Guest Post: Allison from The Book Wheel reveals her 2014 Resolutions

new year resolutions

Today, I have Allison from The Book Wheel guest posting about her New Year Resolutions. Allison is a great blogger- always on the cutting edge and she runs her blog like an efficient business. I could just sit and listen to Miss A talk for hours about her plans!

Read on for her New Year Resolutions (maybe you’ll be inspired- I was!)

Allison at The Book Wheel- New Year Resolutions

Hi Travelers! My name is Allison and I blog over at The Book Wheel about books, politics, and other shenanigans. I’m so excited that Tamara has asked me over to share with you my New Year’s Resolutions. This year is the first time “get healthier” and “lose weight” isn’t on my list because, frankly, I never follow through with them. And if I do, it’s by accident and not because of any direct efforts on my part. Plus, I already gave up soda! So, this year my resolutions are as follow:

  • Read more award winning books. This isn’t an official challenge or anything, but I find that I often miss out on the award winners because I’m bogged down with other books I need to read. This year, I’m going to try to read the nominees before the winners are announced and, if I miss one or two, read them once they do win.
  • Take less author requests. I know, I know. This one sounds so callous. But I get roughly 5-10 author requests per day and, as much as I’d like to read them all, I simply can’t. This past year I learned that saying yes to everyone also means that I rarely have time to read the books already on my shelf, like the award winners.
  • Spend less time online by focusing on the task at hand. This is going to be hard because I run a website, but I really need to streamline my online time. I have a bad habit of blogging while watching television, which then takes 10x longer, and I can easily waste a day on something that should have taken me an hour. That wasted times mean less time for studying, hanging with my husband, and reading.
  • Put down the iPhone when I’m at home. This one goes hand-in-hand with my previous resolution. I also have a nasty habit of keeping my phone on and near my at all times and it needs to stop. When I’m spending time with my husband (even if it’s just watching TV), I am going to put my phone on silent and in the other room. Maybe I’ll get a home phone for emergencies, but I really need to stop relying on my phone when I already have an iPad and MacBook. I’m *considering* removing my social media apps from my phone, but that sounds so scary!

Did you pick up any resolution ideas from Allison? I hope so! Tell me in the comments if you did!

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Guest Post: Erin Bass from Deep South Magazine shares her resolutions & learns the power of “no”

new year resolutions


Erin Bass. Southern Lit. Supporter of blogs. Amazing writer. Smart and savvy. Erin’s mind is always ticking away- and her features on Deep South Magazine are incredible. She has her finger on the pulse of Southern Lit.

A tweet from Erin while I was at my first Sweet Potato Queen weekend back in 2011 started our friendship- and it has grown beyond just a Twitter friendship. I trust Erin with my thoughts about blogging and books and more.


Erin Bass of Deep South Magazine talks about saying “no”


“Saying No in 2014”


I’ve been thinking a lot this past year about resolutions and changes I’d like to make in 2014. I know, why wait until the end of the year to try and do better when I could have been making changes all along? Because some of us (me) need that extra push and the excuse of a holiday to get motivated. As I get older, I find it helps to spend time reflecting on the past year and setting goals for things I want to accomplish in the future. Resolutions in my thirties have become about getting things done (but not just for the sake of crossing them off a list), having no regrets and living life to the fullest.


Since an online magazine doesn’t run itself, work is always a priority. I’m thankful that my work is something I enjoy, but I’m always trying to improve. In 2014, I want to be more focused on what I’d like to accomplish for Deep South. It’s easy to get sidetracked by the vast amount of emails, story pitches and ideas we receive. Again, I’m thankful that readers are enthusiastic enough to send an email and make suggestions for stories, but we can’t accept all of them. I need to really consider what fits with our mission and what will help us grow in the coming year.


Accomplishing this and sticking with it will take some forethought and planning, something I’m spending the first week of January doing. As most Southerners know — especially Southern women — it’s hard to say “no.” We are people pleasers and were raised to be polite and agreeable. The word “no” isn’t really in our vocabulary, and it’s difficult for me to risk disappointing someone by saying it. Heck, it was difficult just to turn on my “out of office” the week of New Year’s, but I needed some time to regroup.


