March Promptlies >> Writerly Link-up Party: Info & Details


It's beginning!!!
Today's the day for all the details!

If you are completely baffled at the moment, no worries.  :]  Allow me to explain:  Beginning Sunday, March 3rd, I will be hosting a fun little blog party here that I'm calling March Promptlies.  If you are a writer, aspiring or published, this should be a fun little exercise for you!

> > > THE IDEA < < <
Each Sunday in March, I will post a writing prompt (chosen by yours truly) to focus on for that particular week.  If you so desire to take part, you have from that Sunday to Saturday to share a brief excerpt or short story relating to the prompt.  Make sense?  You will then post your mini story on your personal blog/site/etc. & link back to mine via the link tool I'll have at the end of each Sunday post.

Got it???
Onward to ze rules!


>  {EDIT} Each story should be a minimum of 500 to a max of 1000 words! 
Oooh.  Hope that's not a killer for some of you. . . ;D
>  At the start of your posts, use the "Promptlies" banner (above), & make sure to link back to this blog somewhere.
You should be able to copy & paste.
>  No foul language or vulgarity of any kind.
It's totally unnecessary.  If you've a particular bad guy(s), I'd suggest using phrases like "he cursed" or "they dragged him away spitting obscenities unworthy of repeating in respectable company."  O___o  Ya get the idea.
>  No sensuality.
Sweet kisses, hugs, & tender embraces are acceptable.
>  Keep blood & gore to a minimum please!
PG-13 at least.  We're not trying to gross anyone out.  This is just a month of fun writing exercises to revamp our creative juices.
Spread the word!!!
While it's not a goal for this link-up, IF this little blog happens to reach 110 followers, I'll be hosting a bookish giveaway sometime in April.


>  Check back every Sunday for each week's prompt!
>  If participating, take the prompt given & see where your pen (or typing fingers) takes you---WRITE!!!
>  As mentioned above, keep the excerpts between 300 to 800 words.
>  Post the results of your writings on your blog & link to mine by the following Saturday.  That means you've got about six days to write something & share with everyone.  We all need deadlines, right??
>  GET CREATIVE.  Dabble in different genres!  This is the perfect chance to try something you've never done before, or even to attempt a genre that you would otherwise never attempt.

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Whatcha think??  This idea came to me because I've struggled lately with writer's block & have been wondering where in the world I wanna take my stories.  My creativity level seems extremely low, and I was searching for a way to boost it.  We'll see how this goes. . .  :]

Besides, once the month of March has passed, it means April's Camp NaNo begins!  What better way to exercise the brain-juices & prepare for Camp, yes?  Depending on how this little link-up goes, I'm keeping it in mind again for the month of June (before July's Camp NaNo) and then in October (for November's NaNoWriMo. . . :] :] :]

Also, as mentioned above, depending on the possibility of new friends---if this little blog gains at least 12 new followers---then I'll hold a bookish giveaway sometime in April.  More to come in regards to that!

So excited, y'all!!!
Happy Wednesday!

What's in a Name? || Nicknames!

Happy Monday!
Are you enjoying Spring-ish weather where you art?? Or are you still shoveling through the lovely-white snow of Winter?  Dunno 'bout you, but my day here was so sunny & GORGEOUS.  So looking forward to Spring!

It's another Nickname edition, y'all!!!  I love these! But as I was rather late in preparing this post, there's only a featured four present today.  But I do think you'll like them.  :]

Enjoy!

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Mak
Makoa
M | Hawaiian

From the Hawaiian word meaning "fearless, courageous, aggressive."


Penny
Penelope
F | Greek Mythology, English

Possibly derived from the Greek penelops, a type of duck---which, in turn, could come from the elements pene "threads, waft" and ops "face, eye."  In Homer's Odyssey, this was the given name of the wife of Odysseus. 



Theo
Theodore
English

From the Greek name Theodoros, meaning "gift of God."


Via
Violaine
French

A variant of Violante, ultimately a derivative of the Latin viola meaning "violet."







Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

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Favorite of this bunch? I rather like Via meself. :] And Penny & Theo are such great classy/classic names! (and Makoa is just AWESOME)

Have a lovely week, y'all! Don't forget to check back her in the next couple days!! I'll have the info posted in regards to the upcoming March Promptlies linkup!!!

"I have heard say that he who sings scares away his woes."

- Don Quixote -

I know I've been rather absent of late.  This week was a kinda tough one & not much was accomplished in the area of blogging.  Which I'm learning is OKAY.  *^ - ^* With my new responsibilities as a mama now, I'm finding I'm still getting into the hang of things, and realizing just how much this parenting thing requires of oneself.  It certainly teaches one to be selfless! :]  And patient.  And joyful amidst difficulties.  As well as that most important lesson that one's strength alone will NOT be enough---that's why God gives us our family & friends, so we can walk TOGETHER.  Oh how grateful I am of this.

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xD || Pinterest
I've decided attempting to post three days a week is a little too much---at least right now.  So, I'm bumping it down to two.  Don't worry!  I'm still keeping the Name posts for sure!  However, my Encouragement & Writerly posts will alternate for the time being.  And if I must (IF it comes to it), I'll try to show up once a week at the very least, but I feel confident I can do this new schedule.  

That said, we've only a few more days left of February before the next month MARCHES in.  (See what I did there?? *crickets* haha)  Ahem.  This coming week I'll be sharing the details of my upcoming linkup party!!! SO EXCITED.  Don't forget to check back on either Tuesday or Wednesday for the info.  The actual linkup will begin that following Sunday!

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Happy weekend, y'all!
I hope it's a lovely one.  :]

Pinterest

What's in a Name?

Hullo, dear beans.  :]
How was your weekend?  Mine was rather lovely (depsite the rain, and promise of more. . .).

THE MOST EXCITING NEWS FROM THIS PAST WEEK:
My baby brother is ENGAGED!!!  AHHHHHHHH And to one of the sweetest ladies I've ever known.  I thought many times that I'd like to be her when I grow up. *^ - ^* Amanda is already a sister to me, & soon it'll be official!! 
(You can check out my Instagram to see a photo of their sweet faces, if you'd like.  @sarahpenmaiden or link in sidebar!)

Anywho, 'nuff squealing, right?  I've got some new names for you! And oddly enough, they're all "R's".  :D

Enjoy!

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Rían
M | English, Irish
REE-an, or RIE-an

From the Irish name Ryan, derived from the surname Ó Riain meaning "descendant of Rían."  Possibly means "little king," from the Irish elements ri "king" and combined with a diminutive suffix.


Rohana
F | Sanskrit

Means "sandalwood" or "ascending" in Sanskrit.


Rook
English

From the Eurasian bird of the same name.  (Could also refer to the chess piece resembling a castle tower.  Or the Dutch word rook, meaning "smoke.")

NOTE:  This would make a pretty cool dystopian character's name, I think. . .

Reese
M & F Welsh

Anglicized form of the male name Rhys, meaning "enthusiasm" in Welsh.








Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.


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Favorite(s)?? Any to recommend?  
What is an "R" name you like that could be added to this list?  I like Renna & Rohan.  :]

Be ENCOURAGED || Find Lovely

It's Valentine's Day tomorrow!
And LOVE is literally in the air.


Seriously, though.  You'll find ALL manner of items with the theme of hearts, roses, candy & the like in practically every store at this time of year.  School children will pass out tiny Valentines to their crushes (I remember those days), boyfriends will give a box of chocolates to their current girlfriends, and husbands will take their wives to a nice dinner without the kids.

But do we truly know the history of the holidays we celebrate---and WHY we do so?  In this particular holiday, the true meaning of love is often forgotten.  It's based on appearances.  Or touches only the surface of a person.  Let's go deeper.

Even if you're not looking, you'll find articles & blog posts & social media on this subject of love everywhere.  And we all know our Lord states that of the commandments He has given, love is the "greatest of these." (1 Cor. 13:13)

But I wished to focus on another piece of love (that deeper part).

