Tag Archives: Gene Lempp

Happy Halloween! Meet this week’s ROWmodels!

Hello fellow ROWers and Writers!

I’ve got some exciting ROWmodels to showcase this week! 

Kicking things up Charleston-style, is the lovely and talented Julie Glover who shares with us The Roaring Twenties and #ROW80.  There’s a fabulous photo of Julie and her hubby getting ready for a 20’s themed party, which is my favorite period of history.  And she shared with us some awesome hit films and books of the 20’s!  But the reason Julie is truly awesome, and a ROWmodel this week, is her stellar dedication to her goals and follow through!  Julie has been working on her novel, blogging consistently, even did some plotting work on a new project, and has been working out zumba style!  Way to go, Julie!  You’re my idol!

Also on this week’s ROWmodels Hall of Fame is Jeff Clough with There’s No Such Thing as Free Time.  Jeff tells it like it is when it comes to the many hats a writer has to wear nowadays to be successful.  There’s the actual writing cap, but what about all the work you do researching, editing, marketing, coding, designing, etc.  We’re busy people!  While he wasn’t working on as much writing this week, he made some headway on his reading goals and will have some web changes to look forward to so keep your eyes peeled!

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair…

Happy Halloween Everyone! 

I hope we’re all getting to celebrate by dressing up, trick or treating, or handing out candy today!  I’ll be in costume at work most of the day, but plan on watching scary movies all night tonight!

What’s your favorite scary movie?

In Honor of Halloween, Marcia Richards and I are announcing the winners of the Halloween Contest today!  

Thank you to all those who submitted photos, commented, tweeted, and Facebooked the contest love! Marcia, Fabio, and I had so much fun with you all!

The Five Winners of the Kindlegraphed copies of Fabio Bueno’s new release, Wicked Sense are:

Ghost in the Attic by Julie Glover

And the Grand Prize Winner of the Print Edition of Wicked Sense and Halloween Goody Bag is…

Renee Schuls-Jacobson!!!

Isn’t she pretty?

Another beer, Frauline?

She takes winning seriously!  Very seriously.

Congrats, Renee!  Well deserved! 

Thanks everyone for playing and to all the winners, enjoy Fabio’s new book!  Marcia and I certainly did!

Last but not least, my ROW goals:

  1. Finished reading Wicked Sense and Little Bee this week.  Started reading Olive Kitteridge and Football Sweetheart.
  2. Set up two future interviews for the blog!  One that I’ll be doing and one I’m hosting!
  3. Participated in the WANA International class Good Fences, so I’ll be practicing my new buzzword “Boundaries”  Sing it with me!
  4. Use my days off to blog ahead and/or (as time permits) plot and work on the WIP.
  5. Clean my room.  The search for the missing pants continues!

Have a very happy Halloween Everyone!

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My ROW80 Role Models

Over the last few weeks as people have been decompressing their Round 3 achievements or opportunities, and preparing for Round 4, it seemed I was not the only one who felt they fell short of what they wanted to accomplish.  I believe the phrase Gene used was “Chaos happens.”

Even our fearless founding leader, Kait, struggled with balancing the day job and the writing – though the outcome for her word count was tremendous and she deserves a medal!

So while I thought I was a big slacker niblet noob (yah, I’m owning that phrase), turns out, I wasn’t alone!  Many of you, through Facebook and my blog, shared your own “chaos theories” and barriers that made round 3 not as momentous as we all would have liked.  But in keeping with last week’s theme, it’s all about the learning lessons.  

So I’m challenging myself to do things differently for Round 4.

The definition of stupidity is trying the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

I’ve never claimed the title Stupid.  Disgustingly and annoyingly persistent perhaps, but I’ve synonymed it:  Perseverance!  And I’m also really good at taking  liberty with parts of speech, like say turning a noun into a verb!  See my talent abound!

Ok, back to ROW80!  I am a people person.  I am inspired by people – things they say, questions they ask, stories they share.  Many of us are in ROW80 because we have a support system here where people will empathize with us through the hard times and scream and cheer with us through the good ones!  Since this round is going to be a much smaller set of goals for me, I want to use my time to highlight MORE OF YOU! 

