Tag Archives: #writinglife #writingtips

Goals, Actions, and Plans….Oh my!

So the New Year is 10 days old and I’m already hearing people have broken their NY resolutions. I’ve even seen it with my own eyes at the gym. Last week I had to wait for a few machines because all those people who vowed to lose weight and get in shape for 2018 were all gung-ho about hitting the gym every day and sweating the fat off. Fast forward to week 2 and most of those people are back to sleeping in and saying, “I’ll exercise later/tomorrow/never again.”

This is the reason I don’t make resolutions. It’s too easy to break ignore them.

Instead, as I’ve said before, I make a list of goals every year that I want to accomplish during that year and then make an action plan for those goals. Just saying, “I’m gonna hit the gym more this year,” doesn’t put any action behind the process. How often? When? What body areas are you going to center on? Those questions need to be asked and answered with a PLAN.

Remember the A-Team  (the television show, not the horrible and lousy movie remake) and the line George Peppard always said when they finished a case? “I love when a plan comes together.”

Yeah. And, duh! What’s the significant word in that line? PLAN PLAN PLAN PLAN PLAN.

In order to have an effective plan, you need to define the actions to bring that plan to fruition. Once you do, you’ve formed your GOAL.

Seems common-sense-y, doesn’t it?

So, one of my goals this year was to get my life more organized. You might think since I have the luxury of being a full-time writer that there wouldn’t necessarily be a need to get organized. I mean, don’t I just write every day?

Yeah, but….

This year I wanted to set a goal for the number of books I’m going to write and for the number of blogs I want to do each week, so I bought a planner with one section devoted to PROJECTS. Here’s how my process goes:

  • 5 days a week write a minimum of 2500 words daily in your current WIP. No less.
  • On Sundays, writer your 2-3 blog posts for the week.
  • Schedule your Social Media posts days ahead of time using Hootsuite. Book those posts on Sundays.
  • Shut off the phone alerts and all SM alerts while performing #1

Now, if I write 2500 words minimum 5 days per week I’ll have 12,500 words written a week. My books usually range 75000-90000 words, and using this formula I can write a book in 7.2 weeks ( 90,000 words) That’s less than 2 months!!! Yowza. And I’m a good record keeper. This is the daily word count for a Christmas book I just sent to my editor for review:

REGINA daily word count

November 27, 2017                           0                      1064                           1064

November 28, 2017                         1064               1379                           2443

November 29, 2017                         2443               441                           2884

December 4, 2017                            2884               2517                           5401

December 5, 2017                            5401               1622                           7023

December 6, 2017                            7023               2468                           9491

December 7, 2017                            9491               2174                         11665

December 10, 2017                         11665              4307                          15972

December 11, 2017                         15972                2876                          18848

December 12, 2017                         18848                  597                          19445

December 13, 2017                         19445                 2301                          21746

December 14, 2017                         21746                 1438                          23184

December 18, 2017                         23184                  2448                          25632

December 19, 2017                         25632                   2000                          27632

December 20, 2017                         27632                   3138                          30770

December 21, 2017                         30770                    1961                          32731

January 1, 2018                               32731                        5482                          38213

January 2, 2018                               38213                        2578                          40791

January 3, 2018                               40791                        1275                          42066

January 4, 2018                               42066                        3222                          45288

January 5, 2018                               45288                        3812                          49100

January 6, 2018                               49100                        3106                          52206

January 7, 2018                               52206                        696                           52890

Finished!    1.7.18             23 days and a total of 52,890 words.   For me, this isn’t bad!

So, plan+action=goal.

Easy peasy.

When I’m not putting action behind my plans you can find me here, but only after I’ve written my daily 2500 word minimum!

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

 

 

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance

I don’t like to give advice, but……

Number 51! We’re almost done with an entire year of blog posts. Today’s topic is a goodie — but then I’ve thought they were all goodies!

So, like my title says, I don’t like to give advice. The reason is simply because I don’t like to get it! Especially unsolicited.

But…(You knew that was coming, didn’t you?! HeeHee)

What advice would I give to New Authors? Well, it’s simple really. DON’T GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM. EVAH!!!

I was 55 years old when my first book was published. A time when people are thinking towards retirement, and I started a whole new career. I had many naysayers when I first submitted to publishers and entered contests at the age of 54.

You’re too old to start, now.” 

“You’re not the right age or demographic or personality to write and be successful with romance writing.” 

“You’ll never make it. It’s a young person’s market.”

“You’re going to get your heart broken with all the rejections you’re going to get.”

I heard it all.

But I still dreamed I’d be published. I listened to those comments and then just as quickly forgot about them.

