“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

Old, New, and...Old: A Goals/Progress Update

Image courtesy of chanpipat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yeah. It's December 31 - and I said I'd be taking a break until January 1. But I can change my mind, right? LOL. TOMORROW (while I'm on a tech-free day) I'll give you more details on the new change/focus of my blog, but the Reader's Digest Condensed Version is that I'll be focusing on biblical fiction (my favorite genre to write!) and Bible stories/characters - with a touch of my Jewish roots. I'm really looking forward to getting into it!

But today, I'm going to give you an update on how I did with my writing goals for December - and all of 2012. And, of course, share my January, and 2013 goals.

So, let's start with my goals for 2012 (yeah - I'm afraid to look!!)
  • Learn as much as I can about writing from various places, applying what I've learned to Handmaiden To A Princess and any other writing I do.
  •  Restructure my non-fiction book Ailing Body, Nourished Soul into more of a "help" book, and get the new version out to publishers/agents.
  • Work with Jennifer Slattery to put together the second Story of Faith devotional book (New Testament biblical fiction devotionals for tweens).
  • Continue to build my name recognition/platform.
It's amazing how God changes plans, isn't it?? I can say that I definitely achieved my first and last goals. My year of learning the writing craft was WONDERFULLY helpful. And I'm pretty sure more people know me now than did before.

As far as Ailing Body, Nourished Soul and The Story of Faith - I did a bit of changing to the former, but not as much as I intended at the beginning of 2012. (More details on that later in this post) And Jen and I are waiting on working on the second book until we have more interest in the first.

And on that note - how about I share my goals for 2013?
  • A completed rough draft for Handmaiden to a Princess
  • Build my platform/focus around my new tagline--Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths
  • Interact in my blog comments! (I KNOW I need to do this, but I am SO not in the habit!)
I know I should be more specific with goals two and three, but I'm not coming up with how exactly (if you have an idea - please lemme know - either in the comments or by email.). But, there they are.

And now I bet you're wondering how I did on my December goals - especially with me not posting here much if at all. Well, you're about to find out.

Here are my December goals:
  • Take notes necessary in Plants of the Bible by Michael Zohary and The History of Ancient Israel by Michael Grant (my two library books) for Handmaiden to a Princess. Would love to be able to return both books before the end of the month.
  • Fix up Ailing Body, Nourished Soul for the One Hope contest, based on my dear friends' read-throughs. This MUST be submitted back to them by December 31.
  • Do some plotting (snowflaking?) on Handmaiden to a Princess with the new ideas I have. 
  • Pray about a direction/focus/whatever for my blog.
I finished plants of the Bible, and, for now, gave up on the Michael Grant book. Both are returned - will check out Michael Grant again later (likely soon). And you KNOW I did #4. And I've done planning/snowflaking for Handmaiden to a Princess (not sure what snowflaking is? Check out this post by Randy Ingermanson) - I'm currently working on step five of ten.

I did get my full book/manuscript (I was a finalist - one of five) submitted to One Hope (almost two weeks early!). Now I wait. The winner gets a contract and a stipend - will be announced by February. I've decided that unless I win or am offered a contract anyway, this book is going in the drawer for a bit so I can focus on my biblical fiction. Just FYI.

And now -  it's time to set goals for January!
  • Post, on topic, two to three times a week on my blog (with at least 75% of it fresh content) - this does NOT include "teaser" posts to other places I blog.
  • Finish steps five and six of Snowflake for Handmaiden to a Princess, and start step seven
  • Keep up in the blogging class on the ACFW course loop
  • Work through Margie Lawson's lecture packet Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors with a friend (or two or three - if you're interested in joining us, drop me a line. We're starting January 7. Not sure of the pace yet.)
So, there you go!  Happy New Year - and be sure to stop by tomorrow for more details on my new blog focus!

Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths


  1. Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths I love this! I'm looking forward to your new format, Joanne!

    You've really been working hard and labor of love for the glory of God is not in vain! Praying blessings for you in the NEW year, friend!

  2. Thanks, Jessica. I DO feel like I've been working hard at this stuff. And I need the reminder that I'm not laboring for nothing. Have a blessed new year yourself!!


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