Just another site

New Year’s Eve Goal Review December 31, 2010

Every year I set new goals for myself and for my writing. I posted my writing goals for 2010 on this blog along with my focus statement and my Top Five Priority List. You’ll see that again in the New Year. But for now, I want to check my list to see how well I did in 2010. 
My Writing Goals for 2010
*finish 4th book revision, possibly make it a single title DONE
*enter 4 contests at a minimum with 4th MS, including the MAGGIES and GH DONE
*start fifth first draft of story plotted loosely during a writing workshop DONE
*work on fifth first draft during TOUR DE FORCE in February STARTED IN NOVEMBER 
*write every day except for high days DONE
*continue querying agents and editors with 3rd MS DONE
*send partial request and synopsis to agent for 4th MS DONE
*maintain daily blog REVISED TO 3X A WEEK
*continue guest blogging on Romance Magicians DONE
*judge writing contests DONE — judged 3 that I can remember
*attend Moonlight and Magnolias Writing Conference DONE
*attend RWA National Conference DONE
*pitch 4th book at both conferences DONE
*help with PRO Retreat DONE
*continue learning and growing in my craft with online courses and craft books DONE
*read for fun DONE but would like to increase time spent reading for pleasure
*get a domain name DONE 
*coordinate online workshops for the Heart of Dixie DONE
*find a co-chair for the online workshop coordination DONE
*work on YA idea over the summer Played with the YA idea on Scrivener
*realize that life happens and enjoy the detours Yup, done!
*set top 5 priority list and review it regularly to maintain my focus DONE
*be courageous, strong and focused on my dreams and goals DONE

Wow, I accomplished almost everything I asked myself to do this year. I love this list. And I love all the DONEs. These were reasonable and attainable goals. I can’t wait to see what my list looks like in the new year after I sit down and think about 2011. I’m excited about all the upcoming possibilities and new directions I will go as a writer. 

What goals did you set for the year? Did you revisit them? If you haven’t set goals yet, I encourage you to write them down and post them somewhere (publicly or privately). Share your victories and celebrate your successes. 

Focus on what you have accomplished this year and reward yourself for all your hard work.

And now it’s time to usher in another new year with some champagne and dark chocolate.

Seekerville Goal Setting Post
Word Wenches Procrastination Post


To Be or Not To Be & Other Editing Quandaries: Heart of Dixie Online Workshop December 10, 2010

I’m shamelessly plugging the Heart of Dixie’s online workshops because I am the online workshop coordinator. The line up for 2011 is on my HOD Online Workshop Page and you can get to it by clicking the link at the top of the page. I love online workshops because I can control when I do the work and when I contribute my work to the group as a whole. So I don’t just coordinate the workshops for my writing chapter, I also take online courses with them (as the coordinator) and with other organizations. If you have time constraints and other obligations, it is so easy to save the files and look at them later, too. Not everyone posts their issues, problems, “homework” answers which is fine. However, I’ve discovered that the more I post, the greater benefits there are to me as a writer. 
Please join me and my HOD writing chapter for January’s online workshop:
To Be or Not to Be & Other Editing Quandaries
Instructor: Cindy VallarFreelance editor and Associate Editor of Industry for Solander magazine and a historical novelist (
January 3-28
Cost: $20
Workshop Description: Authors are told to write the best book we can, but in today’s competitive market that’s not always enough. We could follow Mark Twain’s advice: Substitute damn every time you’re inclined to write very; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. In reality, though, the writer has to make the changes. While not all of us are adept at putting on an editor’s hat, there are some simple steps to take to tighten the writing and polish the manuscript.
This workshop provides tips on what an author can look for to improve your chances at getting past the initial query. We’ll cover passive vs. active sentence construction, redundancy, weak vs. strong verbs, stating the obvious, synonyms, cause and effect, dangling modifiers, clarity of pronouns, author intrusion, speaker identification tags, adverbs and adjectives, head hopping, and more. The list may seem daunting, but if you know what to look for, you can easily make corrections that may increase your chances of getting a request to see your entire manuscript.
Presenter Bio: A retired librarian, Cindy Vallar is a freelance editor and the Associate Editor of Industry for Solander, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. She writes “The Red Pencil,” a column that compares a selection from author’s published historical novel with an early draft of that work. She is also the Editor of Pirates and Privateers, and a content editor for Pyrates Way magazine. Aside from presenting workshops, Cindy writes historical novels and articles on maritime piracy, reviews books, and maintains her award-winning web site, Thistles & Pirates (, which she invites you to visit.
As a special bonus, if you mention this blog as your reason for attending the workshop, I will put your name into a drawing for a special prize to be announced at the time of the class.
See you in the virtual classroom!

