Monday, January 8, 2018

Random Thoughts

Are you a goal setter? List maker?

Pamela Tracy here, and I am.  I'm both.  Really, as a list maker, I set a notepad by my computer and I plan out my morning.  It might look like this.

1.  Do load of laundry
2.  Fill dishwasher
3.  Write 250 words
4. Clear off couch
5.  Next step of laundry
6. Write 250 words
7.  Clear table
8. Clean living room
9. Write 250 words
10. Finish laundry
11. Unload dishwasher
12. Write 250 words

 My goal is always to write a 1000 words a day.  The above is what my list would look like on a day I have off from my day job.  If I make it through the list, I simply add a few more items.

 If I'm working, my list looks like this (and I roll out of bed at 5:00 a.m)

1. Start laundry
2. Write 500 words
3. Dishes
4. Write 500 words
5. Get son up and ready for school.



Besides being a list maker, I'm also a goal setter. Right now one of my favorite things to do is the GoodReads book challenge.  It's taken me a few years to figure out that my goal is to read 80 books a year.

You'll note that reading is not on either of my lists above, and <sigh> I've not made 80 books yet.  This year, I came very close: 77.

To my surprise, I see some people making a goal of reading 12 books a year.  That's one a month.  I'd curl up and die!  If I find a good book, it haunts me and I strive to find stolen moments just to read it. If I don't get to read, I'm grumpy.

I recently read a blog, though, that attacked Goodreads and said the reading challenge was just for authors and it was a way for Goodreads and authors to make money.  Hmmm, it's not that way for me.  Not even close.  I have chosen a few books based on recommendations, though.

And, I leave a review.  No, never less than a 3.  If I do not enjoy a book, I will not leave a rating.  I'll just leave a very generic review.

Do you make reading goals?  Do you get grumpy if you don't get to read?


As long as we're talking about reading, I can't let another word flowing off my typing fingers without giving kudos to one of my all-time favorite authors.

I have very few must buys.  Sue Grafton was one of them.  She never disappointed.





 I remember pulling her first paperback from the grocery store rack and after being wowed by the prose, thinking,  "Wow, I wish I could write like this."

For every book, I truly wondered how she managed to stay in the 1970's.  I wanted to go to her favorite restaurant, I wanted to see the garage house where she lived, and I wanted her sense of humor.  (I sometimes feel the same way about Stephanie Plum's neighborhood, and I definitely want to meet Plum's grandma.)

Sue Grafton, thanks for the years of great books.  You never disappointed.  I'm never going to get to read your Z book, but here's my thought.  Z is for Zeal, which you had for writing.

 BTW, I heard Sue Grafton speak a few years ago.  She was a gracious lady with a good sense of humor.

 This is Pamela Tracy, signing off.  And, no, the 250 words I put here do not count towards my writing goal.

Pamela Tracy's most recent novel is a November 2017 release
from Harlequin Heartwarming.
Go ahead!
If you're going to read 80 books this year, you might as well buy mine and start!




31 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, Pam! I'm not a list person. But I should be. Maybe I'd get more done. Every so often I decide to get organized. I spend a lot of money on fancy planners and things to help me. It lasts about 2 days. One of my goals this year is to read more. The last few years I've spent so much time writing that I have barely read anything. I used to read at least a book a week, now I'm lucky if I read one a month. But that is changing this year. And yes, yours looks like a great one to start with!

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    1. I buy a big calendar and that's where I keep track of everything :)
      Two days, eh?
      So, you're done already?

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  2. Pam, I love your list. Especially the laundry part---because if I don't write it down, it doesn't get done. Neither do the dishes still stacked in the dishwasher. We were snowed in for four days this past weekend and all I did was shovel and write.
    And I do read a lot these days, less television I have to say. But all four Heartwarming books each month and then I have some other favorite authors that I HAVE to buy. And if I don't have a book to read by my bedside or when I travel---I have an anxiety attack!

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    1. I don't watch much television either. I know a lot about Alaska because my husband watches all the Building Alaska shows. I'm very afraid, very very very afraid that someday he'll want to move me off the grid. ACK

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  3. Thanks for the reminder, Pam. I haven't written down my 2018 goals. I always print them out and keep them close to my computer. It's always fun to go back and reread them from time to time :)

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    1. Oh, and Cathy, remember on your list, probably third, would be: spend more time with best friend.

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    2. Remember, Cathy, when you make your list, that number three should read... Spend more time with best friend.

