Sunday, January 21, 2018

Another week full of color

Once again, last week was a mixed bag, some wins, some loses, some super exciting news and somethings that stink. So, it is what it is.  

Here is how it panned out. Goals fully achieved are highlighted in green, those attempted are highlighted in yellow, and those not even looked at are in red letters.

1. Type 5,000 words of “No Body Found”. I think I mentioned before that I have most of the story printed out from an ancient computer, so need to get it in my laptop.  Well, I don’t even remember where I put the old copy of it, and then I decided that the novel I just finished writing has sat for long enough, so I worked on that instead and . . .
2. BONUS: Start chapter by chapter summary of “The Truth Beyond the River.” As eluded to in #1, I was called to get this going instead.
3. Write three posts to the “Dino Chronicles”. Yes. And a bonus mid-week post on this blog.

B. REACHING
1. Read four other blogs and comment on two of them. Read five blogs and commented on four.  
2. Continue researching literary agents to contact. Yes. Found another one who might be good.  
3. Promote “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”. With all my good intentions, none of this really got done, except for Mail Chimp, which was still a bust.
a. Share an excerpt of the book on Social Media. No.
b. Put a quote of the book on one of my pictures from Kenya and share that on Social Media. Put a quote on a picture but never shared it.
c. Email that excerpt and quote to my email list. No.
d. Research Mail Chimp. Well, I signed up for it, but I do not anticipate ever using it. Way too complicated for me. I don’t have time for that. Maybe, I don’t know, maybe – no, I don’t foresee ever having time for that.    
4. BONUS: If you read my bonus post on Wednesday, you already know that an article I submitted nearly four years ago has been accepted and we are just waiting to see if the pictures I sent to go with the article will work.

C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible. Up to date.
2. Daily read “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”. Yes.
3. Read the daily devotion in “Jesus Calling”. Up to date.

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Exercise four mornings a week. Exercised four mornings.
            b. Work out three evenings a week. Worked out two evenings.
c. Do the two-minute drill at work at least twice a day all four days I am at work, or eight times total. Did it six times.
d. Cut back on sweets and increase water intake. Oh, I was good some days and horrible others.    
2. Home fires
a. Pick out two dozen old pictures to scan. Snap a picture of them if I get a sunny day. Went a little nuts and organized about a quarter of the pictures. And took pictures of about 24 of them.   
b. Take down the Christmas tree. Undecorated it on Sunday and the hubby took it down Thursday.
3. Tumaini Volunteers
a. Work on the Procedure Manual. Nope.
b. Write a tentative itinerary for Medical Outreach in the Fall. Friday, I met two woman who are interested in a trip, probably spring of 2019, but talking to them at least motivated me to work on the trip for the fall. So, yes, I finally made up an itinerary.
c. Post two items for sale on Etsy. Nope. My daughter has all the stuff, so I told her she needs to take pictures of some of it for me to post.

Last week sure was a mess – good and bad. Let’s see if I can get down to an even keel this coming week and just plain have all green.

A. WRITING
1. Finish the chapter by chapter summary of “The Truth Beyond the River”.
2. Start the other stuff I need for submitting “The Truth”, such as marketing plan and I can’t remember what else.   
2. Write three posts to the “Dino Chronicles”.

B. REACHING
            1. Read four other blogs and comment on two of them.
            2. Continue researching literary agents to contact.
3. Promote “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” in one totally painless way so that I can stop feeling like such a loser about it.

C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible.
2. Daily read “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”.
3. Read the daily devotion in “Jesus Calling”. 

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Exercise four mornings a week.
            b. Work out three evenings a week.
c. Do the two-minute drill at work eight times total.  
d. Cut back on sweets.
e. Increase water intake.  
2. Home fires
a. Snap pictures of two dozen old photos.   
3. Tumaini Volunteers
a. Prepare the tax-deductible letters to send last year’s donors.
b. Send the tentative itinerary for Medical Outreach in the Fall to the three people who have expressed interest.
c. Message the director of the volunteer organization we work with in Kenya about this possible trip.
d. Post two items for sale on Etsy.

 That looks like a mighty long list. Wish me luck. And best wishes on your own goals. 
 The scrub top I sewed the week before last and finally wore this past week. 
It was cut from a six foot square tapestry, hence the unique design. I love it!
The mess of old photos. 
 The beginnings of organization of said pictures. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Mid-week News

I don’t usually post mid-week, for two reasons. I simply don’t have the time, and I never get much accomplished between posting on Sunday and Wednesday morning. This week, however, I do have something to say, so decided I would take the time.

