In Praise of the One Word New Year Resolution

Before I give you the secret to the one word resolution, lets take a sympathetic look at how difficult others make the task of setting annual New Year’s resolutions  🙂

One Word New Year Resolution

The USA.gov website lists the ten most popular resolutions Americans make. Number one is spend more time with family and friends, and number two is fitness. Click here to see the other popular resolutions in America.

Statistic Brain is a website of statistics, percentages, rankings, and all things numbers. They site that a mere 9% of people who make resolutions are successful in achieving them! People in their twenties have a 38% rate of success compared to people over 50 who achieve at 16% rate. Click here to read all their Resolution statistics.

And Forbes has a piece about making your New Year’s resolutions stick. The author, Amy Morin, gives four keys to help. I like number two: Believe You Can Do It, where she talks about reducing negative thinking. Click here to read her article.

According to Business Insider, there are even apps to help people accomplish New Year’s resolutions. Each of the five apps they highlight are for a specific resolution such as wanting to reduce stress or learn a new language. The idea is that whatever your resolution, you might find an app to help you achieve it. Click here to read their piece.

I should say I’m not against writing a long list of resolutions or goals each year. But I’ve found this one word method really kept me focused and centered. It’s a daily reminder–or however often you want to look at it–of what matters to you. The one word does not cause stress. There aren’t lists of items to check off. There’s no guilt as the months progress. There’s no time required to read through lists, adjust goals, cross off items, or add new items. The one word needn’t require a “to do” rather the one word can invoke a “to be” where you can easily identify if you are or are not being this word.

I learned about the one word approach at a New Year’s brunch with a few dear writer friends at a time in my life when I was incredibly overwhelmed and I didn’t have the energy to create a list of goals. But I could resolve to be one word. That was about all I could handle.  Now looking back I see that my one word goal was so simple that it was both achievable and inspiring. The trick is selecting the one word that truly represents your most important goal. Here are some examples: productivity, organize, appreciate, balance, discover, fearless, flexible, and declutter.  Here’s one I wish a friend of mine would adapt: No. She says yes to everyone and has little time left for herself or her writing.  Writers might pick a word like: prioritize or diversify.  Last year my word was submit.  It helped me focus on a weakness: I would write and edit pieces, but never spend time researching markets or submitting my work.  And last year, with this one-word goal, I had the most submissions, rejections, and acceptances, in my career. My word for next year should be sleep, since I didn’t get much of it.  Instead my word for the new year is thrive.  When I’m presented with an invitation or opportunity I can ask myself, will this activity help me thrive?  Then I can decide if I want to accept it or not.  If you’re one who enjoys writing several New Year’s resolutions, go for it.  Then see if you can find one word that sums up the most important ones.  And tell us your word for 2018 in the comments below.

 

How to Carve a Turkey and Other Thanksgiving Tips

Well, it’s that time of year when we put away the Halloween decorations and think about the Thanksgiving holiday and our meal plans. Many of us are busy juggling work and children and other responsibilities and don’t stress out over the big dinner until the last minute (two days before Thanksgiving). Are you one of those who rush to the grocery store only to find gigantic frozen turkeys that need three days to thaw? Or have you found the right size turkey but your mind is blank on what to serve with it? There are plenty of details involved in serving a delicious and satisfying Thanksgiving meal, especially if you also have to prepare for guests.

Fortunately, there are experts out there who are ready with Thanksgiving tips and recipes to help us with all those details. It doesn’t matter if this is your first time hosting or if you’ve run dry from hosting year-after-year. I’ve found ideas and inspiration to help make your dinner the best ever.

First things first. Here’s a short video to get you in the mood for turkey.

How to Carve a Turkey

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

For savory dishes like Lemon Pepper Green Beans, Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes, and Holiday Cranberry Sauce head over to the AllRecipes website.

The Country Living website has ideas for 100 classic Thanksgiving side dishes such as Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Salad, Rosemary Monkey Bread Stuffing, and Apple Walnut Stuffing.

Wondering what beverage to serve with your feast? Not to worry. The New York Times has you covered with this article:

There Are No Wrong Thanksgiving Wines

Where you’ll find insight such as, “Do not worry if you don’t have enough stemware. Thanksgiving is not the time for these sorts of concerns. Serve wine in tumblers, if you like.”

Thanksgiving Desert

For dessert, you can’t go wrong with pumpkin pie. Other pies work, too. But why mess with tradition unless you want to surprise your guests with a scrumptious variation such as Streusel Topped Pumpkin Pie. Or instead how about wowing them with Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes?

The experts even have recipe ideas for vegan and vegetarian menus. Just visit the Serious Eats website for tasty options.

