Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


We’re almost at 2014, Dear Readers!

In the last few years, I’ve noticed this huge backlash against New Year’s resolutions. People say how stupid they are, how they’re made to be broken, and how they prefer to make their goals for a new year in September, etc.

Every time I write a post about resolutions, someone gets her panties in a knot. I don’t understand this. If you don’t like making resolutions, don’t make them. But if you enjoy the process, what does it hurt?

I’ve made New Year’s resolutions since I was a kid. I love the idea of a New Year being a completely new start, where you can reinvent yourself if you chose and recommit yourself to the things that are most important.

At this time of year, I usually look back at the previous year’s goals to see how I did. I’m always up for self-improvement, and I enjoy tracking my progress year by year. Sadly, I can’t find any resolutions for 2013, which is odd for me. I always make them. Maybe I just neglected to write them down? In any case, here are the big things I accomplished in 2013.

  • This was my first year working for myself again. It had its minor frustrations, but all in all, it was a wonderful year, and I’m sure next year is going to be even better!
  • I FINALLY finished my rewrites for Dragonfly Summer, which has been on my list for at least two years.
  • I wrote a new book, and almost all of a second one. I only have 20,000 words left to go on my first young adult novel.
  • I did quite a bit to further my writing career this year: I went on a writer’s retreat where I actually got some writing done (30,000 words in a week), attended a writer’s conference, entered Twitter pitch contests, and hired a life coach. I also started blogging one of my novels.
  • I finally returned to my kickboxing club after a 18-month hiatus. I haven’t gone as consistently as I’d like, but at least I have my foot in the door.
  • I finally watched my fight. This was a BIG thing for me. It took me almost two years to get up the courage.
  • I developed at least three new freelance contacts. Not sure if they’ll stick, but it’s always good to expand the business side of things.
  • I recommitted myself to this blog, posting three times a week as of October.
  • I made quite a few new friends and adopted a kitten.
  • Keeping my resolution to travel more, I spent two weeks in Curacao and joined a trip to Bali.
Here are my resolutions for 2014. It’s a big list.
  • Submit Dragonfly Summer to agents and editors in the spring. No excuses!
  • Rewrite Curacao book (no title yet).
  • Write FOUR new books: two in my upcoming Egyptian series, a horror novel I’ve had percolating for some time, and a children’s book, which is long overdue.
  • Rewrite my young adult novel.
  • Submit and market the Curacao and young adult novels.
  • Approach five new international markets for journalism.
  • Send query letter to Cooking Light.
  • Continue to blog three times a week.
  • Continue to sell stuff for move.
  • Start fixing up house for move.
  • Go on a “buying diet”.
  • Work towards fighting again, earning my green prajioud, or both, depending on whether or not I can maintain the focus needed to succeed in my writing goals.
  • Begin Spanish lessons.
  • Be a better girlfriend.
  • Get a website.
  • Kick my addiction to social media sites and identify time wasters and obstacles. Work on eliminating them.
The theme for 2014 is “Be OFF when off; ON when on”. I have a bad habit of being “kind of on” all the time. I often procrastinate when I have work to do, but on the flip side, I can rarely just relax without doing some kind of work in the background. I think I will make a lot more progress if I fully commit myself to whatever task is at hand, and THEN enjoy my leisure time without guilt (or working). Those who are closest to me will probably notice I’m on Facebook and email a lot less, but hopefully we’ll have more quality, meaningful time together.

As for this blog, I resolve to be a lot more honest. When I started writing A Life Less Ordinary, I’d hoped to remain anonymous so I could write openly about my life and what was important to me. That lasted about a minute, as everyone commented using my name. And, as I needed to use Facebook to promote it, keeping it a secret wasn’t going to work, anyways.

Using my real name has forced me to be careful about what I say. There have been many posts I’ve desperately wanted to write, but I’ve bitten my tongue, afraid of potential backlash. Then I wrote The Silent Killer. It was difficult and scary to write, but it seems to have resonated with people and maybe helped a couple of readers feel they’re not alone. This has shown me that speaking up, while terrifying at times, is worth it. So I’m going to do it more often…without venturing into the territory of over share.

My goal for 2014 is 156 posts! Please feel free to hold me accountable.

What’s your take on New Year’s Resolutions? Willing to share any goals for the future? Let’s inspire each other!

Happy New Year. Wishing you love, light, and all good things in 2014.

Thanks for reading!
1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Grey Weirdo

    I forgot to tell you, I do have some plans…

    I could put it all into one stupid sentence. Stop Surviving and Start Living, but that sounds stupid.

    Okay, I need to write again. Or at least re-edit the works I’ve had sitting around since before Holly left.

    Work out more. Gut’s gotta go which means no more pop either.

    And eating at home more, which saves money. Also, need a new job that doesn’t require so much work for so little pay (or so many stupid hours)

    So yeah, I got some ideas.

  2. Holli Moncrieff

    I actually think Stop Surviving and Start Living sounds great. I get exactly what you mean! Your goals are good ones. I’ll be cheering you on.

    Thanks for commenting, and Happy New Year. I’m glad we “met” this year. Your friendship has meant so much to me. I especially appreciate your support during my crisis. Hugs.

  3. Kyla Roma

    I love your goals – you’re going to have an amazing year, and I can’t wait to see it unfold for you! 🙂

    I have lots of little goals, so I’m resolving to track them and write them down on a big beautiful calendar I’m putting in my office. I’ve found that I’m much more focused on follow through when I can see the big picture of what I’m working on! That, and I’m going to blog every single week, at least once a week. For the past few years I’ve set out to write a few times a week and then peter out, when if I posted once or twice a week I could keep that up all year instead of going in fits and starts – this year I’m going to actually USE that knowledge lol

  4. Holli Moncrieff

    Happy New Year, Kyla! Thanks for commenting. And I’m thrilled to hear you’re going to be blogging more often again. That makes it a Happy New Year for me. 🙂

    My friend sent me this article you may find helpful as well, although I suspect you already take this approach.


  5. Elle Rush

    I love resolutions! I aim to get all of them done but even if some by the wayside, I get a few accomplished. Great list. Good luck!

  6. Holli Moncrieff

    Thanks, Elle. I feel the same way. I really believe they help clarify what I want to accomplish in the coming year, and achieving even some of my list is better than achieving none of it. Happy New Year!


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