Category Archives: Goals

On the Run Again

This morning while I was going for my walk/run, I was thinking about how I could promote Riding for Love. I was also thinking about how to keep in shape after sitting on my rear editing, writing, promoting, etc. An idea popped into my head, one which I hope you will help me with.

This spring I decided I wanted to start running. I walk a lot, but haven’t run in years. I usually get shin sprints, but found out what exercises to do before running to eliminate this problem. Realizing I needed to start slowly – I am a grandma after all – I decided to walk three minutes, run thirty seconds, walk three, etc, five times and then walk the rest of the time. I usually walk about 3-4 miles.

With good intentions, I headed out the first time. The sore muscles the next few days didn’t deter me, but made me realize I was not in as good a shape as I thought. Each time I tried to sit down, I visualized my rear-end and legs shaping up. What did put a damper on the whole thing was the darn weather. Each time I went out, we ended up with a snow storm, ice storm, or rain, but please don’t blame me for the lousy spring we had.

So here’s the plan. I’m going to walk three minutes, run thirty seconds, walk three, etc. until I’ve built myself up enough to run a short (very short) marathon. My nine-year old granddaughter participated in “Girls on the Run” at her school and did a 5K this spring. I would love to be able to do that.

For every person who goes to Amazon, Good Reads and my Facebook page and “likes” my author page, I will add 30 seconds to my run time. So, with one like, I will walk three minutes, run one minute, walk three, run thirty seconds. For the next like, I will walk three, run one, walk three, run one, walk three, run thirty, etc. Once I’m up to doing this five times, I will add another set until eventually I will be walking/running the entire four miles. My goal is to be able to run the four miles.
I’m not asking you to purchase Riding for Love, (if you do, that would be great), but to just “like” me on Amazon, Good Reads and Facebook. Right now I have 9 likes on Amazon, 46 on Facebook and 0 on Good Reads. (I just found out my book was on Good Reads.)You’ll be helping me stay in shape, stay healthy and reach my goal of doing a 5K.

For Amazon and Good Reads: When my book comes up, click on my name to get to my author page. On the right-hand side is the Like button.

Thanks for all your help with my new venture.

Until the next run.



Filed under Goals, Health/fitness

The Best Laid Plans

Being a rather organized person, on Sunday nights I write down what I want/have to accomplish during the week. I need to have a concrete picture of what my week will look like. Throughout the week, it gives me great satisfaction to cross off each completed item. On the other hand, if I have to transfer a job to the next week, I wonder what happened that I didn’t complete my goals. My daughter once asked me if I thought it was cheating to add things you’ve done that weren’t on the original list. I’m a great believer in that.

I try hard not to let little things interrupt my work. I check to see who is calling before I answer the phone. I only read at lunch and my house duties get done early mornings before I hit my office. It’s the bigger things that sabotage my work – I think.

This week, or should I say, this past month, I had every intention of getting my edits done quickly and off to my editor. Some days, I’m happy to say, I got a lot done. Other days – not so much and I wonder what the heck happened. Take this past Thursday for instance. I had no plans to go anywhere and do nothing but edit. Then Wednesday I threw my back out and received a past-due notice for our phone bill. Both irritated me to no end.

Receiving a past-due notice may not seem like such a big deal, but what really bugged me was that not paying the bill wasn’t my fault. If I didn’t take care of it right away, we would lose service. To make a long story short, in November, I had the option to switch from paper to e-billing. I chose e-billing and had the phone company set it up for me. I received no bill in December had to take time out from my schedule to go to the phone office (luckily I have the option to deal with real-live people) and deal with that late notice. They assured me I would get a bill in January – which of course I didn’t. So Thursday morning, I had to go into town and find out what was going on. After sitting there for half an hour, they had no idea what was going on. I paid my bill (minus the late fee, which I refused to pay) and went home to work. They called later that morning, having figured out they made a mistake entering my information and had to spend another half an hour on the phone getting things straightened out.

Throwing my back out meant a trip to the chiropractor. Trip two to town on a day I was to spend at home. The only good thing to come out of that was I was forced to spend the day on a chair (not my desk chair) with heat packs on my back. This gave me the opportunity to spend the remainder of the day editing. Friday meant another trip to the chiropractor (had no intentions of going to town that day, either) and another day on the chair. Being an active person, all this sitting was getting to me, but I did get a lot of work done. A visit from the water conditioner man did interrupt my work.

The point of all this is that, no matter how hard we try to set a schedule for ourselves, life intrudes. I received my edit changes on December 17th. Yesterday, after finally sending them off to my editor, I wondered what on earth took me so long. Then I realized there was Christmas, New Years, baking, company, taking care of grandkids for a week, sinus infection, doctor’s appointments,illnesses, friends, family, meetings, etc., etc., etc.

