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Corralling Creativity

Photo by Michele Venne I realized this week that I have more projects started than I planned. With The Found Gift published, I thought I could move on to completing the 10 flash fiction stories for MV2, get that out by the end of April, then continue with the first...

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New Release

The Found Gift is published and available on my website! Right to the end, this title had dips and curves on its path into the wild. I'm pleased with the story, even if I missed my deadline by three and a half months. Here's the description: What happens when a...

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When an Experiment Fails

Publishing a book can be many things: joyful, stressful, a lifelong dream, disappointment, exciting, wonderful, confusing, etc. I've sent enough titles out into the world to feel just about everything. After publishing 43 titles, I decided to try a preorder on my...

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Cover Reveal

This is the part of publishing books that builds my excitement and pushes me to finish everything so I can hit the "publish" button. I love revealing the cover to readers. No matter what we think, we really do judge a book by its cover! A couple holding hands points...

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New Release Coming Soon!

Photo by Michele Venne Every book project has a life of its own. The Found Gift has its own "coming into being" story. No, this photo isn't the cover, but it reminds me of the different layers, colors, and depths that each project has. I wrote the first draft, then...

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The Wins

Photo by Michele Venne I mentioned to a friend that because the day job has taken a tic up, I haven't gotten as much written as I planned. I explained that I finished a college class I was taking as part of my CEUs, wrote and sent out my monthly newsletter, wrote the...

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Choices

Photo by Michele Venne Some wise person pointed out the obvious when they said, "When you say yes to one thing, you say no to countless other things." I said yes to more clients. That automatically put a giant "no" on other things I could do with my time. I'm not...

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Finally Finished?

Photo by Michele Venne Today is the day I finished The Found Gift. At least this round of edits and rewrites. I thought I might be done at around 14K words, then more of the story came to me. It now sits at 20K. And, yes, I know a couple of sentences I still need to...

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The Words

Photo by Michele Venne There are times, as a writer, when words are my friend. Other times, I can't fish the one I want from my brain that will make the sentence or paragraph or scene what I want it to be. I also know that sometimes a slight interruption breaks the...

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So Many Hats

Photo by Michele Venne Sometimes I know why I'm tired at the end of the day. If I went for a long trail ride, had lots of clients, squeezed in errands or life tasks, by ten o'clock I'm done. But sometimes it doesn't seem like I've got that many to-dos on my calendar....

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Knowing When It’s Too Much

Photo by Michele Venne Years ago, when my mom moved from her home in AZ to CO, she cleaned out all the boxes she kept in the garage. I visited one day, and she showed me calendars from when I was in high school. Every weekend was a horse show. One night a week was...

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It All Comes Back

Photo by Michele Venne For two weeks, I've been joining a local writer's group in their Zoom write ins. The first day, the treasurer of the group, who leads the write in, asked me what I was working on. I said, "A holiday short story that was supposed to be published...

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Finding Joy

Photo by Michele Venne My yoga teacher often said, "Nothing is revealed, except in contrast." How do we know when it's dark outside? The sun is absent. How do we know if we've healed from an illness or injury? The absence of discomfort or pain. In yoga terms, how do...

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A Two-Day Streak

Photo by Michele Venne To begin a habit, or to break it, it starts with one. One day to walk around the block, or to read a chapter from a book, or to put the phone in the drawer during dinner, or to compliment someone instead of complain. For some people, that first...

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Happy New Year!

Photo by Michele Venne Made it to the other side! Welcome 2024! It seems like I've been planning for the new year for a while. I ordered two dot journals, which arrived on Jan. 3, to try a different way to organize and keep track of the habits I want to create this...

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Ready, Set… Breathe

Photo by Michele Venne I bought my 2024 calendar in September. Since May 2022, I've been grappling for balance in my work and writing life. For the last six months, I've read books and articles about mindset. I've journaled thousands of words. I've searched for a way...

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Don’t Ask

Photo by Michele Venne Years ago, a friend told me, "Don't ask if you don't want to know the answer." I've returned to this advice more than once, especially when I ask someone their opinion on a project or performance, or agree when someone asks if they can give me...

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Enough Time

Photo by Michele Venne Every day this week I thought about when would be the best time to send out the reminder email to my subscribers about the survey. I hinted that I might include a gift for them, but after ten days, I'm not any closer to delivering on that hint....

