Don’t Set Those Goals…

by Carole Brown

Whalists-freet, you say? And you have a right to ask. I wanted to grab your attention, so hence the partial statement. Here’s the sentence in its entirety:

Don’t set those goals TOO high!

Again, you might very well ask, why on earth not, especially coming from you who always advocates goals and lists?

Okay, I agree with that, but I want to throw out there some caution. Here are some reasons why I encourage you to be careful when setting your goals or making those lists:

  • When I make lists/goals I try not to make them unattainable FOR ME. I don’t include on my lists: “Paint room, wash windows, clean bathrooms, write 5000 words–today! Nope, I KNOW I can’t/won’t do all that. For one thing, I’m not much of a painter. Another thing, I hate washing windows, although I do get to it a few times a year–under pressure. I’m a slow writer, so 5000 words is pushing it for me. 

Now I mighcan-do-freet make a list like this: Clean bathrooms, write 1000 words, do one blog post, prepare supper, pay bills. 

 I know me. I know my limitations. I know I hate taking down the Christmas tree, so hubby begins right after Christmas encouraging me to work on it. I know I really don’t mind too much cleaning the bathrooms, so that’s a feasible goal. And if I attain more than a thousand words, than I’m flying high today!

So set reasonable goals.

 

  • Add some fun items along with the dreaded ones to make your list more appealing to your emotions and senses. Intermingle them. Try doing one hated chore right after or before a pleasant one. Reward yourself with a small piece of chocolate or some other read-on-vacationfavor when an unpleasant one is finished. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many unpleasant tasks.

It’s far better to finish five dreaded items a week, than end the week feeling depressed because none of the twenty got done.

 

So, Intermingle on your tasks lists with both pleasant and unpleasant tasks.

 

  • God’s Word encourages us to do our REASONABLE SERVICE–not outlandish tasksbible-free that are out of our reach. But he also wants us to be good stewards, faithful in our work, disciplined. So I would encourage you to find and use as your motto a scripture verse/passage that you can refer to as your guide to making your lists a habit, an influence in seeing the need to be profitable in our daily chores and chosen paths, and a blessing to you as you diligently do your work every day. 

No, we might not accomplish everything, every day. We’re human. Faulty. And life happens. Don’t let failures discourage you, but count them as lessons. Push ahead.

So, find a scripture that keeps you motivated.

 

RECAPPbaseball2-freeING:

  1. Set reasonable goals.
  2. Intermingle good and bad tasks together
  3. Find a scripture for encouragement.


I believe if you follow these three simple steps, you’ll find a greater satisfaction each week. Remember, reward yourself. Stay true to yourself and God. Allow time for fun. You’ll be batting a high score.                     I believe it!

Happy goal-setting!

New Books on the Block

By Carole Brown

One of the best moments in an author’s life is when a book of theirs releases. And probably one of the top pleasures it gives those who love to encourage, is to share the reward of a new book out from a fellow-author-friend. 

Today I want to share with you some new books that recently released and hope you’re intrigued enough to check them out! Here goes…

coloring-journal

 

Coloring Journal. Author: Sharon A. Lavy.

Why should you buy this book?

  • Throughout history, successful people have kept journals.
  • Writing letters and keeping a diary is an ancient tradition that dates back to 10th century Japan.coloring-journal3

 

  • We now know that journaling has a positive impact on our physical and mental well-being, and modern psychologists contend that regular journaling strengthens the immune cells.
  • Many artistic types swear that three pages a day of free writing by hand boost their creativity.

 

coloring-journal-2

 

  • Couple that with the accepted benefits of coloring for calming stress relief and we recognize the usefulness of providing a combination coloring journal.
  • As you fill the following pages with your thoughts and your unique style of expression, please dwell on the goodness of the creator and His great love for us.

Remember, Sharon has a many Adult Coloring Books for your pleasure and relaxation. Do check them out here: 

Sharon A. Lavy’s Amazon Books

 

* * *

416kruadagl-_uy250_

Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing (Writing to Publish Book 1)

Why should you buy this book? 

  • Do you see yourself as a writer?
  • Is your dream to publish?

Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing helps you create a map you can follow to make your dream come true. The examples, reflective assignments, and challenges walk each reader through the process of constructing a thoughtful and achievable plan. While the handbook offers examples of structure, it is in no way formulaic. The plan you design to be a published author is customized to fit your personality traits, your specific gifts, and your busy life.

Check it out HERE:

Rebecca W. Water’s Amazon Book

THERE you have it! Some books to catch your attention this month! Enjoy.

Lack of Proofreading (Hilarious) Fiascos

By Carole Brown

Hilarious Titles: Doesn’t Anyone Proofread anymore? We all read hilarious topics that make the wrong kind of sense. And it is hard to catch everything–especially on deadlines! But these “take the cake” on hilarity. Enjoy, and remember some writer, somewhere made these mistakes, and take a lesson. Proofread. Then again. Smile.

gun-free
Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter 
(Wow; he’s miraculous!)

