Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Time to Set Those Goals Again

Here's the selfie that Jaime mentioned in yesterday's post. Silly cat, trying to be a fur scarf.
Can you believe that September is almost upon us? If you're like me, you're still blinking and trying to smooth down your hair in the windy wake of summer whooshing by. :)

For me, the coming of September means it's time to set some new goals, both for the coming month and the rest of this calendar year and beyond. Fall is a super-busy writing time for me, always, but especially this year. And I have some things on the horizon that I know I need to plan for all the way through next summer.

So, breaking my goals down into short and long-term, here are my writing goals for the next year:


  • Short Term Goals (September)
  1. Finish revisions on The Archaeologist's Find novella and turn it in to my editor by 9/15. 
  2. Prepare pitch/conference materials for ACFW Conference
  3. Attend ACFW Conference the third week of Sept. 
  4. Begin A Bride for Bear novella due 11/1.
  • Medium range goals (From Oct. 1 through Jan. 1)
  1. Finish A Bride for Bear and turn it in to my editor by 11/1.
  2. Plot The Damsel and the Detective (sequel to The Cactus Creek Challenge) in preparation for NaNoWriMo.
  3. Dive into and hopefully win NaNo again this year.
  4. Promote the release of Colorado Dawn (12/1/14)
  • Long Range Goals (Jan. 1 through Aug. 1, 2015)
  1. Assemble a street team for The Cactus Creek Challenge releasing 7/1/15. (More on this later)
  2. Plan a marketing strategy with the co-authors of The Eligible Bachelor Collection and The Convenient Bride Collection releasing 5/1/15 and 6/1/15 respectively. 
  3. Finish The Damsel and the Detective. 
  4. Plot and write The Bounty Hunter's Bride (Book three in the Cactus Creek series.)
Whew! When I read through this list, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. I have to remind myself that none of this will be accomplished in a day. This is a process. Like strength training, or dieting, or learning a new skill, accomplishing writing goals is done by daily persistence and practice. 

How about you? Are you setting goals, writing or otherwise? Do you make them for the short and long term?

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Is There A Place for Selfies?

I believe selfies get a bad rap.

Apparently, they come with the stigma that the human on the other end is consumed with their own face. But that's not the case. And, I'm here to set the record straight.

There is a place for selfies.

Consider reading your favorite blog posts, Facebook pages, and Tweets with no attached selfies. Boooooring. It's like watching Steve Martin in "Father of the Bride" with black construction paper over your face. Steve Martin isn't Steve Martin without the visual aid of his facial and body expressions. Let's face it, a selfie brings a post to life.

And if we were vain, conceited folks, we wouldn't post pics like this:

THAT is not the face of a self-obsessed love affair with good looks. It's also not a desperate attempt at a popularity contest. Nor is it an application for The Bachelorette. Although perhaps Survivor, consider it IS the face of a writer who spent most the night writing to meet deadline and was preparing for a long day at work.

Believe it or not, I've had a few people complain that I'm obsessed with taking selfies. That Facebook is filled of selfies of Jaime with coffee mugs, Starbucks, espresso, and more coffee. Well then. I'm sure that is a highly offensive picture that must be removed from FB IMMEDIATELY. (I could see the argument for said selfie to the right--I'm offended just staring at myself).

LOL. Ok, all snark aside, do you really want to know why I love selfies? Not the ones of myself, but the ones of other people?

I GET TO KNOW YOU!!

SO much personality is portrayed in a good selfie. Anne stinks at taking selfies. Which is why I LOVE her selfies!!!!! They're always lopsided, or her face half cut off, or so close I see her nose pores, or sometimes perfectly centered but blurry. Either way, it's my Anne-Girl. My sister. And her personality shines through her smile, her raised coffee mug, her beautiful face. Sheesh!!! I get to SEE her in a selfie. I would be bereft if she didn't send them to me.

And Erica! She posted a selfie this weekend on Facebook that cracked me up. Her cat wrapped around her neck like a backward boa. Loved it. Laughed out loud, literally. It was a fantastic selfie filled with joy, wit, and life.

