Get Your New Year On!

I’m so excited! Know what you’re getting? (I’m getting one, too!)

Hints: It’s big. It’s full. You can do anything you want with it. And you get to open it tonight.

Give up?

It’s a Brand New Year!

I’m kind of weird about it, but I love starting the new year. Having 365 days I can fill any way I want is exciting.

I know, so many things in our lives feel as if they’re set in stone. But if you don’t like it, YOU are the only one who can change it. And this (now!) is absolutely the time to start that change.

It isn’t easy, but if you stop to think about it, it’s absolutely worth all the trouble it causes. So, how do you go about changing something?

  1. Decide what you want to change. (It’s best for me not to be too specific or too general, but you must do it the way that works for you.)
  2. Research ways to make that change and decide on your best course. (Be flexible enough so if one way doesn’t work out, you can try another.)
  3. Talk about it as you go so you don’t shock the people around you too much.
  4. Write it down. (I’m big on goal setting.)
  5. Post it to your vision board.

I’ll do this in several areas of my life: Spiritual, Health, Home, Writing, Personal Relationships.

Want an example? Okay, I want to lose weight this year. (Health)

  • Decide approximately how much I want to lose.
  • Research weight loss programs. (I’m hoping to find a Christian based program, but I might decide on Weight Watchers.)
  • Research ways to circumvent problems. (When I’m hungry between meals, what can I eat that’s not a Plan Wrecker? What can I keep for Mindless Munching that’s not a PW?)
  • Research exercise plans. (Best ones for burning calories!)
  • Resolve that no matter what the celebration or what anyone else has cooked what’s going on in my world, I’m going to stick with my plan.

This is hard for me, because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling if I don’t eat their goodies. And I feel as if I’m no fun to be around if I don’t eat like everyone else. 😦

  • Tell the people around me what I’m doing. (Reserve the right to whack the back of the head if someone answers, “good, you need to.”)
  • Stay away from people I know will try to sabotage me, no matter how much fun they are.
  • Write down my objective and strategic plan so I can’t fool myself or change my mind.
  • Post a picture to my vision board. Either an old picture of me before weight gain or a picture of someone else who looks the way I want to.

What’s a vision board? Whatever you want it to be. Mine is a poster board with pictures or a couple of words about my goals. The trick is to hang it where you’ll see it every day. Then remember to look at it, so when you get back to your everyday grind, your goals won’t slip your mind.

I have a feeling mine’s going to be pretty full this year. 🙂

Question: Do you make resolutions or set goals for the New Year? Will you share one or two?

Friday Book Reviews: Thomson, Thayer and Osborne

SHROUDED IN DARKNESS

BY

H.D. Thomson 

A friend suggested I read this paranormal suspense. Boy, I’m glad I did for its impressive prose and word choices selected to enhance tension. The story unfolds with edge of the seat suspense which caused me to jump more than once as I read (I admit to being a “weinie” about scary things). Thomson writes romance to engage the senses with sizzling love scenes. (an e-book)

 

THE COWBOY’S BABY

Patricia Thayer

Thayer’s (Harlequin Romance 7/09) rancher Trace McKane has an infertile wife, Kira. Both likeable characters have ruined their happiness and marriage trying to build a family. In this realistic book Kira speaks ten words to each verbal movement of her husband’s lips. Just as it is in real life, this simple explanation of the delicate verbal communications outside the bedroom offers realistic dialogue should anyone want to study how couples speak. Nicely done.

 

