Tuesday, December 18, 2012

S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G Toward the New Year!


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Two weeks from today we step into 2013!! Doesn’t it seem like only yesterday that we crossed the threshold into 2012?

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With the holiday season upon us, free time is at a premium. So what can we do--in small segments--to proactively herald in a new writing year? Dr. Oz (you DO know who Dr Oz is, don’t you?) recommends starting each morning with ten minutes of stretching.
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So how about joining me in a “10-Minute Stretch?” There’s one for each day between now and the New Year—plus a few extras for the overachievers among us! Grab a notebook & pen, then set your timer! You’ll get much more out of these exercises if you bullet-point your thoughts and don’t just let them evaporate, unrecorded, into the atmosphere.
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1 - “Take ten” with God—and count your blessings. What are you thankful for?
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2 - Ask yourself: WHY do I write? Why do I want to be published/remain published? Knowing these answers will keep you going through the most challenging times, such as when you get a lousy review, a lower-than-low contest score or another rejection letter. Or when fresh ideas and words refuse to come.
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3 - Rededicate your writing to God and to listening to His voice as you write. You don’t have to write stories directed solely to the Christian market to do this.
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4 - Ask yourself: What am I offering readers? What promises have I made? I don’t mean promises to give away free books and a chance at a Kindle. I’m talking about STORY. What is it about your stories that reward a reader for their time and hard-earned money spent? If you’re published, what have readers or reviewers said they love about your book(s)? If you’re unpublished, what positive things do friends/family, critique partners and contest judges say? Write them down to review periodically. Commit to delivering on those promises.
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5 - Reflect on what you accomplished in your writing endeavors during 2012--what were the highlights of the year? Revel in them. Congratulate yourself. Write them down and put them where they’ll be a reminder in the coming weeks. During this “stretch” time do not belittle yourself for what you didn’t accomplish or compare yourself to others. This ten minutes is ONLY for positive reflection and celebration.
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6 - What lessons related to your writing have you learned this year? How will you apply those lessons in 2013?
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7 – Dream a little. What, if there were no limits, would you like to see next year bring to your writing?
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8 - Of the things you wrote down as dreams, which ones would you like to set as goals for 2013? (That means realistically achievable and measureable.) Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many--that only leads to discouragement.
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9 - Of the goals you selected, what mini-goals can you set to make the larger ones a reality? “Write a book” is a noble goal--but break it down into bite-size pieces. “Write 500 words a day” might be a better place to start.
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10 - What mountains, hills and valleys do you anticipate your goals will encounter in the coming year? Remember, obstacles aren’t necessarily BAD! Research for that fabulous story twist can be time consuming as can attending a season of your son’s baseball games, planning your daughter’s wedding or taking a long overdue vacation. Nevertheless, these events may divert you from your goals so must be taken into consideration when mapping a writing plan.
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11 - What strategies will you implement to work around these anticipated obstacles/challenges? How can you compensate for them? Determine to persist. Persevere. Seekers did. All of us had perfectly legitimate reasons for giving up the dream when obstacles continued to mount. As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.
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12 – Sometimes obstacles, challenges, setbacks and trials come out of the blue. Determine now how you will meet them. With fear and trembling--or with faith and courage? What ways can you sink your spiritual roots down deep NOW so that when an unforeseen storm blows in, you’re well-anchored to face it?
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13 - How can you s-t-r-e-t-c-h yourself in the coming year? Write a short story and submit it? Maybe enter a contest. Start a blog, Twitter or Facebook. Join a critique group. Become a member of a writers’ organization. Attend a conference. Submit a query to an editor or agent. Eat healthier. Exercise regularly.
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14 – Write a brief but glowing review on Amazon, CBD or Barnes & Noble for a book you enjoyed.
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15 - What can you do in ten minutes that will help you in the coming year? Perhaps setting up a binder, file or an electronic folder for your story notes? Maybe rearranging your work area. Shredding a stack of paper. Preparing a spreadsheet to track your word count. Making a tax folder to keep your writing-related receipts organized. Backing up your computer to a flash stick. Cleaning up your electronic files or deleting old emails. Updating your writer’s journey scrapbook/binder.
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16 – Brainstorm titles. Or moral premises. Story concepts. Opening lines. Scenes. Book cover ideas or blurbs. Blog topics. Black moments. Happily ever afters!
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17 - Jot off a note to a writer friend, letting them know how much you enjoyed their last book.
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18 - Make a list of “treats” for the coming year, rewards for meeting your mini-goals. Maybe time in your garden. A nap. Lunch or a phone chat with a dear friend. Playing with your children. Watching a favorite movie or reading a book you loved as a kid. Or perhaps settling down with a cup of tea to study a chapter in a writing craft book or a post from the Seekerville archives!
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19 – Brainstorm how you can carve out additional writing time, yet fulfill your other responsibilities. Maybe it’s getting up 30 minutes earlier or staying up later or turning off the TV. Maybe it’s packing a lunch and slipping out to your car in the office parking lot with your Netbook at noon. Or perhaps you can gradually increase your daily word count so you get more written in the same amount of available time.
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20 - Savor the moment. Watch the snow fall, go for a walk, or enjoy a cup of hot chocolate by candlelight. Laugh with your friends. Have fun with your family. Play with the dog. Listen to classical music. Watch the fire crackling in the fireplace as you remember past holidays, beloved traditions and the history behind your decorations. Step outside on New Year’s Eve to savor the stillness and observe the twinkling stars. Say “hello” to God. Commit the fresh new year to him. Be thankful.
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So, which of these 10-minute stretches are you going to start with TODAY? What made you pick that one first? What favorite “10-minute stretch” ideas can you add to this list?
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I hope these “10-Minute Stretches” help you ring in a ROCKING writing New Year!!!
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Glynna
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If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a Winner’s Choice of one of my books, please mention it in the comments section, then check our Seekerville Weekend Edition for the winner announcements!
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Incidentally, a number of you have won books and other giveaways over the past 8 weeks that you haven’t yet contacted Seekerville to claim! Per our Legal link, all prizes must be claimed within 8 weeks of announcement or they are forfeited. We don’t have time to chase you down for snail mail addy's, etc., so please check our Weekend Editions regularly and contact us: seekers(at)seekerville(dot)net. Thank you!
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Glynna Kaye’s “Dreaming of Home” was a finalist in the ACFW Carol Award and Maggie Award, as well as a first place winner of the “Booksellers Best” and “Beacon” awards. Her “At Home In His Heart” garnered a 4½ star review and was chosen as a Reviewers Choice finalist by national magazine RT Book Reviews. She just turned in a fifth Love Inspired story set in Canyon Springs, Arizona, and is thrilled to be contracted for two more in that mountain country setting!