So when I’m done blogging, I will make my list for the week – having finally crossed off some things from last week. Life has a way of changing even the best laid plans and I wonder how much I’ll really get done. Guess that’s what makes life interesting.

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Filed under Goals, Reflection, Writing

Just Another New Year’s Resolution Blog

I’ve lost count of the number of blogs I’ve read so far concerning New Year’s Resolutions. Many have been hilarious (intentionally, I hope), some way too serious, and some I wonder if the person writing the blog will make it through the next week without saying “the heck with it.”

Last week the gym where I swim was full with people starting out the new year on a good note. I wonder how long before the number working out trickles down to those few who’ve been consistent in staying in shape. There were some new faces in the pool, which is pretty good for 6:00 in the morning. Will they last? Hope so.

So, I pondered what I would say when asked if I made any resolutions. Last year, I decided 2012 would be the year I would work on getting published. I’m happy to say it was the first time I ever succeeded in accomplishing a resolution. I guess I can’t say “This year I’m going to see my book in print.” That would be cheating since I already know it will happen. I can’t resolve to get my edits done because I don’t have a choice if I want to see that book in print. I can hope to get on the NYT best-seller list – but that is wishful thinking, not a resolution.

As all authors, I love to read. A few years back I decided (not a New Year’s resolution) to collect all of Nora Roberts’ books. I had no idea what I was getting myself in for. She is one prolific author, and I have a lot of her books, but fell way short of my goal.

Last week when I was cleaning out 2012 files in preparation for a fresh year, I walked past by the shelves of Roberts’ books. I hadn’t read any in quite some time, and an idea popped into my head. Why don’t I read all of those books for 2013? Hey, if you’re going to set a goal for yourself, it might as well be an enjoyable one. So I sorted through and matched them up with what I have in my Excel program. (A good way to make sure I don’t buy a book I already have or read. To date I have 3,000 books in the program. I highlight a book when I’ve read it before donating it to our local library for their annual book sale.)

Then I counted how many of her books are on the shelf. This was deceiving since many of them contain two or three of her books. So I counted them in Excel. One hundred and fifty-seven! I told my husband there was no way I was going to meet my goal. I’d already failed in my resolution and it was only January 1st. I also had to finish a rather long book I’d started before the end of the year before I started on my new goal.

But wait. Today I realized I didn’t subtract the ones I already read in the past. Fifty three. So that leaves one hundred and seven books to read this year. That means I need to read 2.05769230769 Nora Roberts’ books a week. When we go on vacation, I can read as many as five or six books. This leaves room to slip in another author or two.

I love this resolution. I can do it and have fun. No counting steps or calories or carbs. NO GUILT!!!! So this morning I finished book number 2. Okay, so I cheated. The first two I’ve read were her earlier ones and only 250 pages each. Also I woke up this morning at 3:00, couldn’t get back to sleep and sat in the living room on a cozy chair, wrapped in blankets reading until 7:00 – book number two done in one night. One hundred and five to go. The question is, when I’m done, do I start collecting again? Can’t leave those shelves empty.

Wish me luck.

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Filed under Goals, Reading, Reflection, Writing

My Writing is on the Fast Tract continued…

Here’s the rest of the story.

I worked feverishly on edits and re-edits on the Pro book so I could send it off. My goal was to get it to the editor before my husband and I left for vacation the first week of September. The evening before we left, I composed an e-mail to Debby at Soul Mate Publishing, did some cross signs, finger wiggles and kisses at the screen and sent off the manuscript. I ran upstairs all giddy that I’d made my goal, and nervous that, wow, I just sent a requested manuscript off. We sat on the deck drinking wine and watching the sun set. A sense of peace flowed through me – it was out of my hands, and I had a week off before I moved to the next book for editing.

My husband brought his I-pad along with us on our camping trip so we could keep up with family, news, etc. The second morning, we sat in the camper eating breakfast. (It was too darn cold to eat outside!) I opened my e-mails. Wow, an email from Debby already. I opened the message – I forgot to attach the manuscript!!!!!!!! Talk about feeling dumb. She made me feel somewhat better by saying everyone does that at least once. So now I couldn’t re-send the manuscript until we returned home in six days’ time.

The first thing I did when we came home was hit the bathroom. The second – run downstairs, gear up the computer and make darn sure I attached the manuscript this time. An e-mail from Debby the next morning said I had. So then it was on to working on editing the conference book.

Each year I go camping for one week by myself. My husband graciously (depending on how easily he can back the camper into the campsite.) hauls the camper to a campground, sets it up and goes home. I love this week. I can write to my heart’s content, eat when and what I want and write as late as I want. I’ve finished history books and fiction books. This year my goal was to finish the paper edits of the conference book, start putting the edits into the computer and work on the outline for the next book. I can happily say I accomplished all those goals. But, I nearly didn’t because I lost most of a day.

