Sunday, July 15, 2018

Off to a slow start


Oh, boy, here I am, posting very late in the evening, at least for me. It’s bedtime, for pete’s sake.

I didn’t get much done this week. Thursday morning, Hubby and I headed to Lifest, the Christian music festival we’ve been going to every year. I also woke up that morning with a cold. I had hoped to get some stuff done on my laptop after we got back to the hotel each night, but I was so beat. As the picture shows, I was beat in between performers too. No worries, though, this cold has only got a few days left to have control of my head and my chest, and then I will get back at it.

Green highlight is goal accomplished (right! Like that happened this week), yellow highlight is goal at least worked on, red lettering is goal not even attempted.

A. WRITING
1. Finish another edit of my novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.” Got through chapter 9, so a decent start.   
2. Continue tweaking my book proposal / query, as needed for each literary agent I intend to contact next. Nadda.   
3. Write nine chapters on my next novel, which I am giving the working title of “New Old Spies.”  Nadda again.
4. Write two inspirational pieces for the page-a-day calendar at my work.  Hmm? Should I say it again? Nadda.   
5. Write two posts per week for my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”. Hmm? I only posted one.   
B. REACHING
1. Send proposals / queries to the next agents on my list.  Not yet.
2. Submit the two inspirational pieces to my work calendar. Not yet.  
3. Promote myself or a piece of my writing (whether it be promoting one of my books, submitting a piece somewhere, saying something brilliant about my writing on my social media, etc.) once a week. Oh, boy, finally some green. The publisher of my novel, “Where the Sky Meets the Sky”, is offering it as an e-book for the month of July, so I posted that on all my social media.

C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible. Yes.
2. Read the daily devotion in “Jesus Calling”. Yes.
3. Read five other people’s blog posts per week. Read two.    
4. Finish reading three books. I finished reading “A Boy from Bustina”, the amazing true story of a Holocaust survivor, and started reading “Emma” by Jane Austen, of all things.      

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Increase my water intake, averaging 60 ounces per day. With this cold, I have been drinking non-stop.
b. Lose five pounds and three inches around my waist. Do I even have to make a note of this each week, coz it’s gonna be depressing.  
c. Exercise four mornings a week and three evenings a week. Hmm? I think it was three mornings and two evenings.  
2. Home fires
a. Scan 100 of my mom’s pictures. None yet.
b. Wash all of my house’s windows.   Washed my bedroom windows.   
c. Do a major cleaning of one of my closets. Not yet.   
d. Host my brother-in-law’s wedding at my house on August 4.   
3. Tumaini Volunteers
a. Write the Policy and Procedure manual. Not yet.
b. Host two merchandise sales. Not yet, but have one on August 4 (you may notice that is the day of the wedding at my house, I know, what am I thinking? Well, we do have other board members, you know, and I gotta let some of this go.)
c. Do a thorough inventory of our current merchandise. Not yet.
d. Apply for grants. Not yet.
e. Raise enough money ($5,000) to start the first segment of the community center. What am I thinking with this goal???

Hope you are all off to a better start to this Round than I am. Enjoy the summer weather, wherever you are.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Joining the Round Late

I believe we are a week into Round 3 of A Round of Words in 80 Days. I lose track pretty easily. I pretty much just try to post every Sunday what I have worked on in the last week and what I hope to accomplish in the coming week. At the beginning of the last Round, I started keeping track of my goals for the full three months instead of week by week. It worked well in some ways, and not so well in others. I guess that is the story of life.

In any event, I am going to try using that process again this time, sticking with many of the same goals, as I need to be getting the same stuff done around here. So without further ado, here are my goals for July, August and September.

A. WRITING
1. Finish another edit of my novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.” 
2. Continue tweaking my book proposal / query, as needed for each literary agent I intend to contact next.    
3. Write nine chapters on my next novel, which I am giving the working title of “New Old Spies.”  
4. Write two inspirational pieces for the page-a-day calendar at my work.     
5. Write two posts per week for my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”.
 
B. REACHING
1. Send proposals / queries to the next agents on my list.  
2. Submit the two inspirational pieces to my work calendar.  
3. Promote myself or a piece of my writing (whether it be promoting one of my books, submitting a piece somewhere, saying something brilliant about my writing on my social media, etc.) once a week.

C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible.
2. Read the daily devotion in “Jesus Calling”.
3. Read five other people’s blog posts per week.   
4. Finish reading three books. 

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Increase my water intake, averaging 60 ounces per day.
b. Lose five pounds and three inches around my waist. 
c. Exercise four mornings a week and three evenings a week.
2. Home fires
a. Scan 100 of my mom’s pictures.
b. Wash all of my house’s windows. 
c. Do a major cleaning of one of my closets.  
d. Host my brother-in-law’s wedding at my house on August 4.   
a. Write the Policy and Procedure manual.
b. Host two merchandise sales.  
c. Do a thorough inventory of our current merchandise.
d. Apply for grants.
e. Raise enough money ($5,000) to start the first segment of the community center.

