Tuesday, February 26, 2013

16 Years on a Waiting List


I received an email today that February 27th is my 16-year anniversary for a rather odd waiting list. On February 27, 1997 I volunteered to be a Bone Marrow Donor.

I was matched once with a patient a few years ago who needed a bone marrow transplant. That was a rather surreal email to receive. I was a match for a stranger who had a life-threatening illness. I’ve donated blood for years, a stick in the arm and after they give you cookies and juice. Donating bone marrow is a bit more involved.

I wasn’t told who the patient was, how old or what illness he or she had. Or even where this person lived. The National Marrow Donor Program said if I was willing to donate, to call their number. I called.

If you sign up to be a bone marrow donor, usually done while giving a routine blood donation, they’ll take extra samples for special testing. Then they keep your information on file and contact you if a match if found.

If they find a match, the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) will contact you to see if you’re still interested, and also to see if you’re in good health. Then they’ll coordinated the next steps with a locale blood center or hospital. When they contacted me and I agreed to the donation, they had me call a blood center in town. The NMDP sent my files to them and I was scheduled for further testing. After asking me a bunch of questions, mostly health related and if I could get off work for a couple days, they told me to wait until I was contacted. My employer was very supportive and said I could have off all the days I needed for the donation and recovery. In anticipation of the call, I contacted my doctor because I would need a physical exam.

There are two methods of donation: Peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) and bone marrow. The patient’s doctor decides the method that is best. I was told it would be bone marrow.

PBSC donation is a nonsurgical procedure that takes place at a blood center or outpatient hospital unit. For 5 days leading up to donation, you will be given injections of a drug called filgrastim to increase the number of blood-forming cells in your bloodstream. Your blood is then removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells. The remaining blood is returned to you through the other arm. Your blood-forming cells are back to their normal levels within 4 to 6 weeks. PBSC donors can expect to experience a headache, or bone or muscle aches for several days before collection, a side effect of the filgrastim injections. These effects disappear shortly after collection. Most PBSC donors report that they feel completely recovered within 2 weeks of donation.

Marrow donation is a surgical outpatient procedure that takes place at a hospital. You will receive anesthesia and feel no pain during the donation. Doctors use a needle to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of your pelvic bone. The marrow replaces itself completely within 4 to 6 weeks. Marrow donors can expect to feel some soreness in their lower back for a few days or longer following the donation. Most marrow donors report that they feel completely recovered within 3 weeks of donation.


Robin Roberts from Good Morning America is a successful recipient of a bone marrow transplant.http://abcnews.go.com/Health/robin-roberts-journey-inside-courageous-fight-mds/story?id=18562093

My story: The procedure was cancelled. Sadly, I never found out why. I was a little nervous but had myself psyched, so it was a letdown. Whether the patient decided on another mode of treatment, or they decided the bone marrow transplant would be too risky, I don’t know. I always wondered what happened to that patient.

And I’m still on the waiting list…
Interested in learning more? http://marrow.org/Home.aspx

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Harlequin's New Digital First Series #Harlequin #ebook

I know Harlequin has Carina Press but they just announced a new digital first line: Called simply-Harlequin's Digital First Series. Like Avon's Impulse, Berkley/NAL's InterMix and Grand Central's Forever Yours, Harlequin's Digital First line will be an e-book imprint.

So if you have a manuscript you'd like to polish up and you think it fits the following guidelines, check out the submission guidelines and send it in. As of now, they don't require an agent.

The genres they are currently looking for:
Contemporary Romance
Fantasy and Fantasy Romance
Erotic Romance
Science Fiction and Teen Romance
Science Fiction Romance

Your Brilliant Idea***

***Authors have always been the innovators in publishing. Do you have a trilogy that just never fit anywhere?
Do you have a burning idea that keeps you up at night, but there has been no market for it? Now is the time to submit.

How to Submit:

Please submit only completed, fully polished manuscripts along with a query/cover letter and synopsis. In
the subject line of your query, please type the manuscript title, your name and the genre of the manuscript.

Queries: Must include the following and will not be reviewed if any piece is missing:


1. A brief, introductory query letter including genre, word count and a short description of the book,
as well as any pertinent information about the author, including both legal name and pen name
and any writing credits.

2. The full manuscript saved as an RTF file and attached, with file name TITLE_MANUSCRIPT where
you substitute your book's title in place of TITLE.

3. A 2–5 page synopsis of the book detailing character development, plot and conflict/story
resolution. Attach as an RTF file with file name TITLE_SYNOPSIS where you substitute your
book's title in place of TITLE.

