Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Are Your Goals SMART?

(Day three of goals revisited. SMART goals are what can turn a To Do list into concrete, achievable goals! How smart is that?)

Go to your favorite search engine.

Type in something like goals, or goal setting, or goals worksheet.

Become overwhelmed by the number of sites devoted to goals.

How do you know which is best? What works? Should I pay for that book/download/podcast? Why even bother?

I'm not going to answer any of those questions for anyone but myself. Nor should I even try. Like our goals are individual, so are our ways of decision making, creating, listing and sharing.  And sometimes it takes a few trial and error moments to find what works.

There are, however, some constants in good goal setting. One of the best ways is to make your goals SMART goals. Here are some of the meanings for the acronyms.

S - specific, significant, stretching
M - measurable, meaningful, motivational
A - agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
R - realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T - time-based, timely, tangible, trackable

I think, perhaps I'll talk about these further in the next few days. That sounds like a good way to finish up some of these last 100 days posts.

(Wow...I looked back and I really did do a post a day for 100 days. I really like 100 day challenges. I'll have to give myself -- and others -- some in 2015. What can you do in/for 100 days?)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Focusing on Goals and...Oooh, Shiny!

(Day two of past posts on goals. From the first sentence you can see how long ago I first wrote this. Time doesn't change the impact of these words. I am SO guilty of making long lists of goals. And even longer lists of how to achieve these goals. So, my first small goal for 2015 is to follow the advice I wrote about all those years ago. What about you? Will you join me?)

I was asked last night what my writing goals for 2011 are. My honest answer--I haven't really thought that much about them yet. I need to do the review work I talked about here a few days ago. (Yesterday's post is here.)

One thing I do's really easy to make this long list of goals, both professional and personal. But then, when you look at that list, it can be oh so daunting. Scary. Overwhelming. OMG, I can't do all this.

Take a long, serious time of consideration when you look at your goals for the coming year. It's fine to have a detailed list, but how do you focus on the whole thing!

You can't. Goal ADD doesn't work. Skipping from one to another because the new goal is so much more--interesting? Easy to accomplish?--doesn't work. Choose two or three goals--no more! Put your focus, your full attention on these objectives until you've completed them. Look at them every day. Even better, write them down every day. There is something in the act of writing something down that makes it real. Seriously considered these goals--every day. Every day!

Taking the simple action of consistently focusing on just a couple goals will inspire you to success!

So. Make your list of goals. Choose the two most important. And Focus!

Monday, December 29, 2014

(A few years ago I wrote a number of short posts on goals for another blog. Now that it's time to focus on goals for 2015, I thought I'd repost these a reminder to myself! And anyone else who needs a kick in the goals pants. So...have you worked on your goals yet?)

The end of this year approaches, and of course, that means a new year beginning. And for those who set goals (and that should be everyone!) the new year means new goals written in the back of our desk calendars. Or on a sheet tacked to the bulletin board. Or in a document on your computer. As long as they're written down somewhere you can look at them and be reminded.

Now is a really good time to review your 2014 goals. Seriously consider those goals, the actions you took to achieve them and how they compare to what you envisioned as the result. Look at each goal separately. What did you do well? What could have been done better?

Most importantly, consider what prevented you from accomplishing an incomplete goal. Is there a price you weren't willing to pay or changes you weren't willing to consider to make the goal happen?

Are your goals still important to you? We are constantly and continually changing beings. What we want, or think we want, changes along with us. Do you continue to put a goal on your list because you think you should--or is it something you really want?

Use these last days of December to reflect on this year's goals. Then when you turn your calendar to the first of January, you'll be better able to achieve your new goals.

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's Not a Christmas Song

You know how there are minor, insignificant things in the world that irritate the heck out of you--for no reason. Well, that's how I feel about the song "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music. No, I don't dislike the song at all (that's reserved for "Frosty the Snowman"). It's just despite the number of versions and times it's played over the holidays, the song IS NOT a Christmas song. I don't care if the lyrics mention warm woolen mittens and packages tied up with string. Not a Christmas song in my world.