101 comments:

  1. Great post, Glynna! I'm stretching right now. ;)

    I need to make a list of goals. I plan on posting them on my wall so that I can see them. I know in January I plan on doing another NaNo type writing stint. Between now and then I need to plot. I also need to finish writing the 15-20k on my other Nano. Haven't written one word this month so far. I've been reading, for work and pleasure. *G*

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  2. I have no idea who Dr. Oz is, is he a Baum character??? I'm betting not.

    So, #13, I already stretched myself and wrote my very first novella last month, does that count? Or do I have to do some new stretching???

    Seriously, I just need to literally stretch for 10 minutes a day. Like try to touch my toes stretching!

    So, in honor of stretching, I'm bringing taffy.

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  3. My immediate goal is to finish the final 12K words of my current manuscript.

    This week is pretty much dedicated to Christmas. Finished my shopping today. Still have to wrap everything.

    Christmas for us will be Saturday. Youngest son has a crazy work schedule that we have to work around.

    The coffee pot is ready.

    Helen

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  4. ooooooo!

    I'm the queen of short-sightedness.

    And I got my pen and pper, just like you said... and worked my way down.

    My favorite? Dream a little. Wheeeee! I don't usually allow myself out of the realm of possibility. But I wrote some crazy stuff on there. :)

    Although I love 'to do' lists I try to focus on the little nitty gritty items.

    This was fun!

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  5. A super list, Glynna. Right now the hardest thing on it for me is the literal EXERCISING!

    I'm happy with my writing progress of 2012. It will improve in 2013. I think more than a few of us wanted to be in that number of new authors predicted last New Year's by Madame Zelda, but I'm happy with seeing where I've improved and seeing what I've accomplished.

    I'm grabbing #3 today. Rededicating my writing to God.

    Congratulations for all your successes Glynna. I really need to catch up with your Arizona lawmen!

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  6. Melissa, you dont know who Dr Oz is? he is on tv and often in adds on fb.
    not sure i do much stretching but i do do a 30+ min walk a day.

    being a reader its intersting see the stretches.

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  7. GOOD MORNING, SEEKERVILLE! It's COLD here, so I'm passing out hot chocolate with whipped cream and cinnamon on top! Here in the Northland of Arizona we had 2 feet of snow Friday/Saturday -- another half-foot coming in tonight. The Shoveling Season is officially underway! :)

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  8. CHRISTINA -- I haven't written anything in over a week either. I turned in my lastest Canyon Springs story a couple of weeks ago, then worked the next week on Discussion Questions, etc. FINALLy last week I finished my shopping, baked cookies for a bake sale, and am now trying to get Christmas cards out the door. In between that and the day job, I'm attempting to turn my approved "blurb" into a full-blown proposal that's due in January! I can't believe how fast the past few weeks have flown!