Please be sure to put the following information on the first page of all files: manuscript name, author pen
name/legal name, email address, phone number, genre and word count (stories can be any word length
above 10,000 words).

Submissions should be sent to


All submissions will receive an auto-response acknowledging receipt of submission. Please allow 8–12 weeks
for an editorial response to your submission. If a response has not been received after 12 weeks, please
follow up with the

Submit_HDigital@Harlequin.com email address. In the subject line of your query, please

type your manuscript name, your name and the genre of the manuscript. (Example: Book X by Jane Doe, Fantasy Romance.) In the body of the email, please let us know the date it was submitted. It is also helpful if you email from the same email address you used to send your submission.
Harlequin authors should submit through their editor or
Harlequin authors should submit through their editor or



• Use a professional email account; for example: Jane Doe, not Fluffy Bunny • It is helpful if your author name and email account name are similar

• Select a readable font (not Courier)
• Make sure your synopsis answers all the questions raised in your plot—if we read your synopsis
will we understand why the murderer committed the crime?

We are not seeking previously published material; however, we are open to self-published material.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Guest Author Virginia Nelson

-Tell us a little about the book and where did you get the idea to write this story.

 ETERNAL LOVERS - Sekhmet’s Guardians – Book One –combines Native American lore and ancient Egyptian mythology in a multi-plotted cross genre paranormal romance. Eternal Lovers is also the first book in an eleven book series. 

Blurb - When two hidden worlds collide near modern day Lake Michigan, Jennifer, a young Native American, is confronted with the reality not everything is as it seems and things do go bump in the night. The questions she has long since asked are answered in this epic tale of self discovery when she meets Gabriel; the director of Guardians Incorporated.
Born in New Tuat, Netchkhet, now known as Gabriel, came to Earth some five thousand years ago to protect the human race, Disillusioned because of an unfulfilled prophecy, he has become cold and distant - even from those of his kind. Secretly, he waits for his enemy to take his head so he may leave this world for good.
Can a tiny Selkie melt his hardened heart and restore his faith in a power far greater than himself? When history repeats itself, can he save her from death's embrace or will they be robbed of a future again?

- What’s the best and worst part of being a writer?

Finding enough time to do everything that is expected from an author is probably the hardest part of being a writer in our day and age. Many years ago when I first started writing an author’s job was to write. Editors who worked for large publishing houses actually published and promotional gigs were scheduled by a staff member.

- What is your writing schedule like?

I’m up between 4 and 5 am. After a cup or two of coffee I hit the computer, check my mail, messages and Face book then switch gears putting myself in writer mode. I’m very much a pantser and love to sprint when writing out first drafts so for the next few hours I will hammer out words on the keyboard in thirty minute sprints – taking fifteen minute breaks between them to refill my coffee cup and check messages. I work pretty diligently until 2pm at which time I take an hour break, eat lunch and hopefully do some minor housework. When I return to the computer I tend to switch modes again and use the next couple hours to do edits and revisions.  During and sometimes after dinner I go over my days accomplishments with my soul mate. Since I rise early in the morning I’m usually headed to the bedroom by 9pm where I manage to watch a tv show or two before opening up my current reading selection. I read till I fall asleep then wake up and do it all over again. Sundays are the only day I tend to take off and are spent with family and friends.

- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Regardless what genre an aspiring writer chooses I strongly recommend joining and becoming an active member of at least one writers group. The support and lessons one receives from others of like mind is priceless. Personally, I belong to three chapters of RWA among other writer organizations. My second tiny bit of advice I might offer would be to apply what you have learned through those organizations but most importantly listen to your heart. Sometimes rules are meant to be broken – I know I have broke more than just a few recently.

- Are you seat of the pants writer or plotter?

I write what I see or experience in my dreams so I would have to say I write by the seat of my pants. During the revisions I may reapply plotting techniques to heighten story content. 

- Have any of your titles ever been changed from your original choice?

My individual titles have remained the same although the name of the series did change from Guardian’s Incorporated to Sekhmet’s Guardians.

- If you could turn any of your books into a movie which book or series would it be?

I would have to say Sekhmet’s Guardians. In fact, I have often referred to it as my night time soap. The first book in the series, Eternal Lovers is currently in the hands of a movie producer and is being considered for production.

- Do you have a character in one of your books that continues to haunt you at night or surprised you when you wrote the book?

That would be Gabriel, the leader of Sekhmet’s Guardians. The man caused me to loose many nights of sleep until I finally started to write out his story. He continues to amaze me as he delivers their story through my dreams.

- Which actor screams SEXY to you?

Dwayne Johnson aka the ROCK
- Do you write full time or work outside of the home?

I’m a retired teacher who wrote non-fiction for over twenty years. Currently I am a full time author who enjoys her life in sunny Arizona.

- A lot of people think that genre hopping isn’t a good idea. What do you think?

Personally, I am inclined to believe new authors should try their hand at a variety of genres. One may like to read one genre and think that is where their heart and destiny is but without giving each a try –you will never know.

- Are you an outgoing person? YES

 - Are you a morning or night person? Morning

- Is there something about you or your life that readers might be surprised about?

Up until a couple of months ago I would have to say my personal relationship with my high school sweetheart was somewhat of a secret. In 1966 Tom and I, both young teenagers, ran away to get married. Sadly we didn’t go through with it and as fate would have it we ended up getting married to someone else and loosing touch with one another. Thirty years later we were reunited and are now planning on formally tying the not at the http://www.romancenovelconvention.com  World famous cover model Jimmy Thomas will be performing the ceremony. What better place to get married than a romance convention?

-Do you write a novel straight through? Or revise as you go? Plan a whole series in advance? Or does the series evolve?

As previously mentioned, I write what I see in my dreams so the stories unfold night by night, sadly not always in chronological order. I tend to write out the complete first draft before making revisions. Usually while I am making the revisions, rewrites and edits the next book in the series begins to unveil itself to me. My characters from each book move forward into the next in the series.

- Do you use Beta readers? I use both beta and post readers in addition to utilizing my critique group.

- Which books were the most fun to write? The hardest to write?

The series along with my urban fantasy, Cupid and Penelope have been a blast to write. The hardest is a current WIP entitled, Sins of a Man, the story of a Mafia hit man. The hero is a difficult man to deal with so I tend to write his story in small blocks.

- What’s next?

Eternal Nights – Sekhmet’s Guardians – Book Two -  will be released in May followed by Eternal Blades, book three in December, 2013. I also have several other WIP that should be released within the next couple of years.

- Would you like to share something surprising about you that not many people know? See above wedding plans.

- For fun. What is your favorite kind of chocolate or chocolate dessert? (I love chocolate covered cherries)

Chocolate covered macadamia nuts. 

Purchase links:


Eternal Lovers – Paperback -  http://tinyurl.com/b8ll29b

Eternal Lovers – Large Print - http://tinyurl.com/ae3u6lv

Eternal Lovers – Kindle -          http://tinyurl.com/amvlphl

Cupid and Penelope – Paperback - http://tinyurl.com/ayn33ud

Cupid and Penelope -  Kindle -        http://tinyurl.com/bfyue39

Author’s website – http://www.authorvsnelson.com

Youtube for Eternal Lovers.


Excerpt from Eternal Lovers – Sekhmet’s Guardians – Book One

Lance met Marie and Kathleen upstairs and shared the unhappy news about Jennifer with them. They disappeared for a few minutes then returned to the dining room to wait for the California group to arrive. Both women said they lit candles and said prayers on Jennifer’s behalf, each to a different deity. Marie was born a mortal in Spain some three hundred years ago and held fast to her Catholic upbringings, while Kathleen was born from two turned immortals. She practiced the old religion, as did her parents. 

The Guardians held their secrets tight from most others, but here in the house they all shared, he felt it necessary to prepare the others for what was coming. It did not look good.  He’d already made his way to the sound studio downstairs and informed the band members. He also informed Harold in the kitchen as to what was going on. He sent a text message to Roger, to alert the guards around the estate.

Raphael called ahead and reported from the plane that Jennifer was unconscious after being attacked by a breed. Three hours after her encounter in Hollywood with her husband and his breed lover, she was still in, deep shock. She was alive after the breed attacked her, but she remained in some kind of comatose state. Her eyes were open, glazed over and slightly rolled back in her head. She hadn’t spoken since they rushed in and found her. She wasn’t responding to sound or touch in any manner.

Lance put a call in to Michael to come to the estate immediately. Michael, another Ancient, was skilled in the art of ancient and modern medicines. He hoped Michael could help her, as he was more gifted at removing memories than any of the others. Raphael told him Gabriel and himself were both too distraught to even consider trying it themselves. Raphael also said Gabriel was a wreck. He sat on the plane, holding Jennifer like a doll, talking to her, hoping to get some kind of response. 

