Thursday, January 6, 2011

What's Your Choice?

OMG! How in the world am I supposed to follow the fun we had yesterday playing with Vince Mooney and the Tag Game? What a hoot! Okay, let me regroup here.


What was I going to say??  Oh yeah...

Happy New Year, everyone! I know it’s already the 6th, but I haven’t had the opportunity to wish you all well into 2011! My mother taught me never be rude, LOL!

I had a fuzzy concept on which to base my post today, something having to do with scheduling and goals and stuff like that. It just wasn’t gelling together for me. No matter how I turned it, the thoughts in my head were not translating onto the page.

No fear. The problem has been solved.

Did you happen to catch the great post by Tina on December 30 about What's Your One Word? If you didn’t, you really need to click on that link and read it. It will completely revamp whatever muddled thoughts you (or really, in this case ME) might have concerning all the muddled and time-consuming details sketched out for the new year. In taking the concept of the One Word to heart, all my shooting star ambitions have molded together with amazing clarity.

My word for 2011?


I really have a hard time with the concept. I don’t want one piece of chocolate-I want the whole box.

Jeans on sale? Why buy one pair when half a dozen would be so much better and they all look cute?

ACFW conference a week away? I want to get business cards made, get my hair cut, a manicure, create my one page, make book marks, need new shoes, shorts, slacks, etc.

You get the picture. I’m sure many of you have the same feelings only dare I say, you can either say no to yourself, or plan your time wisely.

Sadly, I fit into neither of these categories. And to top it off…I’m very forgetful.

So, now that you know my deep down secrets ~ yes, confession is good for the soul ~ in choosing my One Word, I have wrapped up all my niggling fallacies and determined appropriate treatment.


Time doesn’t expand for us to accomplish all the goals we want to in life, we have to choose the things that will fit into our day. Wow. When my friend Leslie Ann Sartor smacked this reality at me a few years ago, I realized I’d been trying to stuff 10 pounds of sugar and spice into a sandwich bag my entire life.

This year is going to be different.

I have been given responsibilities in my life: a husband, children, a job and a writing career. If I step back and look at this, I’d say my sandwich bag is pretty well filled. So now comes the hard part.

Learning to say no.

And in saying no, I must now learn to plan. Since selling a book, I now have an additional set of deadlines I must meet. I must think ahead. I must embrace, for example, the summer is my busiest time of year for my day job. It’s also the best time for camping and fishing. It’s also the kids’ summer break.

Add onto that the perpetual reality of writing the next book, marketing in person and on blogs (guest and my own), research, revisions, field trips – gotta scope out those cowboys, ya know – conferences, workshops, and the list goes on.


I’ve taken a few steps into these uncharted waters.

In my appointment calendar, I’ve made note of all the immovable dates and deadlines for my day job in red ink. I’ve marked out all the vacation time my kids plan to spend at home. I’ve penciled in some of my husband’s favorite activities. When I thumb through my calendar, I can see the days and weeks I need to set as priorities.

I set aside at least 2 hours every day for writing. I’d like to increase that to 3 or 4, but let’s start with what I know I can work with. Weekends are my wildcard days. Usually that’s where my writing time increases.

So far. So good.

Now I just need to learn to work around them rather than through them, on top of them, underneath them.

This is definitely a work in progress. Choices don’t come easily to me. I can’t write 1500 words and watch the NCIS marathon. I can’t participate in NaNoWriMo and take an online class on character building. I can’t pledge to Weight Watchers and eat that box of chocolates (believe me, I’ve tried.)

So? How about it? Have you chosen your One Word? Or written your goals? Or determined to break/make a habit?

Time to share. What difference are you planning for your life? How will it help you?Leave a comment, I’ll be giving away a copy of my debut book, Rocky Mountain Hero. AND I’ll be giving away a copy of Tina’s debut book The Rancher’s Reunion if you’re trying the One Word method and how you're applying it to your life.

May 2011 be the best!!


  1. Good post. I know alot have problems with saying no and saying it so people believe you.
    I dont really have a word I thought on it but there are several that would work. What I do need is to follow through on things. I am good at starting but not following through like keeping a list of what I read. Im good for a few weeks then its ten weeks later and I haven't added anything for that long. This year I do want to be more accountable.
    Right now I have 200 pages of a book to read to reach a unrealistic goal I set myself this week.

    Oh and I can walk past the chocolate Isle no problem at present. gone of Chocolate.

  2. oh Audra - LOVE this:

    Time doesn’t expand for us to accomplish all the goals we want to in life, we have to choose the things that will fit into our day.

    You're speaking my language!


    This is definitely the word that keeps coming up, so I'm sticking with it.

    I have begun a plan. I'm writing down everything I eat and drink (egad) and also the exercise I'm getting.

    I'm working on the premise of "Be good, now." All the chocolate shops aren't burning down I notice.

    I'm still catching up from the holidays but am making serious progress on my "to do" list.

    Even finished a draft of a query to a publishing house this evening. Will send it off tomorrow.

    Perhaps others can use this tip a friend told me years ago. She was single and cute and whenever she was asked on a date by a fella she didn't much care to go with, she would read a little sign she had posted on her phone: "No. Thank you. I'd rather not."

    Isn't that great? Don't have to think about it. Just read it. Love it.

    and now... I need a little sleep. :)

    PS: You did just fine following Vince. In fact, it was perfect!

    HI ausjenny - we're still praying for Australia.

  3. Thanks KC it seems unreal to me in south Australia but then this is a vast land and Queensland is suffering.
    I love your friends note. not that I have that problem I dont get asked out on dates never really have been asked.

