Sunday, February 10, 2019

And It's Snowing Again

We had a ridiculous amount of snow this past week; I have lost track of it. (And it is snowing again right now.) Hubby took me to work once or twice, as he wasn’t going to be driving school bus and he seemed like he wanted to drive somewhere. I got off of work earlier than usual most days, thanks to the weather, so I should have gotten a lot done on my list of goals. In addition to everything below, I also worked on planning our vacation for later this spring. I kind of obsess about those travel plans.

I guess I didn’t do too bad. Looking ahead, however, I’m hoping to go out of town on Friday for the weekend, so I may not get much done. Unless I am a rock star after work every night. Depends on the stupid snow, too. There’s another 5 to 8 inches in the forecast for Tuesday.

So here are my goals for January, February and March. If it is a goal which I accomplished, and it is done for the Round, I’ll highlight it in blue. If it is a goal which was accomplished this week, but which I will keep working on, I’ll highlight it in green. A goal at least worked on is highlighted in yellow and red lettering is not even attempted, a complete fail.

WRITING
1)    Finish the edits on “The Truth Beyond the River”. Finished. I also emailed my editor that final chapter which I had to almost totally rewrite.  
2)    Finish the proposal for “The Truth Beyond the River”. I finally worked on it a little bit, added the comps – comparable books – and edited a few other things.  
3)    Write nine chapters in “Old New Spies”. Not started.
4)    Continue posting three times weekly to “The Dino Chronicles.Yes.   
5)    Continue posting here once a week.  Yes.
REACHING
1)    Submit the query/proposal for “The Truth Beyond the River.” No, not done with it yet.   
2)    Submit four pieces somewhere. No, none.
3)    Redo my website. No.
READING
1)    Finish reading “The Secret Garden”. 92% done. Maybe I can finish this week!
2)    Finish reading “All the Place to Go”. 66% done. This one is taking a lot longer. Maybe I should only read one book at a time. It continues to blow my mind when people read a book in a day or two. Do they have more than 24 hours in a day, or what?   
3)    Read an average of five other blogs per week, commenting on three of them. Yes, read five and commented on three.   
REMAINING
My mother's Aunt Margaret, her namesake, with her first husband 
1)    Empty half the box of old pictures in my office. Scanned another 15 pictures into the computer. Not even a dent, but it’s something. Everything I pull out of that box is such a gem. This could take a couple years!  
2)    Finish my family tree. Worked on it. My great-grandmother’s side of the family, traveling down the road of all the cousins instead of just going back through all the great-grandparents. Just like those pictures, everything is a gem.  
3)    Clean three closets in my house. Cleaned the front hall closet, the desk in my office, and the piles of Christmas decorations in the basement. So, that is three things, but I think I need to start over then with another three.
4)    Finish the 30-Day Yoga Challenge. I yogaed every day. Up to day 23. Almost done! But then I definitely am going to find another yoga practice to do every day, or even repeat this one.  
a.     Get the tax-deduction letters out to our donors by the end of January. Done.
b.     Hold a meeting after the team returns from Kenya. We will be meeting on February 24.  
c.      Work on the Procedure Manual. Our secretary and I still have to come up with a time to do this.
d.     Sign up for some craft sales this spring. New goal.  

That’s it for now. How’s your weather? Digging out from all the snow like we are? Or enjoying warm days filled with sunshine in some place closer to the equator? 
My driveway Monday morning


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Looking Forward to Spring, Already

    Friday, my daughter, son-in-law and two others returned from Kenya. I had to pick them up at the airport, which is a five-hour drive from my house. I left early in the day, so that I could shop on the way and not be in the car for ten plus hours. Of course, even though their plane arrived a bit early, it took forever for their luggage, so I circled the airport at least twenty times waiting for them. Then we had to detour an hour out of our way to drop one of them off. My son-in-law had promised he would drive home, but he was too tired. I totally get that, I mean, they had just spent twenty-two hours in planes and airports. Didn’t get home until after midnight.

Then yesterday, we had to run my daughter’s vehicle down to her (our travel is always convoluted). I spent most of the rest of the day going through the several thousand pictures that they all took. And too much time dreaming about going back to Kenya myself.   

So here are my goals for January, February and March. If it is a goal which I accomplished, and it is done for the Round, I’ll highlight it in blue. If it is a goal which was accomplished this week, but I will do it all over again next week, I’ll highlight it in green. A goal at least worked on is highlighted in yellow and red lettering is not even attempted, a complete fail.

