If you set yearly goals, doesn’t it sometimes seem like it takes all of January to grasp just what they are and where you’d like to go in the year ahead? Several weeks into the new year, I finally feel like I know my writing goals for 2017. 

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Goal number one I’ve actually known for a while now: publish my 1930s Sense and Sensibility retelling, Suit and Suitability. Thankfully, it’s temporarily out of my hands now and in the beta-reader domain! (I appreciate these people so much!) I hope to post a few articles on the 1930s era leading up to my release, and I can’t wait to be able to announce the actual publication date. The whole Vintage Jane Austen series should be debuting in the coming months.

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Goal number two is something I haven’t even hinted at until now. In the midst of editing S&S last year, I desperately needed to exercise different writing muscles now and then: creativity, whimsicality, simplicity . . . and so I pulled up a backburner idea and wrote a fairytale retelling. Have you ever heard of the Grimm Brothers’ “Bremen Town Musicians”? Four old farm animals have outlived their useful years and, with their lives now threatened, leave their homes to be musicians in the fine town of Bremen, Germany. I had so much fun spinning this story I’ve always loved into a short children’s novel. I’m editing it now, and Lord willing if all goes well, it should be published later this year. In a future post I’ll share more!

Ivana Ebel


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Goal number three is to write another Six Cousins novel. The one I’ve begun, however, is focused on Marielle and her mom instead of all the cousins. (Though Reanna has recently informed me, in her quiet manner, that she would love to be included; since she never asks for much, she’ll probably get her way.) It takes place on Prince Edward Island (I made sure to record my P.E.I. impressions while I was there in September!) and should be much shorter than the other two. I’m happy to be writing about Marielle again and exploring how she’s grown, as well as revisiting this beautiful island in my imagination.

So those are my writing goals for 2017 so far! In the coming months, I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about each of them. What are your goals, writing or otherwise, for this year?

It’s the first post of the year on Kelsey’s Notebook! That means I should have some resolutions or goals to share, right? Or at least something insightful to say in general about entering a new year and leaving the old one?

I won’t be very insightful, I’m afraid, but I’ll have a look back on some highlights of 2015…

1) England Adventure published in March.
2) Suit and Suitability’s first draft finished. (I think that’s the first time I’ve finished a full-length novel draft in less than a year!)
3) Made wonderful memories with friends that warm my heart every time I think of them.
4) Visited Ohio in September and did on-location research for the first time.
5) Started “officially” editing novels.
6) Made a baby quilt (my first) from start to finish…

7) For my nephew that I’ve been looking forward to meeting for half the year!

As for 2016, I haven’t made many goals; I have ideas of what I’d like to do, but life can be so unpredictable that I don’t want to tie myself down to anything. I guess if I were to put out a list, it would look something like this:

1) Utterly complete Suit and Suitability, down to fixing the last typo.
2) Make a lot of headway on whatever my next serious writing project is (I’ve narrowed it down, but still not 100% positive on which it is).
3) Do volunteer work.
4) Read more classics than I read last year (I only read six “true” classics, so hopefully that will be easy).
5) Make memories with friends, old and new.
6) Travel.
7) Spend time with my nephew.

Basically I just want to be available for whatever the Lord has for me to do! Things can change as fast as 2015 turned into 2016, but God is with us every step of the way. I pray He directs my paths.

Thanks to Deborah O’Carroll for giving me the idea to a looking backward/looking forward post! What are your past highlights of 2015 and your future highlights of 2016?

Happy New Year! May God Be With You And Guide You!