IWSG—2019 goals

Today is the first Insecure Writer’s Support Group meeting of 2019. The IWSG virtually meets the first Wednesday of each month, and gives participants a chance to share struggles, triumphs, quandaries, and fears.

For 2019, my writing goals include:

Finishing A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University, my fourth book with my Russian characters. So far, Part II is coming along much faster than Part I did (not least because I haven’t taken any long hiatuses!). It’s set from September 1948–November 1952 in the Minnesota Twin Cities and Duluth areas, NYC, San Francisco/Berkeley, Toronto/Guelph, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Tokyo.

Do final polishings of and finally release the books formerly known as The Very First and The Very Next, the chronological first of my Atlantic City books, set in 1938 and 1939. Part II of the second book also includes chapters in Poland, Paris, and Portugal.

Possibly get back to work on my radical rewrite and restructuring of the book formerly known as The Very Last, set in 1940.

Make preliminary chapter-by-chapter notes for and begin writing my fifth Russian historical, From a Nightmare to a Dream: Out of Stalin’s Shadow, set from March 1953–sometime in 1956. I just came up with a great third major storyline, with the four characters serving with the Navy in the Korean War.

Blogging goals include:

Getting back to doing more writing guides, with topics including:

Writing about Birkat HaChamah (the blessing of the Sun which takes place every 28 years, and which served as the title of a short sci-fi story I wrote)

How much of your real life to incorporate into fiction

When and how to use wraparound narrative segments

When you should split a deliberately saga-length book into multiple volumes (not to be confused with turning it into entirely separate books)

Breeching for boys and long pants for young men in hist-fic

Dealing with accurate lifespans in hist-fic

Writing about the Vietnam draft lottery

I’ll also be doing more book reviews, and continuing to feature films and albums celebrating a landmark anniversary. I haven’t put this year’s list together yet, but I know it’ll include Tommy (1969), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Abbey Road (1969), The Cocoanuts (1929), A Hard Day’s Night (1964), and White Heat (1949).

Another blogging focus for this year will be resuming my long-running “A Primer on __________________ Names” series, with languages including Armenian, Italian, Greek, Aragonese, Basque, and Anglicization of immigrants’ names. When I’m positive I’m finally finished with this series, I’ll publish it in book form, with expanded commentary and lists.

On a non-writing note, I’d like to be down to 150 pounds by the end of this year. At the start of June 2017, I was close to 220 pounds on a frame just under five feet two inches in bare feet, and within spitting distance of being classified morbidly obese. As of December 2018, I’d gotten down to 164, only a few pounds away from merely being considered overweight.

With my body type, it’s laughable to think I could shrink down to 137, what the BMI claims is the highest “healthy” weight for my height, but I’ll settle for 150. I feel so much healthier after losing over 50 pounds!

P.S.: All my e-books are on sale for 99 cents at Amazon and Nook through 5 January! You can find the buy links here.

15 thoughts on “IWSG—2019 goals

  1. You always amaze me with your writing goals and especially your accomplishments. You put lazy writers like me to shame . Keep up the good work.

    I’ve been yo-yo-ing with my weight. I’d like to lose another 30 or 40 pounds, but I need to change some eating habits as well as get more exercise. My wife expressed her disappointment at getting down to 125 pounds. She says she liked being at 140, but I think she’s looking great now. I’m hoping she stays where she is and I lose a comparable amount of weight. Losing weight has always been such a struggle for me. Congratulations on the weight loss you’ve achieved.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


  2. Congratulations on your writing and your weight loss! I’m hoping to achieve something similar this year and I’m glad to read that you’re getting it done. I only lost 10% of my 70 pound goal. Agh, but I am getting there slowly, one step at a time.


  3. Best of luck with your goals! It sounds like you’re doing great with weight loss so far. I was on track with my own weight loss goals, but then I found out I was pregnant. I’ll put weight loss back on my list of goals after this baby is born.

    Congratulations on making it into the IWSG anthology!


  4. That’s great you are working toward ambitious goals in writing and your personal life. Congratulations on the IWSG anthology as well! I wish you luck on the toughest part of weight loss–maintaining that loss. I read that those height/weight charts have little to do with health and longevity, and fitness is more important (except at the extremes of low weight or high weight, of course.) So your weight loss is already awesome and much to celebrate!


  5. I’m sorry, are you me? lol I’m 5’3, and I my goal is to get back to 150, too! The heaviest I’ve been is 196, but a few of those pounds were vacation weight, so they dropped back off, but I’m still up there. I am working on my diet and going to force myself to exercise more than twice a week. I once got sick in high school, couldn’t eat anything substantial for a week (I think it was thrush? I don’t know what mono feels like, but I wasn’t kissing anyone lol. My throat was basically on fire) and dropped down to 135. I looked sickly! Good luck on all your goals!


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