Confessions of a Male Introvert Thinker Author

Ceramic coffee mug and newspaper on wood table.

Ceramic coffee mug and newspaper on wood table.

When I decided to plunge into the work of novel writing, one of the first things I did was take stock of how those already in the business did things. I scoured websites, stalked social media sites, lurked inside launch parties, and otherwise gathered as much information as I could. I knew that writing a book was one thing, but connecting with readers and generating a following was something entirely different.

As I was writing specifically in the realm of Christian speculative fiction, I focused on those authors … and as time went on, I became aware of a general trend. The majority of the writers were women, as were their readers, and there was often a strong human connection between the two groups. In fact, in some cases their reader base was so devoted that there were entire Facebook groups devoted just to reading the author’s book and then talking about it with the author.

All of these things are absolutely fantastic. These authors have done a sensational job of bonding with their readers, cultivating community, and building on that to create cheerleaders for their (very good) books. It’s an awesome snowball effect to behold, and I’m excited for what they’ve been able to do, in some cases in a relatively short period of time.

It also creates unique challenges for this male, introvert, thinking author.

(I’m an INTJ, for those of your Myers-Briggs people keeping score at home.)

It’s not just a stereotype to say that women are a major force in the world of fiction; in a recent story, Christianity Today confirmed statistically what most of us have observed anecdotally. Women read more than men, gather to talk about reading more than men (i.e. book clubs), and hone in on Christian fiction more than men. Of course, there are men who are successful in both the broader category of fiction and the more specific realm of Christian speculative fiction (including a few men with my own publisher, Enclave), so I know can be done.

Figuring out, for me, how to get there has been a process. Part of that process has determining where I fit in. How do I connect with readership? How do I, as a science fiction writer, build bridges with both male and female readers? How do I push the door open so that those readers will take a chance on my writing? Most importantly, how do I accomplish all of this while still staying authentic to who I am – as a thinking introvert in a business that seems to revolve around human connections?

The good news for me is that, slowly but surely, I’ve been working through the answers. I’ve been blessed with a core of great people who have helped me through the process, from beta readers to launch team. Many of them (including my wife and my editor) have helped stretch my writing in ways that helps balance my thinking, plot-oriented nature with the nuances of personal relationships and character development.

As a result, I’ve had wonderful people – men and women – from all walks of life who have taken a risk on my writing and given me humbling comments. Some of them are sci-fi fans from outside Christian fiction altogether; others are readers of some of the same dazzling authors I talked about earlier. And as I continue to write more short stories and novels in my debut series, I’m ever hopeful that I’ll continue to find new doors to sail through.

Relationships, torpedoes, and all.


Joshua Johnston - Headshot - LowAuthor Bio:

Joshua was raised on science fiction television and film before being introduced, in his teenage years, to the wider universe of science fiction literature. In addition to his daily work teaching American history and American government, he is an occasional writer on a variety of topics, including video games and parenting.

His debut novel, Edge of Oblivion, released with Enclave Publishing (now Gilead Publishing) in April 2016. Joshua lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with his wife, Rachael, their two daughters, and a highly xenophobic cat.

He can be found online at

EdgeOblivionJAJ - Web

Reconnecting with Your Vision BurkeFor the past several months, I have been preparing for my current book release and there are days I don’t know if I’m a marketer or a writer. I spend more time redesigning my website, answering emails and writing blog posts than I do writing stories. Honestly, there are days I walk into my office space and feel overwhelmed and want to quit. Kind of sort of, but not really. I know that is not an option.

The Bible says without vision the people perish. Right now, my writing is in danger of perishing if I don’t reconnect with my writing vision and adjust my choices accordingly. I have found the following action steps to be helpful in this process.

Go back to the beginning. Remind myself why I’m writing in the first place. Visit that place of inspiration in my heart. Wake up the joy in writing story. What worked or didn’t work as I split by time between writing and marketing. Then make room in my life for what brings me joy about writing. Let some of the other stuff go and breathe.

