Planning

Are you a planner? Well, I am. I like to feel in control of situations, so I do lots of planning beforehand to be prepared for whatever might come. If I’m going to read scripture at church, I like to have the liturgy ahead of time, so I can practice. I like to know what we’re going to have for supper, so I know what to eat for lunch. I mean you don’t want to eat left over pasta salad for lunch if you’re going to an Italian restaurant for supper, right? So yes, I like planning.

Of course, I use it in my writing, but as I’ve written here before I seem to be morphing into something of a pantser—or plotser as I call my process. Planning with some freewheeling.

Are you completely in the dark about where I’m going? Hang in there. I’m about to get there.

photo(8) This is the screen shot on my phone. 

In three years, God willing, my husband and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Twenty or twenty-five years ago, I attended a 50th wedding anniversary at the Country Club for long time members of our church. It was quite lavish, great food and drink. People were dressed up. The kids of the couple put together a charming video depicting their parents’ lives. Right then, I decided that was how I wanted to celebrate our 50th when time came.

Flash forward a ton of years, and I’ve realized I don’t want to ask our kids to go to that much trouble when they are super busy. Recently, I’ve heard of several families who planned a family vacation for the parents’ 50th.  And I thought. Hmmmm. I’d love to share Maine with our family.  When I ran the idea past our kids, they thought that sounded great. Dates to be determined later, but summer 2021. There will be 9 of us on the trip.

photo(7) From a cottage off the Demariscota River. Prototype of setting for ACT OF TRUST.

I’ve already begun planning. Yes, I know it’s three years off, but great places book up more than a year in advance. And as I said, I enjoy planning. And that gives us time to save up. 😊 It’s not inexpensive, but it will be less than the big country club party. And it will give our kids and grandkids, who will be 12, 10, and 9 then, awesome experiences. Hopefully, when we’re gone, they’ll still want to make periodic trips to Maine. Or at the very least, they’ll look at pictures and remember a wonderful time with us. They won’t get these beautiful fall colors since we’ll be going in the summer.

This is near Boothbay Harbor. photo(11)

I can’t tell you how much joy I’ve already experienced in researching locations and places to stay. Well, mostly places to stay, because I’ve got the location nailed: Somewhere on the mid-coast of Maine. I’ve only shared a couple of my gazillion Maine pics, but you can see why I love it so much.

I began looking at Resorts—two especially. The first is The Samoset Resort in the Camden/Rockland area. http://www.samosetresort.com/about-us/  We ran across it on one of our trips when we were looking at a nearby lighthouse. It has some fun activities: pool, kid area, awesome views. Haven’t found exactly the right room arrangement but closer to time, I probably can.

Then I looked at Spruce Point Inn & Resort near Boothbay Harbor, a place we’ve stayed twice.

https://www.sprucepointinn.com/resort/overview/

Again, good activities, even lawn size chess. Our grandson and his father would love that. But I haven’t nailed down the perfect accommodations, yet.

Family trips work well when you have a good balance between separate space and together space. Recently, I ran across a HomeAway link, and I got to thinking about large houses. The two below are are possible winners.  I have to choose between ocean or river views and have eliminated lake views, because we have that now. 🙂 Leaning toward ocean, since that’s not as common for our crew.

https://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p158384vb

https://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p868993vb

The houses are less expensive than the resorts, but there might be more to do at the resorts. But I want to make sure we take car trips to see many of the wonderful sites up and down the mid coast of Maine. I love this area so much, I actually put a Mid-coast road trip in ACT OF TRUST.  I used it to show a growing attraction between the hero and heroine, but mostly just to showcase this beautiful state. 🙂

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Don’t know what we’ll decide on, but I have had a ball looking. Do you think I’m nuts for looking this far out? I mean, we might not be alive, or we could be seriously ill by then. Hope and pray not, but….  Are you a planner?  Love to hear from you.

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Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic, VACATION #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic, VACATION

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


This wasn’t just a vacation to seek out the man I’d been intrigued by for the past year. No, I also had a deadline for my next book looming in the background.

S.A.Taylor
Follow Me (work in progress)


She looked across the store, wishing the rainbows were real, and she’d come to Woodstock on an extended vacation. But that wasn’t the case.

Marsha West


“Rafe emerged from Leavenworth as if it were a summer vacation. Because he certainly doesn’t act like a man who’s been imprisoned for years.”

 Sharon Wray


My six-one geek wearing rimless glasses, leaned against the railing, and stared into the sparkling blue waters of the high mountain lake. The feathered fowl paddled by.

Vicki Batman


Visitors could get a taste of ranch life by taking part in different activities such as a cattle drive, trail riding, branding—all the things that made dude ranches a favorite with vacationers looking for adventure and luxury in one sweet package.

Jacquie Biggar


I’m missing how going to a third world country translates to a vacation. It’s not exactly a week at Disney World.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


In the back was a glorious rose garden. For a moment, she almost didn’t mind being locked away here, but then a security guard walked into view with a large rifle in his hands. This wasn’t a vacation.

Veronica Forand
Sins of the Father (Coming February 2019)


Only the shallow reeds swaying with the water’s movement. But she knew—from years of vacationing on the lake’s shores—how the lake creatures could make themselves just about invisible.

Claire Gem


ADifferentKindofReunion_w12053_750 (2)He had about five weeks of accumulated vacation time that we had planned to use when we went on safari to South Africa.

Joanne Guidoccio


Said they wouldn’t even notice he was gone—which was an obvious lie, but she wanted him to relax and enjoy the vacation they arranged for him to win.

