SALE ALERT: Your Best Year 2017 Goal Setting Workbook

Hey y'all! Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and break. I'm back at it and will be buried in writing all month since I have an end of the month book deadline, but I wanted to pop in to let you know about a great sale going on today.

If you follow this blog regularly, you know that I'm all about the planners, goal-setting, and productivity. And the end of one year, beginning of another is always the logical time to do some review of what's worked and what hasn't and then make new goals going forward. This past year I used a goal-setting workbook called Your Best Year by Lisa Jacobs. 

This is not a traditional day planner. This is specifically a goal-setting workbook for people running a small business. It's not specific to writers, but I find it fits well for that. There are exercises to fill out that help you evaluate the past year--what's worked, what hasn't, the whys. Then it leads you through setting goals and habits for the next year. After that, it's a month by month guide of setting goals, evaluating them as you go, and adjusting as needed. 

I've found this system really helpful for me. Sometimes by the end of the year, it can feel like nothing worked because we're all tired and a little burnt out. But being able to look back at what I set as goals for the year in January helps me to see--oh, hey, I did accomplish some of this. It also helps me see the areas I'm still struggling in. Overall, it's a great exercise in mindfulness and thinking strategically about life and work.

And today for CyberMonday it's 50% off, which makes the download only $7.50. This workbook can be ordered in print or as a download. I like getting the download because then I can put it in my own binder and reprint a page if I mess up something. (By the way, I haven't been asked to feature this and I don't know the author. Just passing along my experience with it.)

So if you're looking to do some goal-setting for 2017, check it out.

There are also some alternatives to this workbook:

If you want something writer specific, Bria Quinlan has created the AuthorLife Planner. This can also be purchased as a print book or download. I haven't gotten a copy of this one yet, but lots of my friends have been raving about it. I believe there are exercises in the front and then it has an actual planner in the back with dates/calendars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you're not an author and not running a business but want to set personal goals, I've heard a lot about the Powersheets workbook. I haven't ordered these and they're on the pricier side (the spiral bound book is $55) but they seem to get great reviews and are very pretty. If you end up going this route, let me know what you think! I'm curious. :)

UPDATE: I ended up buying the Powersheets and I'm really impressed with them. Functional and lovely. :) (And yes, I have no willpower to resist these things, lol.)

All right, now I'm off to the writing cave.

Anyone into yearly goal-setting? Have you used this type of workbook before? What method do you use?

When Good GIFs Go Bad: Sorry, Saved by the Bell

Writers don't have watercoolers to chat by at work, but we have Twitter and instant messaging. My friend Dawn Alexander and I use IM and the GIF keyboard probably a little too much during the day, but it keeps us sane. And the things writers end up talking about can either sound illegal (do you think you could murder someone with a shoestring?) to the wildly inappropriate, which is where things went today.

Today's topic: pond sex.

My verdict: Cold water does not make for hot scenes.

Dawn's verdict: No one wants pond scum in their special places.

Which of course meant I needed to respond with an appropriate GIF. I searched "gag" and got a Saved by the Bell GIF. Of course, being a Saved by the Bell fan, I chose that one. It seemed perfect. Until I pasted it in and the GIF looped and made the action repetitive. >.<

Yeah. So. I'll leave you with that for the day. 

Checking Off the Bucket List: Guns 'n' Roses Live

Hey, y'all! I know it's been a few weeks since I've popped in. When I disappear it's usually for the same reason--I'm writing my butt off. That's been the case since I've gotten back from RWA. My super secret project is underway, and I'm hoping I can share the news of it with all of you next week! :)

But today I wanted to share a little from my bucket list night last night. Yesterday was mine and hub's 15-year wedding anniversary. Here we are all those years ago with my super fabulous arm dancing.

So the day was awesome already, but what we did to celebrate was even better. We saw Guns 'n' Roses, the band that we never thought we'd get to see (with original band members) in our lifetime. In fact, the tour is called Not In This Lifetime, lol, so we weren't the only ones thinking that.

GNR is hubs' favorite band and very high on my list as well. If you know us at all, we're concert people. We have a wall of albums in our living room marking some our favorite bands we've seen in concerts. 

But this was that band. The one we always went back to with, "Man, I wish they could get it together and tour." So it was one of those life moments to be standing in a stadium with sixty thousand people and hearing Axl Rose belt you, "Do you know where the f**k you are? You're in the jungle, baby!" (Video below, but warning, it has the f-bomb.) 

Cue full body goosebumps and the adrenaline rush to end all adrenaline rushes. It's all that childhood memory stuff wrapped in with loud music and residual teenage angst/rebellion and knowing that you'll probably never see this again. I highly recommend it. :)

Also, Duff and Slash are still hot. Just sayin'.

 

And super talented. Here's the opening to Sweet Child O' Mine.

So if anyone asks why I write books about rockstars, like Wanderlust and Call on Me, it's because it's me. This is what I love. So if I can't BE a rockstar, then I damn well am going to write about them, lol.

Do you have any bucket list singers/bands you want to see? What's the best concert you've ever been to?

What I'm Reading: The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Dr. Valerie Young

RWA always has fantastic speakers at the national conference, and I always leave inspired. This year was no exception. This past week I was lucky to hear authors Beverly Jenkins and Sherry Thomas give keynotes. Both women were amazing. But I had to miss the third keynote given by Dr. Valerie Young on "Imposter Syndrome" because I had another meeting. I'm usually a little skeptical about motivational speakers, so I didn't think much of missing it. Then, I started hearing from everyone how awesome and helpful it was. Cue me being sad I missed it.

