Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Resolutions Game

posted by Nancy

This being January, lots of us have made resolutions. This being late January, some of us will have fallen off the wagon. Kathleen O’Reilly’s January Blaze, Midnight Resolutions, is particularly timely, so Kathleen and I are chatting today about resolutions.

Welcome, Kathleen! I confess that I no longer make resolutions because the word is so intimidating. I make plans. Which are sort of like hopes with some oomph behind them. And which are not going all that well. I haven’t been back to the gym, haven’t appreciably altered my eating habits, but I have made significant progress on my latest manuscript, an indication I’m doing better at time management. Did you make resolutions you’re willing to share? And if so, how’re they doing?

I don't make resolutions that are intended to last the entire year, maybe a quarter of the year instead. It makes it a LOT easier to carry out. Most of my goal making is done in very small increments. Sadly, I have discovered that it's not any easier to drop five pounds than it is to drop twenty-five. Wimpy, they name is Kathleen. On the positive front, I have been going to the gym a lot. I enjoy working out, and walking, and I notice that I feel a LOT better when I exercise, because, alas, without exercise, I am a slug.

Without exercise, I have no hope, alas, of losing actual, noticeable weight. Another of my plans for 2010 was to whittle the TBR pile. It’s gotten to the point where I’m afraid to buy anything that’s not a new release lest I later discover it deep in the teetering stack. What’s your TBR pile like?

Hehehe.... My TBR is getting smaller. I have a Kindle, and it virtualizes your TBR pile. When my Kindle is off, my TBR pile disappears from view. Poof. Very stressless. However, I have been whittling it down. I just finished The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and enjoyed it. LOVED Anna Campbell's Captive of Sin (as always), and I'm currently reading the Help. I just got my stack of Rita books, which I cannot talk about, but it wasn't a thrilling stack like I'm lucky enough to get in years past (only one actually). But, the upside is that there are a lot of books that I don't think I'm going to enjoy that I really do. I've discovered some favorite writers that way. So, the moral of the story is 'don't judge a book by its cover, nor it's back cover copy, either.'

So you're actually not only whittling the TBR pile but have found a new way to hide it. My dh may be interested in this strategy as the books climb and teeter and spill in various corners of our house. What are you reading these days?

I'm about 25% through The Help and then after that it's the aforementioned Rita books.

I started Street Magic, the first of Caitlin Kittredge's Black London series. I'm not too far into it, but it's interesting so far. I'm almost through (because, hey, what's life without multiple books in progress?) Air Time, the third Charlotte McNally mystery from Hank Phillippi Ryan, who'll be here next week. It's living up to the other two, which were great.

What’s your biggest time management issue?

Probably that there's only 24 hours in a day. I would like to stop time for a bit, get through a task, and then start it up again when I'm done. Einstein was really onto something. Now if they could only figure out how to make my to-do list travel at a constant rate, and my watch (or my family) move at a relative pace to the constant. There's big money in that invention. Big money, I say.

You need a time turner, like Hermione had in The Prizoner of Azkaban, maybe. I need improved planning. We control freaks will settle for the illusion of control if we can't have the real thing, so I'm trying to keep everyone else in line with writing things on the master calendar. And then I need to remember to, you know, LOOK at it. But I'm doing better. I think.


The hero and heroine of Midnight Resolutions meet at the big Times Square New Year celebration. Tell us a little about them.

First of all, Ian Cumberland is one cool, albeit slightly deluded dude. I made him the romantic, the optimist, just out of his job as an investment banker, and now working in a job placement agency to help people find work. He THINKS that it's an interim job, because he wants his old life back. But he's very happy go lucky, so he doesn't whine too much about it (hate whiners; Kathleen's New Year's Resolution -- write no whiners - EVAH). Enter Rose Hildebrand, who ends up kissing a stranger (Ian, natch) on New Year's Eve. Rose has a ton of baggage. Big baggage, and she wants security and control most of all. She has her life planned, and she sticks to that plan RIGOROUSLY (now there is a woman who makes and keeps all resolutions). But fate keeps intervening, which is not a good thing for a woman who cleaves to control like other women cleave to ice cream.

Would you like to share an excerpt? And didn’t this book get a really good rating from Romantic Times?

It did! It got a Top Pick from RT. Fair warning, I don't think everyone will love Rose like I did. She's not even close to typical romance heroine material because of her past, but I'm an equal opportunity writer. It strikes me as unfair that only the happy, perky, satisfied heroines get to find love. Sometimes I want the unlovable to find love, too. And I think that's the point of the book. Everyone has a heart. Sometimes it's just more difficult to find it. And the excerpt is located here.

Any parting advice or opinions about resolutions?

