Monthly Archives: December 2015

Time to Party – Happy New Year!

Amazing Fireworks Ove City Skyline For New Years Celebrations

Every year at this time we evaluate the previous year, and set our goals for the coming year. I got an early start on that at the beginning of December due to my schedule suddenly being freed for me.

  • What goals did I accomplish  this year?
  • What goals did I miss the mark?
  • What goals are worth putting on the list for 2016?

For the coming year I have one theme – simplicity.  It’s time to streamline my life, pull some of my irons out of the fire, lay down a few altogether and focus my efforts on the remaining irons.  When I turned 30,  I had one goal for every year of age. (EX: Read 30 books this year.)  Each year I added to that number until . . .  well it’s just not feasible or realistic to have that number  of goals.

I don’t bother with New Year’s Resolutions,  because they are destined to  fail. What I do have is a plan to achieve my goals over the course of the next year.

I’ve included trivial things –  like a certain craft project that I wanted to tackle in the year.  I’ve included health and fitness plans –  like the proverbial lose weight  and get in shape.

2016 is going to be different.  The scatter gun has been tossed aside and the laser sights are focused on 5 areas.  Just 5!  I know –  for anyone that knows me that seems  odd.  Going from 50 goals to 5 is . . . . simpler.

  1. Professional – (writing goals,  editing schedule, career development, courses)  I have a list of my writing goals, as well as a list of “day job” goals.
  2. Health & Fitness – (losing  the fat, getting on a regular fitness routine, and a healthy eating plan.)  Lose 50 pounds and exercise 30 minutes 5 days a week.  (I know I will have to work back up to that but I had the routine down before I  derailed myself.)
  3. Relationship – (Marital relations,  family, friends)  Embracing the empty-nest and have more dates!
  4. Home Organization – (For me this is decluttering and getting our house ready to sell.)  I have scheduled room by room to declutter, repair, renovate, and stage for selling. We are not going to get a storage unit to store stuff in,  we are going with the austere minimalistic approach.
  5. FUN –  because if you can’t have some fun in your life,  what’s the point?  What can I say?  The party princess part of me won out!  We won’t be going on a cruise this year, unless my new job pays really well but we will be doing something.

That’s it.  That’s the entirety of my goal planning this year.  I’ve been an overachiever for years and the more pressing issue right now is we are overwhelmed with the accumulation of  stuff. I’m tired of stuff.  I’m overwhelmed with stuff.

I have my appetizers ready for the party tonight, along with the spirits for the  cocktails (my brother-in-law is playing barkeeper) as well as a batch of gingerbread men with happy little smiles.  We aren’t  underwater like many of our friends in the area, (flooding) so we are going to celebrate the New Year with a small little gathering  close friends and family. Friday the first will be a day of rest and relaxation then Saturday is my birthday. OH yes, I will have cake.

Then come Sunday,  since it is technically the first day of the week  – the new plan goes into place.

Have you made plans for your year?  I find that if I don’t plan,  then  the year simply passes me by and I end up a year older. When I make a plan  and work on that plan,  I accomplish  things.  I may not hit the mark that I’ve set, but I have made progress.  I would rather be actively working on my own goals  than  end up a year older with nothing to show for it.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Whether you set goals or choose a more Bohemian approach, I hope that 2016 is a year of tremendous blessing to each of you!  Tonight we celebrate – tomorrow we  take over our little corner of the world one step at a time!

