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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

#IWSG - BIAW & Me


It's that time again. The 1st Wednesday of the month is Insecure Writers Support Group, the brainchild Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. And thanks to this month's awesome hosts: Jennifer Hawes, Jen Chandler, Nick Wilford, Juneta Key, JH Moncrieff, Diane Burton, and MJ Fifield!

Have you heard of BIAW (Book in a Week)? It’s a challenge like NaNo, only a week long instead of a whole month. The main premise of this challenge (offered by the Kiss of Death RWA online chapter four times a year) is “to get a solid storyline down, a good rough draft of your beginning, middle and ending, and an in-depth idea of your main characters, so by the end of the week you'll have ‘a novel idea’ you can flesh-out and build upon.” It runs for seven days, Monday through Sunday. No word count goals, except what you set for yourself.

In October, I participated and wrote over 8k words. My goal this time was 10k. I wrote over 11,000 words from November 28th through December 4th. This was exactly what I needed to give me a good kick in the pants to finish the PI mystery I’ve been dogging around on most of the year. I didn’t do all the advance prep that they suggest since I had a good chunk of the story already written.

I’m not sure why I’ve had such difficulties with this story. It might be because I’m normally a pantser, and I’d figured out the whole story before writing. I knew what would happen in scenes. I knew most of the characters well. Just like a good plotter (even if I didn’t write everything down). Perhaps that was the problem. I’d already “told” the story. There were very few surprises.

Whatever the cause, as you can see off to the right, I’m nearly finished with The Case of the Meddling Mama. Thanks to BIAW.

December 7 Question: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

What a great question. I’ve planned one year ahead but not five before—although if you treat writing as your business, which I do, you should have a five-year plan. I plan to get one of my books into the Top 100 on Amazon. How? Another good question and the hardest. Active marketing (paid and free) and, most importantly, by writing stronger books.

As you see above, I have the privilege of being one of the co-hosts this month. I’m looking forward to getting around to seeing those on my list, as well as everyone I can get to.


Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.


81 comments:

  1. Hi Diane,
    Well done with your Meddling Mama breakthrough (great title) and good luck with your 5 year target, that's a great target to have and I hope you get there soon :)

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  2. Hi,
    Thank you for being a co-host this month. Looking at what you have planned you have your work cut out for you. All the best with that. Also, I had never heard of a book in a week. Right now, my brain is saying no way. I went through NaNo and that was stressed pure. My brain would be fried trying to write a book in a week.
    So congratulations.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G.

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    1. Thanks, Pat. I couldn't do NaNo. Good for you for doing it, but that's too much stress. A week isn't too bad.

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  3. Thank you for co-hosting IWSG for December. I participate in NaNoWriMo but never heard of the RWA 7-day write-in before. What a great idea, thanks for sharing. Something else for me to try!

    Enjoy the holidays and Happy New Year to you and your family.

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    1. Thanks, Gail. Wishing you a great new year.

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  4. Hello, Diane, thank you for co-hosting this month.

    I write like a snail, so a book in a book is totally impossible for me. I couldn't handle the pressure. But it worked for you and for others, congrats on your Meddling Mama (great title) And I know you'll get into Amazon's top 100!!!

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    1. Thanks, Cathrina. I liked that it was only a week. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

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  5. Maybe I need that kind of focus to finally get my outline and story together.
    Whether you pants or plot, it's getting the words down that matters.
    Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. Thanks, Alex. You're absolutely right. It's getting the words down that counts. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

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  6. Dropping in as your fellow co-host to pay a visit! That sounds like a good idea. A book in a week sounds intimidating, but having a "capsule" version of a novel that you can then expand on is somewhat attractive. Good luck with your five-year plan - I'm sure your dedication and hard work will pay dividends there.

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  7. BIAW sounds like a great way to get that first outline down. Good luck with your 5-year plan :-)

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  8. My head is screaming NO Way to a book in a week...but - maybe something like that is the kick I need to get back in the game, who knows! It has obviously worked out beautifully for you. Congrats to you, Diane. Thank you for hosting this month!

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  9. I've just finished a book that was giving me trouble. The conflict didn't seem strong enough when I was writing it but once I let it sit on the shelf for a few weeks, it turned out to be better than I thought. Thanks for hosting.

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  10. What a great goal--getting into the top 100. I hope you make it so you can give us some great advice.

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    1. Nick, thanks. Hard work & determination are the key to success. I figure if I shoot high enough, I might make it.