I'm about to start on a whole new pack of books (two new trilogies) and it's fun to start fresh with a blank slate of people. I think with resolutions, that's the fun part as well. Starting anew. Erasing past history, past mistakes, past weight gain (sadly, they haven't figured out the science of erasing past weight gain except through exercise and diet, so we should probably strike that if we're being truthful). I think that's my favorite part of new beginnings and new resolutions. Everything is possible. Everything.

Ah, the allure of potential! I think that's part of the attraction at places like Home Depot and Lowe's and Michaels--walking down the aisles bombards a person with possibilities. My approach in recent years had been to not beat myself up for what I haven't done and to focus instead on what I have while I keep working on the bits that aren't quite there yet.

So what about you? How are you doing in the 2010 resolutions game, and what advice would you offer other people? What are you reading as the year kicks off, and what's your TBR pile like? One commenter will win a copy of Midnight Resolutions.

98 comments:

Jane said...

My resolutions are going slow. I'm still eating junk food and haven't been exercising as often as I should. I can't wait to pick up Allison Brennan and Stephanie Laurens' new releases.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Jane, your resolution seems to be to catch the GR!

Hey, Nancy, what a wonderful interview. Kathleen, I'm sure you're sick of me saying you're one of my favorite writers but, hey, YOU'RE ONE OF MY FAVORITE WRITERS!!! Seriously, you're amazing.

I've got Resolutions on the TBR pile. You and Monica Burns's Kismet were next off the cab rank and then, bango, whizzo, up turned the RITA books so you'll have to be my reward for being a good girl and writing all week. I tend to save your books because I know they're going to be fantastic - yeah, doesn't that put a bit weight of responsibility on your very clever head! ;-)

Virginia said...

Congrats Jane on getting the rooster!

I am like Jane my resolutions are going slow. I have been exercising some but not as much as I should be. Also eating junk food at night, bad, bad, bad! I have been reading romantic suspense lately, but the historicals are calling me again.

chelleyreads said...

my only resolution is to read 20 books off my tbr pile or i can't buy any new books until April 1, 2010--i'm making myself do one or the other b/c my tbr is out of control! and i'm doing good so far b/c i haven't bought anything and i've already read 3 books!

ms. o'reilly, i have to tell you i recently read this month (one of the 3 books i've mentioned) a blazing little christmas and your story became one of my favorite reads ever. it's short but it packed an huge emotional punch and i was in tears by the end of it, wishing it was longer! so thank you for that amazing story! :D

right now i'm reading caressed by ice by nalini singh but next up is ecstasy unveiled (the new one by larissa ione). i'm so excited to read that one as i've been waiting almost a year for it to come out :)

congrats on the gr jane! and have a great rest of the week lovely banditas!!

Linda Henderson said...

I quit making resolutions. I never seemed to follow through on them so I had to cope with being down on myself for not sticking with them. So instead I only state that I would like to eat healthier this year instead of saying I will. I know, it's semantics. My TBR pile is always pretty good sized. Probably because I am a bookaholic. I love reading and I do as much of it as I can. Right now I am reading Knight Of Pleasure by Margaret Mallory. I just started it but I'm really liking it.

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, where are my manners? Thank you for the shout out about Captive of Sin. I'm so happy you loved it!

flchen1 said...

Hi, Kathleen and Nancy! Lovely interview! Kathleen, I've really enjoyed your Blazes and am looking forward to picking up your latest!

As for resolutions/goals, they're moving slowly. I've yet to properly record any of my reading this year (one goal was to better track my reading), and the house is as cluttered as ever (another goal is to declutter a bit)... And the TBR is still on track to blot out the sun, so I suppose there *is* that :D

Congrats on the GR, Jane!

Helen said...

Congrats Jane have fun with him

I don't make resolutions but I am trying to be more healthy I have only bought 1 packet of Tim Tams this year (yes shock horror) and that was the new white chocolate ones to try loved them LOL.

Kathleen I am sorry to say I have not as yet read any of your books but that will change. My TBR pile is huge mountainous to say the least and I love it that way I am waiting on another 10 books to be delivered this week LOL. But I have been reading lots this month so far I am just about to finish my 9th book Anne Gracie's To Catch A Bride awesome book awesome series next up is Karen Hawkins The Laird Who Loved Me and I am looking forward to this one I have also been enjoying some of the Mills & Boon Medicals I really enjoy these books.
Great interview Ladies of to watch the rest of the cricket and read YAY

Have Fun
Helen

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

My tbr pile has been out of control since I found the lair. I thought I read fast until I got here and now, well, let's just say even the neighbors feel threatened by my tbr pile. I live in WV and mountains don't generally scare us but this one does.

As far as resolutions, well, I don't "do" resolutions...LOL I had intentions of trying to eat better but that went out the window about the 3rd.

