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Blogging By the Sea
Saturday, January 23 2021

Rhobin is putting us on the spot this month asking: What is on your writing to-do list for this year? Do you have any long-range goals or just wrap-ups?


Where to start? Considering it’s already the 23rd of the month and my goals for the year, prior to writing this blog were kind of vague wishes, it really was time to get serious. I used to make New Year’s resolutions for all aspects of my life and most of the time kept them, but the last few years I’ve slacked off. I don’t want to admit it might be my age, but if I’m honest, it probably is. I’ve been retired for ten years now and finally come to a point where I’m happy just to enjoy each moment of my day without feeling like I have to accomplish something. There’s always tomorrow, isn’t there? Of course, we all know that eventually my tomorrows will run out, but for now, life is pretty good. My personal life, anyway. We won’t get into the contentious politics and outright hostility in my country, or the devastating effects of Covid 19. I’m just thankful to be healthy, active and enjoying life, even if parts of it are via various online entities.


But back to my writing goals. Sort of related to my writing is my reading. As an author, I know how vital it is to have reviews for your books, so my first resolution is to read a book a week and write a review. So far, I’m up on that, having posted #3 and soon to post the 4th.


I got derailed last fall halfway through FRAMED, the second book of my new mystery series. First it was a problem with plotting – I’m a pantser so plotting is a major challenge. Then it was the final days of my furry buddy’s life and his passing that left me feeling lost and aimless. I did a lot of walking and a lot of missing my dog. At first, I said I wasn’t going to have another pooch, it was too hard saying goodbye, but before long I realized this house and my life just felt way too empty. Duffy had been a great dog and his paws will be hard to fill, but I needed to try. So, the hunt was on at rescues and online. I finally ended up on a waiting list for a Golden Retriever puppy that was born on November 30. I will pick her up in two days and I’m eagerly anticipating her becoming part of my life, although I admit Jessi is going to be a serious distraction for a while. But in spite of housebreaking, training and playing with Jessi, I am determined to get FRAMED finished and off to the copy editor now that the holidays are past and I have no more excuses. I have faithful readers asking when my next book is coming out.


I am also noodling on story ideas for another book in my Camerons of Tide’s Way series. Many of my readers have asked if I’m ever going to write another, but my original plan was for 6 books, and that’s how many I put out there. However, in KEEPING HIS PROMISE a secondary character walked on stage about two thirds of the way through the book. It was a character I suddenly realized I needed for the story and hadn’t created before the book began, but here he was, demanding my respect and a place in the story. At the time, I didn’t think too much about where he would go in the future, only what his place was in that book, but since then I’ve begun to wonder how he made out with his project. And, since the series itself is contemporary romance, I’m going to have to find him someone to fall in love with. So, that is another of my goals for the year. Once FRAMED is off to the editor, I’ll start working on Lucas Trevlyn’s story.


I am also entering a short story for the first time in the contest to be included in the annual Florida Writer’s Anthology. Every year, they put one out with 30 or so short stories, the best of all that have been submitted. There is a theme to the anthology and this year, that theme is Footprints. I’ve got my first draft of that and will be working on polishing and getting it submitted.


Then comes the marketing stuff. I am horrible at marketing. I hate it and manage to procrastinate on all the stuff I do take on, and dismiss a lot of options I might do, but choose to ignore. This year, I want to try putting some of my indie books on sale via Amazon. I’m also going to look into Goodreads options. At the start of last year, I planned to walk into shops downtown here in St Augustine that carry books by local authors (both book stores and shops that cater to tourists.) But Covid happened and walking into any place was totally out of the question when BULLSEYE, my first book set right here in St Augustine came out in late February. I kind of thought by fall I might follow up on that, but the next wave of cases and tightening of precautions got in the way. So, now I’m planning to take FRAMED, as soon as it’s out along with BULLSEYE and see if I can make that happen. Hopefully the vaccinations will be well under way and life getting back to normal again on main street here and all across the country.