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  9. MELISSA -- You must not read any health or women's magazines. Dr. Oz is the cover story quite frequently. He has a TV program on health, too, although I've never been home to watch it.

    You wrote a whole novella in a month!? I'm MAJORLY impressed! A Christmas one?

    Oooh, taffy for a stretching day. Clever girl!

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  10. WOW, HELEN! Only 12K to go? You're almost there!

    My extended family often celebrated Christmas NOT on Christmas day because of conflicting work schedules and we didn't live in the same state. I remember one year we couldn't get together until summer! But you know what? We still had a fabulous time and it "felt" like Christmas so I know you'll enjoy your Saturday celebration!

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  11. Good morning, VIRGINIA! I'm glad you're dreaming "crazy stuff" -- it's good for the soul! Dreaming crazy stuff invented electricity, automobiles, airplanes & landed us on the moon, so why not something amazing in the writing realm? :)

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  12. Hi, Debra! I totally can relate to the exercise challenge. I've started a new program of weight training, but with winter now setting in full force and the roads dicey, it doesn't seem like such a "hot" idea. :)

    I'm glad you're celebrating your 2012 writing progress. Too often we focus only on what we DIDN'T get done. I know I'm the world's worst about that, so I'm setting aside some time with my paper & pen to write down all the 2012 GOOD STUFF that I too quickly forget.

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  13. Hi, JENNY! A 30+ minute walk each day is GREAT! I'm jealous that it's summer Down Under right now--I'm always more motivated to power walk when I'm not clambering over snow drifts. :)

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  14. Oh, my, #4 question stopped me cold-- my first ten-minute stretch.

    Then #13 and everything in it-- which will be a year long journey for me.

    My addition to the "strecthing" is to make a list of the writing classes I want to take and, then, prioritize.

    Really appreicate your list. My every day starts with a "to do" list.

    Thanks. Enjoy your snow. We're supposed to get some later this week in the mountains where I live.

    And please enter me in the drawing for your book.

    gilliach(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  15. MOrning Glynna, What a great list and I so needed it.

    Woo hoo you got your book turned in and can enjoy the season.

    Snow? You are going to be in great shape girl.

    Enjoy the season and thanks again for the super list.

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  16. Glenda,

    Great suggestions!

    It's hard to believe 2013 is that close. I've been thinking about my writing goals for the coming year...but that's all I've done is think about them.

    Guess I'd better get busy.

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  17. Good morning, CaraG! Prioritizing and signing up for classes is a GREAT idea. There are some fabulous on-line ones out there where the "lectures" come right to your in-box and you and interact with the class on a "loop."

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  18. Hi, SANDRA! I'm still waiting for you and tne pups to pull up in front my house toting a snow shovel! :)

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  19. Good morning, ROSE! Yes, hasn't this past year just flown by? And THINKING about goals for next year is a GOOD thing. Gives you time to sift through them and decide which ones are "keepers" and which ones should be shelved for another year. There aren't enough hours in the day to do EVERYTHING we'd like to, that's for certain!

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  20. What a great post, Glynna! I loved all your suggestions, and I think I'm going to print them out so I can stretch a little every day.

    Heading into 2012, I had no idea the accomplishments and the obstacles that would come my way. I think the first thing I am going to do is evaluate the obstacles I may/will face in 2013 and plan how to work through them. One of my biggest challenges this year has been revising my first ms. Especially this time of year, there hasn't been the time. So, that's the first thing I'm going to figure out. :)

    Thanks, Glynna. I'd like to be entered in the drawing for your book.

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  21. Stellar list, Glynna.

    I stretch and walk on the treadmill each morning while talking on the phone with my sister who lives in NY. It motivates us to keep moving, because there's no way we can stop talking before 30 minutes are up. ;)

    Taking time to talk to God each morning takes a wonderful place on the list too. Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for the day ahead and for his strength to carry out our goals. :)

    Please enter me in the contest.
    nicnac63 AT hotmail DOT com

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  22. Wow, Glynna! Thanks for this post chock full of wisdom to help me examine my goals and stretch physically, mentally and spiritually. Exactly what I needed.

    The hot chocolate is yummy. I'm blown away by all that snow you're getting. We have sunshine this morning after several overcast days. Loving it!