What I’ve been conscious of this past year is that by saying “yes” all the time, I’ve become overcommitted and not able to enjoy anything. While doing one of the many things I’ve said yes to, I’m thinking about my next commitment and how many tasks are still left undone. I’m not present in the moment, and I’m resentful toward the person I’ve said yes to. The only person to blame for this is myself.


So, in 2014 — as gracefully and politely as possible — I will be saying no a lot more. No, I can’t bring a dish to yet another dinner or even attend said dinner. No, I won’t be able to attend that charity function, luncheon or networking event. Instead, I’m going to spend time doing things that are meaningful to me and actually enjoy them while I’m doing them.


I’ll take time to finish that short story I started at the beginning of last year and maybe even write another one. I’ll enjoy lunch with an old friend and not be thinking about getting to my next commitment. I’ll crack open that book that just arrived in the mail and take an hour to curl up and read on the couch without the distraction of an email or text. If I do attend that dinner, it will be because I want to and I’ll enjoy the company while I’m there.


It’s hard to not feel selfish about this resolution, but I’ve come to realize that saying no is about extending some of that “yes” to ourselves. I realize that I don’t need to tell myself yes every time I want another piece of chocolate or glass of wine, but I do need to give myself permission to slow down and put work aside sometimes. Often, like in the case of a good book or developing a friendship with someone I’ve interviewed or met through Twitter, work and pleasure intermingle. It’s in these moments that I truly enjoy my life and work.


Hopefully saying no to those empty obligations and yes to those moments that really enrich my life will make 2014 an even better year for myself and Deep South.



If you don’t read Deep South Magazine– check it out!



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Guest Post: Wendi Wachtel writes about the letter she writes to herself

new year resolutions

Today Wendi Wachtel from H2O Bungalow stops by to discuss her New Year Resolutions- and I have to say, after reading this, I would like to start doing this!

New Years Tradition Letter

Guest Post by Wendi Wachtel

Hi I’m Wendi from H2OBungalow where I blog about DIY home projects in a 1950’s small waterside bungalow..

I was so honored when Tamara sent me an email and asked me to take part in her assembly of New Years posts. I thought it would be fun to share our New Years Eve tradition. I stopped making New Years resolutions a long time ago. I felt like I put half-baked effort into coming up with resolutions. A few weeks later they’d be completely forgotten…to me, it seemed a complete waste of time and energy.

A few years ago my sister, Sherri shared a special and different New Years Eve tradition that she follows. We had a fun group over for New Years Eve. We were all sitting around the fireplace, having a great time and waiting for the countdown. When we had about an hour to go, Sherri announced we were going to do something to get ready for the New Year.

She handed everyone a blank envelope along with a piece of writing paper and a pen and told us all to write a letter to ourselves. Not just a letter, but one that listed how we want the New Year to be different. What we want, how we see ourselves, what changes we want to make, basically what traits we want to keep and what traits we want to let go. She said to keep it simple.

The room went silent for a while we were all contemplating and writing. Our group was a fun, bordering on rowdy bunch and it was funny to see everyone focus on the task at hand. We were instructed to seal our letters in the envelopes when we finished writing. My sister waited until the last letter was tucked away and the envelope sealed. She then instructed us all to address the letter…to ourselves and then give it to her.

As she collected the letters she told us she would hold onto them for 6 months. We’d be getting our personal notes back at the midway point in the year. True enough, mine arrived mid-June. I let When it arrived, I let it sit on my dresser, leaning against the mirror for a while before I opened it. I took that time to think about everything I wrote, how life was different from the changes I made and even where I fell short in the areas I wanted to improve.

It was 2012 and the year we dramatically changed our life and lifestyle when we moved to our Fl. waterside bungalow. I think this was the first time I’ve ever reflected back on a New Years resolution, promise or whatever you’d like to call it. To me, our New Years Eve letter was so much more powerful than a midnight promise after copious amounts of champagne. Since then, we’ve adopted this practice as our own New Years eve tradition. I’d like to call it my non-resolution tradition.

