Tuesday, May 19, 2009

MaYo? So, how is everyone doing with MaYo? Okay, Kathi - that's enough out of you! :) Kathi managed to get over 100K DONE! She's still got two more weeks so I'll expect another two full book manuscripts!

I've heard from several people and they are more or less in the same word length as me. May is just too BUSY to keep up with all that writing. I'm about at 12K which is good. Even if I don't finish my goal of 20K, I'm happy to have a start on all new words for a short manuscript. The whole book - short chapter book - is plotted and coming along well. I'm hoping to take it on vacation and do some tweaking.

Congratulations to one of my crit partners - Diana! Diana finaled not once but TWICE in the Genesis contest. Way to go, Diana!

I'm still waiting for my scoresheets to see where I might have gone "wrong." But, I've come to a realization that no matter what the judges found, it's just someone else's opinion on my work. Even last year when I did final, I didn't find all that much I could or was willing to change in the manuscript. Most of the comments were either something that didn't need changing or reflected someone's personal pet peeve or something they'd just learned in a class. I even found this with the final round judging which surprised me. Judges are just people and they bring their own predjudices, likes and dislikes into the judging arena.

While I think that I try NOT to do this myself - judged in two contests this spring - I find myself having to step aside and say, "okay, I don't exactly agree with this but am I putting too much of me into the judging?" Although sometimes I will inject a little aside to the author but I don't let it count on the scores.

So, I'm looking forward to seeing what the three judges had to say about my venture into historical romance. I know from past experiences that all three will probably have differing opinons on what worked and what didn't. That's the most frustrating thing about contests to me.
Guess my score sheet for the Genesis isn't too bad. I finalded and won second place my first year and didn't show at all in my second attempt. Since this will be my last year to be eligible for entering, I guess it's not too bad.
I am more than ready for the end of school - Leaves - anyway on May 29th. The boys and I will be finishing up our boxed curriculum for a few more weeks - maybe until time to leave for vacation. Time to figure out what books and projects I want to take along.
Hope everyone has a great two weeks as we wrap up MaYo!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Worried about the economy? Welcome to this blog tour for the upcoming book: Learning to Live Financially Free! You'll read a little about the book and the authors - Marybeth and Curt Whalen. (Photo is of the Whalen family.)

So enjoy the tour as I welcome Marybeth and Curt Whalen!

About the Book:

(North Carolina) - The fear and reality of tough economic times, foreclosures, bailouts, bankruptcies and falling stocks strike fear in the hearts of many Americans today. With investors, newscasters and bankers giving advice, who can you trust? Marybeth and Curt Whalen share their financial successes and failures in their new book, Learning to Live Financially Free: Hard-Earned Wisdom for Saving Your Marriage & Your Money. If a family parenting six children can get out of debt and live financially free, anyone can. The Whalens readily admit they made their share of mistakes the first ten years of marriage. Becoming more disciplined and intentional in spending and saving helped them learn valuable lessons for better financial stewardship--lessons you'll want to learn too.

Learning to Live Financially Free not only focuses on building a stronger financial understanding in the home, but also encourages couples to communicate, thus building better, stronger marriages. The Whalens clearly comprehend the need for careful money management and commitment in marriage. Money-strapped families will find peace of mind as they begin the process of becoming financially responsible and debt-free.

Marybeth and Curt Whalen know what it's like to juggle marriage, kids and money. Their new book will encourage readers to manage their money and marriage more effectively.

About the Authors

Marybeth Whalen is a speaker and contributing writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries. The author of For the Write Reason, Marybeth has also written for Parent Life, Money Matters newsletter, The Old Schoolhouse, Hearts at Home magazine, and Homeschooling Today. She contributes regularly to the daily online devotions of Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Curt Whalen is a trained financial counselor through Crown Financial Concepts. He has years of experience helping couples establish budgets, solve financial problems, and learn to communicate more effectively. He has written articles for TEACH Magazine and Money Matters Newsletter and has contributed to books by authors Lysa TerKeurst and Melanie Chitwood.

Are You A Financially Focused Couple?

Instructions: Give yourself 1 point for every "yes" answer, 0 points for every "no."1.Do you have regular budget meetings?2.Do you communicate about daily expenses?3.Do you discuss large purchases before they're made?4.Does each spouse have an equal vote about money decisions?5.Have you planned for your future through life insurance and a will?6.Do you agree about tithing and giving?7.Can you both list out your debts, including the amounts and monthly payment for each account?8.Do you have a plan that was written together for paying off debt and saving money?9.Do you encourage each other to save money?10.Have you discussed the spending habits and attitudes about money that you carried into the marriage?
Tally up your score and use the guide to the right to see what category you fall into.
0-2 points: Don't get discouraged. There's nowhere to go from here except up! 3-5 points: You are taking steps towards being a financially focused couple.. Keep working together and you will get there.6-8 points: You are almost 100% financially focused. Keep up the good work and get intentional about those trouble spots.9-10 points: You are a financially focused couple and could show us all a thing or two! Consider sharing your wisdom with other couples who are struggling in today's uncertain times.
Tomorrow we'll look at ten secrets to saving money!


Thursday, May 07, 2009

MaYo Day Seven -- So how is everyone doing so far? This marks the first week of pounding those keyboards. I'm up to 4900 words which is good. Only 16,000 to go to reach my 20K goal - more or less. :) So much has been going on I haven't had a lot of time to work on writing fiction.

Yesterday I took one of my writing days to read and reflect. Sat in the car while the boys were in school and read two books. It was a lovely rainy day so no one bothered to stop and chat. Except for a dash into the library to check email and another dash into a store for something to go with my ham sandwich - I just let the day float by.

Don't know how refreshing it was ---LOL! Didn't get any great revelations of plots or how to fix my current projects, but I had a good time.

Everyone check out a first for me. I'm a GUEST BLOGGER at my friend, Patty's website -- http://www.thewritingacademy.blogspot.com/ Head on over and se what a "Six Year Old Taught me about Writing."
I'm in the midst of several projects so more later.