Hi, Friends. Sorry for falling off the radar. This pic about sums it up. I hope to be back on my feet soon. Please take the lesson I learned the hard way and get your flu shot! Hope you guys are having happy holidays and staying well.

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Motivation Monday

Happy Motivation Monday and Merry Christmas Eve! There are seven days left in this year, and I invite you to make the most of them. For each remaining day, see what you can accomplish to end the year on a high note. Could you set and meet a small goal each day? Could you perform a random act of kindness to bless someone each day? Remember that each day is precious and only occurs once.

What will you do today?

Writing Wednesday

Happy Writing Wednesday, Friends! Well, Christmas is just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean your writing goals need to go out the window. I’d like to share with you a goal-saving method I learned from author Camy Tang. It’s called the Pomodoro method.

The Pomodoro method consists of 25-minute blocks of intense writing/editing/or other work task, followed by a 5-minute break. After four Pomodoro sessions, you would take a 10-minute break.

Even when I feel I don’t have enough spare time to write, I can usually fit one or two Pomodoro sessions into an evening, and it’s surprising what I can get out of such a small amount of time. If you’re one of those people who has trouble focusing when you ’re overwhelmed by a million things on your To Do list *cough, hack, like me, cough* or if you have negative self-talk in your head that gives you writer’s block *hack, choke, me again* then the Pomodoro method is for you. You can find free Pomodoro timers online, or apps for your phone.

Try the Pomodoro method today and see how you do!

Motivation Monday

Happy Motivation Monday, friends! Well, it’s a week from Christmas Eve and there’s a lot left to be done. For many, this season is a time filled with joy and peace, but for others, it’s a time of sadness and loneliness. For others still, it’s both.

It’s often hard to tell who is feeling what, but one thing is universally true: we all want to feel a sense of love and belonging. In this mixed season, I invite you to lean on each other, be open and honest with each other, motivate each other, and not focus on the shopping and deadlines as much as the people themselves.

Do you feel at peace today, amidst the busyness of the holidays? If not, what do you need to feel at peace this holiday season? What do your loved ones need? Can you ask them? Can you provide it for them? Or can you simply pray for them or wish them well? Friends, I am praying that all of you have true peace and joy during the holidays and that you find it in yourselves to focus on your blessings. A friend posted today that we must empty our cups before filling them. I challenge you to pour out anything you don’t want in your cup, and fill it with whatever brightens your life most.

Writing Wednesday

Happy Writing Wednesday, friends! Today I’d like to discuss process. Some colleagues introduced me to Scrivener today, which looks like a powerful tool to aid in fiction writing. To date, I’ve written in Microsoft Word and divided my planning and prep work between Word and Power Structure. My prep work consists of character sketches, theme descriptions, a chapter-by-chapter outline, and general notes and research bookmarks. I’m a strong believer in planning before writing, but I know different methods work for different writers.

What’s your preferred process and why? What tools do you use? What prep work do you do before writing a novel?