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says 
(Da,do you really think so?)

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers 
(Now that’s taking things a bit far!) 

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over 
(Uh, what was that?) 

miner-2 free

Miners Refuse to Work after Death 
(No-good-for-nothing, lazy men!) 

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant 
(See if that works any better than a fair trial!) 

War Dims Hope for Peace 
(I can see where it might have that effect!) 

If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile 
(Ya think?)
thermometer-free
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures 
(Who would have thought!) 

Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide 
(They may be on to something!) 

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges 
(You mean there’s something stronger than duct tape?) 

lightening-2 free
Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge 
(He probably IS the battery charge!) 
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group 
(Weren’t they fat enough?) 

astronaut-free
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft 
(That’s what he gets for eating those beans!) 

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks 
(Do they taste like chicken?) 

Local High School; Dropouts Cut in Half 
(Chainsaw Massacre all over again!) 
doctor-free
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors 
(Boy, are those are some tall doctors!)

Five Back to School Tips for the Should-Be Ardent Writer

by Carole Brownschool-bus free

Okay, Okay. I KNOW some of us don’t have children in school anymore. BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the end of summer and soon-to-be Autumn season! So I compiled a few thoughts of how to breathe new enthusiasm into your writing work. Let me know what you think and if you have any other thoughts of how you renew your writing energy.

 

magnifying-glass focus free


1. Focus.

Make a general list of what you want to accomplish this season. 

 

 

2.  Go over–re-read–your unfinished manuscripts.

Some questiokeyboard-freens you need to think about before beginning your reading session: A) Do you have a deadline–either from your publisher or a
self-made one? If so, begin with that work as a priority. B) If A. isn’t a matter to be concerned with, then move on to: Is there one that will take more time for research? One that just doesn’t feel is the right time to work on it? Which one gives you a tug of interest?

brainstorm free

 

3.  Brainstorm.

Yes, I believe in having one or two special people that you can toss ideas at, OR that they can toss ideas back at you. It’s not so much that you’ll use their ideas. But they can help get the creative juices flowing again, and you can always adjust their ideas–if they are possibilities–to fit your story plot line. I’m almost always rejuvenated by brainstorming with my two best writing buddies. 🙂

 

4.  Take some nnotes2-freeotes.

Yeah, you’re pantster (maybe). I know. I am too (mostly). But it doesn’t EVER hurt to jot down some ideas of where you want to go (even if you change them later), some plot ideas of what could happen, how you want your protagonist to react or what good and bad quirks your antagonist has,  etc. You may use them, or not, you may change them, but they’re a start, and that’s what you need.

 

5.  Finalhappy2 freely, enjoy!

Set reasonable daily goals. Turn off your inner editor (as much as possible, and if you can’t, keep that editor under control! Lol). Realize that this is what you WANT to do, so proceed at YOUR own decision-making speed. Re-read a scene or chapter at the start of each writing session to get you going–then write. Don’t worry about whether it needs editing or that you might delete it later. Take a break when you need one or feel brain dead or discouraged. Remember, this is something you love, that you want to do, that you feel compelled to do, so don’t let anything discourage you. Do whatever you need to do to keep inspired. 

Hoping these thoughts encourage you to press on with a renewed writing vigor for the approaching Autumn season. More thoughts on this later . . .

What do you do to keep inspired?

 

 

A Warm Welcome to Lorilyn Roberts!

It’s with real pleasure that I share Lorilyn’s post today with tips to help the writer. Read on and enjoy, and be sure to check out her books here:  The City

 

What Are My Favorite On-Line Writing Tools for Writing Fiction? Best of All, Can You Believe They Are Free?home-office-336373_1280

Guest Post by Lorilyn Roberts

I am working on my fifth book in the Seventh Dimension Series, and I hope I can help writers who are writing their first novel to write more efficiently.

The first tool I would recommend to novice and even seasoned authors is AutoCrit. The website labels the software as “Manuscript Editing Software for Fiction Writers.”

  • AutoCrit will help you to find passive sentences, overused words, and make your writing tighter. I have become a better writer as the software highlights phrases and “favorite” words I’ve used too many times.

For example, I rarely use the words “just” and “finally” anymore because the software showed I was overusing them. While the software can’t replace an author’s need for an editor, it will help authors to become better self-editors.

  • The second software I use is Hiveword. Hiveword is a “Web-Based Novel Writing Organizer” and affiliated with James Scott Bell’s “Knock-Out Novel.”

The site has a “Knowledge Writer’s Base” that is a search engine for writers. Hiveword has a section that acts as a prompt to get you started (beginnings are always hard), a scene organizer where scenes can be moved around, and even a character name generator. I know there are other programs writers swear by, but if I can’t get up and running on something in fifteen minutes, I’ll quit. Know yourself and your limits when it comes to technology. If you are too impatient like me to learn some of the more complicated software for writers but still need a little help organizing your thoughts, Hiveword is a great option.

