December Updates & January Goals: Cats, Xmas, & VR games!

Hey everyone! I hope you had a good Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I can’t believe how fast my break went, or that classes start tomorrow. Christmas was a mix of emotions. Merlin loved Christmas, and we got some awesome gifts, but my Nan died on the 23rd after a lengthily battle with Leukaemia. It’s a weird feeling, as she was my last grandparent, and it cast a shadow over the holiday season.

Anyway, it’s 2020, and with the New Year comes new beginnings. Time to set goals for the year, and the month ahead. I’ll also talk about December, and Merlin’s first Christmas.

jan goals

University:

I had three opportunities to submit to workshops last year, but I submitted once. I write my blog stories last minute, so I don’t have time to workshop them, and I’m reluctant to share my WIP with people I’ve just met who aren’t writing the same genre. In January I’ll aim to write my blog stories in advance so I can workshop them, keep up with reading, and draft my assignment.

TV:

I was going to watch Dragon Prince season 3 in December, but I didn’t feel like: It’s pretty lighthearted so I’m saving it for January. I’ve been re-watching Suits instead as I adore Mike and Harvey. I also watched Carole and Tuesday, which was so emotional it made me cry.

Gaming (AKA fun gifts):

I got Mario Kart 8 for my partner for switch, which is fun with two players. We also got the Oculus Rift S. It’s a VR headset for virtual reality gaming. My favourite is Beat Saber, because it’s fun and a workout. I think we both played too much that first day and ended up with aching arms! I’ll probably review a few games in future, and can’t wait to try Skyrim.

Cat Tales. Merlin’s Xmas adventures:

We had a Christmas tree for a total of two hours. After much climbing, chewing branches, and pulling off the baubles to chase around, we decided to take it down. The baubles and climbing were fine, but we were worried what’d happen if he swallowed parts of the tree:

merlin xmas tree
Merlin attacking the Xmas tree!

He loved his special Christmas Pate, joined us for board games at the table, has a couple of new massive boxes to play with, and really wanted my mum’s beer:

Merlin Xmas day
Merlin posing next to an empty beer bottle!

He was an adorable addition to the day!

Writing:

My goal for December was to finalise my outline and write one short story. Because I put my blog on break a week early I didn’t post a short story. I also haven’t finished my outline. I worked on it a lot, and I’ve dug out an old mini laptop to use which is less distracting, because it’s Linux, not Windows, and the internet doesn’t work, but I’m not there yet.

I’m not disappointed. I don’t want to rush it, and with everything that happened in December I’m not surprised I didn’t finish it. I’ll aim to finish my outline and write a story in January instead.

Reading:

I returned the autobiographical books I started to the library as I couldn’t get into them and wanted to read fiction. I read the The Inn, by Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and I’ve got two books from Hidden Gems, UntetheredΒ and A Gift of Poison to read. (Reviews to follow).

I got a kindle for Christmas, with a back-light. I’d been using the app on my phone but the screen hurts my eyes and it’s easy to get distracted. Maybe now I’ll get through the backlog of eBooks I’ve downloaded. My goal for January? 2 books.

new kindle old laptop
Old laptop without internet, new Kindle balanced on top!

A decade of accomplishments:

I saw a lot of people doing this on Facebook and thought it sounded fun. Here’s a small list of my accomplishments from the past ten years:

Graduated BA History with a 2:1.
Tried out teaching, as a teaching assistant. Was grateful when my contract ended!
Worked 5 years as a client manager/admin/marketing person (the best, and worst, job I’ve had).
Bought a house.
Visited New York and Las Vegas.
Did work experience in editorial at Penguin Random House in London.
Started an MA in Creative Writing.
Got a kitten.

2020 Goals:

And now, the ‘lofty 2020 goals’ section. Last year I set a bunch of goals and forgot about them. This year I’ll focus on being positive, balancing writing, university, and blogging, and a few key goals.

person-1245959_640

Blogging:

I’m going to focus on things I’m passionate about: TV, gaming, anime, Dungeons & Dragons, card & board games, dragons, history, Merlin, books, art, and writing. I’ll sometimes post TV and game reviews, and very short stories with pictures. Mostly I want to figure out my niche, edit some of the about pages, and, when I finish my draft, add a WIP page.

Writing:

Finish a first draft. I say this every year but I mean it this time…

University:

Pass with distinction. This is the one goal I refuse to low-ball. I’m ambitious and competitive when it comes to grades and I’ll always push myself to be the best I can be.

Reading:

Read 20 books in 2020. With my new kindle reading should be easier than last year!

scales divider copy

Thanks for reading!

December was quiet on the productivity front, which I expected given my Nan’s ill health, and full of relaxing, gaming and Netflix. I expect January to be more productive as I’m back at university and there’ll be plenty that needs doing πŸ™‚

What are your goals for 2020? Did you have a good Christmas? Chat in the comments!

