With so many people talking about the new year, the first month of the new year already being gone, and the arrival of springtime - I have also been reading several bucket lists lately.

That's gotten me to thinking about a specific type of bucket list … a literary one.

What is a literary bucket list, you might ask? This is a list of things that are associated with words/books/reading/writing that a person wants to accomplish during a set period of time, and mine includes three main things: (1) Books that I want to read this year (2) Writing projects sponsored by anyone other than myself (3) My own writing projects.

(1) This year I've got a goal to read at least 15 historical fiction novels; my goodreads page also indicates that I've got a generic 15-book goal for the year, so time will tell how this goes. I enjoy more than just historical fiction, so obviously my end-of-the-year reading list should total well over 15 if I stick to my plan!

(2) When I think of writing projects that are sponsored by others, whether by one individual person or a group of people, several things actually come to mind. Images of another round of naNoWriMo spring into my head - I had so much fun and gained so much confidence during that 30-day sprint, and now I really can't wait for November to roll around again! I also think of the Arkansas writing groups I've decided to check out and become regular with; this will be the first time I've exposed myself to "strangers", so we'll see how this one goes! (Hopefully I don't get so nervous that I spill my iced tea all over someone's only manuscript copy at the luncheon table!) As we all do, I receive several emails each week that  encourage writers to explore avenues  of our craft that might be foreign to us; this list would include writing articles for magazines, submitting a short story or even spending a certain half day each week doing nothing but getting caught up on reading other writer's blogs. I intend to engage in all three of those things. And although it's nothing new … there are so many writing contests every single year, and someone has to be the winner! Why not throw my hat into the ring, so to speak? My plan is to spend one full day each week doing nothing but writing short stories just to have on hand for these short story contests.

(3) Last of all, there is the never-ending list of my own unfinished writing projects. While I wait for the release of my first historical fiction, Summer Rain: Getsikahvda Anitsalgi, I'm three-quarters of the way through writing my next novel, Rebellion in the Valley. Rebellion is the first in a historical fiction trilogy, so obviously there are already two more books waiting to be written right there. I've also started several other books - 7, if you want the truth. No, I don't recommend this for anyone else, but my brain is  just geared that way, so for me, it works. (I know I will not write all seven books this year, and I am not even going to try.) I'll set monthly word-count goals for myself and complete Rebellion, begin the second in the trilogy, which will be Anticipation in the Valley.  And I am not planning - repeat - NOT PLANNING to start any more books until the ones I've got in front of myself are either written or scrapped entirely!

I'm interested in hearing from you - what is YOUR literary bucket list for 2012?