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


Better late than never, right?

Talk about the best laid plans–I did plan to update the blog now and then during my holidays, but time away from the computer was so blissful that I didn’t want it to end. However, it’s January, it’s a New Year, and it’s time to get back to work.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

This has become a tradition that a lot of people sneer at–the same people who refuse to acknowledge Valentine’s Day because it’s a “Hallmark Holiday”. (That may be so, but how can celebrating a holiday in honor of love be a bad thing? If the commercialism bothers you, skip the overpriced chocolate and do something more personal.) There’s also the sentiment that you shouldn’t wait until the New Year to make a positive change in your life. Fair enough. I know others who make resolutions in September because the beginning of a new school year still signals a fresh start for them, and that’s great, too.

But I like making New Year’s resolutions. I enjoy reflecting on the accomplishments and failings of the year just past and planning my goals for the one ahead. I am very proud to say that I managed to keep all of last year’s promises to myself, which included getting serious about paying off my debt; finishing my novel; and passing the red prajioud test.

This year’s goals are:

1) Polishing Dragonfly Summer and sending it off to publishers and agents
2) Training for and hopefully passing my green prajioud test
3) Having my first (and perhaps only) fight, if applicable
4) Beginning and finishing research/outline of new novel
5) Submitting one new story to a contest
6) Starting to write new novel
7) Getting out of debt, once and for all!

They are lofty goals, but I believe they are well within my reach this year. If I learned anything from the previous year, it’s that the more you require of yourself, the more you are able to achieve.

What are your New Year’s resolutions, dear readers? And welcome back to the blog! Thanks for being here.

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


  1. Polly

    Good to see you back! I too enjoy making a list of things I want to see happen in the coming year. I now try to make more than half of them fun/adventure/travel/culture, as it’s more likely that I’ll forget to have fun than I’ll forget to work hard! Also in the mix are some learning and health goals.

    A big one is to get our feature film Hello, Darling into a festival, but I have also committed to getting back to my own writing – have outlines for a couple of scripts, and have a novel I’m also in early stages of figuring out. So maybe will be checking in here for inspiration!

    All the best to you with your goals!

  2. Story Teller

    Thanks, Polly! I never thought of having goals that are simply for fun, but that’s a great idea. While my problem is having too much fun and not doing enough work most of the time, it’s still a neat incentive. After I’m out of debt, the 2012 Resolutions will be a lot more fun.

    Good luck with your goals as well, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for your film. Happy New Year! Let’s hope 2011 kicks butt for us both.

  3. Jocé

    A big welcome back, and Happy New Year. It is good to take a break, you discover how much you’re appreciated.

    Way to go with your goals for the year.

    i too have made some commitments to myself – #1 to prioritize and block time for my writing instead of leaving it to chance 🙂
    I also took up a challenge from poet Sage Cohen’s blog, she suggests choosing a word or phrase that will be your North Star for the coming year. I thought that was a neat idea, and pondered it. My phrase will be “In Medias Res”. (& I wrote a poem with that title on New Year’s Day) Cheers.

  4. Kim

    See I think “goals” and “resolutions” are two different things.

    Did I make any resolutions, I don’t think so. I KNOW I should eat better and I’d like to try but I just fininished eating an egg McMuffin so if it is a resolution, I’ve already failed.

    I have a few goals though… maybe I’ll write about them in my blog.

  5. Fat Arse

    re: your New Year’s “goal” of “Having my first (and perhaps only) fight, if applicable” – What an odd desire.

    Clearly you have the misguided notion that “fights” are safe, controlled, and governed by fairness. Violence in all it’s forms need be avoided at all costs – cause once it starts there is no telling the consequences. The only reason one should ever fight is to protect their loved ones, themselves, and/or their principles. Because once engaged, the only goal is to best one’s opponent at all costs. Take it from me, sometimes those costs are too high.

  6. Story Teller

    @ Joce – thanks for your kind words, and a Happy New Year to you! Your commitments sound like a step in the right direction, and I’m sure you will succeed.

    @ Kim – well, I guess your blog readers will get the benefit?

    @ Fat Arse – thanks for your comment, but I’m curious as to why you are reading the blog of a kickboxer if that’s your opinion? You’re probably not going to find much to your liking here. And if it’s safety I wanted, I’d play chess instead of training in muay thai and boxing…to each their own.

  7. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comment, Madeline, and Happy New Year to you, too!

  8. Fat Arse

    @Story Teller,
    While I may believe that “wanting” to fight is fraught with unseen consequences that should always be considered beforehand – it does not mean that I can’t appreciate a well crafted blog. Never a pacifist (as my criminal record and scarred body will attest to) I was only trying to impart a “sober second thought” on but one of your New Year’s goals. No offense was intended.

