Ringing In The New ~ @oddlynn3 #LynnCrain #PCers

Resized-Goals

Just like when we run around before the holidays, many people decide on their New Year’s Resolutions during the month of January. I have read many things that people are going to do, or hope to do, for the coming year. Some are so specific that there appears to be no wiggle room whatsoever.

Unfortunately, I know me, I have to have that wiggle room or I feel crushed by responsibilities both personal and professional. With that in mind, I did a little research on just how to approach things this year and what I learned is amazingly simple.

This year, I’m planning everything around a series of goals without getting too much detail on how to get it done. Let’s face it…if you put a goal down…you have a very good idea on how you can accomplish it or it never would have made your list.

What I did was come up with seven categories that are important to me: Writing, Health, Financial, Family, Learning, Social and Other. Under each of those I put down 4-5 items I’d love to do throughout the year. For example, under writing I put down that I wanted to work on one big novel every month. I also want to work on and finish one short story, one novella, and write 2000 words a day. For health, I put down things like exercise daily, portion my food and so on. I did this for each of the seven categories.

I then went one step further to try and ensure I keep on track this year. I put together this chart for the current month and I plan to fill it out for two months at a time. This way, I can be flexible enough if a project has to run over into a second month. Plus I don’t feel so boxed in that there isn’t light at the end of the tunnel. Here’s an example of what I did for January:

Writing
Novel: HeartSword
Novella: Magical Intentions
Short Story: One True Love
Edits: Captive Illusions
Words: 2k per day
Health
Walk/Jog Daily
Log Food
Financial
Look at places to retire.
Family
Plan possible family trip for when you get home.
Learning
Finish the ‘Developing A Language’ online class          .
Social
Blog Daily
Plan a MSS boxed set.
Other
Don’t forget to crit!
Work up a workshop/talk.
Self-Pub 1 item.

Everything listed is something I want to work on for completion by the end of the month. They are specific enough that I know what I’m doing but general enough to be flexible should something need to change. Plus, I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t do everything on that list.

I am always looking for new and better ways to get things accomplished. I am also the type of person who has to stay busy in order not to be bored. And to be honest, so far it’s working very well. My novel is about to be turned into my agent, I’ve written more than 2k per day plus I have both my edits and short story nearly done. All the other goals have accomplishments in their area as well. This is a very good thing!

How do you approach the New Year? Do you set goals or do you just plunge right in, hoping it will all turn out okay?  I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time…

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

New Year’s Reflections–2016

So here it is, January again, and it’s time for my annual reflection on the year past. Last January my goals for 2015 were modest ones–sort of–and I’m ready to check in to see how I did.

1. Publish my second book (fingers crossed my editor likes it!)

She did, and I did. 🙂 My second book, Secret Promise, released October 30. SecretPromise_w9701_750

2. Finish and submit two more books

Um, no. I started four books, but haven’t finished any of them, yet. One of the things that 2015 taught me is that it’s okay to go at my own pace, and that my pace is slow and meandering, like those Family Circus cartoons showing Jeff’s wandering path through the neighborhood–yes, that’s my brain.

3. Go to the RWA National Conference in New York

PCers RWA15 with AM

Me, at left, and some of my amazing HSG friends

I did! It was fun and informative, and I got to shake the hands of some of my favorite authors. Although I usually wanted to curl up in a tiny ball of introvert at the end of the day, I am glad I went. I even pitched to an agent for the first time, which was a bit demoralizing (she hated the idea I pitched, which led to the unfinished nature of one of those books above) but not quite as bad as I thought it would be (she was very nice and liked an idea for another one–also one of the books above). My husband and son came to NYC with me, so we spent hours at the end of most days, exploring the city and eating phenomenal food.

4. Go to England for *ahem* research11223860_10207368133666426_1523299708498267649_n

Didn’t make it to England, but I did make it to Paris for my 20th wedding anniversary, which was awfully nice. It did, however, involve more wandering through museums, eating amazing French food, and drinking delicious French wine than research, and I left my laptop at home. 🙂

So what’s on tap for 2016?

2016 will see me finish at least two books (really!), and hopefully more. One is very close to done, thanks in large part to my discovery of the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood’s Winter Writing Festival. Check it out, writer friends!

I hope to make it to RWA Nationals again this year, since it’s in San Diego, which I love. I would like to query one of those books mentioned above to an agent, and see where that goes. And I still desperately want to make that trip to England.

As always in January, despite the snow and the cold (and this year, the mind-numbing sadness at the loss of so much artistic talent), I am hopeful about the new year’s possibilities.

May you reach for, and achieve, your own dreams. Happy New Year!

About Marin McGinnis

A lawyer in real life, Marin McGinnis feeds the more creative part of her soul by writing Victorian era romance and mystery. She’s spent almost half her life in a tree-lined, unabashedly liberal suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. She’s been married to the same great guy for over 20 years, and has one teen-aged son. They all live together in a drafty old house with their two standard poodles, Larry and Sneaky Pete.

While her very first book will languish under the bed, the next book, Stirring Up the Viscount, won two contests in 2013 and was published by The Wild Rose Press in January 2015. Her next two books, Secret Promise and Tempting Mr. Jordan, are also available from Wild Rose Press.

Marin currently serves as President of the Northeast Ohio chapter of Romance Writers of America and is hard at work on the next book.

You can find her here, at marinmcginnis.com, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Traveling Through Time ( The 1950s)

Marilyn_Monroe_photo_pose_Seven_Year_ItchIn the last several months, I’ve been writing a trilogy of novellas set in 1950s Vegas. I’ve listened to music to inspire me, researched fashion, and played with gender roles for that time period. Of course, I didn’t go for the stereotype, but heroes can be a lot more alpha when “men were men” (whatever that means).

Today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite things I’ve discovered.

The book When the Mob Ran Vegas: Stories of Money, Mayhem and Murder (by Steven Fischer). The mob is involved in my stories and this was a fun and revealing read.

My Pandora station: Vegas Fifties. There’s the expected Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. But I also discovered new artists like Keely Smith (an inspiration for one of my characters).

So many websites! Time.com has tons, like this article: Vintage Vegas: Scenes From a Desert Boomtown.

I used this site, Beneath It All: ’50s and ’60s Underwear, to research what characters might encounter during sexy times, and this one, 1950s fashion & style, just to explore the fun and glamorous attire of the time period.

This last site saved my butt when it came to how my characters should talk: Slang of the 1950s.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour through some of the information I gathered to help me write these stories that I love. I promise to keep you updated when they become closer to an edited and readable state.

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

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