Yes, I’d had a few things published in my 20’s and 30s’ — mostly short stories in literary magazines that no one ever read, and professional nursing journals where a few people did see them. But nothing I could support myself with. The dream to be a published book author always stayed with me, though, despite that.

And yes, it took me until I was middle-aged, menopausal, and slightly neurotic before I ever saw a book of mine in print, but… and this is the key… I stuck to my dream and saw it fulfilled.

So, new writer who is hopefully reading this, if you want to write, write. If you want to be a published author, go for it. Don’t give up. Ever. EVAH!

I wonder what the other authors in this blog hop want to tell you? Stop by their sites and see:

 

3.

8 Comments

Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, MFRWauthor, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

#Previews #Reviews and #Links, OH MY!

So, in my NEVER ENDING attempt to learn new things and make it easier for people to review, preview, and actually BUY my books ( heehee) I have once again updated my website. You can now Read PREVIEWS of my books before you decide you want to buy them, and you can also Read REVIEWS of the books without having to go look for them.

Let me ‘esplain.

This is the MENU for my website, located on the landing page, in the header.

Click on MY BOOKS.

Once there you will see a listing of all my current, in publication, and available books for purchase with the current one first.

Just scroll down to the bottom of each picture and you will see this:

 

Click on the link you want. The previews are generated from Amazon and most offer the first chapter, some up to the end of chapter 2, which I think is pretty cool. I know myself before I buy a book by an author I’m not familiar with, I want to read the first few pages before I commit to purchasing. I’ll bet most people want to do that as well since money is a little tighter these days.

So. Once again, the learning curve steepens.

I have this recurring dream/wish/desire/want(!) that I will hit a national bestseller list and actually be able to HIRE an assistant to do all this stuff. One who actually KNOWS how. Yeah, I know what they say about wishes…..

Le sigh.

If you want to find me, here’s where I hang out: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking

Facebook….turns out, it’s a good thing

Yesterday I extolled some of the wisdom Jane Friedman imparted last weekend at Fiction Fest 2017 in her master class. One of the biggest takeaways from the workshop for me was how powerful Facebook can be for an author.

When I first began my journey as a published author in 2015 I had the typical Facebook page where I trolled the news feed for posted info on family and friends. It was my then-editor who suggested I make myself a professional FB page for my author career. The thought of now having to manage and keep track of 2 things on FB, not to mention Twitter, Pinterest, my website, my Amazon page,  yada yada yada was a little daunting and a whole lot of nauseating.

But I heeded her advice and did it. The one thing I was adamant about though, was that the professional author page was  going to be for anybody who wanted to follow me as an author. I was going to keep my personal page just that – private. The reason was an easy one for me because I have small children in my family and friends circle and their parents post pictures of them frequently. I didn’t want some wackjob creepy person to see those pictures. There are a lot of undesirables on the Internet, hunting for innocent prey. And I know that sounds dramatic, but have you read the news lately??? Not dramatic at all.. simply proactive.

So. Two pages. Two separate entities. Double the work. More to keep track of. But you know what? it was a good thing. I have waaaaaaay more “friends” on my professional page than my personal one. I don’t post anything on the professional page I wouldn’t want everyone in the cyber world to see, but I’m able to keep private what needs to be kept private on the personal page. One of the good things about Facebook is that you can set up protection and privacy settings on posts.

Jane is a big proponent of reader and follower engagement on her FB page. She uses her page as a tool to interact with readers, answer questions, make announcements, show her blog postings. She feels authors should use the Professional page as their number one tool for marketing and acquiring new followers who then become readers. I always felt that Twitter gave me my biggest bang for engagement, and in reality, I have more twitter followers than I do FB followers (not many more, but a few). One of the drawbacks, Jane says about Twitter, is that it is very much a right here- right now thing. In other words, once you post something you have about 17 minutes or so for people to see it. After that, it gets lost in the quagmire of a hundred billion other tweets and the scroll shoves you waaaaaaay down low. Makes sense. On Facebook, your postings get added to the newsfeed, your followers get notified you’ve posted something, and if you come back to the post a few hours later and simply “like” it, it brings it back up in the current scroll. That’s genius in my mind. Plus, everytime someone likes or comments on your post you get a notification and respond in kind.

Facebook parties are a fabulous markteting tool for new readers and engagement as well. Facebook ads can be a tool to drive people to your page, but be careful. Don’t go crazy and spend more than you think you really need on an ad.

So. Facebook. I will now be using it a great deal more than Twitter. Still love to tweet though!

