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My Writing Plan For 2014-2015 ~ by Calisa Rhose


Happy week two of 2014! I got a little busier than I’d expected last week and I didn’t get to post my 2-year writing plan as I’d hoped. Such is the life of a pantser. We don’t plan well, or at least this one doesn’t! 😆 Now that the granddaughter is back in school and life has sort of returned to normal, and I don’t foresee any (more) unexpected events for a while, I’ve put the plan to paper, as they used to say.

noNew Year's ResolutionsI’ve set goals before. I’ve set resolutions too. I’m not fond of resolutions because by March I’ve a) already broke one or more, or b) forgotten what they

How I wish my marbles were so cooperative!

How I wish my marbles were so cooperative!

were because I’m not a list maker.

I write things down on scraps of paper, envelopes-often belonging to someone else in the house- or one of the hundreds of tablets I keep laying around. But, then, said ‘someone’ takes their/MY envelope. How rude. Right? I am also addicted to post-it notes. I love that they stick any and everywhere!

postitnotesBut those lovely sticky notes- well, they end up in the oddest places I never think to check! Oy…

Or, and this is most usually the case, I forget where I’ve put ‘that’ scrap of paper or the specific tablet with the info- I knew I’d remember where I put it- was. I’ll never learn NOT to rely on my (un)trusty mind. *sigh*

So, I’m going to try making a plan. Not plotting, mind you, just the bare basics of what I’d like to accomplish if disorder wasn’t nipping at my heels 24/7; family, responsibilities, obligations… Things I’d want to do over the next 48 months if I didn’t, say…have a life. 😀

My Writing Plan For 2014-2015

(in no particular order because this IS NOT a list, and that would be too much like plotting :P)


1. Finish expanding contemporary romance, short story “Just One Night in Paradise” and self-publish by the end of March— This ‘will-be-a’ novella is almost ready for edits and polishing so should be easily doable if I don’t chicken out.

2. Finish full length contemporary novel, Hearts Afire, fireman WIP.

3. Finish full length paranormal novel, In Ghosts She Trusts- Juliette’s story- (bk 1 of Ghostly Trust series or trilogy), ghost WIP.

4. Finish Redesigning Sassy-bk 1, Dew Drop Diaries series (contemporary novellas)

5. Write Chasing Lainey-bk 2, DDDiaries

6. Write Saving Shelby-bk 3, DDDiaries

7. Write Marrying Lucy-bk 4, DDDiaries

8. Self-publish Dew Drop Diaries series.

9. Submit Hearts Afire (publishing house/format TBD)

10. Blog weekly (besides guest posts)

11. Promote any/all books out.

12. Rewrite and re-publish Home.

13. Contract an agent. (still considering this so may not do it)


1. Set new 2-year plan if this first year pans out.

2. Write paranormal novel, Ghost of a Chance- Romeo’s story, (bk 2 of Ghostly Trust)-Juliette’s twin brother.

3. Write contemporary novel Winter’s Song.

4. Decide how or where to publish Ghostly Trust books.

5. Publish/submit Ghostly Trust books.

6. Promote any/all books out.

7. Blog weekly.

8. Write bk 5 of DDDiaries.

9. Write bk 6 of DDDiaries.

10. Write bk 7 of DDDiaries.

11. Write bk 8 of DDDiaries. (writing these depends on how the first four do)

12. publish bks 4-8 of DDDiaries**

**Write four other novellas if not more DDDiaries.

This first year alone will be a huge challenge for me. I typically eke out one book or novella a year because I get lazy, break something, or just get *too busy* outside of writing. My worst downfall is that I let distractions keep me from the stories burning a hole in my head.

It’s so easy to just not open that word doc each day, so I’m also going to try to change that about my writing time. I’m going to tryto set specific hours for writing and other times for blogging, ‘playing’ on the web, research, social media, etc. It will most likely take me a while to find a system and schedule that works for me, that I’ll be able to work with.

I’m not even sure what time I’m the most productive because my self-discipline is so off the scale I can’t find it, but I’m going to set this goal for myself aside from everything else I’ve listed above because I NEED to. This is a must to become more productive in my writing, and therefore more successful as a writer.

