My October Writerly Goals

Wow! September went by in a flash, and unfortunately, it wasn’t as productive as I had hoped. But life sometimes gets in the way and there’s nothing you can do about it except start anew. That’s why I love the start of a new month! But first, let me recap my September goals.

I did finish the final short story for A Sky Full of Stars and I did publish the second edition of the ebook which contains all three short stories. That is a huge weight lifted from my shoulders! With that checked off my list, I can now concentrate more on my current WIP.

I am so happy to say that the redecoration of my writing space is complete! I really love it and can’t wait to show it off. That reveal will be later in October!

I did very little book marketing for my WIP, The 12 Dates of Christmas. I only did two posts, maybe three. I have no choice but to count that as a fail. And like I mentioned above, life got in the way and I didn’t complete my first round of edits either. I’m disappointed in myself, but I’m not going to wallow. I’ll just commit to doing better in October!

On that positive note, here are my October writerly goals:

  • Complete first-round edits for The 12 Dates of Christmas
background beverage breakfast brown

Photo by Pixabay on

I will have to caffeinate and plant my butt in my new chair in my newly redone writing space, but I do feel confident! I’m already in the process of sendings chapters to my critique partners, and they have been so helpful that the second round of edits should go really smoothly. I just need to make sure I get the whole manuscript edited in October and in the hands of my CPs!

  • Ramp up book marketing for The 12 Dates of Christmas
person writing on white book

Photo by on

This is going to take some serious planning, but it’s a necessary evil. I’m thinking about taking a different tack, such as dedicating one or two days per week to book marketing. Knowing I have time set aside for it will help, and I hope it will quell my overwhelming sense of doom. I’ve said before how book marketing is a black hole of despair, at least to me, and that hasn’t gotten any better. But time dedicated only to book marketing will, I think, allow me to get better at it. Before I know it, I’ll be a book marketing guru! Okay, probably not, but if it gets any easier, that’ll be enough for me. And thanks to Hootsuite, scheduling marketing posts across social media is a breeze!

  • Update my website
yellow mug besides laptop

Photo by Content Pixie on

I’ve been so busy that keeping my website updated has gotten lost in the fray. For sure, I want to put some things related to The 12 Dates of Christmas there, and perhaps a Pinterest share button. Other things need updating too, so I need to set aside a day to get all of it done. Part of me wants to give my website a whole new look, but I’m not committing to that right now!

For October, I decided to limit myself to three goals. The editing and book marketing will both be time-consuming, and by only having three goals, I won’t feel too overloaded. That is something I need to start keeping in mind. With the holiday season right around the corner, I need to make sure not to spread myself too thin! I don’t operate very well under pressure!

Where To Find Inspiration

Writers shouldn’t wait for inspiration to hit in order to start writing. Writers write every day, even if it’s just a journal entry or a 100-word flash fiction piece. Somedays all a writer can manage to get on paper is a shopping list. But writers don’t wait around. Dan Poynter said it best: “If you wait for inspiration to write, you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.

So where can one find inspiration? Here are my answers to that question.

  • A Mirror
woman in black t shirt staring on wall mirror

Photo by Pedro Sandrini on

Yep, that’s right. Your best stories could be right under your nose! Did you have an unconventional childhood? Have you had an epic adventure that either went spectacularly well or horrifically wrong or a little of both? As an adult, are you taking care of your aging parents? All of us have stories to tell. You can go the memoir route, even if it’s just for the eyes of family and friends. But you can also give your fictional characters some of your experiences. We often give our characters some of our physical or emotional traits, so why not our experiences, be they good or bad? If you look back on the things you’ve been through, you’re sure to have a lot of material to draw on!

  • People You Know
three women and two men leaning on white wall

A Photo by on

Your friends and family will also have many personal experiences different from yours, and that is a potential wealth of stories. If you decide to write about someone else’s experiences, please get their permission first! You probably don’t want to make others angry or get into any sort of trouble, so please ask beforehand. Be respectful if it’s not your story to tell!

But if you get the go-ahead, it can open up many possibilities to you!

  • A Coffeehouse
top view photo of ceramic mugs filled with coffees

Photo by on

This is a great one! If you go and sit at a coffeehouse for a while, you can see and hear some great things. You might hear a snippet of conversation so shocking or funny that it sparks a story idea. You might witness flirtations – either between two customers or between a barista and a customer. You might even have someone at the coffeehouse do something bold, like come up to you and ask you out! You never know, and that’s the beauty of it.