Okay, enough crankiness. So, what brought on this tiny rant from a inch high soapbox? Addictive Reads is having a holiday event. And during the event some of our authors are talking about our some of our favorite holiday things. Here are some of mine...

Holiday music. Like this. Now, this is Christmas music!

I love giving gifts--getting them, not so much.
Hallmark movies. Yep, I'll even watch them in July.
Watching the kids at school practice their Christmas program. I try to catch the dress rehearsal, since there's limited room during the performance.
Ooh shiny trees and decorations when someone else puts them up.
Fudge. Enough said.
Gatherings with friends and family.

There's more, many more favorite things about the Holidays, but we're only supposed to list a few. Do follow the links below to discover more favorites from Addictive Reads Authors. And here's the scoop on our event and giveaways.

Happy Holidays!

From December 12-31, 2014, we’re hosting a giveaway where you have the chance to win a Kindle Fire HD 7 pre-loaded with over 30 of our novels, novellas, and short stories (an approx. retail value of $239). Click on the side banner for more information!

We’re also offering up $50, $20, and $15 gift cards as prizes. The winners will be able to choose to receive their gift cards from Amazon, iTunes, B&N, or Google Play. (Note: Winners for the gift cards will be selected from world wide entries. Unfortunately due to the cost of shipping overseas, the grand prize will be limited to U.S. entries only.)

Our authors have each posted about A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE THINGS on their individual blogs. We hope you’ll join us there and tell us about your favorite part of the holidays. You just might find even more prizes up for grabs at some of those sites! Follow the Links below.

And if you have a minute, leave a comment about some of your favorite things for this holiday season!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Doxies for 2015!

Every year I receive a dachshund calendar for my birthday from my brother. Today is that day! 

calendar is from brown trout
I use this calendar as part of my writing routine--recording words written, deadlines, events relating to books and writing, notes for current and future works, books I've read, oh, all kinds of stuff. In the past I've given myself stickers for celebrations--and I think that would be a grand thing to begin again this year.  Bonus for this year--the pages aren't coated and shiny, which should make it much easier to write in without smearing. I hate smeary writing...sometimes it's difficult enough to read what I've written without any extra blurring.'s a 16 month calendar that I can start using right now!

Okay, so for the rest of the year I'll have two doxie calendars on my desk. I can't miss any of the great photographs. Below is one that caught my eye as I thumbed through the new planner. So cuuuute! And look--there's lots of spaces for notes for each week as well.

So, how about you? Do you use a calendar or desk planner? Do you look for something different each year, or are you like me and stick with what works for you? (I've tried other calendars that I've loved to look at, but for using consistently to keep my writing more or less on track? It's got to be the dachshunds!)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

"Why Drag?" asks the Queen

You know those times when you wake up early, but basically refuse to get out of bed--because it's early? Then you lay there and the thoughts just meander in and out of your head? And you end up wondering, what the hell?

Yeah, it was one of those mornings. Here's only part of the internal riot.
Captain Kangaroo and Cinderelly...

 Sure, they go together. Back in the days of black and white Captain, he dressed as Cinderella and danced around with mops and brooms to the song from the Disney movie. Really. I remember loving it.

So this morning, I wondered if this television event colored my world view and led to my joy and adoration of drag queens.

Really? That's what the Sunday morning brain came up with?

Such is a peek into the mind of a writer. The Queen part? That has nothing to do with drag queens. A few special ladies have named me their queen, and so, queen I must be. :)

Now, I really should write a story about an Amazon. In space. With an attorney. And Ru Paul.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Digital Book Day--uh oh.

327 ebooks free for one day only.
And...everyone wants one, or two, or 327.
We broke the internet....
From CJ Lyons, our organizing wonder:
We're victims of our own success--too many folks trying to access the site at once. The webhost assures me that folks should get through, they might just need to check back once things calm down.

