Saturday, December 28, 2013


Here we are folks, the last Round Robin post of 2013!  (#rndrob1213). Grab a cup of tea and a cookie, I know you still  have some in the house, and settle back to join in the fun! 

This month's topic is: What have you learned from writing? And what are your goals for 2014 and further into the future?

When I started to write many, many years ago I was proud of my ability and loved to tell a good story. Over the years, I've had many fans and even more critics. Still, I persevered. My happiest day was finding out I had won the Murder in Ink contest put on through Wynterblue Publishing. Not only had I won a contest, but with my first murder mystery that is now an e-book and a novella!

Then I got my agent (Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Literary Agency!) and sold my first novel. The fact The Bookstore Lady is published as an e-book and not actually "in print" was a bit of a letdown at first, but it is published and I am getting my name out there while I work on my next novels. How encouraging! That some people still don't take me seriously, hurts, but I refuse to give up!
The main things I have learned from writing:
1) Keep an open mind. You never know who you will get ideas from and who can help you hone your craft and further your career.

2) Never give up! You never know when something great will happen. Even it it's not what you expect.
3) Be selective as to what advice you take. Critics can make or break you, not so much career wise as mentally. Don't let one harsh criticism defeat you.

So what lies ahead for my writing career in 2014?
I am happy to say I have an exciting year ahead!
My agent likes my latest cozy mystery and I have edits to work on in January.
My publisher is awaiting the second book in my Wild Blue Mysteries series: The Mystery Lady. 
I also have a collection of short stories that a I would love to publish.
Beyond that, I plan to organize and revamp old manuscripts as well as making more time to write and make my dream happen!!
P.S. I also plan to grade in karate for my blue belt.
Happy New Year!

And now off to the lovely Ginger Simpson to see what her goals for 2014 are!
Please don't forget to visit my fellow bloggers!!

Diane Bator
Ginger Simpson
Aimee Heil    writing as A.J. Maguire
Connie Vines
Beverly Bateman
Robin Courtright

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Another Step Down the Happiness Project Path

Today I attended the last formal meeting of the Headwaters Writers' Guild for 2013. Rather than writing from prompts as we usually do, today's leader Nancy, passed around sheets of paper with each member's names written at the top. The idea was to write positive things about each member. (check out Nancy's post at )

I looked forward to seeing what everyone would write about me, especially since my kids had done the same project in school and came home with some wonderful comments about them. So, what did I come home with? I've posted the comments below:

Open hearted and generous.

Easy to like.

Attention to detail and a genuine love of writing are but two of your gifts.

Beneath those golden locks lurks a keen mind!!

Diane's motives are a mystery.

Intelligence, level-headed and kind. A great friend - loyal, patient.

Prolific writer - great story teller - awesome characters - good friend.

I love the way you read your stories - your personality really shines through.

You are motivated, active and caring. You are an inspiration.

You have a really great sense of timing in your stories.

Thanks for remembering me, you obviously can make a person feel more comfortable.

Your stories are so imaginative and complete little worlds and I love your characters. Congrats on being published!

Wow, what great comments! Talk about inspiring!

One of the best ways I know of to improve happiness is to surround yourself with creative and supportive people.
I must admit, my kids are some of the most creative, supportive people I know. By the time I came home from my meeting today, my youngest had a list and was ready to hit the grocery store. At 12 years old, he decided it was a good day to make Beaver Tails - basically flat pieces of fried dough dipped in cinnamon sugar. While I would rather have sat and done some editing, supervising him in the kitchen was as much fun as watching him eat the treats when we were done. Creativity at its tastiest!

For today, I am grateful to have such a great group of writers to work with.
I am also grateful for having great kids who love to do the things that make them happy - like cooking - and even putting up a Christmas tree can be an adventure. But that's a blog for another day!