Thank you, Wendi, for guest posting!

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Guest Post: Sarah Morgan & New Year Resolutions: What Will Be the Word of 2014?

new year resolutions


Sarah Morgan, author of Sleigh Bells in the Snow, talks about her New Year Resolutions.  How she loves the freshness of the New Year and her advice for people looking to make New Year Resolutions.


Sarah Morgan: New Year Resolutions and the word of 2014


I love New Year and the idea of making a fresh start. A close friend told me a few years ago that instead of making a resolution, she picks a word. So ‘connect’ might mean making a real effort to be in touch with people who have drifted away simply because we all have busy lives. ‘Resist’ might mean working extra hard on will power! My word for 2014, and my resolution, is ‘Today’. I’m going to try and spend less time worrying about tomorrow and next week and next year and really try and focus on enjoying every moment of the day I’m in and hopefully making that day better for the people around me.




So.. What will be your word of 2014? Traveling With T wants to know!



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Guest Post: Rebecca from Love At First Book talks about her New Year Resolutions

2014 Resolutions via Love at First Book

Hey guys, I’m Rebecca from Love at First Book, and today I am going to share with you some of my 2014 Resolutions. I divided them up into bookish and bloggy, since it just seems to work well that way!

Bookish Resolutions:

Bloggy Resolutions:

  • Redo my About page in January and reread it monthly
  • Start keeping better track of my stats on a monthly basis
  • Become a G+ pro and use the communities more actively
  • Video blog monthly
  • Create bookish craft DIYs 2x per month
  • Grab some more co-hosts for my Spread the Love Linky Party

Hopefully I’ll be just as good with my resolutions as I was last year. In 2013, I accomplished all of my resolutions, which I was kind of surprised about!

Your turn! Share one of your resolutions with me!


Guest Post: Lori Nelson Spielman talks of New Year Resolutions (wine, books, & the life of an author!)

new year resolutions


Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List, talks about her New Year Resolutions.  Statistics, why she likes New Year Resolutions and the difference between boring resolutions & ones that might be attainable! Read on for Lori’s thoughts.


Lori Nelson Spielman talks of New Year Resolutions

Thanks so much for hosting me today to talk about New Year’s Resolutions. Let me start by getting the clichés out of the way. With the New Year comes a fresh start. The New Year provides the perfect time to reinvent ourselves. The start of a new year gives us a chance to reflect on our lives, evaluate what we want to change or improve.


As tired as they may be, I happen to agree with the clichés. I love the symbolism of a new beginning. I have oodles of things I’d love to change, and apparently, so do most Americans. According to, 45% of Americans make resolutions.


Year after year we vow to eat healthy, get wealthy, lose weight and congregate. We plan to volunteer, drink less beer, manage our debt and adopt a pet.


And year after year we fail—at least that’s what my friend, Kathy, believes. I discovered her resolution revulsion while we were having lunch, and the conversation turned to the New Year.


Kathy: I never make New Year’s Resolutions. Ever. Call me the Grinch of the New Year, but I refuse to be pressured to perform under a deadline.


Me: But it’s the perfect time to start fresh, make those changes we’ve been putting off all year.


Kathy: If someone needs to change, then they should change. Immediately. Why wait for January 1st? Resolution-makers are needy. They’re like a group of lemmings, marching to their suicide. Do you realize only eight percent of people accomplish their resolutions? And of those eight percent, seven percent are lying.


Me: You’re so cynical. The important thing is, they make the effort.


Kathy: Uh, yeah, for like three whole days.


Me: I happen to believe in resolutions. As you know, I make one every year. Want to hear this year’s?


Kathy: Let me guess, you’re going to eat healthy, work out more, everything you vowed to do last year.


