Planning My Life Away
#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! 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?). 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
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
This year, our school system moved up our start time to make way for a fall break. I love fall break, but starting school so early is a bit strange. :) Still, we packed our lunch boxes and backpacks and sent the kids out the door yesterday to begin their new year of school. Maybe this is why fall feels like such a new beginning for me every year. This milestone means new teachers, new classrooms (and new school supplies!!!). Yes, I'm an office supply junkie, so I love back-to-school shopping. It's also a great time to start a new project! And that's exactly what I'm doing this year. I've started writing Zachary Gatlin's book, which will be a fourth in the Mill Town Millionaires series for Harlequin Desire. I've discovered that Zachary is very strong and almost stern. His heroine, Kenna, is also strong, but in her own quiet way. I love learning all the nuances of new characters! I hope I can share more of them with you soon. What about you? Are your kids still in the cycle of school starts? Or is fall simply another season for you? For those of you who are overseas, when do your children begin their new school years? Dani
It’s almost time! Goin’ Out Solo, Backstage Pass Bk 4, is about to go up for pre-order—but there’s a very special chance for you to read it and all my other books early! Check it out! I’m offering a few select readers the chance to read these books early! I have my very own Advanced Review Team, and I’d love for you to be a part. That means you’d get the chance to read my upcoming books BEFORE RELEASE DAY! All I ask is that you leave an honest review of the book on Amazon (and any other review sites you frequent) on the actual release day. Does the thought of free books pique your interest? Well, here’s what you do:
- Sign up for my newsletter (if you haven’t already).
- Then send an email to readdaniwade (at) gmail.com with the subject: Advance Reading Team.
- I will send out an email when a new release is scheduled.
- I’ll send an ARC of the book approximately 2-3 weeks before the release day.
- You get to read it! Yay!
- I’ll send you a final email the day before the book releases. This is a reminder e-mail to let you know your review should be posted to Amazon and any other e-book retailers or sites you feel comfortable posting to (Goodreads, B&N, etc.), on one of the following 5 days. You can even write it ahead of time and have it ready to copy and paste on release day.
- ART members may also get exclusive access to some content or special surprises. You’ll have to join to see…
I'm working with my cover artist, Elizabeth Wallace, on a few projects right now. First, a new cover for Snow Bound, so it matches the rest of the Small Town Secrets series. Also a cover for Nate and Sarah's book, now titled Goin' Out Solo. I have a confession. I'm a little uptight about my covers. I like to pick the photos myself. It's such a tough job! Screen after screen of this... and this... Such a hardship!
Are you a connoisseur of man candy? Do you, like me, click L I KE on all the hot hunky pics on Facebook? Have you seen a picture that you would love to see as a cover? Posted it in the comments and let's share the joy. But first, Snow Bound's new cover!!! Yay!!Cool, huh? Dani
That's right! The proposal for the next Mill Town Millionaires is in the hands of Awesome Editor and I'm taking a break from it to get an editing round in for Nate and Sara's story before it goes out to Beta Readers. So Excited!!! Book 4 in the Backstage Pass series has finally been titled: GOIN' OUT SOLO. I'll be sharing snippets on FB and Twitter, so don't forget to tune in! (Hopefully some cover love going on soon, too!)