Even if story ideas aren’t sparked, coffeehouses are a wonderful place for character inspiration. It’s always a good idea to keep a running list of physical and emotional traits that we can give to future characters, but we can also make notes of mannerisms, speech patterns, and quirks. Then when you do get a story idea, you can look back at your list and have fun drawing up your characters!

  • A Great Book Or Movie
pile of five books

Photo by Pixabay on

I’m a big fan of retellings, and there is so much inspiration to draw on out there. In fact, I did do this! My book, A Sky Full Of Stars, is a retelling of Pretty In Pink, one of my favorite movies. I took the basic story but also made some changes to make it modern. Do you have a favorite book or movie that you’d like to put your own spin on?

Everything is getting the retelling treatment, from fairy tales to Shakespeare, so if there’s an older work out there that you absolutely love, why not try it? I know I will definitely do a retelling again in the future!

  • Photographs
black and silver film camera on brown wooden surface

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on

Photos are fantastic story starters! Sure, you may take a photo yourself that gives you an idea for a story, but if you’re not much of a shutterbug, there are several stock photo websites where you can browse and soak up inspiration. One of my favorites is You can search by topic or browse collections that are already curated. It can be a huge time suck, so be careful!

I should also mention They have a different photo prompt each month, and you can submit your 100-word story inspired by that photo right there on the website. This can be not only fun, but it’s a great way to warm up for your writing session or to pull you out of writer’s block.

  • Writing Prompts
person hands woman pen

Photo by on

I use this one quite a bit, and there’s never a shortage of writing prompts out there! Online, just search “writing prompts” and you’ll have many hits. You can also do a search for a random word generator. These are so fun! Most random word generators will let you choose how many words you’d like to see, ranging from one to ten. So, you can get a list of three words, and make up a story using those words. If you’d like more of a challenge, you can get a longer list of words.

You can also search for #writingprompt on Twitter and Instagram for ideas. I do recommend keeping a list of writing prompts that you like – you never know when you might need one!

Again, you may not get an entire book idea out of a writing prompt, but you might get a short story idea or an interesting piece of flash fiction out of one. At the very least, you can use writing prompts to flex your writing muscles!

  • Anywhere, Any Time
apple applications apps cell phone

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on

Lastly, I do want to say that although there are specific places you can look to for inspiration, always keep your eyes and ears open. You can come across inspiration virtually anywhere at any time. If you can’t carry a notebook with you for just such occasions, make a note on your phone or record a voice memo. You’ll most likely be glad for it!


My Favorite Book-To-Movie Adaptations

abstract analog art camera

Photo by Skitterphoto on

As a writer, I do read quite a bit. Okay, I read all the time. I love books! I also love movies, so when the two come together, I’m usually a very happy camper. Not always, but most of the time.

It’s so exciting when you learn that a book you enjoyed is being adapted to film. You immediately start casting the roles in your head (if you didn’t do that when you read the book) and send up prayers to any gods who will listen that the filmmakers stick close to the story and not make wild and crazy changes for no apparent reason. Or maybe that’s just me who does that.

Or, you see a movie trailer that’s based on a book you haven’t read, and it looks so good that you immediately go buy the book or head to the library to check out a copy. Then you write in your calendar or planner the date by which you need to have to have the book finished. Again, that could be just me.

Either way, let me say here and now that the book is always better than the movie. I repeat, the book is always better than the movie.

Okay, that’s my opinion, but I honestly can’t think of an instance where the movie was better than the book. Of course, I haven’t seen all the movies or read all the books in existence, so there could be a superior film version. If there is, I just haven’t seen it.

With this week’s release of the highly anticipated film adaptation of The Goldfinch, I thought I would share my favorite book-to-movie adaptations. I hope you agree with some of these!

  • To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)


To Kill A Mockingbird is much beloved (for good reason) and is one of my all-time favorite books and the film adaptation does not disappoint. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won three. One of those went to Gregory Peck for Best Actor, for his portrayal of Atticus Finch. It also won for Best Adapted Screenplay. Both awards were well-deserved. If you haven’t seen the movie, do yourself a favor and watch.

  • Room (2015)



This is pretty tough subject matter, and seeing it onscreen was even more intense than reading it. Brie Larson gives a fantastic performance as a trauma victim and young mother and won an Academy Award for her efforts. Jacob Tremblay, who plays Larson’s son, is outstanding as a five-year-old boy born in captivity who experiences the outside world for the first time. It’s a great story about survival and love. Just have the tissues ready!

