Tag Archives: Jenny Hansen

Every Christmas Celebration is Unique

Merry Christmas and Happy Monday Mania!

snowmen nativity

Not everyone’s family is the same. No two Christmas celebrations are identical. No matter what the media would have you believe.

At our house we have two Christmas’s, Christmas Day with Jeff’s family and Christmas Eve with mine. Christmas with my family is  twenty plus people at the table and  two rounds of the rambunctious white elephant gift exchange topped off by the yule log (yum!).

Christmas at Jeff’s house is calmer. Only seven of us, sometimes a friend who has no family in town and individual presents. It’s calm and peaceful and we top it off with a traditional dinner at the table, candles and all. And desert varies. (I believe this year we are having pumpkin pie, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone sneaks in a chocolate cream pie too!)

Two different Christmas styles, but we love them both. Not every party can be a nutcracking free for all. We’d be exhausted! And what’s important for us is we get to spend it with family.

No matter what your family looks like, if it’s made up of the family you chose or the family who have to take you in, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday with the ones you love.

There have been some terrific Christmas blogs this year so take some time and make sure you’ve hit the best!

Start off with Jenny Hansen’s More Cowbell and check out all the Holiday Yum she’s had cooking all month. From candy’s to cookies, Jenny and her pals have it covered. Oh, and if you are into more than just recipes, scroll back through some of Jenny’s posts. She is a very funny gal and makes me LOL all the time!

Kristen Lamb is another funny gal who always has something informative to say, check out her Holiday Style Post HERE.

Lizzie T. Leaf has been celebrating December with the Wenches of Words. If you’d like some new reading this holiday, HERE is the link. My choice for Christmas reading is Holley Trent and her new novella Mrs. Roth’s Merry Christmas. Gotta love a paranormal Christmas!

And if you’ve stopped here, let me know what makes your Christmas unique? And yes, that really is my nativity set. How could I resist a snowmen nativity with jewels in their bellies? Could you?

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Filed under About the Author, Moonday mania

Added #Triberr Finally!

Moonday Madness

a blog on the craft of writing

Promotion. Marketing. Social Media.

We hear all about it, but we want don’t know how to do it. At least not effectively. And when someone tells us about this great new thing, all we can do is moan, “NO MORE.”

But Triberr is different.Triberr image

It’s the real deal, a time saver, not a time sucker. And I have a few friends to thank for helping me out with it.

The first person is the Triberr guru of my small circle of internet buddies, Jenny Hansen. I gave her a blog award a few weeks ago HERE. She is hysterically funny! But she is also very smart and tech savvy. My friends at my Colorado Romance Writing Group think I know it all, but it turns out I borrow heavily from people like Jenny. She wrote a wonderful series on Triberr. The first one starts HERE.

And Jenny said that Triberr would save me time. I did check it out. But is seemed overwhelming and I didn’t know how to make it work, and I was very busy and put it off. My bad.

I even had a group of friends who emailed each other about it. What is this? How does it work? None of us took the five minutes to figure it out. Even though I read Jenny’s post and signed up, that was as far as I got. I put it off till life got a little less crazy. Well you know what happened next. Life never did get less crazy.

Then I went to a CRW meeting and Amy Denim (The Free Book Queen!) said, it’s easy and we’re starting a tribe. Pay a dollar for bones and we’ll get going. I paid my dollar, she sent me an invite. But nothing worked and I gave up.

So another month rolls by. Meanwhile I’m giving up ground on Twitter as my life falls even farther apart, I start blogging less and less. I need help!

Saturday I got it. Amy got out her laptop at our meeting and walked us through Triberr, and my lightbulb went off.

I need this. This will save me. It is not a time sucker.

I went home and figured out that I had two accounts and that’s why nothing worked. Deleted one, fixed the other and got rolling. That took about twenty minutes. Mostly because I had to figure out that I had two accounts. I think getting started really takes about five. See Jenny’s post.

Now what I need is to add friends and some good tribes. To make my life easy, I need my friends to decide that they want to make their lives easy, and spend the five minutes to get started. I know it seems like another waste of time, but this will help you all. Please let me know if you are interested, and I’ll send you an invite.

What have you tried lately that’s new? Did it save you time? Or suck it away? What about Triberr? And check out the rest of that series on Jenny’s site. I will be walking through it myself. (I’m still on week one.)

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Filed under Moonday mania, website, writing organization

Nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award

Moonday Mania

a blog on writing

Thank you Amy Denim for nominating everyone on the CRW blog hop (including me!) for the One Lovely Blog Award.

