What are your goals for 2021?

I am grateful 2020 is over, gone and done. The New Year comes with an opportunity to reinvent, refresh, renew, and brings us better luck. It’s up to each of us to make plans for a better YOU.

2020 was a very stressful year for the whole country. We lost loved ones, the economy started going south, unemployment shot up, and with the lockdown caused by Covid-19, the entire world went into a spin. We got isolated from our loved ones, got restrictions to enjoy life, even going to church was forbidden. I hope with the coming of the vaccine, 2021 will be a lot better.

I need life to go back to normal. I’m tired of what is going on in the country. The election, the politics, divisiveness, the riot, the life restriction are not the life I envision in America. I long to return to the old days before Covid. I want to see my friends and be able to travel again and be free again.

To cure my loneliness, I found out music is good therapy. I find myself playing music most of the time. I play Filipino Kundiman to keep me connected to the Philippines. I want to go home and visit my parents’ grave. I missed Mom’s funeral, and it saddens me to no end.

What are your goals for 2021? I call it goals because it seems that resolutions do not work anymore. Studies show that resolutions seem to be out the window by the end of January or early February.

So forget about resolution. Instead, set some goals for a better YOU. 

With some determination, you can accomplish a lot if you set your mind to it.

Did you accomplish anything about your goals in 2020? I accomplished a lot but not all.

Interestingly enough, diet or losing weight was not one of my goals. I lost a lot of weight last year without going on a diet or even thinking of losing weight. I think the fact that I had to go up and down the stairs at least 20 times a day (17 steps to the second floor) to attend to my sick husband made me lose weight. I did not follow any of those diet fads. If I do, I’m sure I will gain weight. I’m slowly getting back to my normal weight while maintaining a good eating habit.

I tried to learn a new language last year. That did not go too well because I lost motivation to do anything after my husband died. Grief took hold of me, and I could not function. I will try again this year.

One of my goals last year was to learn how to play the piano. I bought a piano a week before 2020, and I started teaching myself how to play the piano again. I play to distract myself from things I don’t want to think about. It’s for my enjoyment only and an exercise for my fingers to thwart arthritic pain.

I will continue to downsize my garden to a sustainable level. I’m planting more shrubs and vegetables and cutting down on roses which need more care. Since we don’t have a rose show anymore, I’m opting for easy-care roses.

Regarding books, I was able to spend less on books last year. This year, I’ll try to cut more on book purchases. I have enough books to read in my lifetime. Last year, I only read 12 books. I plan to read more this year.

And write more. Last year, I edited one of my manuscripts, and with the help of a friend who is reading it will try to finalize it this year. Then on to the next one. I have plenty of ideas percolating in my head, but in 2020, I felt overwhelmed after losing my husband and could not get back to the swing of things. I hope 2021 will be a better year. I need to stay focused.  

One last thing I plan to do this year is to continue organizing my home, although I can’t find stuff after I get organized. Right now, I know where things are. Every year I said it is time to organize, but life gets in my way.

One important thing I found comforting, despite the pandemic. My true friends came to my rescue when I needed it most. They called and emailed me to comfort me, and we reconnected again after so many years of disconnection. I am very grateful to all of them. After the pandemic, we plan to get together and have a blast.

For a change, I plan to do things for myself. Charity begins at home!

So that’s my plan for this year. I hope 2021 to be a wonderful year for all of us!

Wishing everyone a very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!!

What are your plans for 2021? Share and comment below.