When the group pulled up in front of the home, the front door was opened by Harold. His usual smile was replaced with a grim frown. There was sadness in his eyes, the kind you see when someone dies. He knew the old gentle breed made sure Jennifer’s room was cleaned, her bed sheets were changed and the covers were neatly pulled back waiting for her.

Alice entered the house first, tears flooding her eyes as she looked up and saw Marie and Kathleen waiting next to him. Behind him, stood Mick, Thomas and the other band members who recently came up from the basement.

He stepped aside and Mick stepped forward through the crowd of people, Alice ran to Mick with tears streaming down her face. Mick embraced his lifemate and held her as tight as he dared. Then everyone heard her cries, “Oh Mick, I can’t lose her… I just can’t.”

Lance saw the pain on Mick’s face as he held on to Alice. Immortal men, including breeds were known for their superior physical and emotional strength, but when it came to their lifemate they were just the opposite. The love bond that was created when one took a lifemate allowed each individual to share in their thoughts and their pain. The emotional pain Alice was feeling was now Mick’s, in addition to the pain he already felt for seeing the one he loved in such a state.

Mick looked up at Michael as he started to walk to the front of the house from the dining room. Michael quickly waved a hand over the two and Alice quieted almost immediately. Mick nodded his thank you and remained silent as he continued to hold on to Alice.

Marie and Kathleen stepping back were embraced by their lifemates. Both of them were on the verge of breaking down and needed the comfort of their males.

He, along with everyone else, watched as Gabriel walked through the door carrying Jennifer. Gabriel was so big and Jennifer so small, he looked as though he was carrying a child. Michael pushed through the crowd of on-lookers to get to the two. He stood in front of Gabriel, looking at Gabe’s heartbroken face then put his palms on Jennifer’s temples while looking into her glassed over eyes.

“Take her upstairs,” were the only words Michael spoke.

Gabriel headed for the stairs with Jennifer, followed by Michael. The crowd broke up, some heading for their rooms, others like himself, headed into the bar. He needed a drink—a strong one. It had been a long time since he had seen his brother in the shape he was in tonight.

Lance should have known what was going on with Gabe but he hadn’t paid any attention to his strange behavior. It had been so long since Gabriel showed any kind of connection to anyone--no wonder he dismissed the idea all together. But now that he thought about it, Gabriel’s feelings for Jennifer had been right there in front of him the entire time.

He thought back to the night of the party and remembered Gabriel coming into the pit asking him to find Jennifer. He assumed it was because Gabe was trying to avoid her. Now he knew the truth… Gabriel was in love. May the Goddess help him. If Jennifer didn’t recover soon, he didn’t know what Gabriel would do. He was never the same after he lost Akhakh, the one and only female he had ever loved. 

Lance hammered down a double shot of bourbon, then another. Thomas came in the room and put his hand on his shoulder then asked, “Did you know?”

He knew what Thomas was asking—did he know about Gabriel and Jennifer.

“Not until today. It never dawned on me. In fact, I thought Raphael was making time with her until this morning when we couldn’t find her.”

Thomas said his goodbye after pouring them another drink. He leaned on the bar and drank quietly, hoping Michael was taking care of things upstairs.


Thanks for visiting the Passion Sense Blog, Virginia. Best wishes for a wonderful wedding. How exciting! Say hello to Jimmy and give him a hug for me. J

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentine’s Day Asteroid, Near Apocalypse?

Okay it’s the geek in me coming out and maybe I do watch waaay too much Big Bang Theory. Does the idea that an asteroid will pass close to earth on Friday bore you? Closer than some satellites? If that doesn't spark your interest, then you can skip this blog. If it does, read on: I love when science fiction becomes science fact.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 will fly by the earth on February 15th traveling at 7.8 kilometers per second. That’s about eight times the speed of a bullet from a high powered rifle. Don't worry it will not hit. No apocalyptic event and nothing like the movie Armageddon! No need to eat of all your Valentine’s Day chocolates before Friday. But the asteroid will come about 17,100 miles from the planet’s surface, closer than some satellites. That’s very close.

Remember the distance from the earth to the moon is 238,900 miles! I can’t help but think how many times the astrophysics calculated and recalculated the path trajectory of this object to make sure they weren’t making a math mistake. Any slight error in their vector angle calculation and BOOM! Giant hole somewhere on earth.

If this asteroid were to hit—and it won’t—it would have the impact of 2.4 megatons of TNT. It would level trees over an area of 820 miles, about 2/3 the size of Rhode Island. This would be equivalent to the meteor event in Tunguska, Russia in 1908.

