Resolutions Work…For Those Who Make Them

We’ve all see the depressing numbers–only 8% of people who makes resolutions keep them. Sounds bleak, huh? But what about those folks who don’t make any resolutions at all? What is their success rate? The studies seem to show that resolutions do work better than nothing at all. Perhaps it all comes down to personality type. I love goals, and they work well for me. So, generally, I set New Year’s resolutions or intentions as I sometimes call them; my dad laughed at that term, but said he liked it.

This year will bring a lot of change and flux in my life. I plan to re-evaluate my goals often and tweak because it’s hard to say how my life will look in the last half of the year (other than sleep deprived and chaotic). Last year, I met all of my writing goals (write for an hour per day…most days I did and publish X number of stories. I did). This year, these are my resolutions in different categories. They are simple but specific. Some of them are laughable–maybe to many of my readers. For me, they represent me where I am now.


Write for 1 hour per day on work days and 2 hours per day at least one weekend day per week OR hit my goal of 432+ words per day (re-evaluate at the end of June when Baby Greer arrives! I have a feeling this amount might drop to 200 words per day or half an hour per day or nothing for a few weeks at least).

Finish 20 Sorrowmoor serials and get into e-book and print after initial Kickstarter is underway and complete and submit Montmoors serials 10-12. Complete pen name serial set of 3.5 more serials. Finish Light the Black Candle (gothic romance novella/novel). This is a minimum goal for next year in terms of output and amounts to about 125K words or more which seems pretty do-able at my current writing rate.

Read at least three books on writing/craft this year. I have several on my shelf and on my Kindle. 🙂


Complete twenty minutes per day of prayer/meditation/centered prayer.

Participate fully in communal worship opportunities, but honor my own relationship to God.

Stay engaged in the present moment. Live in the now. Check in daily with myself.

Activism and Philanthropy (also linked to Spirituality):

Continue my volunteering once per week in local schools.

Look for new opportunities to connect with those making a difference in the community and world and take advantage of at least two of these opportunities this year.

Cross boundaries and do the unexpected in order to serve others and grow. This last year, it was Christmas caroling with new friends.


Add one night per week that is DD and I night.

Have at least one date night per month with just me and DH. We do this currently, and I want to make sure we continue to do so after baby comes along. 🙂

Be thankful for what I do have and accept people for who they are in terms of extended family.

Self Care:

Move at least 10 minutes per day. Many days it’s much more than this, but some days I’m shamefully sedentary.

Read a little every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.

Do activities that give me pleasure–at least one or two per day, short or long in length (this is an idea from the 168 Hours book and it works well for making life feel like a lot more fun in spite of work and duties one doesn’t always enjoy).


Make at least one new friend this year (a good goal for an introvert in a small town, I think!).

Nurture existing friendships by staying in touch at least monthly.

Choose friends carefully and be a friend. Don’t slip into or prolong toxic relationships just to have “friends.”


So, what are your resolutions? Do you even bother, and if so, do they work for you?







Dark Nights of the Soul and Books

I don’t blog a lot, but today I feel like it. Maybe it’s the gorgeous sunset outside or the reflection on how the year is ending…dying, with a new one to follow.

I write fiction, and I read a lot of it. These last couple months, though, I’ve really been into non-fiction. I wouldn’t say I’m a big self help kind of person, but I am really in favor of reading about subjects I feel ignorant of or that I want to master.

This phase of devouring non-fiction during my reading times started less than two months ago. I found out some amazing news: I was pregnant at 35…again. My only little girl is 9. We had planned for this year to be it if it was going to happened, and it did  just a few months before my 36th birthday when I was probably going to stop trying.

I waited to put the news out there. After all, near the end of October, I was only about 5 weeks along. That’s pretty early. There were some folks I really wanted to tell, but I needed to give it some time. And I had time, right?

So I thought.

During that period of a couple of weeks of waiting, things sort of fell apart on other levels/with other relationships, and my news was delivered differently than I had expected it to be–by me, by choice due to an event I didn’t foresee. I’ve always been sensitive, and I went through a tough time; there were things best left unsaid, and I held them in for the most part. Pregnancy hormones likely made the whole situation worse. There were behaviors I was unwilling to accept at that point from others…at least that I was not going to let into my life and that I could not deal with in a positive way. I needed a bit of reassurance and loyalty, and that didn’t come as I’d expected it to–at least from my vantage point. I tried to put myself in the other person’s shoes, but that didn’t help much. I have often stepped over myself trying to give support to others or swallow anger when I probably shouldn’t have (at the cost of people I love), and I see that now. It didn’t make sense to do it this time.