The rules to the award:
1. Thank the person/people who nominated you and link back to them.
2. Share a few things about yourself.
3. Nominate some other bloggers you admire.
4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know.
Step one: completed (see above).
If you haven’t dropped by Amy Denim’s blog, you should. She’s all about Free e-books! Plus she’s a cool person and has interesting things to say
Step two: Let me see…
Some things that about myself. And they should be new things, shouldn’t they? Okay. I used to be a tea drinker in the mornings and only drank coffee as a special treat. But I started a particular job a few years ago and it entailed sitting at a computer looking at page after page of students work. So now I am a coffee drinker. And I am officially addicted.
Step three and four: 
Nominate and contact some bloggers.
Well that’s easy! Moonday Mania is usually a craft day and so today I’m nominating Mart Ramirez. Mart posts all kinds of useful information for authors and she’s part of my GAIMX goal setting loop. She’s consistently full of support and a positive attitude a perfect Moonday Mania pick.
I love Jenny Hansen’s blog, More Cowbell. She’s funny and smart and always has links to cool sites. And since today is Memorial Day, Jenny can be counted on to have a stellar Memorial Day post, so hop on over to Jenny’s blog and check it out. And if today is too serious, look at some of her other hair raising blogs. She really makes me laugh.
And last, but not least, since it is Moonday Mania and we should be addressing the craft of writing, I’m nominating Larry Brooks and Storyfix. I recently stumbled across Larry due to a book on outlining. The book really didn’t work for me, but Larry’s blog did. If you want some great writing advice, check out Larry’s lessons on structure, timing and plot. It will be well worth your time.

 Click HERE for the complete list of CRW blog hop participants. There are still a few stops left to go this week. And we still have prizes left on individual days, as well as entries in the grand prize drawing. Here’s the schedule for the rest of the week:

May 28: Jenn LeBlanc

May 29: Clare Austin

May 30: Holley Trent

May 31: Elizabeth Haysmont

And for everyone here in the USA, have a great Memorial Day!

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Filed under Bloghops, Events, Moonday mania

Goals 2012

Moonday Mania

a blog on the craft of writing

I’m taking a page from my ROW 80 friends, Gloria Richard and Jenny Hansen and posting my goals for 2012. Just to let you know, unlike the ROW 80 peeps, I will not be checking in on Fridays and letting you know how I’m doing. Not because I don’t love you all, but mostly because I’m blogging enough for ten writers this year and I simply can’t add one more blog to the list. Instead, from time to time I’ll jump on and celebrate (or not) and let you know where I am.

So, this is the list of goals I sent out to my goal setting group, Writing Gaim, hosted by Amy Atwell. (I’m actually on the fifth goals setting group that Amy has set up, so you won’t see my goals on the site. But jump on over to Amy’s site and see all the cool things she has to offer.)

Jessica Aspen Goals for 2012
  1. Polish and submit TQH , (January) continue to submit as needed
  2. Polish and submit BW
  3. Outline and write  DW second novel in BW series-possible #BIAY
  4. Add BIAY page to my website and update monthly
  5. Polish and submit DW 
  6. Re-vamp novella-Rogue Enforcer, and publish
  7. Outline and write GB (new novella) (February)
  8. Polish and submit GB
  9. Start thinking about 3rd book in Enforcer series
  10. Outline and write sequal to TQH book (If TQH is accepted, this becomes a priority)
  11. Attend Rom con 2012 (already purchased ticket)
  12. Go to RWA Nationals in July
  13. Market all books (Little Red Riding Wolf focus for Jan and Feb)
  14. Keep up with personal site and improve it, blog 3 days a week
  15. Finish business plan
  16. Outline a YA and write for NANO (if not working at MP)
  17. Keep up with PNRF and improve site, blog once per month
  18. Take Bob Mayer class and keep up with it (Jan and Feb)
  19. Work at applying analytics and website knowledge to sites
  20. Write five days per week, 3 hours per day (actually I want to have butt in chair for 6 hours per day)
  21. Goal is 2k/day, expanding to 3k/day
  22. Or edit 15-20 pages per day
  23. Market 1-2 hours per day
  24. Increase presence on Goodreads and Google plus
  25. Think about possibly 2 other classes this year
  26. Figure out how to increase presence on reader sites/loops
  27. Work at improving plotting with the intent of speeding up actual writing by an extra 1,000k per day from current speed of 2k per day using Rachel Aaron‘s techniques
  28. Continue to set and review monthly goals, set daily goals based on monthly goals
  29. Explore self-publishing a short story
Okay, so it’s a huge list. And they aren’t SMART goals. Why? Because I like to dream big for the year. I like to look at everything I want to accomplish for the year when I plan what I’m going to do for the month. Now on my daily goals, I set goals using Margie Lawson‘s DSDB techniques. Winner and superstar goals that I can accomplish and check off and feel good about. But for the year, I want it all out there.
Maybe it won’t all get done, (okay, it’s not all getting done) but I believe if you don’t shoot for the top of the mountain you won’t get there. And I’m a top of the mountain kind of gal. Even when it hurts, and it’s gonna hurt.
I set a tremendous amount of goals for 2011, did I hit them all? NO.
But I did hit quite a few, and I feel good about it. If you are the kind of person who will feel bad if you don’t have bright red check marks next to all your goals, then set them SMART, and even SMARTER.
Letter Major Term Minor Terms
S Specific Significant, Stretching, Simple
M Measurable Meaningful, Motivational, Manageable
A Attainable Appropriate, Achievable, Agreed, Assignable, Actionable, Ambitious, Aligned, Aspirational
R Relevant Realistic, Resourced, Resonant
T Timely Time-oriented, Time framed, Timed, Time-based, Timeboxed, Time-bound, Time-Specific, Timetabled, Time limited, Trackable, Tangible
E Evaluate Ethical, Excitable, Enjoyable, Engaging, Ecological
R Reevaluate Rewarded, Reassess, Revisit, Recordable, Rewarding, Reaching
source: wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria

