Reducing Stress when You’re Busy Busy Busy

After many weeks of not hitting my ROW80 goals, I’ve finally nailed one! Well, I nailed last week’s too, but I purposefully set the bar very low, after not hitting it for so many weeks. This week’s was a challenge, especially with all of the extra holiday stuff to do, but I did it!

One thing that helped immensely was to let go of guilt and “ought-tos” and just do what was really necessary. For example, maybe you like to wrap elaborate, beautiful gifts. I used to too, but this takes time. And it just gets torn up anyway! So several years ago, I decided to just let myself do what the rest of the family does, and wrap it, and stick a bow on. That’s it! The best thing? No one seemed to care! Oh, they used to notice the beautiful, beribboned packages and appreciated them, but it’s an extra, not an expectation. So I let it go!

Same thing with gift tags. I used to make my own, out of recycled Christmas cards. Fun to do, cheap, and boy did they look nice, but it took a good couple hours! Now, my family gets store-bought stick-on labels. And they’re OK with that!

This year, I decided not to make a food item for my RWA chapter’s holiday party. In the past, I’ve taken beef rollups, mini quiches, and other goodies – none of which were difficult to make – but all took time. The kicker was that I always seemed to have a lot of leftovers to take back home! Some things didn’t go over that well at all, even though they were tasty (IMO and my family’s). I also noticed in past years that the food was all appetizers and desserts, yet the party was held at noon – lunchtime. I figured something more “main dish” would be appreciated, so I just called in an order for footlong subs at Subway, asked them to cut them in quarters, and picked them up on the way to the party. Even though someone else also brought mini-sandwiches, my subs were a hit! I had two quarters left over, and my husband quickly took care of them. For the gift exchange, I “gifted” a book on Amazon, and chose the printout option. I chose a craft book that I personally love – Holly Lisle’s Create a Plot Clinic – that can be useful to a writer at any point in her career. It was for a Kindle book, and I don’t know if the woman who received it has a Kindle or smartphone, but an Amazon Kindle gift book can be exchanged for anything, so hopefully she’ll get something else she likes if  Create a Plot Clinic isn’t for her. A thoughtful gift, and another task made easier!

So that’s how I got the type-in done for six revised chapters this week, even though I’m learning this is a task that takes longer than I thought when the book needs a lot of work.

This week, I want to get Chapters 10 & 11 typed-in, and off to the beta readers. Then I’m going to dig back into the markup, and get through Chapter 18 & 19. This will get me through the big black moment.

How are you doing on your goals, whether or not you’re participating in ROW80? Got any tips on reducing holiday stress? I’ll share some more here on Thursday, so check back!


By the way, thanks to all who joined in Samantha Warren’s Blog Scavenger Hunt! I had fun participating, and hopefully a lot of readers found a lot of fun books!

Another Answer, and Giveaway!

It’s Day Six of the Samantha Warren’s birthday bash Blog Scavenger Hunt, and there’s an answer to be found somewhere on this site! You may have to go back in the blogs a few weeks… or you may need to check out other pages on the site. 😀

Answer the questions by emailing Samantha for a chance to win prizes! Included in today’s prizes is a free ebook of Time’s Enemy! You’ll also be entered to win the free Kindle she’s giving away at the end of the week.

Have fun, and happy scavenger-hunting!


Don’t forget, there are fantastic buys on E-books at the Booklovers’ BuffetTime’s Enemy and nearly 150 other ebooks are on sale for $0.99 each. So stop by – there’s sure to be something you’ll enjoy, and you can load up without gaining a pound (or a kilogram, for our friends outside the US)!

The Stylish Blogger Award: Favorite Things

Last month, blogging friend Debra Kristi honored me by awarding me the Stylish Blogger Award. Thank you, Debra! She actually posted this on Nov. 5th, but I had other posts booked already, and Stacy McKitrick had awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award just a few weeks earlier, so didn’t want to post something similar so soon.

The Stylish Blogger Award works in much the same way: post seven random things about yourself, then name four or five blogging friends you’d like to pass the honor on to. I’m posting seven of my Favorite things:

Favorite drink: Mountain Dew. I love this stuff. I could drink it all day, but in the interest of health (and my waistline), I limit myself to one per day. Among the many cool things we saw when I went to China a couple years ago with my daughter’s choir, was finding Mountain Dew at the Terra Cotta Warriors museum in Xian. Being made with cane sugar, it tasted like our Throwback Mountain Dew, which is the best!

