Absolutely! I have all sorts of goals: how many words I’ll write (1,000,000—this might be a bit high, but I live by the old, “Aim for the moon and even if you miss, you’re still among the stars” saying), publish four books, become more involved with my readers, learn to play an instrument (the accordion—seriously). There are many, many more. I think goals are extremely important.
Dreaming it up. This happens for me in some of the weirdest places: taking a shower, driving in the car, trying to fall asleep, eating dinner, staring out the window, doing research for something entirely unrelated. Anywhere. Some days I really struggle to get words on paper and I find that it comes easier to me when I walk the floor or do something total unrelated. Then it seems fun and I can get back on with my words.
That first round of edits. This is generally my most extensive round of edits where I make the most changes based on my running list and making notes of things that I need to change later to make sure it all adds up and works out. The rounds that follow are generally more fun because my husband, crit partners, editors, friends so roughly about ten other people read over it and while they look for typos, their other comments are often humorous so it doesn’t seem nearly as bad as that first round.
I have a two-room 500+ square foot office in the upstairs of my house. It’s the only thing that’s upstairs. On the landing, where the “bonus room” is, I have a huge window-nook where I do some of my best writing. But when the kids get noisy, there’s a little room I can sneak off into and close the door.
She’s not “new” by any means, as she’s been writing longer than I have, but she’s “new-to-me”. Her name is Lauren Royal. Strangely enough, it was a reader of mine who pointed me in her direction and I have to say, I am now addicted to her books!
Beware a Scot’s Revenge by Sabrina Jeffries and Duchess by Night by Eloisa James.
My official first car came in 2001 when I was sixteen, but it wasn’t really mine it was on loan from my parents. It was a 1990 Toyota 4-Runner with more than 265,000 miles on it. It was four-wheel drive, white, my dad’s “baby” and we called it “The Stud” due to its ability to dive over anything and pull anything out of a ditch. It couldn’t go fast—getting it up to 65 mph took about three minutes, but it had some brute strength. The first car I ever bought came four years later, when I shed a tear and had to trade in The Stud (now with more than 325,00 miles on the odometer) for a 2004 Pontiac Vibe with 64,000 miles. Our loan for this car (even after trading in The Stud) was more than $14,500. Imagine my surprise when I went to get it insured the next day to find out it was only worth, $11,000! (And yes, we still have this car. We have to get our money’s worth, you know.)