Friday, June 29, 2012

Life List Club Milestone Party

The Life List Club Party has started! 

To celebrate the LLC Birthday I...

Got some balloons... (notice the grammar error above?)

Grabbed some party hats...

Found a low calorie cake (you'll find out why below)

And thought we could do a little dancing!

Thanks so much for coming to MfC to celebrate my second Milestone Party with me!  I hope you enjoy the shortened version of Funny Photo Friday.  I'll give you a quick run down on how the last three months has gone with meeting my goals.

My Life List

Photo courtesy of Wookiepedia

"No. Try not. Do or do not... There is no try." Yoda

Daily Goals

Daily goals were tossed out the window from April 22nd until May 30th. I met them as much as I could, but I needed to get Finding Meara revised by the end of May. It was a hard deadline, and so I shuffled everything to meet it.  If you're interested in how that went, read my post here.

Play with my boys half-an-hour every day.   The one daily goal I tried hardest to meet over the last three months was to play with my boys.  They haven't always wanted me!  How sad it is when they grow up and become more independent... 

Write at least 15 min. every day.  New writing hasn't really gotten started, but I have been writing with blog posts and editing, if that counts (and when I wrote the goal, I figured it better count). I have a short story I want to write while I'm plotting The Age of Stars. I need to just do it!

Exercise 20 min. five days of the week 100 min. a week.  It's been hard to get back on the exercise wagon, but have been doing better the last couple of weeks. I gained some weight while I was focused on editing, and really am not feeling very motivated to reverse my eating habits. I really, really like candy.

Writing (revised 3/23/12, revisions in blue)
Complete revisions of Finding Meara by the end of March May  completed May 30th

Create pitch, query letter, synopsis, etc... for Finding Meara by end of April June  Pitch is done, query letter is almost done, a three paragraph synopsis has been written.  Don't ask me how good they are. All I can say is I'm trying my best!  If you want to read my entry into the Query Corral Blog Hop, go here!  Leave me some feedback, if you want.

Blog twice a week (Mondays and Fridays)  Yay! I'm doing it!

Write first draft of second novel by end of December.  I'm working on lots of pre-writing (using Cathy Yardley's Rock Your Plot.  I can say it's worth a lot more than the $2.99 I paid for it!) so I don't have to think so hard while writing the first draft.  Hopefully it won't take as long as the first draft of Finding Meara.  I'm very excited about the storyline of The Age of Stars.  The blog post on physics and death came from some research I was doing for the novel.

Social Media (all completed by 3/23/12, revisions in blue)
Grow Twitter followers to over 500 1,000 followers. I'm up to a little over 800 followers.  I started in August 2011, so I actually feel like Twitter has been a relatively successful media for me.  Shocking, considering how scared I was of it!  Thanks again, Nina Badzin, for the twitter help and support!

Grow blog membership to over 100 300 followers. Ah, yes. The blog membership. I so appreciate all of you who signed up to keep track of my blog over the last six months. You have made my year. January to March was absolutely amazing, and then it just kind of stopped. I have no idea how to grow blog membership. Over the last month, I had a mind shift, though. I have decided I can't really control this one much, and I'll just do what I do and we'll see where it turns out in December.

Participate in six bog hops (including the A-Z Challenge) completed 3/23/12 Except I didn't do the A-Z Challenge. I did do six blog hops.

Guest post on three other blogs - completed 3/23/12, going for another three by end of year  So far the new guest posts were at Karen S. Elliott's blog (two of them - one about my mom!), and Colin Falconer's.  I can't link to Colin's anymore because I asked him to take the post down for safety reasons.  I hope you saw it when it was up!  I've got a couple more guest posts lined up in the next couple months, so I will meet my new goal.

New Goal: Complete MNINB Platform Building Challenge for April  This was an unexpected good time! I joined the challenge because I didn't sign up for the A-Z Challenge.  It was a wonderful opportunity and I got to meet all kinds of new, talented writers and poets.  When Robert Lee Brewer hosts another challenge, I'd recommend participating in it.  The daily challenges were quite easy to meet and really did make a difference in how I view platform building.

All right! That's it for me!  I hope you'll make the time to run over to the Life List Club Blog and answer the question " What goal on your Life List has held the most surprise or invoked the most unforseen benefits/changes?" in the comments section for a chance to be included in the big LLC Milestone Party Giveaway. 

You must comment between 6 AM (EST) June 29th and midnight (EST) July 5th to be included in the drawing. And to show you how tricky I am, I'm not going to tell you what the big giveaway is. You'll just have to go over there yourselves and find out!

Even more good news is that each Life Lister is having their own parties and giveaways on their own blogs, so I highly recommend you increase your chances to be a winner and hop around and see what we all have going on!  Here's a place for you to start.

Winners for the giveaways on all the blogs will be announced July 6th.

Also, if you think the Life List is a group full of the supportive, kind, action oriented people you would like to hang out with (and have your own Milestone Parties!), you can contact either Marcia Richards or Jess Witkins and discuss joining.  The hazing is pretty painless, and the benefits and support are wonderful!

