Friday, September 9, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Debra Ullrick

Debra Ullrich

Invest In Blinders

Yep. I’m convinced that’s the only way. That is, unless someone else has discovered what works. Works for what you may ask. For meeting your deadline, of course. You know, the one that seems to have suddenly closed in on you. Now, those people who are blessed with the gift of organization may disagree with my solution. But for those of us who don’t possess that gift… invest in blindfolds. That’s what my best selling author friend and I have decided.

You see, right now, I’m up against the tightest deadline I’ve ever had. By November 1st, I have to have a seventy to seventy-five thousand word MS completed and sent to my publisher. At present, I’m just under twenty-two thousand words. I asked a friend what advice she could give me to accomplish this. She said… no… she didn’t say invest in blinders… she said, “I ignore anything that isn't necessary (housework, use paper plates, etc.) and use every available minute to write. I really don't have any other words of wisdom. When you're on deadline, it just has to get done.” I thought about what she said for a few moments and then wrote her back, “Oh, in other words, invest in blinders.” She responded with, “Pretty much. LOL.” I must say, it takes a while to get used to those things. Sometimes I feel claustrophobic with them on. And every once in a while I find myself whinnying and craving horse treats, but I’m learning to suppress those urges. My characters whinny a lot more, paw the ground, and snort, but that’s easily changed.

Dust bunnies are becoming my constant companions. Aren’t they adorable? They’re inexpensive to feed, too. My pantry is now over-runneth with paper plates. Should have bought plastic utensils too because clean spoons are a thing of the past around here. Hey, but my bed is made though. Force of habit. Thank you, Jesus! As soon as these feet hit the floor, my bed gets dressed in its running horse comforter. You may be wondering if my house is a pig pen? Hmmmm. Not sure. The blinders really do work. hehe

Oh, and once again to all of you gifted organizers out there, if you are able to keep up with all of this and meet your deadlines too, write me ASAP, okay? That is after you’ve been tested to see if you are human? When you do, contact me and give me step-by-step instructions, please. In layman’s terms only. And as if you were speaking to a child. *smiling* (Seriously, I admire people who really do have that gift. And it is a gift. I can organize, but there is a difference between organizing and being an organizer.)

Now that I have that problem solved. What’s next? Ah, the problem of trying to figure out how to get my MS written. Enter… another friend. She suggested taking the amount of days I had to write my story and subtract the days off I want. Days off? What’s that? Surely she jests. After all, I only have twenty-two thousand words so far, and I need at least seventy-thousand. (70 to 75K, but whose counting.) I have 60 days to do this in. Do I want Sundays off? Yep. Okay, that leaves me 52 days. Now, I take the amount of words I need to write, divided by the days I have to write, and I end up with 1,350 words (rounded off). That’s how many words I would have to write a day to get my MS done. Sounds simple, right? Nope. Life still has a way of tossing in the unexpected. So what do you do? PRAY! That’s what we need to do first, but now what do we do practically? My friend has a great synopsis to work off of. Heavy sigh. For a SOTPser like me that’s not so easy. So, what do we SOTPsers do? Pray some more, and eat chocolate. Wait, no. Don’t do that. You’ll get fat.

Honestly, even us seat-of-the-pansers have an overall idea of the story. So we need to write that down. Then think of internal and external goals and romantic conflicts. Write that down. Ask yourself, what will keep your hero and heroine from getting together. Not something that can be solved with a conversation either, but something genuine. Think of ways to throw the two of them together. Weave that through the short synopsis you’ve written. Then write. Don’t worry about the details, such as what color of dress she’s wearing, what trees or flowers there are, or what a place looks like. If it comes to you without breaking the flow, then write it down, but don’t get bogged down with the details. Just write. Then when you get done with your word count for the day, go back over it and weave those details in along with the five senses. Or layering as it is commonly known as. Before you know it, your word count has risen. There are some days when you’ll write more than the word count goal you set for yourself, which helps when life does throw you a curve and you can’t write that day. So don’t panic. Relax. God’s got your back.

