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Rated: E · Essay · Writing.Com · #2312111
Dear Me 2024 - The Dust Bunnies are still stalking me in the Writing Jungle
Dear Me,

Welcome to 2024! It’s the year of the Dragon, so I’m hoping I don’t find any in the Writing Jungle. Actually, the jungle is gorgeous. It’s full of lush, green trees and big fat flower bushes. Thankfully, the Dust Bunnies have never seen dragons before, but just in case, every night they deploy a nightguard to watch the skies. Better they watch the skies than me. When those bunnies are after me, they’re wicked distracting and keep me from my writing goals.

The Writing Jungle

I found a spot next to the watering hole, and pulled out my notebook. My goal was to find some peaceful, “me time,” to evaluate my 2023 goals and set some goals for 2024. After all, the bunnies knew where my treehouse was.

I settled in, got comfy, and took a sip of water from my bottle. Bertha, Big Ben, and Baby Fufu were happy to see me again. They shook their little horns at me and smiled. I smiled and waved back.

I adjusted my jungle hat and tucked a red pen behind my ear. Looking back on 2023, I compared the finished product to my goals – Reading, Writing, WDC, & Arithmetic aka marketing.

Reading: I did great! 4.5 out of 5 Stars!! I read the following:

Kellyanne Conway’s “Here’s the Deal.”
Erika Johansen’s “Beneath the Keep.”
Andrew Ridgeley’s memoir, “Wham!”
Julia Quinn’s “The Duke and I.”
Julia Quinn’s “The Viscount who loved me.”
Annie Jacobson’s “Operation Paperclip.”

For 2023, I’m very happy with my reading. I got 6 solid books in the can and they were a nice variety.

2024 Reading Goal:
#1 - Read 7 books by 31 DEC 2024 and 2 must be romances – and 2 have to be my favorite romance author, Shana Galen.
#2 – Finish reading the “The Thorn Birds” by 30 Sep 2024.

I paused for a nut bar. The Rhinos fussed over Baby Fufu, giving her a bath. I don’t think she was thrilled about that. I glanced up. No dragons. Looking side-to-side, I checked for Dust Bunnies. None.

Writing Goals for WDC – 3 out of 5 Stars. I did okay.
Well, I could have done better. I wrote 13 Romance/Love Newsletters and considering I’ve been writing Romance/Love Newsletters since 2010, I’m wicked proud of being able to keep it fresh since then. I did write Dear Me, 2023. Does that count?
Dear Me 2023  (E)
Navigating the Writing Jungle, avoiding the Dust Bunnies, and finding inspiration for 2023
#2289060 by StephBee

What I think gives me a 3 is that I got really ambitious and stared a Community Group called:
Steph Bee's Bee Hive  (E)
Steph Bee's Home for Busy Bees and the Honey Pit
#1134558 by StephBee

I recruited some great Bees: Princess Megan Rose 22 Years Kit Ԝ€ß☆ԜiʈCH and Lilli 🧿 ☕ and started to promote Good Will on WDC. I opened up:
The Best of the Rest at the Bee Hive   (E)
JUN 2024 Contest is open! Submit your Crosswords!
#1134192 by StephBee
which focuses on awarding activities. Then there’s the
Steph Bee's Honey Pit   (E)
JUNE 2024 - hang out with fellow Bees and enjoy the Honey. NEW challenge is OUT!
#1474097 by StephBee
That is the group’s message forum. We’ve commissioned some exclusive merit badges. I’d like to recruit some more bees this year. The Bee Hive is a lot of work and it’s still kinda’ small, but I’m proud of the work the Bees and I have done to date.

2024 Writing.Com Goals:
1. Write 5 items for WDC contests. Write 3 contest items before 31 July 2024.
2. Grow the Bee Hive. Recruit at least 3 more Bees. Host 2 Raffle fundraisers and a Quickie Merit Badge Fundraiser. Commission 3 more Merit Badges by 30 Nov 2024.

The ground thumped next to a bush on the near side of the watering hole, causing the bush to shake. A hint of roses wafted through the air. The Dust Bunnies were close. The rhinos sniffed the air and pursed their lips. Baby Fufu licked hers like there was a tasty morsel nearby.

Publication 4 out of Stars – Wicked pleased with my progress.

I edited and published “A Polish Heart” on Amazon which is available on Kindle and in print. Christmas in Bayeux is now avail in print. Mind you, self-publishing is time consuming, and I’ve learned a lot of patience with self-publishing. First you need the product, and I did a big content edit on “A Polish Heart.” It was originally a short story at 12K words, but I expanded it to 40K. Once you’ve got the product, you need a cover. I bought ISBNs and registered copyrights. I found a great formatter. I had to make sure my KDP account is up and running.

I did a little editing work on “The Wolf’s Torment.” Not enough to say I’m proud of it though.

Baby Fufu began sniffing the bush. The Dust Bunnies squeaked and hopped off in a hurry.

SUMMARY SO FAR: I did great with my 2023 reading goals, kinda’ got sidetracked in a good way on WDC, but did great in my publication goals.

2024 Publication Goals:
1. Finish editing “The Wolf’s Torment, assign it ISBN’s and self-publish in print and kindle by 30 JUN 2024.
2. Content edit my short story, “Gifts” for self-publishing by the end of the year.
3. Work on a new story, “Legend of the Lighthouse” and knock out a good bit of it by the end of year.
4. Content edit my short story, “Matchmaking Amusement” by the end of the year.

2023 Marketing Goals: – 3.5 out of 5 Stars. I did better than I thought I would.
Marketing is not my strong suit. Free Kindle Books and Tips went in the compost pile. (I think the creator retired). Let me tell you, those bunnies were picking off the carrots that were growing in the pile. (Big distraction!!) I continued to use Fussy Librarian and added a new marketing website, Written Word Media (WWM). I joined a few Facebook groups. WWM is expensive, yet “Christmas in Bayeux” has gotten some nice exposure. “Mr. Christmas Elf” is my strongest seller with the most consistent sales.

2024 Marketing Goals:
1. Continue to use Fussy Librarian, and Facebook, and WWM for marketing.
2. Develop Instagram as a marketing platform.
3. Find another affordable marketing platform.

I wiped the sweat off my forehead with my bandana and slathered on more sunscreen. A rock landed in front of me, splashing water on my journal. Not cool. Glancing over, I spied Busy Butt Dust Bunny. He was thumping his tale on top of a boulder next to the watering hole and grinned like a Cheshire cat as he held up another rock.

Bertha put her foot down and splashed Busy Butt Dust Bunny. A wave hit him and he flopped off the boulder.

I dried off my journal and kept writing. I’m horrible with times and dates because those Dust Bunnies get so up in my business, it’s all I can do to avoid them. Trust me, those bunnies will take any opportunity they can to sabotage my writing goals here in the jungle. The wild card is going to be those dragons.

The rhinos came over and gave me smiles. I petted each one, thanked them for the inspiration and gathered my equipment. Pen. Check. Paper. Check. Journal. Check. Time to head back to the Jungle Tree House and tackle some goals!

Word Count: 1163

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