17 Things from 2017 & 18 Things for 2018 [that’s a grand total of 35 things] [but, never fear, this isn’t a giant post] [oh, wait. it is.]

There is no intro for this post. Only greatness. (Am I being serious? No, but it sure sounds real swanky to say “There is no __ for __. Only greatness.”. You know I’m right. You know it.)

17 and 18


First, the seventeen things from 2017.

The six best books I read in 2017. 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke – Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer – On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King – The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction edited by Tara L. Masih – Havah by Tosca Lee – The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson.

The six pieces of flash fiction I submitted for publication. The Necklace was accepted and published in this issue of Havok Magazine; the core of the story is the idea that all people are created in the image of God, and as such, we have the potential to mirror his image in all the purest ways despite the pull of our fallen nature.

Sense of Red, a dramatic piece that helped me deal with and express the boiling and red of jealousy, was rejected.

I wrote Captain-ish-ness to have lots of fun, but it ended up not being just funny to me. It was also about stress, not being what you’re supposed to be, not doing as well as you’re supposed to, and how when dreams come true, they aren’t always as shiny as you thought they’d be but that can be okay because of the people in the dream with you. And it still makes me laugh every time.

The Power of Nothing clocked in at eight drafts. Eight drafts. And we’re not talking about switching up sentence structure here and there. So many point-of-view changes, stopping and starting at so many different parts of the story, and trying to figure out if it made any sense at all. The sense it made to me was this: what we choose not to do is just as important as what we choose to do in our pursuit of doing to others as they would do to us.

In my personal opinion, Star-rise is the best flash fiction I have written to date. Gift giving, pure hearts, and true friendship are at core of this little story, and it makes me so happy whenever I think about it. Captain-ish-ness, The Power of Nothing, and Star-rise were all rejected, which was tough because I think they’re some of my best work.

Cap-tivated was the other story I submitted, and it was also rejected. As I look back at Cap-tivated, I can see that it isn’t much. At it’s best, it’s cute. At it’s worst, it’s cliched. And no matter how many times I reread it or think about it, I can’t find any sort of actual meaning to it. *shrug* Oh, well. The interesting thing is that I didn’t try to put anything into any of these stories; I found the themes and abstract ideas after I finished them, not before (or in the case of Cap-tivated, I found nothing whatsoever).

Three people and what they taught me.

My Grandma read through the entire Bible twice in 2017. Twice. TWICE. I’m doing well if I get most of the way through the Bible once in a year. Not Grandma. She went through one reading plan, but instead of patting herself on the back and putting up her feet for the rest of the year, she started in on another plan and finished that one several days before the end of the year. And another thing–Grandma doesn’t boast about anything (except maybe Grandpa’s raging good looks), so the only reason I know about it is because it came out in an offhand comment over Christmas. So three things to take away: 1) Grandma kicks reading plan butt and is more amazing than I had already presumed, 2) don’t ever be done reading the Bible, even if you’ve already read it once this year, 3) there is something incredibly noble, attractive, and godly about people who do beautiful things in secret.

This was a tough year for me, but as much of a tough year as it was for me, it was about five times tougher for my dad. He faced 8/10 same things as I did plus 8 of his own battles. It was one thing after another on nearly all fronts all. year. long for Daddy. Instead of folding up and crying in a corner (which is what I would do), he just kept moving, kept rolling with the punches, kept getting up in the morning, kept leading meetings, kept going no matter how messy or stressful or hard or all of the above things got. And he hardly ever said anything like a complaint. He exemplifies Christ-like perseverance.

There are many things that Luke says and does that have a profound impact on me, but this year, the One Thing would probably be a phrase I first heard him use on Thanksgiving break: “All things for the sake of the Gospel.” All things for the sake of the Gospel. All things for the sake of the Gospel. Including looking silly and clumsy since you can’t dance in order to make someone you don’t even know know that you value them enough to dance just to make them feel more comfortable. Including moving fourteen hours away from your closest friends and family to see Christ proclaimed somewhere where he is unknown. Including a hundred other things no one but God will ever know about. All things for the sake of the Gospel.

18 of the my goals and resolutions for 2018.

(We’ll revisit these on Penprints at the end of the year.)

