On Life as a 2014 Golden Heart Finalist

So no post last week, since it was Victoria Day Long weekend, which means I ran around battling mosquitoes and planting fresh young seedlings for the slugs to eat.

This week, I thought I’d share a touch of life as a 2014 Golden Heart Finalist. We’re all getting quite excited with the conference coming up quickly, and opportunity abounds. 🙂 Essentially, the Awards Night Gala is like the Academy Awards for romance. The Rita finalists (published authors up for awards) are the real belles of the ball, which makes us Golden Heart Finalists a bit like the little sisters who get to come, too.

Over these last few months, I’ve finally come to think that maybe it wasn’t fluke I’m amongst these other very talented writers. After much discussion, we’re now the Dreamweavers. And the close connections I’ve formed with some of my sister Golden Heart nominees is marvelous benefit I’d never considered. I’ve discovered some stellar CPs, the kind I’ve been looking for a long time.

I also didn’t anticipate the pressure the nomination places you under. Good pressure, certainly, but even still, there’s a feeling of wanting to live up to the nomination, to make the most of the opportunity, to “waste” nothing. I think I’m starting to understand the advice to hang on tight. 😉

Other than that, it’s been fun to actually blog hope a bit. Check out GH sister (and historical finalist) Jillian Lark, who’s been featuring the various nominees. Tomorrow (Tuesday), she’s featuring the paranormal and suspense nominees, so please stop by. 🙂

Otherwise, for me, I’m off to get back to writing. Since I’ve finally reached that part in this WIP where I can hardly wait to add new words each day. Thanks for reading, and have a great week. 🙂

Starting the New Year … Slowly

I’ve been having a bit of a hard time getting into the swing of 2014. Fatigue from a very busy December (are there such things as quiet Decembers?), coupled with long dark days as we enter January leaves me feeling a bit burned out. So, I’m trying something a bit different. Instead of chastising myself for not being productive enough and cracking the whip, I’m allowing myself a bit of breathing room and easing more slowly into the year.

Here’s the plan:

  1. Take a bit of time to actually have fun. This is something that I’m not very good at (coupled with relaxing especially), so I’ve been allowing myself to indulge my imagination, especially with other activities, like miniatures.
  2. Remember to play. It can be easy to forget that the reason I’m a writer is because I genuinely love writing … which is not how it’s feeling right now. So, I want to allow myself to play and not limit my own creativity. Yes, letting my imagination out of the box might be scary, but it might (hopefully) lead to some fantastic new arenas.
  3. Craft and research books. Christmas brought me some lovely new craft and writing books, like The Writer’s Lab and Wonderbook, which I’m finally ready to look at and start experimenting. Again, hoping to open up some creative pathways and get the writing juices going (in a less gross fashion as that description suggests!)
  4. Give myself permission to extend my holiday a bit, and take some of the pressure off. Yes, I’m starting back at writing, but I’m also trying not to push myself quite as strenuously as I often do at this time of year because, frankly, I don’t think I can. So yes, as you can tell by things like this blog post appearing on Wednesday rather than Monday, things are more loosey-goosey than I favor, but c’est la vie for now.

So what about you? Are you diving into 2014 full of enthusiasm? Or taking things a bit slower? Any advice and wisdom to share? 🙂

Thanks for reading, and hope you have a fabulous day – and that winter starts to ease off a bit! Happy New Year, and all the best to everyone out there.