celialucente~ By Celia Lucente

CHRISTMAS

On November 1st of any given year, I put the Halloween decorations away and take down the Christmas boxes from the attic. As soon as it becomes available, I play Christmas music twenty-fours a day, seven days a week. I know— I’m an out-and-out Christmas nut. It takes me at least a week to construct my tree. I’ve attached front and back pictures of it in this blog. I’ve collected the decorations from my first apartment to the house I live in now. Although the details are starting to fade, I can pretty identify the origin of each ornament.

oakdale1 frontview1 tree_backview

Throughout the world, this season is full of celebration.

However, it also can be a very stressful time of year. We’re caught in a holiday whirlwind: congested roadways, crowded stores, people pushing through the malls to get their gifts, the financial stress, and the rush to wrap and ship the purchases, write cards and make cookies. We run ourselves ragged and then we’re sometimes too tired to enjoy the festivities. Our heads spin with the many events going on. All the while, we’re subject to the pressure of being happy and festive—because of the season.

It’s a time of giving and celebrating the joy of life. A time to reflect upon the year that has past and plan for the New Year. A time to cherish the people we have in our lives.

Yet for some there may be loss, or unfortunate circumstances or displeasure. Maybe we have to break bread with individuals we don’t care to see.

As writers, we can channel those emotions, both good and bad, into our writing. Get it all down. Transfer the emotions to your characters and play out the scenes in the pages of your WIPs!

I hope you all rejoice in the Season with your family and friends. Let’s appreciate the moment we’re in, relax and have fun.

NEW YEARS

2014 looms around the corner. That means it’s time for business planning. The drudgery. Then the accountability. UGH!

I thought I left the corporate world to be relaxed and free. As an artist, we can work where and when we want and wear what we want while doing it. However, without a plan, there’s no measurable goal for success. We succeed when our preparation meets with luck. For pre-published authors that’ll be when the right MS hits the right editor’s desk. For the published author it may be when the right book hits the shelves and cyberspace search engines to give us the desired distribution.

Before you grumble and say, “It’s the holidays I don’t have to time think about a business plan”, how about we make this a little fun?

So here we go first take a piece of paper and your favorite pen write down the following:

1). In free form, without any editing, and zero judgment, write down what you want to accomplish in 2014. GOAL. Be as lofty as you want! Leave several empty lines between each item.

2). Now in that empty space, write how you would go about achieving your goal.

3). When. Below that by which date or month, you’d like to achieve each goal.

Remember that which you think about you bring about. Spiritualist Deepak Chopra said that within any desire are the mechanics of its fulfillment. It may take numerous tries. It may seem impossible. However, every day you try you’re that much closer to achieving your goal.

Therefore, here’s what we have so far (I’ll be the guinea pig)

Goal: To be published in 2014 starting with my contemporary romance series. (1.3 books into the 4 part series completed so far)

How? Wait to hear from current editor (he tells me I’ll hear by the New Year). If he says no, ask him if he’ll consider the second book and the series. If he says no then submit to three more editors throughout the year after researching the publishing houses. Continue to write remainder of series.

When? By the end of the year, re-evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy.

Goal: Continue with my three critique groups. Maintain a positive and critical outlook on the feedback I give and receive.

How & When: Continue current schedule with weekly, bi-weekly and monthly submissions. Be prompt with returns and incorporate changes that I agree with to my MS.

Goal: Serve on the board of one RWA organization.

How: Serve as Treasurer of our organization and fulfill requirements ahead of schedule to avoid last minute snags.

Goal: Participate in one community charity.

How: Attend open houses of charities and choose one.

When: Give a minimum of an hour per week to volunteer activities.

That’s it folks. I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog.

Until we meet again— May you and yours have the most blessed, peaceful and stress-free HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Lucente is a full-time writer of contemporary romance and women’s fiction and is seeking either an agent or acquiring editor for her finished works. She is a PRO member of RWA, and a member of the RWA Contemporary Romance, RWA-WF, RWA Romance Critique Group and her local chapter of Space Coast Authors. She is a participant with several critique groups and CP’s and enjoys working on her craft by helping fellow writers.