Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Postcards From Unpubbed Island

This is your last postcard from the island for 2009.

There are four of us left on the island and you can bet we're planning our escape.

What about you? What's your 2010 escape plan?

Today Seekerville is giving away four lovely little jars of sand from Unpubbed Island to four of you who post your 2010 escape plan. Big plan, little plan. Any plan is better than no plan.

BTW, these jars will look great on your desk where they can sit as inspiration.

Winners will be posted on Saturday, December 5. You may enter until 10 pm MST Friday, December 4.

Posts from our archives to inspire you as you plan...

Survivor: Unpubbed Island

Dispatch From Unpubbed Island

Hurry Up And Wait

Hanging Tough On The Island

Watering Camels

Deadline Dementia for the Unpublished Author

Words to Consider You as You Plan...

"There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere . . . "

Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

"You have plenty of courage, I am sure," answered Oz. "All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty."

L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

"The years that are gone seem like dreams--if one might go on sleeping and dreaming--but to wake up and find--oh! well! perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one's life."

Kate Chopin, The Awakening

"It was always the becoming he dreamed of, never the being."

F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

"Whatever road I take, the guiding star is within me; the guiding star and the loadstone which point the way. They point in but one direction. They point to me."

Ayn Rand, Anthem


Katie Ganshert said...

Hi Tina! I just wanted to say thanks for your congrats on getting the call. It was cool to see a comment from you! I admire all you seeker ladies. :)

Pepper Basham said...

Thanks again, Tina, for an inspiring 'good morning'.

I'm going to have to think out my plan before posting it :-) Do we get to have a sidekick ;-)

Hot off the menu and in honor of my west-coast cyber-pals, southwestern omelets and strawberry-banana smoothies, to cool down your tongue afterwards.

Good mornin'


Dianna Shuford said...

A plan? We're supposed to have a plan? Oh, well...here it is: lots of prayer and following the pathways God opens for me. Right now, I'm pushing to get my revisions finished on my current WIP to fulfill a full request I received from an agent at the 2009 Moonlight & Magnolias conference. With my fingers crossed and God's favor 2010 will be my year to get pubbed.

BTW- my addy is diannashuford@gmail.com

Krista Phillips said...

Um plan. Yikes

Pray a lot.

Write a ton.

Actually submit my stuff a little more often.

Pray a lot.

Enter a few contests.

Pray a lot.

So, there is my plan!!!

Patty said...

Hi Tina! Great post and great way to start the morning!

My plan? To continue what I've started in the last two months--setting word counts, making goals, simply putting my backside in a chair and write, write, WRITE! I'm getting feedback from some pubbed writers, praying over their suggestions to make my manuscript better and gaining confidence in their encouragement.

I've managed to get quite a bit done on this plan so far--finished a rough draft, and wrote almost 40K in the last month alone.

Well, I'm running out the door--finishing up my edits to get my manuscript out the door to the Golden Heart by this afternoon. I'll grab the chocolate covered donuts on the way!

Debra E Marvin said...

I am building a boat. It has to sail and not sink, so I am building it carefully but I work on it everyday. Sometimes a few planks go on smoothly and sometimes I have to take one or two off and make some adjustments.

My goal is to get it in the water in 2010. When I get the call those sails will get unfurled so fast it may cover the sound of my shouting!

Tina M. Russo said...

Good morning!!!!

Thanks for breakfast, Pepper.

Coffee coming up.

Hi Katie, (Katie got an agent so she gets big woo hoos)

A boat. Now there's an idea!!

Rose said...


What a timely post for me! I was just thinking yesterday about all the goals I'd set for 2009 and what I did and didn't get done, when an email popped into my in box and I thought great, another rejection because I just submitted the first three chapters at the end of August.

BUT...it was a request for the full from an editor so I like Dianna, am trying to get another proof/revision of the rest of the book finished by Friday so I can send it off to the editor.