Laurie said...

I'm really not good at keeping resolutions! I try! I do!

However,I can't give up buying new books. My TBR pile will continue to grow.

I do try to walk or swim everyday.

I'm trying to limit chocolate and ice cream BUT I really, REALLY like them and they make me feel better mentally!! RIGHT?

I'd love to find out how Ian and Rose work out their differences!

Laurie said...

I'm really not good at keeping resolutions! I try! I do!

However,I can't give up buying new books. My TBR pile will continue to grow.

I do try to walk or swim everyday.

I'm trying to limit chocolate and ice cream BUT I really, REALLY like them and they make me feel better mentally!! RIGHT?

I'd love to find out how Ian and Rose work out their differences!

Anna Sugden said...

Welcome, Kathleen and thank you to Nancy for hosting you.

I'm another one who avoids resolutions, so I'm not depressed when I don't stick to them. *g*. Instead I have a target of running The Race for Life (a 5km run for women to support breast cancer) in July. I did it last year, so I know I can, but for the past couple of months various ailments and family things have kept me from working out. This will help me get back on track, I hope.

I've also set myself some writing goals to help get me towards that sale.

And my TBR mountains are my reward for achieving! Though, one of the drawbacks of fabulous guests in the Lair is that hillocks of books appear!

Nancy said...

Hi, Jane--Congrats on the rooster! Have fun with him.

You have plenty of company in the slow progress department. I'm so there, I'm irritated with myself. Maybe February will be my "much improved" month.

Nancy said...

Hi, Anna--I'm hearing that about the RITA books a lot. I have GH entries and am hoping to do them this weekend so they won't be looming over me. But they're not whole books.

Glad you liked our little chat.

I first met Kathleen at the NJRW conference. We were both chapter presidents--the only two from the South there, I think--and ended up sitting next to each other at dinner. How's that for coincidence?

Nancy said...

Hi, Virginia--I'm so happy (in the "misery loves company" vein) when someone else's resolutions are going slowly.

I've been reading more RS lately, too, and more fantasy, some of it urban like the Black London books. I've looked at those several times and finally decided to plunge in.

Nancy said...

Chelleyreads, that sounds like a very workable strategy for whittling the TBR pile. Mine, too, is out of control. And I have twice discovered books I'd just bought already on the pile. I gave them away here, so they're not a total waste, but I get so aggravated with myself when that happens. I never used to own more than 3 or 4 books I hadn't read--aside from references, and I'd usually read at lest segments of those.

Nancy said...

Uh, that's at LEAST a segment of references. I hit "publish" just a second too fast. *sigh*

Nancy said...

Linda, semantics can sometimes make a difference in convincing our brains to keep going on something. I really do believe that maintaining a positive attitude and forgiving ourselves when we slip up is important.

Nancy said...

Hi, Fedora--You track your reading? Cool. Do you log it by subgenre, by author, by how much you like it? Tell us more.

And you see you have plenty of company in the "not going so well" deparment. :-)

Nancy said...

Helen--oooh, white chocolate TimTams? Wow. They sound yummy.

I like looking at all the possibilities in the TBR pile. I never travel with fewer than 3 paperbacks, in different genres or subgenres, because I don't know what I'm going to be in the mood to read at bedtime. However, the TBR pile has long since outgrown the space we have for it and has become, really, several piles that the dh just humors me by referring to as one. I really HAVE to whittle, alas.

Nancy said...

Dianna, your TBR pile scares the neighbors? LOL! That's probably a record.

And yes, visiting book blogs can be dangerous for the TBR control. I'm always finding someone new, frequently here, whose books I want to check out.

Kirsten said...

I'm no good with new years resolutions.

I said I would no longer be cranky in the morning. But on days like today when I didn't drink 2 cups of coffee I find I still am.

I was no longer going to buy shoes when I have over 30 pair in my closet. But I couldn't resist a pair of brown suede semi boots.

I was going to cook al my meals from healthy scratch. But I ordered pizza on two, no let's be honest 3 occasions. (It's the Domino effect!)

I was no longer going to get so many books when my TBR pile oh so high. But .... I got a shiny gem by Sabrina Jeffries. How could I resist.

So I can't really advice others on how to keep them. I'm only an expert on breaking/discarding them.

The only new years resolution I have kept (so far) is to enjoy life. It can be VERY sweet!

Nancy said...

Hi, Laurie--I try, too. I just don't try hard enough. At my gym, the people who come in January and then disappear are called "resolutioners," people who are just there for a resolution that doesn't last. So I'm hoping going back in February will give me better staying power.

Nancy said...

Hi, Anna S.--I admire you for doing a benefit run. My knees and running do not like each other, even at the best of times, and I admire anyone who goes out and does anything like that for a cause.