  4. I'm beginning to feel like my word is COFFEE. Here's the pot for morning.

    Nice post, Audra.

    I bought your book yesterday, along with a new sofa to recline on to read it!

    I've already won Tina's and had a great time reading it. Plan to get into yours shortly.


  5. I like the word you chose, Audra.

    I picked one resolution for 2011: Embrace Change. I'm happiest when I'm in my comfort zone, so this is an attempt to force myself to step out of it.

    Although it may sound silly, I'm going to start by sitting in a different chair at church this coming Sunday. Gwynly won't know what to make of it. If he checks me for an elevated temperature, I'll know why. =)

  6. Keli We had many who sit in the same seat every week. its funny our pew was always 4th from the front left side then after dad died someone else claimed it. I tend to now sit in a similar place near the front mainly cos we use overhead screens and being short if I sit further back I cant see over all the tall people. I hope you enjoy your new vantage point.
    (Im off to bed to read and escape the mosquitoes as I am tired of playing connect the dots.)

  7. A few years back my word was NO. Everyone wanted something from me--kids, church, school--and there was nothing left for me. Some people were offended, but I did as much as I could realistically do. And more than I really wanted to do.

    Now my word is endurance. Writing faster without long breaks require more focus, good health (I have a terrible cold and cough right now) and that comes from better nutrition and more exercise. Groan. Fewer cookies!

  8. Excellent post, and so applicable to so many people! For 2011, my One Word is Passionate. I don't want to go through the motions of life anymore. I want to be passionate in all I do, whether it is spending time with my Lord, making a home for my family, doing my day job, or writing. I want to give it my all!

    p.s. I just downloaded your book and can't wait to get to it! :)

  9. Audra,

    Maybe we're sisters separated at birth :)

    I was having trouble choosing a word for the year. Just yesterday I did the ACFW critique orientation and admitted I have trouble making DECISIONS. And to a nonfiction writer, a fiction book is one long project in decisions.

    For nonfiction, I don't have to decide their hair color, their name, their background, what they eat, what they wear. Need I go on? Oh, I forgot to decide what genre. And, what critique group is best? Yikes.

    So, you've settled on Choice. I'll make this my year of DECISION.

    Thank you for your honesty. You really helped me today.

    For breakfast, I'm having oatmeal with blueberries. There's extra for those getting on a nutrition bandwagon for the new year. :)

  10. And I've love a chance at the book.

    cathy underscore shouse at yahoo

  11. Great post, Audra. Love your perspective on your word. Isn't it amazing how one word can ultimately mean so many things?

    I have been meditating on my word, ADVENTURE, this week.

    I have plenty of access to concordances and found "adventure" is not a word in any translation of the Bible. But then I went to my trusty thesaurus and found all those synonyms. I wrote down the
    entries catching my eye and tripping my heart in relation to the "big" word, Adventure:

    Life story (wouldn't have thought of that one)

    God's guidance
    Be Bold

    Back to my concordance I went and lo, look at all the scriptures popping up.

    Not only is this a new way to set goals but One Word has got me studying the Bible in a fresh way.

    Next step? Stepping out in faith!

    No need to enter me since I read both books and loved em! The winner will be in for a treat.

    Peace, Julie

  12. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraJanuary 6, 2011 at 8:03 AM

    I understand trying to say NO. At times it's really hard. I haven't picked a word or a resolution for this year but I am trying to get some of my bills paid down and lose some weight. Good luck with keeping to your schedule!

  13. Great post, Audra! Love your one word and how you're using it to take a smidgeon of control over your hectic life.

    My one word is Discipline. I need discipline in almost every area of my life. Exercise, eating, Internet... The list goes on. I'm praying for the strength to not only say no but to say yes to what I want to accomplish in 2011.

    I brought fruit and cereal. Not exciting but it fits my one word. :-)


  14. Good morning, everyone! I wanted to get here earlier and start the omelette buffet complete with good for you veggie CHOICES in every shape and size, LOL! But kids are home for Christmas and what seems a reasonable time for adults to go to bed, is just the beginning of their night!

    Oy Vay. I see the eyebags developing already.

    Jenny, praying for the floods in Austrailia! A good friend of my used to live in Queensland. Absolutely loved it. Couldn't say enough about wonderful the land and people. Praying for you!

    And hey, follow through is an age old issue. If my follow through was as good as my intentions, I'd be thin, and organized, and up-to-date on all the books I want to read!

    Dare I say, choice and follow through must walk hand in hand?

  15. KC! You are starting the year off with a bang! I love your resolve of writing everything down -- isn't it fun check off the items completed (or avoided) at the end of the day?

    LOL! All the chocolate shops aren't burning. What a hoot!

    I love the sign idea, too. Much easier to work from a script, right?

  16. Helen, you and your coffee are life savers. Really needed it this morning.

    I'm envious! I need living room furniture since daughter moved out to her own apartment in the fall and took her favorite couch -- the one from my living room! We currently have a hodgepodge of chairs trying to take up space.

    Really need to go shopping.

    Now, relax on your new sofa, careful not spill any coffee on it, and read a good book (hint, hint)

    LOL! Thanks, Helen!

  17. Keli, good for you! Change is the hardest concept to embrace! We hate it as much as we need it.

    I can relate to the sitting in the same place dilemma. That zing of irritation that runs through your head when someone has taken YOUR seat in church. God help me, I pray for forgiveness.

    Good for you, Keli. I'll pray Gwynly doesn't faint, LOL!

  18. Cara, endurance is a great word. Especially in remembering to say no! Praying for your cold, time to put that behind you!