Significant Events on January 1st Throughout History

Happy New Year Photo 3


Throughout history, there are some significant events that happened on the first day of the year.  Here are a few of them:

1583 – 1st day of the Gregorian calendar in Holland and Flanders

1622 – Papal Chancery adopts Jan. 1 as beginning of the year

1673 – Regular mail delivery begins between New York and Boston

1772 – First traveller’s check issued (London)

1776 – General George Washington hoists the Continental Union Flag

1788 – Quakers in Pennsylvania emancipate their slaves

1797 – Albany replaces New York City as capital of NY

1808 – Congress prohibits importation of slaves

1818 – Official reopening of the White House

1847 – Michigan becomes the first state to abolish capital punishment

1852 – First U.S. public bath opens in New York City

1862 – First U.S. income tax goes into effect

1863 – Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery issued by President Lincoln

1880 – Building of Panama Canal begins

1892 – Ellis Island becomes reception center for new immigrants

1907 – Theodore Roosevelt shakes a record 8513 hands in one day

1908 – First time ball signifying new year dropped at Times Square

1913 – Post Office begins parcel post deliveries

1914 – First scheduled airline flight, from St. Petersburg to Tampa, Florida

1934 – Alcatraz officially becomes a federal prison

1942 – United Nations established

1946 – Hidden Japanese soldiers in Corregidor surrendered to the American Troops after reading from a local newspaper that the war was over.  

1960 – Johnny Cash plays first of many free concerts from behind prison bars

1968 – Evil Knievel fails in his attempt to jump the Caesar’s Palace fountain

1971 – Cigarette advertising banned on radio and television

1975 – Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, and Mardian convicted of Washington Watergate crimes

1977 – First woman (Jacqueline Means) is formally ordained as Episcopal priest

1985 – U.S. first mandatory seat belt law goes into effect (New York)

1990 – David Dinkins is sworn in as the first black mayor of New York City

1995 – Last “Far Side” by cartoonist Gary Larson

2000 – Panama Canal handed over to Panama by the United States.

2002 – The Euro becomes the official currency for most of Europe



Stop and Smell the Roses







Doing New Year’s resolutions anyone?

new years resolution 

Is it that time of year again when everyone is thinking of making resolutions for the new year? How did you make out in 2017? Did you accomplish what you resolved to do?

I accomplished a lot but not all.

I sometimes wonder what’s the big idea behind this resolution thing. Most resolutions are about going on a diet. By the end of January, everything seems to be out the window. I look at those diet menus at some of the weight loss programs. It’s laughable. If I eat those things, I’ll throw up and be so fat, you won’t recognize me. I eat half the food of what’s on the menus. That’s why there are so many obese people in America. Even their diet menus are too much.  

So losing weight is not one of my New Year’s resolutions.

But I don’t want to resolve anything so I’ll call mine my goals for 2018.  

Maybe I can learn a new language. That would be awesome. I’ll try Spanish since I know a few words already. Then I can talk to the landscapers in my neighborhood. They usually gave me a blank stare when I talked to them about what to do. 

I want to learn how to play the piano. But I have no room for a piano unless I get rid of one of my bookshelves. Is that a good idea? Not sure. I need a bigger house. Tell that to my husband and he’ll tell you NO. He’ll tell you I need a smaller house.

What else?

Redo the garden and stop buying more plants which is hard to do. I have too many plants but little space for them. When I was in New York, I wished some roses would die in winter so I could buy new ones.

Stop buying more books and read only whatever I have. My mother told me once to stop buying books since I could not possibly read more than I have now. I think I have about 3,000 volumes in my house. I’m running out of bookshelves.

How about my writing? I plan to edit and finish a couple of my manuscripts. There are too many things I want to write and I get overwhelmed sometimes. I need to concentrate and stay focused. I can do it. I know I can.

Be more organized which is not good because I can’t find things after I get organized. Right now, I know where things are. Every year I said it is time to organize but life gets on my way. I have cut down on my charity work which leaves me more time to organize and do things for myself for a change. I feel liberated.

Looking forward to 2018! Wishing everyone a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!! Cheers!!!


Stop and Smell the Roses.



Veterans’ Honor Rose growing in my garden







Happy New Year to my friends and followers!

I’m looking forward to a great year in 2017.

Last year, I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish. I made all my goals and then some. I made my reading challenge for the year. I published another historical novel, “The Wentworth Legacy” and started a new project, a nonfiction book to be published in late fall this year.