Clearly define success for myself. Comparison is a dangerous trap. It is far too easy to be jealous of another author’s success and waste emotional energy bemoaning my lack of success.  What works for another author may not even work for my audience. Instead, I need to carefully examine where I want to be in 1, 5, or more years given my particular heart for writing.

Set clear and sustainable goals that are not pie in the sky goals, but realistic, reachable goals that won’t burn me out. Then once I have well defined goals in place, handle each day’s goal on that day. If I want to reach 1000, it starts with the one I reach today. When I worry about tomorrow, I miss out on enjoying the NOW.

Take the first step. Inaction will only frustrate me, stealing my joy of writing.

Focus on where I am going. Once I start moving, wherever I look is the direction I will go. If I use a compass to arrive at a destination, one degree off over long distance will take me far off course. The goals I set are my path and if I want to stay on that path, I need to keep my eyes on where I am heading.

Give myself grace for when I mess up. I will veer off course from time to time whether by life interrupting or my own reluctance to keep my eyes focused ahead. If I wallow in regret, I give away part of my joy.

Taking these steps will help ensure I don’t lose my joy in writing even if I occasionally lose my way.

What steps have you taken to reconnect with your vision for this writing life?


pub pic 2016 tempAuthor Bio:

Angela D. Meyer, author of The Applewood Hill Series, lives in NE with her husband of 25 years and their high school daughter. Their son serves our country in the Marines. Angela enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, connecting with friends and encouraging women to grow in their faith. One of her dream spots to vacation is next to the ocean and someday she wants to ride in a hot air balloon.


Connect with Angela:

Website  Facebook  Pinterest  Google+  Twitter



Coming Soon:

Cover reveal of Where Healing Starts Angela’s new release.

Pre-order special for Where Healing Starts: At the time of your purchase, receive a free download of Where Hope Starts, book 1 in the Applewood Hill series.

Sign up for Angela’s Newsletter so you don’t miss these announcements.


Coming Soon.temp book coverWhere Healing Starts

Release date: September 22, 2016


Joanna, full of bitterness over the past, can no longer ignore the growing storm inside her and is bent on self-destruction as she seeks to ease her pain. But the refuge she seeks is always out of her reach.


Her brother Blake must choose between what has always been safe and what he has always wanted. One mistake after another leads him down a dangerous path.


The one for all, all for one sibling bond can’t help them now. They are both determined to hang onto their anger, never forgetting. Never forgiving. They see no reason to trust God.


After so many years of turmoil, will the Hannigan siblings find refuge in the God who loves them? Or will they get lost along the way?


Confessions of a Writer, Mother, and Pastor’s Wife

Confessions of a ...Every time I share that I’m a writer, I have people look at me and ask how do I do it all? How do I balance raising four kids, being a pastor’s wife, and writing?

Confession time: I haven’t always done a good job juggling all three. Honestly, I think the only person who could is Supergirl, and even then I think she would struggle. But what I have learned is to have priorities, and those priorities have changed as I went from writing as an unpublished writer to an author with a deadline, and from having four kids under four to kids in the double digits.

When I first started writing, I was home with babies and toddlers, snatching bits of writing time during naps and nights when my husband was at church meetings. The more I wrote, the more I wanted to be published. I think this is the desire and goal of most writers (after all, we write so that we can share with the world). There were moments where I grew discontent with just being home with kids. I wanted more. I wanted to be an author so bad I could taste it. But that wasn’t where I was in life. So instead, I took the time I had to learn all I could about writing, then continued writing during those spare moments I had.

That period of my life taught me the value of waiting, of putting aside my desires, and to put my family first. As a pastor, one of my husband’s goals was to never have our children grow up and feel like the church took their daddy away. I had a similar goal: I never wanted my children growing up believing writing was more important than them.

New FotW coversNow, as a published writer, I am thankful for the boundaries I set earlier on around my writing and around my family. I write when my kids are in school, but when they are home, I put my writing away. There are those few weeks every year when I’m on an edit deadline, but because I have invested into my children and husband, they help me out during that time instead of resenting mommy disappearing into her office for hours on end.