    Janet, discipline is something that needs to walk hand in hand with my choices. I have to learn to say no and then really mean it.

    I love fruit and cereal. Blueberries and bananas on Cheerios. Good stuff!

  19. Sherrinda, passionate says it all. If we're not passionate about what we're doing, what's the point?

    Passion in action is an awesome thing!

  20. Don't choices and decisions walk hand in hand?

    So many choices to make, then when I finally narrow it down, deciding on the ONE I want is the most difficult.

    We'll work through this year together, Cathy! Keep an eye on my choices and I'll watch your decisions and we'll see where we end up!

    I love blueberries. Absolutely love 'em.

  21. Great post, Audra. I've always been the girl who can't say no so any advice in this area is much appreciated.

    I couldn't for the life of me come up with a word for my year--at least, not until Sunday. Then it hit me:


    I have the tendency to get excited about anything and everything that comes down the pike. Weight Watchers offering free registration? Sign me up! An editor wants a proposal for a series (though I'm already on deadline and made a committment to write a novella.) Sure! With family and work obligations, church and physical restrictions that make it difficult for me to move most of the time, I get to feeling overwhelmed.

    So this year, I'm focusing on one thing at a time. I know it will save me time and energy when my life gets crazy as all of our lives do from time to time.


  22. Time to share. What difference are you planning for your life? How will it help you?

    Placing action over reaction.
    Moving further into the possible.
    Offering more of my time as babysitter to young mothers, especially during summer. Goodness, you have a lot on your plate.

  23. Audra,
    I am kind of in shock here actually. You post, quite specifically, speaks straight to my heart. Choice. Mine does not apply to writing very much because any writing that I may have been doing has been put on hold because of other stuff going on now. However, as far as medically, choice is what I need. As you may know, I think you do lol, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. Before I go on, if you don't mind read this story. It's a little lengthy, I'm not going to lie, but this breaks me down everytime I read it because it is so true. I've been trying to give it to more people so they might understand some:

    So, I am a Spoonie. If you read the story, you'll understand that this means I have a set amount of "spoons" that I can use each day. Every single day I must use the word Choice, as you mentioned. So in a day, I get up, get ready, work a six hour shift/have 3 classes at school. Once I'm done with this, I have three options: I can help clean the house like my mom wants, I can take my sister to the shopping center for something she needs and I'm her only option for a ride, or I can take a shower (and only maybe shave my legs lol!). There is no way to do all three, you need to choose. After all day, you don't have enough spoons left to do all three. Each and everyday you must plan ahead because if you know you're working, you also know your spoons will be limited for what else you can do in your day! And it's not like the necessities (getting dressed, brushing your hair and teeth, making breakfast) are thrown in, nope those take spoons too.

    I'm not sure if this makes sense at all, it's kind of tricky to explain, which makes it hard to understand lol!! Just when you were talking about choices, I was like yes! I don't want to steal your word, Audra, but this is definitely something I need to work on. I also need to work on making others understand better because even my family continues to expect more from me than I can give. Yesterday alone I worked a 6 hour shift and then my sister expected me to babysit, so I had to babysit for about 3 1/2 hours until after 10pm last night. I can't handle that, but they don't get it. I know it sounds like I'm complaining and I might partly be doing so, but I can't keep going at the rate I'm going.

    I could also use other words: STRENGTH because I know there will be more tough times to come, ACCEPTANCE because I need to learn to just accept things that happen to me instead of fighting it. It's happening and that's that. I also need to learn to accept what people say about me, when people express that they care about me, I need to TRUST them that what they say is true. People can care of the most important ones I can think of though is FAITH. I want to continue to let my faith grow because you know, these things are out of my control. And if I can trust in Him more, I know he will provide for me somehow.

    Okay, I am so, so sorry that I rambled so long today, but I just had to get that off my chest. Thsi really spoke to me today, Audra. Thank you so much for your post : )

    *gentle hugs*

  24. I admit it. I have not set any goals. I haven't made any resolutions. I am really pathetic. My goals for last year did not get accomplished, so I'm too afraid to even make any this year.
    Instead, I've been trying to figure out why I'm so scattered and why I haven't been able to write, hardly any, for almost two years. I think it's because I'm not THINKING about writing. Oh yes, I think about how I'm NOT writing, but I'm not thinking about my stories and characters. I sat at home the last two days trying to write this new story I'm supposed to be working on. I got one whole paragraph written. Then last night I took my laptop with me to church. It's a half hour drive, so I wrote the whole way there and the whole way home. Guess what?! I wrote more than I have for almost two years! Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you see what I mean. The email and internet are just too distracting for me, apparently. Now I have to get back in the habit of writing at home, or go somewhere that doesn't have internet every day, and I don't really want to do that. :-)

    Pray for me!!!

  25. Oh, Audra, you wrote this because you were channeling me, right? And I thank you for it, for the reminder that it's up to me.

    When that call came 18 months ago, I was working a full time job, a part-time (20 hours per week) job and have six kids, an ever-increasing number of grandchildren, church commitments, and a writer's dream, three books to get out the door in five months time, re-written to be romances.

    First, thank God for Melissa Endlich who guided that process from 233 Broadway in NYC.

    Second: I confessed and conferred with the Seekers and they gob-smacked me into learning to say no.

    Such a hard lesson, but:

    I did it. I stopped every outside activity except choir.

    Which left me time to balance book signings, talks, gatherings, etc.

    I gave up cooking on weeknights for the most part. I do make occasional exceptions, but my new motto is: if I can be happy with a sandwich, so can you.

    I kept waiting for a wife.

    It didn't happen.


