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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 (http://www.cindyvallar.com/)
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 (http://www.cindyvallar.com/), 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!
 

Putting in A Picture December 9, 2010

Filed under: technophobe — christineglover @ 1:27 pm
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So I have put in a picture of myself on this wordpress site. I think. I guess I will know when I publish the post and look at it after it is published.

I’d like to figure out how to feed a blog from another blog spot into this one. I’ll work on that next. I know eventually I will have to switch to WordPress as my main site, but for now, I am tiptoeing into the water.

I am not techno-smart. This will be an interesting transition for me.

 

Upended Traditions and Why I love A CHRISTMAS STORY December 8, 2010

Filed under: christine glover,writer — christineglover @ 10:00 am
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One of my favorite Christmas movies is A CHRISTMAS STORY. I’m not sure how many of my followers have seen the movie, but it if you haven’t seen it, I might spoil it with this blog. It is set in the fifties and is about this boy, Ralphie, who desperately wants a BB Gun for Christmas. Everyone tells him he’ll shoot his eye out, even Santa. But he persists in his petitions to receive the BB Gun. Meanwhile, the movie is chock full of adventures, boy adventures, with bullies and snow and double dog dares. The parents are baffled, befuddled, but loving. The Dad (as played by Darren McGavin) is fabulous–especially when he receives his prize from a company: a lamp in the shape of a lady’s leg. Very fun. The entire movie just makes you root for Ralphie and it is heartwarming. I think the reason it works is that this is not a picture perfect family with all its ducks in a row. Martha Stewart traditions don’t prevail. In the end, even the best traditions get upended by the dogs. Their Christmas dinner is destroyed and stolen. What do they do? They go out for Chinese and they have a good time.

http://www.youtube.com/v/46WcFObgYhI?fs=1&hl=en_US

And this is how traditions become different for every family. For we all want to have the comfort of the same and the tried and true traditions as we approach the holiday season. But the truth is, traditions get upended all the time because of health problems, family problems, money problems, and the list goes on. Last year we traveled to Texas just before Christmas because my father-in-law was ill, and we wanted to see him one more time. I remember another year when my daughter was in pre-school and her teacher said her mom was so sick that year that they didn’t shop at all for Christmas. They clipped money to the tree, made a big pot of chili and hung out in their PJs. Then they went out the day after Christmas and spent their money at all the sales. A new tradition was born out of a serious necessity. This year I know a friend, my neighbor, who has ill parents on both sides of the family. They’ve got three young children. They won’t be home for Christmas because they’re traveling 14 hours to two different sets of parents to support them during this holiday season. Together we brainstormed how to create a solution and a “new” tradition for this year. One that would be fun for the kids and would take the pressure off the parents as they cope with their ailing ones.

See, that is why A Christmas Story works. Because it shows that it is in how we respond to the winds of change that we recreate new bonds and forge new traditions. So this year, as we head into the holiday season, my wish for all of my readers is that they kick back, lift off as many of the “shoulds” from their shoulders, and create new traditions in the face of any setback.

Happy Holidays and for Your Reading Pleasure click the links below to learn about other folks and how they cope with the holidays!

A Christmas Story
Bits and Pieces
 

Goodness Me It Is Goodie Making Time! December 6, 2010

December is here! It’s time to make some goodies. And I’ve got some retro blogs with some of my favorite receipes for the holidays in them. First up? Oreo Truffles thanks to my Heart of Dixie friends at The Writing Playground.

Next? My fabulous friend Lori’s mini eggnog loaf cakes. Here is the recipe:

Lori’s Eggnog Mini Loaves
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup eggnog
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp rum extract (I couldn’t find any so I used imitation and it was fine)
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, eggnog, butter and extracts. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until moistened. Pour into three greased 5 3/4 by 3 inch by 2 inch loaf pans (I used eight smaller cute pans with neat Christmas imprints at the bottom–and they turned out great!–planning cupcakes next). Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes till a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing and putting on wire racks.
Yield’s 3 loaves, or 8 mini mini loaves.

I’d love some more fun and easy recipes. What do you make every year that gives your family happy hearts?

 

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

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

 

Countdown to Christmas December 1, 2010

We’re counting the days till Christmas morning. We’ll be busy running around buying presents, planning events, watching Darling Teenager perform in her voice recital, baking and making our annual Christmas goodies (yes, stay tuned for the recipes!), putting together an Angel Tree package for an adopted senior (last year I had an elderly man who wanted a stuffed animal–loved that!), sending Christmas cards, making calendars and photo albums for our friends & family………

Christmas is the MOST BUSIEST TIME OF THE YEAR.

And I love it. I love the candles glowing, the light of the tree illuminating our family room, the good food, the friends and the celebrations. I love learning about the other cultures and their traditions during this time.

What is your favorite holiday memory? What special cultural things do you do that make your holiday special?

http://www.youtube.com/v/rmgf60CI_ks?fs=1&hl=en_US