As far as being a pastor’s wife, honestly, I’m not any different that other women in the church. I just happen to be married to the pastor, other than one thing: the more he is gone, the more I need to be home so I can hold down the fort. I serve where time and gifts allow, and in some ways, my writing is also part of my ministry. As a shy introvert, it is hard for me to be around people. That’s why I love writing! I can communicate my heart and faith with people in a way that bypasses my weaknesses.

So what advice do I have for mothers? Enjoy the time you have with your little ones now. The writing will always be there, but your children will not. They grow up and before you know it, they’re gone. Also spend time with your husband. Your marriage needs you to be a part of it. It might mean you only write a book a year, but your relationship is worth it. If you want to be writer, you need to write. But find a time and a pace that allows you to be a mother and wife as well.

Tainted_Hi_ResAlso, saying “no” is okay. You can’t do everything. That is something I learned early on in ministry. I can do a couple things very well, but if I spread myself out, my effectiveness diminishes. In order to juggle the role of mother, writer, and wife, I’ve had to use “no” many times in order to say “yes” to a few things so I can do those few things well. That might come in the form of saying no to writing three books in one year (no!), or heading up three different ministries at church (no!), or having each of my kids participate in three sports, piano lessons, and drama club (no!).

So how do I do it all? By giving each area the time in needs, and saying no to everything else. My kids and husband get time with me, my writing gets its share of time, and I serve the church when I can (and sometimes that means being home for our family and allowing my husband to go off and do everything he needs to for the church).

How about you? Do you struggle juggling everything? How do you prioritize your time, obligations, and relationships along with your writing? Share below!


morgan-busse-NLR-5Author Bio:

Morgan L. Busse writes fantasy and steampunk for the adult market. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series, including Daughter of Light, Christy and Carol Award finalist. Morgan lives on the West Coast with her husband and four children. You can find out more about Morgan at




Twitter: (@MorganLBusse)



My books:

Confessions of a Collaborative, Role-Playing Writer

Mug-Design-279-_2_1024x1024Hello. My name is Janeen Ippolito, and I am a collaborative writing addict.

I blame it on the extroversion. For me, writing has always been about connecting with others. My teenage years were spent happily engrossed in online play-by-post roleplaying games where I built crazy story worlds with my fellow gamers – X-Men and Lord of the Rings being my favorite fandoms. I’d post my section of the story and eagerly await to see what other writers’ characters would do in response. I’d spend hours crafting intricate plotlines in OOC threads or plan spinoff threads to write side stories in collaboration with other players.

By the way, in terms of characters? I had thirty-seven at my maximum, each with their own backstories and purposes. I always wanted to be able to play the games and go on the adventures.

There’s just something about the electricity of connecting with others through stories that is compelling and fascinating. Even now, my first fiction novella (due out October 29 through Uncommon Universes Press) was created in collaboration with an illustrator, with whom I also built the story world, planned all plotlines, and shared characters.

In short, my brain is super-happy working with other brains to make incredible speculative works together.

What does this look like in practice? A ton of communication with co-writers. A lot of mutual respect and trust regarding plotting and different writing styles. A great deal of sharing over Google docs. A hefty dose of humility as two visions need to be braided into one cohesive whole.

normalfriendsOh, and specialized agreements about the nature of collaboration to eliminate confusion and define the terms of the work. This is absolutely essential for the health of all writers involved, especially when actual publishing comes around.

At first, I was a little sheepish about my love of collaboration. After all, you always hear about the purity of authorial vision. The need for authors to sequester themselves in absolute solitude to hear their own thoughts and purposes. Whereas if I try to stuff myself away in an office, I get distracted by all the quiet and lack of outside stimulation. Hopping online to chat with friends actually jumpstarts my writing gears, because they yell at me to keep writing and, even on solo projects, my lovable-yet-snarky critique partners will ‘sit’ on Google Docs and check in to make sure I’m actually making progress. Me, distracted by shiny new marketing tools and business ideas and meme creation? Never!

