January, Accomplishments, Just Where Will I Be?: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

The 11th of January already. We’re in full winter here. It freezes overnight and we need to take in the hummingbird feeder to keep it liquid for the couple of little guys who are over-wintering. The birdbath also must be cleared of ice in the morning for the flocks of birds who come for water. It hasn’t really rained here for months and this part of Arizona is in a severe drought. The water we provide is a life saver for the birds and chipmunks who frequent it. This week my husband captured a pic of western bluebirds at the bath. This hasn’t happened very often before. Another signal, I think, of the drought. I hope your winter is going well and everyone is staying safe from the pandemic and warm and cozy inside.

What have I accomplished, writing wise, this last week? I applied for an interview on TheAuthorShow.com. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for years now and just never made time to do it. Now I have. I’m waiting for word on whether I’m approved as a subject and if so, when I am scheduled to record the interview, and then show it. I have received word from another author and artist, Laurie Fagen, of AZ Creates, a podcast, that I’ve been accepted for an interview on her show. That will be in May and I’ll get the date and time up on my website soon. Another author, Brenda Whiteside, (a mystery author!), has set up a blog interview on her page for March. That will be March 3rd, and more info will be coming out on that soon. Both Laurie and Brenda’s interviews were requested in December. But fun for me, scheduled for this year. I’m excited about them all.

As I mentioned last week, I was going to be updating any front and back matter in my Gulliver Station series this month. Well, I did. But by the time I got through all three versions(paper, Amazon, Smashwords) of all four books, I was a bit fuzzy headed. I now need to go back and and make sure I have all the correct links in all of the right books. Then on to the next step, load the new versions up on Amazon and Smashwords. These will not be new editions, as I haven’t changed the interior stories in any significant way. They just now link one book to the next and at the last book, to my Brown Rain series. I suppose I should update those next. Sigh. Work is never done.

I also, last week, updated my Pinterest page to a business page. You can find it at https://www.pinterest.com/conniecockrell/. Stop in and take a look around. Fun reading stuff can be found on my Pages & Ink board. Enjoy your new found reading!


The Christmas giveaway is still live! There’s a $75 Grand Prize of Paypal cash and 30 other prizes. Check out the link at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

Where will I Be?

Unfortunately, I’m self-isolating, so right now there are no scheduled in-person events for me for now. But as I mentioned above, I have my interview with Brenda Whiteside on Wednesday March 3rd on her blog, https://brendawhiteside.com/blog

On May 13th at 2pm Arizona time, I’ll be on the podcast with Laurie Fagan on her show, AZ Creates. It’s a lovely podcast and as soon as I have the link, for my interview, I’ll put it up. In the meantime enjoy her show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teajmtQ4-90&feature=youtu.be. Note, Karen Landau is a mystery author right here in my town! How great is that!

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Newest Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. You can also see all my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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It’s January So That Means Goals!

Goals! Of course. It’s the start of the year and yep, I do have a list of things in mind to help guide myself along my writer’s course in 2016. You’ll note that I’m only talking about writing goals. I could put a lot of other goals in here but that would lead to chaos. Let’s just stick to the writing goals.

  1. Goal: Start an author interview post on my website for 2X per month.

Note: I began this process in November when I put out a call for authors who’d like to be interviewed. I posted the first interview on January 13th, one of our own Forward Motion authors, B. C. Mathews. I loved how she answered the interview questions. You can see that interview here.

  1. Goal: Submit stories to newspapers/magazines about my appearances before and after each appearance.

The thinking here is that this goal is one of several to help me increase my readers. It’s hard for most readers to find new authors. This is one way I can help increase my visibility.

  1. Goal: Publish 6 books in 2016

I had this as a goal for 2015 and only published two books. This year, though, I already have two books in the editing process, one book finished and resting before editing, and another book about 2/3 finished. I also want to do a collection, probably science fiction, of pieces I really loved and posted on my blog. I’d have to select those stories, polish them up or maybe even expand them, and then edit and publish. That leaves one more book. I’d like to do a Christmas book. I may draft that at the April Camp NaNo. I’ll see what I can think of between January and the end of March.

  1. Goal: Participate in the April and July Camp NaNo’s and in the November NaNo

I mentioned the April Camp NaNo in goal 3. But I like to do the July camp and the November NaNo as well. After all, I have to have something to publish in 2017, don’t I!

  1. Goal: Produce a Christmas Book this year.

Again, see goal number 3. I love to read Christmas stories. Aside from A Visit from St. Nick, the first Christmas story I remember was The Gift of the Magi, by O’Henry. I read that story in grade school and it always stuck with me. It’s become my yardstick for what a good Christmas story is all about.

  1. Goal: Submit a story to the 2016 FM Anthology.

This is one of those goals that may be out of my control. If Forward Motion doesn’t have a 2016 anthology, I want to submit a story to some other anthology. In any event, it will get done.

  1. Goal: Complete the Holly Lisle World Building class and the How to Write A Series Expanded class

This is another one that may be out of my control. The How to Write a Series class is dependent upon Holly Lisle’s health and her ability to finish writing the class. The other one, the World Building class, that one is within my control. So, it’s up to me to schedule the time to improve my writing!

  1. Goal: Submit at least 20 stories to contests/magazines in 2016

I might have been ambitious here. However, I have already subbed: Bell Ring, Rest (a poem), The Reunion, and Eavesdroppers, to various magazines. My stories Gold Dream and After Math were subbed in late December so I’m counting them for 2016 as well. That makes 6 stories out by mid-January. Not a bad start.

  1. Goal: Participate in May Story A Day

May Story A Day is a writing challenge on the Forward Motion site. We can try for a story every day of May or set ourselves a goal. My usual goal is twelve stories. That way I can write short stories instead of just flash stories and I have a pool of stories to apply to number 8!

  1. Goal: Increase speaking appearances and opportunities to sell my books to 12.

This goal works hand in hand with number 2. I’m trying to expand the number of readers of my books.

  1. Goal: Participate in the Payson Book Festival as an author.

This goal is a no-brainer. I’m the organizer of the event. Unless I’m deathly ill, I’ll be there.

You’ll notice I don’t have the goals in chronological order. I put them down as I thought about them. It doesn’t bother me that they’re not in order. I’ll get to all of them sooner or later. How about you? Do you have a few goals for 2016? What’s driving them? I’d love to hear your comments.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, traveling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara.