Planning My Life Away

#PlannerAddict #authorcats #planneraddict I didn’t realize until recently that this was a thing… I’ve been a planner, a creator of To Do, lists my entire life. I’ve enjoyed videos by Sara Cannon on Heart Breathings (check out her YouTube channel!) about her planners and use of the Kanban board, which I’ve recently adopted in a modified form. I also look through Passion Planner videos, as that is the type of planner I use. I think planning people have a compulsion to write things down. I used to think this was because I was a writer. Now I know that it’s three-fold: both the writing aspect and the control aspect and the brain-dump aspect. Shocking! (not for anyone who knows me personally…) I’m never without a pen and paper; this is always the first thing I reach for when I need to remember something. Typing doesn’t do it for me. Physically writing things down seems to cement them in my brain for some reason. Instead of reaching for that ephemeral thought, it’s like being able to easily find the place I stored it and revisit it (anyone seen the movie Dreamcatcher?). So using a computer or electronic calendar doesn’t really help me as much as creating a physical plan. I only use the calendar in my phone so that it will send me alerts for appointments…shameful in this day and age, I know! Kanban board, Planner My husband will attest to the fact that I’m a control freak…with a little more enthusiasm than I am comfortable with.  😊  Just like the compulsion to plan out my books to ensure I don’t forget something, I need to plan out my life to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. It still happens, but I feel much more comfortable knowing that I at least tried. Which leads to the next part: I’m juggling a full-time day job, a husband on a retail schedule for his job, two teenagers with their own activities, and a writing career (and extended family, friends, chores… it never ends). That’s an overwhelming amount of minutiae to keep up with. And while some might say that’s not completely my job, my personality won’t let me delegate it to someone else. I’m a control-freak, as I established above…but I simply can’t keep it all stuffed in my brain. The busier we are and the older I get, the more things that fall by the wayside. I do my best to simplify and oust unnecessary time wasters so we can meet our obligations and still have down time, but frankly, my brain has more important things to do than keeping up with when my next doctor’s appointment is. I’d rather write it down and forget about it until it shows up on my planner. Most recently, I discovered something new about planning: it can be pretty and fun! Before I was a writer, and no longer had time for many hobbies, I used to scrapbook. I really enjoyed it, but was overwhelmed by the years of pictures that I couldn’t keep up with. But I’ve found that I can use my planner to do something similar. I can decorate it with pretty and inspirational stickers. Instead of writing down a doctor’s appointment, I can put a pretty tag there. I can indulge my pen obsession by trying out different colors and types. But I can also fill in gratitude lists…memories from special days…photos of special events…and quotes that inspire me. On days when I’m discouraged over my word count, I can look back over my progress the last few months. I mark down each marketing task I complete so I remember that I’ve done something towards connecting with my readers. I go back and notate sick days so I don’t think all those blank hours were because I was just flaky…no, I had a reason I couldn’t do anything today (it’s easy to forget and blame ourselves, right?). #planneraddict So, even though being a #PlannerAddict might seem like a trendy thing, I’m finding it essential to not just productivity and planning, but for my own positive mental health. What about you? Do you use a planner? Apps? How do you keep up with life? Dani

Welcome to My New Home

Wouldn't you just love to stroll into a new, upgraded home? Where everything felt fresh and pretty and just the way you wanted it? I would (especially if someone else did the heavy lifting). And that's just what Brynna Curry, author and website creator, has done for me! My website has a fresh, new look that I hope you enjoy as much as I do. I've got a sexy, sultry home to help you find my books and learn more about me. I hope you enjoy a look around and find all the pretty things Brynna made to decorate my new site. And check out her site too, which is just as beautiful! www.brynnacurry.com . Thanks for visiting! Dani

July Jubilee Author Takeover!

Join me tonight on the Nice Girls Writing Naughty Readers group as I takeover and direct some fun games! There will be naughty fun, lots of laughter, and loads of prizes! Join the group here. I'll be there from 7-8pm EST, followed by Ella Sheridan from 8-9pm EST, and Zoey Derrick from 9-10pm EST. You never know what we'll get up to... July Jubilee, anniversary, reader party, games, prizes

San Antonio: Here I Come!

This week I'm heading out to San Antonio for the Romance Writers of America National Conference! I have a lot of "business" to take care of, but I'll also be refilling the well with some workshops on craft and author life, inspirational speakers, and party time! So y'all behave while I'm gone, and I'll come home with pics (if I can find non-incriminating ones).   San Antonio, Texas, RWA   In the meantime, tell me about your favorite cowboy romances! I'm eager to get in the mood! Dani   Picture used courtesy of Creative Commons, MaurieF

Extra, Extra!

News, news, glorious news. I try to share on the home page each month, but sometimes the news just can’t be contained! For those who missed it, my debut Harlequin Desire release has an official title! HIS BY DESIGN will be available in bookstores and online in August of 2013. My sensational editor assures me the cover will be fabulous. I can’t wait to see it (and I promise to share as soon as I'm allowed)! Blurb: Repressed, conventional Ziara Devan strives for respectability through her job at a wedding gown design firm in Atlanta,GA, hoping to erase the shame of her childhood secrets. Then she finds herself cast in the role of spy, forced to keep an eye on the business-savvy, sexy heir apparent, Sloan Creighton. When exposure of her past life threatens everything she’s achieved, can Ziara trust Sloan to stand by her “til death do us part”? Speaking of covers, I have a brand new one to show you! That’s right, I’ve just finished the draft on a new Indie release, FINDING HER RHYTHM, and plan to have it ready for release in late March. My awesome cover artist, Elizabeth Wallace, has outdone herself with this one. I love it! FindingHerRhythm Blurb: Struggling after the death of her parents, Taylor let her hormones lead her into the biggest mistake of her life. Now she has a dangerous ex who wants to own her and a desperate need for safety. What could be safer than her new job as a nanny to a legendary rock star? Except now she's locked herself in with a man who is potentially more dangerous...to her heart. Michael Korvello has a dominant nature and a lonely heart that he keeps firmly under wraps. His kids have suffered enough for the mistakes of his past. But his new nanny has those dark desires howling at the gate. The only thing keeping him in check is the fear lurking in those brilliant eyes. Can he earn her trust, and the right to transform all her desires into reality?  Just when neither can deny their need for each other, Taylor's ex shows up like an unlucky charm, intent on taking back what he considers his...even if he has to destroy Michael's world to get it. Can two kindred souls protect the passionate love they ache for from an outsider bent on ripping them apart?  Last, but not least, I'll be attending my very first Readers' Luncheon as an author! Join me for the Heart of Dixie Romance Readers' Luncheon on June 8, 2013, in Huntsville, AL. You can find out more details about this fabulous annual event at www.heartofdixie.org .