  • Gone Girl (2014)


This is one of my favorite thrillers ever! The book was the center of all kinds of hype, which I think it lived up to. I mean, how crazy pants is Amy Dunne? And Rosamund Pike’s portrayal of Amy is spot on. I love stories where you don’t know which character to trust, and this is an example of that done well. It was even more thrilling and intense to watch Pike plan and execute her husband’s (played by Ben Affleck) ruin.

  • Pride And Prejudice (1995)


I know, I know. This isn’t a film! It’s a BBC miniseries. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it. It’s a beautiful adaptation. And well, Colin Firth is in it, so that’s another point in its favor. Pride And Prejudice is one of the most beloved novels ever, and it’s also in my top three favorite books. The entire cast is excellent and the sets and costumes are superb. I know there have been actual film adaptations, but this six-episode miniseries is worth the time it takes to watch.

  • Clueless (1995)


Okay, so this isn’t strictly an adaptation, but more like a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma. Whatever you want to call it, it’s great fun and so quotable! And watching it now makes me nostalgic for the 90s, with all the great fashion, slang, and pop culture that defined the decade. And I still come across people who don’t know that this movie is loosely based on an Austen novel. As if!

food snack popcorn movie theater

Photo by Pixabay on

These are just five of my favorite book-to-movie adaptations. I had to stop somewhere! If you like, leave me your favorites in the comments – I’m always looking for great movies to watch!


September Writing Goals

I can’t believe it’s September already! This year seems to really be flying by. I have made a new set of goals for the new month, but before I get to those, I will catch you up on how I did with my August goals.

Out of five goals I set for August, I checked four off the list. Not bad! I started the first round of edits for my WIP, and I made decent progress. I’m glad I didn’t think that I could actually finish those edits in August – I would have failed epically. I did schedule two book promotions for A Sky Full Of Stars, which for some reason, I was dreading. But once I sat down to get it done, it wasn’t that bad. It’s scary how often that is the case! I printed off calendars from the internet for September through December. I made notes (in pencil!) on those print offs of possible book marketing strategies for The 12 Dates Of Christmas, my current WIP, and next book. Book marketing, to me, is an abyss of wretchedness and despair. I have very little idea of what I’m doing or should be doing when it comes to book marketing, and frankly, trying to figure it out makes me want to slap my momma across the face. But I won’t! Don’t worry. Anyhoo, I made some simple notes and some tentative deadlines, like the cover reveal date, presale date, and some easy things I can do to (hopefully) get the word out about my book. Finally, I put together my August author newsletter, which took more time than I had anticipated, but it was a long one!

What I didn’t accomplish in August was writing and publishing the final short story for A Sky Full Of Stars. Instead, I revamped that idea and moved it to the list of September goals. So, I hereby declare these to be my writerly goals for this month:

  • Finish The Final Short Story For A Sky Full Of Stars & Compile A New Ebook
ballpen blur close up computer

Photo by Pixabay on

I started the short story in August but didn’t finish it. My original plan was to publish the short story on its own on Amazon, then sometime later compile a new ebook of A Sky Full Of Stars that includes the two previous short stories, plus at least one flash fiction piece. Sometime in August, I decided that was silly, and that it makes more sense to just publish the newest story and the new ebook together at the same time. My self-imposed deadline is September 24.

  • Complete The First Round Of Edits For The 12 Dates Of Christmas
blank paper with pen and coffee cup on wood table

Photo by Kaboompics .com on

In August I started on these edits, and I need to finish them in September. I have to get the manuscript to beta readers in October, so this goal is of utmost importance! I used beta readers with my first book, so I feel like I know more about what I’m doing where that is concerned. I know in my mind that I need to have my manuscript as polished as possible, but I know that it doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m not sure than any manuscript anywhere is ever perfect! But what I mean is that I will get some valuable feedback from the beta readers and some things will need to be changed based on that feedback. Knowing that changes are inevitable helps to take some of the pressure off!

  • Begin Book Marketing For The 12 Dates Of Christmas


Photo by Ed Leszczynskl on Unsplash

Even though book marketing has so far been an abyss of wretchedness and despair, the simple fact is that it must be done. So, this month, I’m going to test out the waters and implement some of the simple strategies that I mentioned earlier. I’m hoping that by starting early, I will build some buzz around the book’s release. That’s the main thing I’d like to accomplish, but also I hope to gain more knowledge and insight into book marketing itself!

