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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Summer Goals 2012

Summer Goals 2012

Today is the first day of my summer vacation.  FINALLY!!!!
I have a few goals for this summer I’d like to share.
1.      Finish the first draft of my WIP, GRUNSDAY.  I’m not sure how long this is going to take and especially not sure how I’m going to pull off the climax I have in mind.  I may have to adjust my expectations, but I’ll figure it out as I go.  That’s the joy of being a pantster. The next chapter is often a surprise.  The other part of being a pantster is ending every first draft with a laundry list of changes needed to clean up the mistakes I made along the way.  So, I usually roll from draft one directly into draft two. I don’t expect to get that done this summer, but I hope I’ll be looking for beta readers for draft two sometime in the fall.
2.      Take a mine tour in the Pocono Mountains.  I have an incomplete draft of a historical fiction story in which an archeologist’s daughter makes surprising discoveries in a Pennsylvania mine in the early 1900’s.  I started the draft too late in the fall to take a tour of an actual mine, and I want to remedy that this summer.
3.      Determine the fate of PORTAL. Lack of the mine tour was not the only problem I had with the manuscript mentioned above, which I laid aside after getting 55k words into it.  One of the things I need to do this summer is review the draft, figure out where I went wrong, and determine whether it needs revisions, a complete re-write, or to be trunked entirely.
Sorcia (right) and friend, Houston
4.      Get some exercise. I can’t sit in front of the laptop all day.  Well, I can, but I shouldn’t.  I’ve got the pool, and I’ve got the dog – who loves to walk in the White Clay Creek Preserve.  So I need to get off my butt and get moving.
5.      Refuse to ride the emotional roller coaster.  This goal may be the most important one of all.  Last summer, I was on submission, and I took every rejection hard.  In fact, it was worse being off for the summer while it was happening, because I didn’t have a full teaching day and 60 students to distract me.  There was plenty of time to wallow in misery.  But by the end of the summer, THE CAGED GRAVES sold to Clarion, acquired by the perfect editor for it.  In retrospect, all that angst was a horrible waste of my mind, my heart, and my summer.  This time, I hope to handle all publishing related news – good or bad – with more equanimity.
What are your goals for the summer?

22 Responses to Summer Goals 2012

  1. I’ve been to the Poconos lots of times but never took a mine tour.

    I want to edit my fast draft wip, plot a new book, and read a lot on the beach. 🙂

  2. Sarah says:

    Those are great, realistic goals! The last one does sound difficult, though. My goal is to survive the summer with brain intact. I have a ms due in 7 weeks (and I’m not quite finished with the third chapter). I have many other things to do, too, including revisions for SCAN and possibly Sanctum’s sequel, both of which could hit sometime in the next 7 weeks as well! And you would think that’s plenty to keep my mind off being on sub, but … nope. Happy summer, Dianne!

  3. Gina says:

    I hope we both stay far away from the emotional roller coaster! Summers are SO busy at my job, plus my book is supposed to go on submission soon, so I’m trying not to be a basketcase. You’re right- freaking out doesn’t solve anything.

  4. My goals:

    Finish the first draft of Tracy Tam.

    Go over Legasea once more so I can send it out to a few more agents before shelving it. I spent yesterday creating a cover for it so I could have it printed out. I’m proud of that story and if it gets shelved, I’m going to do it literally. =)

  5. I think I’m still on the emotional roller coaster and I’m wondering at which stop I should get off. I’m hoping to finish my current wip, decide which of my projects to self publish in the fall (I was leaning toward FOSSEGRIM but now I’m wondering if KFC wouldn’t be a better book to self pub first) and take the necessary steps (find an editor/cover artist, etc) And get through the 5 week vacation in the US coming up in July.

  6. SA Larsenッ says:

    Ooh Grunsday. Love that! Need a beta this summer. It sounds awesome. ;D

    Great goals for this summer. Have a blast as this school year ends.

  7. Roller coasters make me nauseous, and emotional ones aren’t much better. No wonder I’m in no rush to query again. I prefer the role of cheerleading for my friends on submission. That’s tough too when you’ve read the book and you want to scream that the editor (or committee) is an idiot for rejecting it. Yep, I take my friend’s submissions seriously. 🙂

  8. #5: Yeah. Oh, my, can I ever relate. Of course I’m ON the emotional roller coaster right now. Which I’m not supposed to talk about, as you know. Which is like riding an actual roller coaster and not being allowed to scream.

    May your summer be fruitful and relaxing! (I’m pretty sure those two things might be mutually exclusive but what the heck, give it a try anyway.)

  9. T. Drecker says:

    Definitely #4 – I’m beginning to feel guilty about how much time I spend sitting. Otherwise, the summers are insane – too many bar-b-ques and get togethers for all the clubs the kids are in. Then comes school break… writing is not a summer thing for me.

  10. I like the refusal to get on the emotional roller coaster goal.

    Summer is a break in writing time for me so I’m going to remind myself repeatedly that it’s okay to enjoy myself and not feel guilty.

  11. unikorna says:

    Your post was a most useful source of inspiration to me, considering I am currently writing my very first short story and I am a bit stuck :). Kisses and thank you-s.

  12. Linda G. says:

    That looks like a great set of goals to me. Challenging, and yet entirely doable.

    Me? I’m going to begin drafting book 3 while I wait for edits on book 2, and try not to go entirely crazy while waiting for the Sept. 4 launch of book 1. Oh, and just for grins, I’m thinking of dragging my drawer novel out and seeing if it’s salvageable.

  13. Susan Oloier says:

    Wonderful goals, Dianne.

    My goals: I’m publishing again next month and finishing another to (hopefully) be published in October. Also, spending loads of time with my boys. I love summer!

  14. Sadly, I’m not setting any writing goals for the summer. I basically want to just have fun with my kids, especially since my oldest is heading to college in the fall. I will, however, still be on blogger, do a bit of writing, and continue to query…but no real goals, per se. 🙂

  15. mshatch says:

    yes, stick to # 5. Remember to enjoy the journey – hard as it may be sometimes.

  16. Okay. I’m taking you at your word. All the angst is a waste of time, so I’m not going to be angsty.

    I hope. 😉

  17. Becca says:

    Good luck with achieving your goals. They’re all possible.

    I might have to steal your idea though and do my own list of summer goals. Didn’t turn out too well last year, but I can always try again.

  18. Love the goal setting! We just put up a pool too, so I hafta stay active as well. Can’t let the interwebz eat all our time….=)

  19. Aldrea Alien says:

    Well, it’s technically winter over here, but actually getting a story accepted by agent or publisher would be nice.

    And I really need to do #4 myself. -_-

  20. I live in the Poconos! I’ve never toured the mines though. Enjoy!

  21. DL Hammons says:

    I have a feeling you’ll be checking off those goals one by one in no time, except maybe the last one. You can’t get off the roller-coaster, but it is within your control to level it out some.

    For me, no particular goals for the summer. Just more querying. 🙂

  22. I have been reading about we hear the dead and caged graves, they both sound really good! I love anything paranormal 🙂 Good luck with your goals! Looking forward to reading more about your other stories.

    Andrea