Resolutions, Paperbacks, and a Thank You

sunsetThis year I’ll try to keep it simple. These are really more like guidelines to remember than resolutions (except maybe for the first one).

Write More – Mostly, I need to get back into the routine of writing after revising for years. I’ll try writing a scene a day. Even as I’m writing this I know I won’t do it. Maybe I should just try to write every day instead.

Read More – I might do a Goodreads challenge for this, but I’d also like to try branching out into reading more poetry and short stories. With that in mind, I’ll start the new year off with Christy Birmingham’s Versions of the Self, a book of poetry that’s been getting great reviews lately.

oceanWalk Along the Ocean – Sometimes I go for weeks or months without seeing the ocean, which is crazy because I live on a sandbar. Life and work too easily get in the way and so I’ll have to make sure to go to the ocean more often, even if it is freezing outside. Sometimes those are the best times to go there.

Give More – My favorite nonprofits are Oceana, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Ocean Conservancy. Oceana and the Environmental Defense Fund will triple any donations and the Ocean Conservancy will double donations made by the end of the year.

Love More – A few years ago, Britt Skrabanek pledged to love more as a new year’s mantra. I thought that was a great idea and have been trying to do that too. The world will always need more love. This means loving not only those closest to us in the new year, but everyone we come in contact with.

Laugh More – I usually add this to my list of resolutions but it’s an easy one to forget. Last year I did at least go to a laughing yoga class with my mom and it really worked. If you haven’t been to a laughing yoga class, it could be something crazy to try in the new year. I promise you’ll laugh more than usual and feel good afterwards.

Ocean Echoes paperback and a thank you

The Ocean Echoes paperback is finally out! Thank you so much to everyone who supported, encouraged, commiserated, and laughed with me through all the years of writing and revising.

Wishing everyone a New Year filled with love and laughter!

Snow Days and Catching Up On Old Resolutions

snowy house

I’m hoping for more snow. It’s much more fun than rain and dreariness. I love to read while glancing up every once in a while to see the snow fall. I love the excitement of wondering how deep it will get and the silence that comes along with it. Snow is magic. It changes everything, if only for a little while.

Besides, if we get buried in snow maybe I’ll be forced into staying home and that means more time for writing and revising. I love all the possibilities of a snow day so much that it makes me wonder how anyone could ever curse the snow away.

My new year’s resolutions will pretty much be the same as last year. I’m used to recycling resolutions but with some of them I actually accomplished the opposite this time around. Instead of moving more (a scaled down version of exercising more), I moved much less than usual. The only resolution I did keep was to eat more chocolate. When combined with moving much less, the results could be called pretty scary.

And so in a final attempt to move more often while finishing everlasting novel revisions, I’m going to take a little extra time for those things this holiday season. I’ll be back to my regular Wednesday postings in mid-January with more Cape Cod photos and maybe even a few alpacas or goats. I’ll also be doing some new things here like author interviews. Until then, I’ll be on Twitter @SheilaHurst11.

Wishing everyone a new year filled with laughter, happiness, and snow days!

snow, photo by Sheila Hurst

Do you love or hate the snow? What are some of your new year’s resolutions? Is there anything else you’d like to see here next year?

The Wrong Way to Start a Reading Challenge

With the new year stretching out before us, anything seems possible. Because of that, I’m challenging myself to read 50 books this year.Last year was my first attempt at counting the number of books and I might have lost count, but it came to less than 50. It’s possible that I’ve never read anything close to that in a year. It wouldn’t be much of a challenge though if I tried for an easy number like 10 or 20, so I decided to go for 50.

Then I started reading The Brothers Karamazov. I’ve enjoyed it so far, but couldn’t help nodding off two or three times while reading it last weekend. I could blame the dog. She gets blamed for most things anyway and she kept me warm while making a quick nap look like a great idea at the time.

hibernating

Still, I managed to get through 70 or so pages. While feeling pretty good about that, I checked to see the total number of pages in the book: 770. That means I’ve only got 700 pages to go before finishing my first book of a 50-book challenge. I’m feeling challenged already.

How many books can you read in a year? Will you be doing a reading challenge? Do you know of any easy reads that should be added to my list?

Why Bother with New Year’s Resolutions?

sunrise or sunset

Resolutions can be as silly and as short-lived as those noisemakers and hats that appear on New Year’s Eve. I usually end up forgetting any resolutions as soon as they’re made, but I like silly things so I keep making them anyway. They give me hope. They make me think maybe this will be the year…if I could just remember to keep at least one resolution.

I tried to think of fun things to add this time around. If the promise of fun and excitement doesn’t make me stick to these resolutions, nothing will. So here’s my 2013 list:

1. Publish my novels. This makes me laugh because it’s been a resolution for too many years. If I can’t find the perfect agent for traditional publishing, I’ll try a small press or I’ll self publish.

2. Learn how to play the fiddle. For some reason, I keep wanting to do this but then I keep forgetting, probably because of being preoccupied with #1.

3. Plant more trees. This should be easy to do because I haven’t planted many trees lately.

4. Move around more often (even if that means stepping away from the computer). This one should also be easy because I don’t move around much on a regular day. Since the usual “exercise more” resolution never seems to work, this is a downscaled version.

5. Laugh more often. Probably already accomplished after watching The Big Lebowski recently.

6. Learn Italian once and for all because it’s so much fun to say.

7. Drink more wine and eat more chocolate. That one could be hard to do but it would be fun to try.

I’ve been subjecting everyone to this blog for about a year now. Thank you all for visiting and especially for your friendship. The best part of this adventure has been meeting you. I hope everyone has a happy 2013 filled with much love and laughter.

Have you ever kept a New Year’s resolution? Did you make any resolutions this year? Does The Big Lebowski make you laugh?  

The_Big_Lebowski___Jeff_Bridges