However, lucky for me, Dr. Young has a book about Imposter Syndrome and the things she talked about. So though I'm sad that I didn't get to hear her speak, I was excited to order the book. I'm only halfway through, but already it's been worth the price. The basic premise is that a lot of successful women (and some men) suffer from "Imposter Syndrome" or always feeling like you're successful because you "got lucky" or were in the "right place at the right time" or that you "fooled everyone." In other words, for some reason, we feel like we're  frauds. That people are going to find us out. That we're not really that (insert adjective) as good/smart/capable etc. as people think we are. That resonated with me and I know it resonated with a lot of others. Writers tend to be a little neurotic anyway, lol, but I think this is more universal than that. We try to explain away success instead of owning it. This book is about fixing that kind of thinking. 

So even though I'm not done yet, I wanted to pass along the recommendation. If you think you might fall into this kind of thinking, it's worth a read: The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It.

About the book:

It’s only because they like me. I was in the right place at the right time. I just work harder than the others. I don’t deserve this. It’s just a matter of time before I am found out. Someone must have made a terrible mistake. 
 
If you are a working woman, chances are this inter­nal monologue sounds all too familiar. And you’re not alone. From the high-achieving Ph.D. candidate convinced she’s only been admitted to the program because of a clerical error to the senior executive who worries others will find out she’s in way over her head, a shocking number of accomplished women in all ca­reer paths and at every level feel as though they are faking it—impostors in their own lives and careers. 
 
While the impostor syndrome is not unique to women, women are more apt to agonize over tiny mistakes, see even constructive criticism as evi­dence of their shortcomings, and chalk up their accomplishments to luck rather than skill. They often unconsciously overcompensate with crippling perfec­tionism, overpreparation, maintaining a lower pro­file, withholding their talents and opinions, or never finishing important projects. When they do succeed, they think, Phew, I fooled ’em again. 
 
An internationally known speaker, Valerie Young has devoted her career to understanding women’s most deeply held beliefs about themselves and their success. In her decades of in-the-trenches research, she has uncovered the often surprising reasons why so many accomplished women experience this crushing self-doubt. 
 
In The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women, Young gives these women the solution they have been seek­ing. Combining insightful analysis with effective ad­vice and anecdotes, she explains what the impostor syndrome is, why fraud fears are more common in women, and how you can recognize the way it mani­fests in your life. With her empowering, step-by-step plan, you will learn to take ownership of your success, overcome self-doubt, and banish the thought patterns that undermine your ability to feel—and act—as bright and capable as others already know you are.

Has anyone else read this or did you see Dr. Young speak? Anyone think "YES THAT'S ME!" when reading the book description?

Holy S#!t! I Won a RITA!!!!! (oh, and I have a book out tomorrow)

*insert all the curse words* I did it y'all!

This past week was the Romance Writers of America conference, and the big event that wraps up the conference is our version of of the Oscars--The RITAs. I was nominated for two this year, which was a huge honor in and of itself. But then this happened...

Okay, so I thought *maybe* I had a chance at the erotic category (where BREAK ME DOWN was nominated) because it only had five nominees and the odds were better. But the Best Novella category was first of the evening and had like ten nominees from all different genres. I was not prepared to say the least. The first words out my mouth as I heard the word "Nice" and my table erupted in screams were, "Oh SHIT!" Lol. Always so eloquent, right? Then I was shaking all over and in some weird out of body state as I walked up to the stage.

I had a speech prepared. I couldn't read it. I choked up on stage and announced that I was going to cry. I forgot to thank everybody I meant to except my husband, mom, editor, and agent. But despite me completely having a breakdown in front of a giant ballroom of people and the live stream on internet, it was the BEST THING EVER. I can't even tell you how amazing it is to bring one of these home. I don't do this for awards, but man, they sure are nice. :)

And so since I forgot to thank you, my readers, I'm saying it now. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For reading my books, for your enthusiasm, and for all the kind words you send me. I couldn't do this job if it weren't for you. So I share the lovely RITA with you. ;)

*hugs* (Oh, and if you want to watch the RITAs and see my complete freak out, I think they're going to upload it to YouTube at some point and will share the link.)

In other news, WANDERLUST will be out tomorrow! And it's only $3.99. So if you haven't already, go grab you a sexy rockstar. ;)

About the book:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Loving on the Edge series and Off the Clock, a story of sex, love, rock & roll, and a reporter who’s about to learn a new meaning for staying on top of her assignment... 

Restaurant critic Aubrey Bordelon is never at a loss for words to describe her meals in the fancy restaurants of New Orleans. But after her magazine’s high-profile music reporter falls ill, she finds herself out of her element and in a sea of screaming fans awaiting Wanderlust’s lead singer, Lex Logan. The sound of his voice gives her goosebumps, and the stage presence of the hard-bodied rock star takes her breath away. So when he pulls her onstage for a sexy stunt, she knows she’s in real trouble.

Lex doesn’t want to pretend that the sparks on stage between him and Aubrey never happened, but it certainly makes the fact that she’s writing a story on his band all the more dangerous. The last thing he needs is some nosy reporter revealing their problems to the world. But the sexy Southern belle doesn’t give up easily, and soon he’s wondering if the best way to chase her off the story is to coax her into his bed… 

PRE-ORDER THE BOOKAmazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play 

That's all I've got for you today! Hope you have a great week!