    Janet

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  23. Hi, JEANNE T! Each year brings things we can anticipate and plan to work around, then a BOAT LOAD of things we can't foresee. One "challenge" I'd like to work into my schedule is a REAL vacation! Seems every year since I got published in 2009 my vacation days get used up trying to meet writing deadlines! :)

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  24. i think i'm going to focus on the writing a glowing review of a book and/or writing a personal note to a writer i like.

    cannot claim any authors as personal friends - but notes telling them they have touched me - that i can do.

    does it count if i post here that i really love all the Seekerville ladies? i haven't read a book for each of them yet (durn TBR stack - i think i'm just over half of the Seeker ladies books), but i visit here each day and have been educated and inspired by their words and generosity each day/week.

    then my next stretch is the small daily word count. see how many i can get in before toddler climbs on my lap, hugs me and then demands i play with him. *heh*

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  25. It's funny I didn't realize how much I actually do until I read this post. I am forever making lists and schedules that I always seem to stray from. (LOL) I love your ideas and it's encouraging to know others go through the same things I do. I would love to win a copy of your book!!

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  26. p.s.
    loved the list. plenty simple stretches to choose from...

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  27. Good morning, C.E.! I like the idea of a treadmill. Wish I had room for one as I know some of the Seekers have theirs set up with a laptop attached so they can work and walk at the same time! But I like YOUR idea of walking and TALKING to get your day off to a good start!

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  28. Come on, JANET, stop rubbing it in that you're not buried in snow, too! :)

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  29. DebH -- Yes, I think it counts that you love Seekerville and visit every day! I do NOT know how you Moms & Dads with little ones get ANY writing done! I guess that's what nap times are for?

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  30. Glynna, I just finished Look Alike Lawman and loved it.
    One of my STRETCHES will be getting a review up on Amazon. Sorry to be pokey with that.

    Great, encouraging post.

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  31. Good morning, MISTY! I wonder how many of us writers are list people? I MUST have a list to get me thru each day and I LOVE checking things off to give me a sense of accomplishment. It's way too easy, without a list, for me to end a busy day wondering what on earth did I do all day???

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  32. Hey, MARY! Glad you enjoyed Elise & Grayson's tale! I had so much fun reading ALL the books in order--just finished them last week as I had to wait until I could find the last two here in town. The authors of the "Texas Twins" series didn't recive a set from the publisher!

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  33. I have to be "out of pocket" for a bit, but will stop in later! :)

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  34. Good morning, Glynna!

    2012 was a whirlwind year and ALL of my goals were accomplished. That NEVER happens, does it? But thanks to Seekerville, I made a list and checked things off. So stretch #1 is a daily thing :)

    My stretch for the end of the year has to be #15 - I sent a proposal off a week ago, and I need to organize and regroup before I start again. My husband accuses me of being a "pile maker", and he's right. I need to organize those piles into tax prep, notebooks and the ever present waste basket to start the new year out right.

    And Glynna, please send some of your snow to western South Dakota! We missed the last snow storm, and we desperately need the moisture!

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  35. My goal...would be to find more authors of LI books to review for! i would love to be entered to win one of your novels. i always enjoy the posts on seekerville even though i am a reader, not a writer. Thanks for having me at this party...i'm off to bake, gingersnaps for sure, maybe cinnamon rolls. Have a great day and come for coffee.

    marianneDOTwanhamATgmailDOTcom

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  36. Love the hot chocolate Glynna, thanks for all the questions that stretch our minds to answer.
    I would love your book to read, just got the Christmas ones I won a while back.
    I thought it was just yesterday we hit 2000 and worried about the internet having a problem with it -now here we are at the door to 2013. I am older now and for the life of me it just does not seem real..How could I be a senior citizen when just yesterday I played at school with the kids..
    I too walk AusJenny, love the outdoors and crisp air though Ga has been much too warm lately.
    Have a great week all...

    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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  37. I won't elaborate, but I needed this today. Thanks!

    Please enter me in the contest.

    Jackie L.

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  38. WOW, Glynna -- FABULOUS post, my friend, and SO appropos for the hurdle into the new year (I always envision the new year as if I am jumping from the December square to the January square way across the divide, like a game of hopscotch).

    LOVE your suggestions ... especially the one about writing a "glowing review" ... ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  39. Really great thoughts, Glynna. I'm going to use several of these.

    xoxo

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  40. Hi Glynna:

    Your post has so many good ideas that I tried to combine them into a few simple thoughts. Next year I want to say more with far fewer words.

    “It’s only a stretch to the degree it extends beyond our comfort zones.”