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Pendulum

Photo by Michele Venne Maybe it's the time of year, or maybe because I've been journaling a lot, but my thoughts represent a pendulum. I look forward to 2024 and think about what projects I want to publish, what goals I want to make, and how I might handle the...

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Condensing for Clarity

Photo by Michele Venne I'm an analog girl. Information gets lost on my computer. When a file or a document sits for a while on my desktop, it's like I no longer "see" it. Because I take handwritten notes from articles and newsletters that I read online (I know, a bit...

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A Shift Is Coming

Photo by Michele Venne Every industry changes. Sometimes that change is caused by a new school of thought or groundbreaking research. Other times, it's an advance in technology. For the publishing industry, the last big shift was the introduction of the Kindle. Not...

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A Light Mind

Photo by Michele Venne I've always felt better once I've made a decision. Since I did so last week, this week has been smooth. The major decision about goals and dreams and plans and how to make it all work sat like a two-ton weight on my mind and in my heart. With...

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Recovery Time

Photo by Michele Venne Feeling like I'm functioning at about 75% capacity, I continue to take things slowly. Now is a good time to sit and breathe, to be, to let my thoughts come and go and not get hung up on any particular one. Actually, that's good advice for every...

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A flat Tire

A flat tire. A dead battery. We've all had them. Regardless of who we call for help or how much we didn't plan on the inconvenience or expense, it still happens. There is maintenance that can prolong the tire, the battery, or whatever. But when it happens, we're...

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Focus on Priorities

Photo by Michele Venne I've heard that authors make a gazillion decisions every time they sit down to write. I think at least one decision is made that gets them in the chair: they choose to write in that moment. We think we have a list of priorities, maybe narrowed...

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Celebrating the Wins

Photo by Michele Venne I planned to have it published in August, but I'm used to my plans changing. I aimed to announce the new release in my October newsletter, but just couldn't quite pull it off. In this month's newsletter, I promised my subscribers I would send...

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The Moments In Between

Photo by Michele Venne When I look at my calendar and task list, there doesn't appear to be any "moments in between." It's a list of actions to take. And because not all the actions happen on the day to which I've assigned them, arrows are drawn to the next day, and...

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Countdown

Photo by Michele Venne It took four different stores, by I finally found a 2024 calendar with the options I like. It's the same size I've used the past several years, as there's comfort in the familiar, 7 X 8 1/2 inches. It has the months with small squares for each...

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Reflecting Before the End

Photo by Michele Venne It's almost the fourth quarter of 2023. Not one to be rushed at the last minute, I start reflecting on the current year, and planning for the next, long before midnight on New Year's Eve. Maybe I'm thrilled that I've survived another summer in...

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Organized Flow

Photo by Michele Venne Perhaps the title of this post is an oxymoron. Everything ebbs and flows. Energy. Motivation. Creativity. If we figure out how to wait when whatever it is ebbs, we can focus on other aspects of our life. And when whatever it is flows, if we've...

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The Next Thing

Photo by Michele Venne I realize I do this to myself. I have a little available time... my inbox is down to 5 emails I'm hanging onto for various reasons... and I sign up for six webinars, download a bundle of a dozen ebooks, agree to give my email address in exchange...

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Finally

Photo by Michele Venne Finally, it rained in Phoenix! Last year, the monsoons began at the end of May and continued through October. This year, they've been absent until last night. Some parts of Arizona have seen rain. Not a lot, and not often enough. Most of the day...

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Making a Plan

Photo by Michele Venne About this time, for the past few years, I've started thinking about the next calendar year. Maybe it's because my first career as a teacher meant my "year" began in August, so planning was on my mind. Or maybe I felt I needed a jump start on...

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Balls in the Air

Photo by Michele Venne It's good to have a to-do list. For me, it gets items out of my head and onto paper (yes, I'm old school) so I don't forget and so I have more mental space. I've found I sleep better (less tossing and turning, which is saying something), and it...

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Another Obstacle

Photo by Michele Venne About 4 months ago, I bought an author bundle. It included ebooks, discount services, master classes, and pre-recorded webinars. I downloaded all the books, read them, took notes if they held nuggets of information, then deleted the files from...

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It’s in the Pivot

Photo by Michele Venne Just as I settle into a routine, something gets snagged or shifted, and I have to pivot my time and energy. This is usually the time of year when my day job amps up. As I finish the summer sessions, I see gaps in my schedule. I know it will take...