We all know it’s almost impossible to get rich off writing, to write the great book that makes a movie, or just one people will rant about and buy. But there’s not even a glimmer of a chance to be successful in any capacity if I don’t write…and sell. :/

Some of these list items may change because I might’ve bitten off more than I can chew, infact, I’m almost certain I have, but I did it on purpose. If I have to much to do, I’ll at least try to make it and I figure I will be able to accomplish the part I can and still not be a total failure. LOL But I’m going to try to keep up with myself and do it all–because that’s how I roll, or more like tumble. 😆

First I have to get past my initial self-publishing experience and realize I lived through it, no matter how bad or good it goes. 😀

And so, there you have it. My writing plan.

Oh, for the record, I’ve already got my cover art for Redesigning Sassy ready to go- it’s bee-oo-tee-ful!- and some of the other DDD series covers are purchased and ready to finalize once I settle on the titles.

What do you hope to accomplish in 2014? Are your goals too high? Not high enough? What IS just right?

Happy writing my friends and best wishes for your goals no matter what they may be!


Calisa Rhose welcomes hilarious Liza O’Connor to Tuesday RoundUp!

Walk the plank with Alyson Reuben


I feel so fortunate to have friend and fellow WRP author, Alyson Reuben, on the ranch today! So many are reaching out to a new mecca, learning how to truly become in charge of their own careers and I’m impressed…intimidated, but still hugely impressed.  So what plank did my guest walk? Self-Publication. I want to self-publish in the next few months, so I asked Alyson if she would share a glimpse of her experience with us. Read on.

Alyson, the round pen is yours. Welcome!

Please tell us some of the things you found different than working with a publishing house, please. Don’t forget to tell us about your book while you’re at it. 😀

ALYSON REUBEN: Have you ever had a friend recommend a new clothing store only to get there and discover it’s so different from what you’re used to that all you can do is stand in one place and look all around in bewilderment?  Sure, they might sell the same style of clothing, but the place has a totally different layout.  Where do you start?  Should you head over to where the walls displays are color-coordinated?  Or should you look over the mannequins decked out in the trendiest clothes?  Then again, maybe it would be better to check out the special sales area first?

That’s how I felt when I first decided to take the Indie route to publishing.  Several author friends recommended it to me after trying it themselves.  I didn’t jump into it, though.  Only after carefully weighing the pros and cons did I decide to Indie publish CASTLES WE BUILD, my latest book.  Wow, was I surprised by the process!  I had no idea there were so many differences between traditional publishing and Indie distribution.  First difference, I worked with my editor independently, rather than through a publisher.  Second, I designed my own cover, which – to be honest – was a lot of fun, even if it did take several tries.  And, rather than rely on my publisher to send my book to professional reviewers, I had to push up my sleeves and send it myself.

So far, the journey might not be exactly rainbows and lollipops, but at least I can be thankful I don’t share the anxieties of Julia, heroine of CASTLES WE BUILD.

Julia is married to her second husband, Ford, after her first husband, Landon, left for WWI and never returned.  Together, they share a majestic beachside home with their children.  Life is calm.  Life is peaceful.  Yet, Julia has no idea what trouble awaits her.  Out of nowhere, Landon returns from his overseas captivity and her peaceful world is suddenly one huge tangled knot.  She’s bombarded with one obstacle after another – her mother’s unexpected and unwanted attention, her sister’s bankruptcy concern, her stepdaughter’s rowdy behavior, an encounter with a bootlegger, and the alarming kidnapping of her son.  Yet, Julia isn’t the type of woman to crumble under the load.  She’s prepared to fight for what she wants.

And that’s exactly what I’m going to do – push past all obstacles and explore all the great possibilities of the Indie market.  It might be a bit daunting – but it sure is exciting!

Castles We Build’s blurb:

She has a chance to relive her past. But at what cost?

When Julia married the man of her dreams, Landon Sloane, neither of them could have predicted the destructive impact of The Great War. Finding herself a widow and single mother in a period ripe with women’s suffrage and the prohibition, Julia married wealthy industrialist Ford Hampton.

Now, ten years later, with a son attending an academy for the gifted, a daughter with special needs, and a flapper stepdaughter who tests her daily, Julia is hardly prepared for Landon’s return from his long foreign captivity to announce he has never stopped loving her.

Faced with unrequited love for Landon, her life truly begins to unravel with the intrusion of her mother, who abandoned her as a child, a devastating factory fire, and an alarming encounter with a tawdry bootlegger. Finally, when her son is kidnapped in a diabolical scheme of revenge, Julia knows she has to make a final decision that will forever change everyone and everything in her life.


