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Last year I published a Bull Rider novella – Shawnee Holiday. I made my own cover using Gimp and many Gimp u-tube views.

This was the end product.Shawnee Holiday

I told my little book when it made enough money, I would buy a professional cover. Well, it hit the mark so I made good on my promise.

Here’s the new cover.  LynnCahoon_ShawneeHoliday_HR

Have to say, I love it.

And, it’s on sale this month for #99cents to coincide with Crimson Romance’s $1.99 sale for all of the Bull Rider books.

The Year We Hustle

It’s still January and I’d like to talk one more time about goals… Okay, who am I kidding. I LOVE goals so this might not be the last time we talk on the subject. 2015

I mentioned the other day that one of my loops (Go Lalas!) has coined 2015 as the year we hustle. January’s been that kind of month for me.

I’ve been out on medical leave (feeling much better thank you) and I wrote my butt off. I’ve NEVER won NANO but I wrote over 50000 words this month.

How? I sat down and wrote every day. If I hit my word goal for the day, I stopped. When I hit my word goal for the week, I stopped. Or I worked on something else. I didn’t beat myself up for the days I didn’t get to my goal. But I did reward myself on the days I won the game. camera shots 092614 300

Tonight I did two things on my to do list that are outside my comfort zone. I sent out my newsletter and I figured out a way to make the sign up link work for the website. (Check out the side bar on this page or click here if you want to join the fun.)

Why? Because we had a procrastination challenge thrown down on the lala loop. And both of those things have been on my to do list for too long. Now they’re done.

Nike had it right when they said just do it. They didn’t say how much or how long or even how hard. Just do it. IMG_20140601_125327_340

The magic’s in the work, I swear.

What about you? Are you hustling for your 2015 goals still?

I just read another article from a pretty solid neuroscience guy who says the modern world is bad for our brain. We answer our phone in meetings to say we can’t talk, we’re in a meeting. We check our email constantly. We tried to study while we’re watching television. And, our brains don’t work at peak performance that way.

My desk at the day job, at a CLEAN moment.

My desk at the day job, at a CLEAN moment.

Now, I’m a big multi-tasker. At the day job, if you come to ask me a question, I’m probably finishing up the last task I started on my computer while you talk. But if I was honest with myself, maybe I’m not doing either you or the task a favor.

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On our way to Yellowstone.

I don’t mind letting the phone take a message when I’m busy. But checking my email – call me guilty on that one. I love my new i-phone (I switched over from an android a few weeks ago.) I can check email, Facebook, twitter, update photos with a few clicks… basically pretend I’m sitting at my office desk when really, I’m in the passenger seat of the car and my husband is driving us to the cabin.

I used to turn on the tunes when I was writing, but recently, I’ve come to enjoy the quiet. So much so that when my husband works out of his office next door, I’m annoyed at the sounds. (He gets a lot of phone calls.)

Writing at the airport

Writing at the airport.

So what about you? Are you a multi-tasker? Or do you follow the one thing at a time rule?

Lynn

FYI, the January sale ($1.99) on GUIDEBOOK is coming to a close. If you want to check out the Tourist Trap series, this is a great way to feed your e-reader for cheap. :)

Guidebook to Murder2 (eBook)

Last week we talked about how I plan out my writing year. Goals, word counts, conferences, they all go on my master plan. Then I tweek it down to a monthly plan. Then a weekly goal setting email. Then daily, I work toward those weekly goals. I don’t have to worry about the entire plan, just this weeks. And honestly, just today’s part.

Yes, I follow the Bill Murray-Richard Dreyfuss plan. Baby stepping through life.220px-What_About_Bob_film

Today, I’m talking about the other goals. The losing weight, getting healthy, being able to take the stairs again, reading more, being kind to my sisters, – you know, the things we SHOULD do.

I don’t know about you, but anytime I say I’m on a diet, I consume more calories in 24 hours than a small village in Africa. Deprivation just doesn’t work for me.  But I need to lose weight again. One, I don’t fit into my favorite clothes and I don’t want to buy new ones. And two, as a breast cancer survivor, staying at a healthy weight helps me stay cancer free. At least that’s what the experts say.

So here’s my plan. Four words.

Play

Create

Restore

Nurture

Each week, I’ll journal my weekly progress toward those four goals and email my life accountability partner who is doing the same process.

I’ve had some success. I’ve started a quilted pillow (create and play.) I’ve been more focused on my PT for my new hip (restore.) And I’ve started reintroducing salads and fresh fruits and veggies into my diet (nurture.)

We’ll see what the process brings me this year.

I also did a Vision Board for 2015. Yesterday I sat down with a bunch of old magazines and pulled out pages that spoke to me. No thinking, just that’s pretty or I like that… Then I grabbed a square of cardboard and started cutting and glue sticking the pieces on.

I used words that called to me too. Like David Baldacci’s quote about no one caring about a writer’s career more than the writer.  Or Widen Your World.

Here’s the finished project. I believe it hits my 2015 goal words – play, create, restore, nurture.IMG_0041 (2)

What do you think? Do you set resolutions?

