Monday, January 26, 2009
I know some of you have been waiting and waiting for news of the BIG visit.
Can I tell you it was fantastic! I had a wonderful time with Rhonda and Liana. I've got a few pictures of our adventures here to share as well.
It all began Saturday morning when I picked them up at a local Barnes and Noble after the cruise. We had coffee--Cafe Mocha and a slice of tasty quiche, to be specific--and gabbed about the who's who, what, where, when, etc. on the cruise, then caught up with some stuff and moved on to hang out for a while at my house.
LOL Just kidding:)
This is one of the beautiful properties along the intracoastal tour Liana and I took that I will tell you about in a bit.
We talked shop and about personal stuff and just generally hung around and got to know one another for a couple hours. Later, we ventured out and had a fabulous dinner at the Olive Garden. More talking and enjoyed each other's company.
After dinner we came back to the house. I went about my domestic bliss while Rhonda and Liana relaxed after what was a very long day for them. They'd been up since about 5AM.
Later, we had to drop Rhonda off in Deerfield Beach at a friend's condo, so we took a leisurely ride up the coast. Liana and I came home, kicked our feet up and relaxed so more. I swear the woman and I were separated at birth. We have so much in common and believe it or not we parallel each other in so many ways. It was uncanny! Funny how we meet certain people and it just seems as if you've known them forever. Rhonda and Liana were like that for me.
On Sunday, Liana and I took the world famous Jungle Queen Riverboat Tour. This is an intracoastal tour that gives you a glimpse of the houses of the rich and famous and the rich and not so famous. The house I claimed was mine is one of them. People like Sonny and Cher, Al Pacino, and many others I can't name, lived in houses along the intracostal. Many movies and TV shows were filmed in these houses. One well-known series was Miami Vice. And several other films that I don't remember the names of were mentioned by the guide.
This is Liana taking in the magnificent sights of the tour. She seemed quite taken with the ride. I had done this tour many years ago when we first visited Florida. It was nice to do it again.
The tour also stopped at a tiny island where some of Florida's wildlife is highlighted. Below are some pics from our little escapade. We wandered around and learned a bit about the Seminole Indians, native to Southern Florida. One of the things that the Seminoles are famous for is alligator wrestling. Now they have magnificent casinos. Not much need for alligator wrestling shows any more:) Thank goodness because I found it bothersome and felt sorry for the animal. But that's me.
Other animals that graced the little jungle island were monkeys, parrots and other exotic birds. We saw tons of iguanas of all sizes and colors hanging out in the trees and basking in the sun on the shoreline, as well along the river.
Monday morning it was off to the airport.
Time to say goodbye to Liana. I really hate goodbyes.
All in all it was wonderful. I had a fabulous weekend and am so glad I had the opportunity to spend time and share it with both Rhonda and Liana.
I hope I have also shared my excitement with you all.
Rhonda and Liana, I can't wait to do it again:)
Friday, January 23, 2009
Woo hoooo! Rhonda and Lianna are coming!
I am really looking forward to spending the weekend with Rhonda Penders of The Wild Rose Press and Liana Laverentz, award winning author. As you all know, I had to cancel my cruise plans due to extenuating circumstances but this sure makes up for it:)
I will definitely fill you all in on what we do and where we find ourselves. What I can share now is that the Pre-Cruise party presented by the Florida Romance Writers Association was a hit. Editors and authors alike rubbed elbows at the event. It was a lot of fun. Good food, great conversation, lots of hugs, and just a great bunch of people. The list would go on forever if I named everyone but to name a few, Rhonda Penders, Co-Owner TWRP, and Liana Laverentz, author, of course, were both there. Heather Graham/Shannon Drake was in attendance along with authors: Toni Andrews, Mona Risk, Mary Ricksen, Patrice Wilton, Jiane Carlo, Lyn Armstrong, Tracie Hall and so many others! (Note: for more information on these and other FRW authors please click here)
Anyway, just thought I'd pop in and burst some of my excitement at you. Now it's back to the endless chores to ready the house and myself for the next exciting part of my weekend!