Another thing I do is, sometimes I will read over what I’ve written the day before and make necessary changes. This keeps the story fresh in my mind and helps me to write the next scene.

In between writing times, when my synopsis is vague, I’ll plot. Interview my characters, and of course, pray some more. Calloused knees aren’t very attractive, but so necessary. *grin*

The main thing I do is exercise. Gasp! Not that kind. The kind where you actually aren’t sitting but moving around until your heart feels like it’s about to come out of your chest and every muscle in your body aches. I mean, exercise the word we all just love to hear (NOT!) - Discipline. Yep you heard me. Discipline. Discipline yourself to write even when you don’t feel like it. Breaking down the word count does help and makes it less overwhelming.

So there you have it. Now make haste. Run to the nearest feed store and invest in blinders. And if you start to develop an inordinate taste for carrots and Sweet Mix grain, don’t panic, they’re healthy foods. But if you start wanting to eat grass and alfalfa, however, it’s time to get rid of the blinders and find something else that works for you.

Thank you, Mary, for inviting me back here. Today I'm giving away one of each - A Log Cabin Christmas and Christmas Belles of Georgia. Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing.

Find Debra online at
The Unexpected Bride - Sequel is - The Unlikely Wife (Jan 2012)
A Log Cabin Christmas, Christmas Belles of Georgia (Sept 2011)
Dixie Hearts, The Bride Wore Coveralls - Sequel is - Déjà vu Bride


  1. Debra,

    You're my kinda girl...

    I brought carrot cake today, just for fun. Plugging in the coffee pot for Helen since I think she's got on her blinders right now.

    Great post! Thanks!

    may at maythek9spy dot com

  2. I read this, and then got sidetracked. But I'm back now and have the coffee pot set up.

    Yeah, I have to use the blinders sometimes. But I'm one of those disgustingly organized gals.

    When I'm working on a new ms I set a pretty rigid daily page quota. But when I'm doing rewrites or edits I'm more random.


  3. Hi Debra:

    ”God may have your back” but it’s a military truism that "God favors the bigger battalions”. In this case ‘bigger battalions’ are the better prepared writers. The professional writer does by habit what the beginning writer still has to be told to do.

    In your example, I could ‘see’ your mind running at 90 mph sorting out exactly what you needed to do – even onto the layering. That skill would sure help in meeting deadlines.

    So all deadlines and words- per-day quotas are not created equal. Two authors with 55,000 words to go before deadline may have spent vastly different amounts of time preparing their story. And besides don’t the deadlines get shorter the more books you write?

    Thanks: I enjoyed and envied ‘seeing’ how you work.


    P.S. My favorite romances have long been Christmas stories. Vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

  4. Loved this post! Before I went to blogs like this one, I wrote a book. I started it in 2006. I finished it in Jan. 2011. I thought I was spending every moment on it- seriously! And it was only 90K when it was finished.
    Then I ran into serious writers, online and in person. I remember Camy Tang had a post about 12K words in 12 hours!
    Since Jan of this year I've written two more novels and started a third. Blinders are essential- and discipline... and most of all, prayer.
    Making the time, honing your craft, joining the conversation, it all makes a difference.

  5. Oh dear. I don't envy your situation and even though I'm both a pantser and a procrastinator, I hope I'm not ever where you are. Best wishes!

  6. Welcome to Seekerville Deb! Welcome back, actually.

    I am going for Helen's java and then coming back to read your post.

  7. Coffee's lovely, and the carrot cake...

    KC, darn you, I have a particular weakness for carrot cake, my friend!

    Deb, ouch! Welcome back to Seekerville, what on earth are you doing here, go home and write, dagnabbit! ;)

    And I won't comment on deadlines except to say I love 'em, totally. Absolutely. They give me a challenge and I'm just that stinkin' competitive, LOL!

    But I know we're all wired differently, and your lovely writing is a true gift, however you get it done.

    And my buddy Vince is always after to me to go in with a plan...

    So I do, kinda. Enough to convince them to give me a contract, anyway!

