Posted in holidays, New Year's

Welcoming 2021 with Hopes, Dreams, and Goals

This has been a tough year, and one that we were all glad to see end.

In my holiday blog post (https://wp.me/p6m4z7-2W6)  I spoke about some challenges and triumphs I’ve encountered this past year. For New Year’s, I’d like to share my goals for 2021 and would love to hear yours. Goals are hopes and dreams put into action and are more important than resolutions because they’re within our control. Here are my top 3:

Goal 1: Diet and Exercise:

I’ve been on the Jenny Craig diet for several years now and have been exercising daily with Leslie Sansone’s Walk-at-Home videos; and, although I’m over 70 pounds lower than when I started, I’d still like to lose at least 15 pounds more. The holidays are a tough time to diet, and I’m a big snacker. I enjoy sweets especially chocolates. While I don’t expect to lose much over the winter, I’ve signed up for a virtual fitness challenge from a company called Run the Edge. My challenge, Run the Year 2021, is a year-long exercise challenge beginning January 1st where participants can run, walk, or step their way to a goal they set from 1,000 to 2021 “miles.” In December I’d also participated in the Run from 2020–Zoom into 2021 Challenge to run/walk 100 miles until January 1st. I came in 4th place out of 156 virtual participants with 131.01 miles walked. It’s a great motivation to keep fit.

Goal 2: Writing Projects

I have a ton of writing projects in various stages of development. I’ve recently resurrected a time-travel novel that I would like to edit and publish. I’m also considering a sequel to Sea Scope which was so well received and won a silver medal from Reader’s Favorite and placed as a finalist in TopShelf Magazine’s 2020 Awards contest (the eBook is on sale for 99 cents until January 3). Of course, I have plans for a 6th Cobble Cove cozy mystery, although I may publish a spring Sneaky the Library Cat story first. I may also try my hand at another non-fiction book after Pet Posts: The Cat Chats. I have an idea for this but will keep it to myself for now, although I can say that it will involve cats.

Goal 3: Continuing Education

As a librarian and an author, I know the value of lifetime learning. I’m hoping to take more online writing courses and attend virtual and, if available, in-person conferences. In addition, I’ll be leading a Zoom writing group for my library called First Draft Writer’s Club that kicks off this January and a virtual book club called Fun with Fiction that will feature monthly reading themes. I plan to share information from those groups in upcoming posts. In February, Long Island University’s Alumni Association, has asked me to host a one-hour zoom writing workshop, From Blogs to Books: Publishing for Pleasure or Profit, where I’ll be discussing various types of writing and publishingThe writing group, book club, and workshop will be open to all but will require registration. I’ll post details about them in a future blog and share on my Facebook author page.

Thank you all for your support this year. I wish you a happy, safe, and healthy New Year, and best wishes for accomplishing all your goals for 2021.

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Limitless Publishing, Solstice Publishing

Looking Back to 2016 and Forward to 2017

When the year ends, it’s very common for people to reflect on what they accomplished in the previous twelve months and what they’d like to achieve in the future. As I look back at 2016, I realize how blessed I’ve been both personally and professionally. Not only did I publish my third book and several short stories, but I wrote two other novels that I hope to publish in 2017. More importantly, I’ve made many new friends among fellow authors and readers and strengthened the friendships I already had. My family and library co-workers have been supportive of my endeavors, and I’ve begun to actually feel like an author and not someone whose hobby is writing. 2016year

debbiehicksvilleMy year in review starts in January 2016 when I gave my first author talk at the Hicksville Public Library on my first Cobble Cove mystery, A Stone’s Throw. Not having had any previous public-speaking experience, I was very nervous. It was the day before a major snowstorm, but more people attended than I imagined. I thought many of them would be shopping for food or staying home. Those that came were patrons I already knew who were interested in hearing about my book. I found that I was among friends and my fear of talking in front of an audience diminished. I even started enjoying myself.

bn412162In March, I spoke again. This time, at my local Barnes and Noble store to a small group composed of several of those who attended my library talk as well as a few friends and co-workers. Their support meant so much.

mase4festivalshotJune was a busy month, as I traveled to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut to attend the MASE (Mystic Author Signing Event) with other authors of my past publisher. Although I did not talk at this event, it was my first time at a signing. A few weeks later, I was one of three local authors who attended the Levittown Library’s Summer Reading opening festival and signed books in the “Author’s Garden.” While I did not sell many books at either of these events, I met some wonderful people including local authors and now good friends, Lisa Diaz Meyer and Kimberly Amato. The month capped off with my being awarded the Cat Writer’s Association Glamour Puss Award sponsored by Hartz Corporation for my article, “Brush your Cat for Bonding, Beauty, and Better Health.” BADGE_WhiteSpecialAwards

In August, I signed with Solstice Publishing for my second Cobble Cove Mystery, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and spoke at the Levittown Library’s summer closing program.

pioneerstoryIn September, the C.W. Post Pioneer newspaper published an article about my books. I was especially thrilled to be featured in the paper that I had worked on as a secretary and Features editor when I attended college.

northbellmore4betweenarockandahardplacesolsticecover

 

In October, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, was published, and I gave an author talk at the North Bellmore Public Library.

An article bout my mystery series appeared in the Hicksville News in December, a week before I spoke there again about my new book and my publishing journey. Right before Christmas, Between a Rock and a Hard Place hicksvilledecember16authortalkamazonbestsellerawardwas #18 on Amazon.com’s Top 100 list for cozy mysteries.

 

 

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I already have some plans for this year and quite a few dreams.

In January, I will give an introduction to my mystery series for the Hicksville Library book club who will be discussing Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

seashell-stone-finalIn February, my short historical/paranormal romance, “The Seashell and the Stone” will be published in an anthology of love stories by Solstice Publishing.

In April, a local church book group will be featuring Between a Rock and a Hard Place for their book discussion, and I will be attending the talk.

In May, I head out to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for the Cat Writer’s Association Conference.

In June, I will be attending Book Expo America in New York City.

sea-scopecoming-soon-written-in-stoneI also plan to publish Written in Stone, Cobble Cove Mystery #3 and Sea Scope, my standalone psychological thriller that I am querying with agents in the hope that they will recognize it as worthy of a contract with a large publisher. Of course, I also have many ideas for new stories, books, and articles.

I want to thank you all for being part of my 2016 and hope you will stay with me as I continue my writing journey.

thank-you