To have a chance to win my giveaway of a $15.00 giftcard of your choice, please leave a comment below.  You can either tell us all how your goals are coming along, or even just pick a favorite out of the pictures above.  

Mine, I think, is the turtle.  I never see them doing anything but sitting there. It's nice to know they actually do move and eat!


  1. In my book you're doing GREAT. Even reading the goals you've set makes me feel like a slacker. I'll use the Yoda quote today. I was sort of thinking, 'Meh, maybe I'll get two chapters edited today.' But I will try not. I will do.

    1. Thanks, Vaughn! And thanks for slogging through that long post to comment! Good luck with your chapters - you will "do"!

  2. Hi Lara, I appreciate the visit and the shout out. I see you are increasing the volume on your goals. Good for you. We can sometimes surprise ourselves if we make the effort. Congratulations on your accomplishments.

    1. Thanks for saying hi, Gary! It always feels good to have to bump those goals forward a little! :)

  3. Great goals Lara! You're amazing! And I love the picture with the party hats that says "Just act Casual." bahahaha! Funny.

    1. I thought they were too cute. The visual in my head of them with their heads together, freaking out "Oh my gosh, what do we do!" was funny.

  4. My "goals" have taken two huge hits this year. I'm re-evaluating yet again. You look like you have done pretty darn good on your goals! Congratulations on the LLC blog. I follow that one, too! Thank you for the mention. :)

    1. Ever welcome! It hasn't been to bad so far - goal achievement, I mean. I'm getting to move on to writing a new novel, so it's kind of exciting. I still need to get that query letter finished. :(

  5. You found a photo from Wookiepedia??!! LOVE IT!

    Ok, too much fun, yes I did in fact read your post as well as look at all the fun pictures. LOL. You've been busy, girl! Keep up the amazing work! I'm so excited your readership and twitter following is growing!!! Woohoo! The force must be with you. ;)

    1. Thanks for taking the time to make it through the WHOLE THING! I read everyone else's posts and realized what a monster my post was. Next time I'll listen to my inner voice and not make it such a long post! I hope the force keeps up it's good work!

      And Wookiepedia is so cool! If you look it up, it has everything ever known about Star Wars!

  6. I find the trick with any list is how we decide to feel when it's time to execute.

    If I catch myself feeling like I'm doing a chore, I stop. I use the task to learn something new, enjoy the experience, or test my abilities. The more I can connect it to my values (adventure, growth, excellence, etc.), the better.

    That's why sometimes I don't blog. If I find that writing feels more like a chore than a choice, then I stop. If I can remind myself why I'm doing it, who's it for, and what's the value, then I continue.

    1. I agree. Sometimes we just need a break to get rejuvenated for the task with which it seems we are slogging along.

      I tend to try to slog more than most. I get stubborn, but if I modify the angle which I attack the problem (like you said about reminding ourselves of why we do what we do), often it shakes my reluctance loose. And then, sometimes I just slog... which is not much fun at all! ;)

  7. You're doing a great job, Lara...keep up the good work :) I might try borrowing a page from your book by setting some goals for myself. Now that I'm back in school, the pace of a summer class has been making it difficult for me to keep up with everything as far as writing, blogging, and social media are concerned :(

    1. Thanks, Mike! I know what you mean about being a writer and still having a demanding life. I love summer because I get to be writer and mom and that's all! I usually take about a month to adjust, though. June is often a waste because I can't figure out what to do with myself. You'll get it figured out, just give yourself some time. :)

  8. What incredible progress you've made! I had a hard time doing 3 blog hops last year, but six? Inconceivable! Congratulations! :)

    1. The very funny thing is that I did the six blog hops from January to March. I think I might have done one (or maybe two) in the last three months. I'm kind of a blog hop junkie. They're an entertaining distraction!

  9. Congrats on your goals! And, omg, how CUTE are these photos!

    1. Thanks! I really love the retrievers in the first photo! The one that's silly-stringed has such a cute expression on it's face.

  10. LOVE:

    1. The turtle pic
    2. The shootout to me. Thank you!
    3. The adjusting of your goals. I think this is realistic and healthy.
    4. Way to go on Twitter followers!
    5. As for blog followers, I can't decide if this means much . . . I, personally, "follow" blogs via Twitter or Facebook more than any kind of reader or email subscription. Therefore, I feel that my numbers of blog "followers" is not all that accurate. (It's either inflated or deflated, not sure.)

    1. So, I'm a little slow getting back to comments - sorry! You are most welcome for the shoutout! I send people your way all the time! I'm really happy I caught your posts on WU last summer.

      Yes, adjusting goals is a must, especially if you have a life (and I think most everyone has one.) The main thing I get out of making goals is a motivation in a direction, and as long as I'm getting something done, I'm happy. I always need to check myself for slacking, though!

      Thanks for the point about blog followers. It is true that my pageviews have increased significantly over the last three months, and it can't be just the people who have signed up from my blog. I think twitter is a big reason for the increased traffic. :)


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