Road Trip Wednesday #163

Check out YA Highway for an explanation of their Road Trip Wednesdays.

What are your goals for the new year—for reading, writing, or other?

I’ve never been that amazing as setting and keeping goals. My goals tend to be impossibly lofty or underwhelmingly attainable. So this year we’re going to try for the happy medium that lands somewhere in between.

That means that my reading list has been pared down to less than two books a month. This is mostly due to the fact I’m going to be slammed during this school year, plus I want to leave time to read the new YA releases that come out.  Unfortunately, this reading list makes it seem like I’m rather illiterate, but I’m not, I promise. I’d like to think that I have some sort of credibility for not only reading Les Miserables (unabridged!), but actually wanting to read it.  My biggest frustration has been my inability to finish projects, books, WIPs, etc.  So at the end of every month, I’m going to recheck this list and see where I’m at.  Splitting it into manageable, measurable chunks helps me pretend like I’ll be able to juggle 40 hours at the job plus 10 school credits plus whatever wild and unimaginable projects and stories I dream up. I’m taking this last week of vacation to catch up on my letter writing and mod podge a few canvases. Oh, and finish The Great Gatsby.


Fiction to read or finish (starred):

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald*
  • North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell*
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville*
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen*
  • Dune by Frank Herbert

Fiction to reread:

  • Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
  • LOTR + The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell

Non-fiction to read or finish (starred):

  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson*
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer*
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis*
  • A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken*


Revision: Split A’s first draft into two books. Then tear it apart and cut out those three characters you don’t need. This story broke your heart to write. Now you go break it.

Writing: Take that NaNo mishmash and finish it. Then strip it to studs and rebuild. There’s a story in there somewhere.

Writing: String together the fifty parts of J & B’s story. You don’t need software or corkboard or a wall of excerpts and photos to do it. You know exactly what you need to do to turn it into the storyline that you’ve been dreaming about for the past year.


Budget. You have one. Stick to it.

Friends: Write to E every week. Write to the Ws, Fs, and Bs every month. Write to H twice a month.

Family: Get together for game night once a week.

Exercise: Buy a gym membership so you can start running again.  Twice a week for the first four months.

Hobbies: Make a marionette.

And that’s it, folks! What are your goals for 2013?


6 comments on “Road Trip Wednesday #163

  1. stephscottil says:

    I’d like to read more classics. You have some great ones on your list. I’ve never read The Great Gatsby; sure maybe it took the movie coming out to motivate me… 🙂

    • Rae says:

      I try to read the book before I see its movie version, so The Great Gatsby is first on my list to finish. The movie doesn’t come out until May, so…5 months is enough to get it done, I think? 🙂

  2. Making a marionette sounds like fun. I like that one. 2 books a month is actually pretty good if you can do it.

    • Rae says:

      Really? It’s been hard to adjust my expectations–2 books a month seemed like such a small amount to me. Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. Colin says:

    TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is the best novel ever written, so I can’t encourage you enough to read it, Rae. I hope you get to it soon–your writer brain will love you for it. 🙂

    Your goals sound great. I hope you get to them all, but don’t stress out if life throws you a curveball (like an agent) and you have to set some aside. Except for making a marionette. That sounds really cool. Please post pictures if you finish it! 🙂

    • Rae says:

      I have heard so many good things about that book–I bought a copy last fall with the intent to read it, and then life took over with one of those unforseen curveballs. I appreciate your advice–I tend to default to the stress-out method of response, and it never ends well.
      The marionette is one of those crazy childhood dreams that you hold on to until you are an adult with “time” to do it. I’ve got instructions, ideas, materials…now all I need is the time management! 🙂

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