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Retreats in Two Styles

Photo by Michele Venne A week after the in-person writer's retreat, and I've noticed a few things. First, I'm still just as resistant to write when I have other tasks to do as I was before the retreat. Second, the comparisonitis has faded. Mostly. On Sunday morning, I...

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Writer’s Conference

Photo by Michele Venne Even before the pandemic, it had been a while since I attended a writing conference. Once all of my writing peers quit writing and the pandemic ended, I struggled with continuing the journey on my own. I've since found others to help with the...

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Time Out

Photo by Michele Venne When do we notice that something mechanical doesn't work? Usually when we need it. When is the worst time for an air conditioning unit to quit working in Phoenix? As the temps reach 116 with 35% humidity and a dew point of 65 degrees. As the...

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Surreal

Photo by Michele Venne Surreal: something that is a bizarre mix of elements; jarring; seemingly nonsensical. This is how I would describe the space I'm in. I completed all my admin tasks (something I didn't think would ever happen). I met my publishing deadline with...

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Moving Forward

Photo by Michele Venne When I plan my year, making (extremely) optimistic notes about book production and admin tasks, I don't think about how I'll feel when it all gets done. I'm driven more by offering stuff to readers and crossing off daily tasks than I am by...

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Time Crunch

Photo by Michele Venne Sometimes wishes come true! I wished for more clients, and I got a lot of hours this week! I wished for Holly's leg to heal, and after ten days, she's doing really well! I wished for the beta reader to return my manuscript early, and she did! I...

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Chasing Details

Photo by Michele Venne Ever had one of those days where something isn't quite right, you can't find answers on the Internet or the help page of the thing that's a little wonky, so you send a message to customer service? And after a couple of days, they get back to...

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Ready, Set…

Photo by Michele Venne Beginnings and endings roll after each other like waves on the ocean. I worked more on adding details to SG today. I did some research, which usually entails me losing a few hours chasing down specific facts. Names of roads, national forests,...

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New Release Coming Soon

Photo by Michele Venne It has been about ten months since my last fiction book was released. I have a publication date set for July 2023, for this novella. When I'm in the editing stage (where I'm at now), I vacillate between surprise at some really well-written...

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It’s Often Not What I Think It Is

Photo by Michele Venne I just finished typing The Secret Gift. While writing, I'm so immersed in the story that I'm rarely a good judge for what is showing up on the page. My myopic view of the story, one scene or one description or one dialogue conversation at a...

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Rediscovered Joy

Photo by Michele Venne When I started writing, I was awed by the feeling of joy at being in the flow as the words spilled easily onto the page. Forty titles later, I can say that each project had its ups and downs. No two were the same. And at times, I didn't feel the...

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Knowing Your Process

Photo by Michele Venne How long do we do a thing before we know our process? Running a meeting, training a dog, planting/harvesting a garden, making a pie, writing a book? This isn't to say that once we know our process, we stop learning or trying something new. But...

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A Myopic View

Photo by Michele Venne Every artist creates differently. I wonder how many writers feel as if they can't see the forest for the trees. Maybe that is something that plaques discovery writers more than plotters. For those writers who plot out their story, have notes for...

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Another Title!

As long as I feel excitement when a title is published, I'll keep doing it! I started on this in October. It wasn't on my production list until January. Once I started, I kept going. For me, working on a nonfiction title such as this math workbook allowed me to make...

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Change is One Thing We Can Count On

Photo by Michele Venne Sometimes I think I'm from an earlier generation. I started my career in one school district and happily stayed for 21 years. I then was asked to come back and do Homebound. I did and found another place that I loved. It took over 3 years, but...

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Project Completion

Photo by Michele Venne After six months, I finally finished Building Fluency: Math Practice! I used about half the problems in the book from sheets of paper I kept from when I was in the classroom. The rest I created to fulfill my purpose for the book (lots of...

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Progress Relies on Perspective

Photo by Michele Venne Two hundred words a day may not seem like much, but it adds up over time. The same can be said for the steps we take toward our 10K steps a day, or the twenty-five dollars a paycheck we add to the piggy bank, or the extra ten...

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Be Like Those Famous Shoes

Photo by Michele Venne Just like a "breakout novel" or a "blockbuster movie," marketing slogans that hit it big and stick around are rare. I wonder if Nike knew their tagline of "Just Do It" would become an icon. Or that so many would steal those three little words...