WRITING
1)    Finish the edits on “The Truth Beyond the River”. I think I finally made it! I don’t think I mentioned that I needed to rewrite most of the last chapter? I should not have let that bog me down so much. But it needed to be done and the entire book (hopefully) is better because of it.
2)    Finish the proposal for “The Truth Beyond the River”. Not worked on.
3)    Write nine chapters in “Old New Spies”. Not started.
4)    Continue posting three times weekly to “The Dino Chronicles.” I missed writing a post on Friday (see above).   
5)    Continue posting here once a week.  Yes.
REACHING
1)    Submit the query/proposal for “The Truth Beyond the River.” No, not worked on.  
2)    Submit four pieces somewhere. No.
3)    Redo my website. No.
READING
1)    Finish reading “The Secret Garden”. 71% done.
2)    Finish reading “All the Place to Go”. 55% done.
1)    Read an average of five other blogs per week, commenting on three of them. Yes, read five and commented on four.  
REMAINING
1)    Empty half the box of old pictures in my office. Not worked on.
2)    Finish my family tree. Worked on. Finished my great-grandfather’s side of the family back to the 1500s. I think sometimes that the people at Ancestry.com just make that stuff up. I mean, really? They kept records that far back??
3)    Clean three closets in my house. Cleaned the front hall closet and the desk in my office (okay, so not technically a closet, but it's still a space). 
4)    Finish the 30-Day Yoga Challenge I started on January 9. Even though my back went out the end of the week, I yogaed every day (that’s not a word, is it?).
a.     Get the tax-deduction letters out to our donors by the end of January. Yeah! I got them all out last Sunday.
b.     Hold a meeting after the team returns. I think we decided on February 23.  
c.      Work on the Procedure Manual. This is a new goal. Our secretary reminded me that we should get together one weekend to finish it.

That’s it for now. After two weeks of arctic blast, our weather is warming up. Maybe we will have an early Spring!  
My son, daughter, son-in-law and one of the others they went to Kenya with. My son took a different flight home, arriving back in the States yesterday, so that meant time on the phone hearing about his take on the trip. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Distractions

I hope this finds you doing well and making progress on your goals for the year. Myself? Not so much.

A couple of things. My kids, along with three others, left last weekend for their volunteer trip to Kenya with our nonprofit. Whenever they are gone, I naturally obsess about what they are doing, where they are, if things are going well. I stalk all of them on Facebook to see if they have posted anything new. Even though things always turn out well, it seems there is always one snag on each trip. It is Satan’s way of saying, “you need to stop trying to do good in Africa”, and God’s way of saying, “have faith.” Anyway, so someone broke their leg the other day. Not one of my kids, someone else on the team. It’s all going to be okay; she’s taking it in stride. But I feel I need to do something from ten thousand miles away to help the situation. As if there is anything I can do.

The other distraction is that I dog-sat for my daughter’s two dogs this week. They were really good and not a problem, but it was still enough of a drain. We took them back to my daughter’s neighbors on Friday, where they will stay til she gets home Friday night.

Lastly is the editing of my novel. I had it professionally edited by a woman I know and trust, and she did a remarkable job. I’ve been going through the manuscript manually accepting (and occasionally deleting) her edits. The problem is that every time she makes a suggestion, other than something grammatic, I obsess about it. Mostly it’s the comments reminding me that someone might be offended by what I wrote about a certain ethnic group or sounding too preachy or – I can’t even remember all of them. And I totally get it – this is the world we live in and if I want this book to get published and I want people to read it and write positive reviews, then I can’t step on too many toes. But how do you even write anything? Someone could read this blog post and be offended because I mentioned God and Satan in the first paragraph. Blah! I’m not going to rant.

So, I’ve been choosing my battles, as they say, deleting a few things, rewording a few things, and leaving some just the way they are. And if this book does get published and read and someone is offended by one word out of 75,000, then that’s their problem. But it still means this whole editing process is taking longer than anticipated.  

So here are my goals for January, February and March. If it is a goal which I accomplished, and it is done for the Round, I’ll highlight it in blue. If it is a goal which was accomplished this week, but I will do it all over again next week, I’ll highlight it in green. A goal at least worked on is highlighted in yellow and red lettering is not even attempted, a complete fail.

