Friday, April 12, 2013

Jacqui Jacoby & Miguel

Please welcome Jacqui Jacoby to the blog today! Her book With a Vengeance was a lot of fun - kick ass heroine and a twisty plot that surprises you.

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Meet Miguel.  He’s my computerized day planner and the genius behind my getting anything done.  We check in every morning to discuss what it is I need to do for the day. Whether it is the list of daily house chores that keeps the home running smooth, or a list of deadlines of upcoming projects, he will know exactly where I need to be.
For me, turning to a day planner was a necessity and not a pleasure, as I am sure it is for most people who take the initial first step.  I started using mine back in 1997 when I was a working housewife, homeschooling my kids and I needed a concrete method to know what I needed to do when.  I have continued the practice as the kids have grown up and gone their ways as I find there is still so much to do.

When a deadline arrives in my inbox, the first thing I do it break it down, making sure my completion date is one week before the actual due date. All that time with those kids taught me that you need to be prepared for the unexpected.  I enter all these dates and projects into Miguel first thing, before I even think of tackling the project.  Then I can forget about it until it pops up on my screen.  It’s a great way to relieve the stress of something hanging over your head.
Day planners don’t have to be fancy. A simple notebook where you can keep track of what is due when and what you need to work on is fine.  Or they can be more complicated with special features.  They can be paper, bound or loose leaf or they can in installed on your computer, safe with a back up flash drive handy for those unexpected events. 

Right now I am editing a book, one I want to have submitted by my birthday.  So I choose the date a week before and I open the feature in Miguel.  Then it’s a matter of breaking it down into steps. 

·         First read through. Update to 2013.

·         Second read through.

·         Wait two weeks.

·         Print Copy. Read with Fine Tooth Comb While locked in room alone.

·         Contact agent.

·         Contact editor.

·         Submit
Each entry is given a due date, posting to Miguel’s page daily until it’s complete.  This keeps me on track; it keeps me from falling behind.

I recommend day planners to everyone who has goals in their lives though I know they are not for everyone.  I doubt many people have as close a relationship to any program on my computer that I do with Miguel.  But I say Why Not?  What have you got to lose?

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WITH A VENGEANCE

The more she wanted out, the more they dragged her back in!

Daughter to murdered CIA officers, niece to a deputy director, Jaime Walsh has never known life outside the world of espionage. Until a high-action case in Buenos Aires leaves her gutted. Physically, emotionally…and professionally.

She’d planned for her long-overdue vacation to be a time to rest and reassess. With her longtime partner Stephen not far behind, it’s a tropical paradise away from work. A paradise where boundaries will be tested.

From their training days, Stephen Reid has watched Jaime kick ass while performing what has become his second job—watching her back. But now his feelings have grown.

As best friends look at each other in a new light, they like what they see. And Jaime dreams of a new life outside “the company”.

Except someone from their past won’t be satisfied until Jaime and the man she loves are hunted to the brink of death. Now Jaime must find the strength to trust her heart and let go of her fear. Before she loses everything…
 
Jacqui Jacoby on the web:
Website          Facebook           Twitter   Author Page

Buy Links:
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That sounds very much like the way my daughter (ruthlessly) organizes things! I'm envious! :)

Are you a day planner type? Do you have/crave a Miguel?

47 comments:

  1. I'm pretty organized, but I must admit that my planner doesn't have a name! Planning and organizing have been a huge step in my submissions publications over the years.

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  2. Great tip for keeping organized! I do break deadlines down, but I put it all on my online calendar (I lost too many day planners...a very scary thing!) I'm so absentminded that having all my stuff on a cloud works well for me. :)

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  3. I use one on my iPad for personal stuff and a notebook for book and blog dates.
    Nice to meet you, Jacqui!

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  4. Beth - I really need to start writing things down!

    Elizabeth - an online one would probably work better for me too - too much paper!

    Alex - keeping them separate is probably a good idea!

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  5. Best wishes to Jacqui and her release With A Vengeance! Day planners or the equivelent is necessary for any writer. Have to stay organized to stay on track.

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  6. I like Jacqui's idea of planning. This, "making sure my completion date is one week before the actual due date" is the way I like to roll.

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  7. I need a Miquel. Does he have a function that would allow him to slap me upside my head when I don't stick to my own schedule?

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  8. Beth: I think naming the planner gives it more personality. Meaning I am more willing to face him in the morning. It also means if I am caught talking out loud to him I can always say "It's just Miguel." =D


    Elizabeth: Using a calendar works just as well. It's just a matter of having a place to write it down so you don't forget so good job there!! ;)


    Alex: Nice to meet you, too Alex. I don't have an iPad so I don't know how that works but again, if you have a place to centralize your ideas, projects and deadlines, than that is all that matters. Good going. =D

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  9. Stephen: Thanks for the warm welcome! And we already know I agree with you on how important day planners are!

    Teresa: I'm glad you liked the one week rule. I learned that while I was at university and carried it forward to when I was a stay at home mom writing. With all those kids around you never knew what was going to jump up and interrupt a perfectly planned schedule. ;)

    LD: LOL ... can't say Miguel has ever literally slapped me up side the head but he certainly has gotten his point of "Do It Now" across more than once. Good luck!

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  10. Stephen - my brain is not a big fan of organizers. I don't mind filling them out, but I often forget to check them... :)

    Teresa - yes! I always leave myself some extra wiggle room too :)

    Linda - I need that feature too! :)

    Jacqui - thanks for popping by! I really need to get a Miguel!

