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January 3rd, 2013

2013: Make the Time

Happy New Year!

2013 started with a bang: my screaming, crying son keeping me up almost all night on New Year's Eve. A combination of teething, head cold, and the mildest ear infection you can possibly have--but the sum of all those parts made for a messy night for my little boy. And me.

I had grand plans of writing a "kick butt, take names" sort of entry to begin this year, but well, my darling gave me (and his big sister) his cold, and two rough nights later and I'm just grateful to have 20 minutes to sit down and blog. That said, I do have some plans for this year. In 2012, I took the year off from goal setting and resolutions. I didn't have a book releasing, but I did release a new human being into the world, and it was a great opportunity to just focus on my family. And I did, and I am happy that I did. 

And now it's time to add back in all of the other things that are important to me.

Inspired b jbknowles, who creates a theme for each year, I've decided that my 2013 theme is "Make the Time." Too often, at the end of the day I find myself wondering where the time went (mostly it's been spent playing with small people on the floor of my living room). So I'm going to be more mindful of the time I have and how I'm spending it. 

In 2013, I will Make the Time to:

1. Read - I read about 15 books this past year; I'd like to increase that to 20-25. I'm also on the awards committee for the Boston Author's Club, so I'm doing a lot of reading for that. I'll probably exceed that goal, come to think of it. Whoo!
2. Write. Every day. - I typically write in big chunks, or steadily when I'm on deadline. This year, I'm going to write something every day--working on a book, or short story, or journal. I want to see what material I have at the end of a full year of writing. I'm giving myself a total of 30 passes for the year, though--30 days I can take off. So far, I've used two of them (unless you count this blog entry).
3. Walk - There's a new-to-us treadmill in the basement. I can't wait to start using it. I'm starting slow at first, with just 30 mins, 3 times per week.
4. Work - My day job is pretty demanding this year. I'm a department head with hiring and budgeting responsibilities, and then there's the regular grading and prep and teaching. Needless to say, I find myself scrambling on Sundays, or Tuesday nights before class. Not this year! I'm going to make the time to get through work in a timely manner.
5. Connect - From conferences and workshops, to just seeing friends more, I want to be more present in the communities I'm part of. Last year I hibernated a little (see "new baby," above), and I missed being part of the groups I love. So far, I'm signed up to present at the Whispering Pines retreat in March, the NESCBWI conference in May, and I have a proposal in for another conference. My girlfriends and I have also talked about getting together more regularly--without kids. Bring it on!

Although I'm starting 2013 with a head cold that has infiltrated nearly my entire family, I'm optimistic. I've got a plan. 

Watch out, 2013...I'm baaack!!

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• MOXIE AND THE ART OF RULE BREAKING (Dial 2013) was highlighted in the Atlantic Wire's Summer Reading Roundup!

• TOTAL TRAGEDY was named to the master list of Massachusetts Children's Book Awards 2013-2014

• New book alert! MOXIE AND THE ART OF RULE BREAKING will be in stores July 11 2013

• NOTES FROM AN ACCIDENTAL BAND GEEK is out in paperback! And it's on the Texas Lone Star List!

• TOTAL TRAGEDY has been named to the Texas Lone Star list as well as Kansas' KNEA Reading Circle catalog (with a starred recommendation)

• TOTAL TRAGEDY is out in paperback! Ask for it at a bookstore near you.

• TOTAL TRAGEDY has gone into its third printing! Thanks to everyone who bought it!

• MODELS has gone into its fifth printing! Thank you!!

• Have you seen the TT trailer? Go here & check it out:

• Disney's Family Fun Magazine and Girl's Life mag both loved TT! Check out the reviews in their February issues!

• I've signed stock recently at the following stores:
- Barnes & Noble, Framingham, MA

• Booklist says, "Some sisterly bonding, the sweet flutterings of a first romance, and a creatively contrived comeuppance for the mean girls make [TOTAL TRAGEDY] a cheerful read for younger middle-schoolers."