Today, I have a challenge for you.  :]
And it is this: Find LOVELY.


"What do could you possibly mean??" you may ask. "That's just an adjective!"  Grammatically, you are most certainly correct.  But in this case, I challenge you to make it a verb TO BE.  

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Over the last few years, lovely has unknowingly become a favorite word of mine.  I've tried throughout my writings to widen my vocabulary & I believe lovely became one then.  So, to research & draft this post I looked up its definition and rather like how Google (of all things) defines it:
adj. Exquisitely beautiful.  
(Informal) Very pleasant or enjoyable; delightful.

Merriam-Webster says it this way:
adj. 1. Lovable (obsolete)  2. Delightful for beauty, harmony, or grace; attractive  3. Grand, swell (a lovely morning)  4. Eliciting love by moral or ideal worth
. . . and as a noun: 1. A beautiful woman  2. A lovely object

You get the idea.  :]

All that said, when people think of me, I'd love my legacy to be, "She has a lovely heart," or "what a lovely, kind person."  What about you?  This ties back to the Titus 2 book study I've been taking part in.  We all, whether young or old, have someone who looks up to us in some way or another.  If we are a lovely type of human bean, don't you think that little girl, or even the older woman, might want to strive for that as well?


> > > Be a lovely person.

> > > See the lovely in everyone.

> > > Show lovely to others.

Be ENCOURAGED!  Lovely is an inside & out kind of thing.

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Whether you're a single girl who currently gets as much attention as a white crayon, or one who is getting ready to marry her best friend, know this:  You are LOVED.  Valentines can be a holiday where you refocus on the love of God (Rather, we need to do that every day, but seeing as the holiday of love is here, there's no better time than the present, right?)  God loves you far more than any man could.  And any man worth his salt, who vows to love you for the rest of his days, will make it his goal to strive every day to match that Love from the very One who gives it.

Oh love of God, how rich & pure!
How measureless & strong!
It shall forever more endure---
The saints' & angels' song.

Choose JOY.  Find LOVELY.

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Do you have any fun plans for Valentines tomorrow?  Are you cuddling up with your cat & a favorite movie? Or maybe going on a romantic date with your special guy?

It's my plan to prepare a nice luncheon for my man (with baby present, of course) on my GORGEOUS china dishes by candlelight (in the daytime??) and with fancy goblets of sparkling red grape cider.  Then Friday, I believe we're going to take Gabe to his Grammie's house while we go for an evening out.  :]  Life is good.  God is faithful.  And doesn't it feel nice to be loved?

What's in a Name?

Happy Monday, folks!
How fares your day?  Mine has been a pretty good one, albeit rather gloomy.  But Gabe & I saw fresh green shoots in our flower beds, and tiny green buds in the small woods by our home.  Spring is COMING!!!

Here's a fresh set of epithets for you, m'dears.  :]

Enjoy.

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Howlan
M | English (rare), Welsh

Unknown.  Could be a combination of, or derived from, the names Howell (ultimately from Welsh, "eminent") and Hylan ("high land").


Chloe
F | English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology

Means "green shoot" in Greek, and refers to the new plant growth of Spring.  This was another name of the Greek goddess Demeter.  And in the New Testament, Paul mentions a Chloe in one of his letters.  As an English name, it's been in use since the Protestant Reformation.


Finbar
Irish

Variant of Fionnbarr, meaning "fair hair."  It is derived of the Irish elements fionn "white, fair" and barr "head."


Dhara
Indian

Means "earth" in Sanskrit.










Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.



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Got any faves of these?
I think Dhara is rather unique & lovely.  *^ - ^*

Coming Soon!

I know this isn't the writerly post I promised. . . It's still in the works!  I had a good bit of it drafted, but quickly realized I had more to say (& research) and not enough time today to finish it properly.  And forbid it of me to write anything in haste!


(You knew that was coming, didn't you??)

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So, instead I pop on right quick to tell you this:

COMING SOON

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EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! *throws sprinkles*

Coming to this little blog in March will be a fun writerly link-up for any & all who wish to join in.  More details & specifics to come the last week before March, but I can tell you each week following will feature a fun writing prompt.  