Once again I had the I-pad along so I can – well, you know. Tuesday morning I was eating breakfast in the camper (once again too cold to eat outside). There was an e-mail from Debby at Soul Mate Publishing. With nervous fingers I opened it up. Here’s what it said: “Dear Tina, Thank you for your patience (she’d only had the book two weeks, so this line surprised me.) I had a chance to read Riding for Love this weekend and have great news! (At this point my heart stopped and my spoon dropped to my bowl). I enjoyed your story so much, we’d like to publish your book. (My breath stopped and I jumped up from the table and squealed. I sat back down and continued.) Riding for Love is well written and engaging.”

OMG, OMG, OMG!!!!! There were four more paragraphs in the letter, but I didn’t read them until later, when I’d finally stopped sobbing, pacing and calling everyone I could think of.  I scared my poor husband to death when I called him at work. I was crying so hard, he thought something bad had happened to me or someone had died. I made a few more calls and paced the camper when I realized I needed more space to pace. I went outside, found some warm sun and paced and called and paced and called. By noon I had put nearly 6,000 steps on my pedometer just pacing.  ( I just did a giggle dance – again.)

Everyone I talked to wanted to know about the contract, when the book was coming out, etc. All I could say at that point was “I haven’t even read the rest of the e-mail or the contract. A writer friend suggested I not read the contract for three days because I wouldn’t remember what I read. She was right. When I finally read the contract – and re-read – and re-read, I still couldn’t comprehend this was actually happening.

I’ve been dying to write about this, but wanted to wait until the contract was signed. Last Wednesday that was accomplished. So now I wait for an editor to be assigned for – guess what – more edits. Today I received my Author Cover Art Information Form to fill out. I also need to give them information such as my bio, back cover blurb, 1-2 sentence hook for Facebook, dedication page and acknowledgement page information. Every time I calm down I receive something from the publishing company and I get excited all over again.  This is really real.

So come Spring of 2013, Riding for Love will be on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Soul Mate Publishing and other places. It will be an e-book first and then hopefully paperback.

I have finished the edits on the conference book and need to tweek a few more things before I send it off  next week. I am hoping in a few months’ times I will be writing about another book sale.

After years and years of working on my fiction in-between publishing the non-fiction…well, I’m still too excited to express how I feel – except excited.



Filed under Goals, Publishing, Writing

Goals Met and Not Met

The last time I blogged I said one of my goals was to blog each week. Now – here come the excuses. Each year I take one week in the fall and camp myself. My husband hauls the camper to a state campground about 30 miles from our house. I use that week for solitude and writing…and writing and writing. I’ve finished books, edited books, organized books and planned books.

Since the campground is about 20 miles from my daughter’s house, I still watch the grandkids one day during my stay. I knew I wanted to blog and not being able to get the internet at the campground, I hauled my laptop to my daughter’s with the expectation of blogging.

I set up the laptop, got my grandson down for his nap, thought about what to write (which will be next), opened my website, clicked on blog and…realized I left my password in the camper. !(@*#@(!!!  (That’s not the password.) So, I did not meet one of my goals for the month.

Now, here’s a goal I’d forgotten my husband and I made last spring that we did meet unexpectedly. There is a bike trail that runs from the campground where I stayed to another campground to the north. My husband and I have biked from both campgrounds, but never biked the entire trail. For some unknown reason we thought it would take an entire day, lots of food and plenty of stops. We could even leave one vehicle at the other end in case we decided we couldn’t make it back.

This past spring when we biked the northern part of the trail, I said we should make it a goal to get our biking legs in good enough shape to bike the entire thing in the fall. Well, with the hot, hot, hot summer, we didn’t get as much biking in as we wanted.

In August we camped at the northern campground with our daughter and family. We did some biking, but were told the bike trail was going to be redone that Monday. On Monday morning my husband and I biked about eight miles out and then back expecting we couldn’t go any further because they were starting resurfacing in the middle of the trail.

Last Sunday, we decided to bike as far as we could until we hit construction. We biked and biked and biked. All the trail markers were down, so we couldn’t tell how far we had come. (My odometer on my bike has not been working correctly.) At one point we saw a sign on an off road saying how far to the next town. That’s when we realized the trail from campground to campground is only 17 miles – and – they hadn’t started construction on the trail. So…we biked to the next campground and back. We met our goal without planning to.

The only problem with the ride was the wind. On the way up the trail, the wind, calm and fairly warm came from our side. We had a leisurely lunch (knowing now we only had 17 miles to bike) and started back. During our meal, the wind shifted, picked up speed and dropped the temperature. We usually clip along about twelve mph, but at times on the way back barely made 10, usually hit 9 and one gust of wind dropped us from 9 to 6 mph. Needless to say, it took longer to get back, we made many more stops and were very grateful to reach our truck.

But…we made our goal.

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