I will use this photo on my blog whenever possible, because it’s that awesome

Favorite car: Camaro – especially the new ones, but I like them all. This probably started with my earliest memory: going to get my dad’s new car when I was two and a half. It was a red, ’69 Camaro with black stripes, and my brother still owns it.

Favorite children’s book: Black and Blue Magic, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. I was probably twelve when I read it for the first time, and I still remember it. It’s the story of a lonely, geeky boy who lived in a boarding house in the 1930’s (I think), where a boarder gave him a special, magic ointment that would make him grow wings for the night. You can imagine the trouble this kid got into! It’s gone through several different covers since, and when I searched, none looked familiar until I found this on a book collector site. The book was first published the year I was born, and this was the original cover. It gets a lot of blame for the book’s initially low sales.

Favorite band: Rush. Actually, I’d be hard-pressed to choose between them, Front Line Assembly, KMFDM, and Emerson Lake and Palmer right now, but Rush has been a favorite longer than any of the others. Please don’t ask me to pick a favorite album or song! I got my first Rush album, Exit Stage Left, when I was in ninth grade. What’s funny is my teen daughter is into vinyl records, and has been listening to all of my old Rush albums! I now have them all on MP3s.

Favorite movie: Beavis and Butthead Do America. I really can’t explain why, but almost all of my favorite movies are comedies. Maybe it’s because I can’t write funny to save myself. So imagine how excited I am that MTV brought them back last month, and I can now watch every Thursday night at ten PM. Only now, instead of making fun of music videos, they make fun of other MTV shows, like Teen Mom and Jersey Shore. Suddenly two shows I can’t stand are funny!

Favorite place to shop: Amazon. That goes double during the holiday season, because I HATE crowds. Amazon has just about everything I want or need, and I can get free shipping on orders over $25, which isn’t hard to do.

Favorite holiday show: The Grinch who Stole Christmas. Yes, I can be one, and once I actually was one, in a play. It was a choral reading rendition, and all the actors were girls. I got to play the Grinch, because I was the only one who had a suitably dark voice. My favorite scene in the original TV special is where the Grinch is slithering beneath the Christmas tree like a snake, collecting stuff. This is also my family’s favorite.


And now for the Stylish Bloggers to whom I’m passing the award! To accept, all you need to do is save the award image to your computer, then include it on your blog (or a post) where you list seven random things about YOU, and then pass it on to four or five other fantastic bloggers!

Samantha Warren: The author of fantasy novels like Blood of the Dragon and the Vampire Assassin series shows that generosity is never out of style. Samantha’s 30th birthday is this weekend, and to celebrate, she’s giving away free books every day this week, and a Kindle as a grand prize! Be sure to stop by and check out her Blog Scavenger Hunt for details on how you can search, answer, and win!

Karen McFarland: Karen blogs about odd yet uplifting things in the news, and hosts a bunch of cool guest bloggers. Whatever the topic, it’s about people – the fascinating, the positive, and sometimes just strange, but always a fun read.

Deborah Dale: Deborah’s Making the Most of a New York Minute blog touches on a variety of topics that include a four-part series on her and her family’s brush with the supernatural during their visit to Gettysburg.

Michele Stegman‘s Thoughts from a Writers’ Block covers all things writing, with an emphasis on things readers who also aren’t writers can find of interest too.


So check out those blogs, and in the meantime, pop in and share – what are some of your favorite things? Do you have a favorite scene in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas?

There are Answers Hidden Here!

It’s Day Three of the Samantha Warren’s birthday bash Blog Scavenger Hunt, and there’s an answer to be found somewhere on this site! You may have to go back in the blogs a few weeks… or you may need to check out other pages on the site. 😀

Answer the questions by emailing Samantha for a chance to win prizes! You’ll also be entered to win the free Kindle she’s giving away at the end of the week.

Have fun, and happy scavenger-hunting!


Looking for fantastic buys on E-books? Then look no further than the Booklovers’ Buffet! Time’s Enemy and nearly 150 other ebooks are on sale for $0.99 each – there’s sure to be something you’ll enjoy at the buffet!