Every week, I’m going to call out a Role Model of ROW80!  And this week’s winners of Fame and (no) Fortune are Kait Nolan and Gene Lempp.  You can read their specific ROW posts by clicking the links at the top of this post, but these will take you to their blogs as well!  Kait and Gene are both honest and incredibly helpful individuals who dedicate as much time to their writing as is humanely possible.  But both know that life does get in the way.  I’m really psyched for the two of them and their new strategies to accomplish their Round 4 goals.

For me, they gave two big takeaways that will help me set my goals:

  1. Writing everyday is not realistic for us all.
  2. When you know “Life” is going to drop you into an Indiana Jones movie set and watch you run, set small, achievable goals. 

*applause, applause*

Thank you Kait and Gene for those stellar bits of advice!  I was racking my brain trying to discern how I would tackle writing every day or setting big goals for ROW when I’m working 12+ hour days, and will be throughout the holidays.  The writing plan that works best for me now is maximizing my precious days off to work on writing and crank out the: blog posts, plotting, journaling, WIP – whatever needs to get out.

As an example, Kait set a goal for herself to write 2/3rds of the days of the month (or 20 out of 30 days) which allots her days of guilt free reality check happiness, yet also demonstrates she’s a lean, mean (not really) writing machine!

What I expect Kait does 10 out of 30 days of the month.
(image courtesy Mrs. Inman – Creative Commons)

And Gene shared that he combats life interruptions by breaking his goals down into weekly goals, and then into tiny bite size daily goals.  He’s able to keep ongoing track of his accomplishments and opportunities and adjust as needed.

That fact alone is why you all need to be friends with Gene.  He is excellent at calming the jittery, wide-eyed faces of a writer in meltdown.  I shall now refer to him in all future posts as Gene Lempp, The Writer Whisperer.

Yah, he’s like that cool.
(image courtesy Mrs. Inman – Creative Commons)

So, taking what I learned from this week’s Role Models of ROW, I shall create a weekly plan of what I want to accomplish but give myself the wiggle room to know it may not happen every day.  Which reminds me of something else Gene taught me, and has since become the mantra for my life – See what I mean…The Writer Whisperer!  Gene reminds me from time to time that I may not be moving as fast as I’d like to, but I am still moving forward.  One day at a time, right?!

This week:  

  • Read one chapter of Stephen King’s On Writing
  • Finish reading Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer – prepare to discuss with Great New Books
  • Journal something – I have a lot to get off my mind and this process helps.
  • Blog ahead 3 posts. 

*****

Your turn!  What are the big takeaways you’re implementing this ROW80 round?  Who’s been a role model for you?  Please share a link for that person, I’d love to meet them!  What are the focuses this week on your goal list?

Monday Must Reads: Writing, Women, Mummies, and Christmas Lists

Happy Monday Everyone!  I’m madly trying to catch up on my NaNoWriMo goals, finish 2 more books this month, stop this cold I’m getting in its tracks, and still make dinner from a recipe at least once a week.  Here are the blogs that caught my eye this past week.  What else caught yours?

On Writing:

August McLaughlin wrote a beautiful post on Sweet Solitude: Creating Intimacy with Writing and Ourselves.  It’s a little bit about love, about finding creativity, and being a stronger, healthier you.  She also leaves wonderful ideas to get recharged.

Kristen Lamb serves up another batch of awesome-sauce in her post on publishing and author brand:  Beware the Social Media Snuggie – One Size Does Not Fit All!

Albert Berg is an honest man.  If you’re in need of a grip on reality and write goals, please read his post Nailing NaNoWriMo: Or Not.

On Women:

When Quiet offers us a breathtaking poem about the unity of women in WE.  You’ll want to read this one out loud, it sounds as powerful as your mind and spirit are.

True Life Stories:

Mindi Anders conducts part 1 of an interview with a Michigan Religious Cult Survivor and even the comments are interesting.  Mindi’s done an awesome job of healing herself by sharing her own survival story and creating a place for discussion on the topic.