      Ronel, if I'd started on a new story, BIAW would be great for getting down the bare bones. I'm glad it gave me a push toward the finish line.

      Sandra, thanks. Not sure anyone actually writes a whole book in that week, but it did give me a good puah.

      Susan, that's a good idea to let a story sit for a while. Looking at it with fresh eyes always helps.

      Tamara, if I do make it, I'll be sure to share. LOL Maybe it's a pipe dream.

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  11. Book in a week? Wow, great idea. I'm more in line with "poem in a week" Ha Ha! You are always on a roll and an inspiration to us. Thanks for co-hosting.

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  12. I love the idea of a book in a week! That's a lot of words to write in one week. Awesome! Great goal. :) Thanks for co-hosting today.

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  13. I haven't heard of BIAW, but my record is a full draft in ten days. It nearly killed me, though.

    A five year goal is good if you want to approach this writing thing like a business. A five year plan is better. ;-)

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  14. Whatever works to motivate you. Keep writing, and great goal to get in the top 100 on Amazon!
    Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month.
    Mary at Play off the Page

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  15. I'm a pantser too so the concept of a book in week scares the pants right off of me :) Kudos for you for getting out of your comfort zone and doing so well. I was able to be in Amazon's top 100 when my book was first released because it's such a specific niche but since then it's fallen far, far down the ranks. Probably because I do zero marketing...I need to work on that. Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. Dean, thanks so much. I have my bad moments, too.

      Christine, thanks.

      Misha, I can see why a full draft would be exhausting. Better to have a plan than just goof around. :)

      Mary, thanks. Why not shoot for it (Amazon 100)? I'm dreaming bit.

      Elsie, thanks. Good for you to make the top 100. As much as I hate promotion, I'll have to do a lot of that--a pain when I want to just write.

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  16. That challenge sounds so interesting! Keep at it. You'll get there! Nice to meet a fellow co-host! PS. I'm a pantser too.

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  17. That sounds like a great challenge! I'm all for anything that motivates us to get the work done. Sometimes having a clear time frame and deadline really helps, too.

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  18. Book In A Week sounds like a great challenge...but also a bit pressurizing.
    Getting your book into the Top 100 at Amazon is a fantastic goal. Once you've achieved that, you can pass on the formula to other writers. We'll be waiting.
    Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month.
    Writer In Transit

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  19. I'd never heard of BIAW but wow, congratulations on your amazing progress! That's wonderful and it's such a good feeling when a story finally comes together like that.
    Hope you have fun co-hosting!

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  20. I haven't heard of that, but awesome!

    Best of luck with your new story!

    Thanks for co-hosting!
    Heather

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    1. Jennifer, thanks. Nice to meet you, too.

      Megan, having deadlines gives me a good push. Thanks for stopping by.

      Michelle, thanks. If/When I do make it to the Top 100, I'll be sure to let you all know. This group has sure given me such a boost.

      Julie, thanks. I love it when a plan comes together. LOL

      Heather, thanks.

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  21. A novel idea in a week. I like that. That could help me to finish plotting out the last book in my Disaster Crimes Series. :)

    Like you, I do one-year plans, but I suppose it is smart to have a five-year plan. I'll have to start creating one.

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  22. Well done, Diane. My last goal was to get my book UP on Amazon. I can see a goal to get more readers. Hope you blog about how you accomplish this.

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  23. Wow, now that's a writing challenge! Congrats to you! :)

    I love the idea of writing stronger books. I hope I can always do that, continue to grow and get better and better. :)

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  24. There's also the 3-day Novel Challenge, which is pretty popular. After Nanowrimo, I don't think I would be any good at the challenges that are shorter in timeframe. I struggled to get more than 1,667 words out a day.

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  25. Writing stronger books and improving your marketing are always great goals. Here's to reaching them. And thanks for the great co-hosting job this month.

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    1. Chrys, we are such sisters. :) I've been writing Meddling Mama all year or so it seems.

      Jacqui, that's a great accomplishment. While my books are on Amazon, I want them higher than 4000+ in rank.

      Madeline, a stronger book is going to be hard. With each book, I hope I'm growing and my books are better.

      Raimey, I like the shorter challenges. Too much pressure in the longer one. I'll have to watch for the 3-day one.

      C.Lee, thanks for your good wishes.

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  26. I think you have some awesome goals!
    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  27. I've never heard of BIAW before. Sounds like something I should look into to kick start some of my projects. Thanks for co-hosting :-)

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  28. Good look with reaching the top 100!

