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


Happy New Year!

Having my first fight was a huge goal realized in 2011.

Welcome to 2012, everyone!

2011 was a fairly epic year for me. If I could sum it up in one word, that word would be: kickboxing. I trained hard all year, ending the twelve months with my first fight and a well-deserved break. A break that has lasted much longer than I ever meant it to, after I promised myself that I would never be one of “those” people who take too much time off after fighting. Pot, meet kettle!

My goals for 2012 are many, but one of the most important is to regain my focus on writing. While I love muay thai, and it is good for me both mentally and physically, it is not my desire to be a professional kickboxer. However, I do want to be a novelist. So my priorities have to shift somewhat.

Here are my resolutions (at least, the ones I can freely share). Last year, I was taken to task for calling them resolutions instead of goals, so by all means call them anything you like. I won’t mind.

1) Rewrite Dragonfly Summer.
2) Submit Dragonfly Summer to agents/publishers. Repeat as necessary. (I’m hoping to start this submission process in the spring.)
3) Write (or at least begin) new novel.
4) Put more energy and time into my relationship.
5) Put aside more money for savings (I do have an exact figure, but I’m keeping it to myself).
6) Take green armband test. Stick w/ the running and weights on non-kickboxing days.
7) Complete household projects: fixing drywall, etc.
8) Do not let workplace stress take over my life.
9) Query other magazines.
10) Travel.

Numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, 8 and 10 are resolutions–the rest are more of a wish list of sorts. I have to accept that there’s only so much I can accomplish in one year. There has to be time for fun and relaxation, too, and allowances made for my full-time job and all my freelance journalism work.

Looking back at last year’s resolutions, I seem to have accomplished only two of the seven, but they were big ones: getting out of debt and having my first fight. I’ll try to do better this year.

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!

What are your hopes for 2012?

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


  1. Javier

    I know you don’t like the idea, but I think you should consider self-publishing. There are tons of e-readers out there and if reviews are positives, it will help with your second novel.
    My resolution is to help you with #8, if I can!

  2. V Y-C

    I think the fact that you accomplished not only 1 but 2 resolutions last year is quite an accomplishment! How many people out there even meet one goal nevermind two!

    In my opinion the two you achieved were quite significant. Good on you for being brave enough to share your resolutions have a plan to achieve them.

  3. Zsanett

    Well, unfortunately I am starting my resolution this year where you finished it last year: getting out of debt. It’s not even a crazy huge amount but I am just so sick of knowing I am paying all this interest that’s money down the drain. So that’s my first big one.

    The my second would be to finally make it home (to Hungary)for Christmas 2012. I haven’t been home for Christmas for 4 years, so this time I am starting early for the planning so it can come true.

    And my third is a total cliche, to get in shape. For me it’s not even the lose weight thing, it’s more toning up. I am such a softie 😛

    Oh and can I add 1 more that I just thought of?! Last one is to finally go and have a coffee/tea with you and hang out a bit. 😀

  4. Kim

    I wanted to comment yesterday and then I thought, no, I’ll write my own post and then I decided I didn’t want to do that because i would end up writing some too-long rambling thing with too much detail. So here is the list:

    1. lose 20 lbs.
    2. Focus on eating better and less unconsciously.
    3. Less time on facebook (so there is more time on eating better and cooking)
    4. Not obsess about men
    5. Manage my finances better.
    6. Prep first novel for online publication.
    7. Overthink. Less.

    Not as long or daunting as I originally thought. Most of those should be realisitc. Some will be harder than others.

  5. Story Teller

    Thanks for all your comments! This is fantastic.

    Javier: It’s not that I don’t like the idea–it’s that I haven’t given traditional publishing enough of a chance. The reason I’m not published is because I haven’t gotten my work out there to be published.

    What people don’t realize about online publishing is that it’s still a lot of work. You have to put in the same time marketing, editing, and polishing as you would with traditional publishing, IF you want to be successful. Too many people put unpolished crap online, which is cheapening the value of online books. I do plan to publish Lost as an e-book, simply because my former agent ruined it for anything else, but it’s a lower priority for me than getting the other book to traditional publishers. And thanks for your resolution! That will help me keep mine. 🙂

    @ VYC – Thank you for the kind words. I don’t discount the accomplishments–very proud of both. I just wish I had done a little more with the book, but I fully admit that kickboxing took over.

    @ Zsanett – That’s not unfortunate at all. It’s a great resolution, and it’s never too late to start. I started last year off with about $20K in debt, so it seemed impossible, but I cannot describe how wonderful it feels to have that monkey off my back. Do it! You will never regret the sacrifice.

    All your resolutions are great, and I can definitely help you with the last one. Let’s make it happen. All the best in 2012.

    @ Kim – Those are some great resolutions, and completely do-able. I’m glad you neglected your own blog to post here instead. 🙂 Happy New Year!

  6. Angela

    Aren’t we all trying everyday to keep a cleaner house, finish projects, exercise more, eat a better diet, lose pounds, pick our clothes off the floor, be a better neighbour, stress less…etc. all the time? If I were to make a list of things in my life I could do better, and try to accomplish them over a year…yeesh! Ultimately the message is to ourselves is, “You’re not good enough person, you can be a better person this year if you only try harder.” Let’s just not go there!

    I only have one resolution this year, and that is to laugh more. The older we get, the more serious life seems to become. I’ve discovered that laughter is like a muscle – use it or lose it. I’ve lost my laugh. I’m not depressed or unhappy, I just don’t laugh anymore. I used to laugh all the time. I was that giggly girl in school that drove teachers crazy! In grade 8 I was voted “smiles the most”. I can’t remembered the last time I laughed until I cried and my sides hurt. My favourite thing in the world was to laugh, and I was able to find so many things funny and joyful. That’s all I want this year, is to learn how to do that again.

    Maybe instead of how we can be better, more efficient versions of ourselves, we should resolve to be kinder to ourselves. Maybe next year, I’ll add to my resolution list “more bubble baths”.

  7. Story Teller

    You have a very good point, Angela, but if I’m trying to do all the things you mentioned everyday, I’m not trying very hard! 🙂 I tend to hyper-focus on a couple of things and let everything else fall by the wayside. My NYE list of resolutions serves to help me focus on what’s really important in my life.

    That said, I LOVE your resolution and the fact that it is so doable. I’m very sad to hear that you lost your smile, and it seems to happen to so many of us. I’m not blaming children, of course, but it seems that having kids is a signal that we have to be ADULTS now, so we lose that sense of childlike fun. But why should kids get all the giggles? You deserve some, too!

    All the best in 2012, Angela. I wish you much success with your resolution.


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