I can only conclude that before the invention of internet I’d need some kind of telephone system where friends periodically called me to jar me into work. Or some kind of specially-trained parrot to pull my hair whenever I came up with a new and must, must turn it into a shiny image with Pixlr or Canva (or in pre-internet days, good ol’ fashioned doodling).

After all this time, I’ve gotten used to my need to collaborate, and I see a lot of benefits in it, especially in my work at UUP. Because I’m passionate about entering the author’s world and understand their vision, I enjoy making long-term marketing plans and goals for their work. In UUP we’re a team and my enthusiasm for connecting with authors and their stories helps foster that sense of community for mutual benefit and growth.

Houses of the Dead coverDoes this mean I always collaborate? Actually, it did until recently, when a story idea came out of a dream (where a lot of my ideas come from—my brain is busy at night). This story quickly turned into a Thing that I must now faithfully write out or else suffer the consequences of distraction and mind-clog. It’s been a fun challenge to work through it solo and spring new, completely finished scenes on my crit partners, instead of having everything out in the open. I’m not even outlining this one, so there’s no preparation paper trail!

In the end, I’ll always come back to collaboration in some form, because my heart is for building bridges between all of us crazy creatives. We all build fantastic visions and those visions are just too shiny to keep within our own heads.


DSC_0649Author Bio:

Janeen Ippolito is an idea-charged teacher, reader, writer, book reviewer, and the Fearless Leader of Uncommon Universes Press. She writes speculative fiction laced with everyday humor and cultural tension. Her co-written illustrated novella, Thicker Than Water, releases on October 29th and the first eight chapters are available online at Go to for world-building resources and off-the-wall insights from this sleep-deprived author.


Confessions of an Overly Extroverted Writer in an Introverted World

Author Head Shot Amy copyHi. I’m Amy, and I’m an over-the-top extrovert.

(This is where the support group says, “Hi, Amy!”)

I love people. I love talking. I love being right up in the middle of all the action. I make friends everywhere I go. I have no fear or reservations about talking to anyone, anywhere.
I’ll have complete strangers in the grocery store laughing and giving me a hug before I leave them. I feed off of the energy from crowds. I love parties and concerts and festivals. They are some of my happy places. Occasionally I like to be alone, but for the most part, I’d rather be around other people.

So why in the world would I choose a profession like writing? It’s mostly solitary. You spend hours upon hours alone with your thoughts and characters, and the majority of your colleagues are introverted, to one degree or another. And, when you’re with them, you’re typically the one starting the conversation and trying to bring people out of their shells or place them at ease.

My answer as to why? There are a few.

  • I can’t NOT write. The stories boil in my blood, seep into my brain, and refuse to let me be until I’ve gotten them out. A writer is who I am, not just what I do. If I have to spend lonely hours alone, so be it. It’s worth it. I’ll get all the people/talky time in later.
  • Sometimes, I do get a craving to be alone. Shut in a room with my music and my laptop, creating characters and worlds. If you know me, I know this may seem
    hard to believe, but it’s true. Some days I’m even quiet, hardly saying a thing all day long! (Gasp!)
  • This career chose me. I went to school for something else and practiced in that career for years. A career perfectly suited to me. It required me to utilize all of my communication skills on a daily basis, to deal with strangers and coworkers constantly through the day, and to continually be thrust into situations that required me to take the lead and make first contact. Basically, an extrovert’s dream job. But things changed. God was leading elsewhere. After pointlessly fighting Him for a bit, I gave in and did a complete turnaround job wise. Turns out, He was right. I’m happier than ever.


Amy's book Rebirth is the reason I found and fell in love with this quote.

Amy’s book Rebirth is the reason I found and fell in love with this quote.

But my writing life is a little different than that of many other writers I’ve met.

Those preconference jitters because you’re meeting new people? The fear of being in the middle of a massive crowd all day long? Being afraid to talk to someone because of who they are or what position they hold? Yeah, I honestly have no idea what that’s like. Even when I’m writing, I’m either out in the living room where everyone else is, or in a busy
coffee shop or pub.