My choice to take myself out of the situation, deal with it on my own, and just get quiet was the right one. When one is pregnant as with other major points in one’s life (marriage, births, deaths, divorces, new jobs…there are many of them), it is important to go with what feels like self preservation and the emotionally healthy choice. That’s what I did. I’m sorry this story is vague, but it needs to be that way. I’m sure you’ve all dealt with similar sadness during “big” times in your life. My overarching thought was “if only this could have happened at another time–not when I had news I needed to share, not at what should have been a time of happiness.” There were other factors that went into how I handled the whole situation as well. Suffice to say, my heart and mind were in a knot for a time.

I’ve seen people deal with big events at big times in their lives myself and have had my share of people acting out about weddings and at other crucial points–sometimes out of ignorance. I don’t seem to forget those events, and I bet other people don’t either. They are major life transitions. There is something sacred about such times.

What did I turn to in my time of need? Whom could I depend upon? My husband has always been my rock, and he was. And then prayer of course and after that…books. Yes, books. I downloaded a few good ones on my Kindle on topics that were and are near and dear to my heart these days. I’ve found these books nourishment for the soul and reassurance that there are different paths; sometimes things don’t end well and they are messy, despite what fairy tales tell us. These books have helped kill some myths I’d accepted from culture but that I knew in my bones were not true. They’ve helped me embrace what is coming next while smiling about the good that is past.

This reflection doesn’t have a lot to do with Christmas, but then again, maybe it does. Into the darkness came the light, and it still happens that way. Sometimes, the light seeps in through words on the page, and the darkness in our souls and hearts flees from the truth we find. Wishing you much light at the end of one year and the dawn of a new one…



Thanksgiving Blog Hop!

Join me and other authors in giving thanks during the Thanksgiving season. Five things I’m thankful for (choosing just five was tough!):

1. My husband and daughter who make me laugh and who help me carve out time to write.

2. My parents who are always willing to babysit and spend quality time with my daughter.

3. My wonderful day job and the writing I get to do as a job, too!

4. The new baby who will be joining our family in June of 2013!

5. My Creator who has made everything possible.

I’d like to also give a special “thank you” and shout out to all of you who are readers. My readers allow me to do what I love–write. This is such a gift, and I am grateful every day. Many blessings to all of you this year and always.

To show my thanks, I’m offering an e-book or print copy of the book of mine of your choice to one commenter. You will also be entered if you share this on Facebook or twitter and let me know you did. I’ll do a random drawing and announce the winner Friday, the 23rd of November. So, tell me in the comments, what are you thankful for?



Now, hop to the next stop with Patricia Kiyono!

Sara Daniel’s New Release and the Dark Side of Wiccan Haus

I’m thrilled to have Sara Daniel on the blog today. She is one of the authors in the wildly popular Wiccan Haus series with Musa Publishing. Take it away, Sara!

The Dark Side of the Wiccan Haus by Sara Daniel

Lisa, thanks so much for letting me hang out on your blog today. I know you write gothic and tend toward a darker slant, so I thought you and your readers might like a little peek at the darker side of the Wiccan Haus series, a shared-world, multi-author series by Musa Publishing.

The Wiccan Haus is a magical island enshrouded in fog supposedly off the coast of Maine. Good luck finding it on a map, though. It’s run by four siblings. Sage and Cemil are known as “the light ones,” not just for their light complexion but for their sunny, positive demeanor. Cyrus and Sarka, on the other hand, are known as “the dark ones” and can be more than a bit surly on occasion.

Cyrus, in particular, comes with a truckload of baggage. He has a “retro-cog” ability that allows him to see the history of an object just by touching it. Sounds cool, right? Until everyone starts bringing items to him to touch and he has no idea what grisly image is going to flood his brain next. Until the Synidcate government uses him as a one-man crime-solving machine. Until government enemies decide he must be stopped and kill three of his sisters in an attempt on his life.

So, the Syndicate gave Cyrus and his remaining siblings the Wiccan Haus island as compensation, and they retreated there for both safety and healing.

Armando Verdad, who possesses the truth-finding power, stepped up to take Cyrus’s place in the government. When Armando touches a person who is speaking, their words mentally play back in his head followed by the word “truth” or “lie.” Not quite as amazing as Cyrus’s power, perhaps, but Armando is determined to prove his power is capable of solving crimes and protecting the Syndicate.

The Syndicate Commander’s daughter has just been murdered on her wedding night. If Armando cracks this high-profile case before the police do, he will save his truth-finding department and prove his power is equal to Cyrus’s. So, he follows the victim’s lifebond Vetter to the Wiccan Haus. He’s sure she’s hiding something, and he’s going to figure out exactly what and bring her to justice.

The Wiccan Haus: Psychic Lies

Fiona must keep her ability to read minds during sex a secret from those determined to exploit her, especially a sexy truth-finding investigator who needs her psychic power to save his job.


Fiona has spent her life hiding her sexual mind-reading power at the risk of being exploited by the government. Instead, she pretends to have lifebond vetting powers like the rest of her family. When her fake power results in the death of an innocent woman, her life of lies unravels and she retreats to the Wiccan Haus.

Armando is the head of the Department of Truth-Finding for the Syndicate. To prove his unit’s worth to the government, he follows Fiona to the Wiccan Haus to expose her as an infiltrator of an enemy faction. The truth about Fiona is even more valuable to his people and his career.

Fiona uses her power to seduce Armando and stop his plans to betray her. But nothing is strong enough to keep her from falling in love with this man whose power threatens to destroy her. Now she must trust him, not only with her life and her psychic lies, but also her heart.

Nell Dixon: The Cinderella Substitute

Welcome writer Nell Dixon to the blog today! Take it away, Nell:

The Cinderella Substitute was the first book I ever sold. Originally it was out with Moonlit Romance another specialist sweet romance publisher. It sold well, garnered great reviews and made the shortlist for several awards. Then my publisher folded.

Audiolark produced it as an audiobook and I waited for the right time and the right publisher to come along, polish it up and re-introduce my firstborn back to the e book world. I’m thrilled to say Astraea Press loved The Cinderella Substitute and now it’s out once more in the big wide world.

Here’s the blurb! In the two years since the tragic car crash that killed his fiancée, Nathanial (Nate) Mayer has successfully avoided another relationship. His family and especially his twin sister Nathalie are worried. Jennifer (Jenni) Blake is Nate’s personal assistant. Hired after the accident, she has her own problems to deal with, including the deaths of her adoptive parents and the debts incurred by their nursing care. But those difficulties pale into insignificance when Jenni finally traces her birth mother…

Nate jabbed the buzzer on his desk for the third time. Where

on earth was Jenni? He paced up and down the room, glaring at the

closed office door.

What could be keeping her? Today of all days he needed to get

going, finish up the job in hand, and escape. Away from the

sympathetic glances of his employees and the murmured

conversations which stopped abruptly whenever he came within


He opened the door to her office and saw her in her usual

seat behind the curved ash desk. So why hasn’t she answered the

buzzer? He crossed the pale green carpet in a couple of paces. As he

got closer to her, he knew something was wrong. Her back was

towards him and her shoulders quivered.


He moved round the desk to take a better look. A pile of

post lay unopened in front of her, one envelope still secured in her

slim fingers.

“What’s the matter? Are you ill?”

Nate couldn’t imagine why his super-efficient personal

secretary appeared to be having some kind of breakdown. Jenni

never broke down. She had insisted on returning to work after only

a few days’ leave after her adoptive mother died.

She shook her head and he caught a glimpse of tears on her

pale face. For a split second he wondered if Jenni had developed

some kind of sympathy scenario for him based on the office

rumour mill. He dismissed that idea as quickly as it had arisen.

One of his main reasons for employing Jenni had been her complete

lack of interest in gossip and speculation.

“I’m all right.” She wiped the tears away from under her

glasses with shaking fingers.

Nate sighed. “Well you don’t look it,” he remarked. In fact,

now he came to think of it, Jenni looked positively unwell.

“You’re not doing one of those faddy diets?” He hoped he’d

hit on the right answer. It had to be something like that.

She blinked with astonishment and glared at him. “No!”

Nate settled back onto the edge of her desk and folded his

arms. He’d have to think again now his first theory had been shot

out of the water.

© Nell Dixon 2012

Nate is very much a tormented hero with a dark secret but Jenni has secrets of her own and for all her shyness and drab exterior she is quite a feisty, independent girl.

Available as audiobook from Audiolark or from all good etailers, it’s a Christmas story with a difference. I hope you’ll love this story as much as I do.

You can read about the rest of the Mayer family and their love lives in Be My Hero and Dangerous to Know also available from good etailers!