Pay It Forward-Give Of Yourself Every Day December 3, 2010

Filed under: blog,christine glover,writer — christineglover @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

December has a Pay It Forward Day (at least that one pal on my Facebook says–so I’ll roll with that info). I think it is a fabulous concept to carry in our hearts. However, I’d like to challenge all my friends and followers to have a Pay It Forward spirit throughout the year, every day, as we chug along and pursue our goals.

If we are able to pursue our goals, whatever they may be, then we are blessed. If we are educated, able to read, live in a country where freedom is a concept, not just a word, then we are blessed. If we have leisure time, can take time to read a book, cook a nice meal, break bread with friends and family then we are blessed.

If we can walk, talk, breath, sing, dance then we are blessed.

Yes, there are dark days. Yes, we all have tragedies that will occur in our lives. Yes, we will falter. But if we remember that we are truly blessed, we can carry that blessing into the world. This isn’t a religious thing. This is a “gee, gosh darn it you are bloody lucky and fortunate to live in a world where even having the time to read this blog is a big deal.”

Seriously. It is.

So as you pursue your dreams, shoot for the moon, grab for the stars I hope you also remember to share yourself and Pay It Forward every day. Every day ask yourself what you are doing to make at least one person’s life a bit better. I’m talking about strangers, people you meet in random ways, people you might never see again.

Many people want to accomplish BIG things and they go about changing the world. In BIG ways. That’s great. That’s wonderful. But if we can’t practice kindness in small ways, we will never be tasked with big requests from the universe. Therefore I believe it is in the little acts of kindness that we truly evoke big changes in the world. A nice word, a friendly smile, a thank you, a compliment can go a long way to brighten a person’s life. You never know how much of a difference one small act of kindness can cause. It is a ripple effect. The more ripples you gently stir into the waters of humanity, then the greater the waves of goodness will become in our world.

And we don’t have to shout out our good deeds or advertise them. We can be daily living examples of trying to live a life with purpose and kindness and compassion regardless of our religious beliefs, our backgrounds, or our cultures. So I encourage you to be aware of the people around you and to consciously and purposefully choose to act with kindness and compassion in your everyday encounters.


Top Five Reasons Not to Make My Beds November 29, 2010

We are generally a neat and tidy family. Wait. No, that’s me. The other two humans living here aren’t uber neat and tidy, but they are in training. One has been in training for YEARS. The two felines in our house are relatively neat and tidy unless Madam Mischief is stalking socks and dropping them in the hallway, stairwell or in front of Darling Husband’s office door. Dowager Feline Clancy is infinitely neat and tidy being that she is a Duchess of Extraordinary Good Sense.

Yes, I am that person who gets up, makes the bed, unloads the dishwasher and reloads it, wipes the counters, sweeps the floors and straightens up clutter. I am notorious for straightening up other people’s clutter which they think is perfectly fine right where it is till I “lose” it for them. Ha.

But there are days that even I don’t want to make the bed.

Top 5 Reasons I Don’t Make the Bed

#5 Another human is sleeping in it and in my way.
#4 Darling Daughter interrupts my routine with a carpool request.
#3 It’s Sunday and that’s a day of rest.
#2 Sheer rebellion which forces other human to make it for me.
And the #1 Reason?
Cats Curled Up in the Coverlet Nest!
Madam Mischief guards Dowager Feline Clancy.

DFC is an equal opportunity nester in my Darling Teen’s bed.

Could you disturb her? Not me!

Blogging on Romance Magicians Today November 18, 2010

I took a side trip to visit the Romance Magicians and blogged about Necessary Losses I incurred in order to pursue my writing dream. Come visit me at the Southern Magic Blog site and share your sacrifices with me.


Wine, Women and Adventures at Arrington Vineyards November 1, 2010

October was a month where I took some time to play and explore my world. Sure, I had to work on getting requested materials out to people. I also had to judge six contest entries for Southern Magic. And I continued working on  my WIP in discovery while I learned more about social media and critiqued my other writing friends’ manuscript pages. But I also made time to play.