Did anyone say "Time Management?"
Talk to you all soon.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Good Morning! Are we ready to practice all the great suggestions at handling our time management whoas? I've crafted my proposed list, for the week and daily, in my day planner and already have a major crimp in my plans for the week. After nine glorious days off from the day job (taken to catch up with my real life, LOL) I have to figure that into my planner as of today. UGH! Eight hours wasted! *grin*
Here's my plan:
6-7:30AM - Read, answer email, and update blog if necessary.(daily)
8:20AM - Off to the day job (daily)
Lunchtime (whatever time that happens to be) - Feed myself, take care of my GypsyLee(she gets fed and her meds, etc.) and then let the neighbor's dogs out(part of my daily schedule until further notice)
Back to work (daily)
5:30PM - Home, repeat doggy care for mine/add a walk for Gypsy:) and let the neighbor's dogs out. Make dinner, check email while cooking. Enjoy Dinner, clean up.
8:00PM - Sit down and relax for one hour with House-one of the few TV shows I allow in my schedule. (Monday nights though I have a show on Wednesday and Thursday, as well, I watch) So proposed schedule repeats on those nights.
9:00PM - Writing or other craft related time until bedtime. I have two projects planned for completion this week. We'll see if I make my mark.
Approximately 12:00AM - Nitey nite:)
Now I have several things that will inevitabley be interrupting above plans. One a precruise get together with my RWA Chapter on Wednesday night in which I will be hanging out with...
Don't be jealous...
are you ready?
Rhonda Penders of The Wild Rose Press and Liana Laverentz twice winner of the Golden Leaf Award(Hope I've gotten this contest name correct) for both her novels, Thin Ice and Jake's Return.
And though I have tentatively planned on taking weekends off, for the most part, I do tend to do some sort of work during them. I will have Liana staying with me Saturday and Sunday. Rhonda, Liana, and I will be hanging out together Saturday, as well, when the cruise ship returns. So See? I've a full week planned. Let's see just how much I really get accomplished.
I should mention that I have some marketing plans and an interview to write up and blog about to toss into the mix:) Can't wait to begin ticking items off my very long list:)
There you have it. What about you? What is on your agendas for the week? I'd love to hear about it.
Have a great and productive day!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I've been tagged by a very good friend and peer, Skhye Moncreif, over at
The rules are simple.
Link to the person who has tagged you.
Write down six things that make you happy.
Post the rules, tag six others and let them know you did it.
Then tell the person when your entry is complete.
Six Things That Make Me Happy...
1.) Another day spent with my Sheltie, GypsyLee:)
2.) Making someone smile when they don't seem so happy
3.) Helping others obtain their dreams and goals
5.) Blooming orchids in my arbor
6.) Working at a project with DH and accomplishing what we set out to do
Now I am going to tag six others:
Catherine Bybee at http://www.catherinebybee.blogspot.com
Mary Ricksen at http://maryricksen.com/pages/blog/blog.html
Allie Boniface at http://allieboniface.blogspot.com/
Bronwyn Storm at http://brownstown76.blogspot.com/
Lady Vampire at http://ladyvampire2u.blogspot.com/
Ruthie Schall at http://ruthiesbookreviews.blogspot.com/
Friday, January 16, 2009
It looks like we've got a good start on time management planning. And it seems a good time of the year to bring this subject up as well. By the comments and responses I've gotten so far, you're all on the same page and have even brought the subject up within your own blogs. So... what more can we say on the subject?
The answer is...
I've got this nifty and very helpful book that I'd bought years ago called Time management for Busy People written by Roberta Roesch. I will be quoting this book a lot. And yes, I borrowed the word valutizing from Roberta just in case you are wondering. Her thought was we are over hearing the term 'prioritize' so she made up a new improved term for getting better balance in your daily efforts to get things done.
Okay, moving right along. Here's what we've got:
Catherine: Chaos rules and the loudest noise gets my attention. Most of the time that noise is my kids, but when they aren't home it is my in-box. So in short, my house is messy, my butt (OMG I can't believe I'm saying this here) is one whole size bigger than last year! Ouch... Balance.