Gene Lempp’s new edition of Designing from Bones is on The Iceman Plot, the true, or slightly fictionalized story, of a 5300 year old glacier mummy.

Kathy Owen shares the history of Thanksgivings Past from the New York Times in this part 1 edition.  How many turkeys do you think we go through now?

Social Trends of the Season:

Tiffany White blogged about a favorite guilty pleasure show of mine The Secret Circle.  Catch up on Cassie, the new witch in town and her five friends who bind a circle of witchcraft only to be found out by witch hunters and demons!  It’s creepier than I thought and I’ll be sticking with it.

Tiffany also blogged about another favorite topic of mine, Urban Legends.  From the tales themselves to the flicks that made them frightening, you gotta check this out!

Don’t lie, we know you’re already making your holiday gift lists, if not for yourself, perhaps Gift Ideas for the Writer in Your Life, and Pam Hawley’s got you covered.

Must Read Monday

Hello friends!  I’m catching up on my NaNo goals today, so no post from me, but I won’t leave you empty handed.  Check out my favorite posts from the past week.  There’s a bit of something for everyone, practical writing advice, book reviews, creepy legends, and hilarious love advice!

Word Stuff:

MuseInks gives us the Top 5 Reasons You Should Do NaNoWriMo.  Reason number 6:  It’s fun!

Kristen Lamb talks Successful Writers and the real truth about the word “lucky.”  A must read for all writer wannabees.  Take control of your career!

Kristen Lamb also did a post about how to focus on relationships with other writers.  She warns you of the bad advice and assists with how to make a real connection happen in How to Win the Hearts of Bloggers – Scoring the Book Review, Guest Post, or Interview.

Freshly Pressed blogger, Jolie O’Dell, gave her Secrets to Productivity recently and really revealed how this gets her a jump start ahead of her peers and what tricks she uses to help wake up in the morning.

Writer Unboxed shared a guest post on how to Be a More Confident Writer and offer 5 tips to help you on your way.

Jillian at A Room of One’s Own wrote a beautiful review on the biography and history of author Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Get swept away into The Big Woods of Little House on the Prairie creator.

Health and Wellness:

Mark Landen gives you the health advice and brain foods you’ll need this fall to crack your “WIP” into place.  *LOL, I’m hilarious!  Ok, seriously*  Must read:  11 Ways to a Healthy Brain and Healthy Writing.

Piper Bayard gives us the health care resolution for her presidential candidacy:  Granny Care, Putting the Care Back in Health Care.  To which I may add, a vote for Granny is a vote for free chicken noodle soup for all!

Social Trends of the Season:

Margaret Reyes Dempsey guest blogs at Celluloid Zombie about the Willing Suspension of Disbelief for movie watchers everywhere.  Join the heated debate:  300 zombies out of nowhere, now spotted yards in front of you with binoculars…believe it or not?!

If you haven’t yet checked out Gene Lempp’s Zoo Arcane series, you’re missing out.  He’s got great mythology research, enticing book ideas for your use, and never fails to find something most of us have never heard of before.  His latest spooky series was on Evil Little People, a title I’ll try not to take personally at my whopping 5’2″.  😛

Amber West’s edition of Worth a Watch Wednesday was on ABC’s new show Once Upon a Time.  Fairytales and present day crime drama combine.  Just caught my first episode Sunday night, and I’m intrigued!

Looking for love in all the wrong places?  Tawna Fenske just may have the answers after cat-sitting for a friend.  For a good time, read Please Pee So I’ll Know if You’re Sexy.

Any other NaNo’s out there?  How’s it going?  And everyone else, what fun have you been up to since we’re all shut inside? 

Blog Awards and Life List News

Get ready for a fly-by week on The Happiness Project!  Today I want to say thank you to the writers who bestowed me with some great blogging awards and tell you about this Friday’s upcoming Milestone Party!

First, a big BIG thank you to Amanda Rudd and Gene Lempp who both nominated me for a Versatile Blog Award.  Amanda and Gene are such awesome writers, readers, and friends that I am very honored to share this award with them.  Amanda is, like me, an example of persistence, and a very encouraging and charming woman.  Gene is irritatingly smart about how to set goals and I credit him for getting my nose to the grindstone.

