2015 Successes and 2016 Goals

2015 has definitely been a year of transition for me. It seemed to take a long time in the moment, but now that it is almost over, it seemed to fly by. A lot has happened in 2015, some things permanent and some things not so permanent. 

In 2015 I:

Traveled by Plane for the First Time:

In March, my boyfriend and I traveled to Phoenix to meet his dad and his family. It was my first plane ride and it was awesome! I am sure it will not be the last.

   

Got Two Tattoos:

The first tattoo was in April, to honor my mom. It is a purple butterfly on my right shoulder.

 

Butterfly after being touched up for the third time

 
 The second was the day after Christmas, a blue owl bought with my first paycheck from a nursing job. 

 

The owl a few days after, before the peeling started

 
Passed my NCLEX-RN:

After six months of studying I took my boards in June and passed. I am now officially a registered nurse!

Had Seven Interviews:

With a new license, comes new responsibilities. I had four interviews with three different hospitals, and two interviews for non nursing jobs, and one interview for a doctor’s office. 

Had Two Jobs and One Volunteering Opportunity:

Two of the interviews stuck. I worked at Panera Bread for just over a month and am now working for a cardiologist’s office. I have never been happier. 

 

Ready for Work at Panera

  

First day of the nursing job

 I also began volunteering at a local hospital in hopes of getting a job there, but nothing happened so I am volunteering because it helps others. 

Wrote Several Short Stories:

While 2015 has been a year of several transitions, I have been able to write several short stories and continue to write. I doubt this will stop anytime soon as writing is my passion. 

Learned/Am Still Learning Spanish, American Sign Language, Russian and French:

In an effort to partly make my resume stand out and partly feel like I can help people and patients more than just treating them, I decided to learn Spanish since it is pretty much the second language of my local community. I also decided to start learning ASL because I have always wanted to learn it since 6th grade. I decided to freshen up my French and Russian (which I have been learning for two weeks now) looked fun. 

I know I’m probably forgetting a few accomplishments in this list, but those are the big ones. 

Now for next year’s goals:

In 2016 I hope to:

  1. Edit the third draft of my novel and maybe publish it, if not publish in 2017.
  2. Continue to write short stories, at least one a month if not more. 
  3. Continue to further my education and at least start a BSN/MSN program. 
  4. Continue to learn languages and other things to help me in my fields of study. 
  5. Start my life by saving money and building credit to find a place and move out. 

How To Tuesday: Every Story Needs Conflict

We’ve all read stories where it seems like nothing is happening. Stories that are boring, or slow, or maybe the characters just aren’t working for us as readers. I find that most of the time when stories bore me, it’s because the conflict doesn’t resonate with me, or that there doesn’t seem to be a conflict, or high enough stakes for me to have an interest in the results. 

Every story needs to have some sort of conflict. 

Whether it’s the fact that your character can’t find the right shoes for their prom dress or the character has to diffuse a bomb before the timer goes off and he can’t tell what color word to cut because he’s colorblind. Your story needs a conflict, something to resolve for the story to feel complete. 

If you don’t have a conflict for your characters, it might as well be a story where everyone is happy and nothing bad ever happens. Even short stories need conflicts, something to move the plot forward and engage the reader and make them care about the characters and what happens to them. Even the simplest of things can become conflicts. 

The easiest way to come up with a conflict is to think of the word thing that could happen to your character and make it happen, but we will talk more about that next week.