Monthly Archives: September 2015

Round 3 Retrospective


Me doing a book signing in September.

I finally have some time, and a computer, to sit down and look back over how things went with my goals for Round 3.

This is my third year doing ROW 80 (wow), and probably my most productive summer round thus far. I feel proud of that. While I didn’t accomplish all of my goals, I did make significant progress in terms of writing and related tasks. I was able to get things done even though my summer was as busy as ever. I’m counting that as a win!

I like being able to see how I’m really making progress in my career as a writer and entrepreneur. Sometimes it feels like nothing much is happening, but by looking back over my posts here, I can see that I’m on a really powerful path toward my goals. It’s all about the journey, anyway, right? Even when things don’t go according to plan, often something new and creative and cool will come in and make things more interesting. I’m so thankful! I feel blessed to be living this life of a thriving artist. It rocks.

See below for the line-by-line goals review.

Up next, setting goals for Round 4, which will, amazingly enough, finish out 2015. Wow, time flies when you’re having fun, it’s true!

2015 Row 80 Round 3 Goals

Work on revising and editing The Door Is the Key book 1 (TDITK1).Finish the first pass of revisions using Rock Your Revisions. Complete re-writes and added scenes as necessary. Do the first complete proof-reading edit. We didn’t really do much on this goal at all this round, but I’m fine with it. I’ve decided not to write a new work for NaNoWriMo this year, and will instead be putting energy into getting this book and Patterns closer to ready for publication.

Complete current nonfiction WIP. Update outline for Daily Spiritual Practice (DSP) book to include the new ideas and direction I’ve been contemplating. Revise what I’ve written thus far. Finish first draft of DSP. Target is 5oK words or so. Starting the round, I’m at 8500 words. I’ve made a lot of progress on this draft. I did update the outline and revise what I’d written before the round began. I’m getting close to the end of the first draft. I’m now at 27,232 words, and I think the completed draft will be closer to 35K than the 50K I’d estimated. I’m pretty happy with how it’s coming along.

Finish Creative Inspiration Booster Pack and start building the new e-mail list for Starcat’s Corner website. Add my author name domain to my website(s). Done! Well, except for the part about getting my author name domain. I’ll continue that part over to Round 3. It should be simple (she said hopefully).

Create weekday Fae Musings e-mails for our Feline Dreamers subscribers. Add new folks to the mailing list. Nope, haven’t gone this route just yet. Need to ponder and see if that’s a direction we still want to go.

Re-read draft of Patterns in the Void and make initial revision notes. I started this process, but haven’t gotten very far. As mentioned above, November will be for fiction revisions.

Do my ROW 80 sponsor duties. Write an inspiring article to share. Visit my peeps each week and leave comments. Done! I enjoyed it and will be continuing as a sponsor next Round.

De-clutter and organize my life, creating beautiful spaces. Clean and organize my upstairs desk and filing cabinets. Continue to de-clutter and beautify our shared living spaces. Paint the living room, kitchen, and stairwell. Summer, as always, was busy and on-the-go. So I haven’t done anything in this regard, but now I’m feeling the urge to nest again as fall returns.

Focus on blogging. Post to my Starcat’s Corner blog at least twice per week, Feline Dreamers every other week, and on this blog twice per week. Write ROW 80 guest post to inspire fellow authors (and be a good sponsor!). Write, edit, and submit guest blog posts for Kind Over Matter, Facing North, and Moon Books. Start and keep a running list of blog post ideas, drafts, and picture ideas. I’d say I’m about 50 percent with this goal. My personal and biz blogging has really tapered off towards the end of the Round, partly due to my laptop breaking down. I’ve kept up with my guest blogging, except for Moon Books. I do have a list going, and need to add to it. Fall blog planning is certainly on my list.

Continue my craft & business learning. Read at least 3 books about writing and/or ethical marketing & promotion. Check out a couple of writer podcasts. Keep notes on ideas to use, and begin implementing them. Add a Call to Action (CTA) to my Cultivating Self-Love e-book. Wow, this goal went in a whole new direction! I took an online coaching course and it’s just blowing me away. I’ve learned so much that I’m putting into place both with Feline Dreamers and my writing career in general. I’m still reading, too, but taking the course has been several levels beyond what I’d been doing. I’m delighted. I still need to add the CTA to CSL, so I’ll add that to my Round 4 list.

Make inspiring art and music. Practice zentangling. Create new scrapbook pages and art journal pages. Take nature photographs to use on my websites and blog posts. Practice drumming regularly. Mixed results. I did plenty of drumming this summer, took photos, and did some artwork. I imagine I’ll be doing more now that the weather is turning cooler.