Thank you immensely to all my readers, I wouldn’t be doing this without you!  Well, I might, but it wouldn’t be nearly as fun or filled with potential learning opportunities.  I’m so humbled to share my day with you and get to know so many of you through your writing, your projects, and of course YOUR COMMENTS-my fave!

     Another BIG thank you to Marcia Richards for naming me a recipient of the Liebster Blog Award.  Liebster is a german word for Friend, and coming from my Life List Club co-founder, I can definitely say Marcia is a great friend.  She’s got the creativity and energy of a toddler chewing espresso beans and at the same time comes off as the wise fairy godmother of all things chocolate and life lessons.  Marcia, thank you for being my sound board.  I love bouncing ideas around with you!

Part of receiving such honorary awards is presenting them to others you feel deserve them.  The Versatile Blogger Award is for bloggers that are able to write about a broad range of topics with talent and enthusiasm.  I must recognize the writing works of Catie Rhodes, who is a woman after my own heart with her posts that range from the paranormal to films from the 80’s-90’s.  For starting her own blog not too long ago, Catie has it figured out!

I also award the Versatile Blogger Award to Ellie Ann Soderstrom, another new blogger who regales her readers with fascinating tales of mythological creatures and fairtytales as well as stories about why her husband is so annoying.  And if you comment, she may make up a story for you with the character name of your choice.  Ellie Ann is pure fun!

The Liebster Award is for bloggers I consider a true friend.  There are two people that stick out in my mind who have come to my writer’s rescue and shared their own stories with the world which I always think is a brave and self-aware act.  I present this award to Mark Petruska and Renee Schuls-Jacobson.

Mark is my guy, he keeps me in the know on what’s happening in Portland, Oregon, a city I visited 2 years ago and fell in love with.  Lately, Mark’s been on some trips of his own and really grown in the past year.  He recently fell in love!  *communal Awwww*  And with this year of change, Mark’s been sharing more about his life with us, and I couldn’t be happier for all he’s accomplished, including his decision to self-publish!

Renee wrote a post called When Writers Meltdown where she was so honest about how we all judge ourselves and think we’re never doing enough.  I was SO in that moment then, and Renee not only reached out to me via comments, but did so with e-mail and twitter too.  She wanted me to know I was not alone, and that she knew exactly how I felt.  What better definition of friend is there than that?

There’s more fun to be had this Friday with the Life List Club‘s Milestone Party!  Be sure to come back and comment this weekend while each of us shares an update of our goals and YOU can win a shot at several LLC giveaways!  Share your own successes and learning moments with us.  We’ll all be offering goodies to win and cyber treats and playing our kind of party music.  I’m thinking…CeCe Peniston.  You?

Monday Morning Mash-Up

It’s monday morning and I hope you all get a chance to settle into your favorite chair and sip your coffee/tea of choice.  My morning is starting with a banana bar my dad made!  Mmmm.  I’ve been trying to get to more blogs this week and see what everyone’s been up to.  Here’s my favorite reads from the past week, take your time and enjoy these great writers!  Happy monday!

Writers and Readers:

Pam Hawley blogged about writing letters to herself to overcome writer’s block in this past week’s Life List Club guest post.  She shows blankness who’s boss with humor and inspiration.

Marcia Richards interviews Jody Hedlund about her new book The Doctor’s Lady and what historical character from the Oregon Trail inspired her to write this book!

Renee Schuls-Jacobson blogs about learning from mistakes in The Day I Got It All Wrong.  Go on, laugh WITH her, and share your own learning opportunities if you feel comfortable.  Gotta tell you, Renee rocks!  You’ll be in a safe space!  As long as she’s not throwing things.

Sara Grambusch blogs about How to Pay (almost) Nothing for Books.  Her energy and enthusiasm for the reading process and writer connections will draw you in!

A MUST-READ for writers, Kristen Lamb blogs the 7 Deadly Sins of Writing.  She graciously shares her own learning experience and tips to beat these writing dead ends. 