Me: Well, yes…but this year I thought I’d increase my exercise routine…


Kathy: Bo-ring! The only thing worse than exercising is listening to someone talk about exercise. And food? Trust me, no one wants to hear about it. Rule of thumb: never talk about your diet unless the person you’re talking to is wearing a lab coat.


Me: Okay, forget those resolutions. I’ll just stick with my original goal: Write my next book.


Kathy: You said that last year and the year before. You need something more succinct. How about: When writer’s block hits, I’ll inhale two, rather than three, rows of Oreo cookies.


Me: But those Oreos are so comforting. I know, I’ll organize my office, and keep it organized all year.


Kathy: Seriously? That’s like asking Miley Cyrus to give up twerking. Make it realistic, like stuffing your coffee mug, laptop, pens, papers and candy wrappers into the nearest closet five minutes before your family gets home.


Me: But all that paraphernalia helps me write. In fact, next year I’m going to write 1,000 words per day, without fail. Now there’s a resolution!


Kathy: You already do that. I see your Facebook posts, tweets, emails, Pinterest…


Me: You’re right. Scratch that. By the time I sit down to write my novel, my daily quota of clever thoughts have been used up. How about I vow to keep away from social media while I’m writing?


Kathy: An Internet diet. Interesting. Are you including Sudoku and Solitaire in your diet?


Me: I should. I know I should. Those computer games are a time warp. But I’m addicted. I can’t stop. Hey, why don’t I read 24 books in the New Year? Reading is essential for writers. And I won’t read trashy novels, I’ll finally read the classics.


Kathy: Two books a month sounds reasonable. But make it one classic, one trashy. After all, if you can’t twerk…. I’m just sayin.


Me: Finally, a resolution we agree on! We’re on a roll here. What about this one: I’ll stop reading my reviews.


Kathy: Obsessing over your reviews would be more accurate. But yes, that’s another good one.


Me: And I won’t compare myself with other authors. I won’t curl up in the fetal position for a week when I discover my writer friends have already sold books three and four.


Kathy: Excellent. I think you might actually accomplish these.


Me: No doubt about it. And while I’m writing, I’ll set a timer. I’ll write in two-hour blocks. I’ll limit my caffeine intake to two cups of coffee a day. I’ll—


Kathy: Whoa. Back up…caffeine intake? What about your wine intake?


Me, blanching, aghast: Wine? Come on now, let’s not get carried away. I refuse to be pressured to perform under a deadline. Why set myself up for failure? Do you realize only eight percent of people accomplish their resolutions…



Like Lori’s resolution? Read Lori Nelson Spielman: Author Spotlight or Interview With Lori Nelson Spielman.



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Guest Post: Stephanie Evanovich reveals her humorous New Year Resolution!

new year resolutions


Over the summer, I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie Evanovich- author of Big Girl Panties. Stephanie is humorous and sweet- and over the past few months, we’ve stayed in touch. When thinking about authors to ask to contribute their New Year Resolutions to Traveling With T, Stephanie was a person I knew I wanted to ask!


Everyone knows that authors- in addition to writing books, promoting their current book and going on book signing tours- are also expected to have a social media presence. This is great- unless… you find yourself having a hard time with social media. Stephanie tells us all about her resolution about social media- and makes us laugh in the process!


Stephanie Evanovich talks about her social media New Year Resolution


My resolution for 2014 is to try and step up my game in regards to social media. Back in July, when I first started my book tour for BGP, I posted a pic to my then 130 followers on Twitter that included a little joke about hoping the GPS on my rental car was as good as it claimed. Well, the rental car company answered the Tweet, and it blew my mind. Since I am old enough to remember rotary dial phones, the technology completely overwhelmed me. I spent the next week looking behind shower curtains to see if they were actually following me. And it turned me into a total social media wallflower. A writer who is afraid to write stuff is probably a terrible combo. Next year is the year I conquer that fear and embrace all the great things social media has to offer.




Liked Stephanie Evanovich’s resolution? Read Author Spotlight: Stephanie Evanovich or Meeting Stephanie Evanovich for more about her!