When the the full is emailed off, I'll make my 2010 plan. I promise!

NOW a HEARTFELT THANKS to all the ladies at Seekerville who are so encouraging to their followers. I've learned so much from all your posts and it helps keep the bad writing news in perspective and the good writing news more joyous!


RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

Tina M. Russo said...

Patty, you are my kind of gal. I am off to the post office right now to do an overnight GH mailing. It's not about finaling or winning. It's about meeting your own goals!!! Woohoo for us!!

Tina M. Russo said...


A request!!! Even nicer!!.

Go get em.

Holler if you need help, we'll send Pepper in with food reinforcements.

We eat better in Seekerville than I do at home.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Okay, I brought the coffee earlier, and fried dough, but Google ate it...


Ate it right up, those hungry Googarians. For heavens sake, had I realized Google was that hungry/thirty/caffeine deprived, I'd have fed them. Honest.

But here's the coffee, and fried dough dredged in awesome powdered sugar/cinnamon sugar goodness and YES!!!!!

total creamy goodness for you coffee and chai. (I did squirrel away the last dregs of skimmed milk, check the back corner of the 1930's-era fridge behind the back wall. :)

Look at the plans. I'm so proud I could bust a gusset here. Really, truly.

Rejection's so tough, but if we can't handle it, we're going no where. You guys rock, and I love how focused everyone is. Deb, perfect analogy of boat-building, ranks right up there with Rodeo Stew! :)

Gotta love a good rodeo. Or a ship.

I'll bring lunch later, I'm thinking home-made chicken salad on fresh toasted bagels, lightly buttered and a selection of garnish.

I'm hungry already.


Tina M. Russo said...

Krista, love the pink!

Keep on, one foot in front of the other.

Any big contest plans coming up?

Tina M. Russo said...

Dianna!!! Awesome good news! Praying for your request to lead to a SALE!!!!

Keep us posted.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Good morning, Aren't these photos wonderful? Makes me wonder if I really want to leave unpubbed island.

WAIT-slap my hand.

Of course I want to leave, but my plan first is to get out of the hammock, stop playing in the sand, no more surfing and biking around the island. Unless its to inspire or "wonder" an idea out for my wip

And I really like Patty's idea to write, write, write.
We traveled to Palm Springs yesterday so I'm back in Pacific time and hungry.

Tina, the coffee is great. Nice and strong.

mary bailey said...

A plan?! I didn't know I was supposed to have a plan!

My goal is to enroll in some college writing courses. I need assignments that will help me stretch, grow, and learn as a writer.

Routine is all important. Third thing every morning after I drop DS at school is writing! First, is working out. Second, Bible study and devotion time. Third, butt in chair to write!

Now, about this sand....Is it some kind of sparkly, magic sand that will aid us in achieving goals?

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, Tina ... I just LOVE postcards ... especially when they announce somebody received a contract!!

Congrats, Katie, on signing with your agent -- a KEY step in the process for sure.

And, Rose, I sure know that feeling of seeing an e-mail pop up from an agent you submitted to and thinking "rejection," so super congrats on the request. Saying one right now for you for supernatural favor.

Onward and upward in 2010 to each of us!


Janet Dean said...

Tina, great inspirational post! We all need to plan the work and work the plan.

I love the postcards. Beaches are great! Thing is, they have them on the mainland too, so no need to hang around Unpubbed Island for the view and sand. It's fun to hear all the great plans and good news today!

Thanks for the omelet and smoothie, Pepper. I'll be back for lunch, Ruthy. Homemade chicken salad is my favorite.


Melanie Dickerson said...

The time on Unpubbed Island has been my biggest growth period as a person, and certainly as a writer. Thanks for making the painful growth period less painful and more fun! I love you Seekers!

Lisa Jordan said...

We woke up to snow so I'm loving the postcards from unpubbed island.

A plan...a plan...hmmm, I need a plan....

