Book Hoards and a Done List

- 6 comments - Reading, writing

Whew! It’s almost the end of the year. Christmas was lovely, and for the first time, both of the boys were old enough to be excited about it. I got fabulous gifts, including a book hoard worthy of gloating over in the most dragon-ish fashion:


I’ve already read Tamsin and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and I love, love, LOVED them both! You can read my reviews here and here. I’m still debating which book to start next, because they all look so good, it’s really hard to choose! Have you guys read any of them?

All I really want to do now is snuggle up and read my way through them all…

…But now that the new year is fast approaching, I’m thinking a lot about Done Lists.

If you guys are anxious perfectionists like me – the kind of person who tries a whole variety of tactics to manage that overwhelming feeling of “Never enough accomplished!” – then you may have come across the concept of Done Lists before. The idea is that they’re the opposite of To-Do lists. They’re lists that you write at the end of the day, noting everything that you’ve accomplished, no matter how large or small, to remind yourself that really, you did get things done after all. And maybe because I’ve been scrambling to fit copyedits into the spare corners of this holiday season (never feeling that I’m getting ENOUGH done every day!), I’m particularly in need of a Done List right now…so here’s mine for 2015:

I wrote:

– Two 30,000-word freelance projects

– The second half of The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart (about 30,000 words)

– The first 34,000 words of The Storyteller’s Secret

– One 12,000-word novelette

– One 3,300-word short story

I also edited Masks and Shadows and one of those freelance projects, and I revised The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart multiple times for submission.

I published:

– My short-short story “Marking Time” online at Daily Science Fiction and also as a podcast at Podcastle

– My historical fantasy story “Stitching Time” online at Grendelsong

– My swashbuckling fantasy adventure novelette “The Art of Deception” in the anthology Insert Title Here, edited by Tehani Wessely

(I also sold two more stories that will be published next year, not to mention The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart and The Storyteller’s Secret, which will come out in 2017/18. Yay! And I’m really hoping to be able to share some more good news soon.)

This year, like every year, I’ve been tap-dancing like crazy, trying to balance writing and parenting young kids with minimal childcare, with the M.E./CFS inevitably complicating everything…so – like every year – I’ve worried constantly about whether I was managing to do enough.

Looking at this Done List really helps.

What about you guys? What are some of the things you guys are most proud of getting done this year?


  1. I am so going to borrow the idea of a done list. It’s easy to “forget” what you’ve actually done as time goes on. And wow, you’ve had a very productive year!

    And my eldest gave me Squirrel Power for my birthday. Looking forward to reading it.

    • Oh, Rene, you will LOVE the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl! I’m so glad you got it. I’m already planning to order Volume 2 next month! :)

      And done lists really do help to shift perspective!

      • You were so right–I did love it! So funny and charming. (Eldest is planning to read it next, but he graciously let me go first. ;) ) And delighted to see that Vol. 2 is available!

    • Yay! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

  2. I ADORE the idea of a Done List, especially since I’ve been working on this MS for 2.5 years now. I’ll just make sure I don’t compare mine to yours. ;) Thank you, Steph, and HUGE congratulations on such a creative, productive year!

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <blockquote cite=""> <em> <strong>