As 2016 comes to a close, I’m looking back over the year at all I did (and even a few things I should have done, but didn’t). This year:
I wrote and published book three in the Caught Between series: Caught Between a Rock and a Hunka Man.
I wrote and published Love Under Construction, book 4 in the 12 book Thurston Hotel series. There were 11 authors involved in this project and I had so much fun.
I completed the first draft of A Time to be Tender, book 3 in the Rocky Mountain series, and am currently in the revision stage (which for me is usually the longest stage in writing a book).
I took several online courses, including Obsessed with the totally obsessive Melissa Cassera, and B-School with the heart-centered Marie Forleo.
I sent out 12 monthly newsletters (a first ever for me!).
I received my RITA scores and while I didn’t final, I was thrilled and encouraged by the 8.5 out of 10 score.
I redesigned my website…sort of, or maybe that was last year. It’s always a work-in-progress, so it’s on my list of accomplishments every single year.
I finally added a free offer to my newsletter. Have you signed up yet? If not, do so and you can download a free copy of The Valentine Grinch.
I redesigned the Caught Between series covers and they’re perfect for these fun, sassy books.
I redesigned the cover for book 2 of the Rocky Mountain series (I love the Terms of Surrender cover so much better!), then designed the cover for book 3 in the series and held a contest to give the book a name.
I read…of course. Lots of romance, women’s fiction, and even some thrillers. And then there were the self-improvement books, and all those books on writing, social media, and marketing.
I journaled, gardened, decluttered, and even got down and dirty with some dust bunnies. I haven’t had to shovel yet (knock on wood).
And I had fun. Now I’m ready to tackle another year.
How about you? What were a few of your accomplishments? Did you have any hard earned lessons or great achievements that you want to share in the comments? Do you plan out your year in advance? Or do you wing it? You know I love to hear from you so please talk to me in the comments!
Before you head to the comments section, I want to wish you a wonderful new year. May 2017 bring you much love and happiness!
This Sunday, Sept 4th, is my birthday, and I’m celebrating with an exciting new contest for my newsletter subscribers. So if you’re not already a newsletter subscriber, but you want to enter the contest, make sure you sign up for my newsletter before this Sunday.
Just go to my website and scroll to the bottom of the page where you’ll find the signup form. Or if you’re already on the website reading this blog post, scroll over to the sidebar on the right side of the page. Hurry…go…I’ll wait…
In other news, I’ve completed the line edits for my SSP (if this is your first time here, SSP refers to the Super Secret Project I’ve been working on for the past few months), and it’s official, the book is complete. And because I love to dive from one book into another, I’ve already started work on book 3 for my Rocky Mountain Romance series.
[Incidentally, the newsletter contest involves both the SSP series and the Rocky Mountain series.]
Now, back to birthday celebrations…please tell me how you love to celebrate your birthday. I’ll share my favorite in the comments!
For years, I’ve had this Nora Roberts quote pinned to my wall. It’s a reminder to just get the story down, no matter how messy that first draft is.
Mostly, I write seven days a week. On some days—those days when my imagination has gone AWOL—I stare listlessly at the computer screen or gaze out the window at the wildlife in the pond. I try not to take a single day off. If I do, the flow of the story falters and grinds to a halt. It might take days for my characters to reappear. So I show up. Every. Single. Day. Even when I’m on vacation.
This week, I finished the first draft of my super secret project (coming fall of 2016!!!) and quite frankly, it was hard work. Lackluster work. One of those books where the hero and heroine sat in the corner of the coffee shop and whistled Dixie while I bled each word. And then I began the revisions and found pure gold.
Stay tuned for more about this story. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you in the coming months. As soon as it’s no longer a super secret project…
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I’m always taking courses to improve my skills—writing, plotting, and all things business related. Recently I discovered Marie Forleo who is a life and business coach. Her Marie TV episodes are funny and informative and I never miss a single one of them.
Marie also offers two programs: B-School and The Copy Cure. I’ve had my eye on both of them, but I’m currently in another program which runs till the end of 2016, so I decided to register for B-School in 2017.
Then Marie opened up the 2016 registration, and announced that she was giving away scholarships. All I had to do to be eligible was make a video telling her why I wanted to get into B-School, then post the video on YouTube.
I hesitated for about 2.5 seconds…and then I decided to go for it.
You see, I have this huge fear of cameras. I’d rather be behind the camera than in front. Add in the video stuff—the talking and hearing my voice!—and it’s something that I’ve avoided, well, like forever.
By the time the first recording was done, my voice and my body were both shaking. And halfway through, I forgot to breathe, LOL! But after several more attempts, I recorded a video that I felt wasn’t too bad, uploaded it to YouTube, and went back to work on my book.
A week later, Marie announced the winners. Out of over 1000 scholarship applicants, she’d picked 47 people for her scholarship program, and amazingly I was one of them.
The other morning, reluctant to get out of bed but knowing full well that I should, I snuggled into the covers and let my mind wander. I’d spent the last month puzzling over a couple of important plot points that I needed for the end of Caught Between a Rock and a Hunka Man. I wanted them to be touching and emotional and definitely romantic, but up to that Saturday morning, I still had nothing.
Not a single idea. Not even a hint.
The fact that I’d spent the month of December stressing over Christmas preparations (and of course, eating all of those “preparations”) probably had something to do with the lack of inspiration. My muse was hiding in the background, staying out of my way, and waiting for me to chill.
Then bang, on that Saturday morning as I lazed in bed, I got a twofer. Yes, two separate scenes that came like a sprinkle of fairy dust. I promptly thanked my muse for blessing me with the ideas, then charged out of bed to write them down before they vanished.
And vanish they do. There’s a wonderful scene in the movie About Time where the playwright answers the incessant knocking at the front door only to lose the only idea he’s had all year. (Awesome, romantic, funny, heartbreaking movie, btw!) Catch the trailer here:
So that’s how inspiration appears for me, like magic, in a puff of smoke sprinkled with fairy dust. How do your ideas come to you (and I’m not just talking writing here…any old flash of inspiration in your day will do). Talk to me. I love to hear from you!