    Deb, good luck with this. Consider it character building, and yes, yo can smack me when you see me. Everyone does.

  8. Welcome to Seekerville, Debra! I don't envy you your deadline. Unlike Ruthy, I find deadlines more of a nightmare than a challenge--at least if I'm behind in my word count.

    I also figure out how many words I need to write each day, and then just write them. When you don't have a choice, you do it. If I fall behind, I make up for it the next day.

  9. Have any of you seen the movie Cutting Edge, with two warring figure skating parters trying to get ready for the Olympics without killing each other?
    A great romantic comedy and I highly recommend it.

    the female partner is engaged when our story begins but the fiance is never around because the woman has no time to spend with him, working all day with her new guy partner.

    So the fiance shows up at a New Years Eve party and he comes up to the guy partner and he knows the two partners are at war and the fiance says, "I don't like seeing my fiance upset?"
    And the guy partner says, "Then you'd better invest in some blinders."

    Very funny.

  10. Hi Debra!

    I used to be organized...before I started getting serious about this writing thing. Back then I had four children at home, homeschooling ate up my day,scouts and music activities ate up the evenings - and the rest of the time I was a Bible study leader. Still, the laundry got done on time, the dishes were clean and the house wasn't a mess.

    I don't think you can blame it on deadlines - I think it's because of this imaginary world that draws us in. It's addictive!

    Now the only things that get done are the ones that ingrained habit dictates. And the need for clean clothes.

    My poor husband.

    Maybe it isn't that bad...nope, just took a peek at the living room. It's that bad. And I have a bushel of tomatoes to can today...after putting in my writing time.

    See, I'm not completely undisciplined!

    This cool weather we're enjoying has put me in the mood for some Christmas romances! Please put me in the drawing!

  11. Debra~
    I think I need to invest in blinders for my husband. He's the one who worries about how clean the house is. If it wasn't for his tidiness issues, I'd have all the time in the world to write. But I'd also be buried under stacks of papers and piles of laundry - clean or dirty - I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

    The Cutting Edge is one of my favorite movies. Though I had forgotten Doug's comment about the blinders until you mentioned it.

    I'm off to take my girl to the doctor.

    I'd love to be entered for the books.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

  12. Praying you have many productive writing days ahead, Deb. And trying to ignore the fact that you used the "D" word...discipline!

    Love ya, gal,

  13. Welcome to Seekerville, Debra! Wonderful post full of wisdom!

    Discipline. Ouch. I find discipline is easiest to possess when I'm down to the wire like I am now.

    Prayer. For sure. One thing I've learned not to skip when I'm under pressure is time with God.

    Less than a week till my deadline. Blinders are on. Chewing alfafa, racing to the finish.


  14. Mary, I've never heard of The Cutting Edge...

    Gonna check it out.

    And Deb, what about for next time, working ahead? I do that to keep myself from killing folks.

    So far, so good, but the day ain't over.

    That way when life interjects itself in the form of sick parents, sick kids, life, death, finance problems, moving kids, moving... you know. The tough stuff. When that stuff rains down on me, I'm ahead of the game and can take time and not worry. And I use the 1,000k/day goal with extra on weekends when I'm not at day job.

    Would that help next time? Or are you one of those amazing people who just plain works better under pressure?

  15. I'm paranoid about deadlines. I've got a November 1st deadline coming up, and I already feel as if I'm late on it. Maybe because of the February 1st deadline that's looming after that one.

    I wish I had a Camy Tang 12K in 12 hr spurt in me!

  16. Debra, from one SOTP writer to another, I relate!!!

    Here's a question, though. With a looming deadline like that, do you factor in several days near the end for revisions? That's what I would have to do. I need enough time to completely read through the ms. at least once or twice to check for continuity, repetition, inconsistencies, etc. I'd probably also have my husband read the whole thing, because he often catches things I miss.

    So if I knew, for example, that I had a December 1 deadline, my PERSONAL deadline might be November 15, and I'd divide the number of writing days into the projected word count accordingly.