After all that preparation, cooking, and hosting, you should now sit back, enjoy your friends and family, and most of all, count your blessings. That’s what the holiday is all about.

Best wishes to you and your family this Thanksgiving holiday!

 

October Writerly Events Roundup

I’ve had a busy October so far and I didn’t want to wait until the month ended to share these memories with you.   I had a fabulous time participating in four great writerly events.

1. Indie Author Day

On October 7th, the Monterey Public Library teemed with authors, writers, and readers. The super-organized event included seminars, workshops, and classes, all taught by local experts and neighboring authors. I was on the “Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing” panel. The other authors on this panel were amazing. Thanks to Eboni Harris for organizing the well-attended event.

Indie Author Day flyers

Victoria (L), D.S. Kane (C), and Alessandra Harris (R)

Indie Author Day panelists

Yvonne Carder (L) Victoria, and Chess Desalts (R)

E. Ardell (L) and Victoria (R)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the above author’s links to their websites:

D.S. Kane, Alessandra Harris, Yvonne Carder, Chess Desalts, and E. Ardell

 

2. How-To Booklet

I was inspired by my writing class students to compile this booklet to help reach writers who can’t attend my classes. It offers inspiration, tips, and yes, the kick in the pants. Published on October 6th, it will be available as an ebook soon.

new booklet

A new booklet is published.

3. Writing Class

October 9th. My five-week writing class in Capitola was a lot of fun (and hard work). Even though I added a week to my usual length of four weeks, the participants still said it went by much too fast.

See the thoughts swirling and the pens moving?

4. Booktoberfest 2017

A fun writerly event

October 17th in Pacific Grove, CA. This annual gathering includes readings by a few members of the Central Coast Writers whom had works published within the last 12 months. Also, all members were invited to display their books and answer questions about their publishing experience. It was a great way to meet other authors, see the variety of their books, and share publishing information. This was my first time attending a CCW event, and I must say the talent of the readers that night and the friendliness of everyone impressed me.

 

CCW President Laurie Sheehan & Victoria

Victoria at Booktoberfest 2017 Pacific Grove, CA

Now that these exciting writerly events are behind me it’s time to get back to work writing, developing the curriculum for my next session of classes, and editing my latest micro-documentary. I can’t wait. What’s going on in your writing life? Share in the comments below.

A New Poem is Published

My poem is published in the “Night Terrors” issue of Perfume River Poetry Review.

Perfume River Poetry Review Issue 3

The call asked for poems from your worst nightmares and I think they gathered some chilling works for the anthology.  The issue is available in paperback or as a free PDF download at: Perfume River Poetry Review.  Look for my poem, Bones on the Clock, on page 37.  Their other issues are amazing, too.  Take a look for yourself…

Issue 1: Inaugural Issue: Where We Begin

When was it you first discovered that words could bring you joy, give comfort, sustain you, and create hope and beauty?

Issue 2: Ars Erotica

Ars Erotica explores aesthetics of love, sex, sexuality, and intimacy and how it makes us human.

Issue 3: Night Terrors

What are your fears of the dark?  What keeps you up at night–be it ghosts or hauntings in your heart?

Check them out.  Each issue is $10 in paperback or free PDF.  Also, keep an eye open for their next Call for Submissions.

Workshop: Social Media for Authors and Poets

Any writers and poets living in the Bay Area will be interested in this workshop

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Social Media for Authors and Poets

social media collage

Social media has become a crucial element for authors and poets in promotion and branding, finding opportunities, and fundraising. But those new to social media may not understand what platforms are best for them and what they can do once they are up and running. Some don’t understand the benefits of social media at all while others have opened accounts but don’t know what they’re doing there. This class will showcase a variety of social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, websites and more! Though the class focuses on writers and poets, all artists will benefit from this exciting workshop.

For more information or to register, click here.

Instructor: Victoria M. Johnson is a published author, poet, and filmmaker. She is the writer and director of four short films and two micro-documentaries. Avalon Books published Victoria’s fiction debut, The Doctor’s Dilemma, in 2011 (A 2012 Bookseller’s Best double finalist). McGraw-Hill and General Publishing Group published her in non-fiction. In 2012 Victoria entered the indie publishing arena with a collection of romance short stories and in 2014 a how-to book on fiction writing techniques. Her poetry appears in online literary journals and print anthologies.

Workshop: How To Write Your Novel In Two Weeks

Any writers living in the Bay Area will be interested in this workshop

Saturday, March 28, 2015

How To Write Your Novel In Two Weeks

LGSR WorkshopDiscover techniques to write fast and get your first draft written in two weeks.  Learn how to prepare for the two-week event, how to execute during the two weeks, and how to fine-tune your masterpiece.

