The Sunday Seven: New Beginnings…

Welcome to the Sunday Seven – where I recap the past seven days and lay out my seven writing goals for the upcoming week.

This is a strange week, since today is a holiday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day to be exact). I decided to post today considering this is a Sunday in every way except in name for me. Lots of things happened this week as well. Good things! We bought our airline tickets to Scotland for the wedding. Yay! The fiancé called the restaurant in Laguna and we’re about to reserve a date. And I finally put the guest list into a spreadsheet. 120 people are on that list on invites. We can only fit 85, but I’m confidant once I talk to my mother, that some of them can be left off and that many of them won’t be making the trip to CA due to being across the country. Also, I’m penning an email to the photographer we’d like to follow us around for the day in Scotland. Things are moving ahead!

Other than that, on a whim for a call, I submitted a proposal and secured a state in Dreamspinner’s States of Love series. You’re looking at the proud author for a story set in Louisiana! I’m a New Orleans junkie, so I can’t wait to show them what I can do with a place steeped in such history and culture! To further whet your appetite, I’ll mention that it will be my first work with strong elements of mystery and suspense. Sound interesting? Also, I made it through my clean eating challenge. I ended up getting a cold toward the end and it threw me off. Still, I did it and now I can eat cheese again. Oh how I missed cheese. Now just to watch calories and carbs, and get some exercise in.

My Passion Planner has proved to be pretty darn great already. It has so many great features besides getting you to focus on your passions and setting goals to reach them. It also asks you to write a focus for the days, weeks, and months, and note the GOOD things that happened each week. Which – I find I often forget. Seeing those positive things written down reminds me that there is meaning in the little things.

Here is a photo of the mind map you complete at the beginning and a week I completed so far:

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1) I finished the post for Clare London’s Birthday blog celebration. Check it out here. 2) I wrote up that story summary for Dreamspinner and got Louisiana, as I mentioned above. 3) My newsletter is coming along. 4) I did not get to the Starstruck WIP this week. 5) I did work on the first draft of Taking Care of Business, but that will get pushed down the line to make way for the Louisiana story. 6) I honestly didn’t even look at the Bah Humbug WIP this week. 7) I’m in the middle of reading Writing Your First Mystery and Plotting Your First Mystery by Mar Preston. I’ll need to brush up on how it’s done. Oh and I saw the movie Daddy’s Home today. I know it seems like a silly, slapstick movie, but it had some of the best storytelling I’ve seen. Seriously, it was a class in plotting, pacing, and character development. Strange to say that about a Will Ferrell / Mark Wahlberg movie, but yeah. Really spot on.

Thus, moving on…

The Sunday Seven

1) F**king Newsletter!

2) Outline Louisiana story – due April 30, 2016

3) Outline Starstruck WIP – due May 1, 2016

4) Move forward on Bah Humbug WIP – due May 30, 2016

5) Free time??? Ha! Watch some NCIS: New Orleans!

6) Research New Orleans, haunted folklore, tours, and cemeteries.

7) Finish the mystery writing books, maybe read some new Josh Lanyon. 🙂

Feel free to leave me a suggestion, motivational comment, or inspirational image 😀

The Sunday Seven: And so it begins…

Welcome to the Sunday Seven – where I recap the past seven days and lay out my seven writing goals for the upcoming week.

Well, my last post was all about New Years and Resolutions. How is everyone doing so far in those realms? Good? Not so good? Mine are coming along…slowly, but surely.

I haven’t gotten as far as I would like with the wedding planning, but then it’s not all me. My fiancé suffers from the same procrastination issues that I do. We have a place to stay locked down in Scotland. And we buy the airline tickets this week. Getting that out of the way will help. Now we need to finalize the reception restaurant and guest list, so I can get the invitations printed and mailed. I started on a 2 week clean-eating challenge to jump start my shaping up and slimming down goal for March. I’m a week in and I won’t lie – it’s tough. I’ll get through it and then I can simply watch calories and get some exercise in – either yoga or walking.

My Passion Planner arrived yesterday afternoon! It’s beautiful and I plan to fill it in today. Is it weird that I get so excited over this kind of thing? Oh, and I bought my first fountain pen. I kinda love it. And I’m already thinking I want another with a heavier tip for a thicker line. This last week..1) I’m still working on my newsletter. It WILL get done by the end of January. 2) I researched and finished outlining a short story that I plan to submit by the end of February (not sure to who yet). 3) Still thinking about Clare London’s blog post. 4) I did some research into current publishers accepting submissions and tried to get a list for myself of what’s out there. 5) I went to CES (Consumer Electronics Show here in Vegas)  and got a couple plot bunnies for upcoming stories. 6) I used Take Off Your Pants! Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing to help me outline my short. I really like how it guides you in a simple, yet loose way. 7) I read Dirty Talk by Joey Jameson (an ARC that I reviewed) and Cheeky Hipsters & Jocks by Posy Roberts. Each had their merits.

Now without further ado…

The Sunday Seven

1) Finish Clare London’s blog post by the end of this week.

2) Write up a story summary to submit to Dreamspinner.

3) Newsletter!!!!

4) Start outlining Starstruck WIP – due May 1, 2016.

5) Work on first draft of Taking Care of Business.