In May of 2014, I submitted a short piece to Our Wisconsin Magazine. They emailed me back at the time, saying they had received the piece and would notify me if they would use it. After about six months, I put it on the “rejected” list, along with a long list of other masterfully constructed stories, articles and poems which had yet to find their place in the world.

When I got home from work this past Monday, Hubby said there was a message I should listen to. The editor of Our Wisconsin Magazine had called to say they still had my article and were interested in using it. And did I have any photos to go along with it?

I knew just the pictures I wanted to use – one from 1967 and one from 1969 – so I immediately emailed them.

Tuesday morning, they emailed me back that they had the pictures, but could I rescan them at a better definition – or something. I was certainly game to try that, except there were two problems. 1) My scanner has not been working the last few weeks, which I think I already mentioned someplace on this blog. And 2) I had scanned those pictures a few years ago and had no idea where I had put the originals.

I spent several hours last night in search of those pictures, which had to be in one of those boxes with all the rest of the old pictures. Incredibly, I found the pictures a third of the way into the first box.

Which gets me back to problem #1. Coz nothing is ever easy. I’ve really tried everything I can to get my scanner to work. It prints and it makes copies, but when I try to scan, I get a pop up saying the scanner’s not connected. If I don’t get it working by Friday morning, I will have to see if my daughter can scan them for me.

I will overcome this set-back. And will let you know when the article is printed – with pictures.
Not one of those pictures, but the others are of this same camper. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Makeover

Last week, I only worked a couple hours at the day job on Monday. I had hoped to come home early and get lots done, but I kinda took the day off all together, and I am just going to be okay with that. Then we went to church on Monday night, my daughter and I had facials on Friday and I worked Saturday morning. Then there was the whole issue I had with Microsoft Word, which I’m not going to dredge up again. It totally side-tracked me, but I will make up for it next week.

So here are last week's goals. Goals fully achieved are highlighted in green, those attempted are highlighted in yellow, and those not even looked at are in red letters.

A. WRITING
1. Finish the initial edit/read-through of “The Truth Beyond the River”. I was really slacking on this all week, but I stayed up late Friday night and got through the rest of it.
2. I’ve had an idea for another book for a while (well, actually like four of them, but this one is speaking to me), so I might start working on that – outlining the characters and such. Really? What was I thinking?
3. Write three posts to the “Dino Chronicles”. Done.

B. REACHING
1. Read four other blogs and comment on two of them. Hmm? I think I read five and commented on at least two, if not three.
2. Start researching literary agents to contact. I kind of hunted around on the internet. No one jumped up and said, “pick me, pick me!” But I may have some contenders.
3. Promote “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”. No. Let’s just say ‘no’. I can’t remember if I did anything with it, pretty sure I didn’t.

C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible. Up to date.
2. Daily read “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”. Yep.
3. Read the daily devotion in “Jesus Calling”. Yep.   

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Exercise four mornings a week. I think so.
b. Work out three evenings a week. I’m pretty sure I did. Maybe actually it was four evenings.
c. Cut back on sweets and increase water intake.  Increased water intake, not so sure about cutting back on sweets.
d. Bonus! Several co-workers and I decided to take two or three breaks throughout the work day to do some stretching and strengthening and 2-minute-cardio. So I did that two or three times three days last week.  
2. Home fires
a. Sort through those boxes of Mom’s old pictures so that when I do scan them, I can do it quickly and efficiently. Didn’t do much with the boxes, but did scan eight pictures.
b. Finish the new scrub top. Done. You will have to wait til next week for the picture of me modeling it.
a. Work on the Procedure Manual. Pretty much just worked some more on the outline.
b. Write a tentative itinerary for Medical Outreach trip in the Fall. Nope.
c. Post four items for sale on Etsy. Posted three things on Etsy, but already had a buyer for one of them, so I think that counts for the fourth thing.

On Sundays, I usually get the housework done, along with scratching off a few things on my list of weekly goals. Today, however, I may be sidetracked by a retirement party I’m going to in the afternoon. Hopefully I won’t be gone long, but one never knows. Other than that I don’t think I have too much going on this week. But again, one never knows.  

A. WRITING
1. Type 5,000 words of “No Body Found”. I think I mentioned before that I have most of the story printed out from an ancient computer, so need to get it in my laptop.  
2. Write three posts to the “Dino Chronicles”.

B. REACHING
            1. Read four other blogs and comment on two of them.
            2. Continue researching literary agents to contact.
3. Promote “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”. I think that instead of continuing to jam this down people’s throats, I need to make it more appealing, offer my readers something instead of just wanting them to give me something. Duh, and I know I’ve read that in marketing articles, it’s just a matter of looking it at that way.
a. Share an excerpt of the book on Social Media.
b. Put a quote of the book on one of my pictures from Kenya and share that on Social Media.
c. Email that excerpt and quote to my email list.
d. Research Mail Chimp. I’ve been manually emailing friends and family separately and personally each time, but maybe should look at ways of being more efficient.   