    But Audra, this hits home so perfectly right now when I'm revising one book, working on another, and mapping out proposals, before and after the day job.

    And it came down to your word: Choice.

    And learning to just say no. (Nicely, of course)

    I have completely cleared my pre-summer calendar except for Easter, choir and haircuts. If I find extra time, I'll use it for going for ice cream with the grandbabies. I can always find time for ice cream. This is a rule in Ruthy-land.

  26. Oh, and I know what you mean about chocolate. I LOOOOOOVE chocolate, but I'm a chocolate snob. I only like certain brands.

  27. Oh, food. Did anyone bring food?

    I'm remiss. Bagels. Cream cheese. Gotta feed a baby.


    That's my girl. ;)

  28. I think Helen picked my word: COFFEE. Sometimes I definitely need it to sustain myself.

    I do not know if MANAGEABILITY is a good word, but I'm thinking about it. I had an incredibly up and down year last year with schedules and I almost need to set modest long-term goals to go along with harder short ones.

    My primary goal for first quarter (and a little beyond) is completing a 500x100 writing marathon. So far so good. When I was sick earlier this week, my wife pointed out that I rested with my laptop on my lap so that I could write a few words befoe going back to sleep.

    Please don't include me in the drawing. I have (in possession on in route) both books. And, though it has nothign to do with thew drawing, UPS just dropped off another Seeker book this morning.

  29. I think my word and yours go hand in hand--kinda. My one word is BALANCE. Which means I'm gonna need to say "no" too. Not my strong point. But if I keep my focus on not putting too many eggs in each of my proverbial baskets (do you have ANY idea how much money I could get if I opened a basket shop? LOL), balance may just happen. Maybe. :)

    And I'd LOVE to win either of those books. joanne(at)joannesher(dot)com

  30. LOL...I love how you "pencil in" your husband's things. ;-) And it sounds like you are infirmed with my "to-do list" disease. My bag is always over flowing!!!

    I'm sitting here draining a cup of hot tea and wondering what I should eat.

    I'd love a copy of your book! Especially after Vince gave us that teaser.

    My one word...Strive
    In finding an agent, getting published, writing book two - as well as strive in my personal life with family and health and my walk with Jesus. Days like today, I simply make myself put one foot in front of the other and take one baby step at a time. Sometimes I feel like I shuffle along like Tim Conway. Only I don't get as far as fast as he does. :D

    I'd also love a copy of Tina's book! Please add me to the drawings.


  31. Great post, Audra, and much needed today!

    Today I feel like my word is BEHIND, like I need to get off mine and get with it. :o)

    But seriously, my word is DETERMINATION. I'm going to accomplish my goals this year with grit, spit and a lot of duct tape. :o) A friend and I started e-mail checks this year. Everyday we e-mail each other regarding how long we exercised and how much we accomplished on our current writing projects. It keeps us honest and moving forward.

    I just downloaded your book yesterday! Can't wait to dig in!


  32. Vince,

    Yesterday, you said:

    I like your tag:

    "Life Changing Fiction" - Where real life and fiction meet.

    I am not familiar with your books so from this tag I would assume that you write inspirational woman’s fiction. Is that right?

    The last part “Where real life and fiction meet” seems a little flat to me. They meet and what happens? Could there be a promise in there somewhere?

    “Life Changing Fiction” – Where ‘what is’ becomes ‘what could be’!

    I’m not saying use these exact words but I’d try to come up with a benefit from the ‘meeting’.

    My response:

    I'm so glad you like it. I worked on it a LONG time. I know the second part falls a bit flat, but I haven't been able to come up wit anything better yet. I'll keep working on it.

    You are correct about the inspirational fiction except there's the word romance in between them. So, do I need to improve my tag more now that you have that tidbit of info?


  33. Hannah,

    I'm a Spoony, too. Email me at... lr dot mullin at live dot com ...if you'd like to chat. Mine turned out to be chronic Lyme disease. There is help to be had.



  34. Melanie,

    One thing God showed me in October was how much I CAN accomplish if I just sit down and write. It is so easy to get distracted and I still get distracted by the internet and books and whatever else. Hugs, girlfriend! I totally understand!

  35. Great post Audra! My favorite line was "I've been trying to cram 10 pounds of sugar and spice into a sandwhich bag."

    I've become a big fan of the One Word. Mine is FINISH. Jenny, your comments on follow through sound a lot like my comments on "finishing." I'd be willing to share, if need be. :)

    Like Jenny, I'm a great starter, but not a great finisher. I leave things half-done all the time. Since I've become an aspiring novelist, I realize, I'm gonna have to become a finisher in order to finish any of these stories that are running around in my head. Also, my house, and family would do well if Mommy could manage to finish anything.

    As if that wasn't enough reason to be a FINISHER, I've been pelted by the Almighty with numerous Bible verses. Each has something to say about "finishing." I've boiled all of them down to this mantra, "God is not glorified in unfinished tasks." If that doesn't step on the toes of a non-finisher...Well, let's just say, mine are sore.

    I'm blogging about my studies of each of these verses that spoke to me about finishing. You can find my blog, by clicking on my name above and accessing my profile... OR (here's the shameless part) by pasting this into your browser:

    Until yesterday, I was doing a fair job of FINISHING my tasks. But yesterday my DD was sick and clingy. We spent the day on the couch reading and watching TV. Then we made a trip to urgent care. She's fine, it's not croup like we thought it might be, she just has a seriously nasty cough. Praise the Lord.