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Control

Photo by Michele Venne Some people believe that we're not in control of anything in this world. Others believe that we control everything. Maybe I missed the memo about "how" to control everything, but I don't think there's much I can do about the phases of the moon,...

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So, I’m doing it Wrong

Photo by Michele Venne After 14 years, I would think that I've got things down. I understand my process. I know what trips me up. And I know how to get back to what I want to do. And yet... since I'm part of the publishing industry, it's my responsibility to keep tabs...

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New Ideas

Photo by Michele Venne I heard a few things this week that tweaked my ears. Listening to one of my favorite podcasts, the host interviewed an author that used to have her own podcast. They talked about writing and if anything will change in 2023. The author didn't...

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All the Words

Photo by Michele Venne It takes about 3 days (10 hours) to write my monthly newsletter. I see several clients a day and find myself speaking a gazillion words. When I'm with Holly, I chat to her about how wonderful she is and how much she's loved. With spreading...

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A different Flow

Photo by Michele Venne Glancing at my calendar pages for this week, I see a lot of tasks left undone. It's easy to get bogged down in disappointment, to feel bad because I haven't lived up to my own expectations. In the future, I see goals unattained because I haven't...

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Sometimes It’s Best Not to Question

Photo by Michele Venne It's always tempting for me to figure how or why things are the way they are. Was it something I or someone else said or did, or didn't say or do? Was it luck? Some random universal energy? What about karma? Part of me thinks that if I knew the...

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Comfort Zone

Photo by Michele Venne For all her life, Holly, my horse, has gotten her winter coat starting in September and sheds beginning in January. Vets express their concern because her internal clock seems to be a little off. But not really. She waits until after the...

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Ebb and Flow

Photo by Michele Venne My life is more content when I accept the ebb and flow of energy and time and opportunities. The last month has seen an increase in paid hours. Certainly something to celebrate! I've also helped a friend by taking care of their horse while they...

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Course Correction

Photo by Michele Venne Because nothing is static, I prefer to think of life balance as a constant tilting this way, then making a choice to shift that way, then another decision tips me in yet a different direction. I planned to lean towards my writing projects this...

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Near the Edge

Photo by Michele Venne Completing one project means I'm a step away from beginning the next in the (thankfully) never-ending queue. I've been working on a list of character names I've used in my stories, so I don't duplicate. Too late! If I had thought of this years...

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Looking or Not

Photo by Michele Venne It's only the second week of this new year and I've noticed changes, whether I'm looking directly at the change or not. Practicing my habit of setting an alarm so I don't stay too long on one project never stuck. I forget to set the alarm. Or I...

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Hello 2023!

Photo by Michele Venne Happy 2023! I hope sparks of joy and good health have already showered your life. With my renewed clarity, I greeted the new year with open arms. The fact that I'm already behind on my writing projects isn't a surprise. Haha! I've scheduled two...

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Finally. Clarity.

Photo by Michele Venne After months of knowing something wasn't right... then weeks of thinking about it, and days of reading and journaling, I finally have clarity. My new why shines like a light in the darkness where I wandered for far too long. And since not much...

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Winding In

Photo by Michele Venne I've been "winding down" since September. With the purchase of a 2023 calendar and reviewing 2022, I've already made intentions for next year. For the past 3 weeks, I should have been "winding up" in order to finish the projects I wanted to...

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Just a Little Experiment

Photo by Michele Venne I've done more investigating into my writing process this year than I have since I began this adventure. Last week was one more experiment. I mentioned that to get myself to stop spending so much time on an "easy" project and spread my attention...

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Time Limits

Photo by Michele Venne More days than not, I've put a check in front of projects listed in my calendar. I've logged a lot of time with the next math book. Not much creative thought involved with that at this time. I'm just transferring a few years' worth of warm up...

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Multiple Choice Projects

Photo by Michele Venne Seven days ago I stared at the beginning of the next short story for Patreon and the muse revealed the tale. In the last seven days, I've dabbled with SG, and I started a project I tentatively had in the wings for 2023. This other project is...

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Throwing Jax

Photo by Michele Venne When I was in elementary school, we played Jax during recess. We all carried a little rubber ball and some metal game pieces that were like 3-D X's with an extra leg. After tossing a handful of jax onto the sidewalk, we would bounce the ball....