    “Goals reveal the dreamer in each of us while habits determine who we actually become.”

    “An easy stretch brings us back to where we were while a stretch beyond our reach opens new horizons.”



    Vince

    P.S. I am reading “Look-Alike Lawman” and there are so many characters with such complicated relationships, introduced so quickly that my mind has been stretched to limits not experienced since “War and Peace”. Oh how I long for Canyon Springs with it’s majestic beauty and welcome arms...a wonderful home for a simple old man. : )

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  41. This is a perfect post, Glynna!!!! I'm going to print it up and really delve into it this evening when I get home from work. That will be my 10 minute stretch for tonight. I love this idea of breaking things down into bite-size pieces. I have two weeks off over Christmas and my goal is to really organize and implement and doable plan. This is going to help so much!

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  42. Thank you, Glynna, for the excellent list. My DH and I stretch each morning, Bible reading and prayers, coffee, then out the door at 6 am for a 30 minute walk...in the dark with face masks and reflective vests....and I am *stretching* to pat myself on the back...:).

    I want to concentrate on what what I am offering to readers. Can I help other people through my writing? Make their day brighter? This is the path I feel drawn to taking.

    Thanks for your list....I will use it for my goals for 2013!

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  43. Oh, lists, lists, lists (happy dancing). Years ago, I already made a list of all the things I love doing (writing, checking email, browsing the net, eating chocolate, praying for others etc) and decided to do as many things on the list every day as I possibly can. Why spend all of your time doing things you HAVE TO DO when you can be doing the things you LOVE?!?

    Something that's not writing related but that I'd love to share in the context of stretching yourself: a little attention can go such a long way! Last year somebody moved their store (to another address/building) and on that day I went to their new store and gave them flowers. I figured they'd be swamped in bouquets and cards, but actually they were so surprised, because they hadn't gotten anything, not even a note from the head office of the chain their store belongs to. So a little attention can go a long way and really make other people's day!

    One more along the same lines: praying for someone who might not have anybody to pray for them. The old lady, the Mom you saw who wasn't too kind to her kiddo: instead of worrying about their situation you can pray for them. Much more positive and something good is bound to happen when we pray!!

    Putting white chocolate mousse dessert on the side table, with milk chocolate stars to sprinkle on top...

    Viv

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  44. Oh, and congrats to Lyndee on getting an agent. Have you already subbed your requested partial to Elizabeth M at LI, or will the agent handle that for you?

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  45. Hi from the road!!! I love these stretches Glynna!! I also love the beginning of a nee year and the promise of a clean slate! Do over!!

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  46. Fantastic advice here, Glynna--thanks!

    Vince said, “Goals reveal the dreamer in each of us while habits determine who we actually become.”

    That is so true! Unfortunately, there are some habits that make me "me" that I REALLY wish I could break! Maybe that's something I need to work harder on in the new year. ;-)

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  47. Glynna,

    I already wrote my goals for 2013 a couple of weeks ago!!!

    This coming year is dedicated to cleaning-up and submitting several old wips. Too many uncompleted stories.

    We have vacation coming up in January, a wedding in June, and besides that, the calendar looks pretty clear.

    Connie Queen

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  48. Travel safely, Tina! Praying for a good trip, clean roads, and lots of excellent little cafe food.

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  49. HI Glynna,
    Thanks for the thoughtful post.
    I will take full advantage of 'savor each moment. Play with the dog.' After losing Trinket to a malicious poisoning earlier this year, we now have Pippa, a four month old cream colored Pom and she's got us in stitches. We really needed that bundle of joy and feel God made it happen as she comes from Trinket's blood lines, a complete fluke except that it was in His plans.

    Tina,
    You're in my thoughts and prayers as you travel over hill over dell to your new home. Safe travels.

    Viv,
    Thanks for the congrats, and yes, she's handling my submissions.

    All,
    And thanks to all who posted congrats over the weekend. My internet has been down off and on since Sat - even with repairs!- so I've been absent here more than usual and wanted to be sure that all of you know how much I appreciate the notes and your kindness.



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  50. For me to succeed, I think I need to do the reverse of #13.

    If I want to write more, I need to quit talking about it and write. I love to talk about writing. I think about writing. I meet w/my critique partners and hash out story lines. I go to my local chapter's meetings. I enter contests, but w/out finishing the ms.

    I like to play like an author w/out actual writing.

    All that said, I have been doing less talking and more doing the last few months.

    All my goals this year are about finally growing up.

    Connie

    Oh, and my son and his girlfriend made an awesome Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake if anyone wants a slice.

