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I’m really, really going to try to do all the ROW80 updates as well as blog more about other stuff. Things are settling down just a little bit at work, although it’s going to start picking up again next month. But I need to set aside time to take care of my real businesses. The ones I want to do forever. Not this job where I’m now sitting at my desk, taking a short break, but my writing job and my editing job. Those are the two jobs I’ve wanted most of my life, and now I have them. I just need to expand that business. I can’t do that if I don’t blog and use Facebook more. My Spark Planner is helping me be more organized, but I’m still not where I want to be yet. A work in progress!

I’m still writing on Keeper of His Soul, and I’m thinking of maybe starting on the third book in the mystery series on my other pen name. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to write two books at once and failed, but I want to try that again. I have two editing jobs going on. One is short and the other isn’t due for awhile, so I’m not as overwhelmed as I am sometimes.

I’ve started exercising again, and I hadn’t realized how out of shape I had let myself get until everything started hurting…and that was just the treadmill!

I need to start planning some meals. Hubby and I rarely eat together because of our schedules. His breakfast is my supper. We’ve talked about this and decided I would try to cook two meals per week and eat the leftovers from those meals the rest of the week. Eating out is costing me in calories and in money. We’ll see how that goes.

So…what are the rest of you up to?

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We’ve been working on new software at work, and it’s making me crazy at work. By the time I get home in the evenings, I’m exhausted. I HAVE been able to get some writing in, though. Not huge word counts, but some writing, nonetheless.

I was out of town for work three days last week, so that put me behind. I had some disheartening news (which has since been worked out), so that kind of put a freeze on my productivity. And, today, I had to leave work at 10:30 AM to go get my son who was in an accident (he and his fiancee are okay), then I went on home because the roads were covered in snow and ice. That put me further behind at work, but maybe it will give me a little extra time for writing. And some extra time for Bible study. We’re supposed to get more snow Friday or Saturday, so who knows what’s going to happen?

Tomorrow (the 21st) at 7:00 PM, I’ll be “on” at an event called
A Paranormal Author Takeover. Come check it out.

I really hope next week settles down. I need to get caught up.

I hope all of you had a Happy New Year and are raring to go for 2016!

My theme for this year is FOCUS. I’ve made a little acronym for this, detailing what I want to focus on.

Fitness
Organization
Consistency
Using time wisely
Spirituality

See what I did there? :)

If you saw my last post, you know I have a brand spanking new Spark Planner. (I had pictures.) There’s a place to put your yearly goal, and my FOCUS acronym is what I’m putting there.

For this round, I want to finish my WIP for my Lauralynn name. I would like to start on my third mystery novella for my Catherine name, but I have a lot of editing jobs coming up, so we’ll see.

For the year, I would like to publish three novels/novellas. One for each pen name, and the other for whichever pen name calls to me. Again, we’ll see.

Fitness is going to be key this round and the rest of the year. That’s going to be my main focus. When I’m fit, I’m more productive in all areas of my life. I have more energy, more stamina.

All the words in my acronym will play important roles in my life going forward.

What are YOUR plans?

I’m always a day late on these things. Sundays and Wednesdays are the worst days for me for online stuff.

I’m feeling much more motivated to write my WIP lately. I’ve been writing several days a week, sometimes at a little diner with pen and paper. I should probably take my laptop, but I don’t want to spill food or tea on it.

My goals for 2016 is to be more organized, which will help me with all my other goals. For that reason, I bought two Spark Planners from a Kickstarter project. I bought one for my day job and one for home, writing, and editing. This is a goal oriented planner, and it has a nice hardback cover. I love it! Here are some pictures (taken quickly at work) of the outside and a few inside pages.

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Look, it’s me doing two updates in a row! Wow! :)

I just finished writing over 1000 words on my WIP at lunch. I wrote a couple of really good scenes. If I can keep this up, I think I’ll get my writing mojo back. I need to get back in my rhythm because I have big plans for next year. Of course, they might seem small to you if you’re a very prolific writer, but for someone who works full time plus edits for clients, I think plans for three books next year is pretty good.

I need to start posting on my blog more. I used to post frequently and got lots of comments. I only got two comments on my last ROW80 post, and neither of them were from fellow ROW80ers. :( I just feel like if a person posts more and tries to make the posts more interesting, there will be more comments. I really miss interacting with people on my blog. Facebook is different. Blogs are like one’s own personal space. It’s like home, you know? I’m going to try to do better!

I don’t usually do this, but I’m going to share a little snippet from my WIP, Keeper of His Soul (sequel to Soul of a Vampire) Keep in mind, Jan is a witch, so it isn’t as stupid as it seems for her to get out of her car. LOL

Suddenly, the rider shot ahead then turned so he was across the road. She slammed on her brakes, and her seatbelt snapped tight across her chest. She gasped at the sudden pressure then took in a deep breath as the belt relaxed.
Jan watched warily as the rider dismounted the bike and came toward her car. She opened the door and stepped out quickly, feeling that she would have a better advantage if she stood her ground instead of cowering in the car.
As the leather clad rider came closer, she felt something…familiar. But, no, she couldn’t possibly know this man. He stopped in front of her but remained silent. In the darkness, she could only make out long hair and a large, muscular build. The sense of familiarity still nagged at her mind.
Then he spoke. “I found you.”
His voice was barely above a whisper, and a chill went down her spine. She wasn’t sure it was fear. Maybe partly, but also something else.
“Who..who are you?”
Ignoring her question, he said, “I’ve been searching for you.”
He stepped closer, and Jan found herself unable to move. She was mesmerized by his voice, his masculine scent, and now that she could see them, his dark eyes. He moved even closer, until their bodies were almost touching. Then she knew. It was him, the one she’d been searching for.
“How did you find me?” she asked in a trembling voice.
“You called to me.”
“What’s your name?” she asked.
Still looking into her eyes, he said, “Jude.”
“I have something that belongs to you, Jude.”

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Hey there! It’s meeeeee! Surprised? I know, I’ve been kind of quiet lately. Honestly, I know everyone would get tired of hearing “Edited for a client. Did no writing.” And that’s about all I could say.

So…Saturday, I spent several hours formatting a print book for a friend. I thought maybe after I got up and grabbed a bite, I could sit down and write a little bit. I couldn’t see the words! Everything was a blur. I guess I’d just sat in front of the screen too long. That happens to me at work sometimes. Anyway, that meant no writing on the weekend. Then… I decided to take a steno pad and a pen to lunch at a local restaurant right down the road. Just a little family restaurant where the atmosphere is relaxed. I started writing. And writing. And writing. It was awesome! I usually don’t write with pen and paper because my hands just can’t do it. But for that little hour, I was able to get some words down. I ended up writing about six pages. I won’t know how many words until I type it, but I was really into the story. So yay!

I keep skipping the check-ins because I feel like I’m not making much writing progress. I did get some words in earlier in the week, so I’m feeling good about that. But I need to be writing at least five days a week.

Here’s my dilemma, and maybe y’all can give me some advice. I do line editing for a few different authors, and I feel obligated to work on that FIRST. I have deadlines for them, and I want to make sure I meet those deadlines, and honestly, I like to get it done BEFORE the deadlines. I always put my clients before my own writing. One reason is they pay me better than Amazon. LOL. The other reason is that I’ve always tended to put others before myself. What I need to do, I think, is set aside a certain time for clients and a certain time for me. The problem is, after I work all day, it’s hard to have the energy to do both. One thing that helps me a little bit is that I do a lot of editing during my lunch hour. I usually still have a lot of energy at that time.

So…suggestions on being more productive?

Btw, Ruth, I promise I’m not complaining! :P

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