Tag Archives: Goals

#Dreaming Big; #MFRWauthors #Blogchallenge

 

OMG! I could so totally take pages and pages and reams of paper to write this one!!! After debating with myself for the entire week about my choices, I narrowed it down to the following:

  1. Meet Matthew MacFadyen ( don’t laugh! Lovelovelove him!!!)
  2. Be a size 4 for the rest of my life no matter what I eat. ( Okay, you can laugh at this one because I don’t have the body frame to be a size 4!!)
  3. Star in a Broadway play ( again, laughter is okay because this is a PIPE dream!!! I can’t act, sing, or emote!)
  4. Make the NYT bestseller list, or the USA Bestseller list, or ANY FRIGGIN’ BOOK LIST!!!!
  5. Get a publishing contract for MMP and/or Hardcover.

After numerous hours of time wasting – er, I mean, debate (!) with myself, I figure 1-3 ain’t gonna happen in my lifetime. 4 is a slim-to-none possibility, especially since the NYTimes has recently changed and only lists HARDBACK books in their list, no more mass market one. ( DOPES! The NYT, that is)

So, number 5 is the winner-winner-chicken dinner!

I can actually SEE myself someday ( hopefully before I die!) getting a mass market paperback book deal, or even a hardcover deal. And I always think that if you can actually SEE your goal in your mind, give it weight, and do something about it, the dream will come true. In fact, because I give such weight to physical things, I actually make book boxes for my book giveaways. Here’s the latest one for Cooking With Kandy:

 

As you can see, it’s Hardback sized, has my picture on the back “cover” and it looks like a book!

There’s an old saying that “seeing is believing.” I’d rather say, “Seeing it makes it happen.”

So that’s my biggest dream!!!

And because this is a blog hop, here are some other authors who are dreaming big. Stop by their blogs today and find out all about they’re big dreams.

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Foodie, Friends, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

#2017…one month in

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Goals are wonderful things. They give you intention, allow you to focus on an outcome, prepare you for the future. Goal setting is something, I feel, most people do between 12/31 and 1/1.  I know I do, and most of the people surrounding me do, as well.

Which brings me to my goals for 2017. We are only one month into the year but I’ve already had to shift and re-evaluate some of those goals. And again, I don’t think I’m the only one.

So, my goals were split into two categories: profession and personal.

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We’ll evaluate the professional ones first because there hasn’t been too much deviation there. Yet. For 2017 I set out to: write 3 books, post to my blog 3-4 times per week – every week – and increase my social media presence with new formats. Since no one can write 3 full-length ( greater than 75000 words) books in 31 days ( go ahead, I double dog dare you to!) I have to evaluate the other two. In the month of January, I posted 24 new blog pieces. That’s an average of 4-5 postings every week. Woot! More than I planned for, so YAY me so far. Second. Social Media. I joined TRIBERR and not only devised my own TRIBE, Strong Women. Loving Men, but followed several others, all linked to my Twitter account. I started January with 1,1oo followers ( I don’t even know 1100 people personally!) and by January 31 I had 1,347 followers. Yowza. Goal 2 already skyrocketing! On the professional side, I’m moving along at break-neck speed.

Okay, so now the personal. And I will tell you right away, break-neck speed does not describe how this is moving.

I always want/need/dream to lose weight. This year, I added going to the gym 5-6 times per week in order to help with that desire. Days January 1- 26, I went to the gym 19 times, which for me is monumental! Day 27 I pulled my back out and day 28 I got the flu. So. I didn’t exactly finish the month on an up-sweep. I did manage to go 19 of 31 times, so even though that’s not the 5-6 times per week ( which would have ended the month between 25 and 29 times) I didn’t do too too too terribly. But I also didn’t lose any weight, so yeah. There’s that.

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So this puts us to February’s goals. The professional ones continue on. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The personal ones have gotten a little kick, though, because I just found out I will be dancing in the Keene Dancing With The Stars fundraiser again this year and I’m doing a wicked fast and lively dance.

dwtsWeight loss is almost guaranteed ( yippie) but I also have to be in shape to manage not to have a heart attack while I’m hot footing it. So that means even if I’m tired, sick, infirm, or aching, I go to the gym 6 times per week. Bar none. No excuses. None. Niente.

I’ll check in at the end of the month and let you know if I’m alive…I mean…how I’m doing.

When I’m not setting/achieving/failing goals, you can usually find me here :Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, branding, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, Dancing with the Stars, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Project Graduation, Romance, Strong Women

My #ChristmasList…

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If you were thinking I was posting about gifts I want for this holiday season, sorry. My list isn’t filled with ideas for unnecessary jewelry or tropical vacations or home improvements, although that last one should never be a gift, but a necessity!

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No, my Christmas list is full of all the goals and others things I need to finish by December 31st of this year. Let me, ‘splain.