  • Redo My Writing Space
blur bottle bright building

Photo by Pixabay on

Now, this is a fun one! Revamping my writing space isn’t necessary by any means, and honestly, I blame my husband for putting the idea in my head. For a reason which escapes me now, one day not too long ago, he opened my desk drawer, and the desk wobbled. He wobbled the desk a couple more times just to make sure it actually was wobbly, then he turned to me and said, “You should get a new desk.” Needless to say, he didn’t have to tell me twice! And if a new desk was in order, well then, it stood to reason that other new things would be too. Right? Okay, maybe that’s just how my female brain works, but I ran with it.

I told my husband if I were to get a new desk, I may as well make other changes to my writing space too. My husband is well-versed in how my female brain works, so he didn’t put up a fight. I do love that man!

I immediately logged into Pinterest and got to work. So, by the end of September, my writing space will have a new look!

I have a lot of work to do this month, but I also have a little bit of fun in store!

My (Totally Awesome) Literary Crushes

Let’s talk literary crushes, people! We all have them, and they run the gamut. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. Well, okay, I’ll show you mine regardless. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Fitzwilliam Darcy, The (Reluctant) Gentleman


In Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice, Darcy starts off a bit rough around the edges. He makes a snap judgment about the Bennet family. He snubs Lizzie and is even downright rude to her at the ball. He even tries to keep Jane and Bingley apart. The horror!

Simply put, Darcy is kind of a tool at the beginning of the book. However, he realizes his mistakes, owns up to them, and apologizes to Lizzie. Pretty admirable, right? It’s not easy to admit when you’re in the wrong. Then, Darcy goes a step further and saves the Bennets from scandal by tracking down Wickham and Lydia after they run away together. He pays off Wickham’s considerable debts and bribes Wickham to marry Lydia. None of that had anything to do with Darcy, but he did those things to save the family of the woman he loved from possible social ostracization. He didn’t expect anything from Lizzie in return, either.

Darcy is, I think, the most idolized fictional crush. He’s very near the top of the list, at any rate. I haven’t read my Official Handbook For Girls* in quite a while, but I believe it explicitly states that a Darcy Crush is mandatory. The Darcy Crush doesn’t have to last a lifetime, though in most cases, it does. The Darcy Crush can be brief and fleeting, but it seems to be inescapable for most human females.

*The Official Handbook For Girls is not real. I made it up. It doesn’t exist. Yet. 😉

2. Daniel Bae, The (Too Good To Be True) Romantic


If you have not read The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon, do yourself a favor and get your hands on a copy.  It’s a great love story, and Daniel Bae is entirely swoon-worthy! He’s a poet who believes in true love. It gives me hope for my daughters that there actually are guys out there like him. On the streets of New York City, he spots Natasha and something inside him tells him that he needs to know her. He starts to follow her (in a non-creepy way) and meets her when he saves her from getting hit by a speeding car. Daniel convinces the cynical Natasha to spend the day with him, and he bets her that he can get her to fall in love with him. Natasha is already a non-believer in love, but for one serious reason of her own, she knows there’s no point in falling in love with Daniel or anyone else.

You can probably guess what happens. But the book doesn’t end quite how you might think. 

Daniel is young, but he knows what he wants and doesn’t want. He fights for them if necessary. And really, he’s a nice guy. That’s a rare thing these days. Let’s face it, for the most part, people suck. Not all people, but a great many of them. Daniel Bae is a good guy, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

3. Ponyboy Curtis, The (Good) Guy From The Wrong Side Of The Tracks


Ah, Ponyboy Curtis. My very first literary crush. In sixth grade, my class read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, and Ponyboy set my little eleven-year-old heart aflutter. Yes, he’s a “greaser,” but he’s not a criminal. He reads a lot, gets good grades, watches sunsets, and stays out of trouble.

When his best friend, Johnny, kills a “soc” (rich kid) in self-defense for nearly killing Ponyboy, the two skip town to keep Johnny from going to jail. Ponyboy didn’t have to run, but he did, and not out of guilt, but mainly so that his best friend wouldn’t be alone.

Since Ponyboy lost his parents in a car crash, all he has left are his two older brothers, Darry and Sodapop, and his “gang,” whom he also considers family. So he does whatever he needs to and can for his family, including going on the run with Johnny. But because he’s a greaser, society at large dismisses Ponyboy as nothing more than a criminal, but if you’ve read the book, you know he’s much more than that. Ponyboy is a hero.

