One of the things I love about Thanksgiving weekend is the ability to lay around and do nothing (if I want) so that’s what I did. Thursday I cooked an AWESOME dinner, watched the parade, then the Cowboys game, then the Texas/Texas A&M game. Friday my brother and his family came over and we watched movies (Speed Racer, Journey to the Center of the Earth) and played our annual marathon of Rock Band. (Mr. RCM had been practicing to get ready for the event, the rat.) Otherwise I read, watched movies, ate lots of leftovers.

Though yesterday I did go and meet Candy and Shannon at the bookstore for gossip and goals and girl time. It’s funny that I talk about C&S like everyone should know them, like extensions of my own self. (Though locally, that’s likely, because we travel in a pack to book signings, writer’s group, RWA meetings, etc.) I was having dinner with my editor in San A. (At Mi Tierra, because it’s just not a trip to San A without eating at Mi Ti’s.) and I said: "Blah blah blah Candy and Shannon–oh, those are my friends/critique partners/support system–" and my editor said: "Yes, I know, because you always mention them like FIFTY TIMES." Well, maybe that last bit was just in subtext. But suffice to say, it’s hard for me to have a conversation without at least referring to them.

One of the reasons why is that we meet regularly to keep each other on track with personal and professional goals. Sure, we shop together and go out to eat, and do all those those things. But we try to meet at least every few weeks (lately it’s been more like once a month) to make our goals. This came out of Candy’s Fast Draft class, which is a little like NaNoWriMo–you write your first draft really fast–but operates largely on accountability. You have a group, you announce your goals to the group, and every day you have to say whether you acheived that (or not).

Anyway. So Candy, Shannon and I do this yearly, monthly, and weekly. Every year at the RWA Conference (because that’s where this started) we say our goals for the year: What we want to see happen, something we have limited control over (i.e., in July 2005 it was selling my first novel), and then what we’re going to do to try to achieve that (i.e., five query letters out by Labor Day, etc.). I did, and it did, and the rest is history.

This year’s goal was better management of my internet presence. MWF blog posts, figuring out Facebook, organizing my MySpace, etc. Well, I did pretty well with the blog posts for a few months, though I really fell off the wagon these last few months. Still indifferent with Facebook, though I’ve added some old theatre friends that I found through another old theatre friend (wave to Allison). MySpace… well, that’s a full rant post on its own. (Short version: I LOVE when readers, schools and libraries find me on MySpace. I enjoy connecting with other writers. I don’t enjoy the spam.)

ANyway. December’s goal is the revision of The Splendor Falls. I got it back from my editor last week, and after reading through it, I’ve sort of fallen in love with that story all over again. You go through these phases with a book: first you’re infatuated with it, then you dive into writing it, and then it becomes difficult, and you actually have to work at the relationship, then you’re just glad to turn it in and not be embarrassed by it, and then you see it again after a brief absence, and you remember why you loved it in the first place.

So here’s my little Zonku word meter for my December goal.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
500 / 120,000

What about you guys? Other than the holiday stuff, what are you trying to accomplish before the end of 2008?