    The only thing I did finish yesterday was Audra's book. A glowing review will be posted at the above blog address, hopefully sometime today, or tomorrow. I'll swing by with a head's up when I get it done. BTW, I read the fish cleaning scene without once thinking of the guts. :)

  36. Sory for the break, but had to get ready for work. Now I'm sitting at my desk and CHOOSING snips of time to play with you guys, LOL!

    Julie, I love the research you're giving your word, Adventure. I think I'll research Choice too and discover all the facets to my new mindset for the year. Thanks!!

    Laura, you are right on track. Paying bills is good. So is losing weight (in my case, LOL). In a way, I'd love to choose NO as my word for the year, but really, there are way too many things I'd still say YES to and blow the whole deal in the first week!

    Kimberli, all your decisions will make a huge difference in your life as well as others. Go for it, girl!

  37. Patty! Focus has been my go-to word for years, though difficult at best. Why can the littlest teaser derail me from my good intentions?

    I need focus - to make good choices of course, LOL!

    Mel? You're scaring me. Please tell me YOU weren't driving... I can relate to all the writing dry spells, and I've come to understand the good Lord wants me to do something else during that time. When I obey and listen, when writing time comes back to me, I accomplish so much more than if I'd insisted on writing throught the *dry spell*. It works for me; I'm praying for you, sweets!

    Walt, managability of coffee is aways a good thing : ) I love your marathon and completely understand schedules flopping upside down.

    BTW, Walt, something tells me at least ONE more Seeker book is on its way...

    Joanne, I'm laughing as I'm envisioning balancing baskets...very middle eastern of you!

  38. Hannah, a woman of your tender age speaks with much wisdom. I so feel for you and all the demands on your time and health. Being a *spoonie* fits. I love it!

    I have a very dear friend who has lived with Rheumatoid Arthritis since she was a teen. Didn't let it stop her. She was the Rodeo Queen and participated many other activities. Didn't let it get her down, just like you. I'm proud of you, Hannah and happy to share my word with you.

    As I tell my daughter whenever she goes out...make good choices!!

  39. Sorry kids, gotta get back to work. I'll be back...

  40. Andrea -

    It's getting a bit scary in here... FINISH or FINISHING or COMPLETING or FOLLOW THROUGH or something like that is EXACTLY what I was thinking before I got your comment.


    And you're doing fine on your to do lists*, better than me in many ways.

    This year, I want to set aside my completed MS [seriously. It's as done as it's going to get before someone buys it. After the 250 words I added to it a few minutes ago. Yep. It's done.] and query it. Actually, send out the queries to the agents I'm interested in [plus email it today to the editor who requested it].

    Then I want to complete other stuff. Basically, the goals I set for myself on my blog [the same blog that said I wanted to finish off Mary Connealy; she took such exception to that ;)]. I'm starting today with working on my to do list [incl. exercise and Bible study] and on my two incomplete MSs I want to finish rough drafts of this month.

    So... I think there was a point in there somewhere besides 'Andrea are you sure we weren't separated at birth?'

    I do relate to so much of what was posted above. I really do.

    And now I'm off to follow through on... something.

    I already have [and loved, fish guts and all] Rocky Mountain Hero :).

    *Andrea and I have become to do list accountability partners so I know just how well she's doing. And she's doing fine ;).

  41. Miss Carol is a very nice person. She is currently kicking my tushie to make me leave the computer alone and clean my bathroom.

    I met her here...

    Have I mentioned lately how much I thank God for Seekerville?

    It bears repeating.

  42. Except we're having too much fun to kick her in the pants too hard...

    Mostly, we're picking on Mary for shooting people.

  43. One of the best choices I made in 2010 was to listen to my friend, Lorna's advice to go and seek our Seekerville. If I hadn't I never would have heard about choosing One Word. My word for 2011 is Fire. I'm having lots of fun fitting it into my day.

    Today I'm feeling pretty proud of myself because you might say I'm BLAZING a trail for inspirational fiction in my public library. It carries every Harlequin series except the Love Inspired lines. I've grumbled about that for a year but since I've adopted fire as my one word, I decided to light one under the collections department of the library.

    I fired off an email to the head librarian, pointing out that their selection policy was not meeting the needs of their Christian patrons. I did some research and rattled off stats on how many holds are placed on new Christian Fiction every month and the length of waiting times for these books as proof of the popularity of Inspirational Fiction.

    Anyway -- long story short -- she just emailed me back and agreed that I had brought up several valid points and she would bring it up at this months Collection Development meeting. It's not a done deal, but I'm all fired up anyway!!!!

  44. No, I think that's "finishing people off."

    How many times to I have to tell you, Mary can be volatile.

    Gotta watch what you say.


  45. KAV~

    Good for you! Here's a quote from John Wesley, though probably not exactly correct.

    "If you catch fire [for God] people for miles will come to watch you burn."

    It sounds like you're living this one.

  46. Very inspiring, Audra! I haven't settled on my one word yet, but reading everyone else's--and the rational behind them--is giving me a lot to think about.

    One word I have been thinking on for actually quite a few years now is PRIORITIES. Closely related to CHOICE and NO, obviously. If I know my priorities are God first, family second, and career third, then making the right choices is a little easier. And that means saying no to a lot of other things.

    Here's another good word: SEASONS. I've had a season for raising kids, and more than a few seasons where I needed to have a steady (paying!) part-time job. Now I'm in a season where I can concentrate on the writing.

    I just wish the winter season were either a lot shorter or a lot warmer!

  47. No, Audra, I wasn't driving while typing on my laptop!!! I can't even talk and drive at the same time! My hubby was driving. Now, I've done my errands and need to get back to writing!!! (God, help me!)

  48. You guys are awesome! I love all the sharing going on!

    Interesting conversation Andrea and CarolM are having. Hmm, finishing vs. finishing off...