This year, I’ll be more focusing on my marketing efforts. I have expanded my email lists to include all the people I know from all aspects of my life and that can mean over a thousand names. It’s a great way to start. When I was in real estate, I was taught “marketing is a number game”. This applies to anything you do. The more you reach out, the more you will be known.

I also started a quarterly newsletter, “Writer’s Musings & Reflections”. It’s not your typical marketing newsletter. It’s more about me, my thoughts and useful tips I want to share with my followers. To subscribe, email me at RosalindaRm@comcast.net. It’s a great way to build up your sphere of influence, a real estate lingo. I remember I used to send out 300 snail mail newsletters every month when I was in real estate. It’s expensive but it got my name out there and it paid off. I was one of the top producers in my office. With the internet, it is easier. With one click, they will be out there and will still leave me with more time to do my writing and other things.

I plan to stay active on social media. I’ll keep on blogging and tweaking my website to keep up with the trends.

I plan to keep on reading and learning new things. To be a good writer, you have to constantly educate yourself. I’m a self-taught writer but I love to read and I learn a lot just by reading. I have no time to go to seminar or conference since I am a full time caregiver of my husband who has acute kidney disease. I write at home and in solitude.

To break off from my writing, I garden. I tend to my 70 roses and other plants. Looking at those beautiful blooms and getting my hands dirty and taking care of God’s acre as I call it is the most satisfying and relaxing feeling of all. I recommend it highly.

Happy Reading and Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda, “The Rose Lady”

Author and Garden Writer



2016 New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year again when we have to think of our goals for 2016. Below are my resolutions for 2016. It can apply to all writers who want to improve their craft and make 2016 a successful year.