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New Ideas

Photo by Michele Venne Rolling with the wave of inspiration, I worked on clearing out my paper calendars from the last 6 years. I write quotes, names of books and authors, ideas about marketing, page numbers of manuscripts I'm editing, phone numbers, promotions,...

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Little Breaks

Photo by Michele Venne Some part of me knows something my conscious mind doesn't: when a project is done (or I'm waiting to hear from beta readers or my cover designer), I take a break. I don't plan them. They're not in my calendar. What I believe I (can/should) do on...

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Momentum

Photo by Michele Venne With The Bookie and Building Fluency: Advanced Number Sense published and available on all platforms, and my third audiobook (Of Objects and Obsessions, Book Three of the Tanner Trilogy) completed and distributed, I moved on to the next project,...

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Another Check Mark in A Box

Know thy self, know thy artist. After my 4-month plan loaded with experiments, I returned to writing my manuscripts in a spiral notebook. I finally finished Desert Zydeco! I won't list the many steps from handwritten draft to published file, but it amazes me every...

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Transition

Photo by Michele Venne Maybe it comes from understanding how life is, because when things are rolling along smoothly (and I recognize most moments when this is true), a part of me quivers, waiting for the next crisis, the next big decision, the not-so-smooth time that...

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I Shouldn’t Be Surprised

Photo by Michele Venne I know it's not just in my experience that several issues/tasks/things come up/together/are due at about the same time. A couple of weeks ago, I finished two books right around the time I was dealing with a few personal changes. And it seems...

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Coasting

Photo by Michele Venne This week was a blur. Having finished those two HUGE projects, I was still in the flow. My monthly newsletter turned out to be heavy, so I decided to split it into two parts. A large section of my personal life needed a transition, so that took...

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Enjoying the Accomplishments

Cover designed by Lilly Skye I met my deadline! Both HUGE projects are published by the end of September! First, Building Fluency: Advanced Number Sense is a math workbook I've dreamed of doing for years. I'm grateful I have a new computer. Equation Editor and Word...

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Too Close to Call

Photo by Michele Venne The second audiobook, Of Hoof Prints and Heartbeats, is done! It has been approved and uploaded and is ready for purchase on all retailers (as soon as the retailers approve it), including my website (already approved!). One more to go in the...

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The Finish Line

Photo by Michele Venne This is the exact moment when the front runner's chest connects with the ribbon strung across the finish line! It isn't broken. Yet. The race isn't done. Yet. I've met my deadlines, but the projects are ready for publication. Yet. I've finished...

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Desire

Photo by Michele Venne Epiphanies are like a sample from a bakery. They give you a taste but leave you searching for more. I had one this week. Quick context, I'm in a yoga collective where we study something different each month, learn about some yoga techniques, and...

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Taking a Breath

Photo by Michele Venne I mentioned three months ago that I would be conducting some experiments. I've completed most of them. For a few, I wonder if I'll gain any usable data, or if there's a way to even find a beginning and know when it's done. For the rest, I've...

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Two Steps to the Left

Photo by Michele Venne A couple of days ago, I let my graphic designer know that I had 12 pages left in the nonfiction. I figured I would finish it by Sunday and get it to beta readers early next week. I also told her that by the middle of next week, I would be...

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Finish Energy

Photo by Michele Venne Joanna Penn, a fairly famous indie author in the UK whom I've followed since she began offering stuff for indie writers back in 2008, talks about "beginning energy" when she starts a project and "finish energy" as she nears the end of a project....

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Next STeps

Photo by Michele Venne My beta reader finished The Bookie. I've been working this week on her suggestions/edits. I should finish those this weekend. I have a list of what to check, what to research, what to change. No major rewrites needed, just a tightening up of the...

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Month 3 of 3

Photo by Michele Venne In this third month of my 3-month plan, I can say I've learned from my experiments. What I've learned that I didn't plan for is that life happens regardless of what my calendar says, and that some things are bigger than my determination. I guess...

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The Next Experiment

Photo by Michele Venne Last Friday, after working for eight hours and staying up until 10 PM, I finished the first draft for The Bookie. I gave some hours on Saturday to making a couple of corrections, scrolling through and filling out my timeline, listing some...

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Nearly There

Photo by Michele Venne Having been stuck in the weeds for so long with this manuscript, I'm kind of surprised that I'm looking at the climax of the story. A quick take down of a criminal, the tying up of a few plot threads, and one scene to lead into book 3, and I'm...