  1. Devotions every day.*
  2. Write every day.*
  3. Finish draft five of Beasts and hand it off to betas.
  4. Launch newsletter (yeah, finally).
  5. Read 50 books.
  6. Read through the entire Bible (thanks, Grandma).
  7. Draft one new novel.
  8. Get through draft two of False Gods.
  9. Be discipled.
  10. Blog once a week.**
  11. Revisit Flickering Lights (yeah, this might turn into a novel).
  12. Write two letters/notes of encouragement a month.
  13. Discover and develop my spiritual gifts.
  14. Submit nine pieces for publication.
  15. Write two short stories (not flash fictions; short stories are longer).
  16. All things for the sake of the Gospel.
  17. Love people well. 2017 was the Year of Love in the Vague Sense (aka: no bueno). 2018 is the Year of Love in the Startlingly Specific Sense Laid Out in 1 Corinthians 13. I’ll botch this one sometimes (or a lot of times), but it isn’t a lost cause with the Holy Spirit.
  18. Rejoice in God. Jesus is the reason and source of all true joy, and it’s time for me to fight for my joy in him, to stop looking at the joy of my salvation as something that comes and goes but as a constant with and because of God.

* – I’m giving myself 15 “burner” days. Meaning, I have 15/365 days to miss on these things and that’s it.

** – continuing with the “burner” idea. I have 3/52 weeks to miss for the blog.

Let’s conquer 2018, kids.

What are your highlights from 2017? What do you expect from 2018? What will you make of 2018?

With love,

Rosalie <3

P.S. – If you made it to the end of this post, let me know by giving someone who inspires you a shout out in the comments. I’ll give a shout to two people–Nadine Brandes and my boss, Anne. Nadine inspires me with her words of life, and Anne inspires me with her generosity and kindness in all things.

19 thoughts on “17 Things from 2017 & 18 Things for 2018 [that’s a grand total of 35 things] [but, never fear, this isn’t a giant post] [oh, wait. it is.]

  1. Okay— your grandma really sounds incredible!!
    I haven’t completely set in stone my goals for this year (they’re still percolating) but I know they’ll be lots of writing ones involved. I’d also really like to start a YouTube this year as well…
    Someone who currently inspires me? There’s an artist by the name of “frannerd.” Her dedication and organization and general drive to work and make content had really inspired me as of late!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Grandma is quite something. She’s always got even more amazingness up her sleeve. :)

      Oh, a YouTube channel?? How cool! Do you have a topic or topics in mind??? Let me know when you get it up and running so I can subscribe!!

      Wow!! Where can I find her?


  2. My inspiring person…so many to choose from…Tim inspires me by the way he has chooses to lead believe it or not he really dives in where I would shrink back and he grabs my hand to take me with…Kathy to see the way she loves, sacrifices and works endlessly to help others…I guess two will be good enough for now

    Also goals are so fun that we will discuss those later when I see you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. An ambitious list of goals. all of them very worthwhile. Praying you can accomplish them all, but don’t get too stressed if one or more fall by the wayside. And also glad to hear you’re revisiting Flickering Lights. My shout out person is my Doug, who has a servant’s heart and so much energy although he deals with daily aches and pains.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Aunt Jude! <3 And thank you for the prayers!! I definitely can work myself up into a stress frenzy or just go hide in a corner if I don't keep up with all my goals, so I so appreciate you praying for me. :) Awww! Yes, he always has so much energy and cheerfulness! <3


  4. I love this post. It inspires m. It’s awesome to see all that happened to you and what your goals are. AND ALL THAT FLASH FIC. I LOVE FLASH FIC SO MUCH. In fact, I like short story writing better than novel writing, so I’m glad you have a thing for it too!! I’d love to read them all someday ^.^

    I was going to shout out to you but *ahem* I’ll also shout out to Amanda Brown of SKGfun who inspires me with her posts and humor and sometimes out-of-the-ordinary opinion :D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwwww, thank you, Lisa!!! You are SO SWEET! *hugs*

      Yay!! Another flash fic fan!!! SAME!! I really fell in love with writing flash fics last year, and this year I’m trying my hand at longer short stories. :) What sorts of flash fic have you written??

      I’ll have to look up Amanda Brown!! Thank you so much again, Lisa!! If you ever need another set of eyes on a short story or flash fic… *grins* my eyes are available. ;) :) :D


      • *grins back* thanks Rosie (*ahem* yes I do call you Rosie in my head; hope it’s ok with you? xD) I also sorta discovered flash fic last year and I do have two up on my blog which actually were my winning pieces in a contest XD If you want to read them you can either go to my place and look on the “stories” page, or otherwise I can just send them to you straight :D And I’ll totally hit you up on that offer later this year! I’m thinking of going into short stories more seriously and submit more so I may end up looking for a couple of short story betas ;D

        Liked by 1 person

        • Haha, yeah it’s fine. :) Most people i know in person end up calling me Rosie too. :)

          Cool!!! I’ll be sure to hop over and check them out! :D And how exciting that they won contests!!! Congrats!!

          Woohoo!! Short stories are so much fun!!!


  5. These are great goals! I’m hoping 2018 is better for you! Some of my goals for this year are to be more active, finally assess some detailed critique a publisher gave me a year ago for why they didn’t publish my novel (scary), and finish editing a new book.


    Liked by 1 person


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