C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible.
2. Daily read “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”.
3. Read the daily devotion in “Jesus Calling”.  

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Exercise four mornings a week.
            b. Work out three evenings a week.
c. Do the two-minute drill at work at least twice a day all four days I am at work.
d. Cut back on sweets and increase water intake, by taking a big drink of water before I eat any goodies. Fill myself up with water so those sweets aren’t so appealing.   
2. Home fires
a. Pick out two dozen old pictures to scan. Snap a picture of them if I get a sunny day.  
b. Take down the Christmas tree. (Yes, it is still up. I was going to at least de-decorate it last week, but that didn’t even happen.)
a. Work on the Procedure Manual.
b. Write a tentative itinerary for Medical Outreach in the Fall.
c. Post two items for sale on Etsy.

Hope you all are having a good New Year and are beginning to attack your own goals. 
 Before the makeup makeover, above. And after, with my daughter, below. I don't know. At the time, I saw a big difference, but now after studying these pictures (and trying to pick the best ones out of seven), I can't tell so much. I know that the lighting is different in the before and after and that makes a big difference right there. I just never know if the whole makeup thing is worth it. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

off to the races in the new year

Here we are, one week into the new year already. I can’t say that 2018 has shown a huge improvement over 2017, but we are going to power through.

The week turned out pretty good for me, at least as far as goals go. Goals fully achieved for the week are highlighted in green, those attempted are highlighted in yellow and those not even looked at are in red letters.

   A.    WRITING
1.     Edit six chapters of “The Truth Beyond the River”. I really haven’t been doing much of an edit, just reading through it and fixing the obvious errors. I’m about 70% done with that. Next read-through I will get serious about it, but I think I needed this quick one to get back into it.
2.     Write three posts to the “Dino Chronicles”. Done.

   B.    REACHING
1.     Read four other blogs and comment on two of them. Read five and commented on one (so I’m counting that).
2.     Promote “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”.
a.     Finish emailing my contact list asking for reviews. Done.
b.     Share the book on my social media. I blogged about it, so that counts.

   C.     READING
1.     Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible. Up to date.
2.     Daily read “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”. Pretty much. It is a long book, though, and not very cheery. I’m reading it to help with the perspective of one of the main characters in “The Truth Beyond the River”.

   D.    REMAINING
1.     Physical
a.     Exercise four mornings a week. Exercised five mornings.
b.     Work out three evenings a week. Worked out four evenings.
c.      Cut back on sweets.  Not really. Don’t know how to measure this goal, but the answer is still “no”.
2.     Home fires
a.     Scan a dozen old pictures. I spent most of the day Friday trying to get my scanner to work, without success. I bit the bullet and tried just taking pictures of my pictures. It hasn’t been too bad. Those old photos don’t look the best anyway, so with a little editing the photographed ones are as good as the scanned ones. I can only do it on a sunny day, though – natural light, so I did a bunch (42!) yesterday.
b.     Work on the new scrub top. Cut it out Friday and sewed most of it yesterday. I’ll finish it today. (I almost only gave myself a yellow highlight, but my goal was clearly to “work on it”, not to finish it.)
3.     Tumaini Volunteers
a.     Start writing the Procedure Manual. Got the basics started and outlined.
b.     Write a tentative itinerary for Medical Outreach in the Fall. Nope.

Looks like it was kind of an all or nothing week. But that’s okay; I’m good with that.

Next week, I don’t have too much extra going on – church Monday night and an appointment for a facial on Friday (I know, I don’t get it either, but I’ll post the pictures here next Sunday). Oh, and I work Saturday morning. But I should still have time to get lots done.

A. WRITING
1. Finish the initial edit/read-through of “The Truth Beyond the River”.
2. I’ve had an idea for another book for a while (well, actually like four of them, but this one is speaking to me), so I might start working on -that – outlining the characters and such.
3. Write three posts to the “Dino Chronicles”.

B. REACHING
            1. Read four other blogs and comment on two of them.
            2. Start researching literary agents to contact.
3. Promote “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”. This one gets so depressing. I keep checking the book’s ratings on Amazon as well as the number of reviews, and every time I do, I just say to myself, “I suck!”. I know that probably 90% of authors say the same thing, but it just gets so old. I know I should stop checking Amazon all the time, but I just keep hoping to see some jump in reviews or sales. I keep trying to come up with new and original ways to promote it (again, as I am sure all authors are doing), but nothing seems to make a difference. 
a. Maybe do some research (again) on places I can do book-signings.  
b. Share the book on my social media (again).