Sorry about the mix-up with the blog posts today! And of course I couldn't fix it because I can't get my phone to do the admin stuff here on Wordpress. But better late than never, right? I do hope y'all enjoy my little treat below! I went on a little writing retreat last week near Nashville, TN (more on that in next week's post). While I was there, I took a little side trip. I'd always wanted to visit Belle Meade Plantation, which is an historic plantation that reached its peak in the horse racing industry. As I learned when I was there, all the thoroughbreds who have run (and won) major races over the last ten years or so can be directly linked to the bloodlines of this farm. How cool! I love this type of thing, especially houses, so the trip was extra fun! My pictures aren't nearly as good as the ones on the website, but here's a bit of what I saw on this cool, windy spring day: [caption id="attachment_1053" align="alignleft" width="300"] Belle Meade Plantation-Main House[/caption] The tour of the house lasted about an hour. What was really interesting was that our tour guides (yes, more than one!) all dressed in period clothing. Each set of rooms had it's own tour guide--all of whom were super knowledgeable and personable. I truly enjoyed listening to their stories about both the house itself and the Harding-Jackson families. [caption id="attachment_1054" align="aligncenter" width="300"] One of the carriages on display in the original stables.[/caption] There were quite a few carriages and sleighs on display in the stable house, with descriptions of how they were driven and what their purposes were. [caption id="attachment_1055" align="alignright" width="224"] This is the dairy on the plantation, which was actually the second largest source of income, behind the thoroughbred stables.[/caption] Touring the grounds allowed me to learn about the dairy business (they were one of the major suppliers of butter and milk to Nashville), one of the original slave cabins, and the mausoleum. The Jubilee project on the grounds chronicles the lives of the 130 slaves who worked the land, and almost half of them that stayed as paid servants after the Civil War. [caption id="attachment_1056" align="alignleft" width="224"] The doll house where children of the family played.[/caption] The grounds had some of the largest magnolia trees I'd ever seen. Considering all the storms we have around here, I'm amazed none of the ones still standing have been split. I bet they are gorgeous in full bloom. [caption id="attachment_1057" align="aligncenter" width="224"] The back entrance to the dairy.[/caption] I also enjoyed the complimentary wine tasting. Though I'm not much of a wine person, they had a couple that I enjoyed, including a blackberry wine that was deliciously sweet. While I enjoyed the tour itself, I almost enjoyed my drive over there more. Because of where my hotel was situated, Google Maps took me through some back roads and quiet neighborhoods to get to my destination. The houses along the way were So Awesome! Both old and new houses were all unusual and fancy. Gorgeous architecture that created scenery all on its own. I just regretted that I had no one to drive so I could take pictures. :) I hope you enjoyed my little trip as much as I like sharing it with you. Have you visited any historic homes? Places you particularly enjoyed? I'd love to hear about them! Dani
I'm about to embark on a treacherous adventure – one fraught with numerous areas of danger and opportunity for failure. Will I come out the other side triumphant – or not? I'm instituting a Day of Rest. I know it sounds melodramatic (well, I am a fiction author, after all), but I really am worried this might be something I can't stick to. You see, over the past year, I've learned something about myself: I'm a workaholic. I will spend all day on the weekend in front of a computer – the sad thing is, I'm not always writing. As an author, there is always a push to do more in terms of promotion, outreach, and yes, getting more books on the shelves – yesterday, if not sooner. Don't get me wrong. As an introvert, I'm surprised by how much I enjoy interacting with readers online. Planning special events is so much fun. Heck, even just thinking of things to make you smile, well, makes me smile. But an author’s online presence today can be time-consuming. Add in an Evil Day Job, husband, kids, and cats – not to mention all the characters clamoring for attention in my head… Exhausting. The perfectionist in me won't let me stop. I'm afraid if I do, I'll never succeed. I'm also a little afraid that if I ever do stop, I won't be able to start again. There's a problem, though. I'll let you in on an artistic secret: the busier an author is, the more stress and concern on an author’s mind, and those characters? They Go Silent. It's an author's worst nightmare. One I've experienced too often lately. Yes, I can push through and get stories to work – but why do that when I can prevent it in the first place? Sounds easy, right? But I know myself too well. The siren call of the To Do list is loud, all encompassing sometimes. I'll have to build my resistance muscles. So if you don't hear from me on a Sunday, you'll know why. Do you enforce a regular day of rest? What usually gets in your way? What do you do to "rest" and rejuvenate? Dani
This time I’m torturing straightlaced, uber planner Jacob Blackstone has his life mapped out… His detour with impulsive KC Gatlin was a wild aberration…until he found out that she gave birth to his child. #bookrelease "I WANT MY SON." When Jacob Blackstone sees his former flame holding a baby with the Blackstone blond curls, the Southern millionaire knows the child is his. But why would down-on-her-luck bartender KC Gatlin keep Jacob's heir a secret? Now the bachelor who wanted a family on his own terms must rush to convince the fiercely protective beauty he's daddy material. KC must tell Jacob the truth about why she kept his son from him or risk losing her beloved baby. When the gorgeous mill owner suggests a trial run at domesticity, she can't resist. But is true love part of this baby deal? Follow the journey of the founding family of Black Hills, South Carolina. Amazon B&N Harlequin