Yes, it’s that week. I’ve been thinking about my goals for next year for a while, in anticipation of the annual online goal-setting workshop Delilah Devlin does, and I think I have them settled finally.  Just the writing goals, that is. If you’ve been here a while, you know I don’t do resolutions for the new year, just writing goals, and sometimes a personal goal or two.

I don’t think my writing goals are too ambitious, but I won’t be slacking if I am going to make all of them happen. My goals the past two years weren’t too ambitious either, but it’s been a rough couple of years for our family, so I feel okay about the things that I have accomplished in the last two years (and am trying not to feel too bad about the ones I didn’t get done).

Dream, Plan, Work, Make it Happen-Depositphotos

 

Next up on my to-do list this month is figuring out a word of the year, one thing to focus on in the new year. I have some friends who have chosen a word of the year the past couple of years, and I had considered it for this year, but couldn’t settle on one–I know I have more than one area that I could improve on or focus on, which made it a bit too challenging to narrow down last December. This year I’m picking one. I haven’t decided which one yet, but will hopefully narrow down my list in the next week so I can whittle it down to one the next week. Have any of you tried this yet? What did you think?

Now I’m off to spend a little time with my husband before I call it a day, but before I go, I have a little story snippet to share with you, from my third shifter story.

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Boris turned to search for Baron, and a flutter of green caught his eye–a loose blouse on a curvy brunette.

Then she pivoted, laughing at the small girl holding her hand, and Bori’s heartbeat quickened–Vivi.

The breeze caught a school identification tag hung around her neck and her blouse again, this time, pressing the garment tight to her, and revealing the unmistakable curve of her belly. Her pregnant belly. It was small, but he knew what that curve meant.

And it was just about the right size…

Vivi’s smile faded as her head came up, and she sniffed the air delicately. Her gaze swung over the crowd of children, and locked on his face. All of the color faded from her cheeks, and her eyes widened.

He watched the child beside her tug on her hand, and Vivi bent back to her for a second, then, reluctance lining her face, released the girl, who leaped into another woman’s arms. Vivi straightened slowly, and he strode through the throng of kids toward her.

Alarm darkened her eyes, and she glanced around, as if thinking of fleeing.

Not a chance.

Three more strides put him in front of her. Her shoulders set, and her wary gaze crawled up to his face.

“Vivi, how nice to see you,” he said softly. He leaned closer and sniffed–the same delicious, earthy scent he remembered, along with a fainter undertone of his own familiar scent. His baby.

“Ah,…”

“Dad!” Baron’s cry diverted both of them. “I’m so glad to see you!” His son flung himself at Boris’s leg and hung on. “Hey, Ms. Todd.” Baron grinned up at her. “I didn’t know you knew my dad.”

Bright color rushed to her cheeks, and her smile was forced.

Boris ruffled his son’s hair. “I do know Ms. Todd,” he said, his gaze sliding down to her belly again. “In fact, she’s having dinner with me tonight.”

Her pointed chin jutted stubbornly, and he saw in her eyes the need to argue battle with her realization of their audience at her workplace.

Boris realized his shock had already dissipated–must be because of their proximity.

How could she have been so close all this time?

He caught himself looking at her belly again and dragged his gaze back to hers.

“You should come have dinner at our house, Ms. Todd,” Baron said, catching her hand. “It’s pizza night.”

Some of the color faded from her face again, and she swallowed hard. “That sounds delicious, Baron, but–”

“But we’re going out to dinner tonight, buddy,” Boris interrupted, “at a grown-up restaurant. Maybe next week she’ll join us for pizza night.” He noted her swallowing more several times, as if the notion of pizza made her want to throw up. “So I’ll pick you up at six-thirty,” he said, more gently than he might have if he hadn’t noticed her discomfort.

“Oh, but…” She stopped when she locked gazes with him again. “Fine.”

He grinned. She hadn’t pointed out that he didn’t know where she lived, probably because she knew it would be easy to find out. Or because she had other plans. He fixed her with ‘The Look’ as India and Tessa used to call it when they were kids. “You will be there,” he added, tone steely.

After a moment, she dipped her chin once, and he took that as agreement.

“Do you have your backpack?” he asked his son.

“Got it. Let’s go, Dad!” Baron wrapped his hand around Boris’s. “See ya next week, Ms. Todd!”

“Enjoy your pizza,” she said with a genuine smile.

Boris turned away reluctantly, noting the way the kids closed in around her again.

And his brain began to function a bit better as he buckled Baron into the car seat, as he listened to Bo and Berdine bicker over who would sit where.

Vivi was pregnant. With his baby.

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I hope you all have a great week with plenty of reading time!

 

 

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