Monday, December 19, 2016

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year

Today I'm posting over at the IWSG site if you'd like to stop in and visit. This post will close out my blogging for the year but I'll be around on Twitter and Facebook now and then.

2016 was a rough year for a lot of people. Within our family, we had ups and downs but through it all, we stuck together and supported each other. I trust that we'll be of one heart going into 2017. We're rich in all the right ways.

"Contentment lodges oftener in cottages than palaces." Thomas Fuller

We had a bit of snow and ice at the end of last week but I'm trying to have a better outlook on winter this year. We'll see how long that lasts.

"Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart." Victor Hugo

I'll use my first post after Christmas to talk about this year's writing progress and my plans for the next year. Some good news and some not so much.

I do want to thank all my faithful readers of this blog and especially those who leave comments. You make me smile and sometimes laugh out loud. To all of you, I wish the very merriest of holidays with the warmth of family and friends around you. I pray for your good health and happiness. If I could gift it to the world, I would share with one and all, my contentment and joy as a mother, wife, sister and friend. Bless you all.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Seasonal Musings

I always complain like so many other people about how early retailers put out their Christmas goods. Yet, here I am again with Christmas less than two weeks away and I'm unprepared.

This past weekend I accomplished a few things. The house is finally decorated. The tree is up but not decorated. The children insist on all being present to participate in that and it's very difficult to get that scheduled. But it's worth the wait to have all the good-nature arguing and teamwork that does into that. They all have their favorite ornaments that they must put on. There have been years when we didn't decorate the tree under the 23rd.

Another obligation was an extended family gathering on my husband's side. It was calm and fun, lots of good food.  A third thing was the start of plans for my daughter-in-law's baby shower. Male readers might not agree, but I love a baby shower. They're so hopeful and filled with joy.

The only shopping I've done so far is bring in packages from the front porch and the mailbox. The rest should arrive this week.

Book outline is not very far along but I'm going to work on it this week. Cold weather brought a bit of snow, a dusting, this weekend. I DON'T like it.

I read an interesting stat in Writer's Digest Yearbook. In 2015, 54% of ebook purchasers use their phone to read books at least some of the time. I do that sometimes when I'm waiting at the dentist's or doctor's. I would guess that lots of people read the news on their phones. My husband does this now after fighting about getting a smart phone.

Another mention in WD Yearbook was how adult coloring books actually accounted for the 3% increase in print book sales in 2015. Does that count? I'm sure you've heard the thoughts of how coloring is a good stress reliever for adults. Not my thing.

Are you ready for the holidays? Any gatherings you must attend? Do you read on your phone? Are you into the coloring book trend?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IWSG: December Edition

Welcome to the last IWSG blog hop of 2016. This online writing group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. Members post the first Wednesday of the month and share their concerns, victories and ask questions of each other. There is not a more supportive group anywhere. Also, for the past few months, IWSG has posed a question that members can answer or not. This month, inquiring minds want to know:
In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what's your plan to get there?

This is something I do think about. Like most writers, I want a big, big publishing contract that will allow me to hire a publicist, and to have movie people bidding on the rights to my novel. But on a more realistic level, I want to continue to write my romances for the small publishing house I work with, but I also want to finally have one of my fantasy series picked up by one of the big publishers like TOR or Orbit.

Writer's Digest put out their annual yearbook magazine. I always like reading their headline roundup. One item of great interest is the sales numbers for audiobooks. Digital audio accounted for the biggest growth area for traditional publishers in 2014. That trend continued in 2015 with a sales increase of audiobooks around 21% from the previous year. If you're looking to take advantage of that trend, there's a giveaway going on over at IWSG blog, where you can try to win a free book telling you how to make an audiobook. Michael Burnette's The Independent Author's Guide to AudioBook Production could be yours for free.

With the holiday season upon us, TV has lots of reruns on. What will I be rewatching to get through this dry spell? Probably a little Daredevil, Game of Thrones, The 100, and I don't know what else. New shows I've enjoyed this year are Pitch, This is Us, and Timeless. I also hope to get my next romance series outlined before January first. So lots to keep my busy beside Christmas happenings.

Have you thought about a 5 year plan? Or longer? Do you have experience with audiobooks as a writer or reader? What are you enjoying on TV these days?

Monday, December 5, 2016

QotM and Winter is Here

The first Monday of the month is the Question of the Month blog hop started by Michael G. D'Agostino over at A Life Examined. Answer the question and then visit the other bloggers pondering this month's query.

"What does retirement look like for you?"

As most of you know, I'm a full time writer and don't expect to ever completely retire from that. But I also taught high school for 34 years before this and have since retired from that career. Thank goodness or I would be starving without that pension. So I write almost every day now, take care of our huge house and property and sometimes help my husband with his painting business. The only thing I'd like to change about my current situation that would make if feel like retirement is to down-size. That would give me more writing time and the financial savings would allow more money to do some traveling.

Like many people today, we're pretty careful of our money. I know so many older people who can't afford to retire and are working well into their seventies. Likewise, I know many young people who are struggling from paycheck to paycheck and can't even dream of retirement and save toward it.

Speaking of questions, don't forget this Wednesday is IWSG posting day. The question this month;
In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what's your plan to get there?

And in some Ninja news, Alex J. Cavanaugh has a prequel to his terrific space opera series coming out tomorrow. CassaDawn is set before the events in the other Cassa novels. You can pre-order today or get it on Tuesday.

Had a great writer's Christmas party on Saturday. It's such fun to spend time getting to know everyone a little better and the food was good too. I haven't really done much shopping but I do have some ideas of what I need to get for everyone.

On the other hand, winter is determined to arrive. We had flurries and some sleet a few weeks ago and last night, we had some more. The only comfort in that is that I get to quote Game of Thrones. I can't count how many times I watched the last episode of season 6.

I have two different ideas I'm working on for my next series. As soon as I finish the edits I'm currently working on, I'll have to make a decision about it.
"Indecision may or may not be my problem." Jimmy Buffet

Are you preparing for retirement yet? Have any holiday parties in the future? Aren't you glad our winters only last a few months and not for years like on Game of Thrones? And we don't have white walkers.