07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Friday, December 2, 2016

Joys From New Knowledge and Skills

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women's Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul.

In December the Genre-istas post whatever they want to talk about. Our Guest theme is “What’s New In Publishing” and we’ve top-of-the-line guests scheduled. Tomorrow’s guest is Maggie Lynch. The next two Saturdays are Bonnie Paulson and Melissa Storm. I'll have a post up about Winter Solstice or Yule the next Saturday. Sarah Raplee will pick up the last Saturday in December with her post about New Year's Eve/Day traditions. December 30, one of our Genre-istas, Madelle Morgan, will be sharing her editing tips. If you are a reader, please check her post out. It will open your eyes to what goes in to a Quality Book. And it may help you decide which authors you want to support.

One of my end-of-the-year tasks is to take a look back and see what I’ve accomplished so I can plan ahead.

In November I published the last two of the original Sacred Women’s Circle novels. One of the joys of my life has been writing these books. Not only do these women confront the types of problems many women face, but because they are part of a sacred women’s circle they have a safe haven. I know from experience every problem is easier to face when we aren’t alone.

Also in November I published my new website. I’ve had a website for over a decade but I’d paid someone else to create and maintain it. When Christy Carlyle (Christy Caughie) contracted with Avon Books, she closed down Gilded Heart Design. I’m grateful Christy hung in there with me and finished the last two print covers.

From Thanksgiving on, I spent hours each day learning about automated email systems, automated tracking of book sales, creating a reader focused Newsletter and other tasks related to letting readers know I’m here.

For someone who, six years ago, was afraid to click around anywhere and even today is not comfortable doing research on the internet or just clicking around to see who and what’s out there, I’ve come a very long way!

What’s ahead? Even though the original seven novels are available, the prequels aren’t. I’ll be finishing them up (which means learning how to create a simple cover) early next year.

Dr. Mark Parker, who you first meet in Lily, The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl aka Book One, has a recurring albeit minor role in other stories. He has begun invading my thoughts and dreams which means he will get his own book. Not sure if it will be a novella or longer.

I’m always curious as to how other people move through their lives.

Do you set goals?

Are you more of a ‘go with the flow’ kind of person?

Do you do your “reading for pleasure” on a device (computer, laptop, tablet, phone)?

Are you someone who loves the feel of a book in your hands? I'd love to know your answers!!!

You can learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.

Follow me on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

I’m also on Facebook


Paty Jager said...

I'm a goal setter and because I'm competitive (grew up with brothers) I tend to hit my goals or suffer my own punishment. ;) I like the feel of a book in my hand but it is convenient to use an ereader, especially at night when traveling.

Good luck with your series and the new book tinkering around in your head!

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by, Paty. Your support along the way has certainly made a difference in my reaching my goals.

Sarah Raplee said...

Unfortunately I'm more of a "go with the flow" person. I'm striving to become more self-disciplined. The good thing about not being competetive is that I don't beat myself up too much when I don't make a goal.

E-reader is nice because I have arthritis.

Great post! I loved Lily and Elizabeth!

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sarah. I do agree that e-readers are easier on arthritic hands! And, I appreciate the comments about Lily and Elizabeth. So much fun to write, especially E, because I was able to revisit my own trip to Ireland. Too bad I didn't meet my own Michael. Sigh...

Deb Noone said...

Judith - lots to think about when you ask such questions - especially as we close in on the old year. I have to set goals or I would never get anything done. I'm a list maker, which is my weekly goal setting just to keep my daily life in order :-) I use a spread sheet for the year's goals. I never had brothers, but for some reason I am harder on myself than anyone else would be when it comes to reaching goals. Good thing, since I am a procrastinator :-) Off to set my 2017 writing goals, since I challenged the entire Maine group to do the same.

I resisted e-readers forever, but with achy hands and thumbs it is so much easier. BUT I do miss the feel of a book in my hand. Every once in a while I pick one up again.

Good luck with all the techie stuff. You have accomplished a ton this year!


Madelle Morgan said...

Judith, Congrats on all the tech-learning.

I'm a goal-setter too, and I read at night on ereaders (Kobo and Kindle) because of the backlight and large font and ease of taking on trips. Can't read them in the tub though!

