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Rated: ASR · Letter/Memo · Career · #1513424
Chad Pennington inspires the muse for 2009.
Word Count: 603

Dear Me,

I feel like Chad Pennington this year. Just call me the comeback kid. So I went 1-15 in 2008. I’m going to the playoffs this year. (Crosses fingers and buys a lottery ticket just in case.)

2008 wasn’t quite my year for big lofty goals, so I thought I’d come up with a more “realistic” playbook. Before I share my aspirations for 2009, I thought I’d recap last year’s lackluster season:

#1 Get an Agent
Needless to say I kicked a field goal and missed here. I did catch an agent’s attention. She sent me an email and told me she liked my writing and if I had any projects, to let her know. Sadly, I didn’t have any projects to show her.

#2 Do well in the 77th Writer’s Digest Competition
Here’s my one and only decisive win. My short story, “Spontaneous Decision,” won 8th place in the mainstream/literary category. I was thrilled! That’s my highest placing story yet. “The Watch Tower” scored #22 in Genre fiction. My attempted two-point conversation paid off when two of my short stories, “The Wolf’s Kiss,” and “The Peenemunde Secret” received honorable mentions in the 2007 Popular Fiction Contest.

#3 Work on my sequel to “The Wolf’s Torment”
I went three and out here. I longed to work on this story. I’ve got the plot, the characters, the setting, but I couldn’t find a second or two to give it my attention.

#4 Promote “The Wolf’s Torment”
I went three and out here, too. We had to tighten the purse strings and my marketing budget dried up faster than the LA River. (There’s a river in LA, you ask? Sure, when it rains.)

So now it’s time to throw out the ol’ playbook and get real. Sure, I’ve got goals and my #1 goal is to go 15-1 this year. (I wouldn’t mind a date with Chad Pennington either. Maybe some of his good luck karma will rub off on me.)

My writing goals for 2009:

#1 Realize my limitations. I’m a working mom with two kids who are six and two. My hands are full. I can write at my job, but finding time to get on the computer – well, that’s a challenge. I need to accept it and go from there.

#2 Do well in the 78th Writer’s Digest Competition. I’ve got a story lined up for genre fiction and one for the script category. I’ll be entering mainstream/literary again as well, but I need to brainstorm that one. I’m really pumped up about cranking out some fantastic shorts. These competitions have been a great way to really hone my skills.

#3 Continue to work and edit my novel, “The Hungarian.” This is my paranormal romance based on my short story, “The Wolf’s Kiss.” Writing is ten percent writing and ninety percent editing. I’m working on a 2nd draft now. It’s slow, but awesome and I’ve been learning a lot. Self-editing is a task that’s not easy to master but extremely rewarding when you see your improvement.

#4 Read more. Read different styles. Get inspired by a few good books. On my reading list: Twilight, The Tzarina’s Daughter, and The Wars of the Roses.

#5 Get out and be more social on writing websites. (This might be my most challenging goal here.) I want to join a few critique groups and to give and get feedback. Without feedback, I just might go 1-15 again. Can’t have that.

Long term goals: Find an agent, Work on “The Wolf’s Torment” sequel, work on “The Flames of Madeoc,” and meet Chad Pennington.


With Love,

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