Expand my spiritual awareness and the integration of all aspects of my life. Pay attention to my dreams and keep records of them. Set intentions before sleep and upon waking. Meditate and do my chakra clearing daily. I’ve been doing really well with this goal. I feel really connected to my inner spiritual worlds, which feeds into my creativity and thus my writing. Good job, me. 🙂

GRACEfully invite ease, purpose, and kindness into my daily life. Do things I love: write in my journal, read, do yoga, dance, spend time with loved ones, and express my gratitude. Eat well and exercise. Get outdoors for walking, hiking, and swimming on a regular basis. This goal feels like something I’ve been doing well at, too. The only exception is exercising and eating well. I’m sort of off-and-on, and I want to get back on track with it this fall. I need more yoga and walking in my life, and less sugar. I think I’ll make physical health a separate goal this time around.

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Notebooks and Pens

Happy Autumn! I’m still here, and still writing – but mostly with notebooks and pens. My laptop is officially not working, and I have plans to get it in for repair next week. In the meantime, I missed Sunday’s check-in. Ah well. Since my last Wednesday update, I’ve written 2,529 new words, which isn’t too shabby! How do I even know that? I’m borrowing BlackLion’s PC this afternoon, in order to type everything up, make this blog post, and accomplish various other tasks.

My business course that I’ve been taking continues to be amazing and fantastic. I’m learning so much! I now have a mission and vision statement, an ideal client profile, and am working on this week’s homework, which is to draft marketing copy that speaks directly to my ideal client (aka reader). I love this work, and the encouragement and direction we’re being given. I’m soaking it up like a sponge.

I haven’t gotten to blog planning, or my newsletter, but I feel like the more I learn about how to talk to my readers, the better off I’ll be when I write in those venues. Before the end of the month, I have 5 or so posts that I’m committed to writing for various sites, and I know I need to get going on those. I’ve been kicking around ideas in my head, and will probably begin outlining some of them tonight.

Oh, and I got to visit my favorite used bookstore! Pro Libris in Bangor is about two-and-a-half hours away from where I live, and since I was in the area, I got to stop by and browse. It was fun chatting with the proprietor, and bringing home a stack of new books to read. I’m already halfway through one of them.

As promised, here are the vision and mission statements I wrote for the class I’m taking:

“I envision a world where each person is intimately connected with the Divine, tapped into the mysteries, and empowered to express her or his unique creativity and magick.

“My mission is to help people create daily lives full of meaningful spiritual connection, magick, and creativity. I do this by writing inspiring books and creating uplifting offerings that help them go deep within. I help people awaken by illuminating the darkness of their fear and doubt. With compassion and kindness, I share stories, tools, and wisdom in order to help my readers and clients live with more purpose and joy.”

May your week be magickal and filled with extra creativity!

P.S. I’m delaying my end-of-round post for a couple of days, or maybe even until Sunday…


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Are We Retrograde Yet?

I’d heard that Mercury Retrograde, the time of technological mishaps and miscommunication, was on the way. But I think I’m getting some of the vibes in advance. My laptop started acting funky yesterday. As my son’s friend said,”it doesn’t really owe you anything,” because it’s an old machine. Still, it’s what I use daily for my writing, blogging, and other online activities. So right now I’m typing this on BlackLion’s computer.

I did work on my WIP today, though. I wrote in a notebook, old style, and then typed it in on BlackLion’s PC so I could do the word count thing. I’m now at 23,606 words. It’s going pretty well. The homework for my biz coaching course is going well, too.

That’s all I really have to report. I hope the rest of the week goes smoothly for you, and Mercury behaves itself.


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Recharging, Celebrating, and Re-Focusing

Life has continued to be a whirlwind of activity, but some of the things that have been keeping me busy have settled down now. Our friends are back at home and doing well, my brother’s dog is back home too, and my book signing went pretty well. I only sold a couple of books, but I gave away quite a few promotional bookmarks, got some folks signed up for my newsletter, and I now have copies of both books in the shop where the signing took place. It’s a wonderful shop, and the owner and I are going to collaborate on a book launch when my next book comes out, hopefully in mid-November. So, yay!

I’m now at 22,325 words on my WIP, and I should have more time to work on it this week. I’m looking forward to that. I want to have the first draft done by the end of the month. I haven’t worked on my newsletter or blogging plans yet, but that’s on the list, too.

Yesterday was my birthday, and I actually got some quiet time to recharge (a must for this introvert), including a lovely walk on the beach in the misty light rain. It felt really good to take the day off (thus the late update here). Tonight I’m celebrating with the extended family, which will be fun.

