Musings

17 More Days Before the End of the Decade!

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Can you believe it?! 17 more days and a new decade begins!

A decade ago, I was nine months pregnant with LilDude and scared to death about what would happen during his delivery since he had been diagnosed as having MDCK in utero (Multicystic Dysplastic Kidney, which is when one kidney (or both, which would prove fatal in many cases) doesn’t develop as it should with the special filtration cells and instead just develop a bunch of cysts filled with fluid). So I didn’t really have much planned for the year except to be a mother one day at a time.

For the coming decade, it’s time for me to create a vision board with LilDude and see where we want to go. That way we can work together toward the same goal, whether it’s moving into a bigger house, trips to New York and Washington, DC and me making more money each month with my books.

So far, my plan is to write four more books in A Different Kind of Love series (Sarah and Benny’s second book, and then Gabe, Todd, and Daniel) with the fifth one a huge maybe (Dax and Harlow) which would formally close the series. It will be tough saying goodbye but everything has to come to an end.

Gareth’s book (Loving Ashe Trilogy which was later renamed Celebrity series) also is due to be written this year. He’s waited over two years for me to revisit him and I want to dive in. So if you’re on Wattpad, you just might get the first look at the book coming together!

Unfortunately, Naughty Pen has her own series to finish that’s long-overdue as well. I’ll be writing and releasing it serial style the way I did the first part of the series. With my crazy life, I’ve come to realize that I like writing episodal fiction and it’s more do-able.

It will take some juggling planning and so I’m setting up an author Kanban board that I’m learning how to create from Heart Breathings on Youtube. After the disastrous results of all my goals this year, I need help with planning 2020 and that includes learning which books are a priority for me and which aren’t.

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I actually don’t have any room to create a real Kanban board in my house since we’re in the midst of renovation but there are virtual kanban boards you can use like Trello which is more popular. But it turns out I have had a lifetime subscription to one for the past year and keep forgetting about it. But that’s the problem with virtual boards that live on the cloud. If I don’t see it, I forget it.

However, I plan on using it (in lieu of a real board that’ll only be set aside during the renovations) because thanks to Sarra Canon’s Heart Breathings, I’m finally learning how to use it for my goals in 2020 and beyond.

 

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Turns out I have a lifetime subscription to Ora that I hardly used or used but had no idea what I was doing…

 

It also means splitting the year into 90-day increments to make it easier for me to handle. If I don’t reach one goal in the first 90 days, it can be moved to the second 90 days. I wrote about the 90 day year here and while I’ve been doing that, I didn’t have a visual chart to tell me what I needed to work on. So I was still scatterbrained most of the time. Putting the Kanban board and the 90 day year together will certainly help me become more organized.

And after learning what my top 5 strengths are (which ended up contributing to my feeling of helplessness and loss for most of 2019), here’s to a stronger 2020 for me.

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I’m #1 Empathy, #2 Deliberative, #3 Learner, #4 Harmony, #5 Context which kinda makes for one indecisive author with all the feels.

In fact, one author I admire reminded me to pick ONE WORD for 2020 and I chose COURAGE. Courage to let go of the things and people that don’t serve me, move on and do the things that scare me.

What about you? What are your plans for the next decade that starts in 17 days?

 

 

 

“There’s a story that wants to be told…”

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It’s Friday and I’m scrolling through the hundreds of drafts on my dashboard but never published and this was one of them. I don’t even know why I didn’t press that button but it could have been the many distractions that plague me from text messages, PMs, or the latest notification on my phone about some author drama or other.

But now that there’s not much distracting me at the moment, I’m publishing this one because it rings true for me. Not sure if it does for other writers but for me, there are many stories that need to be told and I just need to find the time to write and/or complete them, especially the four novels on my hard drive just waiting to be finished.

But at least there’s 2020 coming up. Hopefully by then, I’ll have gotten my act together and put the blinders on. Stay in my lane. Write the stories. Find my joy.

How’s your Friday going?

IT’S A HOLIDAY WISHES ROMANCE GIVEAWAY

From December 5-25, your favorite authors (including me!) are giving away a grand prize package that includes a Kindle Fire, 6-months of Kindle Unlimited, and a $20 Amazon gift card. Santa also has a bag full of runners-up prizes including gift cards and ebook prize packs.

Still want more? Check out the fantastic reads in the Holiday Wishes All Romance
Genres Book Fair, and play the Scavenger Hunt Game for your chance at a $50
Amazon gift card!

https://bookwrapt.com/holiday-wishes-book-fair/

(This giveaway is sponsored by the authors listed below)

Allyson Lindt • Amanda Uhl • Angelica Kate • Anne McClane • C.A. King • C.D. Gorri •
Crystal Dawn • Danielle M Haas • Debbie White • Diane Benefiel • Elizabeth Rose • Elsie
Davis • Emmanuelle de Maupassant • G.K. Brady • ID Johnson • Jacqueline Diamond •
Jacquie Biggar • JC Andrijeski • Jina Bacarr • Joanne Dannon • Josie Riviera • Judith
Sterling • Karen Michelle Nutt • Kat Drennan • Kat Samuels • Keta Diablo • Kristy Tate •
Laurel O’Donnell • Liz Durano • Maria Elena Alonso Sierra • Melissa McClone • Michelle
Jo Quinn • Mona Sedrak • Monique McDonell • Naomi Bellina • Penelope Wylde • Ravyn
Wilde • Regan Walker • Rhondi Ann • Samantha Keith • Sara Beth Williams • Shana
Gray • Sofie Darling • Soraya Naomi • Stormy Legend • Tammy Andresen • Victoria Saccenti • Zoe Dawson • Aileen Harkwood

I Did It!