So, I'm in, Dayana. I'm making a point to exercise daily. I'm Not spending countless hours on-line chatting. In fact, I've turned off IM until my "to do" list is done for the day. I'm even sitting on an exercise ball as I write this because my bad back needs all the help it can get.
I like the spread sheet idea. I'm just afraid mine will take up a whole wall. LOL.
Catherine brings up two very good points, in my humble opinion. One, distractions! Whether it be kids, pets, IM's, spouses, or email. These are all going to be around no matter what we do. You can't ignore the kids or the dog scratching on the door to go out, nor the cat walking back and forth across the keyboard, and you certainly can't ignore Mr. DH who may just want to have some fun, *winks* So what to do? Set aside time where you stipulate, and I repeat--you must be firm in your stipulation--DO NOT DISTURB! This is your time. Turn off the IM as Catherine says, do not answer or even look at your email/inbox. Go to a quiet place, whether it be a different room in the house or off site if you can't get alone time at home.
Michelle: I can agree with Catherine (love the video blog, by the way)because chaos has a way of making the best laid plans go splat. I'm a list maker. Spreadsheets could work for some, but the simple daily list on a bright piece of paper, of course, sets the mood for a quick cross-off! Like all of us, I wear many hats in one day. I try not to stress by making the list too long, or else I angst over not accomplishing all I set out to do. Housework is very low on that list ;)
This is another very good point! And this is one of the first thing Roberta stresses in her book. Don't make your list too long. You want a sense of accomplishment not a sense of failure. Every thing you tick off the list is another thing accomplished so be realistic with your daily goals. And, Michelle, I will say I am right there with you on household chores, LOL
Beth:I'm a list maker. I use post it notes for both everyday life and writing. I like crossing things off. I usually end up with one thing that I never get to but I'm okay with that because I've usually completed 5 other things.
I've moved to a computer software (AnyTime Organizer) calendar. I can write more information into each activity than in a paper calendar. And you can print out several different views (month, week, day each in multiple formats).
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd like to know more about this software you discuss, Beth. Can you post a link or how we can check this out?
Also, getting back to a sense of accomplishment, Beth re-enforces this point for us. Crossing things off that 'To Do' list is such a great feeling. And so what if you end up with one or two things left over. Put them on tomorrow's list and handle them first.
Anne:Love the planner idea--I do a daily but a weekly, I think, would give me a better overview. And designating "marketing days" would help to keep me focused on writing the other days. Thanks for the tips!
A weekly planner is very helpful. Roberta goes into great detail on this. Sit and map out everything you would like to accomplish in a week. Valutize these items then plan your days. Be sure to schedule time for everything you want to accomplish in both your journal, weekly planner and then a daily list or calendar. This will help you keep everything in order and give you greater satisfaction when you see things ticked off your list.
Make every minute count. Multitasking is a wonderful thing, as well. I will sit down at the computer to either update my blog or website and do the wash as well. Or like now, I am doing menial chores around the house while I do this blog post. This accomplishes more than the blog post or the chores but also gets me up and moving around so my derriere will not spread from sitting on it all day. Here that Catherine and Michelle?? LOL Do a bit of exercise and stretch every so often while doing computer work or writing, editing whatever keeps you on your butt:)
Skhye:With the other chores of life, I just keep a pile of stuff by the door on the way to the car... And I swing by everything coming and going from kiddo activities. I was like this before baby. But the gasoline crisis last year really forced me to "remember" to get everything accomplished on one trip. That pressure helped me get back in the swing of things since an army of diapers and bottles invaded life.
IMPORTANT: I LEAVE MY ALPHASMART IN THE CAR. It's like American Express. I never leave home without it.
Excellent points, Skhye. And yes be sure to have that portable word processor, what ever type you may utilize, with you wherever you go. You never know when the muse with hit or you'll see something you just need to jot down. An image or idea.
Something to consider and comment on:
What creates wasted time in your day? What things can be avoided or scheduled to be handled at a specific time so you are not interrupting your scheduled time for other things? An example would be hearing that ever present "You've got mail..."
