February 2019 Monthly Check-in

How we are at the end of February, I do not know. This month has FLOWN by ridiculously fast. So, here is my check-in… Starting with a look at what goals I made at the end of January.

  • Daily writing. 100 words minimum – I did do this and am super proud of myself and very, very happy.
  • Complete Stealing Time – Not quite, which is a shame, but I’ve made steady progress and will have it finished very soon, and it will release in March.
  • All scheduled blog posts – OMG so, so close. I missed one! *sigh* Shame on me.
  • Complete all day-job tasks before the 13th – Came close to this one, too. Ended up having to finish an edit on the 14th, but it was just a little bit to go, so I’m not kicking myself over that one.
  • Continue making self-care a priority – Definitely have done this. And honestly, it’s the reason I closely missed some of the other goals by such a fine margin. I chose to listen to my body and do what was best, instead of pushing myself into a flare or sickness, which this girl does NOT need.
  • Finish friends’ Christmas gifts before the 13th. LOL – Yeah, this was one I just removed from my goals list pretty early on. After a couple rough weeks, weatherwise, when EVERYONE was at home because it was too dangerous to go to school or work, I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to do this one. It’s cool, though; my friends are totally okay with getting Christmas pressies in June when I see them next. 😀
  • Enjoy the time away from “real life” at the end of the month, so I can come home refreshed and ready to jump back into it – OMG, yes, yes, yes, to this one. Two weeks away was just what I needed to relax and enjoy myself and spend time with friends and write. I’m actually enjoying my last evening at Bronwyn’s as I type this. I’m sad to be leaving, but at the same time, I miss my family. I’m so excited to see them tomorrow night. And I do feel like this time has refreshed me and I can hit “real life” running…okay, at least a fast walk, anyway.

And those goals I didn’t quite make? I feel like I’ve evened that out with the extra things I accomplished this month. I’ve gotten all my books uploaded to Eden Books – in time for their opening, this week. Super excited about that. I helped Bronwyn get her computer organized. The first day I was here, I nearly had a stroke when I saw the state of her laptop desktop and her files. So, I ever so gently guided her, and now, her files are purged and organized. Her desktop is clean and uncluttered. It’s like heaven. (I may have been super dramatic and heavy-handed…but it was for her own good!!)

Looking forward to March:

  • Write daily. I’m bumping my daily minimum from 100 to 250 words.
  • Complete and publish Stealing Time.
  • Work on co-writing holiday Bound story with Bronwyn.
  • All scheduled blog posts.
  • Re-release the five contemporary books I’ve gotten the rights back for.
  • Be more active on social media.
  • Continue to make self-care a priority.

And that’s it’s for me. Make sure you check out how Bronwyn did this month and what she’s aiming for in March.

January 2019 Monthly Check-in

Okay, so I didn’t really write down any goals specific to this month. BUT I did say I would write daily this year. I told myself I would write a minimum of 100 words every day no matter what. An addendum was added to that – that if I missed a day because of a flare-up or some family stuff, as long as that 100 words was made up for during that week, it still counted.

I have managed to do that. I’ve written every day this month. What’s even better? Even though there were days I only got that 100 words, I still wrote over 13K this month. Soooo YAY! I know for some writers, this isn’t ground-breaking, but for me, who barely wrote last year (for many reasons), it is HUGE!

Seriously, I was blown away by the monthly total when I looked at it because I didn’t expect that I’d written that much. So I am really, really happy!

I did all the scheduled blog posts for January, so that was awesome. Wrapped up a lot of day job stuff. Didn’t freeze to death – close call with “feels like” -50 through this week. o.O So all in all, I’m very proud of my January.

So, now, my goals for February:

  • Daily writing. 100 words minimum
  • Complete Stealing Time
  • All scheduled blog posts
  • Complete all day-job tasks before the 13th.
  • Continue making self-care a priority.
  • Finish friends’ Christmas gifts before the 13th. LOL
  • Enjoy the time away from “real life” at the end of the month, so I can come home refreshed and ready to jump back into it.

