPUNK SCREENPLAY: Actually, I already have the first 36 pages done.
    1. Start on my “String of Pearls” – that’s a whole other blog – and I have covered it.
    2. Put those pearls in an outline.
    3. Start fill out the screenplay.
    4. Finish the first draft. This may sound obvious, but it’s a big deal to actually finish a project, even if it is the first (vomit) draft.

Not done, still working on my first novel.

  1. READ BOOKS: Twelve books in a year didn’t work out so well last year.  I only read three.  That also didn’t include keeping up with comic books.  So, let’s try something different.  I have a stack of books on my nightstand that is 17.5” tall.  Let’s try to get it down to 5.5” by the end of the year.  That’s an inch a month.  And that means I’ve got to keep up with any new books and comic books I buy.  And I just ordered two books from Amazon.
    1. End of January, 16.5”: 25”
    2. End of February, 15.5”: 5”
    3. End of March, 14.5”: 5”   Exactly one inch and one month ahead of schedule.
    4. End of April, 13.5”: 14”   Got a lot of reading done, but added one book.  Behind .5”
    5. End of May, 12.5”: 375”   Added five comics, didn’t finish the book I’m reading.
    6. End of June, 11.5”: 75”  Catching up.
    7. End of July, 10.5”: 5” Back on schedule.
    8. End of August, 9.5” 25” A bit ahead.
    9. End of September, 8.5”: 625”  Still ahead.
    10. End of October, 7.5”: 5”  Sill ahead.
    11. End of November, 6.5”: 0625”  Ahead of even next month.
    12. End of December, 5.5”: 0”  GOAL!!!

Now this one I did good in, better than expected.  I went from this…To this…For years, as I was getting back into serious writing, I neglected reading.  Reading is actually pretty important to a writer.  As a writer, you are supposed to read.  Read in your genre, read about your craft and read for enjoyment.

  1. READ MY BIBLE: Picking up from where I left off last year, so I’m starting almost three months ahead.  NOT DONE
    1. Keeping up with January’s reading:
    2. Keeping up with February’s reading:
    3. Keeping up with March’s reading: Fallen behind, but can catch up by next month.
    4. Keeping up with April’s reading: Okay, didn’t catch up this month.  Still behind.
    5. Keeping up with May’s reading: Still behind.
    6. Keeping up with June’s reading: Still behind.
    7. Keeping up with July’s reading: Still in March’s reading.
    8. Keeping up with August’s reading: Still in March’s reading.
    9. Keeping up with September’s reading: Made some progress, but still in March’s reading.
    10. Keeping up with October’s reading:
    11. Keeping up with November’s reading:
    12. Keeping up with December’s reading:

Total fail, my fault.  I didn’t make it a priority.