If you wish to participate, you'll take said prompt & bedazzle it with all your creative-ness that week, and then publish the result on your blog, linking back to mine here.  :]  Make sense?  (You don't really need to know that right now, but there it is anyways.)

Put March 3rd on a teeny backburner in your mind!!! We'll have much fun, I promise (I hope).  :]

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I hope your Saturday was lovely, my friends.

Hugs!

BOOK REVIEW || In the Shadow of Croft Towers

In the Shadow of Croft Towers
Abigail Wilson

Thomas Nelson | January 15, 2019
Christian fiction, Historical fiction, romance

{GoodReads}
From debut author Abigail Wilson comes a mysterious Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery.

Orphaned Sybil Delafield jumps at the opportunity for a position at the mysterious Croft Towers. She believes she was hired to act as companion to a dying woman, but a highway robbery and a hostile welcome from the Chalcroft family cause her to wonder if she was actually hired to help someone spy for France.

An unsolved murder adds intrigue to this already secretive family, and Sybil recognizes Mrs. Chalcroft’s handsome grandson as one of the infamous highwaymen who robbed her. Sybil must determine if this man's charming smile and earnest eyes speak the truth or if he is simply using her like others in the house. Everyone seems to have something to hide, and Sybil must decide who to trust while also coming to terms with the truth about her own past.


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WARNING: Possible Spoilers

{The Basics}
This was a great bit of Regency fiction from a brand-new author.  It was certainly a page-turning whodunnit that kept me on my toes & second-guessing myself.  I loved Sybil's character, as well as that of Mr Sinclair.  The two of them had a kind of Lizzie-Mr Darcy vibe, but in a different way.  (Can't go into too much detail as it could be a spoiler) ;D  I loved how their relationship progressed in the story, as they were constantly thrown into each other's way, and practically suspicious of everyone & each other.  haha

Definitely a great murder mystery filling with gripping adventures, lies, mystery, deception, and people who are not what they seem.

{Spiritual Content}
None really mentioned.  Probably another reason why this was so enjoyable: it is Christian fiction, but it's not drowning in theology, doctrine, and faith.  (Not that any of those things are bad, just some book take & make them far too obvious and overwhelming.)  Such a refreshing, clean novel!

{Violence}
Highwaymen rob a mail coach carrying passengers.  No one is injured, but jewelry is taken and the passengers are threatened at gunpoint.  They're kinda rough with the women, but absolutely NO harm or anything happens.

A woman goes missing and is later found dead on the property of Croft Towers, strangled.  Another lady is killed, gunshot to the head.

A man is shot in the shoulder.  A blood trail leads to the Towers, drawing the dragoons (soldiers) there.  There's some scuffles, fist-fights, gun & sword fights, etc., but we don't go into much detail.

{Language // Alcohol & Drugs}
None.  Other than the phrase: he cursed. mentioned once or twice.

Smell of ale on men.  Brandy.  Sybil takes a trip to town alone & rather too late of the evening, and is nearly assaulted by a drunkard (nothing happens as someone comes to her rescue).

{Romantic Content}
Sybil takes a walk in the middle of Winter and happens to fall into an icy brook after coming upon a private conversation between two men---one of whom she recognizes as Mr Sinclair.  To help her, Sinclair takes her to a gamekeeper's cottage he knows of in the woods to warm up & change from the icy clothing---all the while, Sybil is worried of them being alone in the woods in a cottage. . . but there's nothing for it as she'll freeze to death if she doesn't accept his help.  He is quite the gentleman, offering a set of clothing for her to wear while her dress & skirts dry.  They talk, nothing immoral happens.

During an assembly, Sybil & Mr Sinclair take a walk through the gardens as an excuse to spy on someone through a window.  At one point, to avoid being seen by a passing couple, he presses her against the wall, and veiling her with his coat kisses her neck a few times.  They pull away abruptly  and he assures her identity is safe.