The fact that most of my colleagues are introverted? Doesn’t even phase me. I love being the one to help make them comfortable and bring them alive. I love learning about them; what they like and dislike, how long they can handle the crowd, learning their cues that signal they need to go decompress for a bit. I love eliciting thrilling conversation from those who tend to not talk a lot. Just because they may not say much, doesn’t mean they have nothing to say or that they don’t like you. They are actually very kind and gracious, and extremely opinionated and well-spoken.

I’ve learned so much from my introverted writing companions. Namely, how to dial it back a bit and really listen instead of constantly running my mouth. I’ve learned that quiet is good, it is healthy, and I actually like it. Sometimes. And I’ve learned that the old clichéd saying is true: still waters do indeed run deep. My quiet, solitude-needing, prefer not to be the center of attention friends soothe me. They teach me. They anchor me.

I, in turn, have been told by some that they like having me around because then they don’t have to try and start conversations, or feel as awkward meeting someone new, because I’m there to break the ice. They’ve said I make them feel comfortable and welcomed. To me
that is a very high compliment, because one of my goals throughout my life has been to make sure those around me feel a part of things, that they feel welcome and wanted and loved. I can’t stand having anyone around me feeling pushed to the side or overlooked.

So you see, being highly extroverted in a mainly introverted world isn’t really a bad thing at all. It’s just like most other things in life: there must be a balance. And I am more than happy to provide my own special brand of outgoing craziness to all who find themselves in need of an icebreaker.

Or comic relief.


Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How does that affect you in your chosen career path?


Author Bio:

Amy Brock McNew doesn’t just write speculative fiction, she lives and breathes it. Exploring the strange, the supernatural, and the wonderfully weird, Amy pours her guts onto the pages she writes, honestly and brutally revealing herself in the process. Nothing is off-limits. Her favorite question is “what if?” and she believes fiction can be truer than our sheltered and controlled realities. Visit to learn more about this intriguing author.




From Ralene:

Amy had her first novel debut back in May. You may remember me singing its praises here and here. If you haven’t checked it out yet, hurry over to Amazon! (And, Amy, how long until book 2 comes out?)


Confessions of a Daydreaming Scatterbrain

Welcome to my new series “Confessions.” I’m trying it out this summer to see how y’all enjoy hearing from writers and other publishing professionals as they share about their ups and downs–many we can all relate to. Some will be funny, some will be more serious.

Up first, my friend and client, Desiree Williams is sharing some insights into her life as an author, mom, and all the fun that comes with that! Take it away, Dez . . .


First off, a big thank you to Ralene for having me! I’m thrilled to be here with you all, and of course to share that I, Desiree Williams, have a problem.

No one ever likes to confess to their faults. I mean, who wants to admit there’s something wrong with them? However, honesty can be quite freeing. Like right now. I’m ready to shine the light on some of my weaknesses. Are YOU ready? But you have to promise not to laugh—at least not until the end. And probably not to my face. =D



14. You make a pot of coffee, but then forget to grab a cup.

13. You throw clothes in the dryer only to remember two days later you forgot to turn it on.

12. You have countless unfinished projects strewn through the house or on your computer.

11. You space out while driving, and then find yourself in random places far from your intended destination.

10. You can start five conversation topics at one time. (Notice I didn’t say you finished them.)

9. You have regular chats with the voices inside your head.

8. You’re easily distracted by all things shiny.

7. You find yourself in a room and forget why you had to be there in the first place.

6. You space out when someone is talking and then scramble to rejoin the conversation before they notice.

5. You burn dinner even though you’re standing three feet away.

4. You can tune out a packed room.

3. You meet someone new and can easily picture them as a dagger-wielding ninja.

2. You walk smack-dab into a sign that anyone else would’ve noticed.


And the big number 1:

You have a kick-butt imagination that takes you on amazing adventures.


Yes, I confess I’m guilty of every single one of those and so much more. My daydreaming-scatterbrain gets me into quite a few pickles, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. It makes life an adventure. Plus, once I get over my initial embarrassment over said events, I have a few more stories to tell. =D

So my brain doesn’t work like normal. That’s okay. Normal is boring anyway. (Ralene italicized that line because she absolutely loves it!)

