This blog is for those 18 and older.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Setting Goals

There is something very intimidating about the word “resolution.” Maybe it’s the legal sound of it or simply the power of the consonants that give the word such and intimidating air. To me, a resolution is something that must be done which means there is absolutely no wiggle room whatsoever. Either you have met your resolution or you haven’t. There’s no grey area.

I like grey area. So, I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, besides January is the only time I ever think to make a resolution anyway. No, I set goals. I like the word “goal.” It has an optimistic ring to it, a belief that it can be achieved if serious effort is put into it, and inherent in the word is the notion that if it is not met, the world will not come to an end. Yes, I like goals.

In my last blog post I agreed to share some of my goals if others shared theirs. Well they did, so here I am with a few of my goals for the year. First off, one of my goals is to read at least one romance novel a month. It is said that the more you write the harder it is to read and yet the prevailing wisdom is that if you don’t read, you won’t keep up with the industry. So, one of my goals is to read a book a month and of course that means I’ll have to tell everyone what I thought about it right here on Happily Ever After Thoughts. I hope some of you will share your thoughts on books you read this year as well. You can either talk about them in a comment or email me at and I will put your thoughts up as a post.

Another goal I have this year is to finish my current work in progress by April 1. I think I can do this. It means writing approximately 72 pages a month plus revising. I have my schedule laid out with days off when I know I’ll need them, so I should be able to reach that goal.
As you can see from these two (of my 14) goals for the year, they come in all shapes and sizes and deadlines. I think it’s important to have little goals as well as big ones. That way when I achieve my little ones, I’m so energized by having accomplished them, that I’m ready to tackle the bigger ones. I call this self positive reinforcement.

Do you have any goals for this year, next month, tomorrow? Have you found a strategy to help you meet your goals? Do you tell your friends, write them down, promise yourself chocolate if you make them? If you have ideas on how to meet goals, please share. We could all use a little help.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Results of “Reading Over the Holidays”

I had 10 whole days free to tackle the to-do list I brainstormed which included six books. So the question is, did I meet my goal? You decide how I did.

I read Nicole North’s KILTED LOVER first since I told her I would. After that book I emailed her and asked if I could have a Scott too. I think every reader should be able to have a Scott (the hero). He’s hunky, a construction worker who is also a caber tosser. I’m talking muscular, but oh so sweet and very honorable. What more could you want? Wait, there was more, a whole lot more of him because this was an erotic romance.

Next, I read Jennifer Ashley’s THE LONGEST NIGHT in the anthology A CHRISTMAS BALL and I timed it perfectly. I started it on Christmas Eve and finished it on Christmas night. It was wonderful! I loved Mary, the heroine, because she was responsible and helpful and used a sword when she had to. And Valentin was hot as usual and honorable, and between them they saved the day. By the way, Valentin is a Logosh so he can turn into a wolf or this demon type thing with claws. Talk about feeling protected! I have to admit I was surprised by who the villain ended up being. Then again, Jennifer also writes mysteries so it’s no wonder I didn’t have a clue till the end.

After Christmas I read Kathryne Kennedy’s MY UNFAIR LADY. Okay, I have to gush here. I totally loved this book. In addition to a great hero, Byron, who comes to know Summer better than she knows herself, and a heart warming heroine, Summer, who carries a knife, is sweet and, well “Tarnation,” you just gotta love her, Kathryne pulls out all the stops. She adds to Summer a penchant for saving helpless animals and a worshipful young boy plus a number of funny happenings that make you smile. This book was a delight. I was cheering by the end. Truly a lovely read.

So I thought, three down, now what? I jumped into HEART OF GLASS by Kayla Janz. This book was well written, hot, and a “dreams come true” story about a man making it to the big time in the music business and a woman coming out of her shell. This one was true erotic romance and not for those uncomfortable with this subgenre. After reading this book I’m even more excited about having joined Kayla’s critique group.

Okay, so I had two more to go. I knew I couldn’t possibly read a nonfiction book on writing as fast as a romance (I really wanted to take it all in), so I decided to start reading a chapter a day of THE FIRE IN FICTION by Donald Maass. He gives a writer permission to go beyond what we’ve been taught to do and I think it will definitely improve my work. However, I have to admit that as of today, I still have two chapters left to read.

Lastly, I was to read Denise Domning’s LADY IN WHITE. I have started it, but have not finished it, so I’ll be posting about that book hopefully next week. So what do you think? How’d I do on my reading list?

It was incredibly motivating to post what I planned to read on this blog where anyone could see it and hold my feet to the fire. So since this is a New Year and goal setting is hot right now, please write and let me know what you would like to achieve this month, this year, by April 1st, whatever. Do you want to get a certain book read, re-read a keeper, complete a trilogy, clean your house (yuck)? Let me know. If you tell me your goals, I tell you you mine :-)

Happy New Year! Alexis