There he is.  A man whose memory I desperately tried to lay to rest at his memorial site in Westbrook Cemetery. 

            Landon Sloane.

            For a few seconds, I wobble, my peripheral vision closing in.  I’m about to pass out….

            Suddenly, he grins.  And the grin does the same thing to me now that it did nine years ago, saving me from losing consciousness.  Saving me, period.

            He holds out his arms, and I rush into them, moaning as his mouth claims mine in a kiss that’s like a drowning man clutching a lifesaver. Pulling me inside and reaching behind me to slam the door shut, his hands grip at my clothes and my hair, tangling in them as if hoping to extract the essence of everything I am.

            Now he’s kissing my cheeks.  My forehead.  My chin.  The places behind my ears.  The hollow of my neck.  The skin above my lace collar.  My breasts through the voile fabric.  My legs as he pushes up the hem of my frock. 

            And I’m falling backward on a bed that seems to have appeared like magic.  Calling his name.  Over and over.  He answers me with a voice tinted by a slight brogue, as familiar as the sound of leaves rustling in the wind.  Yes.  Yes, he’s really Landon Sloane.  Alive.  Very alive.  And my name is also on his lips, coming out in hoarse whispers, pressed against my skin, branding me with what’s always been there, never disappearing completely, but only lying dormant — my love for him.

            Rising above me, his body comes down over mine in the ancient way that has coupled countless lovers.  In the same way that summoned us in the past with pleasure and intoxication.  I grip him, pulling him closer, needing him to complete what’s lacking.  To satiate me with his heat and energy….

            A little girl’s cry floats through the room. 

            Gracie!  Just that suddenly, I push Landon back, forcing his flushed face away from mine.  No, I’m not thinking clearly.  That wasn’t a girl’s voice.  Just a bird outside the open window.  One that has a trill similar to a child’s outburst.

            For several seconds Landon and I stare at each other, saying nothing.  He looks the same.  Yet, different in several ways.  Slimmer…a little too slim.  A leathery tan that makes his eyes brighter, as potent as midnight’s navy sky in a flash of lightning.

            I’m lying here half naked.  With a husband I thought would never return from the war he left to fight nine years ago.  And the question hits me like a rock to the stomach.  “Why, Landon?  Why didn’t you come home?  Where have you been?”

            He visibly swallows, his face glistening with perspiration and what might very well be tears.  “My ship sank off the coast of South Africa.  Most of the men didn’t….  Anyway, me and my lieutenant were rescued by natives.  They had bartering friends who traded with them.  Local radicals who supported the enemy forces.  I think a few of them even had direct ties with Germany.”

            His voice has deepened, grown huskier with age.  I try to concentrate on his words, needing desperately to understand.  To make sense of this unexpected phenomenon: the miracle of his rise from the dead. 

            “So me and the lieutenant were arrested and held in an encampment.  Seventeen straw huts surrounded by a high fence.  Guards with guns and long pikes.  Shared it with criminals and other detainees.  We didn’t even know when the war was over.  Guess they liked having free laborers too much to set us free.  Or maybe they just liked trapping us like mice in a maze.”  His voice is hard now.  Gritty.  Full of hatred and anger.  In a tone I don’t recognize. 

            “They finally released us last month.  Because of some new political uprising, I think.  I don’t know exactly who or what…. I only care that I’m free.  Back where I can see you.  Hold you.  And…oh, God, if I can just get all this filth out of my head.”  He sits up beside me, gripping the sides of his head.

            The hair at his temples is peppered with silver.

            It used to be completely dark, the color of coffee with no creamer. 

            Like Brent’s.

            I reach for him, pulling him to me.  Prison.  For almost a decade.  What a nightmare that must’ve been.  The hurt is palpable, transferring between us.  “It’s over, darling,” I whisper near his ear.  “And I’m so glad you’re back, safe and sound.  Alive.”

            He folds his arms around me so that we’re huddled in a ball.  And we stay that way.  Unmoving.  Quiet.  For a very long time.

            His heavy breathing steadies to a hoarse snore; the sound of a man who hasn’t had good, clean rest for a long time.  He shifts, spreading out his arms in unconscious freedom.  And I release him, sitting up gently in order not to wake him. 

