A Year of Presence: 2016 Writing Final Update

Happy New Year!

So, what’s the coolest thing that happened to you in 2016?

I’m not sure I’m really ready to answer that question, it’s just that this year just past contained a lot of not-so sweet things people have been focused on, and I wanted to give us all a chance to find something sweeter.

That will be a focus for me, too – even as I contemplate ways to protect those who may be more at risk in a social climate that’s potentially more dangerous for a great many of our citizens. I don’t believe in fighting against; I would rather find things to strive for.

So that will be my focus for 2017. Striving for the thing I value most: peace. Not for only some; but for all. And peace that comes first with and from within myself.

Peace comes when one feels fulfilled, engaged in worthwhile activities. It can also come from assessing progress, and that brings me to today’s first mission of this brand-new baby year: assessing my 2016 goals, and my progress in meeting them, in preparation for establishing my 2017 goals.

Ready? OK, here we go!

There’s a lot of green here, a good deal of blue, and a smattering of red….all in all, a pretty good year…and, as always, room for improvement.

My ROW80 Round and Monthly goals were derived from this master list. To review these, follow the links below.


  • Write at least 1 story and submit at least 1 story each month in 2016. Fan fiction and self-publishing are acceptable. 23 new stories written; three submitted in October (one accepted; two rejected.) One fan fiction poem submitted to two sites.
  • Kifo Island Chronicles: Write 3 new novels in this series as April, June and July NaNo projects. Write 31 new flash stories for #STaD May; these can be the basis of these or future Kifo stories. A Rising Tide and Tsunamis (2/3) completed during JuNoWriMo. The Far Shore (2/3) in drafting; Scene 11/24 complete; . 36,792// ~65,000 words. Forward progress slow, but moving.
  • Poets on the Page: Write 31 new poems in October. 31/31. It took longer than a month, but goal completed.


  • Plan and Plot “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story for Chicago Tribune Writing Contest.

  • The IDIC Romance: Plot 25 April and 30 September stories.

  • Kifo Island Chonicles: Plan and plot 3 novels and 31 flash fiction stories. Create timeline and ‘series bible’. All novels/stories planned/plotted; rough materials for timeline and bible created in the process; further progress on this being back burnered (BB) till 2017.Modified goal complete.

  • Trueborn Warp/Weft Series: Plan/plot Weft #3 (Blood and Breath?) for November. Create rough timelime, focusing on points where the series’ events intersect. BB for 2017.

  • Plan/plot other projects as needed to meet writing and submission goals. Goal completed!


  • Submit to crit group weekly; critique and beta others’ work to gain insight into my own. Critique group BB until January; modified goal completed.

  • Revise “Peach Liqueur Love” and its prequel story. Goal completed!

  • The IDIC Romance: Revise “Slow Jazz Awakening” and five other stories. Resumed progress, slowly.

  • Kifo Island Chronicles: Create revision plan for Sea Changes; print and readthrough for Transitions; print Generations. Setting aside for 2017.

  • Poetry: Find information about revising poetry. Experiment with revisions of existing Trek poems. Nothing new; BBing till 2017.

Social Media:

  • Blog Maintenance: Adapt and keep to regular posting schedule; answer comments, and return visits at least twice weekly. Clear backlog of comments and spam folder. Did okay with my the comments, but I want a better system for 2017.
  • ROW80: Sponsor duties up-to-date throughout the year, including four sponsor posts.
  • Make regular visits to others participating in hops and challenges I’ve joined. Fair. Not bad; not great. Same story as last month.
  • Connect on social media in a natural way that feeds creativity and my passion for sharing thought and experience. Ebbs and flows; but goal completed.
  • Redesign blog, with a focus on bringing in the various facets of my life in a more cohesive manner. Incorporate the best of The Unfettered Life and shanjeniah’s Trueborn Jottings, and let those blogs go. The blog took a backseat to the website, which is developing; more integration in 2017.


  • Homeschool Administration: Complete all pending paperwork, testing, etc. Create Flickr portfolios, by year, or roughly so, for both children. Good progress; 2017 will bring more.

  • Complete resets/reorganizations: study, family room, porch/playroom, and kitchen. All moving along; I have a system for forward momentum that’s working well. I’d moved the kitchen to 2017, but, with the weather getting colder, I’ve shifted from the porch to the kitchen.
  • Personal Administration: Clean, organize, and back up all laptop files; sort email folders; delete excess. Progress; breaking it down to smaller bites. I won’t finish this before the year ends, so the adapted goal: Create a plan to have this completed by the time I’m ready for a computer upgrade (maybe after tax time).
  • Yard Beautification: Plant edibles and cutting flowers in season; maintain in a presentable manner; declutter outgrown kid-things and random life debris. A little more work outside.
  • Photo digitalization: Scan box of travel photos; save in organized files with backup. Nothing new. Adapted goal: Make plan for scanning and organizing all photos in 2017.
  • Go through all online subscriptions; cancel those we no longer need. I think I’ve gotten them all, for the moment. Goal completed.


  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. This remains a fundamental and easy goal to maintain.

  • Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. More touring, museum, parties, NaNo-related activities.

  • NNWM local group: Interact regularly, in person and online; participate actively in critique group and beta reading.

  • Paying it Forward: Offer beta reading, reviews, and promotional posts for other writers. Some beta reading, and a promo post. Goal completed.
  • Reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in longer than I like.


  • Smart Change: Work through at least one habit change using these methods. BB till 2017.
  • Write in Abundance, Intentions, and #onegoodcup journals seven times each week. Gradually increase meditation to ten minutes, twice daily. Explore one new meditative practice each month. Meditating/journals several days a week. Happy with the meditative practices I’ve developed thus far. Solid progress.

  • T’ai chi: Develop a sustainable independent practice; learn the 24 form so I can do it on my own. Nothing new; BB until 2017.

  • Get a cumulative total of at least 90 minutes moderate physical activity 6 days weekly, and more strenuous activities building to thrice weekly by year’s end. Up to 80/minutes, 5 days/week, and 90 minutes 4 days/week. Solid progress.

  • Write twice-monthly health-centered blog posts. Dropping this goal for 2016.

Leaps of Faith:

  • Write and submit one story each month (not necessarily the same story).

  • Submit fan fiction. Yes. “The Night Before Christmas” poem, to fanfiction.net and Ad Astra. Goal completed.

  • Self-publish “A Splash of Red”; experimental project. Cover image in simmering stage.

  • Poetry Chapbooks: Do rough setup for Trek poetry chapbook. This is experimental. Gathering poems. The setup likely to wait for 2017.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!
We’re on Facebook!


  1. Coolest thing that happened to me in 2016? Getting re-married has got to be at the top of the list. Meeting him was really a miracle in and of itself. To have all the unusual coincidences as part of our relationship is downright odd. For instance, at one point in our lives, we lived in houses less than a mile from each other. My family moved out of the neighborhood 1966. His did not move in until 1969.
    Second coolest thing(s). All the books and signings I got to do, albeit you can count the number on one hand, but I’ve never gotten to do that before. A shy and quiet introvert enjoying some public speaking… who’da thunk it?!

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