  1. TRY TWELVE NEW RECIPES: Last year there were some months I missed, but overall, I tried eighteen new recipes.  So, I’m not going to do them by months, I’m just going to number them out.
    1. First new recipe: 01/14/23 Hashbrown Casserole
    2. Second new recipe: 01/15/23 Ground Beef Vegetable Soup
    3. Third new recipe: 01/15/23 Old Fashioned Cloverleaf Rolls
    4. Fourth new recipe: 1/28/23 Baked Meatball Parmesan
    5. Fifth new recipe: 1/28/23 Crockpot Taco Soup
    6. Sixth new recipe: 1/28/23 Billion Dollar Buttery Biscuits
    7. Seventh new recipe: 2/3/23 Pizza Grilled Cheese
    8. Eighth new recipe: 2/4/23 Mexican Taco Meatloaf
    9. Ninth new recipe: 2/4/23 Chili mac and Cheese
    10. Tenth new recipe: 2/25/23 Hawaiian Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
    11. Eleventh new recipe: 3/5/23 Hearty Crockpot Cowboy Soup
    12. Twelfth new recipe: 3/19/23 Honey BBQ Meatloaf
    13. Thirteenth new recipe: 3/31/23 Oven-Baked Sheet pan Chicken Quesadillas
    14. Fourteenth new recipe: 4/1/23 Crock Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni
    15. Fifteenth new recipe: 5/7/23   Best Burgers Ever.
    16. Sixteenth new recipe: 5/13/23   Cooked Salmon.
    17. Seventeenth new recipe: 5/14/23   Italian Meatloaf.
    18. Eighteenth new recipe: 5/14/23   Crock Pot Mac and Cheese.
    19. Nineteenth new recipe: 5/27/23   Slow Cooker Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
    20. Twentieth new recipe: 5:27/23   Cheddar Bay Biscuits
    21. Twenty First new recipe: 5/28/23   Fluffy Pancakes
    22. Twenty Second new recipe: 5/29/23    Bacon and Cheese Quiche 
    23. Twenty Third new recipe: 6/16/23   Sloppy Joe Quesadillas
    24. Twenty Fourth new recipe: 7/1/23   Baked Garlic parmesan Fries
    25. Twenty Fifth new recipe: 7/8/23   Homemade Custard
    26. Twenty Sixth new recipe: 7/16/23   Classic Waffles
    27. Twenty Seventh new recipe: 7/29/23   One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole
    28. Twenty Eighth new recipe: 8/5/23   KFC Original Chicken Secret Recipe
    29. Twenty Ninth new recipe: 8/12/23   Cajun Honey Butter Salmon
    30. Thirtieth new recipe: 8/12/23   Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese
    31. Thirty First new recipe: 8/19/23   Rotel Tacos
    32. Thirty Second new recipe: 8/20/23   Loaded Cheesy Pocket Tacos
    33. Thirty Third new recipe: 8/27/23   Taco Mac and Cheese with Rotel
    34. Thirty Fourth new recipe: 9/16/23   Slow Cooker Habanero Chili
    35. Thirty Fifth new recipe: 9/17/23   Chicken Tortilla Roll-Ups
    36. Thirty Sixth new recipe: 9/17/23   LowCarb Chicken Bacon Ranch Pinwheels
    37. Thirty Seventh new Recipe: 9/29/23   Taco Bell Enchirito (Improved)
    38. Thirty Eighth new Recipe: 10/20/23   Easy Stuffed Crust Pizza
    39. Thirty Ninth new Recipe: 11/23/23   Lammas Spiral Bread with Pesto Garlic
    40. Fortieth new Recipe: 12/16/23   Creamy Potato & Hamberger Soup
    41. Forty First Recipe: 12/14/23   Twix Cookies
    42. Forty Second Recipe:  12/14/23  Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Well, here I’m an overachiever.  I can’t help it. I love to cook and try new things.  It’s also the reason I volunteer on my church’s kitchen staff.  Some of the best recipes this year were Old Fashioned Cloverleaf Rolls, Pizza Grilled Cheese, Oven Backed Sheet Pan Chicken Quesadillas, One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole, KFC Original Secret Recipe, Rotel Tacos (which also makes an excellent burrito), Taco Bell Enchirito (Improved) and Creamy Potato & Hamburger Soup.

Next year I won’t include this as a goal, I just do it too regularly.  But I might specifically experiment with new cookie recipes before December.

  1. GET DOWN TO 190 POUNDS: Let’s try that weight loss thing again.  I know I can do it if I stay on top of it.  Using the scale at the warehouse at work, I’m down to 205.  I had been down to 199 in June.   Now I have a home scale, which means I can weigh myself au natural – which was frowned upon at work.  This should be more accurate.  Right now, it’s showing that I weigh 202.8 pounds.
    1. Down to 201 by end of January: 2 lbs.
    2. Down to 200 by end of February: 6 lbs.  Curse you Girl Scout Cookies!
    3. Down to 199 by end of March: 8 lbs.  The Girl Scout Cookies are gone.
    4. Down to 198 by end of April: 6   Back slid a bit.  A little behind schedule.
    5. Down to 197 by end of May: 4   Catching up.
    6. Down to 196 by end of June: 4   Went up, went down, ended where I started.
    7. Down to 195 by end of July: 4   I seem to be stuck.  Although I was down to 191.4.
    8. Down to 194 by end of August: 4  Still behind, but no longer stuck.
    9. Down to 193 by end of September: 2  I’m ahead!
    10. Down to 192 by end of October: 4  Oops.
    11. Down to 191 by end of November: 6  Better than last month, but still behind.
    12. Down to 190 by end of December: 4  Didn’t quite make it.

Didn’t quite make it, but I am about ten pounds lighter than I was a year ago, so I’m going to call this a win.