            The bedroom is mostly bare.  A utilitarian iron bed.  A dresser.  A shabby club chair.  But nothing else.  I stare at the open window where the cage hangs, dangling slightly in the breeze.  There are no finches in it.  Or any other birds.  The door is hanging open, facing the outside.

            He won’t cage anything again.

            I push my tousled hair from my face, combing both hands through the chin-length strands.

            None of this is the way it should be. 

            It’s all messed up somehow.

            Ford’s face enters my mind.  Just the way he looked last night, smiling at me from the dinner table.

            Oh, God.

            I’m married to someone else.

            And I have a family.

            Two men. 

            Two husbands.


Alyson’s Bio:

Back in elementary and high school, Alyson was always in trouble for jotting stories in her notebooks when she should’ve been studying for math tests. Detentions and trips to the principal’s office aside, she was determined to become an author someday, no matter the price.

Fast forward a few years — okay, actually several years — she began writing historical romance and women’s fiction, leading to the debut of A BEAUTIFUL CAGE, published by the Wild Rose Press in 2011.

Now she gets in trouble for writing stories when she should be cooking dinner for her family.

Castles We Build can be found at Amazon (ebook Kindle version will be available later this week):

Amazon page:





Thank you so much for sharing your journey and book with us Alyson. It sounds amazing and you did a wonderful job on that cover! Congratulations.

What about ya’ll? Are you still resisting the pull of change and growth in publishing, or have you walked that plank and lept right into the muck of self-publishing? Maybe you’re like me, teetering on the edge, still undecided, or sure, but not quite ready to jump?

We’d love to hear from you.


Alicia Dean with Death x2!


Today and tomorrow I have a special guest visiting on the Ranch. One of the first wonderful writers I met after moving back to Oklahoma was a lady who actually had recently moved to Kansas but kept her membership with the Outlaws of OKRWA. She was helpful to my learning my way around a mini conference we do here; OKRWA Summer Heat Mini Conference. We have an agent and an editor come in from a publisher/agency and take pitches. (Anyone can attend for a low fee and have a chance to get your work in front of an acquiring member of a known literary agency or publisher. The last two we had editors from Harlequin and agents from The Irene Goodman Literary Agency and The Knight Agency.)

This writer was such a help and so very friendly, and has since moved back to Oklahoma. And then I got one of her books at our Christmas party—and became an instant fan! So naturally when she reached out for Beta readers for a new Self-Published series she started last year, my hands went up high. Then I began to wonder about ‘the writer’ and when she wanted to promote her series I took my chance and asked about her writing career.

Here in virtual person is my friend, Alicia Dean. Let’s give her a huge Ranch welcome!

Alicia, the Round Pen is yours to do as you please. Tell us about you and your writing.

It was great meeting you, too, Calisa. And I’m so thrilled that your story was the first published in the Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll Series. Thank you for having me as your guest here at the Ranch. I have three grown children–two girls and a boy–and I live in Edmond, Oklahoma. I have a ton of wonderful friends and loving, supportive family members. I’m so very blessed.

I’ve wanted to write since I was a child, and I’ve dabbled in it all my life. I actively began pursuing publication in 2001 and my first novel, a romantic suspense called Nothing to Fear, was published in 2007 by The Wild Rose Press. I now have five published novels (in June, it will be six)  and four short stories (in August it will be five <g>. I have a short story coming out with TWRP August 8th that’s part of the Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll series)

I write both paranormal and suspense, but I wanted to write a suspense series with recurring main characters. I didn’t want my heroine to be in law enforcement, so I tried to think of an occupation that might put her in contact with nefarious characters, so crime writer came to mind. Then, randomly, the idea popped into my head…what if a killer put names of his intended victims in the obit column before he killed them. Death Notice was born, the sequel followed, and I have a few more sequels in mind. However, before I can get to Book 3, I have a novella and another manuscript to write. 🙂

What a great book with an enticing cover! How and where can we stalk…er, find you?


Twitter: @Alicia_Dean_

Facebook: Alicia Dean


Alicia Dean writes paranormal and romantic suspense and is the author of five published novels, two novellas, and a handful of short stories. She has three grown children and lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. Alicia loves nothing more than crafting spine-chilling, edge-of-your-seat suspense.

Say hey to Alicia and come on back tomorrow for part two of the Northland Chronicles: Death Offerings! Leave a comment today and/or tomorrow for a chance to win an Amazon or B&N gift card from Alicia!