We have Race for the Cure here, in October, and my gym usually pulls together a group to run.

Nancy said...

Kirsten, I'm so with you on those resolutions, which you probably will have noticed I'm with you on keeping, as well. Except for the shoe thing. Those of us with needle feet cannot develop a shoe habit--too frustrating because finding any that actually fit is like getting Frodo to Mt. Doom.

Deb said...

Resolutions can be so hard to follow through, so I like your idea, Kathleen, of making short-term resolutions. My friend Kate has decided to make a monthly bucket list and I like that idea. (Example: attend a play at least once every 6 weeks, including high school performances; we went to a play with another friend 2 weeks ago.)

I still have the resolution of losing weight. :( But, I will NOT give up chocolate to do it!

Ian and Rose's story sounds really good.

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Nancy and Kathleen! I've heard wonderful things about Midnight Resolutions wandering the internet & I'm looking forward to picking up a copy!

I, too, love resolutions. I love them with same sincerity with which I love fresh notebooks and sharp pencils. They also get dingy just as fast, but I love them anyway. :-)

This is probably a poor indicator of how I'm doing with my NYR but I can't quite at this moment put my finger on exactly what it is.

Hmmmm.

Nancy said...

Deb, I love your friend's idea! Shorter units of time, fewer projects.

We acquired a lot of boxes when we cleaned out my late mom's apartment, and I haven't opened them because the job was overwhelming. The dh and I are thinking, though, if we took a box a week, it would seem less daunting. And we would eventually have the use of the space those boxes occupy.

Nancy said...

Susan wrote:
I, too, love resolutions. I love them with same sincerity with which I love fresh notebooks and sharp pencils. They also get dingy just as fast, but I love them anyway. :-)

LOL! So true, so true, alas. I love making lists. They give the illusion of that wonderful thing, control. And then I lose them.

But for a few brief, shining moments, I have a vision of the Camelot of order taking shape in my life.

EilisFlynn said...

What a great interview! Yes, my TBR pile just got eight books plopped on top -- yep, RITA books. And this year I started on reading them as soon as I got them!

Marnee said...

I don't do resolutions either. I end up falling off the wagon and that just ruins my self-esteem. No need to start every year with poor self-esteem.

I read a review of Kathleen's book yesterday and it sounds really interesting. Great interview! :)

MsHellion said...

Hmmm. On my "plans" list (I don't like resolutions either; doesn't sound actiony enough), I have:

Exercise more (and more consistently)
Write more (and more consistently)
Go to bed earlier (app 10 pm)
Think of something happy once a day to be grateful for

And then because I'm insanely juvenile and can be bribed (I miss the days my Mom would give me money for A's)--I give myself a star for each of these things I do each day. If I get so many stars of each variety, then I can order something from Amazon. Namely something to do with Harry Potter.

Kathleen said...

Jane, good luck with the resolutions. They're very hard, but I think if you set your targets very small, it's easier to stick with them.

Kathleen said...

Anna,

Blushing here. You always make me smile. Have fun with all those Rita books. I wish you many goodies. :)

Kathleen said...

Virginia,

I too am hearing the siren's call of historicals, and I have no good answer to junk food late at night. I like to keep yogurt in the house because at 10pm, I want something sweet, and that seems to work it for me.

Kathleen said...

Chelleyreaders,

Good luck with your TBR pile. I know they're tough to whittle down. I'm glad you enjoyed Dear, Santa. I had so much fun writing that story, and I believe I'm slated to do another Christmas book (this one full-length) in December 2012. There's something very magical about the holiday books, the one time in fiction when "mysterious coincidences" can happen and you don't get called out for it. :)

Minna said...

My resolution is to finally get rid of the books that fill 3 bags and a couple of boxes, because if I don't do something, I'll run out of space. Since I don't seem to be able to get rid of all of them all at once (how hard can it be to find someone who reads their romance books in English, Swedish or German in this county, excuse, me, town?), I intend to swap at least 4-5 books a month (I would swap more if the postage wouldn't be what it is, especially when you send them overseas), preferably for something else than books. Accumulating more books is only too easy for me. So if anyone wants some books, just tell me. PLEASE!

Beds Are Burning - Midnight Oil
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpkGvk1rQBI


Lady Gaga - Poker Face - Parody ("Outer Space")
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h47fNaOb-JU&feature=fvw

CrystalGB said...

I am doing ok with my resolution to cut out junk food. My advice is to not give up. I just finished Royal's Bride by Kat Martin. Very good. My tbr pile is huge.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Kathleen, welcome to the Lair! I couldn't get the link to work for a glimpse at your book, but I think I'll like Rose. I don't mind independent women who are a little snarky! I'll try later.

Great catch, Jane!