TEXT ORDER BRIDE

Kristen Osbourne 

A fun premise for what proved a too short book (e-book). A former college roommate, now a minister’s wife, sets up her thirty-two year old single tall friend in Texas with an even taller dairy farmer in Wisconsin. After a month exchanging texts, he proposes sight unseen. They trade pictures. Their first face to face contact is at the altar. Jason makes it clear to Amanda they will consummate the wedding on the first night of their brief honeymoon. A nice ‘baby story at 66 pages’ which could have grown into a good romance novel. It made a pleasant afternoon diversion.

~~~~~

Remember: If you want a particular book reviewed, please contact me. If you wish to review a book, we ask that it not be your own work. Make reviews between 20 and 300 words. Scale between 1-5 hearts with one being the worst book you ever read. Five is for a best ever read. We reserve the right to edit reviews for length and content. The reviews are based on recent reads, NOT NECESSARILY NEW RELEASES.

Reviewed by Robyn Daniels

Happy Anniversary to My Hero!

Today, I’ve been married for 33 years to my one true love.

We got married right out of high school. They said it would never last, but we were stubborn. When others were calling it quits, we dug in and fought fair.

We have three wonderful children and five gorgeous grandbabies. I could not be more pleased with the way myown love story worked out.

Our life together has not been a fairy tale.  And truthfully, we didn’t have enough conflict to make it a good romance story.  Regardless, I will always be happy I met Bert in that high school debate tournament, and the rest became history.  Even if I still think I should have won that round…

–Sandee Wagner

END OF YEAR THOUGHTS

As we come to the end of the year, it’s time to reflect and assess our past goals and accomplishments. One of my goals last year was to de-hoard my house. If you remember, I had three rooms I couldn’t walk through, not counting the pieces of furniture stacked so high with stuff I couldn’t use them properly. I’m proud to announce that I have cleared out two rooms; my “junk” room is ready to be remodeled as a guest room while my library has all the books off the floor, ready for me to sort through them to clear out more. On top of that, my kitchen and living room are no longer cluttered. You can even sit down in my living room!

My second goal was to convert my library from paper to Kindle. I’ve done some, but I’ve discovered another kind of hoarding. Kindle offers many free books and I’m not talking about indie published books. Backlists, cost leaders, traditional publishers all offer limited freebies. Suddenly, my hoarding has switch over to my Kindle. For now, I’m not going to worry about it. After all, at least the hundreds of books that I’m hoarding on my Kindle are in one place and aren’t a fire danger like my books on the floor were.

My third goal were my writing goals. Some I met and some I didn’t, but I’m not going to whine. This is the time of year where authors forgive themselves for what they didn’t do and cheer for what they did accomplish. I even have triumphs I didn’t expect, so the year wasn’t a complete waste like others in the past.

Now, time to make my resolutions for 2012. 1. Continue to de-hoard. I DO have one more room to clear and my closets…well, let’s just say I might find Jimmy Hoffa. 2. I will continue to convert my library. I’ve already started by turning in my credit card points for an Amazon gift card. 3. I will get all my backlist up on Kindle. 4. I will make a monthly timetable where I WILL complete a set number of words on my WIP and complete one of the projects I have going.

In the words of one of my heroes…make it so!

Out with the Old

As the days wind down 2011 to a new year, I’ve taken the time to reflect what is important in my life– the goals I’ve accomplished, those I wish to pursue, what I want to achieve, and how I’m going to obtain them. Change is inevitable. Change is good. Change is coming.

It is no secret that scuba diving has become a passion. So has photography plus the new excitement of joining the two. Add HD video.

Blue spotted sting ray - Philippines

Splendid Toadfish - found only around Cozumel

Jimmy Buffet’s song proclaims my situation: “With these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes, Nothing remains quite the same…” My focus has shifted to moving and other artistic pursuits, so I will be leaving RWA and my beloved RWI.

 

The Day After

‘Twas the day after Christmas

Paper littered the house

Everyone is stuffed

Yeah, even the mouse

 

I love my presents

Both big and the small

But my favorite gifts

Didn’t come from the mall

 

Homemade goodies

From family and friends

Has increased my waistline

My belts at the end

 

I gained a few pounds

Who cares right now?

I’ll start dieting soon

Before I ‘m big as a cow

 

A new year is coming

Of this there’s no doubt

When you sign a new contract

I’ll jump up and shout

 

It’s obvious I’m no poet

So I’ll give you a break

I’ll blame this sad ode

To the fact that it’s late

 

I’ll end this poem

And try to do it right

Merry Day After Christmas to all

And to all a good night

 

(Whew! Now aren’t you glad that’s over? 🙂 )

 

Celebrating the One

A woman was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable, and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.

She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year—overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, get that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, make sure we don’t forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.

Finally the elevator doors opened and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed she couldn’t take it anymore and stated, “Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot.”

From the back of the car everyone heard a quiet, calm voice respond, “Don’t worry. We already crucified him.”

For the rest of the trip down the elevator it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.

Don’t forget this year to keep the One who started this whole Christmas thing in your every thought, deed, purchase, and word. If we all did it, just think of how different this whole world would be.      

Celebrating The Reason For The Season, all year ’round!

Thank you, #4, for sharing this story with me. LY!!! You’re a real pal!