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  29. I agree with your reasoning on why you are having trouble with the book. I think the same would happen to me - pantser are pantsers.
    Tweeted.

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  30. congrats on accomplishing the needed word count. Personally I think each story presents individual challenges and we grow as writers as we conquer them.

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    1. Tyrean, thanks.

      Ellen, it sure kick-started me.

      Patsy, thanks.

      Victoria, thanks. Can't get away from being a pantser. :)

      Linda, you are so right. Thanks.

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  31. I'd not heard of it, but great work! It'a amazing that in one week you could do what you couldn't do the rest of the year. I used to be a pantser, but then I had zero plot and I HATE doing huge revisions, so now I'm a plotter all the way. I discovered the BEST book for me very recently, TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS. It took the author four hours to solidly outline (including character flaw, goal, obstacles, allies, antagonist, incicing incident opening scene, ending, etc) her novel and then with that, 3 weeks to write the first draft. This is my plan for December! Thanks for visiting my blog! Christy

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  32. There's nothing like a 5-year plan to motivate a girl! Hoping you can continue in all your writing goals and succeed in every one.

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  33. Treat your writing as a business - I need to remember that!

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  34. Great goals. I've never heard of BIAW, but now I'm going to check it out. Thank you for co-hosting!
    Happy Holidays!
    Adrienne

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  35. That is quite the talent, Diane, to be able to outline a whole book in your head. I wish my mind worked that way. I often have great ideas and even some beautiful paragraphs written in my head, but when it is time to sit down and rephrase them or do something with the concepts, it doesn't sound nowhere near as good! Making lists and plans is scary, but gets the job done quicker. Happy holidays and thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. Christy, wow. Sounds like a great plan and book. Whatever works. That's my motto.

      Susan, thanks so much.

      Jennifer, from the beginning I've treated writing as a business. I was determined to make money from my writing. That only took over 15 years.

      Adrienne, thanks.

      Liesbet, thanks. Big gaps in that outline. LOL I'm such a list-maker.

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  36. I think you nailed it, Diane--I'm a pantser too, and knowing too much of the story beforehand is the kiss of death for me. Hope you can finish it.

    Merry Christmas, and all the best in 2017!

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  37. I've never heard of Book in a Week before. I've just finished doing NaNoWriMo and that was enough for me! Congratulations on doing it though and making such good progress with your novel. Best of luck with your goals and thanks for being a co-host. Merry Christmas!

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  38. Love the idea of BIAW. This is the first time I'm hearing about it but I'm tempted to give it a try. Thanks for the info. Good luck with your goals!

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  39. Great goals, Diane. I admire you and wish you luck. The BIAW sounds like a great kickstarter.

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  40. That's excellent progress! Go you. I think it gets easier each time we stretch ourselves.

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  41. J.H., I'm glad someone understands. LOL Kiss of death is right.

    Debbie, thanks. Now so many people have heard of BIAW. Great.

    Olga, thanks. It really helped me.

    Debra, thanks.

    Donna, thanks. Stretching is hard but so necessary to improve.

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  42. I haven't heard of the writing contest. I like the idea though if getting down a solid beginning, middle and end. I really hope you reach your goal with Amazon. It sounds like you are really determined :)

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  43. I have not heard of BIAW but am intrigued to check it out. I would not worry too much about "writing stronger." A lot of crap makes it to the top 100 on Amazon (I am thinking the 50 Shades of Gray triolgy). But I am inspired by your determination to hit this goal. Thanks for co-hosting today!

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  44. I could do a Cliff Notes version of my book in a week but it would have to be in dog years!!

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  45. I've got so lazy. I need a kick in the pants. Only I don't have enough energy to kick me in the pants. Good on you, Diane. Thanks for co-hosting.

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  46. I think your attitude to treat writing as a business is perfect for many writers. Focus, self-control, and measurable goals will carry you a very long way. Thank you for co-hosting IWSG.

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    1. Thanks, Erika. Although I didn't use BIAW's basic premise, I'm pleased that I accomplished as much as I did.

      Lee, thanks. Isn't it amazing what sells?

      Roland, LOL.

      Joylene, thanks. LOL at your comment.

      Lynn, thanks. Not all writers write for publication, but all of us write because we love to. I decided at the onset that this was a career for me.

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  47. Book in a Week sounds like a great challenge! I may have to try that sometime. Good luck with your goal!