I have a lot coming up in the next three months. I didn’t mention that I also have a writers conference in September. Am looking forward to that and hoping it allows me lots of time to write and offers me some good tips as well as inspiration.

I did paint my bathroom walls yesterday and washed my bedroom windows, so I have a jump on at least a few things. I have a lot to do around the house before that wedding in August, luckily Hubby has more to do and the time to do it.

My backyard, where we plan on having the wedding. This was taken four years ago, on August 3, so about the same time the wedding will be. I wish the flowers would be in bloom, but it's still pretty back there. Praying for decent weather. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Badge of Honor and a Humble Thank You


Yesterday, I received the following email from the team at the Grace Awards. The purpose of this award is to “expand the tent pegs of Christian fiction”, choosing novels in six separate categories. Last March, I was nominated for this award and was one of the three finalists in the category of women’s fiction/general fiction. Though I didn’t win the final competition, being a finalist is certainly a big deal and a great honor. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all my friends who nominated "Where the Sky Meets the Sand." Thank you to my publisher Ambassador International for bringing this award to my attention so that I could ask all those friends to help me out.

Your judging team had a few words for you and the awards does have a badge for you.

WHERE THE SKY MEETS THE SAND by Chris Loehmer Kincaid (Ambassador International)

Author Chris Loehmer Kincaid’s love for Africa shines through in this complex story, WHERE THE SKY MEETS THE SAND. She takes the reader to a continent many of us will never have the chance to visit, while finding a way to share the heroine’s personal pain in a way that should resonate with anyone who lives with regrets. When American Jenny Neumeyer and her husband take a trip to Africa, they have no idea that it will become part of their lives, and their future.  Somewhere in the eyes of a young, solitary African boy, Jenny sees that she can no longer avoid the painful secrets of her past.  The author uses multiple viewpoints and alternates between present day and the heroine’s youth, to take the reader through Jenny’s past. The Grace Awards judges congratulate the author on providing readers with this tale of the redeeming power of faith and love.

Thank you again to everyone who has supported and continues to encourage me in my writing journey. (Now I just have to figure out how to post my badge of honor on my social media!)


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Ending of a Bad Week

I did not have a good week. Multiple things went awry for me.  A few long stories which are not worth repeating. I will just push on.

Here is that list of goals for April, May, and June. Green highlight is goal accomplished (for the week at least), yellow highlight is goal at least worked on, red lettering is goal not even attempted. A Smiley face marks a goal completely done for the Round. If I didn’t give it any color, it’s because I couldn’t really work on that goal for whatever reason, and I just didn’t want to drag in another color. 

A. WRITING
J 1. Finish a final edit of my novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.”  Done, on April 5, but really? When is the editing ever done?
J 2. Continue tweaking my book proposal / query, as needed for each literary agent I intend to contact next. Tweaked that query and first chapter and emailed it May 16 to the third agent on my list.    
3. Write eight chapters on my next novel, which I am giving the working title of “New Old Spies.” Still going slow, but making progress. Up to 3,374 words and worked on chapter three.  
J 4. Write a piece to submit to the Guidepost Magazine Writers Contest (deadline June 10).  It’s written, edited and emailed off to the Contest people. 
5. Write three posts per week for my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”. I had decided to cut back to twice a week, as I decided it’s more important to have a life. I posted twice this week, and also reposted an article I wrote back in February, so that hits this goal.
 
B. REACHING
J 1. Continue sending that proposal / query to each next agent on my list. As mentioned above, I emailed another query to another agent on May 16. (Current agent tally - submitted to 3, rejected by 2.)  
J 2. Submit the polished piece to Guidepost’s Contest. Emailed it on June 5.    
J 3. Submit a poem I wrote a while back to the next issue of Voices on the Wind Poetry Journal (deadline April 20). Submitted, accepted and published!      
4. Promote myself or a piece of my writing (whether it be promoting one of my books, submitting a piece somewhere, saying something brilliant about my writing on my social media, etc.) once a week. Sent a “hello” to all of my new LinkedIn contacts. That was pretty painless.  
C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible. I’m still a week behind, so am working on it.     
2. Read the daily devotion in “Jesus Calling”.  I’ve been reading an entry each day, even if I am still two weeks behind by date.  
3. Finish reading three other books. Read two books and am 70% finished with the third.    