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  4. Pam, your lists, goals and achievements are impressive. I like making lists but they usually pertain to grocery shopping or menu planning. Making a goal of writing a 1000 words a day and doing it (even when you’re not on deadline?) is inspiring. Going to look for a notepad and pen right now!

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    1. Yes, Janice, 250 words (at least) at a time.

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  5. Pam, I'm one of those 12 books a year people! I read before sleeping, and some nights I'm asleep as I open the book. I swear the pages gives off a sleeping drug! I like lists, too. I'm a happier, more productive person.

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    1. LOL, I don't read much in bed either because of that. My favorite place to read is in the living room while my husband is watching his beloved Alaska shows.

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  6. Pam I don't set goals any more. I get too frustrated if I don't reach them. I do make lists, but not every day. I'm so impressed that you make them and stick to them. I read a lot. I don't ever count how many books I read, but I don't do reviews. I did leave a few on Amazon for books I loved, but found it stressful. BTW, I loved your November book.

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    1. I stuck to my lists a lot better before I had my son. Now, I need to write down: interrupted by Mike.
      I'm so glad you liked my November release :)

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  7. The Woman Most Wanted would indeed be a good book to kick off a year of reading, because it's hard to put down. I'm a list maker, too, but not every day. Maybe I need to start, because sometimes the important things on my mental list slip to the bottom of my priorities. I don't keep track of how many books I read every year, but I'd say in the neighborhood of one or two a week, so eighty is probably pretty close.

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    1. The best thing about keeping track on Goodreads is that I can see where I am when it comes to reading a series. The books are right there and I can check. I also love that Amazon tells me "You purchased this item on May 12, 2012. Ack, then I really need to read it.

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  8. The best thing about lists is crossing things off when they're completed. good idea with the word count and appreciate the homage to Grafton.

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    1. Oh, I like crossing off too.
      I keep thinking that there will be "the final manuscript has been found!" scenario. But, then I read that she was still seeking an idea, so probably not.

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  9. I make lists. I NEED to read. Takes away stress from work.
    And Sue Grafton - had the pleasure/honor of meeting her for the second time when X was released. Adored her.

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    1. You got to meet her twice!
      When I sent, I took in A is for Alibi, the paperback. I had my "young" scrawling handwriting name in the front. I bought Y. It was great.

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  10. What a lovely post. Thanks for mentioning Sue Grafton. She's a case in point for me in that I admire her and her great career and the way she managed it, even if I wasn't drawn to her type of book. But whether I read another author is irrelevant to learning from her process and seeing all the markers on the road to success. That's what so exciting about being at RWA National--seeing all the wonderful authors on the path. That's where your post led my train of thought, and to thinking about all the laundry you do! And 1000 words a day means you have a draft of a Heartwarming in about 70 days. Good for you!

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    1. I will be at Nationals this summer. Yeah!
      And, yes, but I can't do 1000 on the weekend, so that changes the final product a bit. LOL

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  11. I love your lists, too. It's one of the things I wish I'd get good at. I'm so sorry about Sue Grafton, too. Kinsey's been a friend for a long time.

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    1. I ebb and flow. I'm happier when I stay true to my list, but the busier I get, the more I stray, and then, CHAOS.

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  12. I try to read something every day for pleasure. My goal this year is 52 books I think. So far I've read 2 books. :-0 And I'm a list maker...sometimes.

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    1. I'm at two books, too. But, I started them both in 2017. I just finished Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. And, with my son, I just finished The Outsiders. You?

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  13. Pam, I'm a list maker, too. I don't always stick to them, but oh how I love to cross things off! Lol. I haven't counted up the books I've read this year yet because I haven't written down the last few months. I keep track on my calendar (and obviously get behind sometimes.) But I think I'm at about 60. I need to look into the Goodreads challenge. It would be cool to have them all right there in one place.

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    1. Carol, it would be really cool if the Heartwarmers could do the challenge as a group! I hadn't thought about that.

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  15. Blogger is freaking out on me today. I'll try again...
    I couldn't get anything done without my lists. I find great satisfaction crossing things off as I complete each task. Happy New Year, Pam!

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    1. Jill, it's frustrating me, too!!!! I have to publish my comments like three times before it takes. We ought to form a Lists R Us group.

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  16. I've never made a reading goal. I don't quite get that. Reading is kind of like breathing - something I just have to do. I think I've read about 5 books so far this year...at least five ebooks from the library. Now, did I also read a book book since New Years?

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