Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!

It's the last day of 2010. Where has the decade gone? My husband and I have never been ones to go out on New Year's Eve and tonight will be no different. In fact, I'll probably be fast asleep when the clock hits midnight. I did stop by the store yesterday planning on buying a bottle of champagne for tonight, but I've never liked champagne. Instead, I purchased my favorite bottle of wine, French Lick Red, made at a local winery.

I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions, I never stick to them. I would rather call this my "To Do" list for 2011.

1. Lose weight (again)
2. Complete at least one new book and maybe two
3. Find a new day job (this one is leaving me no extra time)
4. Clean off our bookshelves and donate our old books to the local book swap
5. Fill up said bookshelf with new books
6. Go somewhere on vacation instead of just staying home for a week
7. Attend one or two writers' conferences
8. Try my hand at writing a couple short stories

I know that's not a very big list, but as things change in my life goals are completed and new ones added. That why I don't make resolutions, a To Do list can be changed, Resolutions aren't suppose to change.

I hope you all have a safe and happy new year.
Carol

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Goodbye 2010 and on to a New Year and a New Book

Wow, where has the year gone? It really seems like 2010 flew by. Below, I have tried to recap my years.

January: I started marketing my newly released novel and it was a learn as you go process. If I had only known more about marketing when the book came out, it might have done even better than it did. I had one online interview in this month.

February: After taking a month off from writing while doing the marketing of Love, Lies & Deceit, I started back to working on a manuscript that I had started in November 2009 for NaNo. This was also a big month for me because I did my first live interview on BlogTalkRadio.

March: This month, I only had one interview on Roseanne Dowell's Author Blog and I continued working on my current manuscript. I bought a laptop computer this month. I'd wanted one forever and finally saved enough money to make the purchase.

April: This was an interesting month for me as I was transferred to a new job at work. It wasn't one that I would have chosen, but I needed a job and had to do it.

May: Starting that new job meant a lot of time on the road during the day and only time to write in the evening or on weekends. No more writing over lunch. Thank goodness the days were getting longer. My daughter and her husband came to visit over Mother's Day weekend. They live out of state and we only get to see them a few times a year.

June: I'm not a fan of summer and this one was a hot one. The air conditioner went out in my car and I was pretty drained after a day of driving to destinations for work. My writing time was now limited to weekends.

July: I had hoped to attend the Romance Writers of America national convention at the end of this month. It was being held in Nashville, Tennessee, which was within driving distance of where I live. That meant I wouldn't have to pay for a flight and only had to come up with the money for the hotel and registration. That trip went down the drain (no pun intended) when the Opryland Hotel flooded and shut down through October. The convention was moved to Orlando, Florida. So much for that trip.

August: I desperately wanted to attend a writer's conference this year and when I found out that the Magna cum Murder mystery writer's conference was being held in October in Muncie, Indiana, I had to try and attend. I scheduled my vacation at work to coincide with the conference and started saving my travel reimbursement checks from work for the trip. I also finished the manuscript this month that I had been working on. The editing began.

September: I put my mind to marketing my book again this month and was able to be interviewed on four blogs this month, while also editing my recently completed manuscript.

October: This was a big month for me. In keeping up with my marketing plan, I had two blog interviews this month and was also the subject of a college project by a friend's daughter who attends Purdue University and is majoring in Professional Writing. We did several interviews via email about my career as a writer. For a short period of time, I thought I wasn't going to be able to attend the Magna cum Murder conference, but my friend and fellow author, Marian Allen came to the rescue. I was able to attend and even rode up and roomed with Marian and another author, T. Lee Harris. We had a great time and I met some wonderful authors at the conference.

November: This was NaNoWriMo month. The book I chose to write this month was a sequel to the one I started working on last November. I wanted to try my hand at writing a contemporary mystery. I didn't make it to the goal of 50,000 words, but I did get almost five chapters written and was very pleased with my final word count.

December: The college project I was the subject of was finished and Abbey received a grade of A on it. Congrats to her. I always take December off from writing as a little break after participating NaNo in November. So, no writing this month, but that doesn't mean that I didn't keep my mind on goals for the new year.

So, here I am in the last week of 2010 working on my goals for 2011. I have a few partially completed manuscripts and need to decide which one I want to work on next. Do I want to continue with writing romantic suspense, or do I want to switch to straight contemporary mystery? I also plan on getting the last four chapters of my completed manuscript edited and the dreaded synopsis written, hopefully by the end of January. Then, in February I can start sending it out to publishers. A new day job would also be nice, one where I don't have to work in a different office almost every day. I also have a short story, the only short story I have ever written, that I want to try and put up as a Kindle download. Wish me luck on that. Beyond that, I have no idea where 2011 is going to take me. Hopefully, another book contract lays ahead. Stay tuned and see what happens.

Carol

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I wanted to wish a very Merry Christmas to you and your families. I'll be spending my Christmas with my family today. My husband gave me a Kindle a few months ago as my main Christmas present, but he also gave me a couple DVD's and a bag of my favorite bite-size candy bars last night.

We received a couple inches of snowfall on the ground overnight. First white Christmas in a while. I made sure I filled our birdfeeder yesterday, so they are taken care of today. My cat is lazily sleeping upstairs on my bed after feasting on a can of special cat food. He only gets canned food at Christmas and I'll be going out in a few minutes to feed my dog his can of food. Then, I'll be putting the finishing touches on a cauliflower and broccoli salad that I'll be taking to my mom's later. The rest of the day may be spent napping.

Enjoy your day and hug your love ones.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,
Carol

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Final Word Count

NaNo is finally over and I finished with 14,018 words. As the comments from my last post came in, I was a little puzzled. Why were people trying to reassure me that I was doing good with my NaNo word count? Then, I reread my post. I guess it did sound like I was a bit discouraged with my progress. Actually, that was the complete opposite. I'm extremely proud that I finished with the number I did. My accomplishments for the month:

1. I wrote for 21 out of the 30 days in November,
2. I started the second book in a series, with the first one being my NaNo book last year,
3. I completed 5 chapters of my novel,
4. I figured out a great writing schedule that I can hopefully keep up with, and
5. I developed some phenomenal characters.

So you see, you don't have to complete the 50,000 words in NaNo to consider yourself a winner.

What's next? I'm taking the rest of this week off from writing and then start back on the novel that I was editing before NaNo started. I really hope to get it submitted by the end of the month. I've also entered a contest where the grand prize is representation by a literary agent. Again, I don't expect to be the winner, but I'll go into more detail in a later post about that after the winner is announced. Finally, I would like to get my short story, the only short story I have ever written, published as a Kindle Single. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Congratulations to all of the NaNo'ers who did complete the 50,000 words, especially Marian Allen and T. Lee Harris. I'm proud of you, ladies. Also, congrats to everyone else that busted their butts and wrote however words you could. You are all winners to me.

Carol