They gave me info on how to prevent this in the future, but there's nothing we can do now except carry on.

Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pug Puppies and Training Dragons

Every once and awhile, one must post cute kittens or puppies. Isn't it a law of the interwebs?

So, for your Wednesday enjoyment--the pug puppy version of How to Train Your Dragon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

For Cheryl St. John...Let It Go!

Simply because she said, "What, no more versions of Let it Go?"

(I think Julie is my favorite.)

And yes, I've got more.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Addictive Summer Reads

One of the questions authors are always asked is where our ideas and inspirations come from. I know I've answered that here on starrwords before, but insights and ideas have been flowing well this summer. I have an over abundance, so I thought I'd share.

Rather than going on about new ideas (like how wonders can become lessons in a galaxies wide search for a mythical beast), how about some of the inspirations for my latest release--which just happens to be on sale during this Addictive Reads Summer Event. (See how smoothly I slipped that in?)

 Blue Keltic Moon is the first book in a new series, picking up the family saga about 20 years after the final book of the Double Keltic Triad. So, some of my inspiration was built in--because I knew the characters and what they needed to do. But people (human, fey, it doesn't matter) change in 20 years, so they surprised me at times. A lot of times.

That surprise led to new ideas and connections--because I thrive on making connections between stories, and series. That's probably why the world between worlds is so important to a number of my tales. A multitude of worlds and universes find connection there. The vast and differing landscapes are the home to more creatures than I've yet discovered. Who knows how many tales may find some spark of inspiration there. I certainly don't!

Music plays a huge part in both my creative and writing processes. Different types of music, or just one line of lyrics can spark a character's dreams, desires or actions. Part of the musical inspiration for this book came from Celtic bands--because it is a Keltic book, ya know. Music from India and Egypt for the hero. Probably the biggest influence was Mad World (Roland Orzabal)--the cover by Adam Lambert on American Idol. Hmm, that's an interesting combination.

Now for the fun stuff. Blue Keltic Moon is one of many great books on sale during the Addictive Reads Summer event! Follow the Linky below to visit other AR authors. You might even find some fun giveaways. Head to our event page (click on the banner above) to be entered in chances to win Amazon gift cards or Paypal cash! 

Click here to sign up for my newsletter: News from the starr! New subscribers earn 2 entries in my drawing for a summer fun stretchy bracelet--your choice of colors! Current subscribers, leave a note in the comments and let me know and you'll get one entry.

A little bit about Blue Keltic Moon  

Duty before love. As much as Breanna’s heart protested, Gowthaman would have to wait until she returned with the rescued Alfar-Sindhu prince.
Love before self. Following Breanna into the World Between Worlds, Gowthaman faces the pains of his past, risks his intellect, his sanity and his life. For her.
Destiny before all. In the time of the blue Keltic moon.

It’s been twenty years since Morghan, leader of the Alfar-Sindhu, became trapped in the desolate World Between Worlds and once again blue moons are aligning in a multitude of worlds.
Breanna has loved Gowthaman forever, but as one of the Faerie race, he continually claims their age difference is too great. Yet the soulfire shows he loves her as well. To help her family, she must set aside her emotions to lead a rescue mission to the World Between Worlds. She and her group will face the unknown and bring Morghan home.
Even devoting his life to the Fey library hasn’t saved Gowthaman from the agonies of his past, and the long moments he spent in the World Between Worlds. Now, the woman he loves stands ready to lead a rescue party into that cursed place, and only he holds the knowledge to take them there...and, with luck, safely return with the prince. The risk to his mind...doesn’t matter as long as he keeps Breanna from harm.
The World Between Worlds. Can a place filled with despair and loss also be a discovery of love and redemption? Perhaps... only under the blue Keltic moon.
And of course, the buy links for the sale!    
Visit these Addictive Reads authors!


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Celebrate Summer with #AREBLAST

My little friend Dale (who is, yes, sitting on a chip of the buffalo variety) is here to announce the first special event of the summer.

