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“Letting Go…” by Cynthia A. Lovely

I have officially declared 2018 a year to Declutter and Simplify. Clutter can take over our lives and distract us from what is truly important. We all want a cleaner slate for the New Year, right? So where should we start? Well, first off, let me share a few tips that I have learned the hard way.

  1. PRAY. A short prayer for determination and the ability to let go. We can’t do it alone. 
  2. Start small. It is too easy to jump in with all good intentions and soon find ourselves…overwhelmed.
  3. Choose one thing to focus on and begin sorting. What is making you the most irritated right now? Closets? Kitchen drawers? Cabinets? Your desk?? Personally, I feel overwhelmed with paperwork. Writing projects, receipts, bills, letters, cards, saved brochures etc. But I can only do a little bit at a time or it makes me…crazy. So whatever area you choose to attack, dive in but back off when you start feeling like the piles of stuff are growing before your eyes.
  4.  Give yourself credit for every bit of progress, no matter how tiny! If you threw out one bag full of shredded papers, you have accomplished getting rid of SOMETHING. Sorting clothes? Again, one bag or box is PROGRESS.
  5. Put it aside, if an item ties you up with too many memories and you can’t decide to toss or keep. You can always go back to it later. Don’t slow yourself down.
  6. Space out your time to declutter. If you do a little bit each day, you will eventually see the difference you are making in your household. But if that doesn’t work for you, go at it one day for a few hours, then skip a day or two. We can’t dwell on the big picture or we will end up back at the beginning – overwhelmed.
  7. Pretend you’re moving : ) Seriously, do you really want to pack all that stuff?

Now it’s your turn.

What project will you start with? I’d love to hear some Declutter Victory Reports!



To Do: Organize Books

Huge task.  Overwhelming. But the end results are worth the effort. As an avid reader, I understand how  difficult it is to let go of books. I have about seven bookcases in my house to back up that statement. Periodically I set aside time to sort through them. The ones I truly love and will read again are placed back on the now-polished-fresh shelves. Then there’s the famous to-be-read pile.  I’m left with several books scattered across the room(s) and ready to be boxed up. Recycling options:

  • a church rummage sale
  • a library book sale
  • friends who love to read
  • City Mission
  • Salvation Army
  • Church library
  • Battered Woman’s shelter
  • Blog giveaways

It is a wonderful feeling to clear room on the shelves, re-arrange the titles and pull out the latest CBD catalog because now we have room to order...more books! :-)

Note: Photo is my writing corner bookshelf. If you’re looking for space solutions, this one fits nicely in a narrow corner yet still holds plenty of books – bought at Pier One.

So, when was the last time you sorted through your book collection? Are you due for a major overhaul?

The lure of home decor magazines…


Hello, my name is Cynthia. I am a magazineaholic.

The glossy covers and catchy titles lure me in and I fall off the wagon every time I receive a new offer for home decor tips: 12 issues for only $5.99! Sigh. If I could read them and get rid of them I’d be okay but they grow in multiple stacks all over my home. If you also suffer from this magazine affliction, please join me in my plan to simplify

  1. Cancel subscriptions. Keep one or two favorites. Certainly not more than three : )
  2. Recycle old issues. Give away or toss in recycle bin. Deep breath. You can do it.
  3. Visit local library weekly.  Win-win situation. Borrow magazines for a week and return them.You can still admire all those beautiful houses and room layouts (will I ever own a home like this in my lifetime?) and catch up on all the newest household tips without cluttering up your home.
  4. If you can subscribe to magazines, read them, and rid yourself of them immediately, ignore numbers 1-3 and enjoy! 

What areas of your life do you need to simplify?

What is truly bogging you down and cluttering up your life?

Today’s Revelation: The less clutter we have, the more time we can find to write!


Encouragement for Baffled Bloggers








Does anyone actually read your blog? Are you scrambling for topics of interest?

Do you drag yourself to the computer for yet another post, hoping someone, somewhere out there in cyberspace, will bother to comment?

Are you just plain baffled by it all? 

I started my journey on Lovely Lane one year ago this month. A Happy Anniversary in Blogville! Since I don’t have a book published (yet) and I’m not known world-wide (probably never) and I’m still establishing a platform locally (slowly, steadily, image of tired turtle crawl) I didn’t expect tons of people to flock to my blog.

My secret to contentment? I still enjoy writing posts. Best of all, I know some of my posts have helped others. Whether passing on a writing opportunity, sharing writing wisdom gleaned from conferences, motivating others to continue in their craft or helping someone personally through a hard time. Lately, two people have connected from the blog and are sharing stories of tough times. They are both edified through the process; the one receiving help, compassion, and encouragement and the other blessed to be on the “giving” end. God is good. He alone is able to make these connections.

Don’t doubt the impact of your words. The Lord has a way of connecting us at just the right time with someone else. Do all to His glory and He will surprise you with His perfect plan. Blog bravely, blog boldly and be baffled no more! 

One Major Goal by Dec. 31st

                                                                                                                                                                                                            September. Four more months left of this year.