Judith Ashley said...

Deb, I too have achy hands and thumbs. Wore thumb splints for a couple of years and that helped immensely. When I went No Flour and No Obvious Sugar (so no cookies, candy, adding sugar to something, etc.), my hands got better without wearing the thumb splints at night. Now that is it cold and I'm doing more strenuous things with my hands (sweeping, raking, picking up heavier things) I've noticed some problems but still, nothing like it was. Reading print books is hard on them but I still do that every now and again.

Judith Ashley said...

Madelle, I think many authors are goal-setters. I have my daily list kept by the week, a monthly list and then my yearly goals. I always include a few that I know I'll complete, a few that I'll have to work toward and then a couple of stretch goals. Don't want to get bored - lol!

I should get my Kobo out and see how to enlarge the font. That might help my eyes. They've become strained from all the computer work this past week or so.

Diana McCollum said...

This statement you made is so true!

" I know from experience every problem is easier to face when we aren’t alone"

I wish I had a women's circle for support. Facing problems and stress day after day with no one to confide in is hard.

I used to set goals and found I accomplished a lot more that way. With everything that has been happening with Mom and in my life right now I've gotten away from listing my goals.

You've just inspired me to start again!!!

Good luck on the sales of your books. I admire you, Judith, and all you've accomplished.

Robin Weaver, Author said...

Hi Judith,
I've always been a goal setter, but recently, I've recently I realized I'm pbeen writing for pleasure. No surprise, it's fun again. :)

Maggie Lynch said...

Love this post. I am soooooo proud of you for getting all seven of those books done. You are one dedicated woman. Now, we just have to make sure that everyone in the world knows they exist and wants to buy them. :)

I am a goal setter. If I didn't set goals, I would lose track of what I'm doing and where I'm going. Also, because I tend to have three or four big goals going at the same time, if I didn't write them down and work toward them every week a couple would simply disappear from my mind.

All fiction reading is done on my Kobo OR my phone. Though I rarely have time to read fiction anymore. I love being able to have hundreds of books in one easy-to-hold device. However, I still MUST read the morning paper in print over a leisurely breakfast. And reference books are easier for me to use in print.

Judith Ashley said...

Diana, You have a women's circle in your Bend Lunch Bunch, Windtree Press authors, and also in the #ftb forum - not the same as a sacred women's circle but knowing you have people you can call on for what you need is important. I've found the Windtree Press Author FB Page invaluable these past couple of weeks as I struggle through the automated email sequencing stuff.

Be sure to let the #ftb folks know what your goals are. You know how support we are of each other because you are a member and have been supportive of others yourself.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Diana.

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Robin, Thanks for stopping by! So glad you're writing for pleasure again and having fun. Your love of your stories shines through! Keep setting goals to write. Your blend of humor and suspense and romance is needed in the world.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for the compliments and encouragement, Maggie. I wouldn't be where I am without your support and the backing of Windtree Press. I totally agree that next on my goal list is to make sure readers know about me and my books!!!

Robin Kramme said...

Hi, Judith, It's your other Robin Writing pal here in AZ chiming in to say what an inspiration you are. You are so brave to tackle building your tech skills. I admire your persistence in publishing your Sacred Series. I adore your interest in others both to support and to learn. You are a role model of caring and commitment rare to encounter these days! I am so happy to be in your circle even though it is at a distance.

As far as pleasure reading: I am a Both!! I still enjoy the feel of paper books but I also like the convenience of my Kindle. Regardless of delivery method, I say, Read On!! Write on!!

Best wishes for a joy filled holiday,
Robin K.

Judith Ashley said...

Robin! I'm so glad you stopped by. Thank you for your kind words. You are also an inspiration. So inspired by your journey writing plays. Hopefully another one will be performed when I'm next in AZ for Desert Dreams the first of June!

I just wrote to my home chapter a bit on the importance of learning these techie things and compared it to learning how to write. We don't learn our writing process or how to tell a story that comes alive on a page or a stage all at once. I'm giving myself more slack at my (sometimes very slow) techie learning curve.

Totally agree with your Read On!! Write on!!

Sending love, light and joyful holiday wishes your way!!!