Till next time,

~~~~~

Ellie

 

Yesterday & Tomorrow

As we stand at the precipice of another new year, I am mottled with thoughts. Where we have been, as well as where we endeavor to go, are among them. I have decisions to make and yet cannot find terra firma to stand upon. I have never been one to make choices without a foundation beneath me to dig in. I am at odds, and unsettled.

I know that as the end of the third book in the series wraps to close, I have to make a choice. I have vacillated for months now about this decision. I am no closer to making it now than when I began. It has delayed production twice so far. Indecision is not normally part of my nature. This time, it is a choice between what I planned to do from the start, and what has developed since, but also it is a result. A result of watching reactions, sales, shares, and anticipation, or lack of anticipation.

I know, there are those who have been reading from the beginning who are ready to string me up by my toes to finish. I am so grateful to them that I cannot see straight most days. The truth is, I am a realist. I know, that is a weird arse thing for a fantasy writer to say, but it’s true. And, reality is that the numbers have not grown to sustain the work. Writing is a huge commitment to produce and follow through, but when the return on the labor is not there, it is more difficult to want to continue. Realist me does, and doesn’t.

I know, we are getting ready to start a new year and it should be an exciting time as we get ready to turn the page. I am. I am also, not. Like I said, I’m a realist. I believe thus that it is only fair that those who are following along, wondering what the bloody hells has happened to the next installment in the story, should know where I am. It’s only fair. I’m here somewhere. Just don’t ask where somewhere is. I’m not sure I know that.

Aedan

What a Year It’s Been!

2015 is fast coming to a close. Where did the time go? All in all, I have to say that it has been INCREDIBLE! New paths were taken. New opportunities were offered. And Dreams were realized!

At the beginning of 2015, I was writing the rough draft of my book, Beyond the Veil of Whispered Dreams, my father was battling cancer, and my mother was dealing with health issues of her own. For a little while, I entertained the thought that maybe, just maybe, Veil would have to be put on the backburner. Savannah blew that thought out of the water by signing us both up to sign at the Great Lakes Book Bash in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Talk about holding your toes over the fire! It was official. My name was on the banner. My book was going to debut in October, so I had to quit pussy footing around and get not only busy but serious. There was no guarantee this opportunity was going to come around again, so if I wanted it, the time was NOW to act.

It was tough. I’m not going to lie. Working. Taking care of my parents. Racing back and forth to the hospital. Seeing to the needs of my son. Writing. There were days where I didn’t know whether to wind my butt or scratch my watch.

My rough draft was completed a couple of weeks before I made the journey to New Orleans. Oh, what an exciting time that was. The authors, bloggers, and readers who found out I was approaching the editing phase of getting Veil to publish were so incredibly supportive and encouraging. That in of itself was an amazing boost. I also got to meet and spend time with fellow author Madison Granger. What a great time we had exploring Nola.

Back home, one set of edits done….another (what I refer to as the sea of red) was on its way, and I was offered a position where the work I would be doing would actually matter. There was a hiccup after the interview process….a delay between the “you have the job” and the “we want you to start on…” Did I mention that patience wasn’t a virtue I have in abundance? The universe keeps trying to teach me the lesson of being patient. I think it should just chalk me up to a lost cause as far as that lesson goes. lol

Within a week, my book went to publish and I was officially given a start date for my new job. It was euphoric!

October came…my debut was AWESOME! I was able to sell twice as many books than I was desperately hoping I would sell and  I got to share the experience with my friend and mentor, Savannah. A week later, I started my new job.

This year has been a lesson in perseverance for me. It would have been easy to throw in the towel, to take the circumstances of my parents’ health and use it as an easy out, and I seriously considered it…lol. (shhhh….don’t tell Sav, Aedan, or Abyrne), but I didn’t. Partly because, I had the incentive of my name being on a banner for an event, but also because I WANTED it…and I wanted it to be good.

2016 is around the corner, and I can’t wait to see what surprises and opportunities it has in store. Look for Veiled Path to Destiny, Book 2 of the Veil Series to come out. No date has been set yet, but you’ll be the first to know when it is.

In looking back…I want to thank everyone that has followed, encourage, supported me, my dreams…and bought my book. Thank you for taking the time to come on this journey with me!

Sooo….until next year….Happy Reading! happy-new-year-2016-images-new-year-greetings-1024x758 ~Jolanthe~

Drink coffee, Write words, Repeat