Paranormal/Mythology:

Gene Lempp’s creature features are superb in his Designing from Bones series.  His post on Zoo Arcane: Pterodactyl, Luck Owl, Elder Phoenix was really fascinating to read and imagine encountering these animals.

Catie Rhodes dug up some fascinating spooky history in Ouija Board: Toy or Tool?  Read at your own risk! 

Pure Fun:

Piper Bayard and her partner Holmes take on your Labors of Love.  Do you have a question for Dr. Piper and Dr. Holmes?  Join in the fun as they solve all love’s conundrums, from True Blood love triangles to using nookie to entice your hubby to talk to you!  It’s rollicking Cupid-filled fun!

A fun new blogger I’ve met, Little Miss Vix, asks readers who their favorite Disney character is, and shares with us why she LOVES Beauty and Beast. 

Katie Ganshert shares her real life romance story with us, and asks you to share your own.  What kind of couple are you?  If you’re still looking, who do you imagine you’ll be?

Did I miss anything?  Share your favorite post links in the comments below and I promise to check them out!  I may even share my banana bar with you.  🙂

Bon Voyage Blog Mash-Up

Hey Writers and Readers,

Yours truly is taking a blogging week hiatus to go on vacation!  It’s a much needed break from work, and yes, even writing, to spend a week with my honey.  We need to put in the quality time with each other, and finally, our schedules have matched up enough to take a trip.  I’ll be back in two week’s time to tell you all about sunny Toronto.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll post in the comments any links from blogs you’ve read or written and want to share with me.  I promise to read them all and leave a comment.  Plus, you’ll make sure I don’t miss anything fabulous while I’m away.

I’m sharing with you a quick mash-up of awesomeness to peruse through while I’m off.

You can read about my meltdown and why this vacation is perfect timing in Writer Meltdowns: A Case of the Mean Reds, my Life List Club guest post over at the amazing Gene Lempp’s Blog.

Pam Hawley, my secret east coast twin, shares her writing tips in a fun-flippered way in her guest post at my place Sit, Waddle, Scoot and Swim.

Kristen Lamb served up a slice of self-discipline that was just my size in Self-Discipline-The Key to Success.

Amanda Rudd discovered one of her favorite science fiction writers was actually a woman!  She sleuths out the truth in Is He a She? Using Pseudonyms to Hide Gender.

Tiffany A. White’s got the Ooo Factor on Long Lost Childhood Reads.  Share your favorites too.

Selena Wolff shares with us her tarot spread and the karmic balance of relationships in Tarot Tuesday-Love and Relationships.  Very interesting read for writers and readers alike.

Sonia Medeiros is hosting a blog prize giveaway in her post 100 Posts…What? Already!  Go stroll down memory lane with her and maybe you’ll win a prize too!

And announcing the publication of my awesome friend, Mark Petruska’s book, No Time for Kings, here him discuss the self-publishing route and what it feels like to see his name on the book spine, and he also complains about the price of eggs! Congrats Mark!

Three Keys to Setting Effective Goals

Hello Everyone!  Today’s post comes from the newly launched Life List Club blogroll and is written by Science Fiction writer, Gene Lempp.  The Life List Club is a group of writers and readers connecting through the support they provide each other on achieving their goals.  You can check out Gene’s Life List here.  And you can read my guest blog over at Marcia Richard’s blog today, it’s all about roller skating and work-life balance, which of course, go together!

I have to brag that Gene is the first guest post on the ol’ Witkins’ Happiness Project and I couldn’t be happier.  He is always so supportive and generous with his comments, you couldn’t ask for a better friend.  So without further ado, I’ll hand the blogging podium over to Gene with some wise words on setting effective goals.  Thanks, Gene!

Gene Lempp, Life List Club Member since Yesterday!

 Three Keys to Setting Effective Goals

Goals, we all have them. Yet, so often we refuse to express our goals, to ourselves or others, out of fear that we won’t be able to achieve them. How do I know this?  Well, because I’ve faced that same fear and after years of letting it stop me finally said “enough”, set some goals and am now achieving things I never dreamed possible, such as guest blogging today on one of the best blogs around.