I didn't make an resolutions this year, but I'm still trying to lose that 20 pounds before Nationals LOL.

My TBR pile is actually dwindling. I've decided to read the first 50-75 pages and if the book doesn't grab me, I donate it to my local library. Life's too short to wait till the end of the book to find out if you enjoy it.

Hey, maybe I was an editor in another life!

Kathleen said...

Linda, I think you're smart to opt for eating 'well'. There's so many foods (well, not a lot, but they do exist), that are healthy and good to eat. It's a much more manageable goal. I've heard a lot of great things about Margaret Mallory, but haven't read any of hers yet. Do you have one to recommend?

Kathleen said...

Di nada, Anna. I really loved it. I was reading it at a very stressful time, and it truly took me away. Kudos.

Kathleen said...

Thank you for the nice words flchen1. Decluttering is difficult, at least in our house. LOL about your TBR pile. Think about what you're doing to combat global warming. :)

Kathleen said...

Helen, Tim Tams? Much fun. Congrats on the reading pleasures. I love Anne Gracie's books, and love her as well.

Kathleen said...

Dianna,

You do know that that's what good friends do, don't you? Tell you about good books! LOL. My book-talk friends are my fav friends. LOL about your resolution resistance. I do think in some ways, a resolution can actually make you do the very behavior you want to avoid.

Kathleen said...

Laurie,

Excellent on the swimming and walking. I love to walk, but water scares me, but I know it's awesome exercise, so good for you and keep it up. And ice cream is not awful if you do it in moderation. I think that's the key. You allow yourself small rewards, so you don't feel deprived. You sound like you're being very sensible. Good luck.

Kathleen said...

Anna,

Kudos on the Race for Life! Runs are a great way to stay healthy and benefit something that you believe it, all at the same time. A win-win.

Good luck with your sale. I think writing goals are very important, because trust me, after you sale, it only gets worse. :) But in a good way. :))

Karyn Gerrard AKA~Drew said...

The resolutions Wagon left the livery without me on it. I make resolutions every year, and never keep them. LOL! Of course, I go for the big life-changing, sweeping declarations, I have learned to scale it back. Something small like, 'I will not gorge on chocolate at 1 AM'. I am sad to report, the chocolate thing is not working out.

My TBR pile is embarrassing. It is on my night table, in two huge boxes, and a big wicker basket full of new releases. ( I got 30 for Xmas!)
I got a lot of Harlequin Historicals, I am whipping through those efficiently! Just read 'A Regency Christmas' Now, I am starting 'Christmas with a Vampire III' at this rate, I will still be reading my Xmas titles in May.

Kathleen, the book sound wonderful, all the best with it, and Blaze books are my guilty pleasure, along with that 1AM chocolate!

Nancy said...

Eilis, I'm trying to get my GH entries done much faster this year. Good luck with the RITA ones.

Nancy said...

Marnee, glad you liked the interview. I think you're smart to avoid setting yourself up to be bummed out. As you say, no point starting a new year with low self-esteem.

Nancy said...

Hi, Ms. Hellion--You're ahead of the game if you're not rewarding yourself with food. Using food (hot fudge sundaes, which I love, for example) as a reward makes weight control really hard.

And more HP coming soon!

Nancy said...

Minna, I feel your pain. We donate our books to the public library fundraiser or to the English Dept. book sale, which raises money for cards and flowers when people have occasions to celebrate or need cheering up.

Nancy said...

Crystal GB, congratulations on making progress! And you're so right--giving up just undercuts it all. A setback is just a setback, not total failure.

Nancy said...

Jo, thanks for alerting me to the problem with the link. Since the PC here at school has decided to protect me from myself by blocking the evil popup for link insertion, I just copied in the html.

I've also stopped finishing books that don't grab me, which is sad in a way. If I don't finish the book, I never buy another by that author. If the book gets good by page 100, it's too late for me.

Nancy said...

PS to Jo--I will sometimes do what the dh refers to as "slicing." I'll open a later part of the book at random, read a page or two, and if I'm not engaged, do it again a couple of times. If nothing has caught me by then, I'm done.

Nancy said...

Drew, sorry the chocolate bit isn't working out! But if you have to lapse on something, at least chocolate is a mood lifter.

I don't buy a lot of anthologies, but I'm a sucker for holiday ones. I have a shelf full of them.

Kathleen said...

Nancy!! Waving wildly here. Question: what are the Black London books? I'm not a big UF fan, but that sounds interesting...

Kathleen said...

LOL Kirsten...

You sound like you've got a wry sens of life. That's a good one, and worth a lot of well-kept resolutions.
I am SO cranky in the morning. My DH is very cheerful, and every morning he looks at me and says, "Why are you mad?" After 19 years, you'd think he'd have clued in. Sigh, I think that cluelessness is why I love him. :)

Kathleen said...