When I’m not Facebook-ing or Tweeting, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

2 Comments

Filed under Author, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, research, Romance Books

I’m the visitor today!

Join me as I talk about characters and writing stuff over on friend, writer , and award winning Casi McLean’s blog today. Stop by and leave some love. Here’s the link: Writing about Characters

Leave a comment

Filed under Author, Author Branding, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Literary characters, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

What I need to work on Everyday; #Mfrwauthors #blogChallenge

Last week we were charged with writing about our greatest strength. This week, the opposite, our greatest weakness.

I could post about my almost insane obsession for chocolate.

Or my insatiable need to watch reality television shows like “housewives” and Kardashians, just so I don’t miss a moment of their fabulous lives.

Maybe I could write a blog piece about the diet I’ve been struggling with for 40 years.

But when it comes right down to it, my greatest weakness is none of those things. It’s my judgemental attitude toward people and events.

The Bible says In Matthew 7:1-29: “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Apparently, I never got that message in religion class.

When I hear something I disagree with I immediately judge it wrong, simply because I don’t agree with it.

When I hear someone has done something criminal, or stupid, or negligent, I immediately judge them guilty with no questions asked as to why they did what they did. Or even if they did. In this country you are legally innocent until you are proven legally guilty. Not in my mind. If I hear you are to alleged to have done something, the word alleged is thrown away and you actually did it.

I’m not always right. I know.  Shocker, right? And most of the things I have been wrong about were proven wrong to me after a quick judgment call on my behalf. So that old adage “think before you speak” fits in well with this knee-jerk judging reacting I have.

I struggle daily with being judge-y. I truly do. It has gotten better. Now, instead of immediately SAYING and giving voice to a judgment, I tend to keep it inside, quiet, and not share it. Okay, so I still have work to do on not being so judge-y.

 

But I AM working on it. I promise.

Please don’t judge me!

Since this is part of the #MFRWauthors 52 week blog challenge hop, you can click on the amazing authors and writer below to read all about their greatest weakness as well.

10 Comments

Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Why I need to see my characters before I write them

I love a good vision board – especially for one of my own books. Since my writing tends to fall out of a visual tendency, I make vision -or story- boards for each of my books. Knowing what the characters actually look like while I am writing about them helps me “see” the story as it unfolds from their eyes and viewpoints. For instance, here’s the board I worked with for my October 2017 release, A SHOT AT LOVE:

You can see how I envisioned Gemma Laine and Ky Pappandreos, plus how I categorized aspects of their lives, such as photography info for Gemma and law enforcement stuff for Ky.  I sent their pictures to Lyrical when I was asked how I “SAW” my hero and heroine looking. I think they did a great job with portraying my vision on the cover:

This is my working vision board for the third book in the series, tentatively titled CAN’T STAND THE HEAT”

This book has  few more integral characters, but the H/H look like Grace Kelly ( Stacy Peters) and Pierce Brosnan ( Nikko Stamp)

I’m currently working on 2 more books in this series. and the first one, (working title: IT STARTED WITH HIS KISS) looks like this:

You can see I don’t have too much filled in yet, but I will….no worries.

More about vision boards and how they help writers in tomorrow’s edition of PEGGYJAEGER.COM

In the meantime, did you know that COOKING WITH KANDY, book 1 in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE SERIES releases next week on April 4?? Here’s a little sumthin’ to whet your romance-reading appetites.

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

Excerpt:

“Clock stops at five-thirty,” she told him, spying the way he glanced at the empty desks. “That’s a rule I never break. No matter how busy we are, or what our deadline is, I make sure everyone up here is out by then.”

“Why? I would think in this business long hours are the norm.”

“Everyone deserves free time, time with family, time to wind down. I won’t have people working for me when they’re exhausted, or thinking about the soccer game they’re missing for their kid. No one’s productive then. I like everyone to be rested, fresh and on the ball. I realized early on it was the way to bring out the creative, productive best in people.”

“But you don’t adhere to your own rules.”

She leveled a gaze at him. “That’s because I’m the boss. I thrive on deadlines and do some of my finest work when I’m exhausted.”

The slow grin that spread across his face made her stomach muscles giddy-up again.

“I bet you give great holiday bonuses,” he said, rocking back on his heels.

Because it was true, she smiled.

“My office is in here.”

She pushed through another set of doors and preceded him in.

While he took in the surroundings Kandy wondered if he saw the room the same way she did. She’d chosen this space simply because of the windows. A corner office, it had full-length, floor to ceiling matted glass surrounding the outer perimeter of the office on three sides. Her view was of downtown Manhattan, an unobstructed visage of Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty.