  17. I do need blinders...I know it would help me when it seems like so many household chores and children are "calling my name." Needed the reminder to stay disciplined...thanks Debra:)

    I would love to be entered for a chance to win one of your books:)


    lornafaith at gmail dot com

  18. Hi Deb. If I ever get published and then get more contracts, I hope I can find some really good blinders. I have NO idea how you do it. GO WRITE.

  19. LOL, Debra!! Welcome! I'm so glad you joined us. Loved the fun post.

    Of course, now I find I'm craving something...with fiber.


    Good luck making that deadline!! You can do it.

  20. LOL, Andrea! I like the idea of blinders for the family! :)

    Mary, I loved that movie! :)

  21. Thanks for the peek into deadlines, Debra! I wish you the best of luck on your upcoming one. I know you'll do it. Keep those blinders firmly in place. LOL.

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  22. Hi Everyone. I just dropped by for a second to say I didn't forget you all. After I write my 2500 words, I will be back to respond to each one. Well, maybe. hehehe

    Thank you so much for stopping by. You all rock!!

    Debra Ullrick, who now has 43K more words to go to meet her deadline.

  23. Let's pull out our pom pom's and cheer Debra on! :)

    Okay, trying to picture Tina with pom poms. More like a drill sergeant whistle! :)

  24. Rah, rah, Deb!!! ;)

    That's the ancient cheerleader within me, poking up her head.

    Mary's our amazing-contract-girl. You know the Cat in the Hat? The pile of stuff on the broom and the cake, and the fish in the pot?

    That's our Mary, so many plates spinning that we figure thy must be attached by wires.

    The blinder thing is part of why I write at night. It doesn't bother anyone. No one's around to care. And it gets done every day.

    Because it's hard once life starts tugging you as if writing books wasn't a real job.


  25. Thank you for the humor and the advice! We are glad you found the time to drop by. I would love to win one of your books!

  26. DEB!!!! I'm late today because I'm on vacation, but I wouldn't have been (late, that is, not "not" on vacation) had I known you were here!!

    Wonderful blog, my friend, and boy, I sure relate!! Saying one for you, sweetie, that it all comes together in time, and we all know it will, right???

    I am ALL over the map on deadlines, depending on what is going on in my life. But the thing that has encouraged me more than anything (except for prayer, that is) is the fact that I KNOW I can write a book quickly if I absolutely had to because I wrote an almost 500-page book (A Passion Redeemed) in approximately one month (actually two months working while I was working at a part-time job). I've never done it since and slide squeaky close to most deadlines, but it sure is comforting to know it IS possible. And not just for me -- for everyone!! Why else would there be NaNoWriMo??? National Novel Writing Month.

    So, KNOWING you can do it helps too, and I think deep in your gut, you KNOW you will do it, rise to the challenge and deliver a good book. And I know it will be a good book because I've read your others, my friend!! God bless!


  27. Whoops, forgot the "blinders" theory!! I personally think it's a pretty good one. All I know is that the closer I get to deadline, the blinder I get to dust and dishes and food preparation. And when I'm embroiled in the final chapters??? Sweet chorus of angels, my family KNOWS it's best to just stay away because I go into a zombie state where I nod and smile when they talk, but everybody knows I'm in Boston. :) So I guess if you are going to go the "blinder" route ... you better make sure you have a family who supports it. :)


    And I won't comment on deadlines except to say I love 'em, totally. Absolutely. They give me a challenge and I'm just that stinkin' competitive, LOL!

    Although I'm not as good at deadlines as Ruthy, I do agree with her here -- a deadline is GREAT motivation and the competitor rises in me as well when one looms in my path. I find that if I have TOO long of a deadline, I fritter away the time and end up strapped at the end anyway, so may as well have a nice, doable short one so the work gets done. :)


    "I think I need to invest in blinders for my husband. He's the one who worries about how clean the house is."

    LOL ... same here!! Although fortunately for me, my hubby is as crazy busy as I am, so what can he say when the house reflects that??? But when he gets a lull in his business ... YIKES ... not pretty!!