Another thing I do with Hiveword is I copy and paste my scenes on the website. In other words, when I finish writing a scene and save it on my computer, I also upload a copy to Hiveword under the correctly numbered scene. That way I always have an online backup, and the scenes on the software keep me organized. Since I am an outliner, I can quickly check what scene is next and what I last wrote.

The character listing has all the names from my series in one place as well as all the information associated with that character.

There are other great features I don’t have space to enumerate here, but I find it amazing the standard version is still free. I see there is now a Hiveword Plus version you can purchase for $25 per year.

  • Another writing frustration I had was writing descriptive body language. One day I had an epiphany—is there a website that can help me with this? And I found one here. As any author knows, good writing shows rather than tells. How do you show contempt? Disbelief? Amusement? Check out “Writers Write: Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language” and see for yourself.
  • I also use my computer’s dictionary and thesaurus liberally. There is no substitute for these, and they are free.

If you have found something helpful and simple to use, please share in the comments. I’d love to hear about it and will send you the link to download a free copy of Seventh Dimension – The City for sharing (please, no duplicate shares).

If you have found these tools helpful, I hope you will check out my latest book by clicking here. The City

City_3D-yelloiw

The man stood as if fixing to leave. “There is a prophecy from long ago that says when the world is engulfed in war and all seems lost, a king will come forth from beyond Shambhala. With a great army, he will eradicate the darkness from the earth. An age of peace will follow”
The man walked a few feet in the other direction and said, “Love is the greatest virtue that carries the greatest cost.” He then continued on his way until he disappeared amongst the trees.” ~from Seventh Dimension – The City, A Young Adult Fantasy, Book 4

*~*~*~*

ABOUT LORILYN:                                                                                                                            LorilynandBooks

Lorilyn Roberts is an award-winning Christian author who writes for the young and the young at heart.

When not writing books, Lorilyn provides closed captioning for television.

Lorilyn is a single mother by choice. She adopted her two daughters from Nepal and Vietnam. She has been a speaker at various events and functions, including women’s groups, adoption support groups, and writer workshops. She is the former president of the Gainesville Chapter of Word Weavers International.

I’m Not a Brain Surgeon!

The beautiful parsurgery2 freet of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time–unlike, say, a brain surgeon! –Robert Cormier

 

That’s what editing is all about. Here’s how my writing process goes:

  • Come up with an idea, plot, write. I try to get the story down without worrying too much about editing the first time around. I can’t do that totally–I’m always editing, making little corrections: maybe the wrong word was placed in a sentence, or I spelled a word edit freeincorrectly, or I used “????” meaning the thought needed some research or verifying. I might make some editing in the story line.

Once I finally have the first draft completed, I like to give it a few days rest. It gives my brain a chance to refresh from the story. I might work on another one or do some marketing or even an altogether different project. But eventually . . .

  • It’s time to begin some serious editing. I read through the story, making notes as I go. Correct this sentence. Rearrange this scene. Change the wording, etc. I normally end up with multiple pages or corrections, and that’s a good thing. It means I’ve found the majority of the issues that need addressed.

While I’m waiting on my editor to go over my corrections and to make the adjustments needed, I, again, take a few days to relax and breathe fresh air. By the time the pdf reaches me for a second round of editing, I’m ready to go.

  • The third edit is less intense, but just as important. By now, I’ve caught the major mistakes in my novel. I can concentrate on the depth of the story line, look for any flaws in the main plot and also the subplot threads. I can beef up any weak scenes and tighten all the places that might lag in interest for the reader.

Depending on the story, the editor, and the time available, edits can be from three to twenty rounds. Of course, twenty is pushing it a little, but it can happen, especially with a super picky or super good editor. And hopefully, most, if not all, the mistakes have been found and corrected. That’s the nemesis that dogs most authors’ heels–the thought that we might have missed some flaws not caught.

But, unlike the brain surgeon, who must usually get it right that first time, an author does have the leeway of “edits.” But then that’s part of being an author.

Write, edit, market.elsa free

Pretty much sums it all up.

 

Those Pesky Ly Words

Adverbs are words that normally end in an ly and should usually be avoided when possible. I used two ly words in the last sentence; nobody can avoid them all. Many new writers delete all of their ly words but don’t use a stronger verb in its place. The reason to delete ly words is because stronger verbs can replace them. Here’s a list of a few strong verbs you can use to replace your weaker verbs and adverbs.

Walk:

slowly walked – sauntered, strolled, loped, moseyed, wandered, meandered

quickly walked – strode, darted, rushed, treaded, marched, advanced

Look:

angrily looked – glowered, glared

longingly looked – gaped, ogled, stared

quickly looked – glanced

Talk:

loudly talked – shouted, bellowed

softly talked – whispered, mumbled

Sit:

sat slowly – perched, rested, settled

sat quickly or angrily or clumsily – plopped, plodded

Whenever you see an ly word, look up the verb it describes in the thesaurus, and see if you can find a stronger verb to convey the same thing without the adverb.