Well, my requested full will go whizzing through cyberspace next week to end up in the overcrowded inbox of the agent I'm targeting. Of course I will send it off with lots of prayer.

Then I'll get busy working on book two in time to enter it in the Genesis contest. Of course with more prayer.

I plan to take my platform up a notch by being more regular with my blogging and social networking. Gosh, it's so hard to learn the craft, write, market your name while caring for a family and working full-time...all in God's timing.

Pepper Basham said...

Woohoo! Congrats, Rose. Just read your email. Great news!

Pepper Basham said...

The Christian Writers Guild - Journeyman course, was really helpful for me. It earns college credit too.

I've been encouraged and 'stretched' by it.

Pepper "Supposed-to-be-working" Basham

mary bailey said...

Thanks for letting me know that course has been helpful for you, Pepper. That's exactly the one I have in mind! Just trying to find room in the budget for it.

EC Spurlock said...

What a great post today, and what inspiring news from everyone! Go get 'em, sisters, I'm sending prayers for your success!

My plan for next year is to keep on doin', and then do a little more:

1: Continue to dedicate at least an hour a day to writing. So far I've stuck to it in spite of kids, freelance work, job, and assorted emergencies, and the yield has surprised me. With God's help the pages will continue to increase.

2: Finish my current WIP, then go back and beat the previous one into submission and finish it too.

3: Resume the submission process for the two previous finished ms, that was interrupted by job loss.

4: Once the bills are paid up and I'm back on my feet, rejoining RWA and GRW. Meanwhile, my gratitude to all you Seekers for keeping me connected and in the loop in the writing community. Your advice and enthusiasm has sustained me and kept my hope and visions alive through a very trying period, more than you can ever know. Hugs and blessings to all of you.

Thanks for the chai, and I'll be back for that chicken salad later, Ruthy! ;-)

G.R.I.T.S. said...

Hey! I just love the posts on Seekerville!!!

Here's My Plan:
I need to pray more, and actually start writing again! and then I need to start submitting my work, and enter contest. I need to realize that I'll never know how good/bad I am until I show it to other people! And I'm going to say pray again(because you can never have to much of prayer!!!)

Thank you for making me think of what I'm going to do in 2010!!!


Tina Pinson said...

I'm building a paper boat. A paper boat? Yes, Paper, I've printed out enough sheets for stories and revisions that I can form logs, so I'm laying out my papers, gluing them together with words and years of sweat equity.

Then I'm making myself oars out of all the rejection letters I've received, those have carried some strong words so they made stand up to the waves I will be fighting to make my escape.

I set my mast made from the beams of my hut, the place I found respite from the hurts of trying to become.

I push my little boat into the surf and hoist my sail made from the bandages that covered scads of paper cuts, and the bindings that wrapped my back and wrists. I use my old pile of ice packs as weighs for my anchor should it become necessary

I cut my oars into the water pushing toward the breakers and pray the wind of dreams catches my sails and pulls me beyond the island to the cruise ship where the publishing houses are waiting for me just beyond the horizon.

Okay so, I'm not really building a paper boat, although it might seems that way at times.

I'll just keep plugging away and praying that someday, someday soon, my stories will catch someone's eye. Until then, I would them to pleasure the one who put the dream of writing in my heart and the sparkle of life in my eyes.

I think my word verification is on my side today, OFFIES ME could mean ME is getting OFFIES the island soon, either that or someone has take a hit out on me.

Mary Connealy said...

Plans....well, I will say this about plans.

Once you get off the Island, you still need one. So yes, I have a plan. Right now my plan pretty much boils down to what I'm going to write next. I hit 70,000 on a book I wanted to have finished by the end of Novemeber. I was sort of doing Nano on the QT. Because I didn't want to turn off my internal editor. That's not proved to be wise in the past. :)

So, finish this book VERY SOON. And I'm all fired up about what's next, so itching to get started on it.