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  51. Thanks for the great ideas, Glynna. I've been looking at goals for next year with fewer expectations. Less disappointment that way. Still, I'll not give up hope.
    I'm starting with No.6. What lessons have I learned is not difficult to see. How to apply that knowledge in 2013 is the challenge. Going to keep this post nearby. Congrats to Lyndee.
    Pat

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  52. Hi, JAN! WOW! All your 2012 goals were accomplished!! Way to go! And I TOTALLY understand the piles! Each time I finish a book I have to spend a whole week getting my life reorganized. Where does all this stuff come from? Good thing I have a mega shredder!!

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  53. Readers are more than welcome in Seekerville, MARIANNE! Gingersnaps! AND cinnamon rolls? Love 'em!

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  54. Hey, PAULA! Time sure does fly, doesn't it? It really does seem like yesterday that everyone was hanging on to the edge of their seats on New Year's Eve 2000, wondering if everything techy would fall apart!

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  55. Hi, JACKIE! Glad my post hit the spot!

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  56. Hi, JULIE! It's funny, isn't it, how we sort of visually picture the "changing of the guard" from one new year to the next? I bet if we all tried to sketch what's in our heads we'd all come up with something different. :)

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  57. Great to see you, CHERYL! I need to get over to your website/blog and check out the Christmas trees! I always love that you host author trees--so many unique ones! I'm STILL doing a key chain tree some years! :)

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  58. Hi, VINCE! I love your "simple thoughts" -- they'll definitely go into my keeper file!!

    You're a BRAVE man to launch out into a six-book series starting with Book #4 !! :) It's much more fun to start at the beginning and get to know all the characters as they're introduced in each book sequentially. BUT next year you can return to the peace and quiet of Canyon Springs--one next year and two in 2014!!

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  59. Greetings, KAV! I'm glad the stretches will be helpful. Things are just so busy this time of year that "bite size" works for me best. Which is why I absolutely LOVE Christmas novellas!

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  60. Hi, SHERINDA! I don't know where you live, but that early morning walking in the dark can get MIGHTY nippy this time of year! I'm glad your hubby is there to accompany you.

    I like your focus on "what am I offering readers." Sometimes when I'm floundering it helps to go back and re-read positive contest comments and reader letters to remind me of what's expected of me and then I do my best to deliver!

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  61. VIV! Another list person! YAY! :)

    What a sweet thing to do for those business owners! Truly, that kind of stretching is what God LOVES to see us do. I pray off-the-cuff for people, too--sometimes God just brings someone to my attention out of the blue. Maybe a homeless-looking person pushing a grocery cart along the street or a stresed-out mom with 3 kids or a forlorn teen watching another group of kids from the 'outside.' I never know the answer to those prayers, but I know God honors them.

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  62. TEEEEEEENA! On the road and headin' to paradise! But you know, if you EVER get a hankerin' to shovel snow, I'm more than happy to host you and your snow shovel for a few days. :)

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  63. Hi, Myra! I'm sitting here greedily eyeing your "A Horseman's Hope." LOVE your covers!

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  64. WOW, CONNIE! You're ahead of me by a long shot! A vacation in January--I hope it's somewhere WARM? Or are you a snow skier?

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  65. Hi, LYNDEE! I'm glad you have a new pup to play with now. And how special that she's related to your previous dog! Yes, savor each moment is something we all need to do more of!

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  66. CONNIE -- You're so right, talking about writing and dreaming about having written are so much easier! Sounds, though, as if you're stepping out of your comfort zone and into the the Writiing World!

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  67. Hello, PAT! I'm glad the "stretches" have you thinking. The deal with goal-setting is not to set to many or set them higher than we should. Baby steps and bite-size are good places to start!

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  68. Glynna,

    We're taking the whole family on a cruise to Mexico!!! All 11 of us. (Kids plus son-in-law and granddaughter.)

    My husband graduated college last Saturday! When you start college after 40, work fulltime and have 8 kids, there is little time for life, not to mention a vacation.

    We're all very excited.

    Connie

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  69. Waving to Tracy, who will be our guest blogger tomorrow! Thanks for stopping by.

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  70. Glynna, that's exactly what I meant: sometimes you just have this feeling about somebody like he or she could use some help, but you can't just go over and say: hey, I've got a feeling I should help you. Then praying for them really works!