13 comments

  1. Welcome back! You got a kindle!!πŸ˜†
    I forgot to tell this to you but you could check out SPFBO. It’s an indie fantasy novel competition run by Mark Lawrence and I’ve seen some blogs/writers build an audience around reviewing the books (and of course you can submit too!). This year’s round is now down to the top 10 finalists😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome back, my friend! You told me about your ups and downs with Christmas. I’m so sorry about your nan’s passing. I’m here for you and my support and condolences are with you and your family.

    I can relate to how you feel. I too would only feel comfortable sharing my story with those who write in the same genre if I was in your shoes.

    Awww what is Carole about? I want to watch Suits.

    lol VR headsets sounds fun. Did it get pretty intense? Mario Kart sounds fun πŸ™‚

    Lol Uh oh. Yeah it wouldn’t be good if Merlin ate part of the tree. Hehe I’m glad he had fun. That picture would be perfect for a beer ad too LoL. He’s an adorable cat!! πŸ™‚

    Ooh how do you like Linux? I haven’t used it. I’m glad you’re not rushing. And that you’re taking it easy πŸ™‚

    Yeah autobiographies are hit and miss. Best wishes with your goal! How do you like the Kindle?

    Awesome accomplishments:
    Congrats on graduating! History is a wonderful field.
    Congrats on the house purchase too πŸ™‚
    Ooh NY and LV that’s rad! How did you like them?
    Oh cool, I will check out your post about working at Random House.
    I’m proud of you for pursuing your MA in Creative Writing. That is awesome πŸ™‚
    And your kitten is adorable and great πŸ™‚

    Focusing on your passions is a wonderful idea!! A nice way to bring much joy to oneself πŸ™‚
    You’ll finish the first draft )
    You’ll do great with university too.
    And you’ll get 20 books read too πŸ™‚

    Go Louise! best wishes πŸ™‚ I support you πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ :).

    My goals:
    – Polish my UF story and get it as close as possible towards being ready for publishing,
    – Draw at least 10 drawings a month (average 10 drawings a month)
    – And try to spend less time reading the news and more time doing things I enjoy too (similar to your goal of doing stuff you’re passionate about) :). Go Louise! You will succeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alex πŸ™‚

      Carole and Tuesday is about two young girls who want to write their own music on Mars, in a society where most music is produced by AI. I thought it was excellent, although I’ll admit I love any anime with music πŸ˜€

      VR headsets are insane. I tried to play Skyrim but it gave me vertigo and made me dizzy so I had to stop!

      I hate Linux, I have no idea how to do anything on it apart from word-processing! Still, it’s useful for writing because I have no excuses or distractions ^_^”

      I love my kindle, it’s so much easier to read books on it, and I’ve read 2 already! Finally catching up on my backlog πŸ™‚

      I found NY a bit overrated tbh, but Vegas was epic!

      Good luck with your goals, I’m sure you’ll do awesomely πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I found turning off news alerts on my phone did wonders for my mental health. I’m effectively living under a rock, but without the information overload I’m free to pursue other things!

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      • Anytime Louise! πŸ™‚ How is your weekend?

        Carole and Tuesday sounds great! Is it sci-fi anime? I am interested.

        Yikes. I might avoid VR then.

        Cool! Do you prefer kindle over paperbacks?

        Hehe what would you say was overrated about NYC? LV is awesome.

        Lol ya I heard Linux is hard to use. Lol but yeah it is nice how its limited functionality prevents distractions lol

        Thank you! You will do amazing! Yeah I feel you. There is too much news at times. Glad you found a way to take it easy.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Have you seen Cowboy Bebop? It’s similar sci-fi to that, and I think it’s made by the same people. The world-building is amazing, all the little things like robot pets and hover boards πŸ˜€ Carole and Tuesday is on Netflix, you should check it out. I adore the soundtrack, and it has a subtle political message that feels really relevant right now.

          I still prefer paperbacks, but I don’t have room for lots of those!

          NYC is very touristy, plus I found it scary that a guy chased us down the street calling us names because we wouldn’t buy his CD, and there are people offering bus tours on every street corner. Very overwhelming for an introvert!

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          • Yes I saw the Bebop film. That is cool! I am excited. Is the political msg in regards to the many problems during the last couple yrs?

            Hehe ya me too. I struggle to find space for paperbacks. πŸ™‚

            That is scary! I am sorry you went through that. 😦 and ya that is overwhelming. Too busy and a lot going on.

            Liked by 1 person

            • The Bebop film was awesome, the series was kinda sad though! Carole and Tuesday is very much about immigration, in the context of Mars and Earth rather than different countries though, and it had a happy ending πŸ™‚

              Like

  3. Good luck with all of your goals this year, Louise! I have absolute faith you’ll be able to complete them all, despite any hiccups or roadblocks that try to come in your way! Also, Merlin has gotten so BIG, I can’t believe it!

    Liked by 1 person

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