So take selfies. Share yourself. The Lord made amazing personalities and people. Selfies are polluted when they're posed as glamour shots, or seductive, or so on. Selfies that share a little bit of God's awesomeness in you? They make my day!!!

Head over to my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/jaimewrightbooks and post a selfie of you and your personality today!! I want to get to know you face to face. Keep it real, but keep it clean or this post will blow up in my face and I'll have to delete your pic asap.


_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Rhythms of Life

When you feel the wind get cooler, and sense a change coming on the air, it's good to embrace the rhythm of life. I'm sure there are books about how best to "do" empty-nesting, but so far my plan is just to embrace this. So Ted and I started with stacking wood together and then we canned 40 quarts of tomatoes!
There's something comforting about the start of school each year, the dog days of summer, and the repetition of things we do every season.             


So instead of sitting around feeling weird, we pulled out the old splattered Ball Blue Book. Do you have one? My mother gave me mine for our wedding.

Sometimes a feeling of accomplishment soothes the frayed edges and makes you too tired to obsess over things we should surrender to the Lord anyway.

Beside canning tomatoes, I've decided so far, the top 5 ways to embrace empty-nesting are: 
1. Pray and rejoice.
2. Spend quality time with your spouse.
3. Be intentional
4. Laugh a lot
5. Remember that an empty nest doesn't equal an empty life, it's just a new normal and a time to have fun!

If you are in a new season, or emptying your nest, what are you doing to embrace the rhythms of life?
-------------
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Friday, August 22, 2014

Your questions answered

Jaime is marooned in the far north with S...l...o...w internet access, so she asked me to post for Friday this week.


Since you all asked Jaime such fun questions last week, I thought I'd take a shot at answering them myself. (You can find Jaime's answers HERE.)

Jolene asked Even though fall is your favorite season, name something you really love about summer :
Actually, summer is my favorite season, and winter is my least favorite, but there are a few things I like about winter.
  1. Hot Earl Grey tea.
  2. My fleece jammie pants.
  3. Christmas!

Danie Walther asked:
What kind of Starbucks drink do you like? How often do you go too Starbucks?

I don't go to Starbucks often, partly because the Starbucks here in Rochester, MN is downtown and not easily accessible. But when I do visit a Starbucks, I usually drink either iced tea or Earl Grey, depending on the outside temperature. I do visit my local coffee shop, Dunn Brothers, four or five times a week when I'm on a writing deadline.

Susan P asked:
If you could live at a coffee house, would you? 

Um...yeah, I could live at Dunn Brothers. :)

Salyna asked:
 I haven't roamed this site so I was wondering what all your posts are about? How long have you had this blog and do you have any others? Also, Are you a big fan of Julie Lessman?

Jaime answered this one admirably regarding this blog and its history. as to being a fan of Julie Lessman...she's a beautiful woman, inside and out. If you get to meet her in person, you'll be overwhelmed with her passion for life, for Jesus, and for writers. She's a gem!

Sarah asked:
What is your favorite book you have read this year?
What is something you would love to do, if money was no object? 
Your favorite Bible verse, at the moment (if you're anything like me, it probably changes fairly often)?

Favorite Book this year...I discovered Craig Johnson's Longmire series, and I've devoured every one. I think his Hell is Empty might've been my favorite.

If money was no object...What Jaime said about bringing Katie Gansher's baby girl home from the Congo was a great answer. Beyond that, I think I'd visit the British Museum and stay for a month!

Favorite Bible Verse: Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not, for I am with thee. Be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Heidi Robbins asked:
What is your favorite flavor of doughnut and ice cream?

Doughnut? Bavarian Creme filled, chocolate covered Bismark.
Ice Cream? Maple Pecan or fresh, homemade peach.

Bonton asked:
Just wondering how many books you have completed, how many are in the works and/or planning stages (any hints on storylines ??), and where are you in your journey to being published ?? 

I have 14 novels and novellas published, with four more in the works. I've got several in the planning stage that I need to get solidified so I can talk to editors about them. Hints on story lines?  You can learn about my upcoming releases in by clicking  HERE 

Teri asked:
If you could talk to one woman from the Bible who would it be and why?