Yup, I wrote 51k words in November! It wasn’t for one book per se but two novellas (under 40k word books) although I don’t know when I’ll publish them.

I’ve kinda become gun-shy about publishing my books fast because the deeper I get into a series, the more I mess up the timeline because I forget what happened three years before book 1 or what color the heroine’s eyes were in Book 2. That’s also what happens when you’ve got too many stories swirling inside your head and even more characters just waiting for their turn.

CarlyQ and I used to talk about the bar inside my head where my characters all wait until I’m ready for them. The original guys—Ashe, Gareth, and Devlin (nope, didn’t forget him, Carly!)—have been waiting a while and they’re long overdue to come back even though Greg is basically in HEA (Happily-Ever-After) land.

I actually found the perfect interpretation of my characters’ current hangout in Gabe Leonard‘s work. He’s a painter who got his start on the boardwalks of Venice and his art is so full of mystery and energy.

The paintings below are featured in his book Power Love & Success which I’m eagerly awaiting in the mail any day now! My absolute favorites are Smoke Screen and Shark Tank because I see my billionaire characters in them especially the men my Naughty Pen writes about.

 

With December already here, it means there are only 30 days left before the end of the decade! Hard to believe, huh?

So far, my plans are to keep writing my books. And not just Liz’s books that are filled with emotional angst (and sometimes food) but other pen name books as well because there’s a thing called brand and once established, you really do have to maintain it. And the other pen names are there to scratch that itch of writing stories that are off-brand, that are insta-love and smutty, and sometimes dark, too. And since my goal for 2020 is for us to move into a bigger house, that means a lot more books need to be written.

What about you? What’s your plan for the last month of the decade?

I’m Grateful for You

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m thankful for each and every one of you who stops by to visit this blog. I wish you a wonderful day filled with so many blessings and the gift of friendship and love!

Today we’ll all be trekking to the in-laws for Thanksgiving lunch. Then it’s back to writing that holiday novella that was due last year, but only as long as I don’t get distracted by the next shiny thing… oh, look! A new story idea! A new pen name! A new way to kill time instead of write!

How’s your day going?

#teasertuesday: “That’s My Personal Number”

“Have dinner with me, Alannah,” he says before looking around us. “Somewhere more private than this.”

“That would be a mistake, Parker, and you know it. We didn’t really end on good terms.” And that would be putting it mildly. How long did it take me to pick up the pieces after he said what we had was over?

“Have dinner with me anyway.” He pulls out a card and a pen from his breast pocket, writes something down on the back of it, and slides it across the table toward me. “That’s my personal cell phone number.”

“Parker–”

His beeper buzzes then and he takes the last bite of his bacon. “I’ve got a meeting in five minutes. I hate to leave you but–”

“I know the drill, so no need to apologize,” I say as he gets up from the table. “I’ll be fine.”

He glances at his card, still on the table. “Think about dinner and call me. In fact, just call me. We need to talk.”

I almost tell him we really have nothing left to talk about but by the time I find the words, Parker has left the table. He’s also managed to undo me… again.

Some Me Time and The Good Liar

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Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Today I finally got some “me” time. This after my “me” time yesterday was ruined by H saying he had to be at his mother’s house at 1 to help them clean-whatever-room-that-needed-to-be-cleaned-flip-their-mattress-I-have-no-clue and would I keep an eye on the kid instead for the whole afternoon?

Reluctantly I did, taking him with me an hour before H was supposed to leave to my NaNoWriMo Write-in at the library only to end it an hour later because the kid got all sugared up from all the cookies and I had to take him on a hike afterward. I barely even wrote a single paragraph because half the time I kept getting up every time he got up to go to the bathroom (four times) or into the library to find a book (he found two).

Who can blame the kid? There’s really nothing fun about being in a room full of strangers just sitting there typing out their stories, right? I mean, he did try.

When LilDude said he wanted to stop by his grandparents’ house afterward, I found out that H didn’t even show up at all. H then figured that take-out of my favorite Thai Chicken pizza would do to calm me down. H swears he called his parents and they didn’t answer and so… he found himself with an afternoon off.

Good for him.

So last night I bought myself a ticket to see The Good Liar starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen. I didn’t care if I was buying a single ticket for this morning’s first showing. I didn’t go through my friends list to see if anyone would come with me. I didn’t even consider it.

I just needed ME time. Uninterrupted at that.

It almost didn’t happen.

After H woke up late and wanted to go out and get his coffee before I left and have Siri direct me to the wrong location for ten straight minutes as the showing time came and went, I almost missed seeing it.

But I finally did see THE GOOD LIAR, thanks to the last ten minutes of trailers that were playing. Come to think of it, it was also my first movie this year.

Yes, you read that right. My first movie. This. Year.

And you know what? It was glorious.

If you ever get the chance to see a movie this week, make it THE GOOD LIAR. The storytelling is impeccable and Mirren and McKellen were just amazing. And boy, do I miss seeing movies like this. I miss it I miss it I miss it.

I also miss enjoying my own time again, reclaiming it instead of constantly giving it away without realizing I’m running on empty or worse, borrowing time from tomorrow.

But when you really think about it. All I had to do yesterday and today was say no. I really need to have to tattoo the word NO on my arm so I’ll see it every single day.

Anyway, I hope you’re having a great weekend.

And go see THE GOOD LIAR.