Alone in a carriage with another man, who had obviously arranged it so they could be together, who seems drunk, Sybil is forced to listen to his words that he's hopelessly in love with her.  He kisses her cheek, but she tries to pull away and surprisingly he doesn't press further.

It's obvious they come to care for one another.  They share an intimate kiss & embrace at least once.

{Conclusion}
All in all, this was an amazing debut!  I was constantly guessing as to who was the real culprit in the story, and even to the end I was surprised.  So many plot twists!  It was an enjoyable read, and one I couldn't put down.  Definitely a must-read for those who love the Regency era!

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Ages: 16+

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I know I missed my usual Encouragement post yesterday.  But I seem to have come down with a nasty head cold earlier this week & simply didn't have one drafted.  However, come next Wednesday, I should be back on track.  :]  Thank you all, my dear beans, for hanging in there with me.  I feel absolutely terrible when I miss a post, but I know life happens & it surely won't be the last time.

It's almost the weekend, y'all!  Have you been enjoying Spring-like weather where you are??  I'm sitting on my sofa right now, with the windows open, enjoying a 70-something degree, partly-sunny day.  #allthehearteyes

Much love!  <3


What's in a Name? || Places Edition!

Good day, mah friends!

It's the start of a brand new week!  We've rain in the forecast


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Acre
M & F | English (modern, rare)

From the name for a city & port on the Mediterranean Sea north of Mount Carmel in northwestern Israel.  Hebrew: Akko; Old Testament: Accho; New Testament: Ptolemais.
(link & link)


Italy
F | English (modern, rare)

From the European country of Italy.  Used as a given name more often in America.


Denmark
M | English

From Danish Danmark, derived from the ethnic name Dane, which comes from the Germanic element den meaning "low ground," combined with mark meaning "borderland."  This is the name of a country in Europe.


Libya
F | English 

Derived from an Arabic name, which denotes Africa or northwest Africa.  Ultimately from Ancient Greek Λιβύη (Libúē).  This is the name of an African nation in the Maghreb.







Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

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Finding these names based on different places is such fun!  Do you have one or two in mind to add to this list?  Let me know! And I'll feature them next month. :]

Happy Monday, y'all!

Finding Your Writing Niche

Happy Lord's Day!!! 
(AND Super Bowl Sunday!!)
((Who are YOU rooting for?? Seeing as I married a Yankee man from Massachusetts, I'm going for the Patriots.  WOOT WOOT xD))

But moving on!  That's not why I'm posting today.  :]  I had this draft quite ready yesterday morning, but had to step away for some reason & couldn't get back to it!  AGH. So here it is on its unusual Sunday.
[I believe I may have to move these writerly posts to Saturdays.  heheh  I don't have enough time to draft them beforehand in order to have prepared for each Friday!  I'm hopeful to still have one of these every week, but if necessary, I will do one bi-weekly.]

But.  That said = How ARE you??
It's the weekend!!! Did you get any snow this past week?  Gabe got to see the fluffy white stuff for the first time, and he was so cute!

My FAVORITE-EST photo right now!

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Question:
What do YOU look for in writerly posts?  Inspiration?  Tips?  Exercises?

Well, remember that link-up I briefly mentioned??  I do believe I can make it happen!  The idea is to begin in March & host a series of writing prompts---one per week---in hopes of stirring up the creativity department for any & all who may (or may not) be in a stuck place.  This would be a GREAT exercise for anyone aspiring to create stories of their own---be they published or hoping to be.  So, be on the lookout for more details the closer to March we come. :]  {Can you believe it's FEBRUARY?????}

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What is your writing process?  How do you map out your stories?  Your plots & characters?  Do you have a niche?  Notebook or laptop?  Preferred genre?  Or is it your goal to explore them ALL?

What works for YOU?


> > > What is your passion?
What do you enjoy in a story?  Do you, as a reader, enjoy the fantastical?  Futuristic/sci-fi?  Historical?  Odds are, as a writer, you will desire to write in the genre you most enjoy reading.  And because you enjoy it, your stories will be enjoyed.  It's as simple as that.  :]

Why?  Well, if I HATED the sci-fi category---for example (I rather like that one, it's the Amish ones I can't stand for some reason. . . but that's just me!)---and I began writing a story in that particular genre, would my readers be drawn in?  There's a 99.9% of a NO there.  And that's because your passions bleed through your stories.