Lastly, I am going to make a better effort with my newsletters. Last year I totally slacked off after the announcement of BULLSEYE’s release. In the past, I’ve showcased other authors and their new releases as well as my own, had “interviews” with characters from my own books and others, as well as just touching base with my readers.


Those are my goals: two new books written and released, a short story I hope will make the cut in the FWA 2021 Anthology - Footprints, 52 book reviews and a more aggressive marketing effort, including a return to writing newsletters.


Check out what the other authors in our Round Robin Blog Hop plan to do this year:

Victoria Chatham 

Beverley Bateman 
Connie Vines 
Dr. Bob Rich 
Anne Stenhouse  
Diane Bator 
Fiona McGier 
Judith Copek 
Rhobin L Courtright 

Marci Baun 

Posted by: Skye Taylor AT 12:01 am   |  Permalink   |  10 Comments  |  Email
It's morning here in Scotland, Skye, so I'm reading your post. I knew there would be lots of industry among the robins and you don't disappoint. Good luck with it all and welcome Jessi. anne
Posted by anne stenhouse on 01/23/2021 - 04:24 AM
If that is Jessi in the photo, she's a beautiful girl and I'm sure (after housebreaking) will bring you enormous pleasure and companionship. I applaud all your goals! And it is easy to get sidelined, especially as your point out, in this weird time we are passing through.
Posted by Robin Courtright on 01/23/2021 - 06:21 AM
I've never been one to make New Year's Resolutions. I've always felt that, if something was important enough to you, you didn't wait for a specific day to start on it. You planned and got it going. (Well, other than saying: I'll wait until after Christmas and all of the goodies before I start that diet. LOL) I'm sorry to hear about your dog. Losing a pet is the hardest part about having one, but they bring so much love it's worth it. Here's to you achieving all of those goals. I'll be cheeering you on.
Posted by Marci on 01/23/2021 - 12:39 PM
So sorry to hear about your dog, Skye. My son in England got a Golden Retriever pup, Fudge, who is now about 16 months old. She is adorable and I'm sure your Jessi will be too. Best of luck with the writing projects.
Posted by Victoria Chatham on 01/23/2021 - 02:54 PM
Living in the moment is very wise, Skye. We can leave all that driven stuff to the youngsters. You're doing it right: "This is my chosen list, we'll see what happens." If you want a beta read for that short story, I am happy to give a second opinion.
Posted by Bob Rich on 01/23/2021 - 08:15 PM
I'm so for the loss of your dear pet. They are such treasured companions. A new pup will will the void for certain. I enjoyed the picture, too. Living moment by moment is a skill I'm trying to develop.
Posted by Connie Vines on 01/24/2021 - 01:37 AM
Since you write romance, join the Marketing for Romance Writers--MFRW-- This is a very welcoming group of authors, many of whom are generous about letting you post your books and stuff on their site. I'm the Goodreads librarian for them, so I post new books to their GR site. Good luck with the writing and the promoting. And having a new furry love in your life will center you, which will help you feel more like writing. Of course, finding the time will be a problem, at least until your new pup is housebroken! But hugs and kisses will more than pay you back!
Posted by Fiona McGier on 01/24/2021 - 03:35 PM
Sounds like a very busy year this year. Good luck with meeting all the goals. Along with a new puppy - so much fun. Bev
Posted by Beverley Bateman on 01/24/2021 - 05:48 PM
I, too, found the longer I was retired, the more "relaxed" I became. It is an admirable goal to write 52 book reviews. I'm sure the recipients will be pleased. Like you, I hate marketing. Good luck with the Florida anthology. Maybe sometime this year walking into a bookstore will become a reality. Your goals sound pretty realistic to me.
Posted by Judith Copek on 01/26/2021 - 03:19 PM
Sounds like a wonderful year ahead! The new puppy will definitely keep you on your toes and might give you some fun distractions. Happy writing!
Posted by Diane L Bator on 01/29/2021 - 03:16 PM

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    Skye Taylor
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