Now I need to go see if my kidnapped damsel is going to save herself, drag the hero down with her...oops, she already did that, have others save her or, my preference, save herself.

I've really got her in a tight spot, I think she needs some help with this one. The hero does have an undetected knife in his boot. :)

Tina M. Russo said...

Well that is a plan, Lisa. Go get em.

And Mary Bailey, some great planning there.

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

A big question that made me go hmmm this fine morning! And then YIKES!!!

I did come in at 51000 for nanaowrimo! Baby steps for me since I am just dipping in my big toe into this world of writing! Maybe a contest! I would feel better knowing where I stand in the grand scheme of things.

I am on a mission!

Pray, eat chocolate, have coffee, and then more chocolate, and have a bucket ready in case I sink lol! If all else fails there is a scuba suit nearby...there are always other ways to get off the island ;) ....right???

Tina M. Russo said...

So at what point in the p's...

praying, plugging along and persistence do you decide...

Wait this is not working.

Time to revise the plan!?

Pepper Basham said...

Ooo, Tina.
You forgot one of the Ps - the dreaded...
wait, maybe I shouldn't even write it out...

Here we go
payshunts ;-)

Now you can define it any way you please and it's less scary

I just finished writing a blog abou the "5 Ps of Writing with Purpose" and shivered when I had to put that one in there ;-) AHHH!

who has time for that stuff anyway ;-)

Pepper Basham said...

Oops, and in answer to your question, I think Dan Walsh's story for a couple of weeks ago was a good reminder.

God's timing and He has a tendency to revise our plans for us.
His post really spoke to me about 'MY' plans and forgetting that He holds the roadmap, so to speak.

I think we still should make plans of course, but priorities and His direction are vital to making the 'right' plans.

My two cents worth.

LynnRush said...

Oh wow. . . a plan for escape from unpubbed island.

Well, I'll start with a ton of prayer mixed in with a healthy dose of writing. I've already entered five contests and have plans to enter a few more over the next few months. Then, attend a conference in spring, hopefully to learn more and make connections.

God's timing. I rest in that.

Helen Gray said...

Howdy Tina:

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Right? Keep telling myself that.

The timing on this planning business is bad--or good,depending on how you look at it--for me. I just got another rejection yesterday.

But here's my current list (I'm an incurable list maker):

1. Keep praying with my prayer partners who continually petition God on my behalf.

2. Continue the contest/revisions cycle. Particularly targeting the ones in March.

3. Saving up, hoping to attend both ACFW and RWA conferences in 2010.

4. Tweaking a ms right now that I plan to query an agent about.

4. Join FHL. Recently joined (rejoined) RWA. I try to spread out my spending on a montly basis.

Side Note: Rejoining RWA got me trying to remember (the memory is one of the first things to go) just how long it had been since I let my membership lapse. Went to the basement and found a box of RWR's dating from June, 1984 to December, 1994.


Melanie Dickerson said...

Mary says I still have to have a plan. Okay, I plan to keep praying! Because that's the most important, Rule #1. Next, I plan to write book 3 in the series that's about to be contracted, and finish book #2 in my new series, which I HOPE is about to be contracted. I plan to figure out all the stuff I need to be doing to "get my name out there" like getting a website and networking, at least locally. It could be overwhelming, which is why I will be going back to all-important Rule #1. Praying.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Congrats on those requests, girls!!! You're in the big leagues now.

Pepper Basham said...

Oh Melanie,
Congrats!! I didn't know your books series was about to be contracted. Oh, I'm so tickled for you.
Praise God.
Yipee for you.

Tina M. Russo said...

The entire publishing business has many aspects that we cannot control. Then there is the BIG GUY. We bow to Him.

However, as Helen so eloquently put it..if you fail to plan...

Goals shouldn't be vague. They have to documentable. Like my old nursing SOPS.

