Friday, August 28, 2015

Do You Have Goals? End of Summer Update and Book/Story Celebrations

Do You Have Goals? is an encouraging blog hop about creating fantastic, mind-boggling goals and then taking all the small steps to make them happen. This hop is hosted by the inspiring Misha and Beth!

This is my end of summer, super detailed update (skip to the end, if needed): 

1. Publication goals and celebrations:
July goal (which became my July-August goal): putting Ashes Burn Season 3 into e-book format
Plus, I finished Dynamic Writing 1. 
Underlying Long-term goal: To get work off my pc and into the world.
September Goals: Ashes Burn 4 in ongoing episodic format at my Ashes Burn blog. Looking for confirmation from my publisher that Eight if By Sea will come out in September, and prepping C.D. for release . . . which I had originally planned for October, but will take miracles to release as planned.

2. Writing and Write 1 Sub 1 Goals and Celebrations:
July and August: Finish revisions of C.D, DW1, and partial DW2, plus write and submit at least one story.
C.D. (still underway), DW1 (finished!), and partial DW2 (in last stages). Plus, I wrote and submitted 7 new stories, and re-subbed four older stories. 
Underlying long-term goal: To strengthen my writing skills and finish several projects this year.
September Goals: Finish C.D. Finish all prep for home-school co-op start on Sept. 14th (this involves moving some writing curriculum forward, at least in handout/note format).

3. Marketing goals and celebrations:
Underlying goal: To get better at this strange thing called marketing.
July-August goals: Track down that guest post e-mail, make action-item list for the rest of the year and follow it. Go to and rock the NW Book Fair without falling over in a nervous sweat. Figure out my newsletter.
Epic Fail Area. I didn't rock the Book Fair, didn't track down that one e-mail, and have only a partial action-item list.
September goals: to prep for the Puyallup Festival of Books in October, to make that action-item list, and to request guest posts and reviews. That's it.

4. Exercise goals and celebrations:
Underlying goal: Health and fitness.
July goal: Bike 40 miles, walk 40 miles, get yoga routine back, swim and kayak at least 5 times. Drink more water. (I think this is more reasonable)
I biked 34 miles, walked 44 miles, started easy stretches, swam once, and kayaked once.
I considered this accomplished.
August: I boogie-boarded in California, hiked in Yosemite, and started walking again when I got home.
September goal: help start a new "master/40+" kayak/surfski group, walk 40 miles, bike 40 miles.

5. Invitational goal:
Underlying goal: To have an invitational attitude.
July goal: Invite friends and/or family over for dinner/hang-out time. Sadly, I don't remember if I invited or if I just had my in-laws over for dinner in a happenstance kind of way.
August - um, not really. 
September: Invite someone over to my house for something - dinner, coffee, have my kids' friends hang out, etc. 

6. Spiritual goals:
July-August goal:  Prayer, Bible Study, Cell group, look at volunteer opportunities - did these.
September: Volunteer with Youth Sunday School (regular stuff for me), help with an Alpha group, Prayer, Bible Study, and Cell Group. 


E-mail me if you have news to share! I don't always remember because I'm clueless and my family life is a super busy life. If it's not written down and plastered to something fixed, I don't remember stuff.

Garden of the Lost Souls - Twenty dark tales of flash fiction to shiver your spine by Madeline Mora-Summonte. 

I love Madeline's fiction even though these tales are truly dark and freaked me out quite a bit. She is an amazing writer.  On a 1-10 scary scale, these are a 10+, and on a 1-10 writing scale, these are a 10+. So, move over Stephen King. (Not recommended for MG readers that might stop by this post.)

Dragon's Destiny Review 

Dragon's Destiny by Alex J. Cavanaugh. If you've read Dragon of the Stars, contact Alex J. Cavanaugh about reading this wonderful short story that takes place after the novel. 