Daydreaming-Silly faces

But now I must know.

Are you guilty of any of these?

Please tell me I’m not alone in this crazy scatterbrain world. Feel free to share your own confessions below.

Virtual hugs to you all.



Author Bio PhotoAuthor bio:

Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.

You can find out more about Desiree and her books at

Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Newsletter


Thank you, Dez! You know I suffer from all of those a lot of the time. Too much stuff going on in my head.

If y’all love romance in a fantasy setting, I highly recommend Desiree’s books. She tells some pretty engaging stories.

June 2016 Goals

PIC1068506062Can you believe that another month has flown by? I love May because of my birthday and Mother’s Day . . . and a bunch of my friends have birthdays. It’s a fun month–usually.

This year, though, it was a big ball of illness for my house. Half of April until the last week of May had at least one, if not more, people in my home laid out, too sick to do much of anything. It was rough, but we recovered.

As a result, though, I didn’t full accomplish any of my goals for May. I finished the first draft of Bellanok 4, but did not get revisions done (working on those now), which means I didn’t get the whole thing put together either. And being sick did not make for getting into routines or fixing our diets.

So, this month, is a try and try again type of month. Here are my goals for May:

1. Finish revisions on Bellanok 4 so I can release it mid-month. I should get revisions done by Wed. next week, then out to my proofreader/formatter. Hopefully, life doesn’t intervene too much.

2. Pull the whole Bellanok story together in one book and work on revisions.

3. Read through and make notes on revisions for Aletheia. This is a fantasy I was working on before Bellanok. It’s had a year to rest, so I’m hoping to use my agent’s and CP’s notes to make it stronger.

4. Get into a summer routine where we are still doing homeschool while I am working on big writing/editing plans!

We will get our diet under control by using a monthly menu plan and working it into our routine.

What about you? What are 1-3 of your goals for June?

(Let’s hold each other accountable!)

If you sounded off with your goals on May’s post, how’d you do? Were you more successful than I was? I hope so! (Amy, Jennette, Janeen, Becky, Randy, Liberty, Celesta, Jill, and Josh)

Happy Birthday to ME, Presents for YOU!

Yes, it’s true. I’m another year older, another year wiser, and another year more beautiful. Well, 2 out of 3 isn’t bad.

I love birthdays, and I love presents. So, I have some presents for you!

Releases October 16

That’s right. All. 3. Free.

So, if you’ve been meaning to check out Bellanok, but haven’t had the time or the money, now’s your chance to catch up before the 4th and final part comes out.

Ralene Bellnock 1 The Reluctant Savior



Bellanok: The Reluctant Savior

Bellanok: An Urgent Quest

Bellanok: The Dragon’s Oath



To celebrate my birthday, my family and I are headed out to IHOP this morning (my fave place to eat) and then we’ll have lasagna for dinner (my fave food). I doubt I’ll be doing much in between as I’m still recovering from being sick this last week (a bad sinus infection as it turns out).

Highlights from my last year:

RMRoomOver the summer in 2015, I attended KY Christian Writers, Realm Makers, and American Christian Fiction Writers conferences. Some of the best times were had, especially at Realm Makers.

0701150714aIn July, we went to my parents’ house for vacation and a family reunion. Good food, great company.

We embarked on our fourth year of homeschooling in August. I so love that we have this opportunity! I think I learn as much as my 3 kids do.

I published my first novella on Amazon in October. Biggest thrill and most terrifying experience ever.

My mom, my sister, and her family came out for Christmas–one of the best ones in my life.

0413161519My girls had their first slumber party for their birthdays. Much fun was had. (They’re getting too big!)
And finally in April, we all headed to Disney World! I don’t think I’ve ever seen such expressions from my kids as they experienced so many wonderful things, like meeting Elsa and Mickey, riding rides (we’ve not really done much of that), and seeing the fireworks shows.

*happy sigh*

So, I’m off to celebrate!

What are some of your favorite birthday traditions?