In January of every New Year, I sit down at my laptop and think of all the things I want to do/start/finish for that year. For example, in January 2015, my list included( but wasn’t limited to): lose the 40 pounds I’ve gained during menopause, finish book 4 of the MacQuire Women series, look for a new publisher. ByDecemberr 31 of 2015, of those 3  things, I had accomplished 2. I’m still working on the 40 pounds.

I’m still working on the 40 pounds. I needed to write that again so I don’t forget about it and start eating like a house on fire because, hey! it’s Christmas.

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Before December 31st arrives this year, I still need to do the following:

  • finish the 1st draft of book #3 in the Will Cook For Love Series
  • work on my Baby Boomers powerpoint presentation for NHRWA and NECRWA
  • Write 6 book proposals ( 2 for Will cook for love, books 4 and 5; and 4 for my new small town series)
  • blog 3-4 times per week.

Okay, so the first 3 items are still in motion. Since I’ve been faithfully blogging 3-4 times per week, I can check that one off.

Now, add to it shopping for real presents for people, baking, attending parties, and doing all the regular life stuff like laundry, house cleaning, et al,  and I have to admit I’ve been neglecting my list just a little.

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Okay, A LOT.

But….

I’ve got a week until Christmas and my shopping is pretty much done. My house is spitspot ( thanks, Mary Poppins for use of that word), and the laundry is getting done, so I can devote time, effort, blood sweat and very real tears to getting these  3 items complete.

Now I just have to write the list for 2017……

When I’m not obsessing about lists you can find me here Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

And there’s still time for you to get a very special gift for the Woman or Women ( not judging!!) in your life. My newest book, A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS is out and available in e-copy or print form. Here are the links:

amazon // wild rose press // barnes and noble

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Commitment

The definition of commitment is:

  • the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.: the company’s commitment to quality.
  • a pledge or undertaking: I cannot make such a commitment at the moment.

It is, in my opinion, a loaded word because you can attach so much to it and extract so much from its meaning.

NaNoWriMo, in my opinion, is the practical exemplification of the word commitment. In order to adequately perform the challenge, you must commit to writing every single day inorder to fulfill the 50,000 word goal at the end of the month. To break it down numerically, you need to have a minimum of 1,667 words written every day for 30 days to hit those 50,000 words . Or by the page, you must have written almost 7 pages per day of 250 words per page.

That’s commitment.

Most of the writers I know are far succeeding that minimum every day, myself included. Well, most days, anyway! Life does intervene.

So, as we move towards the end of the second week of NaNoWriMo, let’s keep committed to the goals of:

  1. writing daily
  2. writing a minimum of 1667 words
  3. writing 6-7 pages minimum of approx. 250 words each
  4. staying focused

And because I am such an avid fan of commitment, here’s a little motivation for you to be so, as well…

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When I’m not committed to NaNoWriMo, you can find me committed here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+

and I’ve also put together a Pinterest motivation/commitment board as well if you need more inspiration ( and by inspiration I mean looking at some pictures of hot guys telling you to write!)

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Goal vs. Dream

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So…I’m giving this motivational speech next month at a woman’s weekend retreat and I’ve starting putting my thoughts together on what I want to say, the points I want to highlight, and the ideas I want to leave the women with.  And by starting to put together I really mean I’m starting to panic about what to say!! I’m going to use this blog piece as a way of organizing my thoughts, so please bear with me!

I’ve always asserted that there is a distinct difference between having a dream for yourself and having a goal. To prove I’m educated in the difference between the two, here are the definitions:

A goal is: an aim or desired result

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A dream is: a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal

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Now, just looking at the two you might think they really are the same thing. But I don’t think they are and here’s why.

I always had a little dream to write romantic fiction and have it published. My dream was to be able to support myself as a writer and have the people who read my stuff like it, be loyal, and want more of it.  That was it. Just a dream. A little fantasy that played out in my mind time after time. I’d  imagine myself going to book signings and have the waiting line for my table be out the door and around the block! I’d make every bestseller list out there, and talk shows would be clamoring to schedule me whenever I had a new book released. Amazon would list me as a preferred author and my Goodreads page would be off the chart with followers.

Okay, so it was a BIG dream and not really a little one.

What turned my dream into a reality was when I set a goal for myself centering on that dream to write and publish. I put an action plan behind my fantasy. I set a time frame for what I wanted to happen, the means to make sure it did, and took steps to promote and push it along to fruition.

See the difference? My dream was ephemeral, just a thought, an idea, a wish. My goal put action behind the fantasy to make it come true. To break it down even further ( for you literary and English majors!)  my dream was a noun and my goal was the verb.

Make sense?