Stay gold, Ponyboy.

4. Augustus Waters, The Upbeat (But Doomed) Guy


Despite having cancer and already having lost a leg to his disease, Augustus, the male protagonist in John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars, somehow manages to stay positive. He gets off on his grandioseness, actually. Augustus knows that eventually, his cancer will kill him, so he wants to live large and leave his mark on the world in a big way. He’s funny, confident, charming, and handsome. When Augustus and Hazel Grace (the main character and fellow cancer patient) meet in a support group, we can practically see the sparks fly. It takes them both by surprise.

But as the book goes on, we learn that this version of Augustus is a facade. When his cancer returns, Augustus “Gus” faces his reality. He’s just a kid, a former standout athlete who was dealt a sucky hand in life, that it’s okay to be scared, and that he will die without having left a big legacy. But because of his relationship with Hazel Grace, he learns that he doesn’t need to leave a legacy and make his mark on the world. Gus has experienced true love and comes to understand that the love you share with another person is the most important mark anyone can leave.

And I’m not crying. You are. 😥

5. Joe Goldberg, The (Very, Very) Bad Boy


I know, I know. I’m not sure what it says about me that Joe Goldberg has made my list of literary crushes, but let me try to explain.

In the beginning of You by Caroline Kepnes, I thought Joe was just a quiet, New York City bookseller. By the time I learned what he really is, I’d already been completely sucked in by his charm. He seemed so harmless! If there was ever a good example of “don’t judge a book by its cover, Joe is it.

MFA student Guinevere Beck (or “Beck” as she’s called throughout the book) walks into Joe’s bookshop one day, and he’s instantly captivated by her. She pays for her books with a credit card, and her name is all Joe needs to set off on a dark path.

And it doesn’t take Joe long to show his true colors. He’s a creepy stalker. That is bad enough, but then Joe takes it to the next level and gets all murder-y. Yet somehow, Kepnes managed to make Joe likable, despite his penchant for locking people in cages and resorting to murder to keep Beck all to himself. Right along with Beck, I too found myself falling for Joe even though the logical part of my brain was screaming, “What the hell?” And I’m not the only one. Many, many fans of the book and the Netflix series are in the same boat as me, which makes me feel like less of a deviant.

So you know what? Scratch what I said earlier. I can’t fully explain why I crush on Joe when I know I shouldn’t. Except to say that falling for a bad guy, real or fictional, happens to every girl somewhere along the way. It’s inevitable. And believe me, that fact is most definitely in the aforementioned Handbook. In bold print. Another explanation is that it’s just damn good writing on Kepnes’ part! I think the book needs to be read to really understand what I mean.

So, there you have it. My literary crushes. It’s a list that I add to when I come across a great male character. I can’t wait to see who I’ll add next! Who are some of your literary crushes? Leave a comment and chime in!

Hardback, Paperback, Ebook, or Audiobook?

I’ve always been a big reader. Well, there was a long period after I became a wife and mom and either there wasn’t enough time to read or I was too tired to read. But the important thing is that I got back on the metaphorical wagon. That’s the good thing about books. Even if you’ve ignored them for a while, they are always there waiting right where you left them.

As a writer, I truly believe that reading is one of the very best things I can do to hone my craft. And I think it’s important to not only read books in the genre I write but reading across genres is essential. I’ve already touched on those points in a previous blog post. So, what format do I prefer when I’m doing all this reading? Hardback, paperback, ebook, or audiobook? I think it’s great that these different formats are available. First of all, it’s nice to have options, and secondly, different things work for different people.

I have to confess that I didn’t listen to my first audiobook until a couple of years ago! I don’t know why it took me so long to give them a try. I think sometimes I just like to be fashionably late. Or in this case, embarrassingly late.

turned on black samsung smartphone between headphones

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on

Unfortunately, for the most part, audiobooks are not for me. I’m not the sort who can listen to an audiobook while doing another task, like housecleaning. Many people can but apparently, I’m wired wrong. I find that all my focus is on the task, which causes me to tune out the audiobook. I did keep trying though, and I found one way that I could enjoy an audiobook. Akin to listening to music in the car, I found that I can successfully listen to an audiobook while driving. I have to use my phone and listen through the Libby app since my CD player is broken, but no biggie!

