Tag Archives: Goal setting

The Mistaken Widow – Cheryl St. John

Reading has always been my escape but this January I have struggled. Not only with what has been going on in our world but somehow through it all I lost a week. I am the President of the local chapter of Sisters in Crime and I realized that we have a meeting tomorrow. Unfortunately I didn’t remember until Tuesday.

Not only do I need to lead the meeting but I am presenting a program on setting goals. So my reading had to take a back seat. I had hoped to post my review of Midwinter Murders – an Agatha Christie novel. That review will come out next week but I needed to post something.

I guess you may be wondering why I posted a photo of this book. Well I thought I might share a little personal story. Cheryl St. John is an author from the Omaha area whom I met in the 1990’s. She has written over 50 novels and a couple of how – to writing craft books for Writer’s Digest. She has also presented workshops in both New York City and Los Angeles for the Writer’s Digest Conferences they normally hold each year.

Cheryl gave me permission to use Write Smart Write Happy for my goal setting program tomorrow. She had a prior engagement or she would have presented the program for us, virtually. Since I had purchased the book when it came out, I had read it before and was familiar enough to use it for the program.

You know how people talk about getting lost in a book? Well I found myself in a book, literally. Well at least my name.

The Mistaken Widow is a book that Cheryl wrote in 1998. I bought it back then and as I was reading it, I saw Virginia Gruver.

If you are able to read this, you will see my name embedded in the story. There are two characters, one is Gruver – a chauffeur, and Virginia is his wife. This immediately gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. I emailed Cheryl and told her that I caught it. She laughed and said she often does that in her books. Well if that wasn’t enough.

Several years later I was given a copy of the copy edit manuscript as a keepsake from someone in my local RWA chapter. I am not sure if they realized I already had a connection with this book but this felt like serendipity. With today’s technology, I doubt authors receive a hard copy anymore. As a writer, this is so valuable. It allows me a sneak peek at Cheryl’s process of getting this book published.

This week has been a struggle and something tells me next week may be challenging as well but taking the time to plan a goal setting program and remembering a couple happy moments in my past has helped get me into a better place.

We had a blizzard last night and now that my work for the meeting is done, I think curling up with a good book sounds like the perfect end to this week.

Until next time,



Posted by on January 15, 2021 in Uncategorized


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G is for Goal

“The trouble with doing nothing is you never know when you’re finished.” – Anonymous

Goal setting is the one thing you do just for you. No one else really cares what your goals are because it isn’t important to them. Not like it is for you.

Once you decide what it is that you want to accomplish, then you can determine what your goal is. If you want to complete a manuscript, you could set a goal of writing for a specific amount of time, each day, week, and month. I wouldn’t suggest making your goal all about time though. You could spend an hour a day sitting in front of a blank page and not get anywhere. I would suggest making a specific goal that you can measure, like 500 words a day or a page a day.  Don’t start out with a goal that is not realistic. Set a goal that is achievable and then raise it.

Once you’ve met your goal, reward yourself. I am one of those people who can handle delayed gratification, at least for a while. I often watch last season’s television shows because by the time I hear people talking about the current season it’s usually half over. So what I do is order the previous season on Netflix. After I meet a goal, I give myself an evening with True Blood, The Walking Dead, or Downton Abbey. I can indulge without guilt because I met my goal.

Find what works best for you but be realistic. Your goal must be specific, it must be measurable, and you need to have a completion date to aim form. It’s okay to have a long term goal but give yourself those baby steps along the way. Nothing is more frustrating than working toward something and not seeing any progress. Those short term goals will get you to that long term goal of a finished manuscript.

Do you have goals and do you reward yourself?

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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Writing a Novel


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