Working Title: Taking Care of Business
Phase:Outlining
100%

6) Don’t fall too behind on Bah Humbug – due July 1, 2016 (but want to turn it in much earlier since I don’t want anything hanging over my head during the wedding time!)

7) Read something off my TBR list. Or a writing reference book.

Feel free to leave me a suggestion, motivational comment, or inspirational image 😀

The Sunday Seven: Here Comes the New Year

Welcome to the Sunday Seven – where I recap the past seven days and lay out my seven writing goals for the upcoming week.

Christmas has come and gone.I managed to make it through the holiday with very little depression or anxiety, which I’m thankful for. Spent some quality time with my family. Received some lovely presents. And ate like there was no tomorrow. I’m feeling good. Hopeful. That’s a sweet sign as we approach the New Year. I start planning projects and taking stock of what I can do to make the new year better and brighter than the last. But I’m also glad to have a therapist to work with me to make the coming year a more joyful time.

Back to work tomorrow, but I managed to accomplish a few things today to get me in the mood for next week’s post regarding New Year’s Resolutions. 1) My January newsletter will feature ALL the books I have out at this time, the appearances I have planned in the next three months, and my current WIPs. 2) My Bah Humbug WIP is still buzzing. I hope to ride that wave until the holiday spark runs dry. 3) I didn’t get a planner for Christmas, but I’m glad because I’m pretty particular with daily planners. With gift money I settled on this one – The Passion Planner – which I’m really excited about. It doesn’t ship until January though. I’m hoping this will keep me organized and energized about my writing goals. 4) For the upcoming blog post for Clare London, I’ll probably discuss the 2015 Top Ten Gay Romance anthology from JMS Books, in which my story, The Courage to Heal, had the honor of being a part of. I’ll add another fun little tidbit as well. A giveaway? 5) I didn’t get to any Victorian movies, or books for that matter. 6) I read Heidi Cullinan’s Sleigh Ride, part of the Minnesota Christmas series, and loved it. Now I have to finish out the series with Winter Wonderland. Yay! 7) Was definitely present in mind and spirit for Christmas. I’m proud of myself!

And now on to…

The Sunday Seven

1) Write up a draft of my January newsletter.

2) Elaborate on writing projects for the year.

3) Draft post for Clare London’s Birthday Blog.

4) New Year’s Resolutions!

5) Keep going on Bah Humbug WIP.

6) Research – Reading other novels has been my research lately.

7) Read – I’m still going with holidays reads while I still can!

Happy New Year!!

Feel free to leave me a suggestion, motivational comment, or inspirational image 😀

The Sunday Seven: Holiday Crush

Welcome to the Sunday Seven – where I recap the past seven days and lay out my seven writing goals for the upcoming week.

This image to the left is how my brain feels right now. My god, the holidays! At least my cards are done and the shopping is complete! Well, except for one White Elephant gift. That shouldn’t be too hard, fingers crossed. I’ll wrap everything when I get to my parent’s house on Wednesday. I’m proud of myself, but I still feel like I could have done more. That always seems to be the case despite the quickly diminishing bank account. Now, to make it through the next two days without too much strife.

My counselor/therapist told me to work on being in the moment. To let go of expectations and worries of what could have been or will be. Easier said than done, right? I mean, as noted above, I’m concerned about gifts. Still, I’ll try. Being overwhelmed is never fun.

I forced myself to read a book today after not having time all week. I’m glad I did, since I’m stressing over cleaning for the new pet sitter we meet tomorrow. Funny how it makes me feel more productive immersing myself in a story than vacuuming the carpet or scrubbing the vanity. 1) I decided to set my newsletter for once every three months and additionally if I have any special news about releases or appearances. That will begin January 2016.  2) Ezra hasn’t been speaking to me lately. Probably because Tim Cratchett (my main Bah Humbug WIP character) has overtaken my thoughts. 3) I got a little work done on the Starstruck WIP 4) The second Dreamspun Desires idea didn’t get revisited, but like I said before, characters are bombarding me from the Bah Humbug WIP.  5) I’m working on the voice of Tim Cratchett and the opening scenes. Also, his love interest, Chris, is taking shape. Here’s a visual for Tim. But imagine him crankier! 😉
6) Victorian research has been relegated to visual inspiration on some Pinterest boards for now. 7) I read Magic & Mistletoe by Joanna Chambers. It was sweet and well-written.

And now for…

The Sunday Seven

1) I’m not sure this week will see much of anything but Christmas prep and then holiday relaxation. Still, I’ll get ready for the following week with thinking about what my first newsletter will include for January.

2) I’ll bring a notebook with me to California and see what strikes, whether it be Tim, Ezra, my Dreamspun Desires WIPs or something from the Starstruck WIP.

3) I need to begin planning my writing workload for next year. Hopefully, I’ll get a daily planner or Amazon gift cards to buy one 😉

4) I’ll be joining Clare London’s Birthday Blog during the month of January. My slot is January 18th. I’ll have to figure out something fun to do for that post.

5) Research – I’ll probably watch a Victorian movie or two.

6) Read – I’ll definitely have the Kindle with me for the holiday. I can’t wait to dive into something.

7) Enjoy the time with my family and friends. I know this is not a writing goal, but following my therapist’s advice, I’m going to stay present in the holiday festivities. I want to remind myself how much wonder, love. and light is in my life.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Feel free to leave me a suggestion, motivational comment, or inspirational image 😀