    I hate to be a party pooper, but I have to leave for a training session at work. I'll be back, so don't think I'm ignoring y'all!!

    Have fun!

  49. Wonderful post, Audra (I felt motivated and energized just reading it!). My One Word this year is PERSEVERANCE, and it applies to not only my writing but other areas of my life as well (including sticking to my Physical Therapy exercises to help me recover completely from 4 spinal surgeries *sigh*). ~ No need to enter me in the drawing, since I won your book at Madame Z's Party on New Year's Eve!( am sooo excited about reading it!!!). ~ Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

  50. Hi Audra:

    This was the perfect post for me today!

    When Tina wrote the One Word post, I initially thought it would be too hard to come up with the one right word to express my existential needs.

    Then I thought that one word would be too general to be meaningful anyway. (Philosophical sour grapes).

    Then it occurred to me that the One Word was really a POV in which to view every aspect of a person’s life. In this respect many different words could work equally well. It might not actually be very important which POV (word) you chose to address a problem -- as long as you were addressing the problem!

    So I chose UNCLUTTER.

    I have acquired too much junk! It’s hard to even get the cars in the garage. This was my immediate problem and the initial reason for my choice. But then, seeing UNCLUTTER as a POV to view my goals expanded its meaning:

    I was now directed to:

    1. unclutter the trivial thoughts that bombard my mind which, while entertaining, destroy my focus.

    2. unclutter the distractions in my life which take up my time and prevent me from advancing my priority goals.

    3. unclutter the excess weight form my body which is neither necessary nor productive.

    4. unclutter the excess fat in my blood which clogs my arteries. Eat right and exercise.

    5. unclutter the material possessions I no longer need and give them to those who do need them.

    6. unclutter myself of the negative influences and people who sap my spiritual energy.

    7. unclutter my mind of worries and doubts that can not be helped in any event. Let go, Let God!

    I’m sure as the year goes by there will be many more instantiations of my word ‘unclutter’.

    As such, I do believe that the One Word is a POV and acts as a lens by which we can view a clearer path to achieve our goals.

    Does anyone else feel this way?


    P.S. A long time ago I came up with this philosophy:

    Whatever you are doing, no matter how important, you are still not doing something else.

  51. LOL Audra! That didn't even register with me.

    Then Andrea ditched our convo to go like clean and stuff. Silly girl ;).

    I sent off my full ms to the editor who requested it about an hour ago - eek! Because of that, I doubt I'll be able to concentrate on writing, so I'm going to lose myself in Missy's A Forever Christmas as soon as the kiddo goes down for 'rest time' [because he rarely naps anymore - stinker].

    Captcha: fulangui - sounds like some sort of Italian curse word - at least in my head...

  52. Carol, I think it IS an Italian swear word.

    Naughty Google.

    Vince, yes, I do that same thing. The one part of my focus (FORGE) this year affects all aspects of my life and stirs my consciousness. So cool.

    I love FINISH. So smart, Andrea, because we've all been there, done that, so that self-discipline is probably the most important aspect of a writer's career. Gotta finish the race.

    You guys rock. And I think I'm dreaming about Will and Gabe at night.

    Oh my.


    I'm dropping off fresh-baked M&M cookies. Give them a shot, 'kay?

    And refilling the coffee for whiny-pants like me that need their two p. m. shot.

    Love it.

  53. Thanks, Audra. Looking forward to it.

  54. Ruthy and Carol, in case you're interested, I own a book of Italian swear words.

  55. I didn't think of the finishing/finishing off angle either. I lol'ed when I read Audra's comment. Finishing off is definitely a less noble goal, I think.

    Self-discipline probably involves getting dressed, right?? Uhh, not doin' so good today. DD and I are still in the jammies. The only time zone where this would be acceptable is Hawaii's. Here in Central time, it's pretty shameful.

    Better go take care of that, and clean my bathroom. I feel Carol kicking me. Thanks, Lady!

    Grabbing a cup of Ruthy's afternoon brew and a cookie first.

  56. Funny you should write about this, Audra, because my word for 2011 is ... CHOICE. :-)

    I can choose whether to make my devotional and prayer time a priority or let it slide behind other things and possibly disappear for that day.

    I can choose whether to roll out of bed and write a few paragraphs or just keep hitting the snooze button.

    I can choose whether to eat the right or wrong things. And some days I'll just choose that DQ M&M Blizzard and not feel one bit guilty. :-)

    So, on to a new year full of good choices. I know exactly where you're coming from!


  57. Kav
    that is GREAT about the library. Would you please share what you found and the letter. I daresay your library isn't alone.
    We could all surely impact our communities if each of us would take this action!
    Way to go!!!

    And Vince - LOVE that list! Kudos!

    Super words people have chosen. :)

    My veri word is "cryingly"? Does this even belong on this blog?!

  58. Declutter was last year's word.
    Unplug was the year prior.
    This year's would probably be:

    Wisdom in carrying out diligence which could be a year-word on its own. LOL!

    Wisdom in when to say no and when to say yes.

    Wisdom in the direction of my writing.

    Wisdom in disciplining my children and in dealing with relationships and friendships.

    Wisdom in time-management and organization.

    So yeah, wisdom.

    Loved this, Audra.

    My one word for you would be FABULOUS!

    I love that Friends of Seekerville are befriending one another. LOVE IT. Love this community.



  59. Oh Audra,
    So sorry to be running behind for this post.
    And missing Vince's yesterday?!?
    I'll go back and check it out. I did take a gander at the cool pic, though Vince :-)

    I find it hard to use the N.O. word. What happened between now and when I was a two years old and used that word SOOOOOO well :-)

    But, I practiced it this morning, and though I felt it lodge in my throat for a good 5 seconds, I managed to get it out and into the open.