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  11. Jemi ... I use a Franklin Covey Computer Program from 1998. I love the way "Goals" are set up. Easy to track. They have a newer "modern" version but I don't like it as much.

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  12. I'm big on making my due date a week ahead. Learned that in the corporate world. I use a big flat month at a glance calendar that sits on my file cabinet behind my desk. Everything goes on it, and I make a daily to-do list from there. Every once in a while I forget to mark something on the calendar and things get scary!

    Good luck with your new book.

    Hi, Jemi!

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  13. I have never named my day planner- but I love the idea of doing that! I like to map out and plan things as much as I can because it helps me to feel less overwhelmed by projects. I always need to refer to my calendar!

    Great post. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a good book!
    ~Jess

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  14. Carol -- makes sense in the corporate word that that week ahead plan would work, too. Always plan for the unexpected, I always say. You never know what might come up.

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  15. DMS -- oh I'm guilty of much more than just naming him. LOL I actually assigned him a face and voice once, too. Gotta use that over imagination if it helps to get the job done. =D

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  16. I can't decide who has bigger pec's on that cover. :) Sounds like a dynamite read my why would really enjoy!

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  17. Jacqui - I bet people can't even find that program! Sounds like you NEVER need to upgrade!

    Hi Carole! I think I'm going to need to figure something out - but first I need desk. Actually first I need room for a desk... :)

    Jess - I'm feeling very much in the minority without a planner!! Have to get on that!

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  18. Greetings human, Jemi,

    Sounds fascinating about a computerised day planner. If my human wasn't such a technophobe, he might get things better sorted in his life. He just purchased an 'iPen' :)

    Good luck to Jacqui and I shall share your posting to hopefully increase further awareness. Yep, even on 'Farcebook' :)

    Pawsitive wishes,
    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

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  19. DL -- will have to agree with you on the pecs ... LOL. Hope you do enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

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  20. Jemi ... there's a new online version of the Franklin Planner that would work. It pretty good. But you are right about the version I use. I had to find it used on eBay once my old disk wore out.

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  21. Thanks Penny the Jack Russell dog. I appreciate all the sharing I can get. =D

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  22. Thanks Penny! And thank Gary too! :) I'm not up there with the techno folks either. One of these days I'll upgrade!

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  23. DL - oops! I missed your post - sorry! The pecs on the cover are definitely intriguing and I know your wife would enjoy the story!

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  24. You're wonderfully organized. I'm a list-maker. It may not be very "techie" but it works. Great post! :-)

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  25. Thanks Lexa. I'm glad you liked it. And you don't have to techie to keep it all together. If the lists are working then run with it!! Good luck!! =D

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  26. Never tried a computerized day planner. I probably should. Need to do something about my disorganized days. I've owned many book form day planners. They always seem to end up mostly empty at the end of the year.

    Lee
    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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  27. Arlee ... it is a habit that takes forming, that's for sure. Maybe trying a different type would make a difference. Good luck!!

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  28. Hi Jemi, Hi Jacqui,

    Jacqui, if it works for you that's good. As for me, I use a week planner. I think a day planner might be a good idea.

    Thanks for hosting Jacqui, Jemi.

    Mx

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  29. Lexi - lists are good! I need to become a list maker :)

    Lee - me too! I like the look and idea of them but I rarely use them - and certainly not consistently! :)

    Hi Maria! Maybe in the summer time I'll try one out!

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  30. Maria, as I said planners come in all sizes and shapes. A week planner is a great tool!!

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  31. Maria, as I said planners come in all sizes and shapes. A week planner is a great tool!!

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  32. It's good to get things done ahead of time. I tend to turn things in on the deadline date, pacing myself along the way, but I want to get things done earlier.

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  33. Medeia - I like being ahead of the game too - gotta keep working on it! :)

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  34. They "do it ahead" was a safety feature I knew I had to have. I was a Writing Stay at Home Mom and they *always* had some emergency coming up. Your "pacing" is always good!

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  35. Hi Jemi and Jacqui!

    My day planner is named- My Day Planner!

    Lol! But I love the idea of giving it personality and a name!

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  36. Nas - I even went looking at day planners today - but have to decide exactly what I want still :)

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  37. Hey Nas -- I **love** the name!! Works so well for me. LOL

    Jax

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  38. The premise of this book sounds so exciting.

    I like your writing discipline.

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  39. now why didnt i think of naming my planner! I think i might call it Igor. :)

    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  40. Thank you Theresa. If you decide to read the book, I hope it delivers to meet your expectations.

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  41. Nutschell- Igor sounds like a right and proper name for a day planner!! LOL

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  42. Theresa - the book is a lot of fun!

    Nutschell - LOVE Igor!! :)

    Thanks again Jacqui!!

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  43. Thank YOU Jemi! I am so glad you enjoyed the book!!

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  44. Hi Jemi and Jacqui
    Since our cell phones are with us all the time, and ideas hit randomly and at odd times and in odd places, I tend to pop lots of things, from blog posts, plot ideas, books TBR.... into a draft on my cell phone. From there, the ideas can be transferred to the appropriate location/ notebook/ blog draft post etc.
    Love the title With A Vengeance...

    Writer In Transit

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  45. You are right Michelle, my cell phone is rarely further than four feet from my person. Never thought to use it to store ideas. I always think real hard to remember them until I can get to the computer. Will have to try your idea!

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  46. Michelle - good idea! I don't have a smart phone (one of these days...) but I do usually have my iPod on me for notes too :)

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  47. Jemi - did you know that Smart phones today have more computer power in one little phone than the whole space program when the US sent a man to the moon? LOL ... I just read that somewhere. =D

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