C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible.
2. Daily read “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”.
3. I am also going to try to get back at the Tuesday morning Bible study. I quit going about a year ago, when my life started to slide into the abyss. One of my resolutions for the new year is to start going again. They are reading the book “Jesus Calling”, so I downloaded it onto my Kindle and will start reading that too.

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Exercise four mornings a week.
            b. Work out three evenings a week.
c. Cut back on sweets and increase water intake. 
2. Home fires
a. Sort through those boxes of pictures so that when I do scan them, I can do it quickly and efficiently. If there is a day where the sun is streaming in my windows when I am not at work, I’ll try to photograph some more of them.
b. Finish the new scrub top.
a. Work on the Procedure Manual.
b. Write a tentative itinerary for Medical Outreach in the Fall.
c. Post four items for sale on Etsy. I’m going down to my daughter’s today and we plan on working on it.

That’s about all for this week. The weather is finally supposed to start warming up here, so I’m pretty excited about that. Maybe I’ll be able to get out and take some pictures of my yard or my dog.

Have a good week and best wishes to all. 
Showing off my horsemanship skills at Wall Drug in 1971.
They finally let me on an actual horse in 1988. 



Monday, January 1, 2018

Return to the Four R's

I did all right, over all, on last year’s goals. As usual, the first of January brings with it the desire to get more organized, set some new goals in stone and pound out a plan to bring them to fruition. I decided to return to a format I used a few years ago – the four R’s (or Wr’s).

Writing and reading are pretty self-explanatory. Reaching means any kind of promotion, anything I do which gets me and my writing out there. Remaining is for all the other things I need to do in my life for balance and just because I have other things to do to keep that life rolling.

I have a separate list for the entire year (which I shared yesterday), but for the sake of brevity (and to keep your interest), I’ll only post my weekly goals here.    

A.    WRITING
1.     Edit six chapters of “The Truth Beyond the River”.
2.     Write three posts to the “Dino Chronicles”.

B.    REACHING
1.     Read four other blogs and comment on two of them.
2.     Promote “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”.
a.     Finish emailing my contact list asking for reviews.
b.     Share the book on my social media.

C.     READING
1.     Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible.
2.     Daily read “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”.

D.    REMAINING
1.     Physical
a.     Exercise four mornings a week.
b.     Work out three evenings a week.
c.      Cut back on sweets. 
2.     Home fires
a.     Scan a dozen old pictures.
b.     Work on the new scrub top.
3.     Tumaini Volunteers
a.     Start writing the Procedure Manual.
b.     Write a tentative itinerary for Medical Outreach in the Fall.

I’m keeping the list short until I get back in the swing of things. I had the week between Christmas and New Year’s off from the day job, so it’s going to be a shock to my system to go back to work tomorrow. I probably won’t feel up to doing much with my evenings this week. However, I do have today. I’ll try to make the most of it.

Hope you do too. Best wishes for a productive new year. 
It helps to be organized. This picture is from the school at the SIDP camp where we work in Kenya. Short and sweet, the schedule for each day. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Goals for 2018

I’m going to make this short and sweet today, saving the longer post and explanations for tomorrow, the first of the year. Here are the total goals I want to achieve by the end of 2018.

WRITING     
1)    Start and finish editing “The Truth Beyond the River”.
2)    Start and finish editing “Finding Justice”.
3)    Finish typing “No Body Found”. I started this piece in the early 1990’s and have most of it typed already on paper, so just need to put it in the ol’ laptop.
4)    Start writing the next novel. Not sure which one it will be, as I have four ideas in my head. I’ll see which one comes to the top first.
5)    Continue posting three times weekly to “The Dino Chronicles”.
6)    Continue posting once a week here.
REACHING
1)    Find an agent.
2)    Publish “The Truth Beyond the River”.
3)    Submit twelve pieces.
4)    Have 40 reviews of “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”.
READING
1)    Read twelve books.
2)    Read an average of five other blogs per week, commenting on three of them.
REMAINING
                1)    Do a medical outreach in Kenya.
                2)    Write a Procedure Manual for Tumaini Volunteers.
                3)    Empty one box of old pictures.  There are three boxes and a stack of photo albums to go through, so this would at least make a dent.
                4)    Get in the best shape of my life. I’m not happy that this is so vague, but I will work on it, literally.    
                5)    Get my house in the best shape of its life. Again, way too vague, but too bad.

That’s it for now. It looks ambitious, but I have 365 days to do it. Watch for tomorrow’s post and the start of the weekly list of goals to tackle. I’ll keep the above list on the top of this file, though, to help keep me focused for the year.


Have a great day, stay warm and be safe. 
Never know what I'll find next