The interior design was her own and she’d gone for comfort and ease in the furnishings. Three couches circled one another in the center of the room, and in the middle sat an impressive glass table, currently covered with files, paper, magazines, and a few fabric swatches. A grandfather clock sat, unwound, on the far wall, the hour hand stuck at nine, the minute hand at twelve.

A large, cherry wood desk faced the windows, not the inner room, complete with two computers, a laptop, and two printers on a pull-out stand next to the desk.

“Interesting.” Josh gazed around the room. “I assume the reason your desk faces this way is for the great view?”

She lifted her shoulders to her ears and then brought them down again. “Why waste it by having my back to it?”

“Good thought. What’s up with the clock?”

She glanced over at it. “That’s the exact time my first book went on sale.”

“So, what? Time stopped for you then?”

“No. The way I see it my life started precisely at that moment.”

His eyebrows rose. “Says a lot about what you expect and want out of life.”

“Don’t read too much into it,” she said, unaccustomed embarrassment washing through her. Without even knowing her he’d hit her personality right on the head. “The clock also has sentimental value. It was Grandma’s.”

Kandy moved to the couches. “Come on, have a seat. Let’s talk specifics.”

Josh sat opposite her, leaned back into the couch, crossing one long leg over the other.

“I’m going to say this once because I feel we should get it out of the way,” she started. “I don’t think I need a body guard, and I don’t think anything that’s happened recently can’t be explained away. I find this whole situation of having someone follow every move I make unnerving. I’m not used to it. Not used to working this way. I don’t want to have to stop every five minutes to explain where I’m going, who I’m going to be meeting with. I just go. I have too much to do in a day to worry about someone keeping up with me.”

When he nodded, she continued. “I’m willing to go along with the entire scheme until you prove there’s really no reason for it, which I think you’ll discover pretty quickly. But I won’t be hampered in going about my day in any way. Understand?”

Buy Links: Amazon //Nook // Kensington/Lyrical // Kobo // Apple // Google

available in e-copy and Print on Demand ( POD) fro Amazon and Kensington.

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#Music to write by…or not. #MFRWauthors

badge-blog-challenge-updated

The topic of this blog is supposed to be the music we, as writers, listen to when we are in the creative mood. I have to be honest about this – I need total silence when I’m in writing mode. If I put on any music – even classical without words(!) music, I will invariably stop what I am doing just to listen. God forbid I put on pop music. Then all I will do is sing along. And believe me – no one wants to hear my rendition of Baby, Baby, or Stop in the Name of Love.

Insert full body shudders here at the thought!

Music is very distracting to me when I write, so I’m going to talk about the music I listen to as  I Prepare to Write.  That, at least, is something I do, do.

Once I have my characters thought out and the storyline plotted, I go back to the characters and insert little idiosyncrasies into their backstories, which include the kinds of books they read and the music they listen to and favor. For my newest release, COOKING WITH KANDY, my heroine Kandy Laine is a total pop/rock-diva listening gal.  If she is alone at home, or driving in her car, she will have Pat Benatar, Madonna, vintage Joan Jett, or the Heart sisters blasting away and she will be singing at the top of her lungs, not caring a whit she can’t carry a tune in a bag! These rock warrior women are her musical soul sistahs. In the privacy of her kitchen she will dance like no one’s looking, a wooden spoon as her microphone as she belts out Heartbreaker or I Love Rock and Roll to her heart’s content. When I was trolling around on Pinterest trying to find the perfect image of Kandy, these were the ladies I listened to in order to find Kandy’s essence.

My hero, Josh Keane is a little more, shall we say, sedate, in his musical tastes. He’s a Jazz and Blues man, pure and simple. He’s got Al Jarreau and Miles Davis CDs by the truckload in his car and when he’s doing corporate computer research, or simply kicking back in his condo with a glass of Glenlivet 21 after a hard day, he’s a man who likes the complex simplicity of a solitary horn or a raspy, tortured voice weaving a tale of love, loss, and redemption. As Josh’s soul and spirit came to me, I had my iTunes opened, listening to jazz and blues by the hour. Those discordant chords and slip-timed keys brought to my mind the man Josh was, through and through.

Listening to music is, like writing, an individualistic endeavor. Whether for inspiration, motivation, or clarification, music helps a writer dig deep down, straight to the heart and soul, to bring forth the crux and core of character and story.

Plus, singing at the top of your lungs like no one’s watching is pretty fun to do!

When I’m not listening to music, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

 

Stop by the other #MFRW authors participating in this 52 week hop and leave them some love.

mfrw

Blog Hoop Author:

Leave a comment

Filed under Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women