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  48. Thanks for co-hosting, Diane and congratulations on being focused and getting all those words down on paper. I wouldn't manage a book in a week, even though I'd love to devote more time to reading. I do read every day though :)

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  49. I know someone who took on the challenge and completed a book that week. He's a prolific writer, though. He cleaned it up and was able to sell it. Good luck with your goal!

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  50. Would love to participate in these sometime...maybe 2017 will allow me the opportunity.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Good luck and God's blessings
    PamT

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    1. Marissa, thanks for cheering me on.

      L.G., thanks. It was a challenge.

      Nicola, thanks. I don't read as much as I used to but still manage at least a few pages every night. Gotta fill up that well.

      Shannon, wow. He must have been prolific. I can't type that fast. LOL Thanks for stopping by.

      Pam, thanks. I hope you'll take advantage of the opportunity.

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  51. No matter how well I think I know a story at the beginning, I always find out that it changes as I write, either because I've noticed a plot flaw or because I thought of something even better while I was writing. The final story can be quite different than the one I originally planned.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Thanks, Ken. My work changes, too, as I write. A lot. I love it when I think of something better.

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  52. Thanks for co-hosting!
    Great goals and clear determination, I've no doubt you'll get there!

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    1. Thanks, Yolanda. Appreciate your words of encouragement.

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  53. Holy moley! A book in a WEEK? I could maybe write a decent short story in that amount of time... maybe.

    Before starting my current work, I wrote detailed character analyses, figured out major plot points, an "explosive" ending, and did an incredible amount of research, etc, but now the characters seem to think THEY'RE in charge. So it's not so much me being a "pantster" this time around as it is my darned characters trying to WEAR the pants. But for now, I'm willing to see where they take me... :)

    Good luck breaking into the top 100. That's a lofty goal, but if you're gonna reach, might as well reach high. :) With your determination, I'm sure you'll make it.

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  54. 11000 words in a week?!?! Amazing. Congrats! I've not heard of the Book in a Week project. Thanks for the info. And I am positive you'll be in the top 100 and it won't take five years!!
    JQ Rose

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  55. I can't wait to read Meddling Mama! I can definitely see your books in Amazon's Top 100 - Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG blog hop this month :)

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  56. Woot on the progress! Best of luck finishing it soon! Me, I have a problem with changing the story and it affecting other parts since I run with 4 POVs. I'll make a decision in one place because it sounds good and flows well, but crap, now I have to change this other part because it no longer works. I have a plan. I just don't stick to it. ;)

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  57. What a great plan. I love the look of your header. Wishing you the best with plans. That blog hop sounds cool. Awesome about what you got from it.

    Happy Holidays
    Diane Burton

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    1. Susan, LOL over your characters wearing the pants. They do that sometimes, don't they? I knew I couldn't write a whole book in a week, but I got mine restarted and that was what I needed.

      JQ, thanks so much for your confidence in me. I hope you're right.

      Loren, thanks so much. I love your covers.

      Loni, I know that feeling where you change one that affects so many. Thanks for stopping by.

      Thanks, Juneta. My wonderful cover artists, Florence Price, did the banner.

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  58. I need to do that the week I am off for Christmas. I could finally finish the story I have worked on since last year.

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  59. Diane, darling!! My favorite interviewee! Hope all is well. That one week challenge sounds impossible; it's awesome that you got in 11k words. Great job! Thanks so much for co-hosting this month's IWSG. Miss you and can't wait to have you back! Hugs. Eva

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  60. I quite like the idea of a week long challenge, I can see that it would give a good kick-start to a project. I too am a pantster when it comes to my writing but I am trying to become more of a planner even if it is a loose plan! Thanks for co-hosting this months gathering.

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  61. Diane, that's a good idea. We don't really need an official BIAW. Good luck with that.

    Eva, sweetie! LOL I'll act like the Terminator and be back. I like the weeklong challenge because it's so short. I can stick with it that long.

    Suzanne, loose planning works for me. I need a direction in which to take the story.

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  62. Hi, Diane,

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and your family....

    I think a week challenge is a great idea. Now if I could only find a week. LOL...

    Glad to hear that it worked out for you! And, good luck with your five year plan. I admire people that can do 'plans'. Life always seems to get in my way of any plans, even short term. Lol.

    ALL the best!

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    1. Hey, Michael. Thanks for stopping by. You know the John Lennon quote, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." Life will always happen. Going with the flow helps.

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  63. BIAW sounds really interesting, especially for the plotters out there. :) Best of luck with your goals!

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Love getting your comments. BTW, your comment won't show up until you refresh the page. Isn't that a pain? Thanks for stopping by.