December 2021

Welcome to the last month of 2021. There’s finally light at the end of the tunnel . . . but, with the shit show the last two years have been, let’s hope the light isn’t a flaming tree!

I’m not going to do my usual “how did I do on my goals” year-end post, because we all KNOW how that went! Instead, I’m just going to skip to my goals for 2022.

My writing goals for this year are going to be small and manageable. I want to put the enjoyment back into writing and also leave time for adventuring. With that in mind, I’m setting a goal of writing six new short stories/flash pieces and doing three reprint submissions (half the number of new short stories). That’s it, the entirety of my writing goals for 2022. I can do more if time and desire permit, but that’s my minimum.

My reading goals are going to be expanded this year. In addition to keeping #500Stories500Nights, I’m setting a goal of reading at least three long nonfiction works. These can be my long put-off Lovecraft letters/essays, books on the craft, any of the pop culture and philosophy/psychology books I love so much, etc. Below is a pic of my most current TBR shelves.

I am setting a goal of reading six novel-length works. This one should be easy since I listen to audiobooks at work. I know I read at least six novels this year (heck, I think I read six CORDYCEPS novels this year, lol).

Odds and ends “author goals” include an image a day over on my Instagram. While it’s part of my “author platform,” it’s also for my mental health, because it makes sure I’m mindful during the long winter (a stop and smell the roses moment initiated by the necessity of finding a photo to take).

Another odds and ends “author goal” is to add a monthly get to know me question on this blog. It’s to make it a little more personal.

Speaking of personal, I have some personal goals, old and new, this year.

I’m going to try and jump back on the journaling bandwagon. I’ve never been very good at it, and though I’ve been doing it sporadically since this summer’s insanity, I’m still not doing very good at it. BUT! When I do, I enjoy it. So I’m going to try and make it a daily habit, even if it’s only a sentence or two per day.

I’m going to get back into my exercise program. It’s been hit and miss (more miss) since we moved into this house three years ago. Hubby is on a diet due to medical issues, so I’m jumping on that bandwagon too. My A1C isn’t that great, so I could use some mindful eating (Hey! I think that’s going to be my word for 2022: MINDFUL). I’ve built a pretty impressive home gym, plus have several apps/memberships, so there should be no excuses about not having the right equipment or tools to exercise!

So that’s my plan for MINDFUL 2022.

Now. What did I accomplish last month?

Nothing as far as writing. Actually, I take that back. I’m currently in the middle of working on the final for my last English class before my graduation. Our take-home final is a “short” essay assignment. Three questions. Each questions is supposed to be answered in two pages. Single-spaced. So . . . in essence, my final assignment of this class is to pull off a twelve-page paper in two weeks. Did I mention I’m continuing school after I graduate? Yeah. That’s another reason for the smaller writing goals next year. I’m entering a new program, and I don’t know what it’s going to be like. Maybe in that program, the assignments are going to be fifteen-page papers. I’m hedging my bets.

I did accomplish some reading. I finished Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff, and I loved it. The audiobook I’ve started now is Melville’s Moby Dick. It’s a 25-ish hour audio book, so I’m going to be at it a while.

I’m still working on The Walking Dead and Philosphy: Zombie Apocalypse Now by Wayne Yuen. There’s a part in it where they talk about hooking a bunch of zombies up to make a rudimentary computer. It’s not as crazy as it sounds, since computing is just a state of zeros or ones. The best part is, when building a computer out of zombies, how many zombies make a megabyte? (waka waka)!

And, without further ado, after a four-month absence, here is my #500Stories500Nights list for November!

  • 1: “Ghost Birds,” by Karen Russell (The New Yorker: The Writer’s Voice, 10-5-21)
  • 2: “Confessions of a Shinagawa Monkey,” by Haruki Murakami (The New Yorker: Fiction, 9-1-21)
  • 3: “Half Past the Dragon,” by Grant Carrington (StarShipSofa 671)
  • 4: “Loose Change,” by Andrea Levy (Selected Shorts 10-21-21)
  • 5: “Anyone Can Do It,” by Manuel Munoz (Selected Shorts 10-21-21)
  • 6: “Matches,” by Sydney Paige (Cast of Wonders 470)
  • 7: “Glimpses in Amber,” by Adam-Troy Castro (Nightmare Magazine podcast, 11-3-21)
  • 8: “The Years of My Birth,” by Louise Erdrich (LeVar Burton Reads, 8-9-21)
  • 9: “Heirlooms,” by Zebib KA (Fantasy Magazine Podcast, 10-12-21)
  • 10: “The Wishing Pool,” by Tananarive Due (Uncanny Magazine Podcast 41A)
  • 11: “The Flickering Dusk of the Video God,” by Luciano Marano (Pseudopod 780)
  • 12: “How to Get Back to the Forest,” by Sofia Samatar (Drabblecast 451)
  • 13: “The Black Cat,” by Poe (Nocturnal Transmissions 115)
  • 14: “Teeth,” by Michael Teasdale (The Other Stories 69.4)
  • 15: “The Great Angel Deluge and How It (Nearly) Ruined My Special Day,” by Patrick Barb (Tales to Terrify 508)
  • 16: “Marry the Rat,” by LM Zaerr (The Overcast 159)
  • 17: “My Last Skinwalker,” by Carolyn A Drake (The Wicked Library TDiB S1E13, 9-19-21)
  • 18: “Game Night,” by Glenn McQuaid (Tales From Beyond the Pale 48)
  • 19: “The Haunting of Hajji Hotak,” by Jamil Jan Kochai (The New Yorker: The Writer’s Voice, 11-1-21)
  • 20: “The Balloon,” by Donald Barthelme (The New Yorker: Fiction, 10-1-21)
  • 21: “Forty-Flesh Barrier,” by Raluca Balasa (StarShipSofa 670)
  • 22: “Yours Truly,” by AM Homes (Selected Shorts, 10-28-21)
  • 23: “Omakase,” by Weike Wang (Selected Shorts, 10-28-21)
  • 24: “What If We Remembered?” by Amadin Ogbewe (Cast of Wonders 469)
  • 25: “An Arrangement of Moss and Dirt,” by KP Kulski (Fantasy Magazine Podcast 9-28-21)
  • 26: “On the Lonely Shore,” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (LeVar Burton Reads, 9-6-21)
  • 27: “Caw,” by WC Dunlap (Nightmare Magazine Podcast, 10-6-21)
  • 28: “Presque vue,” by Tochi Onyebuchi (Uncanny Magazine Podcast 41B)
  • 29: “Sleep Hygiene,” by Gemma Files (Pseudopod 783)
  • 30: “Watch Anya Blume,” by Michael Piel (Drabblecast 452)

Okay! It’s late and I have a paper to write, so here’s a picture of my cool light that reminds me of The Crystalline Entity from Star Trek TNG. Happy Holidays, and I can’t wait to see you in the New Year!