Six month plan – Writer’s Table model

Whelp, we have officially wasted half a year. Only six month remain to make what we want to out of 2016. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not mad at myself for what I have/ haven’t achieved so far this year, but I can say I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped, particularly on the writing front, which means maybe a new tactic is in order.


I had the good fortune to meet Eleanor at a book signing tour in New Orleans in 2011

Luckily the latest newsletter from The Writer’s Table, from the charming and brilliant Eleanor Brown arrived with not only the reminder that the year is half done, but also a way to set realistic goals for the rest of the year.

The goals work backwards from the big picture to today, and I think this will be a technique I can really work with – because let’s be honest, part of my not accomplishing writing goals for the first half of 2016 was not having clearly defined goals. Hard to achieve goals when they consist mostly of a nebulous “I should write more.”

The questions Eleanor recommends you ask yourself when setting your 6 month goals are:

  1. Where would I like to be with my writing by the end of the year? [12/31/2016; 183 days away]*
  2. In order to achieve that goal, what do I need to have accomplished by Halloween? [10/31/2016; 122 days away]
  3. In order to make it there by Halloween, where do I need to be by Labor Day? [9/5/2016; 66 days away]
  4. In order to reach that Labor Day goal, what do you need to do right now? [7/1/2016; right now]

*Dates and # of days away are my own addition, to help me conceptualize this better. And I know this post is several days after 7/1/2016, but work with me here 😉

Upon reading the newsletter, I came up with these possible writing goals:

  • Time writing per day/week
  • Finish and begin submitting  Here There Be
  • Write and submit to critique group the Garret short story (to send to Writers of the Future in Spring)
  • Write first draft of Casey Watkins and the Missing Mascot
  • Complete second draft of Foxglove and Queen Anne’s Lace – find Gamma readers
  • Expand the Snow White inspired story to novel length
  • Get to halfway point of next draft of Divine Madness (1/2 point defined as 1) through second trail or 2) 60,000 words)

As you can see, I have too many writing goals to do them all in the next six months (or the last six months, which is probably why I stalled out). I have decided to focus on the two in purple text, one is polishing a short story, and beginning to send it out, the other is working on a second draft. I chose that one because it sounds difficult – I find generating story ideas and coming up with a first draft relatively easy – the part of my craft that I need the most work on is editing/ getting to the point of submission.

Wish me luck, and best wishes to all of you taking the opportunity of the new month to reevaluate goals.

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Snapshot Saturday gone wild: Photo Blog of ALA

Last week I attended ALA Annual – (the larger of the American Library Association’s conferences) for work. While I was there to present one poster, and co-present a second, and learn from fellow library professionals, I also had the opportunity to enjoy myself. My friend Karen, a local to the Orlando area, let me stay at her house, and accompanied me to the conference’s exhibit floor, as well as sharing some other local joys with me, including her lovely four-footed child, Zelda.

Professional Development


All checked in with the first day’s conference paper.


I presented “There’s a policy for that?” at the Saturday morning poster session. Photo by Brian Keith.


Selfie with my poster.


George Wade with the poster we co-presented, “7,000 and Counting


Meeting Authors 


When the author asks for a selfie with you. Apparently I ask good questions. Photo by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo


An articulate and inspiring young lady – Selfie with Jazz Jennings.


Meeting an NPR celebrity – Paula Poundstone

Robin Stevenson, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Ingrid Abrams, Alex Gino, E.M. Kokie discussing LBT+ representation in YA and MG novels.

Robin Stevenson, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Ingrid Abrams, Alex Gino and E.M. Kokie discussing LBT+ representation in YA and MG novels.


Taking on Important Issues


Karen’s contribution to the “I Stand with Orlando” board.


I stand with Orlando because love and not hate is what should define humanity. #OrlandoStrong


In light of all the hubbub around bathroom bills, I was thrilled to see this sign in one of the main banks of bathrooms.

There was a booth to create videos for banned books week. Karen read an excerpt from It, and I chose And Tango Makes Three.

There was a booth to create videos for banned books week. Karen read an excerpt from It, and I chose And Tango Makes Three.


Other Weekend Fun


Ice cream sandwiches, cupcakes and a cafe with comfy chairs and books – snacking heaven.

Me and Zelda chillin'

Me and Zelda chillin’

Logging books I scored in the exhibit hall in Goodreads

Logging books I scored in the exhibit hall in Goodreads

Zelda just wanted a seat at the table.

Zelda just wanted a seat at the table.

Writing Excuses Homework 10.8


Assignment: Sketch out the events before and after your dead-drop scene from last week and three weeks ago.


Abi was at her work, a museum conservation office, scrambling to create a forgery of the Shakespeare Folio, and not be noticed by her coworkers. She packed it in a preservation box, pulled the messenger bag out of a box under her desk, and headed downtown.

Mike is forced to stay late, after being forced to come in early. He finally manages to slip out, with the help of a co-worker, and rushes home to find his dog, Beauty, by the door, leash in her mouth, whining. He drops his bag, throws his tie on the table,and takes Beauty on a walk.



Abi drops the bag, picks up the trade off bag, and then walks the park, interacting with the dogs. She wanders south, away from the table, and runs into Mike, and is surprised, and flustered, and drops the bag, spilling it’s contents – lots of fliers that look to have been pulled off of light posts from around town, and she finds herself having to explain the contents.

Mike and his dog get to the lawn, and Beauty takes care of business. Mike settles into a more leisurely walk, letting Beauty interact with dogs. A flash of orange, and he sees Abi heading to him. She is surprised to see him, and drops her bag, which appears to contain garbage. He wonders if she really is a good choice to care for Beauty.