    Connie,congrats on your husband graduating. What an amazing achievement, considering he worked fulltime and you have such a large family to care for. I bet he couldnt have done it without your support though, so you deserve congrats too! In fact, I think you already deserved them for letting him get into college, giving him that opportunity to invest in himself and all. That's huge! I mean, it probably meant him being away more and you caring for the family. That you wanted to do that means you really love him and put him first. Love that! Hope you have an amazing time on the cruise. I LOOOVE the possibilities a cruise ship offers for stories. Starsky and Hutch had a great double episode set on a cruise ship. What they did brilliantly there was exploit the 'nowhere to run' feel without it getting stalled because a large chunk of the story happened in one place. And there was this girl giving them a really hard time with her personal vendetta against the guys they were following. Plus a great chase with dune buggies (or something). And it had mobsters in it (always have to laugh when I think of Tony Curtis in The Persuaders saying with the nasal accent: The boys don't get him...). Anyway, of course I hope your cruise will be devoid of mobsters and secret agents and instead full of love, laughter and time off together with all of your family! Have fun!

    Viv

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  71. PS I'll take a slice of your cheese cake too, if you don't mind. It sounds delicious!!

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  72. LOL Viv,

    I went on a cruise a few years ago and I kept trying to figure out how I could stow a little Mexican child away on the boat w/out anyone finding them. For a story, of course.

    It's been years since I've seen Starsky and Hutch. Loved their car.
    I always think of Lucy on their boat trip when she discovered a jewel thief. Or was it a train? Anyway, a lot of good possibilites.

    And yes, there were a lot of sacrifices for the whole family, but mainly for my husband. He couldn't study at home w/all the distractions and poor internet connections so he would come home for supper then go out and study until about 11 or midnight most nights.

    For awhile he'd go down to the Church building to study where internet connection was better. One night while taking a test, the city cop walked in and scared him to death. He wanted to know what my husband was doing there so late at night. So my husband started parking out in the country, miles from any houses and would study. Twice the county sheriff questioned him out there. Needless to say, it looks a little suspious for a 40 something year old man to park on an old rock road at 11 clock at night...on his computer. (If you knew my husband, you'd see the humor in this.) He turned the computer to the sheriff to him what he was working on and his college books. He wound up going back to parking in the Church parking lot.

    He graduated w/honors, something he never would've accomplished if he had went when he was young. My sisters have admitted to threatening their kids they better finish college if they didn't want to wind up like Uncle Bruce. Ha Ha.

    Didn't mean to write a whole book.

    Connie

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  73. Connie, that's such a sweet story about your husband! Such dedication! I know you're proud.

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  74. Glynna--convince some of your family to move to Hawaii. Then you'll HAVE to go visit them--take the computer, but also take your suntan lotion and spend some time on the beach. :)

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  75. I think sending notes to other writers, telling them how much you enjoyed their last book is somewhere we should all start and do each week.

    However, I'm iwth Melissa is that I need to stretch 10 minutes a day. Stretching and praying sounds like a good idea.

    And of course I'm in for Glynna's book:

    wmussell(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  76. Hi Glynna:

    I didn’t know the “twin” stories were sequential. I just thought they each shared a twin theme. That last book is going to require a dramatis personae for readers who have not read them all. I question the editor’s judgment on that policy. Especially when the series is by different authors and not the same one. Oh well, I love Canyon Springs. It’s the one location in fiction where I’d actually want to live.

    Vince

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  77. Hi Myra:

    About habits.

    If you try to break habits they fight back and try to break you. I have found that the best way to deal with bad habits is to replace them with mutually exclusive good habits. The good crowds out the bad without confronting it. And once the good habit is firmly in place, it’s becomes hard to break.

    Fight habits with habits -- not willpower. Habits sneer at willpower but they fear the very power that they themselves possess.

    Vince

    P.S. We are going to see “White Christmas” on the big screen AMC 20 theater. Don’t you wish you still lived here? : )

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  78. Christina, I always have goals. And I always push myself to stay ahead of them. Not because I'm competitive (I am!!!) but because with a big family, anything can happen and usually does at the worst possible time.

    When Grandpa died I was nearly done with one book and beginning another. My edits were done ahead of time and sent in. If I'd waited those last few days, I'd have been crazed trying to get things done and help with funeral and family.

    I'm a huge believer in working ahead.

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  79. Vince, LOL! Look-Alike Lawman is more complicated than the usual, right????

    So many threads, but I thought the whole continuity really went well.

    I think the tough part for an author is to have to re-hash the threads... and figuring out how to do that and blend it within the parameters of your story. Tricky business!

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  80. Great post, Glynna! I think I need to start with your #20 and start savoring the moment. I spent this year rushing through everything and here it is 2 weeks away from the new year. How did that happen?

    This year I think I'll prioritize:
    GOD
    Family/friends
    Writing
    Oh, and a day job in there, too.