Esther. I've always loved her story. And my mom's name is Esther. :)

Gail H asked:

I would love to know about your salvation experience. How old were you? How did the Holy Spirit get your attention? How did you know it was real?

I was eleven when I realized that salvation was a personal experience, and that I wasn't 'saved' by going to church, or because my parents were saved. The Holy Spirit got my attention through my fourth grade Sunday school teacher, Ann Cromwell. I know it was real because the Bible says it is and Jesus in my life makes a big difference. :)

These were so fun! Thanks for asking such fun questions. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

TBT John T. Wilder

Today's Throwback Thursday is inspired by the book I'm currently reading. Blue Lightning: Wilder's Mounted Infantry Brigade at the Battle of Chickamauga by Richard A. Baumgartner.

Colonel Wilder was a remarkable man in that he was willing to consider unconventional methods to protect his men and turn them into one of the most effective fighting forces the world had ever seen to that point.

His troops were infantry and fought on foot, but when he was charged with chasing John Hunt-Morgan's cavalry, he petitioned his superiors to allow him to mount his men in order to make them more mobile.

Perhaps even more significant, Wilder armed his men with Spencer repeating rifles. This enabled his men to shoot seven times faster than their opponents with single-shot muzzle-loading rifles. Wilder's Indiana and Illinois troops showed their rifles' superiority at the Battle of Hoover's Gap and at Chickamauga.

Having recently visited the Chickamauga Battlefield, I was eager to learn more about this interesting brigade and its fearless commander. He was so beloved by his men, they erected in his honor the only privately funded monument at the Chickamauga Battlefield. The tower stands 85 feet tall on a rise near Widow Glenn's home.

Wilder Monument - Chickamauga

The view across Glenn Field toward Brotherton Field from the top of the Wilder Monument
I've almost finished reading Blue Lightning, and I'm more fascinated than ever. 

Have you visited Chickamauga or another Civil War Battlefield?  Have you heard of Wilder's Lightning Brigade?


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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A New Normal

Homeschooling - the early days

Life doesn't stand still. As much as I would love to grab time by the tail and slow it down a bit, I can't.

I tend to mull over these thoughts whenever I'm facing another milestone or change in my life and family. The change that happens next week is that my younger child will start college.

After so many years of homeschooling, it's so odd to think of not teaching this fall. No curriculum to buy, no lesson plans to work out, no homework to grade.

In addition, no high school basketball season go gear up for. No practices to schedule around, no games to travel to, no programs to design and print.

I'm standing on the cusp of a whole new normal for me, and it's both thrilling and a bit daunting. People keep asking me what I'm going to do with all my time now, and the truth is, I don't know. I have a few options open to me, but I don't want to jump into anything without thought and prayer.

Are you facing a new normal?

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday's Top 10


What fun questions you all posed on Friday! And who woulda predicted there would be 10 questions posted. So here goes my answers to your top 10 inquiries:

Julie Baker asked:
Where did you get the inspiration for the book you just completed?

Wow. That's a loaded question. Inspiration came from a number of areas. First, was my insatiable desire to help women find the balance between having their own strong identity but also reconciling that with the fact that our identiy is forever grounded in not who we are as our own person, but who God is in us. Therein, we find fulfillment as the Creator of the universe is personally injected into our lives and concerned with who we are. Perfection not needed. Grace in abundance. Outside of that spiritual theme, the story itself was inspired by a sweet gray pitbull doggy who became my muse for Penn, my heroine's nanny dog (ca. 1890). Also the inspiration came from news stories of haunted men who fixate on one woman and act out their agressions through sinister acts. Sort of the stalker type. You know...creep factor. Hope that answers your question! :)

Jolene asked:
Even though fall is your favorite season, name something you really love about summer :)

Wow, that's rough 'cause I really, REALLY do not like summer. I guess I would say playing in the rain with my Kokomo Jo and doing silly dances while we get soaking wet. It helps redeem the sweltering humid heat.