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Guest Post: Ashley @ Closed The Cover talks of what New Year Resolutions mean to her

new year resolutions

A few weeks ago, I was thinking about New Year Resolutions- what they mean, what my resolutions will be and wondering about others. So I asked a few bloggers, a few authors, and some other bookish friends to write about their New Year Resolutions. They happily complied!


Today, Ashley from @ Closed The Cover is talking about New Year Resolutions (and giving us a little education on New Year Resolutions in other cultures!)

New Year Resolutions by Ashley @ Closed The Cover

Every year when the holiday season arrives I find myself experiencing growing anxiety as day after day ticks by and one more X goes on the calendar. First it’s Halloween and I think to myself, “Only two more months…” Then it’s Thanksgiving and I think, “We’re getting closer!” By the time Christmas arrives my heart is all a-flutter as there is only one week to go. I always feel a little bit like an outsider because while everyone else is excited over the fat man of Christmas I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of little baby New Year!


I first started to develop an interest in the New Year holiday when I read a book about New Year traditions around the world. For example:

* Chinese New Year celebrations are based on bringing luck, health, happiness, and wealth. They clean their houses to rid them of lasts year’s bad luck before the celebrations begin. Chinese people believe that evil spirits dislike loud noises so they decorate their houses with plastic firecrackers. The loud noises are intended to frighten away evil spirits and bad luck that the spirits might bring. New clothes are worn, and visits are made to friends, neighbors, and relatives to exchange good wishes.

* Danish New Year has a very unique celebration. In Denmark it is a considered a good sign to find your door heaped with a pile of broken dishes at New Years. Old dishes are saved year around to throw them at the homes where their friends live on New Year’s Eve. Many broken dishes were a symbol that you have many friends.

* Scottish New Year celebration also begin by cleaning their houses to get rid of old spirits. They also have a tradition of the “first footer” which is said, that whoever the first person to set foot into your home on New Year’s day decided the family’s luck for the rest of the year. This was based on the belief in the magic power of beginnings.


It was a challenge to read these and not fall in love with the idea of “out with the old and in with the new.” We started to adopt a few of these traditions in the way we celebrate New Year’s. When Christmas is over and we’re prepping for New Year’s I will do a massive cleaning of my home. Remember, it cleans out bad spirits! I also go shopping to buy new clothes (thank you China for that excuse!). We also celebrate New Year’s Eve outside. I can’t remember which culture it was but somewhere always opens the windows to the home at midnight to shoo the wicked spirits away. Being outside just fills us with a sense of possibility and rebirth.


For the last 7 years we have rang in the New Year at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. It’s a big outdoor party with lots and lots of noise to scare away the evil spirits and bad luck (thanks again China!), there is usually a lot of drinking which is sure to result in at least a couple of broken glasses or bottles (and a nod to you Denmark!) but since we’re not usually at home on New Year’s Day so I haven’t figure out how to incorporate Scotland yet. We don’t typically set resolutions so it’s hard for me to say much about them. All we really do is celebrate the end of the year – the closing of another chapter – and welcome new possibilities with wide open arms.


Happy New Year! I hope you make 2014 your best year yet.





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Today is the first day of a brand new year….

284809_10200385547227776_1800968892_nJanuary 1. The first day of a new year. A day where the year stretches before, bright and sparkling- where the idea of resolutions seem 100% do-able. Here’s my main thought for 2013: Do the best I can. Maybe some of my resolutions will pan out. Maybe some won’t. Maybe the year will be filled with happiness and joyous moments. Maybe it won’t. I’m going to try to make each day a “super-sparkly” day and go from there.

My resolutions:

1. Read more.

2. Travel More.

3. Work on photography skills.

4. Meet some personal goals.

5. Blog more- maybe create a Traveling With T Facebook page,  review more books for publishers/authors, and be able to attend more book events.

6. Meet more people who share my interests: painting and reading.

7. Attend more fun events: Broadway-type shows, baseball games, concerts.

However you chose to spend your 2013- I hope that it’s a fantastic year!

Happy Reading!