Life and Updates

file0001024202589Happy Monday, everyone!

I know it’s been awhile since y’all have heard from me. Life has been, well, crazy around here the last few months. So much that I can’t even get into right now. So, I thought I’d catch you up on some stuff . . .

  1. Yes, Bellanok 3 is coming out soon. Look for more information at the end of the week. I’m going to have y’all help me with something! I’ll just say for now that Bellanok 3 will be out in March and part 4 will be out in April.
  2. I am (finally) open for editing again. If you’re looking for an editor (or getting close to being ready), check out my editing services page and shoot me an e-mail! (E-mail is basically my name at gmail.)
  3. Two of my friends are celebrating some pretty amazing stuff this month.
    1. J.L. Mbewe is celebrating her birthday hobbit style–a birthday bash on her blog with fun prizes!
    2. Zachary Totah is celebrating his one-year blogaversary with some reflection and, of course, some prizes. One of which is ebook copies of both of Bellanok novellas so far.
  4. In April, I’ll be participating in a couple of Facebook parties with other speculative fiction authors. Stay tuned for more information to come! If you haven’t signed up for my blog/newsletter, do so now so you don’t miss out on all the fun.

In other areas, my daughters both have birthdays in March. We’re throwing a joint part–a slumber party. What am I getting myself into? I just can’t believe my oldest will be turning 10! TEN!

Homeschooling is as much a joy as ever–even if we are a little behind. The kids are all loving the books we are reading this year with our Sonlight curriculum. We’re studying the first half of American history and have read books like The Sign of the Beaver, and we’re just finishing up The Witch of Blackbird Pond (one of my fave books in elementary books).

In 6 weeks, we’ll be taking the family (along with my husband’s side of the family) to Disney World! We’re very excited about it–and so are the kids.

So, that’s a little update on me. What about you guys? What’s new with you? What can we celebrate?

February 2016 Goals

PIC1068506062Can it really be the start of a new month already? I feel like all of January was completely lost to me.

Well, in some ways it was. I caught a nasty bug right after the new year, and it held on for 3 weeks! I’m still reeling from the exhaustion of it all. Thank goodness for my wonderful kids and my amazing husband.

Needless to say, when I am sick for 3 weeks in a row, nothing gets done. I made some progress on my January goals, but didn’t fully accomplish any of them. So, my goals for February look pretty similar–mostly extensions of January’s goals.

February 2016 goals:

  1. I will start getting up at 6:00 a.m. so that I can have quiet time with my Bible and prayer before starting my day. My husband also needs to start getting up at this time, so it works out.
  2. I will work on controlling my diet more this month. I have a doctor’s appointment again today to find out what my labs have been like the last few months. We’re still working to get my blood sugar under control, but I know a large part of that falls to me and controlling carb intake.
  3. Prepare Bellanok Part 3 for publication by the end of February (though, hopefully before that). I still have to revise and send out to my critique partners/editor. I hope to get that done by mid-February. Final edits, and then off to my proofreader/formatter.
  4. Write Bellanok Parts 4 & 5. This will help me get a jump start on March!
  5. Put out my first official newsletter to e-mail subscribers! (Sign up here if you haven’t already.)

So there they are. I have quite a few things to work on, but with God on my side, I can do all things!

Stay tuned this month. I’ve lined up some great guest posts that I’m excited to share with you. Also, look for some better consistency now that I’m not sick. I pray you all have a great week!

What are a couple of YOUR goals for February?

Let’s share and keep each other accountable! (If you leave your goals, I will put you on a list, which I will be praying over all month long. In next month’s goal post, I will list your name and goals at the bottom of the list and ask to see how you did! Won’t it be nice to share struggles and achievements?)

Below are the goals people shared in January. How’d you do?

Pam H.:

  1. Create writing space in bedroom.
  2. Pull out all notes on novel revisions and finish them.

Jason J.

  1. Complete edits on YA book.
  2. Shop suspense book.
  3. Initial edits on book 2.

Grace F.

  1. Better plan time.
  2. Schedule cleaning and organizing routines.