For me, I’m shooting for the top, and setting them SMART along the way. That’s just me.

What kind of a goal setter are you? Do you set goals? What’s your process? Are you a SMART goal setter?

Don’t forget to enter my contest HERE, rules etc are on the contest page. And you can comment etc more than once (just once per day) so enter often! I’ve added Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Gift Certificates to the list, and yes, you can order online. Yumm!

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Filed under Goal Setting, Moonday mania

Goal Setting Survival

Moonday Mania

A writer oriented blog

Today’s blog is the first in a series of four about how organization has saved me. The other three parts will run in August, after Sherrry Isaac’s guest blogging.

The blogging Karma has spoken. The other day found me talking with a friend of mine about stress and how it makes her sick and how she needs to cut it out of her life. We both agreed, modern people (especially women) think we need to do everything, do it well and get it done yesterday. And it’s killing us. Some of us end up obese and some with auto-immune disorders and some with shoe shopping fetishes.

Lo and behold the very next morning my friend Sherry Isaac sends me a link to More Cowbell and Jenny Hansen’s outlook on setting a goal to add “worry free writing time” to her list of to-do’s.

What’s this? A to-do on my writing list of killer goals that makes time for me as a person? Crazy. But obviously the universe is telling me something. All my over-stretched goals don’t help me become more productive, they just make me over-worked. Can goal setting actually help us become healthier? And I’m not talking setting weight-loss goals. I mean actual professional goals. Does your mental health require you to set professional goals that encourage you to nurture yourself?

Setting goals is part of my life. I set yearly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals and daily goals. All in hopes of achieving my dream, publishing my writing. (Okay, earning some cash with said writing.) I love the process of goal setting. Purchasing new notebooks and writing things down thrills my inner organizer. But then the inner organizer runs up against the real me, the Procrastinator. And I get stressed.

There is no way I can do all of this. No way I can keep up with the day to day over-the-top goals I want to achieve. So how do I do it all? How do I become a paranormal writer extraordinaire, an amazing self-promoter and still survive?

Am I trying to become superwoman writer and achieve so much that I actually end up sabotaging myself in the process?

Jenny Hansen”s idea of adding “worry free writing time” to her to-do’s is amazing. It’s still a professional goal but it has the added benefit of not being something you can fail at. There are no word counts in worry free writing. No required three-character-sheets-by- the-end of-the-hour deadlines. No plot constrictions. It’s free. And freeing.

By adding one goal to your to do list that feeds your soul its like adding in time for meditation, exercise, or ice cream. Its something that you can relax and enjoy and get those endorphins flowing. And it is still a professional goal. Still one that you can use to drive your creativity. And one that might even improve your creativity while it lowers your heart rate. Amazing!

I’d love to hear how you free yourself within your goal setting. What kinds of goals can you think of that are within your profession, but not constrictive?

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Filed under channeling success, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Optimisim, writing organization