Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Holiday Season and is ready to jump into 2023 with both feet! I’ve been working on my list of objectives for this year, and I hope to continue adding content to this site. This blog started primarily as a “book blog,” but I’ve got too many things I’d like to share with you to only talk about books here. I hope to build an index of all the books I talk about, but I also want to talk about other things that I love, like Photography and my efforts to narrate the story of the wizard Drosselmeyer (see posts that refer to The Nutcracker Trilogy). Oh, that reminds me… This site now has a search feature. Try it out. No, really. Check it out. It’s pretty cool.

I placed a search field here just for fun. Normally, you’ll find the search option up in the header for easy access.

Reading Challenge: Read 35 Books

In 2022, I set out to read 35 books, 2 books more than I read in 2021. Sadly, I didn’t quite make it. I only read/listened to 31 books in 2022. For 2023, I’ve again set my goal at 35 books. This is a somewhat conservative goal and should be achievable, partly because I plan to read more middle-grade books than I did last year. Reading more books aimed at young adults and middle-grade readers will help me achieve my original goal for this site: to provide recommendations of books that would be good for your kids to read. As I indicated earlier, the purpose of my site has changed, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still offer you some great book recommendations.

2022 Reading Challenge - 31 of 35 books
Screenshot from my 2022 Reading Challenge as tracked on Goodreads

Book Problem or Storage Problem?

My wife says I have a problem. I read 31 books this last year, but Goodreads says I added 151 books to my shelves (only a few of which I don’t own). I don’t think this is a book problem; I think it’s a storage problem. I simply need more space to shelve my library so that it doesn’t look like we are being overwhelmed with books. To help mitigate the issue and appease my wife, I have a box of books prepared for donation to Little Free Libraries around the area. I use http://bookcrossing.com to track the release of my books into the wild. I can’t say that I’ve seen a lot of activity on there yet, but maybe as the number of books I release increases, I’ll see someone let me know that they picked up my book and enjoyed it.

The Wizard, Drosselmeyer

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you’ve undoubtedly seen my posts about The Nutcracker Trilogy written by Paul Thompson. I keep mentioning these books over and over because I’m excited about the opportunity I was given to give these books a voice. All three books are available as paperback and Kindle editions, and the first two books are available as audiobooks on Audible.

I hope you’ll indulge me and allow me to continue to promote these books. I plan to give you a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at the recording of Book 3 this year.

At the time of this post, I’ve written blog posts about the first two books. Click on the images below to open those blog posts in a new browser tab. Each post contains links to all of the editions of the books so that you can explore them further.

Other Objectives for 2023

Lose 40 Pounds

You know, I let COVID get me down, but I’m ready to get back up again and take my health seriously. At 6’3″, my weight of 288 pounds is a bit more than I would like it to be, so one of my objectives for this year is to lose 40 pounds (20 pounds by July 1st and another 20 pounds by the end of the year). I think that is an achievable goal if I set my mind to it and am willing to put in the work and make some sacrifices.

Practice Portrait Photography

…And get paid for it. Most of the photos I share through social media are random shots of whatever catches my eye. But, I’d like to really focus on honing my skill in creating portraits. I think that doing some creative portraits would be fun, but I’m going to focus primarily on creating professional-looking portraits for individuals and families.

Write More

I want to make writing more of a consistent habit. Not only do I want to increase the number of posts that I create for this site, but I also want to do some creative writing. I think the best way for me to achieve that goal is to start by writing short stories from prompts. Eventually, once I’ve gotten some practice in, I will start writing my own science fiction novel. I’ve had some ideas since I was a teenager that I want to turn into books. I’ll let you know what I start posting short stories (and more). I hope you’ll be there to cheer me on!

Draw More

Ever since I was a kid, I have loved to draw. My only regret is that I haven’t done more of it. As of late, I’ve really enjoyed the isometric drawings of @odpomery on Instagram. I would love to learn and practice isometric sketching. There’s just something about it that I find very satisfying.

Here is one of his posts as an example of what is inspiring me (you’ll probably have to log in to Instagram for the post to be visible):

I plan to start real nice and simple with my sketches and then hopefully improve my skills from there. I would love to be able to illustrate my own books someday.

Here’s my first sketch of the year (and the first in a while). You can see that I’ve got some practicing to do.

Well, that’s probably enough for now. I hope that sharing some of these objectives with you will help me feel accountable to you – so that means I want you to follow up and ask me how I’m doing throughout the year. I hope it also inspires you to spend some time thinking about your objectives for this year. What do you want to accomplish? What will you start doing or stop doing? How will you make the 2023 version of yourself better than the 2022 version of yourself? Let me know in the comments below.

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Join 93 other followers

Can you believe it’s May already?!

You may have seen a notification from me elsewhere explaining that I’ll soon be focusing (nearly) exclusively on my Substack content. I am truly grateful to everyone who has been following my journey here on WordPress over the past couple of years. I would be honored if you would head over to davidsheley.substack.com and subscribe to my newsletter. Initially, it will be the same content as you see here, but as I make the transition, I will allow my WordPress site to fade into the background as my Substack publications come online. If you’d like to know more about what this Substack stuff is all about, drop me a comment, and I’d be happy to tell you more.

The Nutcracker Trilogy

I will continue to shamelessly promote these books because I’m so excited about being a small part of Drosselmeyer’s journey. If you’re new here, let me encourage you to check out The Nutcracker Trilogy by Paul Thompson. All three books are available in print and as e-books. Books one and two are available as audiobooks, narrated by yours truly. Click the links below to explore.

Oh, and it doesn’t have to be Christmas for you to enjoy these stories (just like it doesn’t have to be Christmas to enjoy Harry Potter).

Apple Books / Apple Audiobooks / Amazon / Audible

Author’s Website

2 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. I love hearing about your thoughts & goals for 2023!! I’m not the best at setting goals for the New Year! But I do feel very convicted that I need to be committed to pray for not just my children and grandchildren but for our country!! I feel America & everything it’s always stood for is definitely under attack! I love my family so much & want them to enjoy their future in the amazing America I grew up in!!

    Liked by 1 person

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