Monthly Archives: March 2017

Wrapping Up Winter (Please?)

It is still very wintry up here in Maine, which is not unusual for March. It’s disheartening, though, when Spring Equinox has come and gone and we’re still getting snow. I’m having the winter blues in spring! This picture was taken about 10 minutes ago. Yeah.

Well, this is the wrap-up, at least, for Round 1 of ROW 80. So rather than continue to lament how I’m in a funk, I’ll review my goals. Then I get to start setting some new ones for Round 2 – my favorite part. Onward…

2017 ROW 80 Round 1 Goals

Promote and sell Heart of the Goddess book. Set up a timeline and task lists for all the items on my promotion plan. Get more reviews. Order book stock. Get my books in local stores. Do more giveaways and contests. Get the book on Ingram (so bookstores and libraries can order it). I’ve done a little bit of work on this goal, though not as much as I’d wished. I had a timeline, but didn’t really follow it. I did order book stock, and got the books in one local shop. I sold a few books at events. It is selling slowly on Amazon; I have two reviews there. I know I need to bump up my game in regard to book promotion. I want to be able to afford to hire someone to work on this, ideally.

Do revisions of Patterns in the Void and send to beta readers. Use the three-pass system to revise the manuscript, during the month of January. Get initial feedback from my guys in January (using the basic draft, not revised yet) and implement their suggestions in early to mid February. Do other editing as needed in the remainder of February. Get non-family beta readers and send them the manuscript in early March. (Target publication date is July 2017). DONE. I’m very excited about my progress with Patterns in the Void! I’ve made this goal and have begun to receive feedback from my beta readers. It makes me so eager to get to work on the revisions! That will be a fun part of Round 2.

Continue my craft, finance, & business learning. Participate in In Arms Coaching program. Read at least 3 books about writing craft and/or making a living as a writer. Participate in Personal Finance Consciousness Circle (PFCC). Finish reading and working through the Barbara Stanny and Denise Duffield-Thomas finance books. I’ve been participating fully in my coaching program, have finished the Denise Duffield-Thomas book (Get Rich, Lucky Bitch), and have been off-and-on with the PFCC group. Next round I’ll focus on the other items in this list, too.

Build community for Feline Dreamers. Create and promote workshops and other events. Write sermon for UU service. Get 2 new speaking engagements. Make a plan for the debut of our podcast (Spring 2017). The sermon went really well, and I have had a few other speaking gigs (and have more in the works). Some of our community-building events were very poorly attended. We’re now working on new ways to get in front of existing audiences. The podcast is still in planning mode thus far. I’m continuing this goal.

Focus on blogging. Post to my Starcat’s Corner blog at least once per week, Feline Dreamers each month, and on this blog twice per week. Write, edit, and submit monthly guest blog posts for Kind Over Matter. Submit a guest blog proposal to Mike Dooley’s site. Keep a running list of blog post ideas, drafts, and picture ideas. I’ve been doing less blogging than this, but I’m mindful of it. I’ll adjust the goal a bit for the next Round. This is an ongoing one.

Winter Hometending. Clear off and de-clutter my desk and filing cabinets. Finish painting the stairwell and put up photos. Work on de-cluttering the basement. Haven’t really worked much on this goal this winter, other than a bit of re-organizing in my bedroom. To be continued.

Enhance my physical health. Devote time to daily exercise, including but not limited to walking, yoga, dancing, hula-hooping, and swimming. Stop eating sugar. Eat less in general. Since February 1st, I’ve been doing daily dancing, at least 20 minutes per day, and that feels really good. I’ve been starting to focus on better eating habits as well. This will be ongoing.

Live my LUMINOUS spiritual daily life. Do things I love: write in my journal, read, do yoga, dance, walk, spend time with loved ones, and express my gratitude. Pay attention to my dreams and keep records of them. Set intentions before sleep and upon waking. Meditate and do my chakra clearing daily. Gather with my sisters on Full Moons. My spiritual life is going very well. It really supports the learning I’m doing with my writing, revising, and business stuff. Lots of new insights. I’m very thankful for my connection with the Divine.

I hope you’ve had a good Round and are ready for a creative Spring. Blessings!

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A Good Time for Some Introspection

It’s hard to believe that Round 1 is nearly over! But in many ways, it’s good timing for me. I just attended a retreat with my biz coach and 19 other clients of hers. We had to do it as a “virtual” (online) retreat this time, because the blizzard this past week messed with travel. But still, I got a lot out of it. It’s causing me to rethink some of the things I’m doing/planning for my business, and to figure out how those things merge with my biggest goal, which is to make a living as an author.

It’s big stuff, and I’m sure it will work its way into my Round 2 goals. I’m still processing and figuring things out.

In the meantime, I’ve gotten feedback from a couple of my beta readers for my fantasy novel Patterns in the Void, and that’s so super exciting! One reader, a longtime acquaintance of mine, had warned me that she was a tough critic. She sent back her feedback with an admonition to “not freak out!” To the contrary, I’m so thrilled with her thoughtful feedback that I can’t wait to dig into the revisions. I think earlier in my life I might have been discouraged by (even constructive) criticism, but at this point in my writing career it is so valuable. I crave it. I need to wait 3 more weeks to gather more reader feedback, as I gave them until April 10th. But honestly, if I get even 2 or 3 more responses with such useful feedback as this one, I’ll be well on my way to crafting the final draft.

I haven’t been doing as much blogging as I used to. I don’t know if it’s a lull or if I’ve just lost interest. I’ll be re-evaluating as I get ready for Round 2.

Good luck to those who are working on finishing some big projects this week!


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A Big Step and Satisfaction

(The heroine of my novel spins fire – like my daughter!)

Over the weekend, I focused in on my novel draft, Patterns in the Void. I decided not to do any big-scale revisions, but rather to finish the smaller tweaks and get it ready to send out to my advance readers. One reason for this is that I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing in terms of novel revisions. Another was that in some ways, the story seems pretty solid as it is. Emotionally, I bounce between the two poles – this book is incomplete and I don’t know how to fix it versus I think I have a pretty great story here. I’m sure you’ll understand, fellow writers.

On Sunday, I sent a pdf of the draft to a dozen wonderful folks who had volunteered to read it and give their feedback. I felt a bit nervous about it, but I hit “send” anyway.

One of my closest friends read my book draft all in one day, staying up late Sunday night to finish reading. She really enjoyed it! Both of my menfolk have already read the draft as well (they were the advance-advance readers, I guess). So this gives me hope and satisfaction, knowing that I’m at least heading in the right direction.

I look forward to seeing what feedback the other readers share, over the next month or so. Not all of them are close personal friends, which is a good thing. I’ve asked for their honest feedback about the content, and I’m prepared for anything.

I also got invited to be part of a three-author book signing at a local yoga studio in May. I’m very excited about it, as I’ve been wanting to get the word out more about The Heart of the Goddess, but I’ve been feeling resistance to setting up the event. I love that my friend Rebecca had this idea and invited me to be part of it! I’ll probably still do a book signing of my own (or several?), but this is a very good way to get the ball rolling.

We have lots of Feline Dreamers events coming up this month, and of course I’ll have books available for sale at each of those, as well. Things are starting to kick into gear now that the energies of Spring are beginning to flow. I’m so thankful. I hope your week is going wonderfully, as well!


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