My Reading & Writing Goals for 2020

Whew, 2019 was a year.

I started off 2019 with my wife deployed, at a kinda boring job I wasn’t super fond of but sticking it out, and about to publish my first novella (and my first paid piece of writing). I didn’t have a blog. I was prepared to grit my teeth and get through the next six months.

By June, I had quit my job and was unemployed, nearly had a complete nervous breakdown (thank you, gaslighting fellow coworker), my wife was home, my novella was published but not selling well (and then the press closed down the next month), and I had just started this blog! Things were looking kinda down.

Fast forward to December. I have an amazing (but challenging) librarian job working with people I love, my wife is still home, we own a house, and I have four things that are going to be published (and that I’ll get paid for!!!) in the next 18ish months. And The Suspected Bibliophile has 126 wonderful followers and I somehow read 200 books (not somehowβ€”this is what happens when my wife is gone for extended periods. I read a lot).

Things are looking up, even if 2020 is going to be incredibly busy. So busy. Plus the head moderator of my Goodreads book club is going to be out of pocket for a year-year and a half, so I’m taking over? Yikes. I’m stressing out a little, but looking for ways to plan ahead so that I can do everything I need to do and still have a do-nothing day every so often (super crucial for my mental health). I can do this.

With all that being said, my reading is going to have to be scaled down drastically. And also be my relief outlet instead of a chore, which it has kinda been feeling like the past year when I requested far too many ARCs. I’m going to continue running this blog, but my posts might change a little (fewer reviews, perhaps, maybe more wrap-ups? Definitely more talk of what I’m writing, if you folks are interested).

Reading Goals

πŸ’₯ Read 120 Books. My official Goodreads goal has been 130 for the past…5-6 years, with an unofficial goal of 150. This year it’s just 120. That’s 10 books a month. No pressure to read more, and it’s okay if I read less.

πŸ’₯ Continue Reading Diversely. Over the past two years I’ve focused on diversifying my reading, and I want to continue doing so. My soft goal is 50 books by or about people of color, and 40 books by or about LGBTQIAP+ folx.

πŸ’₯ Keep Those ARC Requests Low. Last March I requested 19 ARCsβ€”and got them. I read them all on time, but damn was it stressful. This year I’m going to try for no more than five a month (already failed for January, but c’est la vie).

πŸ’₯ Read More Backlist Titles. I have so many backlist books I want to read and have been meaning to read that it’s not funny anymore. So I’m going to try to avoid being distracted by the shiny new releases and read some older titles.

πŸ’₯ Read For Joy.

Writing goals

Two weeks ago, I signed a contract for publishing my science fiction novel, That Distant Dream. It’s going to be a trilogy! Which is great…but now I need to complete book 2 in a year (it took me nine years to write TDD) and also complete edits for TDD and The Book Witch.

πŸ“ Promote The Book Witch. Previously called The Book Woman, this is my pack horse librarian fantasy novella and it is precious cute (with a f/f romance and sassy cats). Tentatively scheduled to release Mar-May 2020.

πŸ“ Finish Edits and Promote That Distant Dream. An early draft of TDD was published on Wattpad, where it was a 2018 Wattpad featured story and made the 2018 Wattys Shortlist. Ninestar Press picked it up, and it’s scheduled for publication in June-August 2020.

πŸ“ Draft and Write That Slow Awakening. Book 2 of TDD. No spoilers from me, but I’m super nervous about being able to write it in a year.

πŸ“ Finish Four Short Stories/Novella. These are already in various stages of completion, but I’d like to submit and see what happens! “Malfi Sirno,” “PZ,” “Oregon Nation” and “Lesbian Cinderella.” All queer AF.

πŸ“ Finish YA Fantasy Novel. The first draft has been completed since NaNoWriMo 2017…and I…just need to finish the edits. But I have a lot more research to do to make it right and do justice. This is my end of year goal.

Things Getting Published

πŸ“• “Recipe for a Love Spell,” January 2020. Part of the Moonlight Anthology ed. by Bones McKay, featuring short stories and comics about queer werewolves written by queer authors. The Kickstarter was super successful and I can’t wait to see this short story in print!

πŸ“’ The Book Witch, March-May 2020. Ninestar Press picked it up! Bookworm Evie is banished from the city and sent to become a pack horse librarian in the harsh northeastern mountains of Isten, where she meets new people and finds love. Magic, shifters, sassy cats and books galore! And everyone is queer!

πŸ“— That Distant Dream, June-August 2020. Ninestar Press is also publishing this one, which is book one of the Satura Trilogy (yes, it’s going to be a trilogy!). 17 years ago, Melin Grezzij won a war. She didn’t get to enjoy the peace. Now, freshly freed from cryosleep and plagued by impossible dreams of magic, dragons and war, she flees to the planet of her ancestors looking for a quiet retirement. But things aren’t so simple on Satura…

πŸ“˜ “Vasilisa and the Night Witches,” September 2021. Helios Quarterly accepted this one back in July, and yes, 2021. So dang long, but worth it (please don’t shut down, Heliosβ€”this took a year of querying and 12 rejections to get accepted). A dieselpunk mash-up of Vasilisa the Beautiful and The Twelve Dancing Princesses, set on the Eastern front of WWII.

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