Since it's the first official day of summer, All Romance Ebooks is having a BLAST! Tons of summer reading is on sale. Ah! Books...

Sorry, fell into that wonderful place where there are new worlds and lots of love to discover.

As my part of this great way to add more and more to our TBR stacks, all six of the Double Keltic Triad are 50% off. (Yeah, this is one of those 'selling' posts. They have to happen occasionally. Shame of it all.)

Follow the links below to pick up any of the Double Triad you may have missed. Or just head on over to All Romance Ebooks and put #AREBLAST in the search box. Be prepared for an onslaught of great reading options! The Authors thank you!

By Keltic Design
Fires of a Keltic Moon
Keltic Flight
Wild Keltic Carouselle
Keltic Dreams
A Faire Keltic Renaissance

Watch for the first book from The Children of the Keltic Triad releasing later this month. 

Have fun and happy reading!

Joyous Solstice!

Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know about releases, events and news from the starr! New subscribers in June will be entered in a drawing for either a free download or a fun summer bracelet! Click to subscribe.

Monday, April 28, 2014

I can't let it go...

And neither can Arthur Darvill--who played one of my favorites on Doctor Who. Oh wait, maybe he can!

The Ballad of Arthur Darvill for your enjoyment.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What does it mean to be free?

No, I'm not having philosophical or political thoughts. I'm talking about FREE books and reading. Okay, my free short story to be precise.

Free reads and short stories in general are an excellent way to try out new authors and genres. Often shorter tales give an author the chance to tell a supporting character's story or add background and dimension to characters and worlds. Sometimes there's just a tale to be told and it doesn't take so many words.

Dead Lily Blooms (originally appearing in the anthology Tales From The Mist) now makes an solitary appearance as a free ebook. Part of an upcoming series of stories At Death's Gates, Dead Lily is a paranormal romance. Perhaps a bit different from my fantasy romances, but...not so much.

Someone wants vampyre Lily dead, and a bargain with Death has been struck. Death sends servant Agaar to bring Lily to him, but the task becomes more complicated than either Death or Agaar anticipated.

So, got a free hour? Want to discover *lizzie starr? And all for free? Download Dead Lily Blooms from these retailers:


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Let Vivaldi's Winter Go!

Ah, Thursday. A great day for music. With it's popularity, there's a chance that I could be a little tired of Let It Go. (But just a small chance, mind you.) But I'll never get tired of The Piano Guys! Or Vivaldi.

So here's an excellent smash up for today...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

THE New Readers' Site!

ADDICTIVE READS is a group of twenty-three authors who have banded together to bring you books from all genres. Our goal is to provide you with well-written and entertaining reads. I'm proud, delighted, and somewhat amazed to be a part of this talented group.
Most are award-winning and several of our authors are New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors.
Take a few minutes to look around our site. Each author has an individual page with all of their books listed, along with their social media links. We also have genre pages where you can find books in just about any genre you enjoy. 
And we have FREE ebooks for you, as well as collections (anthologies and box sets) from Addictive Reads authors.
As a thank you for checking us out, we're holding a giveaway. You can enter through Friday, April 4, 2014. Winners will be announced, Saturday, April 5th.
We're giving away one $25 Amazon Gift Card, one $20 Amazon Gift Card, and one bundle of eBooks from Addictive Reads Authors, including one from me! Take another look at the gorgeous covers on the banner at the top of this post! 
§  LET'S SCARE CANCER TO DEATH Anthology (Horror) with short stories by Rhonda Hopkins & Gregory Carrico
§  EVIDENCE OF TRUST (Romantic Suspense) by Stacey Joy Netzel
§  DEADLY OBSESSION (Romantic Suspense) by Kristine Cayne
§  ETERNITY OF ROSES (Paranormal Romance) by Natalie G. Owens
§  BIRDS DO IT! (Contemporary Romance) by *lizzie starr
§  AIR: MERLIN'S CHALICE (Fantasy) by Meredith Bond
§  ANGEL OF DEATH (Fantasy) by Anna Erishkigal
§  WANING MOON (YA Dystopian) by P.J. Sharon
§  TRUST NO ONE (Suspense) by Diana Layne
§  ALWAYS REMEMBER (Contemporary Romance) by Sheila Seabrook
§  STARS, LOVE AND PIROUETTES  (Contemporary Romance) by Alicia & Roy Street
§  REVENGE (Romantic Suspense) by Dana Delamar 
§  SOME ENCHANTED WALTZ (Time Travel Romance) by Lily Silver