  30. I think there are times I need blinders too! With so many things going on at once they would surely help. I would love to read both of of these books. I know they are great!


  31. One nice thing about having a semi-retired husband is that if he gets too bothered by a messy house, I can just tell him to clean it himself!

    Actually, he's been great about taking over most of the grocery shopping and errands. Sometimes he'll even get dinner started (if I give him some ideas about what to fix).

    The hardest part for me lately is not letting myself get too distracted by this cute little 5-month-old granddaughter and her big brother and sister less than ten minutes away!

  32. Hugs Debra, and thanks for sharing a part of your process with us. The deadline looming in my world is at my full-time job. It's a bear. I just keep telling myself, "It will get done." Then I do whatever I have to--most of the time--to move forward. Might require some hoop-jumping toward the end, though.

    Myra makes a good point. Will you need some time for revising before you hit "Send"?

  33. You make my blood pressure go up just reading about the deadlines.

    My question is a lot like Myra's.
    Debra, is your first draft so close to being like you want it, or are your revisions done when you re-read what you wrote the previous day.

    Please enter me into the drawing.

    bcountryqueen6 at msn dot com

  34. I need to invest in blinders, Deb! Had to clean the shower today because it was just that bad! I might not have seen the scum with blinders.

    Also I'm on deadline and having to say "NO!" to a lot of things I'd like to do. But that's what got me a bit behind in the first place. :)

    Glad to know I'm not alone! Thanks for using precious writing time to blog with us today.

  35. Grandbabies, Myra? There's always time for grandbabies! :)

  36. I'm so bad at being organized! So thanks Ms. Ullrick for telling your story :) I'm trying to work on my organization, hopefully I succeed!

  37. Thank you all for stopping by.

    KC Frantzen, shame on your for bringing carrot cake. Now, I'm craving it. hehe Yesterday would have been a great day to have it actually because it was my birthday. And you're welcome for the post.

    Helen Gray, you forgot your blinders if you got sidetracked. hehe

    Vince, Dont be too envious. If you saw me work, you wouldn't. hehe. I'm just learning to be prepared. Some days I do write more than others. That helps bunches.

    Virginia, that was me before I had deadlines. It took forever to write a book because I knew I could do it whenever. Now I don't have that luxury. But, I'm not complaining at all. I love it!!!

    Essay, glad you enjoyed it.

    Jessica Nelson, it does get easier as it goes. I must admit this is scary, but I'm loving the challenge.

    Tina Radcliff, thank you for the welcome...again. hehe And where were your blinders that you got distracted by Helen's Java? *wink wink*

    Ruth Logan Herne, I'm wondering the same thing. What am I doing here? hehe I love this place. I love the challenge too. I have to admit though, sometimes it is overwhelming, but in a good way. It pushes me to write. And consider yourself *smacked* in the arm.

  38. Would love to win the books.....sound so great. Since I live in NE Georgia..just gotta read the GA belles.

  39. Cara Lynn James, thank you for the welcome. I'm not sure I envy my deadline either, but I'm sure not complaining. I'm grateful to have another book coming out. Yippee!! God is sooo good!

    Hi Mary Connealy. Yes, I've seen that movie at least 50 times. My husband and I both love it!!! Even though I've seen it that many times, I forgot about that line and it's one of the best lines in there. Those two are a hoot. And he's a hotty in that movie.

    Jan Drexler,I'm jealous that you used to be organized. I think most of us have some organization skills, but I lack in the organization gift. So, I'll be calling you. hehe

    Andrea Strong. I have a set of blinders, but the one thing wrong with them can still see ahead of you. So, the dishes, laundry, and housework still gets done. My hubby looks hot pushing around a vaccuum and with sudsy hands. hehhehe

    Hi Jan! How's my buddy doing? Thanks for the prayers. I can use them,
    Luv ya too, girl.

    Janet Dean, thank you for the welcome. hahaha Alfalfa really isn't so bad, is it? And it's a great fiber source. I hear the hoof beats now. You must be getting closer to the finish line. There's a bag of oats waiting for you. Sweet Mix even. Incentive!!!