WRITING
1)    Finish the edits on “The Truth Beyond the River”. Worked on it; you already read about it above.
2)    Finish the proposal for “The Truth Beyond the River”. Not worked on.
3)    Write nine chapters in “Old New Spies”. Not started.
4)    Continue posting three times weekly to “The Dino Chronicles.Yes.  
5)    Continue posting here once a week.  Yes.
REACHING
1)    Submit the query/proposal for “The Truth Beyond the River.” No.
2)    Submit four pieces somewhere. No.
3)    Redo my website. No.
READING
1)    Finish reading “The Secret Garden”. 55% done.
2)    Finish reading “All the Place to Go”. 45% done.
3)    Read an average of five other blogs per week, commenting on three of them. Yes, yeah! Finally something in green.
REMAINING
1)    Empty half the box of old pictures in my office. Not worked on.
2)    Finish my family tree. Worked on.
3)    Clean three closets in my house. Cleaned the front hall closet
4)    Finish the 30-Day Yoga Challenge I started on January 9. Missed one day.
5)    Tumaini Volunteers Nonprofit
a.     Get the tax-deduction letters out to our donors by the end of January. Not yet. Hope to today. (Have to today!)
b.     Hold a meeting after the team returns. Not scheduled yet and won’t be til they get home from Kenya next weekend.


That’s it for now. Have a happy week. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Goals through the end of March

Last week I posted what my lofty goals are for the entire year. I have yet to work on much of anything, but I think that if I got my act together and wrote down my goals for the next three months (or three weeks, or even three days!), I might get something done.

So, let’s see, how about my goals for the next three months (because even though I hang with the ROW80 people, I never can keep track of those 80 days), or actually until the end of March, because here we are over half-way through January!

WRITING
1)    Finish the edits on “The Truth Beyond the River”. I really should get this done by the end of this week. I am such a putz!
2)    Finish the proposal for “The Truth Beyond the River”.
3)    Write nine chapters in “Old New Spies”.
4)    Continue posting three times weekly to “The Dino Chronicles.”
5)    Continue posting here once a week.  
REACHING
1)    Submit the query/proposal for “The Truth Beyond the River.”
2)    Submit four pieces somewhere.
3)    Redo my website.
READING
1)    Finish reading “The Secret Garden”.
2)    Finish reading “All the Places to Go”.
3)   Read three more books. 
4)    Read an average of five other blogs per week, commenting on three of them.
REMAINING
1)    Empty half the box of old pictures in my office.
2)    Finish my family tree.
3)    Clean three closets in my house.
4)    Finish the 30-Day Yoga Challenge that I started three days ago.
5)    Tumaini Volunteers Nonprofit
a.     Get the tax-deduction letters out to our donors by the end of January.
b.     Hold a meeting after the team returns. They leave today; I’m so excited for them.

That’s it for now. Have a happy week. 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Goals for 2019

Here it is, two weeks into the new year, and I’m still figuring out what I want to get done this year. Last week I posted my 2018 goals for the year and how they came out. Thanks for all the comments. From what you all had to say, I am dropping some goals completely. Still keep them in my head, but not on paper.

So, here’s what I am going to start with:  

WRITING     
1)    Finish the proposal for “The Truth Beyond the River”.
2)    Edit “Finding Justice”.
3)    Finish typing “No Body Found”.
4)    Start the next novella to go with that series. I had ideas for four novellas to put together - the two above, one with the working title of “Ghost House” and one more that I can’t remember.
5)    Finish writing “Old New Spies”. This is a lofty goal indeed. But I will give it a shot.
6)    Continue posting three times weekly to “The Dino Chronicles.”
7)    Continue posting here once a week.  
REACHING
1)    Find an agent.
2)    Publish “The Truth Beyond the River”. If I haven’t found an agent or a publisher for it by June 1, I will self-publish.
3)    Submit fourteen pieces.
4)    Redo my website.
READING
1)    Read fourteen books, two from the “classics” list.
2)    Read an average of five other blogs per week, commenting on three of them.
REMAINING
1)    Return to Kenya in the fall.
2)    Empty the box of old pictures in my office.
3)    Finish my family tree. This has already consumed a lot of my time this year.  
4)    Clean out all of the closets in my house. Last year’s ridiculous goals was to get the whole house as clean as possible. I don’t know how that could happen, so I’m trying to be more realistic. And by cleaning, I mean – empty all the junk out of those puppies.
5)    Keep my weight at 140. Last year I was going to get in the best shape of my life. Didn’t know how that would look, so am being more specific.