    How do you talented people juggle everything without going insane? Someone write a how-to book and I'll read it :)

    I'd love to be entered for a copy of Glynna's book: Annierains at gmail dot com.

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  81. Glynna, it's hard to believe another year is almost over. Wow.

    Great list. I'm going to exercise a little bit (don't worry, I won't overdo) every few hours or so to avoid getting tired. I need to list my goals for the new year.

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  82. WOW, CONNIE! A cruise to Mexico! That sounds so relaxing--and delightfully warm!! I'd say that's a spectacular and well-deserved way to celebrate a college graduation!

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  83. VIV -- I pray a lot for store clerks and waiters/waitresses and housekeeping staff, too. It's just like you're drawn to certain people who you feel need God's blessing and to feel His presence right that very moment.

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  84. CONNIE -- You definitely have to put that in a book about the sheriff thinking your hubby was up to no good. :)

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  85. JEANNE T - Oooh, Hawaii sounds nice! I've never been there!

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  86. Hi, WALT! We do sometimes get so focused on ourselves that we need to remember to "do unto others." Sometimes a well-timed word of encouragement may be a greater blessing to someone than we'd ever have imagined.

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  87. Hi, VINCE! Love Inspired does a couple of "continuity" series each year where 5 or 6 authors each write one of the books. Apparently they are quite popular with readers. Most authors couldn't write 6 books that come out in 6 consecutive months, so this enables readers to "get into" the setting and characters and an ongoing storyline, sort of like a fictional soap opera! :) Each book has a stand-alone romance, but there is an over-arching story line and subplots that start in Book #1 and conclude in Book #6.

    But never fear! We'll be back to Canyon Springs SOON!

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  88. RUTHY -- I love to work ahead too, as much as I can. Which is why I'm QUITE grateful I have only to type in my art fact sheet info into the system this weekend. :) Already have the stuff written and images ready to email!

    You're so right--rehashing the story lines ad naseum is tricky. I initially had mine all gently woven into the opening chapters to avoid backstory dump, but my editor had a different idea so it ALL had to go into the FIRST SCENE. LOL. So it's definitely tricky business, but I figured they've done enough of these that they know how it needs to be done.

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  89. Hi, ANNIE! Savor the moment. That's one I need to focus on more, too. Life flies by at warp speed if we don't consciously apply the brakes.

    "How do you juggle everything without going insane?" you ask. Are you SURE, Annie, that we AREN'T insane??? :)

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  90. Hi, CARA! Stepping into a fresh new year is always such an exciting time. So much promise!

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  91. Glynna, loved your blog today. Great stretches to stretch creativity!

    Thank you! I need to start thinking about my goals for 2013.

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  92. WOW, Glynna---great post today! I need to print this off and KEEP it by my computer. ~ Please enter me in your drawing, and thanks again for this motivating post!
    Hugs, Patti Jo
    p.s. I'm really late getting on here today---busy, busy day...AND it's my 30th Wedding anniversary, so Hubby took me out to eat*smile*.

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  93. Wonderfully inspirational post. Totally bookmarking this page.

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  94. It's amazing what you can accomplish if you just get on with it.


    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  95. DEBBY--I'm sure you've been thinking about your 2013 goals LONG before this post came along! :)

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, PATTI JO! 30 YEARS! WONDERFUL!!

    NATALIE - I'm glad the "stretches" will be helpful!

    MARY - It truly IS amazing what you can accomplish in baby steps and bite-sizes!

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  96. You had some great tips for everyone not just writers! Love to win your book!

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  97. Hi Glynna:

    I know this is late and no one my see it but I did a post on “Philosophically, What Would Constitute the Ideal Romance Series?” , which could be of help to anyone thinking about creating or being a part of a series.

    http://vmres.blogspot.com/2010/01/philosophically-what-would-constitute.html

    I believe a series has much more in common with marketing than it does with writing.

    I did read the nine book LI series about Alaska. The first six books were contemporary and the last three books were historical. So nine authors were used from two lines. I did not read these in order. I started with the one that had the German Shepherd on the cover (being an ex K9 person, the cover hooked me into the series.)

    These books could easily be read in any order because the commonality was the location and the history of that location. These had to be right in each book. A few characters were mentioned as being in the town that appeared in other books but this was just a bonus if you happened to have read the other books. All books were truly stand alone. And yet the reader enjoyed a very strong sense of continuity because the setting and history were so interesting.

    These are just some thoughts. Your Canyon Springs books always jump up to the next book I am going to read. I’ll be happy to have you back. : )

    Vince

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  98. Glynna, I'm sorry I missed your post the other day. What great suggestions!! I need to try a few...or all of them! ;0

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