Saturday, January 26, 2013

On Keeping Resolutions

I'm proud to say I haven't broken any New Year's resolutions.

But then, I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore.

It seems a prudent way for a person to keep things in her life in order is to take stock a lot more often than once a year.

I've found I keep resolutions more frequently by setting them on a daily, weekly or monthly basis all year around.

For example, if I'm going to write the first draft of a new book, I'll estimate how long I believe it should take to complete the draft based on how much preparatory work I've done, what my upcoming schedule of non-writing events and obligations looks like, and determine how much time I'll have to do my actual writing.

If I believe it will take me six weeks to complete a first draft, I'll set a goal of six weeks to complete the rough work of the book.

Next, I'll set weekly goals toward reaching the one due to be achieved in six weeks. Week one I will complete the first twelve thousand words; week two I'll write the second ten thousand words and so on.

Finally, goals are broken down into days--two thousand words on Monday (my schedule is filled with other appointments), four thousand on Tuesday (my schedule is lighter), and so on through Saturday. (I work Monday to Saturday, taking Sundays off.)

At the end of each day and week, I reassess and do whatever is necessary to stay on track toward the six-week goal.

If I'm trying to lose weight, I do pretty much the same thing. First I set a long-term goal such as in March I might decide I'd like to lose seven pounds by June first. That would give me three months to lose seven pounds, roughly twelve weeks. On the average I'd need to lose slightly more than one half pound every week.

Just as I'd do with writing the first draft of a book, I'd make weekly assessments to see how I was succeeding in reaching my goal. Some weeks I'd lose weight, some I might stay the same, some I might gain. Whatever the outcome, I'd have to make the proper adjustments each week in order to reach my goal.

Many of us have a dream we'd like to achieve, but thus far we've put it off year after year because it seemed out of reach.

If we're able bodied, most of our dreams are achievable, if we work hard enough to meet our short and long term goals. If a person wants to learn to fly a plane, roller skate, cross country ski, knit, do wood carvings or write a novel he must resolve to do it and then make a plan to fulfill his resolution--whether it is New Year's Day when he makes the commitment or April Fool's Day.

Almost anything can be achieved with commitment and perseverance.

Good luck, Dear Readers, with all of your resolutions, the ones you made on January 1, 2013 (or 2012, 2011, or 2000) and with the ones you make today.


Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author
Fran's Web Page

Monday, January 14, 2013

Free E-Books

Everyone likes Free Books, Games and other forms of entertainment they can enjoy on a handheld device or a computer. I know between books and games, I give my Kindle a good workout just about everyday, and, yes, some of my content was free.

Many thousands of readers have enjoyed my popular Historical Romance "Change of Heart" as a free download (a number 1 bestseller at Amazon in Historical Romance).

In October the first book of my new Historical Romance "Tender Mysteries Series" was released as a Free Download, and readers are downloading it like crazy. Thank you very much for your positive response!

And speaking of thank yous, I'd like to thank the hundreds of readers who participated in my two recent Good Reads contest giveaways for paperback editions of the "Tender Mysteries Series" and the "Heart Junction Series."

Now, back to the Free Books. In addition to "Change of Heart" and "Resurrected" "Crossed Wires," a popular contemporary romance short story, is also available as a free download.

"Resurrected" -- July, 1895: An investigation into a series of thefts leads Deborah Willet to a compelling man and a shocking discovery about another love in her life.

"Resurrected" is available as a free download at: Barnes and Noble, I-Books, Kobo Books and other sites on the Internet. It is available at Amazon for 99 cents, but if you tell Amazon "Resurrected" is available for Free at other sites, they will price match it so you can get it for free there too.

"Change of Heart" -- 1850s Nebraska. A woman is stranded in a territory she despises with a man she cannot resist.

"Change of Heart" is available as a free download at: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, I-Books, Kobo Books, and other sites on the Internet.

"Crossed Wires" -- Hank Garcia, thinking he was going to Melanie Baker's house to fix an electrical problem, gets the shock of his life.

"Crossed Wires" is available as a free download at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, I-Books, Kobo Books, and at other sites on the Internet.

Dear Readers, thank you again for your tremendous support. If you have not yet read the above Free Books, I do hope you have the time to enjoy them with my heartfelt gratitude for your interest in my stories.

God Bless You always,


Fran's Web Page

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

It's been a while since I posted to the blog because I took some time off over the Christmas and New Year's holiday to be with family and dear friends. Wow, was it nice!

I accomplished some work around the house too which I'd wanted to do for some time. (I guess the word is out now. Most romance writers lead rather ordinary lives.)

January 2 I was back at work getting "Recruited," the fourth book in the "Tender Mysteries Series" ready for a spring release. I was delighted to be working again after my holiday break because I enjoy working. It's hard for me to be away from writing, and I rarely take time off. I think most writers are like that.

I wanted to wish all of my readers a Happy New Year. May your 2013 be filled with abundant blessings from God.


Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author
Fran's Web Page