My super short review: Aden's growth as a character continues on a phenomenal arc and the story is both dramatic and sweet. Highly recommended as a companion to Dragon of the Stars. You can only read this book by checking out Alex's plan for getting Dragon's Destiny found in this post, and by contacting him directly. Go to his website link for more info.

I read like books are food, and I don't always write reviews well, but I thought I would share a few from my recent road trip:

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. You've probably already read the reviews,and maybe you read my long facebook rant when I was stuck on page 43, utterly disappointed that Scout had turned into a brat, but I have one more tiny review to add to all the hoopla.

As a writer, I encourage you to read this book after you've read To Kill a Mockingbird. I noticed horrible craft issues as well as story arc issues, but I also noticed the differences in characters from one book to another. It reminded me of why I wrote seven content drafts of Champion in the Darkness, and how much the characters changed from one draft to another. I think Go Set a Watchman is an excellent example of a nearly unedited early draft. It helps me feel a bit better as a struggling writer. I mean, if Harper Lee couldn't get it right the first time, why do I think I will? However, I recommend this as a library book read, not a store-bought read. Don't buy it if you can borrow it.
I ended up giving it 3 out of 5 stars because I think Harper Lee was struggling with how to deal with the reality of our flawed humanity and the depth of racism in our country.

More is an urban fantasy mystery by T.M. Franklin. It's action-packed with a touch of sweet romance and a good amount of mystery. My youngest, who is as voracious of a reader as I am, found it to be her favorite book on our road trip. I think she read it twice. It's fairly short, but it's a good read, and the rest of the trilogy is out so you don't have to wait for more of the More Trilogy. :)

The last book in this over-long post is my own. Call this a min-celebration with another small planned celebration to come on September 14th when I will post about the background of this book and have all the links prepared for various sites.

Dynamic Writing 1 includes 161 writing lessons for middle school students. In one year, students will write over fifty journal entries, six book summaries, two descriptive essays, two narrative essays, five short fiction stories, a process essay, a news article, a super short biography, a short research report, two quatrains, a ballad, two timed essays, and a writing resume. In addition to essay basics like thesis statements, introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions, students will also learn sentence variations and writing concepts. Notes for teachers and parents, as well as checklists and grade sheets are provided within the lessons, and an answer key may be found in the back of the book. With all of this, Dynamic Writing 1 is ready for use in the home or the classroom. 

The first fifteen lessons are available for kindle readers for 99 cents or for free at the new Dynamic, Every Day Writing site. These lessons serve as a tiny introduction to the series. The rest of the lessons get progressively longer and more challenging as the year moves onward.

Dynamic Writing 1 is available as a whole book in paperback and is getting split into two e-books, Dynamic Writing 1A First Semester, and Dynamic Writing 1B Second Semester.

For some reason, I am more proud of this particular project than any other that I have written. I love writing fiction, but writing this middle school writing curriculum book involved just as much sweat, tears, laughter, and time as anything else I've ever written, and I wrote it because I saw a need that I felt passionate about filling.  

I know that middle school writing curriculum isn't on everyone's TBR list, but if you could in any way help me spread the word, I would greatly appreciate it. 

In fact, if you have any ideas on how to market writing curriculum instead of fiction, I would gladly take marketing advice. Other than contacting a few review sites and planning to have a booth at a home-school curriculum fair next year, I'm not sure how to get the word out about this one.

Do you have goals? Have you finished a project lately? Do you have a book to share?


Beth Ellyn Summer said...

great goals! my main one is to get my butt in gear and finish my current WIP so I can have it off to my agent before I get edits on AFB...there's not enough time for all the writing! Lol

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's awesome you submitted so many stories.
Keep up with the healthy stuff. You're doing great there.
Glad you enjoyed Dragon's Destiny! Thanks for the review.

Tyrean Martinson said...

That's a good main goal! And, I know what you mean - it's hard to fit in all the writing and life. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

You're welcome, Alex!

Murees Dupé said...