I don’t do audiobooks often. It’s just not my preferred book format. Plus, I have so many physical books and ebooks that I tend to reach for one of those first. I do have a request through Libby for the audiobook version of Lincoln In The Bardo, which I’ve heard is fantastic. Some top-notch celebrities narrate, like Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Ben Stiller, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, and the list goes on and on. There are 166 narrators in all, and the audiobook has won awards, so I can’t wait to give it a listen!

I also confess that I don’t use my Kindle as much as I should. The first Kindle I had was the regular one, with the screen you couldn’t see in the outdoors. A few years ago I upgraded to a Kindle Paperwhite and I love it!

kindle technology amazon tablet

Photo by on

The definite pluses of e-readers are the size and capacity. The small size allows me to throw it in my purse, which sometimes is a problem with large physical books. And depending on what kind of e-reader you have, you can load hundreds, or even thousands of books onto it. How great is that! I feel no guilt when I purchase ebooks since I know I don’t have to find physical space to store them. Storage space for books is a real issue for me.

So, while I absolutely love my Kindle for its size and ability to hold tons of books, it just doesn’t get as much love as it should. Why? I take one look at my bookshelves and feel like I should read those first in order to pare them down. Like I said, space is an issue.

Maybe one of my goals should be to read one ebook per month? It’s doable, plus my poor Kindle can actually see the light of day once in a while. The poor thing.

That brings us to physical books – hardback or paperback. Drumroll, please! Just kidding.

I have to declare paperbacks as my favorite type of physical book. They tend to be smaller and weigh less, which makes it easier for on-the-go reading. And they are more comfortable to hold!

background book stack books close up

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on

One thing I don’t like about hardbacks is dust jackets. When I actually sit down to read a hardback, the dust jacket gets in the way. Every time I move the book, the jacket slips, so I just take it off while I’m reading the book. If I kept it on and then the dust jacket ripped, it would drive me mad! But one plus about hardbacks is that they look a bit better displayed on bookshelves.

Whether it’s a hardback or a paperback, there’s nothing quite like holding a book in my hands and actually turning pages. Technology is great and it’s made our lives easier, and like I said, it’s expanded our reading options. But audiobooks and e-books will never be quite as great as real books. That’s just my humble opinion. Yours may be different, and that’s totally okay. The most important thing is that we read, no matter the format!



My Writing Ritual

I think most writers have rituals of some sort. They may be vastly different from one writer to the next, but it seems that most writers I’ve met or talked to have specific ways of “warming up” to the task of writing. So, I give you my writing ritual.

Most days, I write in the mornings. It’s a rare thing for me to write in the afternoons or evenings, though it has happened at least a handful of times. Somewhere between 9 am and 10 am is when I sit down at my desk.

The first thing I do is pick out what I’m in the mood to listen to. I posted a couple of weeks ago that I must have some background noise while I write. I either listen to an instrumental playlist or use a background noise app. Today I chose noise. I like the Noisli app, and my favorite option there is the coffeehouse sounds.


Then I light a scented candle. I can’t tell you why I do this, except to say that I like things that smell good. Scented candles don’t impact my productivity, they’re just nice! And this is just a personal thing, but I like to keep my scented candles seasonal. I’ve already used up or given away my summer scents, so I had to use this lilac-scented candle, which is more of a spring smell. Oops! I’m going to try my best not to be too OCD about it.


Once I have background noise or music and a lovely scent wafting, I then pull out this book. I’ve been working my way through it since January 1.


There is a passage for every day of the year, and so far, the majority have been kept to one page. This book is filled with tips, motivation, and inspiration to help make the writing life more joyful. Before I start writing or start a writerly task, I learn something new or am reminded of something to help make the writing seas a bit smoother.

Now I’m finally ready to warm up my writing muscles. I get out my journal and box of journaling prompts. Depending on how I feel, I pull 2-4 prompts from the box, grab a Le Pen from my desk tray, and go to town.


I love journaling before I actually start to write! Whether I’m writing a book or short story, a blog post, or my author newsletter, journaling really gets my brain in the right mindset. After I put my journal and prompts away, I fire up my laptop.


Not only am I all set for the day’s task (when I took this photo, the job was writing my newsletter) but I smile when I see my new-ish white laptop! I know that sounds cheesy, but what can I say? It’s the little things, people!

How long I have to work really depends on the day and what else I have going on, but thanks to my writing ritual, my sessions are always productive! If you’re a writer and have your own routine, I’d love to hear about it. Drop me a comment!