On New Year’s Eve, we like to gather with friends to celebrate, but also to reflect on the past year and make goals for the new year. I use the previous year as a guide to what I accomplished, what I’d like to do better and how I’d like to improve on my goals. Lately, I’ve been reading a book about tidying by Marie Kondo.
Yes, it’s about tidying up, organizing your space, and discarding what you no longer need. The things that we keep should bring us joy, I like that concept. But, what I’m focusing on with this book is the idea of visualizing my space. What do I want it to look like? How do I want it to make me feel? My home is my sanctuary and I want to work harder in the new year to make it truly a place of joy.
Some of the promises I made to myself last year included:
- Love myself
- Don’t apologize unnecessarily
- Don’t judge myself
- Stand up for myself
I keep my list of goals and promises as a note on my iphone so I can refer to them all year. Plus I love to see how that list changes from year to year. When I gather with friends on New Year’s Eve, we spend the first part of our night reflecting and answering questions such as:
- Best Moment of the Year
- Hardest You Laughed This Year
- Newsworthy Event with the Most Impact (this might be an easy one this year!)
- Biggest Lesson Learned this Year
You get the idea. But I we also like to set some goals for ourselves, talk about them, and hold each other accountable for them. Some of my goals for the new year will be to work far more diligently on my own writing. After reading thousands of queries, hundreds of manuscripts and continuing my journey as a literary agent, I found a new love for The Energy Crusades. I have some very specific goals I’m going to accomplish in the new year but the main one is to finish the 3rd book in the series. “Do it for you,” is what my dear friend Matt advised me, and yes, that’s what I am going to do. I wrote The Energy Crusades for me, as part of a friendship with another dear friend, Michelle, and I need to remember that. My best advice to anyone who is writing is the same. Do it for you. Write what you love.
Remember when a woman named Kaia Robi (the very name of the main character in my book) reached out to me from across the world? What a moment for me and now we are friends on facebook and I get to follow her journey too. Guess what? She’s also left handed, how’s that for a cool connection? In any case, I am going to spend a lot more time with the girl with the purple eyes this year.
The new year is always a new beginning. Whatever is going on in the world, we have each other. We can connect, we can lift each other up, share stories, share experiences. I read this year that spending your money on experiences rather than things makes for a happier life and I agree. I don’t NEED anything. I’m lucky in that.
Reflect in all the ways you are blessed, work on the the things you need to improve and ways you want to make your life more fulfilling.
I’m going to spend far more time with these two:
I am often asked, what do you want to see in the query box? What is on your wish list? Sometimes, this is a difficult question to nail down. All I can say is, I know what I like when I see it. The query draws me in, the writing captivates me. Such was the case with WOODWALKER, a story I picked from the query box, requested the manuscript, and then devoured the story. Beautifully written, I loved both the sibling dynamics, the world, and the surprise of it all. I can’t say too much without giving anything away, but it’s a story I often go back to, just to read the words all over again.
The official release date is May 17, 2016, but it is available for pre-order here. The cover is amazing (how beautiful it will look on my bookshelf!) and was designed by the author, Emily B. Martin. You can learn more about her journey to publication and see her fantastic drawings of the WOODWALKER characters and world here.
My first outline for The Energy Crusades was just a list of ideas for how the future would look. Humans wearing energy suits and bicycles that generated electricity started the seeds of the story. Here is another real life version of humans generating their own power with a bike:
This is how I imagined the rooftops would look like in The Energy Crusades. A friend shared this article about green roofs in France, and I’ve shared some of the benefits below, taken directly from the article:
Benefits of Green Roofs
There are so many benefits to green roofs. Here are just a few:
- Adding natural beauty and major aesthetic improvement to buildings, which in turn increases the investment opportunity.
- Helping contribute to landfill diversion by prolonging the life of waterproofing membranes, using recycled materials, and prolonging the service of heating, ventilation, and HVAC systems through decreased use.
- Green roofs assist with storm water management because water is stored by the substrate, then taken up by plants, and thus returned to the atmosphere through transpiration and evaporation. They also retain rainwater and moderate the temperature of the water and act as natural filters for the water that does run off. They delay the time at which runoff occurs, which results in decreased stress on sewer systems during peak periods.
- The plants on green roofs do a great job of capturing airborne pollutants and other atmospheric deposition. They can also filter noxious gasses.
- They open up new areas for community gardens, commercial and recreational space in busy cities where this space is generally quite limited.
I am absolutely THRILLED to see my client Pam Brondos’ book up for pre-order at Amazon. Pam was one of the very first authors to ever query me. Seeing this project fully realized brings tears to my eyes.
Blurb Courtesy of Amazon:
Years before, a gateway opened between their world and ours. Sending one young woman through may be the key to survival for the kingdom of Fourline.
Strapped for cash, college student Natalie Barns agrees to take a job at a costume shop. Sure, Estos—her classmate who works in the shop—is a little odd, but Nat needs the money for her tuition.
Then she stumbles through the mysterious door behind the shop—and her entire universe transforms.
Discovering there’s far more to Estos than she ever imagined, Nat gets swept up in an adventure to save his homeland, an incredible world filled with decaying magic, deadly creatures, and a noble resistance of exiled warriors battling dark forces. As she struggles with her role in an epic conflict and wrestles with her growing affection for a young rebel, Soris, Nat quickly learns that nothing may go as planned…and her biggest challenge may be surviving long enough to make it home.
I fell in love with Natalie’s story right from the start and Pam has worked so hard to make it even better. Check it out!