I’ll be heading to Michigan on the 13th to invade Bronwyn’s house for two whole weeks, so I want all the non-writing word done and off my plate, because I’m not bringing it with me! Those two weeks are for time with friends and writing, and I canNOT wait!

And that’s it for me. Be sure to check out how January came together for Bron.

Bronwyn Green

October 2018 Monthly Check-in

For last month, my goals were:

  • Daily writing – Keep it up! (Not quite)
  • Finish the book – this is doable. So doable. Needs to happen. (Uh uh.)
  • Self-care every day – remembering to refill that well. Soooo important. (I would like to say yes, but…)
  • All scheduled blog posts – Keep it up! (A bit old nope. I missed 2 of the 7 so far)

Honestly, though I’m batting 0-4 with the goals, I’m happy with this month for the most part. I’m writing regularly. Not daily, but regularly, which is more than I had been doing before. Did not finish the book, but made freaking progress. Self-care…I managed it more days than not, so better. And I got the majority of the blog posts – and hey, sometimes my self-care for those days was giving myself permission to, say, go to sleep because of a flare rather than make myself stay up and feel worse trying to do  it. So yeah, I’m happy with October. And…

For November:

  • Write more days than not (See, learning and tweaking LOL)
  • Come close to, if not, finishing the current book. I’m really excited about this one, and I’m loving it. I want to write on it, I want to finish it…so I’m going to do my best.
  • Keep improving on the self-care front.
  • All scheduled blog posts, dammit. LOL
  • Start on Christmas gifts (making and shopping) o.O

Bronwyn Green

Monthly Check-in: September 2018

Well, this month just flew on by. Geez. Hard to believe we’re going into October…

So, last month, I set these goals for September:

  • Daily Writing – Not exactly every day, but close to. And I’m not going to beat myself up for the days I didn’t because there was just no way it was going to happen. I have written more this month than I have in a loooooooong time, so I’m counting this as a big yes, and a win. 🙂
  • Remembering the importance of self-care…and actually doing it – I did do this. And I think it’s part of the reason that I’ve written more. Refilling that well, so I have more to give. Who knew? Well, I knew, but didn’t do it. Bad Jess. But focusing on it this month and being more productive was a good reminder. 
  • All scheduled blog posts – Yes. I am super happy about this because I had let blogging slide by the wayside the past months and I’m so happy to be back at it! 

All in all, September was a good month. I had some not-so-good moments/days, but I’m rolling with it. Tuck and roll, baby. Also, this week… I got to see Hamilton!!! Wooot. It was AMAZING! It was a magical evening with the kids, and I’m so happy I got to do it.

So for October

  • Daily writing – Keep it up!
  • Finish the book – this is doable. So doable. Needs to happen.
  • Self-care every day – remembering to refill that well. Soooo important.
  • All scheduled blog posts – Keep it up!

Bronwyn Green

Monthly Check-in: August 2018

So, August has been a mixed bag, to be honest. Isn’t that just life, though?

My month began at Bronwyn Green’s house. Her family put up with me for over a week – we went out to sushi with Jenny Trout and both their daughters, we headed to Ann Arbor for a signing and had lots of fun exploring and hanging out….and it was honestly just what I needed at the time.

Sadly, all the driving (to the family reunion, to Bron’s, to Ann Arbor and back) then flying home, THEN driving into northern MN for family camping with the hubs’ side of the family, when I got home… Well, it wasn’t pretty, friends. Not even a little. I flared pretty bad, had a lot of pain, and wasn’t able to do much of anything. My hopes of finishing a book this month pretty much died at that point.

BUT…sucky as it was, it didn’t last forever, and I’m mostly back to normal. Just in time for the kiddos to start school this past week. LOL Luckily, they are all taking college classes, and two of the four have their own cars now, so it’s much easier on me than say last year – then, I felt like I lived in my car as I ferried kids to and fro.