Lynn

Okay, so there are a lot of different ways to make resolutions. I do three different processes. 2015

First, for my writing career, I make annual goals which I discuss with my BFF and fellow mystery writer, Laura Bradford. We’ve been getting together since 2008 when I was just a wanna-bee writer with a bunch of manuscripts I’d started and never finished.suspenderedsentence

We’d get together once a month for lunch and talk about what we wrote, or didn’t. It was at one of these lunches where we hadn’t got much done the month before that I proclaimed, I could write for 30 minutes a day. And the challenge was on.

Now, we goal online weekly, touch base daily through email, and at the end of the year evaluate our goals and results. The process takes about two hours on the phone. I would bet, if we were doing it in person, we’d need a weekend. :) 101_9111

Another group I’m a member of is the lala’s. We came together in 2010 as Valerie Bowman’s brain child after we didn’t final in the Golden Heart that year. We were kind of like the March of Dimes, we had one goal, FINAL. When the next contest came around, we had two finalists in the same category. Then some of us got published, making us ineligible for GH. And the group had to make a decision. What was our charter? It became clear that finaling in the GH was a stepping stone to our real goal of becoming published authors. Now we have all sorts of members, from unpublished beginners, to editors, to small press authors, self-pubbed and traditional. If you have a question in this group, it’s because you haven’t asked.AccidentalCountess_servercover

Our theme for 2015 – The Year We Hustlehustle

I’m going to hold off on my personal goals until my next post.

So do you make resolutions? Annual goals? Do you have accountability partners in the process?

Lynn

And just in case, reading The Tourist Trap Mysteries is on YOUR 2015 resolution list, GUIDEBOOK TO MURDER is on sale for $1.99 – Get your digital copy at all fine digital outlets.

Guidebook to Murder2 (eBook)

Bringing an end to 2014

So, I’ve kind of put off this blog. I don’t want to waste the last few days of the year by already putting it into the books, but I think it’s time. 2014

The beginning of the year found me presenting workshops for local writing groups. The subject? Writing the Love Scene. Which is truly funny since I’m not a steamy writer. But I think new writers to the romance genre need to know we don’t all have to be Silvia Day level of steam.  I ran across a website for an author recently that had taken her book and written it two ways – Clean and Spicy. Reader’s choice.

Clever, don’t you think?

I wrote a ton of guest blogs and joined a couple of mystery blogging sites.  I’ve slowed down on these for 2015 which should give me a little more time for fiction words.

I released five books. My first shot at self publishing – Shawnee Holiday – a novella set in my Bull Rider world; The Bull Rider’s Keeper – Jesse’s story (which I just submitted for the Rita – wish me luck) and the first three Tourist Trap Mysteries – Guidebook to Murder; Mission to Murder; and If the Shoe Kills.Shawnee Holiday1The Bull Riders Keeper

I did some traveling this year – July found me in San Antonio, Texas for Romance Writers of America’s national convention.  And in October, I attended Magna Cum Murder in Indianapolis, my first ever mystery convention. IMG_20140723_133122_679

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2014 was a time for more firsts – I read at a coffee shop part of Guidebook to support my local RWA chapter.  Return of the Fae was a finalist in the RONE awards and up for a Reader’s Crown award. And I had my first book signing (outside of a writer event) at Main Street Books in St. Charles. 200x2014_RONE_Final_novella

Our personal life took some major hits in 2014 as well as had some nice highs. We lost The Cowboy’s dad in October to cancer and my mom had surgery a week earlier to remove a tumor. I now have a bright and shiny new hip that looks like a comma if you see it on x-ray. We spent a lot of time camping and riding our ATV’s we bought for our anniversary gift (six years is Motor Sports Toys, right?) and at the end of the year, we bought a little vacation spot on a lake in central Missouri. IMG_20141012_150056_129

We also spent two weeks vacation in Idaho and driving back and forth. On the way back, we saw Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore.  The dogs (Homer and Demon) came with us and learned how to roll the window down in the truck’s back seat all by their selves. And another trick. They learned to lock us out of the truck when we closed the doors. We learned to keep the child lock on the back on and carry an extra key if we got out of the truck without taking them. SANY0273DSCN3698DSCN3924

I wrote three books, got an extension on my tourist trap contract (for three more books – yay!) and hit the NYT and USA Today best seller lists with Guidebook to Murder and USA Today with Mission to Murder.

And I met a lot of amazing readers and members of the writing community who have truly touched my life with their kindness and willingness to share their own stories and experiences with me.

So, yeah, 2014 was a good year. Life happened, good and bad, and we’re still here to celebrate the upcoming new year.

Happy December

I love my website. Somehow, last year I figured out how to turn the snow on the site starting December 1st and now, it’s snowing.

Simple. But it makes me smile today when our real weather is freezing rain instead of fluffy pretty snow.

What’s happening in your world?

(I’m pretending I’ve got my recliner scooted up to this fire today..Although I don’t think my sweats and tee shirt will pass dress code.)

IMG_20141024_173503_629

The main lobby in the Columbia Club – Indianapolis, IN

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