I signed up for Holidailies again this year. This is a blogging challenge where you pledge to post an entry every day in December. Astute readers will no doubt note that today is the 3rd of December and there were no posts for December 1st or 2nd, however, due to unforeseen circumstances, organizers had to push it back a few days, so this year it runs from Dec 5th through Jan 6th. So there.

I’ve participated every year since it started back in 2000, except for one year… I think. (I have this feeling that I missed a year somewhere in there, but I can’t remember for sure.) Anyway, last year I was terrible and missed five or six days. But, last year was a horrible year in a lot of little ways, and the end of the year especially so with the nightmare we were going through involving selling and buying houses. The only shining point in 2007 was landing my fabulous agent. A fantastic shining point, to be sure, but a fairly solitary one.

But this year has been far far better! 2008–though it got off to an exceedingly rocky start which included being somewhat homeless for a couple of days–has turned out to be pretty darn awesome. Not only did my wonderful agent get me a two-book deal with a great publisher and a terrific editor, but I was able to: quit my job (which had started out so well a year and half earlier and had then degenerated into a miserable mind-numbing soul-sucking grind,) get my gorgeous new house and new office into shape, spend more time with my family, exercise more, take cooking classes, play with my daughter more, get back into martial arts, and generally be a much happier person.

I’d like to finish the year off on a nice, strong note, so I’m setting a few goals for the rest of this month.

1) Exercise: Weight train four days a week. Do cardio at least three days a week. Go to martial arts twice a week, with the exception of holiday or family-related conflicts. (I’m not going to set a weight-loss goal, even though I would dearly love to shed some more pounds. I’ve decided that it’s more sensible and more productive to set behavior-modification goals instead of end-result goals.)

2) Put down at least 10K words a week on my crime thriller. This should be extremely doable with my current schedule, especially since I’m a pretty fast writer anyway. This is the novel that I was working on back in March when my agent called to tell me that Mark of the Demon had sold to Bantam. Needless to say, I put the thriller aside and went back to work on the Demon books. Now that the draft of Book2 is done, I want to pick this one back up. I already have about 25K words written, plus a pretty comprehensive outline, PLUS about five chapters that I’d dictated onto my digital recorder back when I was still commuting to the old job, so I’m hoping that I can get something close to a finished draft by the end of the year.

3) Keep my kitchen clean. (Without killing any family members!)

4) Enjoy Christmas. (Not as easy as it sounds. I hated Christmas for so long that I’m having to break old grinchy habits.)

And, of course:

5) Don’t miss any days of blogging for the Holidailies challenge.