I am bush-whapped. The holidays snuck up fast, beat me senseless, and made a break for fairer skies. Dirtballs.

I did remember to pause and experience the moments. I did remember to hug my nephews a little tighter since I don’t see them very often. I did eat way too much and have to fast the weekend to let my system recover from the rich and sugary treat overload, but after all that, I’m honestly glad it’s done.

It’s not a mild bah-humbug sentimentality, a grinchy outlook, or even a total Scrooge, it is the reality of too many things and not enough hours. I am grateful for family to share time with, but I happen to believe that those you love should know it all year, not just because there is a holiday. I wish desperately that I could see many of them far more than I do, but we are spread too far across the country now for that. I’ll take the moments that we have to share, still wish for more, but also be glad when the crazy is ended.

Christmas has become a circus. I’m waiting for the masses to have nervous breakdowns in the shopping centers trying to find the perfect gift for those they only know peripherally. Or, the gift receivers to have them when they get another pair of socks or a Christmas shave because it has become so gift-centric that the holiday is material and superficial. We have deteriorated to this and the gifts have become ridiculous.

For me, the best gift this year was something that my father made for my mother twenty-five years ago, but I’m sappy sentimental like that. I do not suggest that we not give gifts, only that we step back to remember WHY we give them instead of doing so out of obligation or trying to have the biggest, most expensive thing under the tree. The holidays have changed. Maybe because I’m older, but I’m not sure that’s it either.

It is for these reasons, I am glad the holidays are ended. I need to get back into balance and recharge. I have work to do that won’t do itself. My marathon project of the last 6 or 7 weeks is FINALLY off my desk. I was beginning to have doubts about my self-will to finish the task. (Something that I’ve not hit before.)

I need a day or two (hAHAAA – 3 day weekend coming) to gut my office and clear the counters for the year ahead. There is a new author at Eclectic Bard Books to launch in april, there are several old authors here too that need to have their hiney’s kicked into production, and there are events coming up just around the corner that will put speed bumps in our progress path.

The New Year is not here yet, but my mantra for 2016 is already set.
Drink coffee, Write words, Repeat.

See you in 2016!
Savannah

Looking back

Everyone says that you should always look forward to see where you are going and not focus on looking back to see where you have been. I agree to a certain point but I also disagree.

Yes you should not completely focus on looking back, but you should occasionally look back to keep yourself from repeating the same mistakes. As you learn from your mistakes you have to remember those lessons.  In order to do that you have to sit and review where you have been every so often so that you don’t lose sight of who you are and where you want to be.

As an author that is something that I am learning is very important. There is so much to publishing a book. Some things will help and some will hurt your efforts. It is important to remember which is which as you move forward.

As the year comes to a close I have been hearing about all the changes and wishes for the new year coming. While I do have things that I am going to be working on for the new year, I also want to take the time and look back at the years that are behind me. As I see the mistakes and the things that were beneficial it gives me somewhere to start.

Living the moment is also good for many situations, but even then you have to keep in mind your prior interactions with the people you are with. If you don’t look back then the same people will continue to take advantage of you or make you feel less than you are. If you have learned and continue to keep in mind their past actions then you can protect yourself from that.

I am not saying to keep looking back and never live in the moment or look ahead. I am saying that while you are keeping your eye on where you want to be to live in the moment while you get there while also remembering the path you took to get where you are now.

Open yourself up to all the possibilities and you will not only get to where you want but enjoy the journey to get there.

~Miranda

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Bring on the New Year …

Yule passed me by without a flutter, Christmas is finally over. It hasn’t been the best holiday for me, but I managed to survive yet again. While I didn’t have the Norman Rockwell Christmas, I did take time to acknowledge that I am blessed. I have a roof over my head, food on the table, family and friends, I can still get around, and I have an exciting and promising future. That is more than some people have. Counting my blessings has always kept me humble. It also keeps me focused on the important things in life.

I look forward to 2016. The coming year offers me new beginnings. I will have the opportunity to do new and exciting things, meeting new people along the way. Hopefully, some of these people will become friends and an integral part of my life.