Now, of course,  I’m going to expound on that a lot more when I give my talk. I do have to fill an entire hour and not just a three minute ready-to-read-piece like this one! But I think my idea is solid. How I got to live out my fantasy, my dream, how I made it happen, will comprise the majority of the speech. But for now, I have a starting point, so thank’s for listening and ANY WORDS OF WISDOM would not only be appreciated, they would be cherished…so feel free.

Here’s the info, btw, if you want to attend the women’s weekend retreat and see me make a fool of myse–, er…hear me speak: Camp Takodah

and…if you can’t make it to the retreat, here’s where you can find me:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, community advocacy, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

End of the year wrap-up and a look ahead to 2016

At the beginning of every year I write out a bunch of goals I want to accomplish during the year. The perpetual ones are lose 50 pounds ( or at least 5!), re-read all my favorite books, exercise 5 times per week, drink more water, drink less soda.

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Usually, I get 2-3 going good for a few months and then fall by the wayside.

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2015 had a different set of goals. I knew I was retiring, so goal number 1 was to write every day. I fulfilled that goal. Number 2 was to get a novel published by a traditional publisher. That goal got met in spades: I had 3 books go live in 2015. Yippie for me. Number 3 was to write at least twice a week on this blog. Again, met in spades since I average 3-4 times per week for the year. Yippie, squared!

 

Looking ahead to 2016 I have some new goals to go along with the old standards. Here’s my list:

  1. Lose 50 pounds (I’d be happy with 10)
  2. Drink more water, less soda
  3. exercise 6 days per week
  4. Have 3-4 books published traditionally
  5. get an agent ( this one should be number 1 but I really need to lose weight!)
  6. say “yes” more than “no”, no matter what is being asked of me ( this will be a toughy, but I plan on doing it!)
  7. find new authors to read and promote them through social media
  8. meditate ( you do not know how badly I need to do this one.weightloss4

We’ll see how well I do!

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The little book that could…

It is no secret to anyone who knows me or has ever read an interview I’ve done, THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD is hands down my favorite book of all time. Even at the age I am now ( 21++++,etc) I still feel the message in that children’s book is the most empowering one I’ve ever read. The entire book screams with the treatise of self-motivation and dedication to a goal. That little engine thought he could get over that mountain, and because he had confidence in himself and self-will  and determination, he did.

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I’ve started writing a new series of books about another family ( of course!). My MacQuire Women series is almost complete, so when the idea for this new family burst in my brain, I went with it. The reason I’m telling you this is because the first thing I do after the idea pops up is to discover my characters and their motivations. Why a character acts the way she does, does the things she does, and says what she says is very important for me to know ahead of the writing. I’ve said before that using Deb Dixon’s book Goal, Motivation and Conflict (GMC) has been instrumental in helping me get inside the heads of my peeps and knowing what’s what with them. The book makes you dig deep into your characters to find out what their internal and external goals  are, what’s behind their motivations for each, and then asks you to detail the conflicts that will make attaining their goals difficult.

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I usually devise one wipe board per book with my major characters on it, listing the GMC’s.  Here’s the current one for the new series. This is book one, as of yet untitled.  You can’t really tell from this shot, but I’ve got my heroine, hero  and the “villain” all plotted out here. What they want, how they can get it and what will keep them from achieving their goals.

This keeps me focused – something I have real trouble with – and will hopefully eliminate plot holes along the way. Sometimes I do discover something about the character I didn’t know in the beginning and it will be added to this board, with the concurrent problems and motivations added.

Character Motivation is important when writing, especially in writing romances because if we didn’t give our characters fully formed goals and obstacles, there wouldn’ be anything interesting to write about. It would simply be boy meets girl. Boy gets girl. The End.

Boring, no?

COMING SOON:: 3 Wishes, A Candy Hearts Story…check back soon for buy links! 2/8/16 release from The Wild Rose Press

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And the moment has arrived….

It’s release day!!! I’m sitting in my pajamas, a cup of congratulatory tea in my hand, looking at this:
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This is my dream board. I started it a few months back when I was hoping to have my first book published. That hope turned into reality today with the publication of Skater’s Waltz.

I’ve been told by a few people that dream boards are a waste of time, energy, and paper. Why, I’ve been asked, do you need to waste your time cutting out pictures and sayings of what you want? Why not just got for it and do what you need to do to make your dreams come through?  Those people are not really friends of mine. My friends applaud the way I put my internal dreams and hopes into a touchable, readable, living entity. They agree that when you dream it, think it, and speak it, every desire in your heart can come true. When you put your hopes into a tangible, cohesive layout, you can get a better feel, a much clearer view, of how you are going to achieve those goals and dreams.

My dream board is covered with positive affirmations of what I want my writing career to look like and be. It tells the story of how I see myself at this moment in time, and where I see my life leading me now that it is going through such a monumental change. When I look at it, I see the path I took to get here and the road I need to travel from this day on.

My dreams have become reality…yours can, too.

If you dream it, you can be it, do it, and have it.

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