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
First off, I'd like to remind you that you can still visit with Ruthie Schall and I at Books, Books and More Books. I'll be hanging out there all week answering questions and just plain gabbing. One lucky commentor will win a free download of Curse of the Marhime. I do hope to see you there.
Now on to the business at hand: Time Management
With the New Year safely a couple of weeks behind us and Valentine's Day fast approaching, I thought this as good a time as any to talk about managing one's time. A task I take very seriously but inevitably lose track of no matter how well I plan and map. Is it the same for you? Does time run away from you? Do you find at the end of the day, week, month, you still have that list of chores, goals, and plans you began with? Do you find something always take preference bumping your well-laid intentions of accomplishment?
Well, let's take the first step right now to accomplish our goals and chores or whatever is on that all important 'To Do' list. I invite you all to participate and work together at giving each other ideas and support in this important endeavor. Afterall, we have jobs, writing careers, families, marketing to do, carpooling adventures, activities with the kids, appointments both personal and professional, home chores, meals to create, birthday parties to hostess and attend, and a whole slew of other things that take up our precious writing time. What's an author to do?!
Here's what I do, all be it, with good intensions when I start out, but this year I'm sticking with it. As a matter of fact, I worked this way throughout last year and it has kept me on the ball and accomplishing much of my goals. My main goal this year is to make a lot more time for writing and planning projects along with marketing them.
Here we go:
1.) Get yourself a day planner or journal(Day planners with large daily spaces work great). List your daily plan, weekly, and if you want to jot down monthly certainly do so. I work with two. I have one for personal business: bills, home goals, appointments, activities, etc. and one for my writing.
If you are a list person, fine! Just jot down your goals and plans but keep them in a file as you tick them off. This way you can see your accomplishments as time goes by.
2.) Set aside a day of the week for specific goals. For example: If you have several writing projects you are working, you may want to give a day to each one. Pick a certain day a week to work on marketing, blog/website updates, etc. You get the picture. Have a day that you do nothing but watch favorite TV shows or get out and do something with family. Make sure you schedule time for yourself away from work and the computer. This will take the stress and pressure off of you and relax you hopefully allowing you to come back with the creative juices flowing:)
3.) While sitting at the computer or wherever you write, get up frequently. Walk away for a bit when your brain gets tired or your ideas just seem to run dry. When this happens to me, I get up and do some other house chore or step outside and do a bit of gardening, then come back fresh. I am accomplishing two things. Taking the pressure off to write that scene and clearing my brain while getting something else accompished and off my list at the same time.
4.) Like most of you, I am sure, I involve myself in many other projects other than my own writing. How do I keep myself organized? Spreadsheets. I like to use spread sheets and create specific files for the many different activities to keep them all straight.
For example: over the holidays, as you all know, I hosted a slew of author and editor interviews at my blog. This project kept me extremely busy from September on and the way I kept track of it was on printed calendar sheets. I was able to keep all the visitors fresh in my mind and straight. Each guest had to be posted to the blog by me, so every morning I would get up and post each guest along with all their links, clipart, and bookcovers, etc. It seems like tons of work and it was, but it was a lot of fun and the payoff afforded me lots of additional "Marketing/Promo" traffic to my blog and website.
I hope some of my practices are inspiring and helpful to you. I am looking forward to hearing your comments and ideas on how YOU manage your time. Let's make this an open forum. As we think of ideas to share, let's continue post them. I will certainly keep this conversation going as long as we need, because it is such an important and all inspiring one.
Have a wonderful day!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
...at Books, Books, and More Books (Ruthie's Book Reviews) all week. Ruthie has graciously invited me to stop by for coffee and some small talk. I'd love for you all to drop by and join us. One lucky visitor will win a free download of my novel, Curse of the Marhime.
I will be sharing news on a great new multi-author blog event for February and much more. I look forward to seeing you:)
Coming up next...
My thoughts on Time Management in the new year.
I will be sharing news on a great new multi-author blog event for February and much more. I look forward to seeing you:)
Coming up next...
My thoughts on Time Management in the new year.