For beginners or pros, this is an exciting and motivating workshop that will help you improve your storytelling skills.  Don’t waste years trying to get your novel written.  Learn secrets to avoiding writer’s block and write your novel once and for all!

For more information or to register, click here.

Instructor: Victoria M. Johnson is a published author and filmmaker. She is the writer and director of four short films and two micro-documentaries. Avalon Books published Victoria’s fiction debut, The Doctor’s Dilemma, in 2011 (A 2012 Bookseller’s Best double finalist). McGraw-Hill and General Publishing Group published her in non-fiction. In 2012 Victoria entered the indie publishing arena with a collection of romance short stories and in 2014 a how-to book on fiction writing techniques. Her poetry appears in online literary journals and print anthologies.

All I Need to Know in Life I Learned From Romance Novels

Main description

This book is an inspirational how-to as much as it is a celebration of romance novels. There really is a wealth of insight, hope, and common sense within the pages of romance novels. The book captures those qualities that makes romance novels special and reveals how anyone can use that knowledge to be more heroic in their own lives. When times are toughest, when all seems lost, it takes guts to persevere. It takes motivation. This book helps readers define what’s really important in life… And shows her how to get it.

All I Need To Know In Life I Learned From Romance Novels is sure to please readers of romances. Learn how you can apply the savvy of romance novels to your own life. Learn what women are really looking for in a man. See what qualities make a woman a heroine. The heartfelt essays tap into the know-how of romance novels to bring to light how men and women can revitalize their real-life relationships. The book includes excerpts and quotes from favorite authors. These talented authors disclose why they write romances and why millions of loyal readers worldwide enjoy reading them.

The book is now available in ebook format!

All I Need to Know in Life I Learned From Romance Novels by Victoria M. Johnson

The stories you love reveal the secrets you need!

Reviews:

All I Need To Know In Life I Learned From Romance Novels, received favorable mention in People Magazine, Mode Magazine New York, Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, Library Journal, Romantic Times Magazine, St. Petersberg Florida News, National Women’s Review, Teheran News, and many others.

What People Are Saying:

Drawing on the wisdom found in the pages of romance novels, All I Need to Know in Life I Learned From Romance Novels, imparts priceless pearls of wisdom…  Romantic Times Magazine

Finally, a self-help book that reveals how an ordinary person can achieve all the heat, passion and moral fervor of a dime-store novel. Really.  People Magazine

All I Need to Know in Life I Learned From Romance Novels is unlike any other book of its kind as it gives the reader a guide to romance by using the writing style of the genre to demonstrate how men and women can better relate to one another.  National Women’s Review

Unlike romance novels, Johnson’s book is non-fiction. That means fact, reality, truth. Like romances, her book contains useful, surprising information about love, relationships and romance.  Tehran International Weekly Magazine

…a light but pragmatic look at the various lessons taught by romance novels and the difference they can make in readers lives…  Library Journal

…this book offers up observations on life… These collected truths, gleaned from the pages of romance novels, are deceptively simple at first glance but reveal themselves to be more meaningful upon reflection.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

…self-help advice based on themes from romance novels.  St. Petersburg Times

It looks like fictitious romance novels aren’t pure fantasy after all. …find 29 truths about love, sex, and passion…  Mode New York

Read an excerpt:

at Amazon

at Smashwords

 

The Doctor’s Dilemma

The Doctor's Dilemma by Victoria M. JohnsonThe Doctor’s Dilemma

Doctor Ryan Novak wants nothing to do with women whose only wish is to be a doctor’s trophy wife. Luckily, working in his pediatric clinic in rural Mexico puts romance last on his mind.
Nurse Grace Sinclair arrives at La Clínica Pediátrica with a broken heart and a vow never to fall in love again. The temporary nursing assignment is exactly what she needs to escape her painful memories and to rejuvenate her spirit.
After a rocky introduction, Ryan is skeptical of Grace’s motives for joining the remote clinic, and Grace believes he is like the doctors back home, demanding and self-centered. However, when disaster strikes the village, they soon realize they are equally committed to helping the community, and their close working relationship makes it impossible to ignore their attraction to one another.
When Ryan offers Grace a permanent assignment, her pain and fear stand in the way, and he wonders if he’ll ever be able to convince Grace to risk her heart again. The Doctor’s Dilemma tells the story of Ryan and Grace and the villagers whose lives they touch.

The Doctor’s Dilemma was a finalist in the 2012 Booksellers’ Best Award. (A Published Author’s Contest judged solely by booksellers and librarians for books published in 2011) It finaled in two categories, Best Traditional Romance and Best First Book!

 

Read an excerpt

paperback the doctors dilemma

 

Amazon Hardcover

Amazon Paperback

Amazon Kindle