This is kind of a given, in my opinion.  Because if it were me, I wouldn't even DREAM of writing an Amish fiction---because I don't enjoy them.  But, while I LOVE historical fiction, I most likely won't attempt that genre either because, frankly, I'm too lazy to do the research.  And when one is too lazy for all that hard work, what does one do?  FANTASY!!! xD  haha (Now, I'm not saying those who do fantasy are lazy---on the contrary, they're AMAZING in that it's hard work as well, but only work in the sense that you can do absolutely ANYTHING---it's YOUR world, your characters/species/races/etc., your storyline.  You can be as creative as you wish!  But, if it's something you are basing on actual world history, there are a little more limitations in what liberties to take---at least in giving accurate accounts.  One author who does the historical-fiction well is Nadine Brandes.  Her novels, Fawkes & Romanov are phenomenal---and there's even a bit of Fantasy woven in!)  

So, while it's GREAT to experiment in all kinds of categories (who knows? you might find a new love!), it's important to stick with what you enjoy.


> > > Tools of trade?
Do you prefer the pen & paper method?  Or do you type straight to Word doc?  Or both??  There are certainly benefits to either, but I sure love how the words feel going from mind ---> pen ---> paper.  It's usually after I've penned a scene that I'll then (or later) transfer to my laptop, typing what I've written in order to have a cleaner copy available on my computer.  I do like having my written notes (however scattered they are) in my notebooks & folders, readily accessible and easily spread out for a great overview.  You can't really do that on a computer, although I do print copies of scenes to use as references and such while working on the laptop.

Are you a Microsoft Word user?  Scrivener?  Something else?  I was using the free download of OpenOffice for all my documents, but upon participating in my first NaNo in 2017, and Camp NaNo in April 2018, I switched to the free LibreOffice, and love it!  If my writing ever does kick off full force, I may look into investing in Scrivener, as I've heard great things about it. 

What about you?  What are your preferred tools?  Where do you keep your research, maps, character notes, etc.?  I use these adorable folders I recycled from my high school days---one for each story and/or concept ideas.  It's a simple way to keep a story's notes & excerpts in one place & separate from other WIPs.  :]

> > > Your Process
We all know TIME, energy, creativity, and setting plays a huge part in writing.  So, do you prefer a quiet, coffeeshop setting or home-alone sofa setting with your favorite beverage whilst writing?  Do you get distracted easily?  Depending on your responsibilities with school, home, work, etc., how often do you normally spend writing?  Are you an hour daily kind of person or a get it ALL written, full force kinda gal?

To each her own, y'all.  :]  My goal (and one I'm STILL working on) is to set aside AT LEAST ten minutes every day for my writing.  It honestly isn't much time at all, and I NEED the daily schedule like that or it simply won't happen because I'll fill it with something else, ya know?

Do you set yearly goals?  Monthly goals?  ANY type of goal?  This year I have the simple goals of completing the drafts of two WIPs---Safia & Noya (Beauty & the Beast retelling).  For me, I believe it's setting the bar a little high in regards to my motherly/wifely duties to my little family & home, but I also know I need that.  What about you?  Do you set high, but not impossible, goals for yourself in order to motivate you?  Does it work??

Regardless your writing process, it all comes down to one thing:  Just WRITE.  Odds are, if you commit to writing a little each day, you'll form a nice little habit that will keep your creativity churning & the words flowing.  If writing is your passion, do it!  Then let me know when your novel(s) make it to the bookstores, cuz I ALWAYS need more books to add to my own shelves.  ;D

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Talk to me!
I know there's a TON of questions in here, but most are rather rhetorical & are supposed to get you thinking.  So.  Did it work??? 

Haha!  Love you all, dear beans!
Have a splendid Sunday!  Check back tomorrow for a new Name post.  :]