Every year I make these resolutions, and every year I get just a teensy bit closer to actually fulfilling them. Whether that’s because I’m reaching for less or because I’m trying harder isn’t something I’m going to contemplate. Anyway. 2013 hasn’t been the greatest year so far, for a multitude of reasons that I won’t go into, but partially because I didn’t achieve as much as I’d hoped. This summer, my overarching goal is to take the things that got put off this year and finally do them.
So, I’ve got three categories this year (because I’m nothing if not an organizational nutjob): Things I want to do, things I want to learn how to do, and subjects I want to read/learn about.
Things I Want To Do:
- Edit the two short stories I have finished
- Submit both of them (one is currently on submission to the Writers of the Future contest, but I’ll hear back on that in June)
- Finish the first draft of my novel, tentatively titled Life in Tights.
I don’t have as many “doing” goals this year as I have in years previous. I decided to pick just a few things to focus on, instead of trying to split my attention between five or six different projects. I have a couple of other things going right now–short stories I’m writing, ideas that are going through the brain-percolation process–but these three things are the ones that I’m going to spend my summer on. Everything else can happen later.
Things I Want to Learn How to Do:
- Learn to machine sew, and make either a skirt or a dress. I am awesome at hand-sewing but have only used a machine once or twice, and I would like to learn how. Also, I have the hardest damned time finding a skirt or dress in stores, and as I’d like to build up my closet, sewing it seems like a good way to go.
- Learn to embroider. This is for a small plushie project I’ve been wanting to do, and its something I’ve just never tried before. Might be fun.
Again, fewer goals than the last couple of years. I also decided to focus on one skill I wanted to improve (sewing) and gave up on a couple of things that, while they’re still things I someday want to do, just don’t seem like I have the time to do: quilting and learning a foreign language.
Things I Want to Learn About:
- African history, specifically Algeria and Morocco 1860-1920. This is for a possible writing project that I’ve been tossing around lately. I love steampunk and biopunk, but am getting rather bored of seeing everything set in London. It’d be fun to do a couple of short stories set in a steampunk colonial Africa, but that definitely requires tons of research on my part.
- African mythology (same region, same reasons).
- The Pinkertons. For non-American peeps, the Pinkertons were basically private police hired to break up strikes and police the railroads in the 19th and 20th centuries. They’ve got a very long and interesting history, and are a dark chapter of US labor. There’s no particular application for this knowledge yet, I just find them an interesting thing to learn about.
- Bartending. I don’t actually like to drink (the crappy wine at First Communion ruined me, I think) but I find the job of a bartender fascinating for some reason. There’s already way too many bartenders in literature, but my next large project might just need a snappy sidekick.
I find that as I get older my tastes in writing (meaning my own) are going more and more towards places and people I don’t know much about. Maybe this is just the growing out of YA phase (which wouldn’t be very good, considering that my current WIP is YA) or maybe its simply me expanding beyond the readily available subjects. I was never taught about Asian or African history in public school, and today those are two of the things that I would love to know more about.