Here are three steps we can take that will help us to achieve our goals and find a bit of happiness for ourselves in this oft-times crazy world. Don’t laugh, but I used to run a Pokemon league for a hobby store and some of my kids had a driving desire to earn the respect of their peers by becoming Pokemon Champions. These kids were passionate about achieving their goal and most had plans that they trusted would lead them to victory. Here is what I learned while teaching these excellent children.

Find Your Need

We first have to recognize that we have a need. I’m not talking about basic physical needs like food or breathing, but one that requires a goal to achieve, something long-term and personally fulfilling.
We all have things we want, things we desire, things that we’d love to have. Our need could be anything from saving to buy a house to gaining financing for college or, like the kids in my league, trying to collect every Pokemon card ever made. The point is each of these will take more than a day or a simple action to achieve, which means, we need a plan.

Set a Goal/Have a Plan

Ah, back to the fearsome goal we go. Take a deep breath with me, it will be okay. What is a goal, after all, but a plan focused on achieving something of value? For some, like the kids in my league, that may be winning at a card tournament to gain the respect of their peers. For others it could be moving a personal desire forward, like writing is for me.
If you aren’t sure how to achieve your goal, find people that have already achieved the thing you’re aiming for and pay attention to their advice and actions. By studying successful examples we can find ways to set effective goals and advance towards the things that will improve our lives.

Empower Your Passion

The third key to setting effective goals is go “all in”. This is the heart of passion. When we choose passion for something, nothing can deter us from pursuing it. Passion is what drives us through dark days when it seems we will never arrive at the destination we desire.

The kids in my Pokemon league would talk incessantly about the cards they had and the ones they were convinced would allow them to win a tournament, if only they could find them. They struggled through their losses, learned and adjusted again and again, but never gave up trying to achieve their goal. Nor did they ever give up faith that they were capable of reaching their goal of becoming the best. And you know what; some of them did achieve the pinnacle and gained the respect of their peers by claiming the title of champion.

It is only when we fail to try to that we’ve truly failed. Setting goals is what saves our dreams.

I’d like to express my deepest thanks to Jess for inviting me over to guest post today. It actually fulfills a goal I had set for this year. I encourage all of you to consider the things you desire in life and find ways to achieve them. There is nothing more fulfilling than the satisfaction of attaining a goal.

Gene Lempp is a science fiction writer pursuing publication. He blogs about the uses of history, archaeology and myth in his Designing from Bones series. Gene lives in Northern Illinois and is a friend of squirrels and trees. “Only the moment seems eternal and in a moment everything will change.”

New Writers’ Network: The Life List Club

There’s been inspiration floating around the blogosphere lately and several writers have been infected.  No, it’s not the Zombie Apocalypse.  It’s a new club!  Fellow writer, Marcia Richards, and I have been going back and forth trying to think of a way for writers and readers to connect over their goals, their life lists.

Brainstorm baby:  The Life List Club!

We’re calling all writers and readers who are interested to post a new page to their blogs called The Life List.  It’ll be a page for you to make a list of all the things you desire to do in the next 12 months.  Make it however you like, it’s YOUR LIST!

Then follow along with other writers and readers as we encourage one another, learn from our mistakes, and celebrate our successes!  You’ll find a new sidebar with The Life List Blogroll on our pages, so check out more Life Lists!

And, we’re all about the social media here, so we’ll be guest posting every other Friday (and tomorrow) to share stories about how we achieve our goals.  Follow along, or become a member!  Marcia and I are heading up the rotation cycles for all those interested, so we’ll help you get ready.  All you need to do is COMMENT!  Share your own life list, your aha! moments, your milestones.

Virtual parties are what we do best (less cleanup), so be sure to pop in on Twitter using the hashtag #LifeListClub.  Help us spread the word and the love for anyone that’s interested in a totally awesome, fun-loving, support giving community of goal achievers!

Here are the writers who will be guest posting this Saturday along with myself!  Be sure to visit their Life Lists!

Marcia Richards

Jennie Bennett

Sonia Medeiros

Gene Lempp

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