    I think sometimes saying "No" helps us to rely on others to get a job done.

    Happy New Year - Audra. I don't know how this one can beat the last one, but I'm looking forward to it.

  60. Btw, I saw your book and Tina's book in Wal-Mart this afternoon.
    You should have see the smile (and little giddy laugh) I had.
    Woohooo!! They loooked real good on that shelf, but even BETTER on mine.

  61. Andrea I think you have me I need to be a finisher or follow through.

    oh when Carol I think said it sounds dangerous I was thinking of the cricket the English will be finishing of the aussies today and thats not a pretty sight if your an aussie!

    I always have good intentions.

  62. KC - yes it is quite appropriate.

    I blame Missy.


    Read A Forever Christmas and, doggone it... Tears there were.

    Okay - they didn't spill over, but that's because I spent half my afternoon reading and half of it being Fiona to my 3yo's Shrek [while wearing his Incredibles pajamas] and riding on the Polar Express to the North Pole, stopping long enough to let Handy Manny and the tools on and then Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Toodles and THEN stopped at the North Pole Walmart to get more wood for the train.

    So too much giggling for the tears to actually spill over. But I bet if I'd been reading it without the distractions... Er, well, I may not want to admit that...

  63. Hi Cheryl:

    Wisdom is good.

    And the love of wisdom is Philosophy.

    Do you have any plans for a character named Sophia?

    What are the chances that one of your characters will act according to your word of the year? You could walk the same path as your character only differently.

    That would be an interesting layer to read in a story. Just an idea.


  64. Hi Linnette:

    I answered your tag question on yesterday’s blog to keep this post on topic. Thanks.


  65. My word this year is HOPE. I’m job-searching, and I need to remember to have hope, even when things get discouraging.
    I have a resolution, too: go to bed earlier. I have a bad habit of staying up too late. I get my second wind during the evening, and as a result it’s a struggle to get out of bed when I need to in the morning.
    I would love to win a copy of either book!

  66. Leigh said Dairy Queen Blizzard.

    Oh my stars, I miss Dairy Queen.

    So much.

  67. Pepper, it's hard when you're a minister's wife to say 'no' and to know when to say 'no'...

    My first glimpse of that was in the Lucy Maud Montgomery books, starting with Rainbow Valley... And the nice minister... You've got to hedge your bets a little more than the rest of us, BUT you and Missy are Southern belles, so when you say 'no', I bet it sounds reaaaaal purty.

    Whereas we Yanks just say: NO.

    But it's tough to balance a pastoral career with regular life and then a work life and a writing life.

    And this is where chocolate comes in mighty handy.

  68. Jenny, you're wonderful.

    Melanie, praying for jobs. Oh my stars, that's a tough bed to lie on, but I know there's something wonderful out there for you.

    Now go to bed.

  69. AMEN, Ruthy
    To misquote from the movie MouseHunt
    "A world without chocolate is chaos."

  70. I came up with the word Strong and I've decided its the one for me. It says it all for me. Stay strong on my diet (just signed up for Weight Watchers to drop that 20 1bs - again!), stay strong if rejections come my way, stay strong if life gets rough again this year, stay strong while I finish my degree, etc etc - just stay strong.
    Love your idea of going through the calender and blocking out all the events upcoming when planning writing time - I'm going to do that today. Such great discussion from everyone.

  71. This was a really good post Audra. And it really hit home for me. Wow, I need to say "no" more too. I tend to take on too much and as I evaluate what I am trying to accomplish in life some things need to be slid out of the way. Thanks for reminding me!

  72. Hi Guys! I'm back and full of knowledge, heh heh heh. Had Microsoft 2010 poured into my feeble brain and then, while I was locked away in a training room, they uploaded MS2010 onto our computers through the county and I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye to my MS 2000...

    Life's not fair.

    Ah well, I'm over it.

    I leave and look at all the fun that carries on in the playground!

    Kirsten, determination is a good thing, on so many levels, LOL! I must determine to get off my behind too, so I'm with you!

  73. Unclutter. That is my ultimate goal, Vince. It is so much on my mind that I'm PAYING my daughter to clean my office. She's doing a great job -- I just hope I can find stuff when she leaves to go back to school, LOL!

    Patti Jo, I'd say perserverance is exactly the word you need to recovered from all those surgeries! Prayers to you!

    CarolM, we need to celebrate you sending your ms off to an editor!

    And celebrate Andrea for staying in her jammies all day?

  74. My word for the day is excitement.
    I got the books I ordered today so now have Wranglers in petticoats now too. Also got a couple of others I really wanted including Nov's Camp Club Girls books.

    England just this minute finished australia off in the 5th and final test.

  75. Leigh!! Yay, choices! I knew I liked you for a reason, LOL! And DQ anytime just because? High on my list.

    Cheryl, you've had eventful years. All leading to the wisdom you want to walk with now. Patience and diligent are grand, too. Can't wait to gather the crumbs of wisdom as you meander through this year, girlfriend.

    And Myra, my priorities are actually all askew as my SEASONS have changed. I think that's part of the problem. I knew exactly what I needed to do as a SAHM, now the kids are pretty much grown and now my main focus anymore. Priorities. Hmm. Really would go hand in hand with choices, doncha think??

  76. Pepper, you've been busy! AND you missed a great day yesterday with Vince branding all the Seekers! What a hoot. Gotta do that more often.