Deb,

I love the montly bucket list idea. Might scarf that one. :) And FYI, you can lose weight and still eat chocolate. :)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Nancy, Hi Kathlee! Just popping on briefly to welcome you to the Lair!

The book sounds fab and the exerpt is really good. :> Love that!

I'm kind of with you, Nancy, I make plans and goals, rather than resolutions. So far, I'm doing fairly well on most of them so it's not bummer-time yet. Ha!

Like Kathleen, though, I need to get after my RITA entries, which hold some lovely books for me this year. Most excellent! And also, like you Kathleen, I always find a good, new author in there. (Like I need THAT, right?)

Enjoy the day in the Lair, Kathleen!

Nancy said...

Hi, Kathleen--

I've been reading Street Magic while my kids took their quizzes--short chapters and all that, easy to keep up with while answering questions and proctoring.

I'm on page 117, and it seems to be contemporary, or possibly near-future London with black magic afoot. The heroine is a police detective (New Scotland Yard) who so far seems to have just enough magical sensitivity to be creeped out by things that go on, but there are hints she may have--and not want--a greater degree of it.

The hero is a former rock singer who is and always has been a mage and turned to some socially unacceptable methods of keeping his magical visions at bay. He knew the heroine long ago, but a magical incident drove them apart. In fact, she thought he was dead.

Now little kids are going missing, and she needs his help to break through the forces of dark magic and find them. And he needs her help to reclaim a life spiraling out of control.

So far, I'm liking it.

Did I ever mention that my mom once told me my grandmother had a book next to her favorite chair in every room of their house? I feel like that sometimes.

Nancy said...

Hey, Duchesse--yeah, we all REALLY need to discover new books. And yet the allure remains constant. *sigh*

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi guys -

I just got a new toy to help me with my resolutions. It's called a fitbit. I originally ordered it for my husband for Christmas because he's something of an exercise freak with sleep issues. This tiny little thing measures activity levels via heartbeat, how many steps you take in a day, how many miles you walk, calories burned, calories consumed (that requires daily input which I don't do), how often you wake up at night and how long you actually sleep. I ordered one for myself to help with weight resolutions and they just arrived last week.

Now I get graphs and reports (it uploads automatically to my computer wherever I pass by). Very cool! It even displays a little flower that grows as you exercise or walk more. After my zumba class last night, that flower was growing out the fitbit (grin) but it's a neat reminder to keep fit.

I'm judging RITA as well and so am working my way through that stack as well as research books for the current WIP. My fitbit doesn't like the sedentary lifestyle of reading (grin) but I'd rather keep me happy than some digital flower (very big grin).

MsHellion said...

You're ahead of the game if you're not rewarding yourself with food.

Technically no, but I haven't curbed my eating. Believe me, if this reward system hinged my self-control in food portions and what I actually ate, I would not get to order anything ever again.

So I'm starting small. I'm starting with the things that would be a challenge to keep up with, but I have pretty safe in my power of accomplishing.

Drinking 8 glasses of water, eating at least 5 veggies, and eating small amounts of pasta are not on my resolutions list. Yet. But I hope to add them later in the year.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Nancy and Kathleen,

Let me get up over this stack of books and I'll be better able to get into the conversation! Not sure how this stack got so high, I think it's because I keep being introduced to all these great authors! Then I just have to run out to my favorite booksellers to pick up all these copies!

Just finished: Like No Other Lover,
Julie Anne Long. Now reading: Leanne Banks's Playboy To Papa.
Up next: Manhunting by Betina
Krahn, Joanne Rock, and Lori
Borrill and Anna Campbell's
Captive Of Sin.

As for resolutions, I no longer
make them. At my age, I feel I
can do as I jolly well please.
Besides, I wouldn't be keeping
them anyway! LOL!

Minna said...

Nancy, I'm afraid I'm too much of a scrooge to just give away a lot of books or stuff in general. I do donate occasionally, but usually I trade books and other stuff for something that I don't have, but which I need/collect/wish to read. And as often as I can I trade 2 items or more for one item that is more or less about the same value as the things I want to get rid of. There are things I might not have been able to get otherwise.

Laney4 said...

Hi!
I don't make resolutions. If I want to make changes, I do so whenever I think of it. For example, I have been cutting back on my plate portions, pop, and nighttime snacks since Aug 15/09. How am I doing? I've lost 24 pounds so far and haven't given up chips, brownies, milk, bread, etc., as I'm eating them in moderation now. I've also kicked up my exercises from 2x to 5x per week. Advice? None. Everyone is different. We are all motivated by different things. Mine was a combination of turning 50, being at my highest weight ever, and my knees not working as well as they should (amongst other things).
I am currently reading Yvonne Lindsay's PRETEND MISTRESS, BONA FIDE BOSS. I have shelves and shelves of books from 2009, and boxes and boxes of books from previous to that, in my TBR pile, with Joanne Rock's HIDDEN OBSESSION at the top of my pile to read.