I’ve been writing the past couple days, getting back into the habit of daily writing. That is what I want to continue through September. So…

  • Daily Writing
  • Remembering the importance of self-care…and actually doing it.
  • All scheduled blog posts.

And before I sign off…today, is a super special day for me. It’s the hubs’ and my anniversary. The ridiculously awesome man has survived being married to me for 22 years (has put up with me for 24!). So happy anniversary to the best man I know.

And something to look forward to? September is…


I canNOT wait!!!


Monthly Check-in: July 2018

Wow, July is coming to a close. *shakes head*

So…checkin’ in…

This month has had it’s ups and downs, but more ups than downs, so I will take it. I’m writing regularly, making progress. And that is huge. After the last year of having difficulty getting anything writing-related done – yup…HUGE.

I turned forty. *shrugs* I know it’s supposed to be a big thing, but, eh, it was a birthday. The best part about it, though, was the hubs got me Hamilton tickets for this fall! YAY!!

More frightening than the 4-0 is, on Sunday, my daughter is turning 18. That is three out of four kiddos that are 18 and older and graduated.

I’m writing this super late Thursday night as I pack up and prepare to go camping this weekend. Should be a great time with the family – including extended. Then, on Sunday, Bron’s coming up to get me for…

a week and a half stay at her house!

So I’m going to start my August out right. Which will put me in good form to accomplish my one big goal for the month – FINISH A DAMNED BOOK.

Seriously, that’s it. That is all I want to accomplish.

Bronwyn Green

Monthly Check-in: June 2018

Holy crap, it’s nearly July!

June was INSANE. My daugher graduated, so we had that and a party and out of town guests. Very very busy. The oldest boy headed out for the summer (he works at one of the Boy Scout camps so I won’t see him for a while. 🙁 )

And then, there was one of my favorite times of year – our annual writing retreat. This year, we definitely hit some bumps along the way. Kris Norris was delayed and delayed and delayed getting here – she was flying in here then driving to Michigan with me. She finally got here after like 24 hours, only to find they had lost her bag. We were able to arrange for them to reroute her bag to the wee airport near where we were staying, but still had a relatively late start on our road trip.

We got in very late, and the next day, we were blown away by news of massive flooding and destruction near us because of heavy rains.

So many people lost so much – some, everything – so I remain thankful my family up that was was safe, we were safe, and were able to be together. And Norris’ bag did eventually make it, so she didn’t have to run around nekkid.

On the writing front… Well, I’m writing, so that is a positive. And I’m not going to get negative here, at all. Because no time for that, and it won’t change anything anyway…at least not in a good way. I’m focusing on how I’m able to focus so much better now that I’m on meds that are working. Norris is still at my house, and we’re having a great time – with many trips to Tim Horton’s. Yesterday, she helped me rearrange things in my house so I now I have a chair and ottoman in my room. I don’t even care that it’s a smidge crowded in there; I can actually shut the door and have privacy to write without distractions – unlike with my corner in the living room. I can’t even complain about taking all day yesterday to do this, because I really do feel like it’s going to be huge for my productivity. So woot.

That’s about it from me, this month. July is actually supposed to be a quiet month here. No trips, no camping (until the last weekend)…unlike past years. So my goals:

  • Write daily. No excuses.
  • Keep up with housework and self-care.
  • Check in regularly with mah people. 🙂 (Keeps me motivated and accountable)

And that’s it, really. As I’m just getting back on track with things, I don’t want to overwhelm myself or expect too much. So I’m keeping it simple.

Bronwyn Green

February 2018 Monthly Check-in

February sure flew by. Damn. So, time to check in and see how I did with my goals for the month.