Here’s my plan for the week:

  • Work on the DSP e-book at least 4 days.
  • Get back on track with my blogging schedule and do some planning for upcoming posts.
  • Devote an hour each day to work on homework for the marketing/biz coaching course I’m taking.
  • Write and send out my monthly Starcat’s Notebook newsletter.

It think it’s do-able, this time. Have a good week, fellow writers!


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Doing the Best I Can With What I Have

Things have been really chaotic around here since Sunday. We’ve had a visit to the ER (all is well now), a visiting dog, and a trip for more supplies for my son for college. So, I haven’t gotten in as much writing as I would have liked. Still, I’ve been doing the best I can with the time I’ve had available.

I’m now at 21,269 words on my WIP. I did a bunch of homework today for the coaching program I’m taking, which was excellent and thought-provoking. We’re working on things like vision & mission and an ideal client profile. It really does make a difference, having someone to guide me through the process. I tried to learn a lot of this stuff on my own, but this is certainly giving me more focus and motivation.

Promotion for my Saturday book signing is going well. I think it’ll be a fun afternoon.

I haven’t yet gotten to any blogging (besides this one) or blog planning, or my newsletter, but I think the work I’m doing in the coaching program is going to help with that. It’ll give me more direction in speaking directly to my peeps. We’ll see how it unfolds.

So, progress is still being made, and I’m hopeful that next week things will be back to “normal,” whatever that is. 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your week and I’ll see you on Sunday!


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On Track and Feeling Good

I’ve been having one of those busy weekends – a performance on Friday night, then I had to work on Saturday, attended a birthday party after work, and today went to a performance of the Lippizzaner Stallions (which is something I highly recommend – such beautiful horses!). Even so, I’ve been making good progress on my goals.

As of now I’m at 20,580 words on my WIP, the book about daily spiritual practice. The total word count will probably end up around 36K, so I’m more than halfway there. I’ve also been working on some ideas for the title, with the help of my friend who’s staying with us.

Yesterday I blogged over at Starcat’s Corner, which I hadn’t done for a while. I need to do a bit of planning for upcoming posts, as I’ve mostly been doing it sort of by the seat of my pants, which isn’t as efficient as it could be. I’ve been enjoying working on my business, sort of playing around with some of the concepts from the biz coaching course. It gets started for real this week, so I’m sure I’ll have more “homework” and such to do for it. I found out one of my in-real-life friends is taking the course too; it’ll be fun to have someone to chat with about it. I also worked on some promotion for my book signing next weekend.

So, things are cooking along well. I’m feeling good about that.

Here are my goals for the upcoming week. You might notice that they look very much like last week’s goals. Heh heh. It’s okay, that’s intentional.

  • Work on the DSP e-book at least 4 days.
  • Get back on track with my blogging schedule and do some planning for upcoming posts.
  • Devote an hour each day to work on homework for the marketing/biz coaching course I’m taking.
  • Write and send out my monthly Starcat’s Notebook newsletter.
  • Work on planning and promoting my book talk & signing that happens on 9/12.

May your week be full of splendiferous joys and inspiring writing sessions.


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Blessed September

I’m so happy that September has arrived! I always love this month; it’s one of my favorites. Partly because it’s my birthday month (the 13th) and also because I get that shiny, inspired, back-to-school feeling. I’m especially creative in the late summer and throughout autumn, and I enjoy it.

This year it’s augmented by the fact that I’m taking a business coaching course for women, which is focused on effective marketing. I’ll be marketing not only my books but also the other products and services that we offer through Feline Dreamers (guided meditations, online courses, and more). Last night was the first call of the course, and it was fantastic. It was all about managing your time, and making sure your heart-centered priorities come first. One of my realizations is that I want my writing to have equal priority to my family time, and since family is one of my most important priorities, it feels good to acknowledge that.

Already today I resumed working on my WIP, took time to work on my business (which is part of the homework for the course), and exercised (which I’ve been neglecting lately). It feels terrific! I apparently hadn’t written on the book since 8/11, which is way too long. It feels good to be back on track, and my goal is to finish the first draft this month. It should be totally do-able, as I’m about halfway there.

I also got in touch with the shop owner about my upcoming book talk and signing, so we’ll be collaborating on promoting it soon.

I’m feeling really good about my progress thus far, and the rest of the week’s plans. My son is doing well with his first week of college, and becoming acclimated to his new world. My daughter is enjoying time with her friends and stretching the summer out as long as possible, which is perfect for an unschooler. My friends I’ve been helping seem to be feeling better and they have proactive plans in place.

I feel blessed to have this renewed focus on the things that are most important to me. I’m thankful for September’s arrival.


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