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, seriously, read Kathleen. You'll be hooked. She's great! Have I steered you wrong yet? Well, I might have got your house infested by the occasional Golden Rooster, but other than that... Snork!

Dianna, I'm snickering at your TBR pile being considered a WMD! Way to go!

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, Kathleen is gorgeous in person, isn't she? We hooked up for drinks at RWA last year - I'd written her a breathlessly squeally fanmail!

Anna, good luck with the training!

Deb, I smiled when I read your lose weight/keep eating chocolate resolution. That's my kinda resolution!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Susan, notebooks, paperclips, folders! Bring on the stationery p*rn!

Marnee, since discovering Kathleen's wonderful books last year, I've read a stack of them and I'm yet to find anything that's not fabulous. I particularly liked her trilogy set around a bar in New York. The second one is one of the most heart-wrenching stories I've ever read. And to achieve that in the space they give you to write a Blaze? Wow, that's true brilliance!

Gannon Carr said...

Hi, Kathleen. I really enjoyed your interview with Nancy.

I usually don't make "official" resolutions, that way I'm not disappointed when I break them. :)

My TBR pile is too large to be called a stack--mountain would be more apropos!

Right now I'm reading an ARC of ATLANTIS REDEEMED by Alyssa Day, and the hero is HOT, HOT, HOT!! And I haven't even read 1/3 of the book yet. ;)

Nancy said...

Donna wrote: My fitbit doesn't like the sedentary lifestyle of reading

I bet not. It sounds like a cool little thing. As long as it can't shock you for reading too long, though, you're still winning. *g*

Nancy said...

Ms. Hellion, adding one thing at a time to the resolutions list (or plan, as we vaguer individuals call them) can actually be a good recipe for success. Everyone's different. Some people do better just diving into a new routine while others of us succeed faster when we change one thing at a time. I'm currently working on the water thing.

When I go to the gym, I drink 16 oz. during class (yeah, I know, that's a lot, but I need replenishment when I exercise). So then I need only a more glasses to be set.

Nancy said...

Ms. Hellion, adding one thing at a time to the resolutions list (or plan, as we vaguer individuals call them) can actually be a good recipe for success. Everyone's different. Some people do better just diving into a new routine while others of us succeed faster when we change one thing at a time. I'm currently working on the water thing.

When I go to the gym, I drink 16 oz. during class (yeah, I know, that's a lot, but I need replenishment when I exercise). So then I need only a few more glasses to be set.

Nancy said...

Pat wrote: Let me get up over this stack of books and I'll be better able to get into the conversation!


LOL! Alas, but I know that feeling well. I really MUST whittle down some of the just general STUFF in this house, as well as the books. Most of it's mine, too, so I have no one to blame.

And you seem to be making great headway with your reading.

Nancy said...

Minna, I do understand the trading impulse. My problem would also be that if the goal is to clear out books, getting books in trade is not helpful. As I think you noted earlier.

Nancy said...

Laney4, congratulations on your weight loss and on taking control! We control freaks admire that. I used to work for a weight loss company, and moderation was what we stressed.

Sounds as though you also have a huge TBR pile. You have plenty of company here!

Nancy said...

Anna C., Kathleen is indeed delightful. And she has a sense of humor that will zing when least expected, cracking up everyone.

And many people are unaware that she also has a fabulous historical voice.

Let's just our her fully, shall we? *g*

Nancy said...

Uh, that's OUT her fully. *sigh*

Ms. Fumblefingers today, I am.

Nancy said...

Hi, Gannon--Glad you liked the interview.

First Suz and now you, taunting people with fabulous ARC reports. I assume you're reviewing this book for Romance Dish? I liked your review today.

Nancy said...

The link finally seems to be working for the excerpt, just FYI! I don't know why it wouldn't function earlier, but it's okay now. At last.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Nice post, Nancy and welcome back to the Lair, Kathleen. We always enjoy it when you stop by.

New Year's resolutions, huh? Hmmm...don't believe in them as they rarely are achieved. Having said that, I have managed to tame the paper monster that had been growing on my desk and filing cabinet the past 3 months.I can now see the tops of both, and have found and filed important things. Achievement! (I hate the word goals and the Bandits have heard me whine about it before!)

I also discovered that my TBR pile isn't as bad as a few friends, and I've managed to get a few books lower. Promised myself 10 books off the TBR before I read Julie Garwood and Jayne Ann Krentz' new releases...(which I don't consider part of the TBR at all!). 2 more books and Achievement!

chey said...