Kathryn Jane


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic, CAR #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic, CAR

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


He climbed back into his car and while Kate watched him drive away, an awful ache grew around her heart.

Kathryn Jane


True to his word, Rowan didn’t budge. The keys dangled from the ignition, but he wouldn’t start the car.

S.A.Taylor
Sharp Blades (work in progress)


She peeked in the open car door and found the seats had slits cut through the leather and stuffing was strewn onto the floorboards. Chill bumps pebbled along her spine.

Marsha West


Rafe leaned his forearm on Calum’s car roof. “You can’t live in the past, and no amount of money can change that.”

 Sharon Wray


He tossed me the car key. “Go buy something to wear.”

Vicki Batman


My woman would need to have an adventurous streak and not mind an occasional wild ride in a Jeep.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


ADifferentKindofReunion_w12053_750 (2)Kaitlin waited until Hannah’s car pulled out of the driveway.

Joanne Guidoccio


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic, TRAIN #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic, TRAIN

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


Finally, there was a light at the end of the tunnel that wasn’t an oncoming freight train.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


While I waited, I gazed out at the bustle of downtown. Streams of people flowed like ants in and out of the plexiglass enclosed entrance to the train station, the surge swelling or fading with the rhythm of the Red Line.

Claire Gem


The only safe time to travel was at night, and the best course, to follow would be the train tracks.

Kathryn Jane


Join him and a bunch of military vets on an adventure trek? I wasn’t an amateur at hiking, but I’d seen the website and knew this required some serious survival training.

S.A.Taylor
Follow Me (work in progress)


Doubts and questions rumbled through her brain like a train on a continuous loop of track. Clock hands sat at five. She ached for the release of sleep.

Marsha West


From the third floor, Nate saw a barge inching up the Savannah River, a heroin addict sleeping in the no-man’s land between the riverbank and railroad tracks, and four CSX train cars overfilled with coal stopped at the track switch.

 Sharon Wray


“There’s always the disposal.” Our gazes traveled over to the bug now hiding next to a pink sponge with only the bobbing antenna visible, and then, back to each other.

Vicki Batman


They were trained for these kinds of scenarios, knew what to do, how to react, but, given Murphy’s Law, Connor wasn’t surprised she was worried.

Jacquie Biggar


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dealing with Writer’s Block

After spending over three decades dreaming about the novels I would write during my retirement years, I was totally unprepared for the tyranny of the blank page. Thankfully, that first bout of writer’s block didn’t last too long. Inspiration came a month later at a creative writing workshop.

Several other bouts followed, some longer than others. Workshops and seminars definitely helped and so did the following strategies:

1. Change it up. Use pen and paper instead of a computer. If you’ve always written in the morning, switch to evening writing. Find a new writing café or create a new workplace in your home.

2. Improve your writing circumstances. Change the lighting, keep a coffee or tea pot nearby, declutter your desk, or hang up an inspirational poster.

3. Write something that comes easily–a letter, a recipe, a poem–and then return to your original project.

4. Move your body. Dance, run, practice yoga or Tai Chi, revisit a sport or fitness activity. Get your body into flow and your mind will follow.

5. Take up a new creative pursuit: painting, scrapbooking, decoupage, woodworking, quilting, weaving…If you’re stuck, buy an adult coloring book stock up on colored pencils, and start coloring.

6. Journal or free-write for 15 to 20 minutes each morning. You can write about random subjects or personal issues. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or punctuation.

7. Sign up for a Continuing Education course that is out of your comfort zone. You could learn a new language, practice karate,  or take a Japanese cooking class.

8. Make a list of all possible directions in which your manuscript could go. Don’t exclude any ideas, even silly or unworkable ones. Try out one or more of these directions until something clicks.

9. Set a reasonable deadline and offer yourself a substantial reward for finishing the manuscript. Share with a friend who will keep you accountable. 

10. Participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). During the month of November, writers worldwide commit to writing 50K words in one month. I participated for the first time in 2016 and wrote 51K of a cozy mystery,  A Different Kind of Reunion (released by the The Wild Rose Press in April 2018). In 2017, I wrote 55K of a stand-alone novel. I connected with a local group and met regularly throughout the month. It was a great experience!

Any other tips to share?

 

Where to find Joanne Guidoccio…

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Goodreads | Pinterest

Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic, AIRPLANE #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic, AIRPLANE

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


The plane hit a pocket of turbulence and she gasped, her stomach sky-diving down to her toes.

Jacquie Biggar


As the plane rose up into the sky, part of his stomach tried to stay on the ground, but he recovered quickly.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


A flash of panic made Laura feel as though she’d been pushed out of an airplane without a parachute. She reached forward and lifted the giant margarita glass with two hands.

Claire Gem


There was one plane and a helicopter inside, and a dead guy.

Kathryn Jane


A storm that shoved me in a direction where I couldn’t rest until I was on a plane with one itinerary – find the person who’d started it all.

S.A.Taylor
Follow Me (work in progress)


As the plane sailed into the air at that heart-stopping take-off angle, she gazed through her window one last time at the Fort Worth skyline. Considered less impressive than Dallas, it had been home for fifty years.

Marsha West


Balthasar circled Rafe, holding a knife. The whirring sounds from the helo rotors ceased, which meant it’d crashed and died in the conservatory.

 Sharon Wray


For work, we’d traveled to Colorado Springs to attend a workshop on web design innovations. After check-in, I’d joined him at the bridge crossing the lake to decide about lunch before the meetings commenced.

Vicki Batman