    You can't just go and use the word N.O. without practice. Powerful stuff there. Think. Assess. Action. You'll get the hand of it, I know you will Pep, and be a better person for it!!

    Glad you saw our books! Nothing more exciting. We've got to go to a 4-H meeting tonight and then stop by Walmart to pick up dog food. I have a camera with me. Hubby will roll his eyes while #1 son will probably go hide down the meats aisle. LOL! 18 year olds embarrass so easily, LOL!

  77. Jane, STRONG is an excellent word! I'm popping in on Weight Watcher meetings too. Gotta get rid of the holiday fluff before Valentines Day comes around, LOL!

    Casey, keep sweeping stuff out of your way, kiddo. You can do it and we can help!

  78. I know how you can practice saying no.
    every telemarketer who rings you can say no not interested. or just no.
    I am a little frustrated as I have had yet another trying to tell me there is a problem with my computer. I know its a scam and am getting really annoyed about the amount of times they have rung. I didn't say no this time just if you are going to tell me there is something wrong with my computer dont bother cos I have had the call several times before thankyou and hung up. its so annoying.
    Ok rant over

  79. Audra, I came this() close to blogging about this on Monday, but couldn't quite marry my post on worry with the One Word philosophy.

    So glad you brought it up again and pointed people back to Tina's post on 12/30.

    It was a couple of days before I read the original post, then I've thought about my one word for almost a week now.

    I'm not 100% sure what I'll use, but I flipped the idea on its head and thought about what I DON'T want to do this year. It's easier to point a finger unerring at what I don't like about myself, so I don't want to...


    With that one word in mind, I looked up antonyms of procrastinate:




    I think I will DO.

    Romans 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

  80. Audra - we went to Chick-fil-A for dinner tonight :). Not to celebrate but for other reasons but I did get a [small, whipped creamless] cookies n cream shake to celebrate ;).

    Now to try to get some words on paper for today...

  81. Great post, Audra! You mean you can't watch your favorite shows and write 1500 words at the same time????


    It's funny you should do this post today. I posted about my one word at today. :) My word is Truth (as in The Voice of Truth--from the Casting Crowns song). I will choose to listen to the Voice of truth this year.

  82. Great post. Would love to win the books. I do have a

  83. Yes, Vince, I get what you're saying about our one word being a lens that we see things through.

    In choosing the word do, I don't mean that I'm going to run out and DO everything that someone asks of me.

    This is my special word that I will reflect on every day to help me DO the things I should.

    DO eat a healthy snack.
    DO write 500 words.
    DO read my Bible.
    DO exercise.
    DO pray.


    If I can train myself to think positively about things I should DO instead of worrying about what I should not do, I will be healthy, wealthy, and wise.

    Hmmmm, might as well scratch the wealthy part....

  84. Amen, Melanie! Going to bed earlier is on my list of things to do too.

    Hey, there's my word again!

    So, tonight, I must DO that. I will be in bed by 10 PM!

  85. Hmm... I notice that I meant to mention I already have Rocky Mountain Hero, but would love the other one :). I mentioned I'd read it but...

    Enter me for the other one =D.

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

  86. Pam, worry is one of those secret weapons that sneaks up on you and sabotages your happiness...kinda like the stink of a feedlot blowing your way after you've found the perfect place for a picnic, LOL! I love Timon and Pumba. They kicked off the year perfectly : )

    DO is such a great word. A word that makes you think about exactly WHAT you WANT to DO. You go, girlfriend. You are going to have a great year!

    Missy, could you write 1500 words with Gibbs and company saving the world?? Maybe you could, but then, I know what movie man hunk could distract you from writing 1500 words...but yes, I am sworn to secrecy...heh heh heh.

  87. Cookies-N-Cream shake? Luck bucket, Carol! Although I do have a package of Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches in the freezer.

    Sounding pretty good right about now : )

  88. Hi Pam:

    I like Do.

    I like what you did with Do.

    Imagine all things we could have done last year if only we did do what we knew we should do

    Do it!
    Do it faithfully!
    Do it like you cannot fail!



  89. Hi Ausjenny:

    I listen to football games in England all the time and for the last two weeks all they want to talk about is England vs Australia in cricket. Not football!

    I don’t know anything about cricket but is Australia some kind of superpower?


  90. Vince Not at the moment! its something like 24 years since England beat Australia in an ashes series (5 test matches) and this time they not only beat us they annihilated us. Its enough to make a grown aussie cry ok I may have exaggerated that but there isn't much worse than losing to the English at anything the next closest thing is losing to New Zealand.

    Australia has been a dominate force in World cricket for many years an is now in a rebuilding phase. Its good to lose so we get better but to lose this bad to the English is hard to handle and of course all the english are letting us know about it. The ashes are played every 4 years in Australia and the next series will be in 3 year England where its 4 years apart also. To win on the enemies home ground makes it even better.
    The game ended early today but I have gotten 100 pages read of a book so thats a plus (that and its just under 100 outside)

  91. Your word is so darned good, I think I'll steal it. It's actually been something I've been telling my own kids for years. Life is all about choices! And every day gives you so many choices, you can't count. But it's the big ones we pay attention to...after we've made the wrong one usually. We just have to be more aware before we make them. I like the "just say no," part. I think a lot of women have the problem of taking on too much. Woohoo for a better year of choices.

  92. Love your post! It fits so close to my own inability to control the things I should be in control of *LOL* I read it with my mind/heart racing on choices I should make--at least you've mapped yours out :)Today's choice--I'm going back and reread this post. Hopefully, it Will kick me into the New Year!

  93. My word for 2011 is hope. Hope to sell my book and hope to writ another.