I think you did really well! I should learn to exercise more and be healthy. You got a lot done. You should feel happy. Luckily for me, you already offered to help me with the release of my book:) You are awesome. Have a great weekend.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Thanks for the shout out and the review, Tyrean! Much appreciated! :)

You have so many wonderful goals, and you accomplish so much. I think I might need to streamline my goals for September, throw more of myself into less things.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I'm feeling pretty happy. Despite the exercise, the health goal is one of my bigger "concerns" so I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Tyrean Martinson said...

You're welcome!

I think that sometimes my goals get a little crazy and I'll be making them a little more reasonable as the fall progresses and my teaching schedule takes a little more time.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Your writing goals are giving me a serious case of envy. Loved your book reviews. I will follow your example and make September goals for myself.

Tyrean Martinson said...

No, no, no - don't envy. I have had some sleepless nights over some of my projects, and I'm not going to be able to keep the pace I'm working at for much longer. It's been a slow build to get here with all the stuff I've written over the years getting shaped into something worthwhile, and now I'm in the fires of revision and polishing.

Goals really help.

Misha Gericke said...

Whoa! You've gotten a ton done. I'm impressed.

Me, I'm still procrastinating on finishing O1 because of separation anxiety. :-P

Hart Johnson said...

You've done great! I do this level of detail maybe twice a year, but I like that you have fewer per type, but monthly. I think it means they are probably more likely to be met.

Karen Lange said...

Congratulations on a fun and productive summer! You always inspire me.:) I need to make up a plan for the fall. Best wishes with the new book!

Yolanda Renee said...

You have been one busy lady! Good for you, keep it up - you inspire us all!

Loved the reviews, good on you, I still owe a few. Gotta get that done!

Congrats on your latest - I would be honored to help you spread the word, just send me an email at Such an awesome idea! I love it!

Denise Covey said...

Haven't you been busy! Just keep on enjoying it all! I'm not good at setting goals, but I've finally decided to choose one of my 5 novels to bring it to the finish line! So I'm hoping my first novella will be out in time for Halloween! Creepy me!

mshatch said...

I don't have goals so much as projects and it's usually one at a time, occasionally two though I find it hard to switch back and forth between works. Anyway, my current project is revising my scifi, NO REST.

John and Tyrean Martinson said...

I get that. When I've been too far away from a project, it seems like I have to get to know it all over again. :)

John and Tyrean Martinson said...

Monthly goals have really made a difference for me. After I set them, I sit down and write them on a white board, and then make weekly lists that I try to follow.

John and Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Karen!
Plans always help.

John and Tyrean Martinson said...

Thank you, Yolanda!!!

John and Tyrean Martinson said...

Go for it, Denise! Best wishes on getting that novella done!

John and Tyrean Martinson said...

I think the way we each work is interesting. If you like to work at one of time, enjoy it! I can't seem to think that way and the more I force myself to work on one project at a time, the less I get done. I'll literally stall and stare at the cursor for hours if I don't take five minutes to a half hour to work on another idea. Then, I can come back and work on the "main" project again.
Best wishes on No Rest!

cleemckenzie said...

All of that and exercise, too! I'm really impressed. You have to come over to my house and help me out with goal setting. I'm kind of rotten about that. Keep up the great work.

Laurel Garver said...

Wow, that is a lot of goals! I need to plot mine out for the month now that school is beginning at last and I'm not distracted by the spouse and kid at home goofing off while I work. My number one goal is to put in more solid hours writing. I have three projects going right now, and am realizing I don't have the best work habits.

Mark Koopmans said...

Hey:) Here's a thought that *immediately* popped into my head when I read your blurb on Dynamic Writing 1.... Check your area (and then expand as needed) for homeschool groups... I was a member of a homeschoolers group and we were always looking for a social event to revolve around.... perhaps you could arrange to meet them at a library (meeting room?) and then the group could do two events in one session...

Just a thought :)

I feel as passionate about my opera singer's memoir, so "break a leg" :)