Not-- patient will walk before discharge. But patient will walk twice a day, from room to hall and then hall to elevator until he is able to walk the entire floor once a day.

So it is with our writing.

I will enter contests.I will attend xx conference. I will finish my manuscript and submit it. I will try to get an agent.

How are you going to get from point A to point B?

Well you have to have details that make those goals have some punch and some accountability.

1. I will enter one contest a month for 2010.

2. I will put 50 dollars away each paycheck for conference fees.

3. I will submit my manuscript xxx to xx agents and editors in 2010.

Does that make sense?


Tina M. Russo said...

Sorry about the R, Helen.

But lots of people want to write a book. And very few do.

YOU DID IT. Some day that msc will find a home!!

Project Journal said...

Man...this post is coming right in the nick of time! Lol...not that I really wanted to see it. You see, 2010 only makes me think of my dreaded graduation date : /

I have to go, but I'll be thinking of a plan while I'm gone. By the way, can I really make a plan when I haven't heard back from colleges??? : D

Jan Rider Newman said...

Plan? I'm only in control of half the process, but I can control this much: write! submit! endure!

Tina M. Russo said...

Write Submit Endure

Okay, I like that.

Pepper Basham said...

Wow Tina,
Can I steal that?(except with one change)
W - write
I - improve
s - submit
e - endure

Sorry, I really like acronyms ;-) It's a great memory clue.

Btw, nix the pic from my previous note. Thanks anyway ;-)

Ruth and Lacey said...

Chicken salad is almost gone!!!

Oh my stars, I'm tickled pink it went over so well! And when the chicken is simmered in chicken stock, seasoned just so with no odd bits of '''stuff''' darkening the mix.

Well, now THAT'S chicken salad.

So, I'm into dessert. It's my anniversary, our plans to have a romantic dinner out went the way of too many puppies, too much cleaning after kiddies get picked up and too much stuff to do.

Maybe another night. I think sandwiches are going to be the mainstay to celebrate a lot of decades of married bliss.

MOST of the time. Well. Some of the time. ;)

But we made great, frosted sugar cookies, the Deluxe Sugar Cookie recipe from Betty Crocker's recipe book, multiple editions. The only cut-out recipe I'll use because it's melt-in-your-mouth good.






And I'm loving Pepper's addition of "improve". Without that, we stale, like 4-day-old Italian bread.

Great for stuffing a bird and bread crumbs, but definitely limits the choices.

Tina M. Russo said...

I like write, revise, submit, repeat.

Project Journal said...

Hannah *still thinking about plan....*

Leigh said...

First off, congrats to all you with agents and contracts and requests! It's so much fun to share the good news and happy dances. :-)

My goal for 2010 is to get more serious about my WIP than I've been. I've learned a lot (and plenty of that is from you Seekers!) but life gets in the way so the writing goes in fits and spurts. That needs to change.

So here are some of the steps I'll be taking:

Enter contests, especially ones with judges I'd like to target someday. I entered 3 contests in '09 plus got a thorough crit at a conference. Move to 4 contests plus a conference crit in '10.

Regain the determination to write every chance I get -- even if it's only 10 or 15 minutes. Little bits add up to a lot once you string enough of them together!

Finish this manuscript! Then revise, polish ... and be brave enough to test out the agent/editor waters.

Cover every part of my writing in prayer. Pray about finding a few close friends or family to be prayer warriors on my behalf (something I've thought about but have felt too self-conscious to do).

So -- now I have to do all this since I've put it in writing, right? Once this posts I need to print it out as reminder. And of course having a jar of that sparkly magic sand on my desk would be a good thing too! :-)

I know the chicken salad is long gone -- anyone have some good late night snacks? Can't believe my chocolate supply has gotten so low ...

leigh at leighdelozier dot com

Tina M. Russo said...

Leigh, good stuff.

Proud of you for being so bold and brave!

Debby Giusti said...

Tina, as always your blogs are so fun and colorful. Where do you get the pics?