My first book is still going through edits, but getting ever closer to the end. It won’t be long now before I hand it over to my publisher for the ‘Sea of Red’ edit. I must be a little masochistic, because I’m looking forward to it. I know that once I receive her edits and get it all worked out, my book is a step away from being a published tome. That part thrills me to no end. I’ll take a deep breath, and continue working on the second in the series. LOL No rest for the weary in this game.

While the house is quiet, and everyone recuperates from the holiday excitement, I sit in my writing cave, working through edits, planning and plotting.

I hope you enjoyed your holiday with family and loved ones. May the coming year bring all that you wish for.

See you next year!

~ Madison

Happy-New-Year-Quotes-Messages-2016-in-Advance

From all of us

Merry Christmas

wherever you are.

A Moment to Relax

The busynes of the holidays is over for the most part.  It’s time to take a moment and relax.  It’s time to enjoy family and friends.  This is what  the build up has been for,  so don’t waste the opportunity to share the time with loved ones.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Yule, Chanukkah, Kwanzaa, or  anyhting else –  be blessed!  Be a Blessing. Build memories and cherish the time together.  Time is a limited commodity, and more precious than gold.

Have a cup of cheer – Be Blessed!

Ellie

Evolution

 

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We began

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We dreamt.

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We Became.

Evolution.

[ˌevəˈlo͞oSHən]

NOUN

  1. the process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth.
  2. the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.

As many of you know, Eclectic Bard Books recently celebrated our 2nd anniversary, and in high style I might add, as we ran twenty hours of authors and booksy games and chatter. Two years ago when the house was founded if we had been told that this would be us in two scarce years, I daresay we would have laughed out loud at the notion. I know this is not where we thought we would be in such a short window. But, like things have a way of doing, we have evolved into something more than what we began. It is surreal.

I am sincerely proud of our roster, and the diversity it represents. The notion that we are living up to our namesake is incredible. I cannot fathom that we would do it any other way and I am thankful that during the recent growth spout we took, we did not lose sight of why we began.

Eclectic Bard Books was founded to create a place for authors not just to be able to write, but to be able to write what they are passionate about without having to conform or try  to fit someone else’s mold. Yes, we do go through the editing processes and reviews like everyone else, but any changes that come forth are because the author decided it was a better way to tell the story, not of obligation, and not because the designated editor changed the author’s work. We feel incredibly strongly about creative rights, and wrongs.

That all said, we are still young, and growing. We will have, as we do right now, expansion pains as we try to adapt and adjust to more faces at the table. There is no ‘kiddie’ table here, everyone has a seat with the grownups. The fact that half of our roster at this moment are brand new or yet to debut authors is EXCITING to us. Situationally, it is abundant with issues unique to new authors and young authors, but we are up to the challenge. One day, we hope that the name Eclectic Bard Books will become synonymous with quality new authors and debut books you want to read.

For now, Thank you for finding us and following along. As I started, after two short, quick years we are astride the road much farther along that we could have imaged and it is because readers, other authors, and industry professionals have embraced what we are trying to do. We will continue to do our best to bring good books to the table and reach out to share new authors with readers everywhere we go. It is our mission.

When we began, we sloganned with ‘Your writing world – No excuses.’ This may need to evolve some too as we reach a wider audience, to something more like Our writing world for your reading – No excuses. (just off the cuff o’course) The picture is incomplete without the readers. I think as we embark on our next year (aside from the books on sale that I hope you saw) this will become one of my quests to find a way to recognize our readers as well.

We begin, we dream, we become. Thanks for being along for the ride.

Aedan

 

 

 

Playing Catch Up!

It’s been one of those weeks. You know the kind. It’s the kind where you’re pedaling your legs as fast as you can, trying to get from point A to point B, only to find out you’re on a stationary bike.

This is going to be a really, REALLY short post. lol. Yes, I could ramble on forever, but there are things that need doing, and I’ve been appointed to do them. I need a raise. lol

Anyway….I want to say, Whatever holiday you choose to celebrate or not celebrate, I wish you Tolerance of those who believe and celebrate differently than you and Love and Light for all your days.

Until next week….Happy Reading!

B3imDsCIYAE-AgE

~Jolanthe~