Meteorites enter earth’s atmosphere all the time but they’re very small (from grains of sand to fist-size) and may be seen as ‘shooting stars’. Most burn up before landing on the surface.

For the stargazers and telescope enthusiasts: Eastern Europe, Asia and Australia will have the best telescopic-aided view of the 2012 DA14 asteroid. Sadly, it can’t be seen by the naked eye. NASA please take lots of pictures and share!
Need a sexy Science Fiction romance where a natural event destroys a world and hunky guy steps in to rescue, but risks losing his love forever?
Dragon Witch by Ellora's Cave. It was a PRISM finalist.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How's Your New Weightloss/workout Going? #diet #exercise

How's your new workout and diet going so far? It's been over a month since most people have started that new diet and/or workout routine from their New Year's Resolution. Are you seeing results, or getting discouraged? I think I heard somewhere it takes at least three months for new habits to take hold so if you haven't started seeing results, hang in there. But also you may need to make some adjustments.

The following tips are from the people at Beachbody who give great advice on fitness and diet. They say one of the easiest ways to see quick results is to increase the percentage of protein in your diet.  The extra protein in your diet will also help curb your appetite when you're trying to cut back on calories. You do need some carbs especially when you're working out, because your workouts are fueled primarily by blood sugar and glycogen (stored carbs). Over time, you'll understand your own threshold balance between protein to carbs. If you're not seeing results: try to increase the intensity of your workouts, cut back on the carbs while increasing protein and vegetables in your diet. When you see the decrease in weight, keep at it until you reach your goal weight, then slowly introduce more carbs. When the weight starts creaping up again, that's your threshold. It's all about eating healthier and you may need to talk to your doctor if you have any health issues. This will help you eat healthier in the long run.
However, this high-protein phase should be just that: a phase. You'll reach a point at which you'll need to introduce more carbs back into your diet. If not, your body will tell you that you're depleting your stores of energy.
Here are some signs you need to start eating more carbs:
  • Your overall progress starts to plateau
  • You notice that your performance is suffering
  • You're often (or always) tired
  • You feel like you physically hit a wall during your workout (also known as "bonking")
  • You throw up
Here are a couple breakfasts to try. You shouldn't skip breakfast. Most can be made in 15 minutes or less.


Goat Cheese, Tomato, and Parsley ScrambleGoat Cheese, Tomato, and Parsley Scramble (Body Beast®)
These eggs are seasoned with the slightly tart flavor of goat cheese. The sweet tomatoes offer a delicious balance.
(Makes 1 serving)


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 dash sea salt
  • 1 dash ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley (or 1 tsp. dried parsley)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled soft goat cheese (1 oz.)


  1. Combine eggs, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; whisk to blend.
  2. Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add egg mixture; cook slowly, stirring frequently, until eggs are almost set.
  3. Stir in tomato and parsley. Sprinkle with cheese; cook for 1 minute or until eggs are fully cooked.
Sagi's Variations: You can substitute the same amount of feta cheese for the goat cheese. You can use fresh basil, cilantro, or chives instead of parsley. You can use chopped zucchini, asparagus, or broccoli instead of tomatoes.
Nutritional Information (per serving):
CaloriesFatSaturated FatCholesterolSodiumCarbsFiberSugarProtein
30323 g8 g385 mg521 mg6 g2 g4 g19 g

Egg Sandwich with Canadian Bacon (ChaLEAN Extreme®)
Great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this sandwich pairs well with a simple green salad.
(Makes 1 serving)


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread, toasted
  • 1/2 oz. Canadian bacon, warm
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Combine egg and egg white in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.
  2. Heat medium nonstick skillet lightly coated with spray over medium heat. Add spinach; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until wilted. Remove from skillet. Set aside.
  3. Add eggs to skillet; cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until eggs are set.
  4. Top toast with Canadian bacon, spinach, eggs, and cheese.
Nutritional Information (per serving):
CaloriesFatSaturated FatCholesterolSodiumCarbsFiberSugarProtein
24610 g4 g206 mg545 mg16 g4 g2 g24 g

ProatmealProatmeal (INSANITY®)
This high-protein oatmeal gets a flavor boost from fresh berries and walnuts. A great way to jump-start your day.
(Makes 1 serving)


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen berries
  • 1 scoop Beachbody® Whey Protein Powder, Chocolate or Vanilla flavor
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk (or unsweetened almond milk, rice milk, or soy milk)