  • Complete all scheduled blog posts – Done. Some, I was late on…but I got them all done.
  • Write daily – and try for some big numbers the first week of Feb while in Michigan – Didn’t quite manage this. However, I’ve written more words, and more regularly, this month than I have in a very, very long time. So I’m going to call writing in February a win.
  • Coursework – I’m taking a class in February, so keeping up with that is a big thing – Been keeping up with the class, so yay.
  • Take time for myself – beyond the typical self-care that needs to happen, some time doing something I just *want* to do, not that I have to do, is important – I have done this, I’m happy to say. My vaca in Michigan earlier this month helped with that – nearly a week and a half away from everything. It was lovely, and included mani-pedis, a super yummy meal at The Melting Pot, and time with friends.

All in all, not a bad month. I’m happy with what I accomplished and looking forward to getting more done next month. Here are my goals for March:

  • Complete all scheduled blog posts.
  • Publish Safeword Protected. Finally. Such a long time coming. Very excited about this.
  • Daily writing.
  • Complete current project/novella.
  • Keep up on self-care and house stuff – Because I function better, overall, when I do.

Bronwyn Green

January 2018 Check-in

Wow, already the end of January.

I didn’t really set goals for January – not specific ones anyway. So we are just going to say that January was…okay. Not the greatest, but not the worst. LOL I did all my blog posts, got some quality family time, my house is mostly in order, and I’m still up and moving. I’ll call that a success.

I’m just going to keep my eyes forward, then, at this point. For February:

  • Complete all scheduled blog posts
  • Write daily – and try for some big numbers the first week of Feb while in Michigan.
  • Coursework – I’m taking a class in February, so keeping up with that is a big thing.
  • Take time for myself – beyond the typical self-care that needs to happen, some time doing something I just *want* to do, not that I have to do, is important.

And I’m going to leave it at this, this month. Baby steps and moving forward – my current motto. 🙂

Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease

Looking Back & Looking Forward

That’s about all I can say for 2017…bye bye!

It’s been a rough year – for a lot of reasons – and I’m glad to see the end of it.

I am grateful for the things I’ve learned, though, about myself, about what I want to be doing, and about what is standing in my way (Spoiler alert – I’m the thing standing in my way a lot of the time.)

I’m not going to revisit the goals I made at the beginning of 2017. I’m determined to leave the past in the past and move forward.

With that in mind, I’m going to look forward to what I want to accomplish in 2018.

Continue making self-care a priority – I did pretty well with this the past year, though toward the end, not so much. But that did make it very clear to me just how important self-care is and how necessary it is. This includes moving more, eating better, sleeping more (omg, need to sleep more!), taking time for me (whatever that looks like in the moment), and being kinder to myself.

Continue blogging regularly – We’ve got out schedule for the next year all laid out, and I’m really excited about it.

Keeping my house in order – I’ve found the better I am this, the clearer my mind is. Cluttered surrounding, cluttered brain, apparently. Hmmm, I guess this kinda falls under self-care, in a way…

Say no more often – This is where the standing-in-my-own-way thing comes in. And I’m owning it. I’m the one who says yes to everyone because I want to help, I feel guilty when I say no, etc. I’m trying to change my mind-set on this because it is okay to say no, especially when it interferes with or blocks what I want/need to be doing.

Be more positive – It is so easy to focus on the negative stuff, and I find when I do that, it’s a sickening, soul-sucking spiral, and then, I can’t see the positive at all. So, this year, I’m determined to focus on the positive as much as possibly can (Side note: I just read an article about how when we focus on the negative and complain, complain, complain, it affects your brain physically and makes negative thoughts all the more easy to process…or something like that. It’s late, I’ll admit, and my word-smithing skills are tired. LOL But the basic gist is our brains are about efficiency, so by focusing on the negative, we hardwire our brain to go down that negative path more easily.)

Write daily – Sure, some days, getting huge amounts of words isn’t going to happen, but there isn’t really a day when I can’t get at least 100 words in. I need to kick the all-or-nothing mentality, because every little bit counts. It all adds up.

Release 4 books – I’m not gonna lie…I’m tempted to make that number higher, but I’m not going to. I’m going to focus on writing four awesome books and releasing those in 2018. If I write more, great, but this is my goal.

So, bye-bye, 2017.  And, 2018…

Bronwyn Green