Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 Goals: September 30th UPDATE

Sorry I missed August but we were traveling to the US from Ecuador. So here is September's post for this blog hop  designed to help me work on my yearly goals, at least my writing goals. So where am I on the goals I set initally? Let's take a look...

1) Book 3 & 4 of the Klondike Mystery series
Still no writing done, glad this is a one year goal. In January I had planned to get both books written in 2014. Well, not going to happen. My goal now is get book three done before year's end.

2) 7 Days of Seven: Short Story Snacks
Um, no  progress. I am targeting getting these done by the end of the year as well. Hey, gotta keep my goals realistic!

3) Monthly Newsletter
Staying on track here, even if September's was a day late going out.

4) Monday Motivation Posts
This seems to be going over well and I enjoy doing them so they will continue.

My Friday "Celebrate the Small Things" will return in January - just too much going on to do it right now.

My TO DO list keeps growing, I updated a short story and am extending it in length in hopes of submitting it to an anthology. It's fantasy so takes a little extra OOMPH on my part. I have until Oct 7th to finish it...wish me luck!

On a side note, we are loving our time here in the US, visiting family and filling up on food treats we can't get in Ecuador. Right now we are borrowing WiFi so not uploading photos but here are a few of the grandbabies to enjoy!

Jesse (hot pink shorts) takes her soccer seriously.

Her older sister, Olivia, does as well!

The newest, baby Waverly, models the latest hat fashions.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Motivation Monday: Failure

I confess, I am both a worrier and a planner (although over the years I have gotten better at not obsessing over either one). They do sort of go hand in hand:
"I am prepared for the worst, but hope for the best." - Benjamin Disraeli
Early in life this mean I was never impetuous, I always had to plan things out, consider all contingencies, before I could take action. But there is a fine balance that should be maintained and with age often comes wisdom. I know better WHEN I need to plan (or over plan in some folks eyes) and WHEN I can got for the gusto!

Are you a planner? A worrier? A spur of the moment kind of person? How has it impacted your life and do you see your behavior changing as you grow older?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Motivation Monday: Attitide

A grey outlook reminds me of Eeyore = "Woe is me..."; think the world is dark and gloomy and it will become dark and gloomy. I know it's trite but it's also tried and true - look at the positive side of things, add some humor, don't be afraid to laugh at yourself.

I have two author friends fighting for their lives against cancer and they both are maintaining a positive outlook and their humor. They can't change the fact that they have cancer but they can change their outlook on it. Both are doing well and continue to laugh in the face of terrible adversity.

Can we do any less?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Motivation Monday: Smiles

We hear this all the time: if you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours. Have you tried it? Most of the time it works and you walk away with an even bigger smile.

Living in Ecuador we know that greetings are important - when you arrive and when you leave. I often greet locals as we pass them on the street and I always share my smiles.

Give it a try - feeling down? Smile!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

See anything wrong in this photo?

My drive home from the WPA (Writers' Police Academy) was a little more stressful than my drive to NC. Rain moved in as I left Greensboro and followed me through the mountains. I opted to push through and stay at the same Best Western in Newport, TN. Good rate, nice room, hot breakfast and quiet!

The next morning I woke to fog so I took my time before heading out. I knew I only had a couple of hours left to drive so relaxed at breakfast till the fog cleared.

On my way home I took a photo of my GPS - see anything strange? Gave me a laugh, but I knew why it was showing what it did. And no, I don't drive fast enough to travel 66 miles in 12 minutes. [grin]

Friday, September 12, 2014

Post-mortem on The Writers' Police Academy #WPA2014

When I last left off....

I left after lunch on Wednesday, headed to Greensboro, NC for the WPA (Writers' Police Academy) conference. I stopped in Newport, TN at the Best Western for a good night's sleep. I had another four or so hours to drive, the weather was good and I got to the Greensboro Airport Marriott around 1PM.

Registration was at 3PM and I started to meet other writers, some there for their first time like me. The rest of the day went quickly after our orientation and I tried to get to be early due to getting up at 6AM for the bus at 7:30 to Guilford Community College in Jamestown, NC.

The next 2 1/2 days FLEW by....

First morning reenactment: Drunk driver slams into yard sale

We learned "exotic" meant "BIZARRE" as we heard about serial killers, vampires, werewolves and strange suicides.

So much for us writers to get wrong...

Author John Gilstrap wants us to write it right...or else!

Lisa Gardner gave a great presentation on writing thrillers but none of the photos I took were any good, but she did sit on the ground beside me at the Saturday morning demo - breaching buildings with explosives.

You can see some of the force of the explosion in this photo from writing friend, Brenda Novak. My photo is a blurry shot of the top of the door.

Chief Scott Silverii introduced us to Special Ops like SWAT, K9, Dive Rescue, Mounted Police, etc.

We also learned about the mannerisms of cops or Coptics, as the Chief labeled them.

Then we learned about evidence collection, processing and preservation.

And then we moved into the more gory details.

Robin Burcell showed us how accurate witness drawings could be and we learned the drawings are used for suspect elimination in witness drawings and victim identification in forensic drawings.

My last session was with a Nurse Medical Examiner - WOW!

But it wasn't all work, there was plenty of play. We bought tickets to try to win drawings of baskets full of books and other donations. We bid in the silent auctions, we chatted with other authors, we ate, we listened to presentations by Alafair Burke and Michael Connelly. We learned and laughed and learned some more!

Lee was everywhere - especially when there was an opportunity to get some good video (something we weren't allowed to do...LOL!)

All too soon it was time to go home - new friends hugs, cards exchanged, mind whirling with ideas for stories. It's now a week later and I'm ready to go again!! So many sessions that I didn't get to attend...have to get them next year. ;)

PS. Want to see more photos? Check out my SmugMug album.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Motivation Monday: Kindness

One thing we see a lot of here in Ecuador is kindness. Not just in families but even with strangers. We are strangers in a strange land here, our Spanish is still quite limited and yet we are often extended the hand of help and friendship.

When was the last time you did the same?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

WPA 2014 (Writers' Police Academy)

I made it! We flew the red eye from Guayaquil, Ecuador into Miami after a four hour taxi ride from Cuenca. The flight was uneventful, the weather was good, we saw family but time was short, drove to our property in TN and got settled in....all the gory details are in my personal blog.

I left after lunch yesterday, headed to Greensboro, NC for the WPA (Writers' Police Academy) conference. Now checked into the hotel and will be registering shortly. WOOT!!! Excited for sure....

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

#IWSG for September: MISSING

Another month has passed and it's time for a new IWSG post. Once again so much has happened that it's all a blur, most of it personal stuff, not much writing related at all.

Traveling, traveling, traveling so the theme for this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group is MISSING.

Why missing? Because I have been traveling since August 28th when we left Ecuador for the states. AND on Sept 4th-7th I am attending the WPA (Writers' Police Academy) so yes, I AM MISSING!

Updates on the conference coming.....Ciao!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Motivation Monday: Relaxation

Happy Labor Day to my friends in the USA. I think this quote pretty much says it all!