  1. Bring water to boil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oats; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Combine oatmeal, berries, Whey Protein Powder, and walnuts in a medium bowl; mix well.
  3. Top with milk.
Nutritional Information (per serving):
CaloriesFatSaturated FatCholesterolSodiumCarbsFiberSugarProtein
2998 g2 g37 mg107 mg33 g6 g14 g26 g

5 Super-Quick Breakfasts:

Berry Healthy Cereal
3/4 cup high-protein, whole-grain cereal (such as Kashi® Go Lean) topped with 1 cup nonfat milk and 1/2 cup berries
Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories: 266, Protein: 13 g, Fat: 3 g, Carbs: 50 g
Cottage Cheese On-the-Go
1 cup 1% cottage cheese served with 1 medium apple, or 1 medium pear, or 1 cup cubed melon, or 1 cup berries
Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories: 257, Protein: 28 g, Fat: 3 g, Carbs: 31 g
Crunchy Greek Yogurt
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 3/4 cup high-protein, whole-grain cereal (such as Kashi® Go Lean) mixed in
Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories: 285, Protein: 23 g, Fat: 3 g, Carbs: 45 g
The Hulk Greentealogy
1.5 scoops (or 1-1/2 packets) Greenberry Shakeology® blended with 1 Tbsp. matcha green tea powder, 1 Tbsp. all-natural peanut butter, 1/2 cup nonfat milk, 1 cup water, and 1/2 cup ice (optional)
Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories: 377, Protein: 32 g, Fat: 9 g, Carbs: 44 g
Yogo Berry
1 scoop (or 1 packet) Greenberry Shakeology blended with 1 cup strawberry halves, 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt, 1 Tbsp. raw honey, 1 cup nonfat milk, and 1/2 cup ice (optional)
Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories: 401, Protein: 32 g, Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 69 g

**Good luck on your workouts and healthy eating routines. What's your favorite workout? Dh is training for his first 5K run this year.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Good to Great: A Writer's Path to Excellence #amwriting

Good is the enemy of Great. Have you found yourself saying: This is good enough? Then you have work to do. How does a writer cross the threshold from GOOD to GREAT? What does it take to become a winner and a success? What do top-selling authors, successful business people, and Olympic athletes have in common? Are they just lucky or is there something else?

Next Saturday, February 9th, I’ll be giving a workshop at the Pocono Lehigh Romance Writers (www.plrw.org ) on this topic and I thought I’d give a little introduction on the topic.

While taking an online class with Bob Mayer a while ago, I was surprised to see NY Times bestselling author Susan Mallery also taking the class. She has published well over 100 novels and is a huge success, why was she taking this class? At one point in the class, I made a comment saying I felt my writing was good but not great. I was trying to figure out how to make it great. I was thrilled to get a private email from Susan. She recommended a book: “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. I asked her why she was taking this class when she was so successful. She said the key to becoming a great writer is always striving to be better. There’s always something to learn, even after 100 or 200 books.

When a NY Times bestselling author recommends a book on how you can become a great writer or gives you any advice: LISTEN!! I did and bought the book and audio. I continue to listen to it in my car over and over. Since then, I’ve found other personal development books/audio. I listen to them and read 10 pages a day. They give me the drive and focus to set goals. In addition, I also read writing How To books and take workshops and online classes.

I’m signed up for Angela James 3-week workshop Before You Hit Send, a self-editing class starting February 11. http://nicemommy-evileditor.com/before-you-hit-send/

Here are a couple tips for becoming a GREAT writer: I’ll add more tips in future posts.

·         Create a Stop Doing List. Great authors don’t spend all their time on what TO DO, but focus on what TO STOP DOING. Create a STOP DOING LIST. Find more time for the important things, like writing.

·         The Black Hole of the Internet. Have your ever tracked the time you spend on the internet? Facebook, Tweeting, email, texting, etc.? Yes, authors have to do promotion but there must be a balance. Go to: http://www.online-stopwatch.com/ when you get onto FB or Twitter and clock your time. You may think you only spend 15 minutes, but it may be 2 hours. Clock your actual writing time too. Pause the clock if you get up to get a drink, use the bathroom, etc. Tracking your time helps to keep you focused.

·         Discipline people, discipline thought, discipline action=Success!!

And that’s one step for becoming GREAT!!

·         Set goals. Goals are dreams with deadlines. Write them down!

Good is the enemy of great because it’s the path of least resistance. Do you want to be a good writer or a great writer? What steps are you taking?