From 2011′s January post on the Year in Review: “Is it important to review your goals each year? YES… I didn’t list the goals …except the element of “with a little more hard work, I can accomplish more.” On next year’s list is “LESS FARM TOWN on Facebook”"… Well, I am proud to say that goal was met! I totally stopped playing Farmtown in 2011. Sorry, fellow neighbors!
I decided to use all the time I’d devoted to “virtual farming” to revise and submit my writing, since I’d finaled in several writing contests – and won the Mystery/Suspense category in one – in 2010. VOILA! My historical western romantic suspense, Double Crossing, was accepted for publication. This was icing on the cake since I snagged a non-fiction freelance staff writing position for RE/MAX Platinum. And I was paid well for them. A blessing indeed!
So put a great big RED CIRCLE WITH A SLASH through it over the FarmTown picture. Trust me, virtual games are time wasters. Why didn’t I learn this long ago? I ought to have, given the games people came up with long ago in the late 70s and early 80s, which ate some of my time. Facebook and Twitter are TOOLS to use, not play with. I’ve learned another lesson and appreciate the APP developers, but beware.
I also discovered that being accepted for publication, while exciting, soon meant FAR MORE WORK than sitting back and basking in the “I’m published now!” glow. Thanks to my editor Audrey Jamison, I was very pleased with having only a few minor revisions and glitches to fix with DOUBLE CROSSING. Working with cover artist Elaina Lee was also a lot of fun.
But can we say, “Promotion promotion promotion?” Talk about eating up valuable time!! Unless you have a publicist, YOU must blow your own horn. And for the most part, I worked LIKE A DOG (or a beaver, since my dog lays around all day) to get early reviews and word of mouth spreading about my book. I also worked hard to sell a non-fiction article to the Historical Society of Michigan for The Chronicle about a one-legged Civil War veteran lighthouse keeper, James S. Donahue of South Haven.
When the check and contributor copies of the magazine appeared on my doorstep, I was thrilled!
A FRONT COVER lead article!! Apparently this is a “BIG THING” in non-fiction. So thank you, God, for that incredible blessing! I was very pleased with the revisions and the work I did with editor Izzy Bendall to maximize the article’s content. Thanks to James Donahue, the tireless keeper, for being such an amazing man (he died in 1917 after 30+ years working for the U.S. Lighthouse Service).
For 2011, my RE/MAX Platinum articles number close to 100 for the year — woo hooo!
I did attempt to write the sequel for Double Crossing during November’s NaNoWriMo, but must admit that Thanksgiving and Christmas sidetracked me. I made a start — and have researched most of it, but I’m not a lightning fast writer. Sorry! But I’m starting the same promotion process over again while I continue writing. So chalk up a goal for 2012… Double or Nothing is coming!!
I failed to get a Christmas story out, though, so that’s another goal for 2012 along with a Valentine’s Day novella. I’ve made a few other goals — to enter Double Crossing in published book contests, plus revise my lighthouse mystery and sell that as well, plus get a “whole new look” to this website. I hope to DEBUT the look on January 1st or soon after, so keep an eye peeled!
HAPPY NEW YEAR and let’s get the ball rolling for 2012!!