  • Edit my manuscript. After finishing the NANOWRIMO challenge for 2015, I put the manuscript aside for the month of December and will start editing in January. After I have gone through a couple of times to check typos and add and delete, my editor will go through the whole process of line editing and copy editing. Then back to rewriting, finding what is wrong with the book and trying to improve it. Then edit, rewrite, again more edits and rewrites until I feel comfortable with it. You’ll be amazed at how many errors you’ll see as you edit the manuscript again and again. To put my name in my work, I want to have it free of typos and errors. I’m getting much better as I progress through my writing journey. You can have the best story in the world, but if your manuscript is full of typos, it can turn your readers off for good. I hope to finish the final rewrite of my third novel, my 2014 NANOWRIMO winner, and get it published this summer. It takes a year and a half to edit a first draft.
  • Read more. In 2015, I accomplished my reading goal at Goodreads. I read 28 books. To make it as an author, you have to read and read what your audience wants to read. I read mostly historical novels and write historical novels. Once in a while I will read other genres just to keep myself knowledgeable of what’s out there. I also read magazines. All the books that I read inspired me to do more writings. This year, my goal is to add 2 more books from my 2015 reading challenge. Since I intend to read some lengthy book in 2016, I feel 30 books is attainable. I’m starting the year with Edge of Eternity, a 1098-page book by Ken Follett.
  • Write more. Even with the NANOWRIMO finished and done with, I never slack on my writing. The only difference is I wake up an hour later. During the NANOWRIMO in November, I woke up at 5 a.m. I write better when everything is quiet around me. Now, I still write for 1-1/2 hour before breakfast, then an hour just before lunch, a couple of hours in the afternoon and possibly an hour at night. I either write, blog, do a research, read but there is always something I do towards my writing goal. I’m polishing my third and fourth novel and will start a nonfiction project this year.
  • Publish my manuscript. Once I’m comfortable with the manuscript, it’s time to let it go. How do I know if it is ready? After editing it a dozen times, you know in your heart, whether it is ready to publish or not. Then I go into promotion mode before its release. Right now, I have not made up my mind if I want to go through the traditional route due to my time constraint. I have so much idea in my head that there is no time to waste querying and waiting for months for an answer. If I was younger, I might consider it. I love what I do and I feel that the time I will spend on querying is better spent studying to improve my craft. Between taking care of my sick husband, writing, reading, doing voluntary work for my community, maintaining my house and garden and studying my market do not give me ample time to query and wait which takes too much time. I know. I tried it before. I got two rejections. However, I might change my mind later. You never know.
  • Marketing my work. Traditional publishers nowadays do not have time to market your book unless you are a celebrity. So I might as well go through independent publishing. I do my own publicity for my book. I have a web presence since 2000 when I was in real estate and have continued to do so, more now that I am a writer. I am on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, ActiveRain, Google and more. I have websites and blogs. I know marketing is important. I used to work in the corporate world and know the importance of marketing your product. I will keep on marketing my books through my web presence and word of mouth.
  • Enter a writing contest. I entered a writing contest for short stories in 2015 at Writer’s Digest and won an Honorable Mention. I write to educate, stimulate and inspire. My stories are original based on life events. I have won writing contests on my gardening articles before and will continue to enter my articles.
  • Update my website. I will keep the content of your website fresh. I have a website and two blogs. My Facebook pages are linked to my blogs and my website. I have an author’s profile at Amazon and Goodreads. I’m constantly updating both my websites and my blogs. I will keep on posting regularly to keep my readers coming.
  • Be more active on social media. It’s important to maintain your social media presence. I’m on Facebook but there is one thing I don’t post on Facebook. I still feel strongly that things personal is not a matter of public knowledge. I post mostly about my writings and my reading. Since my website is linked to my Facebook page, my postings on motivation and inspirational tips and gardening tips go right to my Facebook page. I will like other pages and make comments every so often.
  • Be active in your community. Get involved in your community and let them know you’re an author. That is one ready market for you. I’m on my HOA board and an active member of a garden club, my church choir and a president of my local rose society. These are other potential markets. Join a local writing group. I joined the local NANOWRIMO writing group two years ago but I must admit I never went to their writing sessions because I like to write in solitude. I joined in their conversation on Facebook. I’m also in several groups at Goodreads, LinkedIn and CreateSpace. Regarding a writer’s conference, I have read conflicting views on whether they help a writer or not. I have not been to one so I have no opinion at this point. When you finish your book, you’ll be glad you have been active in the community that will be excited to read your work!
  • Start something new. I always wanted to write a nonfiction book on gardening. After all, I have been writing gardening articles for years before I started writing fiction. I have gotten awards on some of them so I might try to compile them in a book form. It will be my next project this year. I have a great idea in mind and it will be interesting to pursue it.

So what is your New Year’s resolution for 2016?


Until next time, stop and smell the roses.



Rosalinda Morgan

Author and Garden Writer

The Iron Butterfly

BAHALA NA (Come What May)

Get your copy today at www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan.







Another year has gone by. Out with the old and in with the new. Tonight we are celebrating the New Year and what a better time to pop the cork and drink champagne or sparkling wine for that matter. Before we run to the store, you might want to know the label lingo to thoroughly enjoy the experience.

How sweet is it?

Ultra Brut (or brut nature, or brut zero): Absolutely bone dry, for those who resist even a little sweetness.

Extra Brut: Still reliably dry.

Brut: The most common designation; denotes a quite dry sparkling wine.

Extra Dry: Confusingly, these wines are sweeter than those labeled brut.

Sec: The word means “dry” in French, but these bottles are even sweeter than those labeled extra dry.

Demi-sec: Sweeter still.

Doux: The sweetest sparkling option.


Where is it from?

Champagne: Sparkling wines from the Champagne region of France tend to be among the driest.

Crémant: Sparkling wines made in other parts of France: these are also reliably dry.

Cava: Spanish sparkling wine, typically dry and smoky.

Prosecco: The most common sparkling wine from Italy, made in the Veneto region. Often sweeter than cava, Champagnes, and crémants.

California sparkling wine: Typically sweetish and approachable.


Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Until next time, stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda, The Rose Lady


Rosalinda Morgan

Author and Garden Writer

The Iron Butterfly

BAHALA NA (Come What May)

Get your copy today at www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan.