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 Cheryl's 2011 Goals

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ccmalandrinos

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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:36 pm

What a crazy week it has been. Our area was hit with major storms on Tuesday and we were without power for two days. We're home now, but more storms are scheduled for today. Someone around here must have ticked off Mother Nature. Most of these areas haven't even recovered from the June 1st tornadoes yet. So, needless to say, I didn't do as much as I had planned this week. I didn't even get a chance to write, so my to-do list looks mostly the same. Here's hoping next week is much easier.

* Blogging Tuesday - Saturday--DONE
* Finalize August tours--press release, banner, trailer (this weekend)
* Work on September tours -- great shape. Two tours are done and the third is almost done.
* Work on October tours -- also in great shape. Two done and one I'm working on.
* Plan my Nov/Dec tour--I'm slowly moving on this one.
* Put out a Pages & Pens newsletter and announce closing of Musing Our Children at the end of the year.
* Reviews--DONE
* Hold Your Horses--Seven chapters completed and hope to be done with the 1st draft by the end of August
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:39 pm

Trying to stay on top of things this week, which is hard with the ladies around. Hope the weather cooperates this week. Here's what's on tap:

* Blogging Mon - Fri
* Work on September tours -- great shape. Two tours are done and the third is almost done.
* Work on October tours -- also in great shape. Two done and one I'm working on.
* Plan my Nov/Dec tour--I'm moving on this one.
* Put out a Pages & Pens newsletter and announce closing of Musing Our Children at the end of the year. (Shooting for this week)
* Hold Your Horses--complete chapters 8 - 10 (fingers crossed)
* Critique four chapters
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:12 pm

I'm sorry to hear about all those extra trials your area is facing. Glad that you and your family are okay though, and way to hang in there and lend a helping hand.

Looks like you've got your plate full again and I sure hope you get in those chapters for Hold Your Horses!
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:01 pm

The weather has been extraordinary. I've never seen anything like it and I've lived here my entire life.

I'm working on HYH now. Hopefully I can get a couple of chapters cranked out by the weekend.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:43 pm

Feeling like a total lazy slob. Two days into the week and all I've done is promote VBT clients and write two chapters. Sigh. Too much on my mind makes me unproductive.

Here's what this week looks like:

* Blogging Mon - Fri--DONE
* Work on September tours --Done finding stops. Need to create press release, banner, and trailer.
* Work on October tours -- Also in great shape.
* Plan my Nov/Dec tour--Slowly booking stops for this one.
* Put out a Pages & Pens newsletter and announce closing of Musing Our Children at the end of the year. (Put out in September)
* Hold Your Horses--Finished Chapters 8 & 9
* Critique two chapters--DONE
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:45 pm

So here I am, post-vacation Bible school, and feeling very much relieved. Believe it or not, this is the girls' last full week before returning to school. I have a lot to do, but I'll see what I can accomplish without going crazy and using my dying wireless keyboard. Rolling Eyes

So here's my big announcement: I am leaving online book promotion as a full-time gig. I will still do my best on a part-time basis, but I need to find a job with a steadier income stream. Not new news, but I finally told Pump Up that I wouldn't be taking on new clients after the end of the year. I'll still work with my regular clients on an as needed basis. It's a tough decision, but one I feel is best for my family.

Here's what this week looks like in admist school shopping, errands, and volunteering:

* Blogging- Mon-Sat
* Finalize Sept VBTs
* Finalize October VBTs
* Plan my Nov/Dec tour
* Work on one other November tour
* Shoot for Labor Day week for Pages & Pens
* Critique one chapter--DONE


Last edited by ccmalandrinos on Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:23 pm

Having just come from my own scary decision to leave what I 'knew' (which therefore equaled 'safe') let me just say good for you. I know this has been looming over you for awhile now (don't they always), but I do hope you'll be happier. There are a lot of tough decisions going around nowadays. I hope when you do find a regular, steady income job that we'll also see more steadier (even if small) work towards your writing. After all, I'm sure that's what you'd rather be doing than constantly working on VBTs?

You'll push through and reach those dreams.

Good luck. I'll be cheering you on the whole way.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:10 pm

Thanks. I appreciate the support. I think a regular job will actually leave me more time to write and be a mom. I don't plan to give up the writing, so we'll hope it's the right choice.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:43 am

Tomorrow the girls are back to school, so my schedule is due to change. I'm relieved and anxious, since now I really have to find a job. Last week was a pretty good week, though very busy. No writing, but I finished up other things that were hanging around at home.

Here's what this week looks like:

* Blogging- no commitments, but I'll probably post some reviews
* Finalize Sept VBTs--DONE
* Finalize October VBTs--working on
* Plan my Nov/Dec tour--working on
* Work on one other November tour--working on
* Shoot for Labor Day week for Pages & Pens
* Critique two chapters
* Write chapters 10 - 12 of HYH--maybe even type "The End"
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:55 pm

Stuff hanging around at home, huh? I know exactly how you feel. I spent most of the day handling laundry, dishes, etc. Stuff that takes time and simply needs to get done. It's incredibly nerve-wracking to find a job; I absolutely feel for you. Hang in there and who knows? You might just find the perfect day job that allows you to do what you really love: being a mom and writing. I'm cheering you on the whole way. But it's a good thing the girls back in school, right? More time to write?