  9. Kim

    Well you are one of my blog readers are you not, at least, occasionally. (And anyone else who is interested/cares can click on my name and find it).

    I haven’t thought through my goals in any more than a whimsical and wistful way as of yet. And as soon as I put them down on paper then the onus is on me to live up to them. I’m not sure I’m willing to live up my whimsical goals yet. Usually I need a kick in the arse first.

    I have a big event I have signed up for that I have not yet even revealed in my blog or on FB as of yet. It is also a big AGE year for me too so I must figure out what it is that I am going to do to celebrate that because I don’t want to leave 40 low key….. So, that’s a long way of saying, I’m still working on it but I will get there.

  10. Story Teller

    @ Fat Arse – no offense taken, and thanks for the compliment. Trust me, I know all about the consequences (check out my post about watching loved ones fight–“Those That Hurt Most”), but I’ve trained in this sport for too long. I just want to win one fight to know that I can do it. Welcome. 🙂 And dissenting views are always welcome, too. So don’t be shy to tell me when you think I’m full of sh*t.

    @ Kim – yes, I am, whenever I find time. 🙂 And whenever you’re ready/willing/able to share your goals, feel free. Always nice to find out what others are working towards. You never know when you might inspire someone.

  11. Lisa

    Welcome back Holli! I can’t honestly say I ‘missed your blog’ because I was away from computers for most of the holidays so didn’t even get a chance to do any blog-catchup until yesterday(;0)). As it was it took me all of 30 minutes – I guess most of the people I follow took breaks over Christmas as well!

    My 2011 goal is to basically continue leading the healthy lifestyle I started a few years back. Run 3x week, swim 2x week, hit the gym 2-3x week, yoga on Mondays and XC ski or snow-shoe when time/weather permits. Eat healthy and don’t over-indulge. Sounds like a lot but it’s become part of my lifestyle so it seems simple and easy to continue.

  12. Fat Arse

    @ Story Teller,
    Just as an aside (aside from the drunken crazed arseholes outside of the Zoo) some of the best scrapper’s I ever encountered were, in fact, “Chess players”. Strategy is everything in combat – adrenalin, anger, excitement, machismo, and viciousness all pale in comparison. The only thing that ever competes with strategy is heart. And, sadly, when a heart is offered up – sometimes it often gets bested, hurt, and (regrettably)torn out. Of course, the same thing happens in youthful Love – so who am I too judge.

  13. Story Teller

    Thanks, Lisa. Those are worthy goals, indeed! You’re already doing more than most, but dare I ask…any new challenges for 2011? If not, no worries, because like I said–you’re already doing more than most. You’re my personal fitness hero!

    @ Fat Arse – I was going to use the debate team as my facetious example, but they build a lot of muscle through all that arguing, so chess players I chose. Perhaps parcheesi players are a better example? Lawn bowlers? Checkers champions? Snakes and ladders? Danger lurks in every sport.

  14. Fat Arse

    @ Story Teller – Parcheesi would have silenced me for sure. Nice comeback – Touche! 🙂

  15. Lisa

    New challenges?…I don’t want to tackle anything too crazy until I’m feeling on top of my game. I’ve been having piriformis and hamstring issues that come and go. Therefore another marathon is out of the question until I can handle the additional mileage required. I have the usual races lines up: Ice Donkey Adventure Race, Fort Whyte Eco adventure, WPS Half Marathon, Fargo Half Marathon, and a week in the Rockies back-country hiking/camping sometime this summer.

    And oh yeah…maybe getting married next month…;0)

  16. Story Teller

    Wow…go Lisa, go! Good for you. I had no idea you took part in so many races! And congrats on your upcoming marriage!

  17. Ev Bishop

    Dear Holli:

    Happy New Year to you, too! You and your blog posts were missed.

    I do resolutions, but it takes me a few weeks to figure out exactly what I want them to be. 🙂

    And I love Valentine’s Day–for precisely the reason you mentioned. It celebrates relationships. People don’t have to buy crap!

  18. Story Teller

    Thanks, Ev. Feel free to comment again when you have your list. 🙂

    And yay for Valentine’s Day. I definitely won’t be buying crap this year.

    Happy New Year and best wishes for the year ahead.

  19. laura best

    Welcome back, Holli and Happy New Year! I always set down a list of intentions for the comming year. I’m not very good at keeping resolutions. But I guess whatever we call them, intentions/resolutions/goals, the idea is for us to get our butts in gear and start getting things done!

  20. Story Teller

    Hi Laura! Happy New Year to you as well. Thanks for commenting. You’re exactly right–it doesn’t matter what we call them; the intention is the same.

    I just applied for a fight camp that starts in February for a fight in April, so if I’m accepted, that will keep me on the straight and narrow. In boxing they say: “every minute you aren’t training is a minute someone else is training…to kick your ass.”

    Good luck with your goals!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.