Many of us began 2012 with lofty goals and a list of resolutions. Now is a good time to focus on the positive things you’ve accomplished this year in writing or in other areas of your life.

Don’t dwell on the negative. Don’t beat yourself up for what you haven’t done. You still have four full months to reach success.    

So choose a realistic goal. Not five or ten. 

One major goal by Dec.31st.

My choice is to complete revisions on my novel. (I’m halfway there.) Then I can start the new year returning to my new WIP that started out well but is…um…no longer “in progress.”

What single goal will you choose to complete in these last four months?

Determined Drive – S T R E T C H







What have  you done recently that has stretched your personality and taken you beyond your comfort zone? 

I want to grow as a writer. Which means I need to learn the craft, expand my horizons, widen my network and establish a platform.

Some of these things require a S T R E T C H I N G of my abilities. Pushing past my own limitations and emotions. Trusting God to meet me as I step out in unknown territory.

One of my stretching exercises – I attend a monthly business meeting in my local area for networking purposes. Every time the date rolls around, I get the jitters. I know once I get there, I’ll be glad I made the effort. But the idea of walking into a room (always a different location) meeting new people, sharing a brief bio…thank you but I’d rather be back home at my desk writing ( :  Yet every time I go, I come back energized, with a stash of new business cards, new contacts and possible ideas for new articles.

But I still get the jitters. And each month I push myself out the door and force myself to do what I need to.

Your comfort zone may be different from mine. Stepping out of your comfort zone may mean something more drastic like skydiving, bungee jumping, rock climbing or whitewater rafting.

What do you force yourself to do to grow as a writer or to expand your life? How has this helped you?




A favorite place to write…








is by the water. Whether it is Long Island Sound (photo) or on the bay or even at a lake. I just seem to write better in the summertime when I’m sitting by the waves. Since we have family and friends in the LI area, there are usually opportunities in this warm season to visit and find some quiet time to write. I enjoy the fellowship but I also love my time alone to compose.

   “Want to go fishing with us?” they ask. Nope. I’m good right here on the deck, watching the seagulls. I confess I’ve written some of my best pieces – by the water.









What is one of your favorite places to write?

  • On the patio or porch?
  • At your desk?
  • On the couch or in a comfortable armchair?
  • In the gazebo?
  • On a dock or in a boat, idling in the middle of the lake?
  • At a coffee shop or tearoom?

Leave a comment sharing a favorite place to write and enter to win a free copy of Love on a Dime by Cara Lynn James, a Ladies of Summerhill novel.



Determined Drive

Chicken Soup for the Soul:
Inspiration for Writers
101 Motivational Stories for Writers,
Budding or Bestselling,
from Books to Blogs 

A perfect writing opportunity for wordsmiths!

Don’t wait too long – the deadline date for story and poem submissions is June 30, 2012.

And speaking of Chicken Soup, for anyone in the local Albany-Sch’dy area, I will be at a book signing this Sunday at Barnes & Noble in Niskayuna, NY. I’ll be signing my story, “In Everything Give Thanks,” from the new release, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times. 


A wonderful book of encouragement. Each devotion begins with a scripture and closes with a prayer.

Have you published in an anthology? Did you realize you can set up book signings and use this as a marketing opportunity? It is wonderful practice for when your own book is published. I participated in one last year and enjoyed meeting new people and handing out my business cards. Plus I love spending time in bookstores…and this provides a perfect excuse to hang out there : )

Please leave a comment if you have any good writing opportunities that may help others.  Stop by next week, there may be another give away. Plus I’m seriously thinking of posting a book review since I’ve read two awesome books lately.

So…any writing ops, anyone?













Determined Drive






It was in the air a few days ago,  Now the winds are howling and the temperatures are chillin’. But March starts this week so I remain firm in my optimism – Spring is in the AIr!

Spring offers renewal and restoration, a lifting of the spirit and a desire for change. Bringing us back to Determined Drive and a listing of – you guessed it…new goals. Not just writing goals but personal goals as well. What are your goals for Spring, for the next month or two? 

Are you preparing for a writer’s conference?

Starting a new writing project?

Spring cleaning and organizing your files and desk area?

Leave a comment and share three major goals for spring. 

My Spring Goals:

1) I’m prepping for Blue Ridge conference in May.

2) Starting a new local writing project.

3) Starting (once again) a new exercise session.  


Determined Drive

Did you know January had a “Letter Writing Week?” 

 I missed it so I’m declaring my own week at the end of this month. 

When was the last time you received a nice newsy letter from a friend?                      

Not just a thank you card or birthday card. An actual, handwritten, thought out, well crafted letter.  I challenge you this coming week to take a different route with your writing and work on a personal letter.

To a family member. To an old or new friend.

Take time writing it. Share your heart and encourage someone with your words.

Hopefully, this will give you a relaxed break from whatever WIP you have been spending time on. Your letter may be an unexpected blessing to someone’s day.

Let this be your writing opportunity for this week. Leave a comment if you decide to take up the challenge.

And as you mail out your lovely letter, you can still say you accomplished a bit of writing : ) 

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