Keep up the amazing work and hang in there. You'll see this through to the end, I know it.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:46 pm

I'm hoping that perfect day job is there too. It can't be more time consuming than what I'm doing now.

Thanks for the support. I appreciate it.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:26 pm

Hope you're having a great week so far!
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:52 pm

Lots going on in all my worlds. I don't even know where to start. Let's see, in lieu of writing the last couple of weeks, I've been working on pitches for the two conferences I attend in October. I secured a spot to pitch to an agent at the Muse conference this year. bounce I also sent my pitch into WriteAngles hoping to secure a spot with a different agent for my Beatrice series. I'm also working on editing two manuscripts for clients.

In between that, I got myself a job interview close to home. We'll see what happens with that. I'm considering volunteering to be the town's archivist, but the time commitment will be a big deciding factor. I'm also the registrar for this year's WriteAngles Conference, so I've been busy with signing everyone up.

I ended up pulling away from Writer2Writer. It was a good 4+ years, but I was so tied up with other things that I was always scrambling to get the articles done.

Here's what I've been working/hoping to work on this week:

* Blogging- Mon - Fri
* Blog at Professional Writers Connecton--DONE
* Finalize October VBTs--working on
* Plan my Nov/Dec tour--working on
* Work on one other November tour--working on
* Pages & Pens might just slowly slink out of picture
* Critique two chapters
* Finish editing projects
* Write chapters 10 - 12 of HYH--maybe even type "The End"--probably not, but we'll see

That's it from my neck of the woods.


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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:59 am

Oh, yes, you've definitely been busy. See? There's a trade off. You may not have been writing, but you've been doing a ton of extra stuff. And on top of it, you want to do more volunteer work? It sounds like you and I have the same problem about doing too much and learning to relax (I just told my husband this morning if I only write one short story today, it'd mean I have to write the other one tomorrow...because God forbid I take Saturday off, right? Happy ). Of course, you did pull away from Writer2Writer and I imagine that'll really help with more time for your writing. Good luck with your agent pitches; sounds like they'll be fun.

And congrats on the job interview! Those can be hard to nab, but good for you. If nothing else it'll be good practice.

I'll be cheering for you to finish those last chapters of HYH. Good luck this week!
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:42 pm

Well, I didn't get the job, but I can't say I'm overly upset. I was overqualified and I knew it going in. Then, when they told me their part time day hours, I knew they wouldn't work with my girls' schedules. It has to be the right kind of job to make me want to work outside the house; though in this market, it's hard to be picky.

I spent this morning at the library, picking out books so I can have a short list of comparable titles to offer the agents if they ask. Great way to find new books, too. Blogged about our wonderful children's librarian at http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com/2011/09/why-i-love-my-library.html Happy

Here's what my week looks like:

* Blogging
* Blog at Professional Writers Connecton--DONE
* Finalize October VBTs--creating press release, trailer and banner
* Plan my Nov/Dec tour--working on
* Work on one other November tour--working on
* Critique one chapter
* Finish editing projects--done with one
* Write chapters 10 - 12 of HYH--wrote 10 and part of 11 and sent to crit group. Also got in touch with president of the Pikes Peak Historical Society for research help. This should bring the end closer and help me add historical details.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:31 pm

Finding the right job is so much like finding the right pair of jeans. It can take time Smile . Hang in there; I'm sure the perfect job will come along - including with the right hours. It's important to be picky because yes, money's important, but so is being happy. There definitely needs to be a balance between the two. But hang in there; you'll find one!

Have you ever thought about sending your book directly to editors? With the craziness in publishing right now, and with agents falling to the wayside as middlemen, it might be worth looking into. (I know, since you have so much else going on right now). I have heard from other writer's lists that a lot of children's book authors are having a great experience self-publishing, especially with all the color readers and tablets coming out. Might be something to keep in mind. Plus, this Christmas will be gigantic for ebooks.

I'm so glad to see you got some more writing in. Congrats!!
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:52 pm

So guess what? I pitched one of my picture books to an agent at the Muse Conference on Tuesday and she asked to see it. bounce At first I thought she was going to totally pass because she said the PB market was tough right now, but in the end she liked my unique idea and asked to see it. I should be scheduled to meet with an agent at another writers conference I have coming up in two weeks. I also asked an artist at our church to come up with illustrations for one of the picture books I would like to self-publish. Life is crazy with preparations, and the library is ready to set up a cot for me, but all is good.

Here's what my week looks like:

* Blogging
* Finalize October VBTs--DONE
* Plan my Nov/Dec tour--working on (very slowly)
* Work on one other November tour-- in progress
* Critique one chapter
* Finish editing projects--one left
* Present and participate at the Muse Conference
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:32 pm

Great news on your picture books! I'm glad she asked for it since I'm sure it's a fabulous book.

I hope you're having another great week!
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:38 am

I can't believe how quickly the month of October is flying by. Two writers conferences, two agent meetings, and crafting for church don't leave a lot of time to do much. Things in my writing world are moving swiftly too. I haven't heard back from that agent about Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving yet, but I feel it's the strongest of all my stories. In the meantime, I received a contract from 4RV Publishing for A Christmas Kindness, formerly A Visit with Santa. That should be out next fall.

The Muse Conference went well. I had a great time, but was a bit overwhelmed by the new structure. Not sure why, it really wasn't all that different. I think it's because I was so busy with everything else on top of it.

Last minute registrations and cancellations kept me busy all last week, so I didn't get much writing accomplished. Saturday was the WA conference and all went well. I met with an agent who didn't request to see Beatrice and the Dinosaur, but by the time I sat down with her I knew it wasn't ready. She provided some excellent feedback on how to improve it, so I'm happy with how things went. I'm going to send her a thank you.

Here's what this week looks like:

* Blogging--Mon - Fri--moving along
* Plan my Nov/Dec tour--working on
* Work on one other November tour--in progress
* Work on December tours--there are 9 of them!
* Critique three chapters
* Finish editing projects--one left
* Finish The Not So Scary Ghost and get it ready for critique next week
* Finish Hold Your Horses and get it ready for critique next week

I am officially ready for snow!
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:27 pm

Glad to hear all your agent appointments went well and good luck with their responses. And great news on receiving the contract from 4RV! That must be very exciting.

Glad you're ready for snow - it's just getting cold and wet in the northwest, but we'll see about snow. (They don't do too hot with snow up here.)

Have a great week!
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:23 pm

Oh my goodness, what a storm it was. We were without power for a week. I have at least a dozen trees down in some way across or on my lawn, and that's after I hauled about 6 away. Things are finally slowing down, but coordinating tours was hard while I was without my files and contacts and I got no writing done.

Here's my plan for this week:

* Blogging--Mon - Fri
* Finalize my Nov/Dec tour--still have a few to-do items
* Work on one other November tour--DONE. Working on promoting it now.
* Work on December tours--out of the 11 I have, 2 are done. The others need some work.
* Critique at two groups
* Finish editing projects--one left
* Finish The Not So Scary Ghost--submitted partial to critique group this week
* Try to find time to finish Hold Your Horses
* Send thank you letter to all the fans of Musing Our Children and close down site
* Work on Bingo for Books fundraiser
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:05 am

I'm getting ready to review this year's goals and start thinking of 2012, so here's where I stand.

I started off the year with these goals in mind:

1. Finish the first draft of Amelia's Mission by the end of March--This didn't happen, but the ghostwriting project I thought was dead came to pass and I am focusing on that. I have 14 chapters of Amelia's Mission written.

2. Work on at least 2 of the picture book ideas I came up with during Picture Book Idea Month--I wrote 6 books during this week. One is under consideration with an agent; one is with an illustrator who is going to draw a few pictures for it (I'm thinking of self-publishing; and I am slowly editing the others to get them ready.

3. Finalize submission and query letter for first chapter reader and submit to the publisher who expressed interest in it by the end of January--I received a book contract for this one. It should release in 2012.

4. Would love to write an inspirational romance novella to submit to White Rose Publishing--This is on the back burner until I get Hold Your Horses and Amelia's Mission done. It might be a 2012 project.

New goal: Complete Hold Your Horses (ghostwriting project) by July 31, 2011--This didn't happen, mainly because of time and research. I am so close to finishing, but my crazy schedule, combined with two writing conferences in October, losing power for a week, and waiting for the book I need for research to arrive (came yesterday) delayed completion. I need to draft an amendment for the contract and work toward getting it done by 12/31. It will be tough, but I hope I can do it.

I am thrilled with all I accomplished so far this year.


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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:27 pm

Oh my, is 2011 done already? I haven't been posting much here. Something about talking to myself that makes me seem crazier than I am. It's been a good year, but it seems I can never accomplish everything I need to--part overwhelming schedule and part hubby wanting me to do something else.

I hit a stumbling block with Hold Your Horses, but brainstormed with my critique group last week and I now have a plan, so I want to move forward and complete it right away.

I received a form rejection from the agent I had submitted one of my picture books to, but at least she considered it (she had it since October). I'll be looking to review the story again before sending it out to another agent for consideration.

My writing time will get smaller this year, as I must find a job outside the house. The good thing is I have one book coming out in the fall, and maybe another if I can get the illustrator to work on the one I would like to self-publish. I also have several other picture books to find homes for. I would like to see Hold Your Horses get picked up in 2012 too. We'll see what happens.

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