  40. Hello Ruth...again. *smiling* I do work great under pressure, but I'm not amazing. Fabulous, yes, amazing, no. hehehe Just kidding. I don't stop at 2500 words, I keep plugging along as long as the words are flowing. However, next time, I'm going to start writing the story, even if they buy it, a lot of it will be written. After all, what else do I have to do with my time. *Yeah, right. Rolling my eyes* hehehe

    Erica Vetsch. I would be a bit panicked if I had two in a row. I've had that before, but the stories were written. I've only sold one other book on proposal, and that was A Grand County Christmas. Because Barbour wants a chapter by chapter synopsis, it only took me two weeks to write it and I had it finished before they contracted it...just in case. Whew.
    Wonder if could clone Camy. hmmm. Camy! Where are you???!!!

    Myra Johnson. Yes, I factor in the days. Actually, my goal is to have the first draft written by the end of this month. Then I will go back and add layers where needs be and I'll check for inconsistencies etc.

    Lorna Faith,I was reminding myself about discipline when I wrote the post. Dirty D word anyway. hehe

    Hi Sandy!! You can borrow my blinders. I'm have several pairs, in different colors even. hehehe Can't borrow my pink ones though.

    Hi Missy!! Thanks for the welcome. Your digestive system now thanks me. *grin* Thanks for the vote of confidence. Prayers wouldn't hurt either. hehe I see the Pom Poms waving. HEY! You're leaving a mess. Your Pom Poms are coming apart. But that's okay. The dust bunnies will love them. hehehe Boo, hiss, that was SO bad. hehe

    Susan Anne Mason. You're welcome. And I got my blinders on now. They're a bit crooked, but they're on.

    Donna, glad you found the humor in my post. I tried. Yay! It worked.

  41. I'm not a writer but I find it interesting to read the things you writers go through to produce the books I love to read. One of the women in my book club will sometimes figure out how many pages of the book she has to read each day to finish the book in time for book club (she's a math teacher) but thankfully I've never done that. I just know my day is not complete without reading. Thanks to all you authors for writing so I can keep reading.
    I hope you can keep your blinders on, Debra, so you finish by your deadline.


  42. Julie!!! Julie, Julie, Julie!! Long time no see, girlfriend! And really, you let your vacation come first. Oh, I'm so insulted. hehe Actually, I can't believe you took the time to stop by and say hello. Thank you so much. Glad you enjoyed the post. Wow, I'm shocked that you were able to write 500 pages in such a short time. Maybe we need to clone you too. Ah shucks, aren't you sweet to say it'll be a good book because you've read my others. God bless you too. hahaaha Everyone knows you're in Boston. That's a hoot. I love it! My hubby is really supportive, which I'm grateful for. I think he likes the money, that's why. hehehe Not really. Just teasin'.

    Patsy, I would lend you some of my blinders, but everyone else has borrowed them. hehe We all should invest in blinders. We would become rich. hehe

    Myra Johnson. My hubby isn't retired, which is a good thing or that would mean he's unemployed. He has been helping take up some of the slack, when he can that is.

    Patricia W, Hugs back at ya, girl! Is your full-time job writing, or something else? Don't have to say what? I don't know how people work a job outside the home and write too. Yikes! I would be having a panic attack! A for reals one. hehe Thanks for stopping by.

    Connie, I'm sorry. I guess I should have disclosed a warning about blood pressure. I'll do that next time, okay? *grin* Mines been up and going higher and higher each day. gulp.

    Debby Gusti, When you invest in the, tell them I sent you. See if they will give me a discount next time. I know what you mean about saying no to things you like to do. Today, because I had something to do before a certain time, I didn't want to get started and have to quit, so I didn't say no to garage sales. BUT, I did discipline (There's that nasty word again.) myself to a certain time and I stuck to it, which was hard. Will you come clean my shower? I'll give you a pair of blinders if you do. *grin*

    Faye, organization is over rated. hehe. If you get it figured out, let me know, okay? Thanks for stopping by.