  1. MAKE SIX BLOOD DONATIONS: This could be whole blood donations or double reds, which count as two.   DONE
    1. First blood donation: JANUARY 21st
    2. Second blood donation: APRIL 1st – no joke!
    3. Third blood donation: MAY 27th
    4. Fourth blood donation: JUNE 29th
    5. Fifth blood donation: SEPTEMBER 23rd
    6. Sixth blood donation: DECEMBER 2ND

Did it, and I’ll do it again next year.

  1. RUN THE BLOOD DRIVE AT WESTERCON THIS YEAR:  Kris and I have been running the blood drive at Loscon for 32 years.  We also ran three blood drives at Gallifrey until they got too big and couldn’t afford to give us a panel room for an entire day.  We’ve also done two Worldcons, a Westercon and Phil and Ed’s Excellent Convention.  Now we have an opportunity to run a blood drive at this year’s Westercon in Anaheim in July.
    1. Attend first con committee on January 14th: 1/15/23 DONE
    2. Initiate contact with the American Red Cross in Anaheim: 1/16/23 DONE
    3. Attend second con committee meeting: Drive Ready for Scheduling – The Westercon blood drive is now online on the Red Cross website.
    4. Westercon was canceled due to lack of membership.

Westercon was canceled.  Nothing I could do about it.

  1. UPDATE MY WEBSITE: Actually, my IT Department (Kris) is already working on this.  This includes checking backdoor WordPress thingies, link thingies, background thingies and other technical thingies.  (This is why I need Kris as my IT Department.)  Some background upkeeping.

A partial win.  I’ll have to take a closer look at my website again and see what needs improving.

  1. CREATE AND PRINT BUSINESS CARDS: I want to have them by the August writers’ conference.  NOT DONE

Fail, but I lost incentive when the August writer’s conference was canceled.  I still need business cards, but it won’t be critical until my first novel is bought by a publisher.


So the final score is:
5 wins
7 fails
1 partial
1 Out of my control.

With each year that I do this, I also get a better picture of what is realistic.  And with a more realistic picture, the better my win/fail ratio should be.  But I also want to keep pushing myself, I don’t want to just choose easy goals.  That’s why I’m dropping trying new recipes.

Next week, my goals for 2024.



197th blog completed.

First Steampunk novel:  75,970 words.  <– Past 75,000.  Goal:  80,000.

Second Steampunk novel: 783 words.

Second Steampunk screenplay:  157 pages.

First Steampunk screenplay:  Need to update with notes from the novelization.

Third Steampunk screenplay:  38 pages.

There were three new recipes Dennis tried that I didn’t have a chance to review.  First, Creamy Potato & Hamburger Soup.  https://www.homeremediesseasy.com/2023/07/creamy-potato-hamburger-soup.html

This was a good, hearty soup perfect for cold, rainy days.  It was also good that we still had some when Dennis came down with the Christmas flu.  A very comforting soup.

Next was two new Christmas cookies.  First, Twix Cookies.  https://spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com/twix-cookies/?fbclid=IwAR09X0p43e2c8kVm2QCj-wpdBVZja_5XzQUXLIWFI3zuDe2EuhXbfqohx5c  Dennis wanted to make this last year, but could not find Kraft caramels in any stores.   He still couldn’t find them this year.  Did they stop making them?  They used to be a staple of the candy aisle like Hershey’s Kisses and Reesee’s peanut butter cups.  He ended up buying a pound of caramels from Kake Kreations in Woodland Hills, CA.  https://www.kakekreations.com/  

The cookies came out great, but they have one problem.  The caramel tends to slide off.  And it’s a very slow slide off.  It took about two days for us to notice.

This will take a little tweaking.  Probably not to dilute the caramel with heavy whipping cream.

Next was Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.

 https://littlesunnykitchen.com/chocolate-crinkle-cookies/?fbclid=IwAR0HMzwQh04TXOQeP058N42eKWSD5h1lBpfS2GHB2LgYDDh5VK0eI7IxHhc A delightful cookie with no problems.  My only suggestion would be to make a batch-and-a-half next time.  The recipe doesn’t make that many, not enough for sharing.  – Vincent Reinhart

1 Comment on “2023 GOALS – End of Year Review

  1. The Crinkle Cookies were awesome! So were the Twix cookie knockoffs, but like you said, they made a gooey mess unless you ate them immediately after making them.

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