Every December, at the beginning of my planner for the new year, I write a list of goals instead of the usual resolutions. Some are big. Some are small, but lead to the bigger ones. All are attainable. I make a line in front of them to check off once they’re completed. Checking them off is a visual reminder of what I’ve accomplished. Last year, only six of fifteen were left unchecked. Not bad! Definitely room for improvement, though. I hope to do better this year.

I try to make my goals based on the the following subjects: home (improvement or otherwise – like “plant a garden” or “clean out closets”), personal (“exercise x number of days” or “try something new”), family (“take a trip to ____”), and writing (“finish manuscript” or “submit x number of queries”). Again, all attainable. That’s the key.

One of my goals for this year was to make paczki (POONSH-key) for Fat Tuesday. My mom’s side of the family is Polish (and Catholic), and we’re from Detroit, so paczki are a well loved tradition.

What’s paczki? They (because “paczki” is plural…the singular is “paczek” (POONSH-ek) are what I like to call “donuts on steroids.” They’re huge. They’re fried. They’re filled. They’re awesome.

Living up to my Polish roots was a bit daunting. I’ve never even made donuts, much less paczki. But a goal’s a goal, right? And if you aren’t brave, you won’t get anywhere in life. So…I collected what I needed, and got down to work. It took all day, but I did it! I made paczki! Don’t be afraid to try something new this year. Make goals, then bust them wide open!

Apple cinnamon filled paczki, dusted in cinnamon sugar. Wrong sized cutter, but I worked with what I had!

Brain Dump

Sorry for my silence for the past couple months. The end of 2015 was little crazy in Mary-land. Between two novels (a YA fantasy and adult paranormal), I’ve been querying and editing like crazy! Can’t forget the holidays, either. Then…

January happened.

The entertainment industry suffered several losses, but so have I. My Angie-cat (aka “Angelina Kitterina”) died after her bout with cancer. She was a funny cat. Hated treats (she thought we were trying to poison her) but loved potato chips. Tolerated me, but adored my (allergic) husband. Liked to eat my and my daughter’s hair. As a kitten, she used to steal drinking straws. She loved to talk, too. She was always the one who “told” me when the community water dish was empty. I’ll miss her.

I’ll try to be a little more present on the blog. I really hope 2016 is kinder!

Angie at Halloween. She wasn’t thrilled with her costume.