That’s it for now. Next Sunday, I’ll get after the week-by-week goals. Wishing you the best in betting your goals together. 

Cleaning out the box of Mom's pictures means I come across gems like this. Looks like a primary grade picture from 1924 or maybe 1921. I can't quite tell. My dad would have been nine or six years old, but I can't find any boys in this picture that look like him. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

2018 Recap

First, I want to thank everyone for your support over the last couple of years. And most especially, for cheering me on when I had the stomach flu last week.

For anyone who is new to this group, it may not seem like it day-by-day, but the ROWer’s will be there for you in a pinch. Hang in there, keep writing, keep blogging, keep sharing your progress on the ROW website or Facebook page.

Before I jump into the goals for 2019 (which are still being tweaked, and as we all know, will continue to be tweaked for twelve months), I thought I would tell you how 2018 ended up. Here are the year-long goals I came up with a year ago and whether or not I achieved them. Green highlight is achieved, red lettering is a fail. (If you are new to my blog, I also usually include other colors for goals at least worked on, but I was thinking that in 365 days, I either succeeded or failed.)

WRITING     
1)    Start and finish editing my novel “The Truth Beyond the River”. Finished the second edit in September.
2)    Start and finish editing the novella “Finding Justice”. Nope, not really.
3)    Finish typing the novella “No Body Found. Nope, not at all.  
4)    Start writing the next novel, “Old New Spies”. Wrote six chapters.
5)    Continue posting three times weekly to “The Dino Chronicles”. Pretty much.
6)    Continue posting once a week here. Pretty much.  
REACHING
1)    Find an agent. Or how about an editor first! Done! Hired an editor in November, who got the manuscript back to me in December. She did a wonderful job. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to review all her edits. This really needs to be my priority this January.
2)    Publish “The Truth Beyond the River”. Nope.
3)    Submit twelve pieces. Only submitted nine and two were accepted (which is about what I’ve been averaging the last few years).
4)    Have 40 reviews of “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”. Only up to 28.
READING
1)    Read twelve books. Read exactly 12. Yeah!
2)    Read an average of five other blogs per week, commenting on three of them. Pretty much.
REMAINING
1)    Return to Kenya in the spring. Yeah! Went with my son Nick and had a good time. 
2)    Write a Procedure Manual for Tumaini Volunteers. Worked on it, but I guess it is a work-in-progress.
3)    Empty one box of old pictures.  I don’t know that I actually got rid of one, but was able to consolidate it down from three boxes to one.  
4)    Get in the best shape of my life. I never liked this goal, too vague, and not even close to being achieved.  
5)    Get my house in the best shape of its life. Again, way too vague, and way too not close to happening.  

That’s it for now. Next time I’ll let you know what I am thinking for 2019. 
A Very Merry Christmas was had by myself and my kids. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Done with all of that

Looking over the list of goals that I have assigned myself each week I see that I really have accomplished very little in the past week. No, I’m not going to beat myself up over it. Monday and Tuesday night after work I was at church, I spent the day cleaning house Wednesday, we hosted Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, and Friday morning I took off to Minnesota with a friend and returned late yesterday afternoon. Hmm? Doesn’t leave too much time for anything other than sleeping and eating.

During that entire mad dash of a week, I was thinking about this blog and my writing goals and personal goals. Trying to put my head where it needs to be, willing my body to follow. I’ve decided that I am done with the list of goals until the first of the year.

Now, I have only two things I want to accomplish by December 31. First, of course, is the whole Christmas thing – the shopping, decorating, cookie baking, party attending, sending out cards. Oh, man, that one just dawned on me. It is so hard to give up the art of mailing Christmas cards to family and friends near and far. Every year, I think to myself – not going to do it, or at least I’m going to cut back. How’s that working for any of you reading this?

Ok, so there is all of that. The second goal is to finish my book proposal for “The Truth Beyond the River”. Today I was supposed to get back to my editor with my thoughts on all her basic suggestions. It might be a late night getting that done. After the manuscript is back in her capable hands, I need to get going on the proposal and query letter. I’ve sent a few out and now that I have talked to enough experts on the whole process, I can see why those fledgling attempts were failures. I just hope it’s not too late to wow an agent.

Anyway, so that’s that. I’ll still keep you posted but probably with a shortened update.


How are your goals coming along? Ready to hang it up until after the holidays? Oh, goodness, I just looked at the calendar and realize some of you may still be plowing through NaNoWriMo. I give you credit.
A quicky cover that I just threw together for the novel.