I find I do better with resolutions that are not made at New Years. I quit eating food with additives last May. After a week, my food cravings disappeared and I lost inches.
I've been working on my TBR pile, reading historical, romance, suspense, paranormal and spy stories.

Nancy said...

Hey, Suz--thanks! Wow, you actually filed?! I mostly stack things to file and then move the stacks around.

I like the idea of whittling before you read a book you know you will like. I might have to try that.

Nancy said...

Hi, Chey--When I went onto a food program that included almost no processed sugar, it was hard at first, but then, as with your additives, I realized I no longer cared about it.

I should've stayed on that plan.

Congratulations on your success.

gigi said...

What resolutions...
I decided to start over in February.
I am hoping to read more than I did in '09. It was such a busy year. I don't know where it went.
I want to start walking and exercising regularly. I want to go more dates with my husband now that both kids are in college.
That sounds like a good start for doable resolutions.

Nancy said...

Gigi, all those sound great. College is looming on our horizon, too, though not for a little while longer, and the dh and I keep telling each other we need to establish some life patterns so we'll be ready.

Cassondra said...

I'm doing fairly well with my efforts this year. No resolutions, really, just a desire to break out of the way my body has been teetering on the edge of heading downhill fast.

So I've started working out again (kickboxing) and I'm back solidly on my diet.

What I have not managed is to get more time to READ. So now I want this book, of course, because I like the atypical heroine. They end up being my favorites. And my wish to double my writing time...well, we won't talk about that.

Okay, off to read everyone else's resolutions.

Thanks for the great blog Nancy and Kathleen!

Nancy said...

Hey, Cassondra--thanks!

My reading time also isn't what I'd like it to be, but I'm trying to focus, to do better in that and other areas.

Good luck with the kickboxing. I need to get back to that.

Laurie said...

Midnight Resolutions looks like a good read! Love the title.

I don't make resolutions because I feel bad about myself when I don't deliver, so I make goals instead.

My advice? Don't make resolutions because you never know what the future brings.;)

I just finished Wednesday Night Witches which was a lot of fun and am excited to be able to finally dive into Bev Kendall's Sinful Surrender! I put it off because I had to work a lot the past few weeks and wanted to read it uninterrupted.

My TBR pile is becoming unmanageable. There is just not enough time to read everything I want to and still work, write, and be with family. Okay, well, I do read while with family but you know what I mean.

Great interview, ladies!

Kathleen O'Reilly said...

Susan,

First of all, always glad to hear the book wanderings are good. I always tell myself that it won't matter to me, but sigh, I am weak and it does.

LOL about fresh notebooks and sharp pencils. Why do we love office supplies? Two decades ago, it was shopping for shoes, and now it's perky post-it notes, rollerball pens, and moleskin notebooks. (my secret fetish).

As to the resolutiions, I think you must find a new notebook and write them down. :)))

Kathleen O'Reilly said...

Nancy,

Box question here: Did you stick to the box a week so far? We have unopened boxes from our move still tucked away in the basement.

It's been eight years.

Kathleen O'Reilly said...

Ellis,

Happy Rita reading! I wish you some winners.

Kathleen O'Reilly said...

Marnee, you sound very self-aware, which I think is a good quality in humanity and also romance hero and heroines as well. :)

Kathleen O'Reilly said...

MsHellion,

Sending productivity vibes your way. I love your gold star bribery approach. My critique partner taught me the Post-it note approach to word count. You write down your word count +100 on a Post-It, then +200 on another, and so on, until you have a Post-It note for every 100 words you want to write that day, and you stick them on the monitor. Each time you write 100 words, you rip it off and at least if you're me, you wad them up tightly and do a rim-shot in the trash.

It is not healthy for the environment, but man it's fun. :)

Kathleen O'Reilly said...

Minna,

Good luck with the book-ridding. I don't know where you live, but half price books takes almost everything (or at least they used to). They don't have anyplace to take books around our house, so I end up taking sacks to the library or the Salvation Army. I haven't gotten up the will to do book-swaps over the mail yet, but if the Salvation Army stops taking them, I don't know what I'll do.

Kathleen O'Reilly said...

Hi, Crystal. Keep up the good work on saying no to junk food. I love Kat Martin's books. I'll have to check that one out!

Kathleen O'Reilly said...

Hi, Jo!!

I think Nancy got the link fixed. Laughing about the 20 pounds before National goal. You'd think RWA would sponsor a org-wide program to get us all to success... :)

jenneB said...

Jo,

I just finished reading Zach's story and I loved it. Howard was a hunk, but Zach's vulnerability plus strength were powerful. I can hardly wait to meet Jude.
Jenne