Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy New Year (belated)

Wow, it's been a while since I've apologies for the silence. I would say that I've made a New Year's resolution to blog more regularly, but it hasn't worked for me the last few years, so I've decided not to resolve that for once and will see if THAT works.

At any rate, regular readers of this blog and pretty much everyone who knows me (and even those who don't) know that I'm very much into making New Year's resolutions. Let's see how I did last year. My 2011 resolutions and results (in blue) were:

-Don't stay in the office past 9 pm, and if I do stay until 9, no more than twice a week
I believe I stayed past 9 pm 2 or 3 times last year, and not TOO much past 9, so all in all, I would say that I did well with this one.
-Have my work email inbox at 20 or under at the end of each day I'm in the office
I was an absolute FAILURE with this one. Was overwhelmed by my inbox last year.
-Achieve Inbox Zero at least once a month
-Read an average of 1.5 published books per month
Yes! I read many more published books last year.
-Do more cultural activities (shows, museums, etc.)
Um, nope.
-get 4,000+ followers on Twitter (follow me! @planetalvina)
Yes! I surpassed 5,000 followers by the end of the year.
-post on bloomabilities at least once a month (I actually have a new post up now. And yes, I know I resolve this one every year and fail...but hey, it's a new year!)
-clean my office (and apartment) a little bit once a week
I think I can safely say that I achieved this very modest goal. Love the "little bit" part.
-de-clutter my apt and office
I moved offices, and so completely decluttered at work. Not so much at home.
-focus on acquiring Middle Grade and picture books--acquire at least two projects in each genre
Well, my focus shifted in May, but if you count the two MG novels I co-acquired with my assistant Bethany, I'd say I achieved this one! 

Here are a few pie-in-sky goals that I didn't have much (if any) control over:
-Have five of the books I've edited become NY Times bestsellers
No, but I had three! The paperback of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, You Will Be My Friend by Peter Brown, and the paperback of The Candymakers by Wendy Mass all hit the list.
-Have the books I edit collectively get at least 25 starred reviews
I believe my total was closer to 15 stars.
-Win an award for books I've edited in every category: picture book, early reader, MG, and YA
At ALA Midwinter last year, I achieved this for every category with the exception of MG. I never did end up winning a MG award--but hey, I can't complain!

So for my first blog post of 2012, here are my resolutions (personal and work-related), a few carried over from last year:

-Get rid of at least 365 items (includes clothes, books, etc.) (Libby came up with this one, and I liked it so much I've adopted it, too.)
-Have fun at my wedding and don’t stress too much about the planning
-Work on better posture!
-Learn more about how the business and financials of publishing works
-Don’t stay past 9 pm in the office EVER
-Achieve Inbox Zero at least once a month
-Get at least 8,000 followers on Twitter (follow me! @planetalvina)

And what the heck, I'll repeat my "dreams" from last year:
-Have five of the books I've edited become NY Times bestsellers
-Have the books I edit collectively get at least 25 starred reviews
-Win an award for books I've edited in every category: picture book, MG, and YA (I have to take out early reader this year, since I haven't published any since Ling & Ting!)

Meghan already shared some of her resolutions--what are some of yours? Any good ones I can appropriate for myself? :)


I'm heading to Dallas at the end of the week for the ALA Midwinter conference. Award announcements happen a week from tomorrow. My company had a great showing last year and the year before, and so I'm feeling pretty Zen about things this year. Of course, we have some hopes as a company, but it's out of our control now, so que sera! If you'll be in Dallas, I hope to see you there!

I'll also be speaking at the NY SCBWI conference on "Narrative Fiction" at the end of the month. I'll be at the VIP Cocktail party and the Kidlit Drinks night on Friday, January 27th. All are welcome to the latter, so if you're in town, hope to see you there! As a refresher, check out my post from last January, "How to Mingle at Publishing Events." The info:
  • When: Friday, January 27th, starting at 8pm. We'll have the space until around 11pm. 
  • Where: Public House ( on East 41st Street, between Lexington and Third. For non-NYCers in town for the conference, this is one block south and half a block east of the Grand Hyatt.
Happy 2012, all!

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