It’s New Year’s Day and I’m feeling a little envious of my guinea pigs, who are spending the cold and gloomy day snuggled up in their blankies within easy reach of their hay piles.
Based on the activity I’m seeing on facebook and Twitter, I’m doing what most of my friends are doing today: whiling away on the internet, maybe wondering if it is going to snow, and possibly thinking about what 2014 might have in store. As I scrolled through my blog reader, I saw sci-fi writer John Scalzi’s blog post about his goals for 2014 and was inspired to stop and think about what I’d like to do during the next 12 months. (If you aren’t following John Scalzi’s blog yet, you should. He’s a smart guy with interesting things to say.)
2013 was an amazing year. Shadow on the Hill: The True Story of a 1925 Kansas Murder debuted and found its way into the hands of thousands of readers and inspired a lot of people–Kansans in particular–to think about their own community histories. Book-related events took me all over Kansas, where I met some pretty amazing people with amazing stories of their own. Jim and I explored parts of Kansas previously unknown to us, increasing our wonder and understanding of our home state.
As I step into 2014, I hope to continue to grow as a person and as a writer. Here are some of my goals for the next twelve months:
- Finish researching and start writing my next Kansas true crime book.
- Finish writing a novel I started two years ago. The plot went off into the weeds; it’s time to drag it back onto the road.
- Blog about Kansas places I’m exploring for the first time (see “Kansas Exploration” wish list below).
- Start a new blog about small-town and locally-owned Kansas restaurants that can accommodate food allergies.
Kansas Exploration Stuff
- Visit at least one of the Kansas State Historic Sites I’ve never seen before.
- Visit at least one state park I’ve never seen before.
- Visit at least one national park/site I’ve never seen before.
- Visit a Kansas Civil War battlefield.
- Visit at least one Kansas place known for its rock formations I’ve never seen before.
- Follow the Santa Fe Trail through at least two more Kansas counties.
- Learn more about the Native Americans who lived in Kansas.
- Explore more of Southern and Western Kansas.
- Finish unpacking. We moved into our house in February 2013; we’re maybe 64.56% unpacked.
- Decorate. You’d think that with all of the pictures I shoot, I’d have some art on the walls, but no.
- Step away from the desk. Go walking. Maybe even get back into doing some yoga.
- Cook at home more. Reduce the processed foods and increase the veggies.
- Read lots. My Goodreads goal for this year is 100 books.
- Take a real vacation somewhere. Anywhere. Maybe even *gasp* leave Kansas for a few days! (I hear there are 49 other states in this country alone!)
I *know* I’m not going to get through this whole list (though I’m really, really hopeful we’ll at least finish unpacking). But I love knowing that any and all of these things could be in my future.
But for now, as the guinea pigs are cozied up and I’m puttering around online, I want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year. I hope 2014 will be a fabulous year for you, too!