Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year's Goals vs. Resolutions

A New Year is coming. Do you get caught up in making New Year's resolutions? I have in the past and then am disappointed when I don't keep them. As I reflect this year on my goals - not so much resolutions - I realize the best way to reach them is to make sure they are attainable.

Life throws curve balls all the time at us and therefore I have decide instead of making New Year's resolutions, I am setting short term and long term goals for the year.

Short term -- by the end of February I will have my manuscript fully edited and ready for submission (it has partially been requested at this point). Within six months, by June, I would like to have a rough draft completed of my already started sequel. By year's end - goal is to have the first manuscript sold, and the sequel polished and ready for submission. Are these goals doable? Definitely.

I truly feel that setting smaller goals makes them easier to reach. What goals are you making for the New Year? Will you be making short term and long term goals?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas - It's not in the gifts

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. I love going and cutting our own tree, decorating it with the family with Christmas music playing, the family get-togethers and best of all the buying of presents for others.

This year has been a struggle for me to get in the Christmas spirit. After losing my job earlier in the year, finances have been tight. It was a toss up whether there would even be a Christmas this year in our household. Last week, yes, just a week before the big day, I was able to go do a little shopping for my children. Although happy that I could do as much as I did, I was still sad that I couldn't do more.

Last night sitting in the living room with the Christmas lights on, I was chatting with my 14 year old daughter. I mentioned that I hoped they weren't disappointed on Christmas. When she asked what do you mean? I explained that they were only getting one gift each and I just hoped they weren't disappointed. My heart swelled with pride as I listened to her reply -- "Mom, Christmas isn't in the gifts."

She's absolutely right. It's not in the gifts. It's in the birth of Jesus that we celebrate, in the time that we actually take to be with friends and family. In reflecting in this, I looked back over the past year with the financial difficulties, my oldest daughter being in a car accident and my husband away so much on travel. Our family was always taken care of despite the financial difficulties. There was always food on the table, heat in the house and a roof over our heads. Yes, my daughter was in a terrible car accident and from looking at the car I had wondered how she even walked away. But again, my daughter is here and looking forward to college and her adult life. My husband has been gone seven out of the last ten days for business trips and a lot more than that over the past year, but my husband has a great job that he absolutely loves and he is my biggest supporter in my writing.

So as I had to be told by my 14 year old daughter, Christmas isn't in the gifts. My life is filled with my gifts that cannot be found in a store. What do you have for gifts that aren't under your tree?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Connect The Dots

As I was sitting in my office the other night contemplating my next blog, my friend Denise Robbins asked me to join in some blogging fun in her countdown to the release of Connect The Dots. Of course, I said yes! If you haven't come to this blog in search of an answer, start at Denise's blog for the beginning of the Connect The Dots journey for questions that will lead you in search of the answers.

If you have been brought here by another link in search of an answer -- read on and in my Christmas memories you will find the answer.

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year. It's not in the gifts I usually receive, although I will admit I love getting presents -- but it's in picking out that perfect gift for whomever you're buying for. One of my favorite Christmas' was when I was younger, much younger. My dad worked for the electric company and as happened from time to time, he got called out to service lines due to a power outage on Christmas morning. My two sisters and I decided we wanted to wait for dad to come home before proceeding with opening more gifts. As time passed, and boredom set in, there was one gift under the tree from a family friend to the three girls. It was the perfect size for a board game. We decided to open that one present so we could play a game while we waited for dad to come home. Tearing off the wrapping paper, lo and behold we struck gold -- a five pound box of chocolates. No, no board game -- but chocolates. Well, of course mom wasn't game in letting us eat them all so my sister decided to pull out one more present to be opened. The one she had bought me that year. As I tore open the present, I found the game I had been waiting for -- CONNECT FOUR.

For the young people reading this, yes, we had games that weren't on the computer. We played board games for hours. Now I can still play that old favorite game on the computer when I am supposed to be writing -- much like the heroine that we are learning about in Connect The Dots. ;)

Be sure to visit Denise's blog to post your answer. And to continue the fun, the next question is:

What is the name of the heroine in Connect The Dots? Where did Denise get her last name? On Thursday visit http://www.crystalposey.blogspot.com for the next answer.