Danie Walther asked:
What kind of Starbuck drink do you like? How often do you go too Starbucks ;).
Eeesh. Narrowed down? My main standby is a good old triple shot venti hazelnut latte, sometimes with a pump of mocha. I go to Starbucks a few times a month. I know, I know, it seems I'm there everyday but really $5 a day equals out to about $200 a month. Yep. Don't have that much in the pocket book.

Susan P asked:
If you could live at a coffee house, would you? :)
Ummmm....sure? :) Is there a bed, a fireplace, and a bookshelf too?

Salyna asked:
 I haven't roamed this site so I was wondering what all your posts are about? How long have you had this blog and do you have any others? Also, Are you a big fan of Julie Lessman?

The posts here are a conglomeration of myself, Anne Love, and Erica Vetsch. We're all writers but our posts are less about writing and more about the variety of life and fellowshipping with you all. Sort of like we're hanging out in a coffee shop :)  I do contribute to another blog: http://naptimenovelists.blogspot.com, it's fledgling and just getting off its feet. About writers with small kids and how we survive the chaos. And Julie Lessman is a DOLL!! She's an amazing person in real life. Vivacious, full of energy and love, and yes, I'm a huge Julie fan -- even if she didn't write amazing books.

Sarah asked:
What is your favorite book you have read this year?
What is something you would love to do, if money was no object?
Really random, but I found this blog when you reviewed Ronie Kendig's Talon - have you read any of her other books?
Your favorite Bible verse, at the moment (if you're anything like me, it probably changes fairly often)?
Wow. Ok. Favorite book this year is a toss between Karen Barnett's "Out of the Ruins" and Kristy Cambron's "The Butterfly and the Violin". Also my crit partners manuscripts that are yet unpublished so I can't spill the beans on their work. ;)

If money was no object? I would pay off anyone and anything to bring Author Katie Ganshert's baby girl home from the Congo and get that adoption complete and that little girl in her mommas arms for good. 

My favorite Bible verse. Ooooo... I'd have to go with Psalm 118:4-6 - "Now let those who fear the Lord say that his loving kindness endures forever. Out of my distress, I called on the Lord. The Lord answered me with freedom. The Lord is on my side. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

Heidi Robbins asked:
What is your favorite flavor of doughnut and ice cream?

Doughnut? Definitely custard filled eclairs. Ice cream? Usually cookie dough is my standby...or coffee :)

Bonton asked:
Just wondering how many books you have completed, how many are in the works and/or planning stages (any hints on storylines ??), and where are you in your journey to being published ??

I have completed four novels, with another in the brainstorming works, and two more ideas submitted for review to my agent. Where am at on my journey? LOL It's a slow moving beast. But I have one book out to publishers for review and another being submitted in September. Hints on storylines? They're pretty hush hush for now, but I can say they're filled with suspense set in historical settings ca. 1890's and all in the midwest or northern regions. No prairies, ranches, or plains for me. All my books try to have wierd or unique settings. :)

Teri asked:
If you could talk to one woman from the Bible who would it be and why?

Probably Deborah. I think she's pretty stinkin' awesome. Woman judge, totally connected to God, and brave as all get out. I'd want to have some of her passion and courage ooze into me.

Gail H asked:

I would love to know about your salvation experience. How old were you? How did the Holy Spirit get your attention? How did you know it was real?

And she goes for the BIG question. In short: I was 3 years old when I decided Jesus was pretty cool and I needed to pay attention :) So the HS got a hold of me at a tiny age. But that's good 'cause I'm a rather headstrong, opinionated soul with a will that's hard to bust through. So, being submitted to the Lord at 3 set me up for a good foundation. I knew it was real that moment but have always challenged to know the apologetics behind my beliefs so they're not based in emotion or sensationalized feelings. But then, I'm a common sense sort of person and things like archaelogy, science, and other such things only have served to strengthen the argument that God is definitely the Master. My Master.

What fun this was!!! Hope this was fun for you too. HEIDI ROBBINS is the winner of the book pack :)

Now, here's my question for YOU: Who is your hero in life (outside of Jesus or God ;)?