How could I resist playing when the skies were so blue and the weather was absolutely perfect? I couldn’t! And one thing I really wanted to do was find a winery where the wine wasn’t mashed out of muscadine (read sweet) grapes. I miss my Northern Virginia wineries at this time of year. It was time to venture out and find one that met my needs for good wine, excellent views, and fabulous setting.

At the entrance leading up to the winery.

I found one. A friend had recently told me about Arrington Vineyards, located in Tennessee near Nashville. I began investigating the vineyard online. The winery is owned by Kix Brooks of the Brooks & Dunn Country Duo. The website does a fabulous job of describing the history, the location, and the ideas behind starting this vineyard so I won’t reiterate the details.

The website enticed me. The winery has real wines like Syrahs, Cabernets, Chardonnays and more. Oh, be-still my wine-loving heart. The distance looked manageable from Madison, AL. Only an hour and forty minutes. So when I learned that my husband was golfing on Friday, I called up his golf buddy’s spouse and asked if she’d like to head out on an adventure with me.

She said yes. I promised a yummy crock pot meal afterward at our place for all four of us when we returned from our daylong adventures. She made everyone picnic sandwiches (golfers had their lunch and we had ours) and the day unfolded just as I had hoped.

The wine-tasting building. So pretty!

No longer trusting Tom Tom completely and not wanting to introduce Garmin into the mixture, I printed off a map to the winery. I picked up my friend in Meridianville and we up to Tennessee from her house. The trees were in full color, the skies were clear and bright, and the conversation was non-stop. The time flew by and we arrived at the winery with an appetite for tasting wine and enjoying the beautiful setting.

Great view of the vineyard. 

Many wines to try and buy!

Cute house with autumn decorations.
Plenty of places to sit and visit with friends.

We tasted 7 different wines. We fell in love with four of them. After purchasing a bottle for our lunch (no we didn’t finish it LOL), we sat in the sunshine and enjoyed a leisurely lunch. Again, more chatter and a walk afterward to take pictures of the beautiful scenery. We stayed over two hours. I think we could have stayed longer, but we had an hour plus drive ahead of us so off we went. But we’ll be heading back again. And I will continue to look for places like Arrington to visit in the future. After all, if I don’t take time to play and discover new places, I may run out of things to write about!

Want to stomp some grapes with me?
More breathtaking views

If you live near Nashville, I highly recommend going to Arrington Vineyards. Who knows? You might even run into Kix Brooks on the deck!


Positive Peer Pressure October 29, 2010

You’ve embarked on a journey toward a goal. One you believe in and want to achieve. You tell someone about your dream. That person laughs, asks if you are crazy, rains on your parade and tell you it is unattainable.

Now, if you are a 70 year old and you’ve just told your wife you’re thinking about becoming a circus high wire act despite the fact that you have no coordination then you might deserve the above scenario.

Yes, dreams should be realistically attainable.

If your dream is realistically attainable, and someone in your life says you shouldn’t try to attain this dream, then you need reevaluate your relationship with that person.

Tip for the Day: Surround yourself with positive, supportive people as you pursue your dream. 

I wrote about my own journey from solitary writer to writer with a wealth of support here. I’ve heard the negative comments. One close relative said “you’ll never get published” when I told her I was writing a book. Do I share my dreams with her now? No way because I believe I will get that call. But it’s more than my own faith in my dream. I want the people in my life to be excited for me because I’m doing something I love. It feeds my soul in ways that I never expected. The end result? Publication? That’s just part of the dream. I am living my dream. I am a writer. I write. I am happy because I am writing.

Here’s the thing: people who are negative about your dreams and your goals aren’t happy so they don’t want you to be happy either.

Trust me. I’ve learned this lesson and it has served me well. I repeat: when someone is mean or nasty to you and rains on your parade it is because that person doesn’t want you to be happy and fulfilled.

I am writing because it brings me joy. Sure there are days that I want to drop kick my laptop to the ends of the earth. I get frustrated. I feel the sting of rejection and throw personal pity parties (for a finite amount of time), but I keep on writing because that is when my positive community of support comes into play. These are the people who remind me about how much fun it is to do what I do. They encourage me. They lift my spirits. They make me laugh. They drink wine and eat dark chocolate with me while they tell me YOU WILL SUCCEED.

Surround yourself with positive peers who celebrate your dream and encourage you to keep working hard to attain the prize you seek. These are the people who must be in your world as you pursue your dreams. They are the people who want you to be happy and fulfilled. They are the people who want you to have joy in your life.

And when you reach your dream? They will be first in line to celebrate your victory!