    Oh and to all of you...if there are any misspelled words or type o's, invest in blinders. hehehhee

  43. Ah, invest in blinders. I like that. I really do wonder this—I see that a lot of writers have to put aside a lot of tasks, mainly housework (hey, I’m in favor of any excuse to let the dishes pile up), but I was wondering how many hours a day writers write, or if they even have a usual timeframe? I see daily word count a lot, but what does the work day in terms of hours look like?
    The books look lovely, by the way! I’m in for either!



  44. Debra, this really helped me today. Thank you!

  45. Great advice, Debra. I think I need a whole case of blinders! lol

  46. Im late here been sick all night. I have to say I love the look of the two christmas books. I always get the barbour novellas for Christmas.

  47. Enjoyed the post. Both Christmas books look wonderful! I love reading Christmas themed books.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  48. Whitney, thank you for stopping by. The hours vary for each project and each writer. Sometimes I have lots of time to write a story, sometimes I don't. Like I said, this one is the tightest deadline I've had. I have had tight deadlines on edits and revisions, but never this tight for writing a complelet manuscript. If your photo is any indication, you must be a huge Jane Austen fan. Me too. Actually, I'm a Jane Austen fanatic.

    Patty Wysong, I'm soooo glad my post helped you.

    Pam Hillman, if you invest in a case of them, you have to share, okay?

    Ausjenny, I'm sorry to hear you were sick all night. I love Christmas novellas too, so it was an honor to be able to write two of them.

    CindyW, I'm thrilled you enjoyed the post. Like, I told Ausjenny that I love Christmas theme novellas too. Thank you so much for stopping by.

  49. Whitney, thank you for stopping by. The hours vary for each project and each writer. Sometimes I have lots of time to write a story, sometimes I don't. Like I said, this one is the tightest deadline I've had. I have had tight deadlines on edits and revisions, but never this tight for writing a complelet manuscript. If your photo is any indication, you must be a huge Jane Austen fan. Me too. Actually, I'm a Jane Austen fanatic.

    Patty Wysong, I'm soooo glad my post helped you.

    Pam Hillman, if you invest in a case of them, you have to share, okay?

    Ausjenny, I'm sorry to hear you were sick all night. I love Christmas novellas too, so it was an honor to be able to write two of them.

    CindyW, I'm thrilled you enjoyed the post. Like, I told Ausjenny that I love Christmas theme novellas too. Thank you so much for stopping by.

  50. The Cutting Edge with Moira Kelly and DB Sweeney, one of the top romantic comedies of all time.

    He's a hockey player, huge star, hurt too badly to stay in the game.

    She's a prima donna figure skater, very wealthy, huge pressure from her father to get that gold metal. She missed it by a hair in the last Olympics and her partner quit.

    She's a sassy snot. He's a macho jerk. Love is right around the corner.

    Just laugh out loud funny. I'm talking myself into watching it again. I haven't seen it in a while.
    I think we own it but it's probably on a VHS tape and I don't think I have a player anymore. :(

  51. Deb, I'll clean your shower! But only once. :)

    Mary, I LOVE The Cutting Edge! Favorite movie! Always watched it when my teens were home sick...we'd giggle and quote lines we knew by heart!

  52. Thanks for this post, Debra--GREAT advice! I try to be in the habit of praying BEFORE I write each time...but I confess sometimes I "jump right in" to go ahead and type the words. But I've found I really write better (and feel better about my writing *smile*) when I've prayed first! ~ Congratulations on all your books--WOW! (I'm especially eager to purchase CHRISTMAS BELLES OF GEORGIA---since I'm a life-long Georgia girl). ~ Blessings, Patti Jo :)

  53. AusJenny, praying you feel better!

  54. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to give us some tips on time management.
    You have inspired me with your reminder to exercise. Maybe I should go for a walk this morning. It is a beautiful day down in Florida :)

  55. Coffee and chocolate. Are these the rewards or the criteria for being a writer?