June Rodriguez

JUNE: This is our first new year as a group. I think we should start the year off with our own resolutions. Writer resolutions. No big long list for me. I liked the idea of writing 100 words a day but I want to be more specific and set an amount of time to write. My first resolution is to write for one hour every day. My second is to finish the first draft of my novel by the 1st of November. In November I want to begin something new during NaNoWriMo.

SARAH: I think your goals are very attainable, June, and not too life altering. It seems we're always placing huge mountain-sized goals upon ourselves- as moms, as writers, as business women, and as wives. The more we pile into our schedules, the more likely we are to fumble in the end zone. (Yes, I've been forced to watch TOO much football this weekend!) With that reality in mind, I was very careful to set goals for myself that I KNEW were feasible. 300-600 words a day. My darling hubby gifted me with a wonderful mini-PC for Christmas and I plan on utilizing the hell out of it.

I purposely kept my goals simple this year. Finish my book and increase readership on my blog. Now, if I can just whip my chocolate and diet coke habit into shape, I'll be in like Flint!

JUNE: I second the breaking of the chocolate and diet coke habit. Could we just start with chocolate? I will work on the diet coke part at a later date. 300- 600 words a day is an awesome goal. We will do what we can to help keep you on goal.

DORI: New Year's resolutions aren't on my agenda this year. I rang in the new year at the emergency room after the news that my husband's leukemia was back in full force. Still struggling to deal with not having a full-time job, kids, juggling multiple projects trying to maintain a roof over the family's heads, etc. Sigh. One of my sons asked me yesterday, "What about your writing, Mom?" I had to reply that there's no time for that right now. I've resigned myself to taking life one day at a time. When I can I'll sneak some writing in, but that's the most I can commit to. To commit to more would add more stress to my life than I can handle at the moment. So, I will simply be thankful for whatever writing I accomplish this year and being part of this group.

SARAH: And we are glad you're a member of our group! You're a kick-ass writer, Dori! We'll be here for you, always!

JUNE: Same here. Plus we can send our support via the internet, ect…

JUNE: I read a lot of books this year. It’s hard to pick a favorite but the one that sticks in my mind the most is Killjoy by Julie Garwood. I read mostly romance but this year I tried to read out of my comfort zone and this is one I picked up because it was a crossover with a familiar name. I could not put it down. The romance took a back seat to the chilly, evil presence that ran amok throughout the book. Another book I enjoyed was How I Write, Secrets of a Bestselling Author by Janet Evanovich with Ina Yalof. I initially read this book with the intent to learn something about how an author writes and I did succeed with that goal but I also laughed my butt off. I like learning something new when it is presented in a fun way. My third book on my best of list is one I reread this year. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. Sometimes you just have to go back to a classic.

SARAH: Oh, June!! KillJoy is awesome!! You should try
Ms. Garwood's Heartbreaker!! Very chilling! 2009 started a little slow for me in the reading department. In early summer, I was introduced to the Twilight Saga books and promptly read all four into two weeks! Definitely worth it, people! Next, I took on reading the much waited for Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I think I read all 800 pages in four days. This fall I was introduced to books on CD. Since then, I have "read" two mysteries: The Night Stalker by James Swain and Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain. I liked Sweetheart the best. It was very interesting to see the "hero" of the book not be so heroic. That kind of trait would never fly in romance. Plus, I got to experience the writing cadence of a mystery novel. I'm planning on adding some more mysteries to the list very soon. Hey, it's free!!

Besides the mysteries, there was Shadow Music by Julie Garwood, Mountain Laurel by Jude Deveraux (which hubby enjoyed listening to, as well!), To Distraction by Stephanie Laurens, and Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey. Actual reading wise, I tucked Stephen King's On Writing under my belt, both 2009 releases from Lorraine Heath, and novels by Kathryn Caskie and Julia London. It's been a wonderful year of reading AND research!! Some of these authors will even be appearing on my blog this year!!

DORI: Love to read, but find that all my reading these days is linked with my author interviews. This last year I enjoyed reading Phillip Margolin's Fugitive, James Grippando's Intent to Kill, Jeff Abbott's Trust Me, and Kelli Stanley's City of Dragons (due out February 2010). I get a lot out of reading other books in my genre, but also ventured out and read the Twilight saga and a few other books outside my normal reading library. Something to be learned from all of them. Now if I could find time to read the other 50+ books sitting on my desk (not to count those on my book shelves) I would be happy. Unfortunately, time is in short supply for me, so they may gather dust, but I'll read when I can. My favorite writing book this year was Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne & King. I highly recommend it to all fiction writers. It earned a permanent place on my writing desk.

SARAH: You should try lending books on CD from the library! It gets addictive, shopping through the library system's online catalogue. You can log on, select a book on CD, and have it delivered to any library you chose- for free!!! LOL You should see how long my "Request List" is. Plus, the library will send you an email when the book or CD arrives and is ready for you to pick up! You don't have to do anything more than pull up, go in, check out, and leave!!! I've done it in less than 5mins! You get the book for up to 3weeks! Try it, Dori! I find listening to the audio books very relaxing as I drive my kids hither and yon. I even listen to them at the gym. I also think that by "hearing" the story, I pick up a lot on "craft" and writing styles. Think about it, lady!

JUNE: I like your suggestion about checking out CD’s from the library as a request. I have done that many times with research books but never thought to do it with the CD’s. Thanks for opening another door for me to start the new year.
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