Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking back at your progress

Well, the year is almost up. Soon we will be ushering in 2012 with a new set of goals and aspirations.

So. How did you do?

Did you fly past your resolutions making this year one to go down in the history books? Did you land the dream agent? Did you finish the book? Did you sign a book contract?

Or, on the flip side, had you already given up/forgotten your goals before the Superbowl rolled around?

I think I fall somewhere in between. When I look at my goals for 2011, I admit, I'm bummed by what I DIDN'T do.

-I didn't land an agent.
-I didn't reach and STAY at my hot-Mama weight.
-I didn't write Danielle Never The Bride.
-I didn't land any new contracts.
-I don't have any more long term savings.
-I didn't attend a writer's conference.

But you know what? I think if I look at what I DID do this year, I would feel much better.

-I learned a lot about marketing and selling.
-I learned a lot about querying.
-I hit my hot-Mama weight, but then slipped back, and now I'm at a healthy weight that's somewhere in between.
-My blog grew in leaps and bounds.
-I co-authored a non-fiction book.
-I wrote 40,000 words on a new romance novel.
-I read 32 books.
-I learned to wakeboard (after three summers of trying).
-Our family successfully got through the first year of husband going back to school.
-I made some new friends and kept close with old ones.

Sometimes I think in the press to be so goal-oriented I forget that the steps along the way are accomplishments in themselves. It's not just the over-all prize that is important.

For instance. My eight-year-old daughter set out to read 250 chapter books in 2011. 250!!! However, she's not going to reach her goal. Instead she is going to finish the year at 240 books. There is no way she can look at that and not realize what an awesome accomplishment that is. She read 240 books in a single year when she was eight years old--and we're talking real chapter books like Secret Garden, Babysitters Club and Nancy Drew. That she missed her mark by a mere 10 books seems to be a moot point if you ask me.

So my question as you finish out 2011 is this:

What DID you accomplish this year? What are you proud of?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ahhh Shoot.

My sweet baby boy has a new phrase that cracks me up:

Ahhh shoot.

The first time I heard it he had spilled a cup of Goldfish down the stairs.

Ahhh shoot.

But now it's been adopted for lots of things.

Drop a toy?

Ahhh shoot.

Trip on the coffee table?

Ahhh shoot.

When I ask him, "Did you go poop?"

Ahhh shoot.

You get the picture. And now I have a little Ahhh shoot myself.

Am I going to the 2012 Storymakers Conference?

Ahhh shoot.

I know, I know. I PROMISED this was the year. I put it in my goals. I put it in my budget. I put it in the pre-planned-2012-babysitters-calendar. (Just kidding I'm not even close to that organized). But alas...

Ahhh shoot.

It's a no-go for me. And you want to know why? Of course you do!

Because my best friend moved to Denver in September and I was faced with this: go visit her for a weekend or go to a writing conference for a weekend. Both trips aren't in the budget for us college-student-salary-type folk (plus there is a big secret trip for the whole fam planned in the Spring that really eats up the budget). In the end it was a tough decision, but not that tough.

Go ahead, shake your head in disgust. Say I'm not taking my craft seriously. Say I'm not dedicated enough. Say what you want, I suppose.

I'm taking LIFE very seriously, which is exactly why I had to pick my Shalie.

Here is a picture of us in Boulder this weekend. It was so, much, fun.


Have you ever made choices between family/friends and writing? Do you feel good about the choices you've made?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I've got a serious case of Holy Crap There's So Much To Get Done disease right now. Unfortunately, blogging didn't make the Top 10 (not to say my blogging life isn't important to me, because it REALLY IS, I just have to prioritize a bit this week). So, have a great week and I'll check in next week!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Okay, you know that cool thing you all do where you reply to your follower's comments via email?

Teach me to do that.

I tried by just clicking on their name and their email address, but it doesn't pop up with the comment there so they know what the heck I am replying to.


In the meantime (from my previous comments below):

Maggie @ Jolene--I hope you can relax next year. You totally deserve that!
Maggie @ Bonnie--We can encourage each other to be patient.
Maggie @ Jessie--Um, no, I can totally tell you're NOT fat. And I meant my kids (who are sisters) need to stop bickering; but I hope you and your sis can make Santa's list too! :)
Maggie @ Emily--Next baby? Isn't there one brewing right now? You are one serious planner, girl! I love it.
Maggie @ Rebecca--Oh, to be content. I need a lesson in this too.
Maggie @ Erin--gee thanks!
Maggie @ Jessica--my hub's get-through-college job requires lots of plunger-ing. Maybe I need to have him give your son a lesson?
Maggie @ Chantelle--One of these days I know I'm going to click on your blog and see that YAY! I have a book contract post. I can't wait!

Your grown up Christmas Wish

This pic has nothing to do with the post, it just shows a cute view of two of our girls on top of our Jeep. Last year it was super snowy, but right now we are totally dry.

Have you heard that one Christmas song?

"No more lives torn apart,
The wars would never start,
blah, blah, blah

Everyone would have a friend,

Right would always win
Something, something, something

This is my grown up Christmas wish."

(I've never claimed to be good at remembering lyrics.)

Anyway, that got me thinking. What's on my grown-up Christmas list?

1. Landing a dream agent.
2. A be-a-better-housekeeper magic wand
3. The economy to get back in shape for all of us who have felt it for the past three or four years
4. Mr. Mommy's Always Write to get done with college quickly
5. Sisters to not bicker
6. Me to be patient (without having to endure more trials to teach me patience)

What about you, what would be on your grown up Christmas list?

Monday, December 5, 2011

What was I thinking?

I've been dragged kicking and screaming back into my manuscript (after a few month break of laziness and querying other projects), but after my break, I needed a re-read it to get reacquainted with the plot and characters. I sat down this morning and got through about half of my 40,000 words.

I was reminded how hard this step can be.

When I first took Growing Up Gracie out of my drawer and started reading the rough draft, I was horrified at myself. When I was in the middle of the writing phase, I thought I was brilliant, but upon the re-reading, I realized I had a LONG, LONG way to go. It took several rounds of revisions and editing on each of the three books I've completed before I loved them.

On the flip side, I recently read a writing book that said the exact opposite. The author said after his "let it simmer" phase, when he begins reading his rough draft again he is instantly taken in and loves his work.

Oh boy I wish that were me.

How do you feel on the first read through? Do you get that excitement back? Or do you think "what was I thinking?"