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Moving Finish Line

Photo by Michele Venne I'm super excited that my first audiobook is done! Narrated, edited, processed, and is out for distribution to 48 online retailers. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out one thing, then was told that it's a no-thing. I don't need to do what...

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Shifting

Photo by Michele Venne I received the audio files from the narrator! I've spent hours every day this week listening and making notes on what she needs to edit. I still have 10 chapters to go, and the deadline is Sunday. After hearing someone else read my story, I...

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One Month Done

Photo by Michele Venne Big news #1: I received an email that the narrator finished reading Of Art and Air, and I have ten days to review and approve the recording. I started today, since I have a deadline. I'm reading the pdf I sent the narrator as I'm listening to...

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Rain

Photo by Michele Venne It appears it's possible for time to pass quickly and slowly simultaneously. The days tick by, but my time spent writing speeds through. And when I look at what I've written, I'm not content with my progress. At 2K words/day on my main project,...

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The Heat is On

Photo by Michele Venne The heat is on, and so is the self-imposed pressure! I vowed I would stick as close to my schedule as possible this week. As a result, I made progress on all my projects, but still did not accomplish everything. And this give me the opportunity...

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Insight

Photo by Michele Venne With years of schedule making under my belt, I thought I had this 3-month plan ready to go. What I didn't account for? Life. Ha! Every day, I've had a meeting or errands or an appointment. Or course, my schedule is now off. I need to decide how...

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Ideas

Photo by Michele Venne This week started my 3-month plan. Mostly. Each day I had a project to do that wasn't on my schedule. Tomorrow will be the same. My plan might already have gone awry because I forgot to include "life" in my schedule. Ha! But I've still managed...

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Three-Month Plan

Photo by Michele Venne I spent a couple of productive hours with my writing friend today. She brainstormed with me about titles and tiers and the future. I came prepared with a list! I read off my thoughts on serials for Patreon. She gave me ideas regarding not...

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A Tease

Photo by Michele Venne I've been jotting notes about a 3-month plan. This includes shuffling file folders, story starters within those folders, writing sticky notes about groups of stories that could be serials or novellas or another novel series, eyeing 3 nonfiction...

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Holding Pattern

Photo by Michele Venne This is kind of what my mind is like, and my calendar, and my soon-to-be-added-to to-do list. My paid gig is closing down, just another 7 days. Lots will be happening around August, none of which I'm in control of, but I can make decisions once...

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Mindset

Photo by Michele Venne If we pay attention, I think we're given opportunities to look inside ourselves. Creativity is an example. I've been struggling with this current story. Studying myself, I wonder if it's because I'm composing on the computer instead of a spiral,...

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Moving Forward

Photo by Michele Venne I met with my writing friend today. I feel like I need to record our meetings so I can replay them and catch the tidbits! We talked instead of worked, but sometimes that's what's needed. We shared ideas about our projects, where we are, where we...

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Creative Space

Photo by Michele Venne This is the final day of 5 promos I had for Of Gifts and the Goddess. Though the book is on sale for all of April, and it's available in another promo that runs the entire month, I'm a little anxious to see what the sales numbers look like. As...

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So Many Stories

Photo by Michele Venne In this month's newsletter, I mentioned that I'm working on a Patreon account. Instead of writing short stories and publishing them in My Voice, Volume 2, I decided to make some of them available to subscribers on Patreon. I haven't finished...

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April Fool’s Day

Photo by Michele Venne It's the first of April! That means the first quarter of 2022 is officially done. We've had 3 months to observe how much of 2021 would influence the new year, to try out new intentions, to continue to make a new "normal," to make new habits or...

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Wrapping Up

Photo by Michele Venne It seems like many of the tasks I do, don't get done with one go. I often have to come back to verify that the upload happened, that the error was fixed, that customer service received and responded to my request. This week has been a similar...

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The End of spring Break

Photo by Michele Venne Tucson Festival of Books is back! Fewer attendees, but people came and bought books. I discovered that these readers prefer print to ebooks, even if they weigh a lot; they came to see authors they'd found in 2019; fantasy, science fiction, and...

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New and Old

Photo by Michele Venne Tucson Festival of Books is happening this weekend! I've been preparing for months. Updating my books. Getting the short story ready to give away. Deciding how to sell ebooks at a live event. And realizing that none of the authors whose company...

