If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

July Interviews

7/1 Lena Gregory, Scone Cold Killer
7/8 Jessica Baker, Murder on the Flying Scotsman
7/15 TG Wolff, Driving Reign
7/22 Leslie Budewitz, The Solace of Bay Leaves
7/29 Cynthia Kuhn, The Study of Secrets

Saturday Guest Bloggers

7/11 Mark Dressler
7/18 James McCrone

WWK Bloggers:

7/4 Valerie Burns
7/25 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Life Goals

Today's guest blog is by Linda Ensign. In our day-to-day existence, we often forget (well, okay, I often forget) to consider our long-term goals and periodically check to see how we're doing.
I recently stumbled across a “note-to-self” document I had written way back in June 2005 entitled “where would I want to be in five years time”? This virtual crystal ball exercise is commonly used in business, and I had recently done a similar one for my business but had no memory of doing one for my personal life.

Now, I call myself a realist. I understand that there is more to the brain than we can even imagine and I know that visualization is credible, but I have always believed that SMART (Specific Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Timely) goal setting and progress tracking is a far more effective way to achieve one’s dreams.

In the intervening seven years since this personal crystal ball exercise my life has taken a number of unexpected turns including melanoma (2009), a cross-country move (2010), two more moves (2011, 2013), losing my job (2011), starting a business (2011) and a new college degree (2006- 2012).

That these twists and turns of fate have resulted in the realization of two out of four items on this crystal ball list is amazing. What is probably more amazing is that I found this file, buried deep in one of the writing folders on my computer, having been ported between three computers. But computer foibles aside, a fifty percent success rate with no conscious thought or concerted effort seems quite amazing.

Here are the results of my crystal ball exercise:

1. Writing 4-6 hours per day, every day.  Realized. I am spending 4-6 hours per day on my writing.

2. Doing an hour of physical activity every day.  Partly Realized. I am working out twice a week for an hour.

3. Have a seaside and/or mountain getaway.  Not Realized Yet. Notice that I said “YET”.

4. Running a computer-based business. Realized. I am a freelance web designer/programmer.

Is it the power of visualization or is it simply coincidence?  What do you think?

Have you looked into a ‘crystal ball’ and visualized where you want to be in five years? I challenge you to give it a try. Who knows? A success rate of 50% is better than nothing, isn’t it?

I certainly think so - I’m going to do this exercise again – right after I post this blog entry. 

Linda Ensign is a freelance web designer/programmer who currently lives in Northern Virginia.  She writes short and long fiction - mystery, science fiction, fantasy and paranormal – sometimes working on more than one story at the same time.  She is currently engaged in the final revision of Cold, Hard Cache - the first book in her geo-caching mystery series.  She blogs about mystery writing at http://mostlymystery.com/ and would love to hear from you.  You can also reach her through her business at http://www.yellowhare.com/


Jim Jackson said...

Welcome to Salad Bowl Saturday, Linda.

I remember SMART goals from my business career, although truth be told they were often SMRT goals since my agreement wasn’t required. But personal SMART goals make a lot of sense, and I do maintain and evaluate myself against them both for short-term and long-term goals.

Congratulations on your reaching 50% of your objectives and not completely blowing off the others.

Care to share what your new goals are?

~ Jim

Anonymous said...

I think you've done quite well on your goals.

Flexibiity is important. We have lots of cliches that address the fact that we really don't have as much control as we would like to think we do: "The best laid plans of mice and men...;" "Man proposes, God disposes;" etc.

But it sound like you have bounced back from a few unpredicatable situations, kept your ultimate goals in mind, and are making progress. That's success!

Kara Cerise said...

Congratulations on writing 4-6 hours every day despite the unexpected events in your life, Linda.

I do believe in visualizing then writing out goals. I think it can be a powerful method. Somehow, even when I forget about the goals I wrote down, my mind works to complete them.

Best of luck with the final revision of Cold, Hard Cache. I love the title!

Warren Bull said...

I used SMART goals in writing treatment plan in conjunction with my therapy clients. They work for personal goals and you don't need to worry ever-changing national standards. I think it helps to remember what is not in your control. One of my favorite saying is: If you want GOD to laugh, tell HIM your plans.

Anonymous said...

I've always felt God has a quirky sense of humor.

Gloria Alden said...

My goals have changed over the years mostly because of events that happened. After my 18 year old son died of cancer, I decided to become a teacher, went to college and taught for 20 years. I decided I wanted a Master's in English and got that while I was teaching. Then I decided I wanted to write mysteries (I was already writing poetry) did that and, of course, the goal then was to get published When that proved to be a hard goal to reach, I self-published and am now have two mysteries out. Okay, other goals, have all my many gardens weeded and in pristine condition. Dream on! Ain't gonna happen. Sometimes we have to accept what won't happen and adjust our goals. That being said, I just returned from a day with my two sisters visiting garden centers. I came home with my car half full of new plants to plant to add to the ones I bought a few weeks ago.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Linda, I'm not surprised at your results. I'm a big believer in visualization and putting in writing what you really want from life. And I, too, have noticed that I very often get it, but 8 times out of 10, not in the way I had originally thought. Congratulations on achieving so many of your goals fully or partially.

Linda said...

Good morning everyone! Thanks for the comments.
@Jim - I haven't set them yet, but plan to within the next week or two.
@KM - Flexibility is definitely key. One needs to be like water and flow around obstacles instead of letting them block ones path.
@Kara @Linda - I visualization is far more potent than we can imagine. I read an article on creating a Vision Board (Dream board?) where you collect pictures of what you visualize, but I haven't tried that yet - have either of you?
@Warren - that is also one of my favorite sayings and so definitely true. But that is also the foible of man - we do not learn by our mistakes and keep making plans.
@Gloria - unexpected events have a way of derailing one's plans, or at least delaying them.