To enter the giveaway, just go to our ADDICTIVE READS site and follow the prompts in the Rafflecopter near the bottom of the post for your chance to win one of the prizes! Click the banner to get there quick as a bunny!

We hope you'll visit with us often and connect with us on our social media sites. We enjoy talking with our readers.
Thank you for being part of our reading family!
*Please note: If any of the winners do not respond within five days, we may select a new winner and the original winner will forfeit any prize.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Photo credit: alexfrance from

If you flip this picture so the moon cups the other way, you'll have this morning's moon on the way to work. I love the moon.

The sky to the east was just beginning the barest lightening of color to herald the sunrise. And I got to thinking about how, at the end of a program at the planetarium, they lighten the horizon, showing off the silhouettes of buildings and trees, letting the sun rise on a new day. I love planetariums.

It's been a long time since I've gone to a program. Technology and what we know about space has changed. (Yeah, it's been a long, LONG time.) Planetarium programs have changed, too, to show us this new knowledge and far distant aspects of space in brilliant, simulated colors. 

But today I hunger for an old-fashioned planetarium show. The voice from behind the control panel explaining the sights overhead. The stars in simple glory as they appear here in Nebraska. Or in South America. Or the North Pole. A simple light points out each star as the sparkling dots are connected to create animals, heroes and gods that peoples named so long ago. Then it's fun to see an image overlaid--although my imagination has no problem performing that task itself! And how the stars move in a night, a month, a year.

And yes, I'm wishing for the gentle music signaling the sun.

There's a planetarium at the museum in my home town. So we had plenty of school field trips and summer excursions there. Perhaps that's where my love of space, stars and the moon began. How about you? Do you have any favorite planetarium memories?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

BEAT IT - Misty Mountains Jackson Mix (Full Version)

It;s been awhile since I've shared a parody. Well, this isn't really a parody, more like a really, really cool cover.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Read an Ebook Week 2014

Anytime is great for reading an ebook, but this week is even better. There's a wealth of free and specially reduced price books at Smashwords this week...

...including four tales from The Double Keltic Triad.  

By Keltic Design is free for the week! Fires of a Keltic Moon, Keltic Flight, and Wild Keltic Carouselle are all at 50% off! 

Stop by my author page at Smashwords for links to each book and their coupon code. Or click on the covers below to go directly to that page. Can't be any simpler than that! And I love simple.

And of course there's a virtual library as Smashwords where you can lose yourself while discovering books to thrill your soul. It's a good thing.

Now, if you will excuse me...I've got to go read an ebook! Have a great Read an Ebook Week everyone.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Lunch Lady's Day

I thought you might like to see what part of my day was like yesterday, so here's a photo journey of our main dish--Pigs in a Blanket.

The 'pigs', all 240 of them.

And the thawed whole grain roll dough for the blankets. 

An hour later, despite the usual interruptions, this is what the beauties looked like. I actually enjoy prepping items like this. The repetition leads to a contemplative state where book thoughts flourish. This was a busy day. Characters from three books are vying for my attention. So that contemplative state isn't so quiet.

Baking time--a few trays at a time...

Finally, in the hot box and service time. A banner day--only one pig un-blanketed itself during baking!

And so ends another day in the kitchen. Well, not really. There's a ton of clean up after the meal. And paperwork. And prep for the next day. And... well, I'm sure you get the idea.