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Birthday Week

Photo by Michele Venne A few cool events happened this week in my life. First, my new computer arrived! My 10-year-old laptop could no longer update the operating system, so my apps didn't work optimally or at all. Do you know how tough it is to type on a keyboard...

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Smelling The Flowers

Six days. That is how long I had the house to myself, and how many days in a row I did zero writing. Oh, I thought about my projects. I looked up the word count on MV2 to judge how close I might be to a novel-length manuscript. I also thought about where I left off in...

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Going Around in Circles

I remember being on the ASU campus several years ago for a writing conference. During lunch, I went outside and saw this dog (his owner was there, just not in the picture) swimming laps in the fountain. It wasn't a particularly hot day, but the dog was a Lab, and they...

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Holiday Story for a Holiday Weekend

Photo by Michele Venne Since life circumstances have settled some, I was able to finish the edits and formatting on The Hidden Gift. I'm waiting to hear from my web designer that everything is in place so I can notify my subscribers. One of the perks of signing up for...

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Show Some Love

Photo by Michele Venne Happy first Friday in February! I hope this month for all of us is like the road above, shaded, smooth, beneath blue skies, and edged by green grass. In a time where good news is sometimes hard to come by, one friend got engaged (and shared the...

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spinning plates

Photo by Michele Venne A writer friend jokes that I likely have four or six projects going at one time. Back in 2017, I did write FIVE different manuscripts! It took me another three years to edit and publish them. Now, in 2022, after creating a production schedule...

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Dueling projects

Photo by Michele Venne Last week I finished The Hidden Gift and sent it to my beta reader. I also emailed information to my cover designer. I commented to a friend of mine, "This short story became a novella, and I'm okay with that. Now I think it has morphed into a...

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Getting back to it

Photo by Michele Venne I had the pleasure of meeting with two other writers today. We all look forward to sharing a creative space, even if "work" didn't get done. As one friend said, "There's just something a little different about the energy of artistic people."...

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so much gratitude

Photo by Michele Venne´ It feels more like the holiday season if the air has changed where you are. Here in Phoenix, we're enjoying wonderfully cool weather. In the desert, that means sweatshirts in the early morning and probably sneakers instead of sandals. I noticed...

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Got balance?

Photo by Michele Venne It's official today, at least in Phoenix, Arizona. The Autumnal Equinox happened on September 22 (in the northern hemisphere), but a few longitudinal degrees north of the equator and we're looking at sunrise at 6:14 AM and sunset at 6:14 PM. Not...

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so much new stuff

Photo by Michele Venne Here we are, the end of August, and dogs days or not, I've got a lot to share with you!  Glad you're here 🙂 First up, this newsletter! You may not notice a difference and that's fine. After a while with one email provider, it was time to...

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Midsummer update

Photo by Michele Venne Some of this, a sprinkle of that, a dash for excitement, and freeze overnight...sounds like just the thing to cool a body down. July has passed at the same rate as an ice lasts on the sidewalk in Phoenix at noon. I've been crossing items off my...

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Popsicles in the shade

Photo by MIchele Venne It's summertime, and with the heat cranked up in the Southwest desert, we're all trying to live easy! It's the end of June and halfway through 2021. I've been spending more time than usual inside, and when I look back at my production schedule...

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Spring flowers

Photo by Michele Venne Not that we've received much rain in the desert this winter or spring, but some of the desert plants are blooming! The ironwoods have been dotting the brown landscape with pale lavender blooms. The creosote shifted quickly from yellow petals to...

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Choose your own adventure

Photo by Michele Venne I hinted at this back in the fall, so time to follow up on my idea! The Internet and online retailers have changed how people shop. Personally, I don't order much online. Sometimes I get stuff from the feed store, and sometimes I order through a...

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Spring in flux

It's hot, it's cold, there's rain, there's snow, the power is out, the power is back on, a green holiday celebration, maybe vacation, jeans and a sweatshirt then a T-shirt and flip-flops, on and on it goes. I look out the office window and watch as storm clouds race...

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Share Some Love

In celebration of the month of love, I'm sharing some. I know the concept of self-love and self-care have been around for a while. After reading about it and applying a few ideas to see what worked for me, I thought I had a good understanding of self-care. I created...

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A New Calendar

Many of us purchase a new calendar around the end of the year. It could be with hope that the next year will be filled with lots of positive experiences or an attempt to organize ourselves. This past December I purchased two calendars: 1) a 5 x 7 daily and monthly...

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