Carla Gade said...

I am working on polishing up a manuscript to submit to an agent in 2010! I also hope to enter a contest or two. I already have several manuscripts written, I just have to work on getting them into submission shape and that will happen next year. I am SO ready to get off the island!

Missy Tippens said...

Lots of great plans, everyone!

I like to sit down on New Year's eve to make my plan. And to evaluate how well I did on the previous year's plan. It's a ritual I love every year!

robynl said...

My plan for 2010 is to have my 'breast cancer journal' finished and thus have my good and bad experiences in there. I have been meaning to do this but 2/3 of the year was taken up with surgeries, appointments, treatments, etc. I have already thanked God for being with me through this and will continue to do so.

a reader.

Tina M. Russo said...

Thanks Deb.

Carla, good plan!~

Robyn, you are our hero.

Ausjenny said...

who is left on unpubbed island?

Leigh said...

One more thing -- this is from an article our director of student ministries had in our Dec. church newsletter. I thought of all you when I read it last night. It's pretty long, but I hope you'll enjoy it too:

... Where does the time go? Where does all the “living” go when we finally stop long enough to look
back and see where we have been in the course of another 365 days; when our hopes and dreams
and promises and commitments become just memories of another year under our belt? We may not
think about it very often, and if you are like me, you can’t remember most of them, but how we
spent those moments, for better or for worse, is out there still, reaping a harvest on our behalf; as if time was the entrusted inheritance we use to invest for our future, and what we do with something so fleeting becomes a monument of lasting value.

Have you ever wondered about how you invest this gift of time? The more I live the more I understand that life, if we are not careful, has a funny way of cheating us out of important things. Routine drives us into complacency, new possibilities compete with the old, and troubles can often
detour our path. Quite suddenly, passions that once focused our attention seem as distant as a
wonderful thought we forget to remember. Life has its distractions but they have no power that we don’t give them.

[Leigh again] Wow. And the man keeps telling me he can't write! :-) Some of this really hit home with me. Now I have another boost to start me on the right foot in 2010!

Audra Harders said...

Oooo, what a fun post! So sorry I didn't make it yesterday!

The island has been a very safe haven, but it's way past time to jump onto the mainland with both feet!

Writing is a given where plans are concerned. But blogging and social networking must receive a larger measure of attention from me. I mean you can't have a Facebook presence JUST to play Happy Aquariam, right??

Tina M. Russo said...

Life has its distractions but they have no power that we don’t give them.

WOW, Leigh!!!

Tina M. Russo said...

Who is left on Unpubbed Island?

TINA (me, crazy chick)

Audra (cowgirl chick)

Sandra (hiker chick)

Pam (historical chick

Tina M. Russo said...

Why do you ask? Are you eyeing my hut?????

Project Journal said...

Lol Tina! I bet she is because it's such a NICE hut : P

PatriciaW said...

A. Focus on first things first. Develop a writing habit that works for me and stick to it.

B. Finish the first draft of my current wip, no matter how much other story ideas call to me. Then, edit/revise it at least once, no matter how much other story ideas call to me. Then, make a decision about whether to continue working on it or move on.

C. If I keep working on it, I'll entering it in selected contests. If I move on, then I go back to B and apply steps to new wip. (Which I think will be going back to the story that I began the year working on. That one is still haunting me.)

Tina M. Russo said...

Nice, Patricia W.

Why is it the muse for the new project always calls BEFORE you finish the current one?

Hannah, congratulations on your plans. Yes, my hut is awesome. I'll do a post on it before you go off to college.

Ausjenny said...

Thanks Tina I was wondering I would really like to get into realestate and sell that island!
our readers Island is getting a little over crowded.

Project Journal said...

Okay, Tina! I'm gonna hold you to that : D

But don't worry I'm definitely still coming around when I head to college. Besides, this is one home that I won't have to be homesick from...