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Increase my water intake. Most days I have been doing pretty good.
b. Cut way back on my sweets intake. Again, this is a mixed bag, and unfortunately usually a mixed bag of chocolates.  
J  c. Do whatever my specialist says to do that is going to heal my heel.  I’ve decided I am done with this goal. I did the best I could, and I will have to live with the occasional pain and other inconveniences.     
2. Home fires
J a. Clean out my mom’s papers. Finished up with the lawyer on Friday to sign the final papers. Whew! 
b. Do a major cleaning of one of my closets. Not yet.
J c. Plant my garden. Flowers are planted, vegetable garden is planted.      
a. Write the Policy and Procedure manual. Not started.
J b. Host two merchandise sales. Have had three of them – all successful – since the first of April.    
J c. Return to Kenya this Spring! As you already know!
d. Had a meeting yesterday, which was productive.

After the meeting of the nonprofit yesterday, I ran to a friend’s wedding. Didn’t stay long but had a good time. Here we are, my three friends I worked with nearly 20 years ago,  so I guess my bad week at least had a happy ending. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The cat has nothing to do with my goals

 Whoa. Looking at the colors on the list below, I apparently have got it together. If you are following this blog via the Round of Words in 80 Days, however, you realize we are getting close to the end of this Round. Since these are all Round-long goals, I should be getting all of them accomplished by now, right?

Here is that list of goals for April, May, and June. Green highlight is goal accomplished (for the week at least), yellow highlight is goal at least worked on, red lettering is goal not even attempted. A Smiley face marks a goal completely done for the Round. 

A. WRITING
J 1. Finish a final edit of my novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.”  Done, on April 5, but really? When is the editing ever done? I got a critique back from a Beta-reader so, yea, I have more work to do. (Thanks so much! I mean it.) (I guess that’s what the next Round is for.)
J 2. Continue tweaking my book proposal / query, as needed for each literary agent I intend to contact next. Tweaked that query and first chapter and emailed it May 16 to the third agent on my list.    
3. Write eight chapters on my next novel, which I am giving the working title of “New Old Spies.” Still going slow, but making progress. Up to 2,889 words and got a start on chapter three.  
J 4. Write a piece to submit to the Guidepost Magazine Writers Contest (deadline June 10).  It’s written, edited and emailed off to the Contest people. 
5. Write three posts per week for my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”. Well, I did post three times this week, but my post on Friday announced that I was going to cut back to posting twice a week for the rest of the summer. I just can’t do it all. And if I have time and inspiration, I can certainly post more.    
 
B. REACHING
J 1. Continue sending that proposal / query to each next agent on my list. As mentioned above, I emailed another query to another agent on May 16. (Current agent tally - submitted to 3, rejected by 2.)   
J 2. Submit the polished piece to Guidepost’s Contest. Emailed it on Tuesday.    
J 3. Submit a poem I wrote a while back to the next issue of Voices on the Wind Poetry Journal (deadline April 20). Submitted, accepted and published!      
4. Promote myself or a piece of my writing (whether it be promoting one of my books, submitting a piece somewhere, saying something brilliant about my writing on my social media, etc.) once a week. On my other blog, on Wednesday, I posted some excerpts from my novel, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”.

C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible. I’m just shy of being a week behind, so am working on it.     
2. Read the daily devotion in “Jesus Calling”.  The new Kindle came on Tuesday, so I have been reading daily since then. Am two weeks behind, and not sure if I’m going to even worry about catching up.
3. Finish reading three other books. Read two books and started the third on Friday, “The Austen Escape”. My novel was one of the three finalists in the Grace Awards. They announced the winners last week, and I didn’t win.  The novel I just started reading did. I thought it would be helpful to see what a winning author does differently than I do.   

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Increase my water intake. Most days I have been doing pretty good. Pretty lax on the weekends though. I just don’t have a bottle of water in front of me all day like I do at work.   
b. Cut way back on my sweets intake. Again, some days I am good and others I fall right off the wagon and into a bakery.  
c. Do whatever my specialist says to do that is going to heal my heel.  I’ve decided I am done with this goal. I did the best I could, and I will have to live with the occasional pain and other inconveniences.     
2. Home fires
a. Clean out my mom’s papers. Saw the lawyer about this on Friday and go back this coming Friday to sign the final papers. Whew! Not done yet, but I’ve done all that I can.  
b. Do a major cleaning of one of my closets. Not yet. Maybe today, or not.
c. Plant my garden. Flowers are planted, vegetable garden is planted.   
a. Write the Policy and Procedure manual. Not started.
J b. Host two merchandise sales. Have had three of them – all successful – since the first of April.    
J c. Return to Kenya this Spring! As you already know!

I just had to share these pictures of my beautiful cat, Cheshire. He’s such a ham. His sister, Alice, was sitting on my husband’s dresser, staring down on us, this morning when I woke up. I reached for my phone to try to get a picture, but she jumped down before I could. I am the crazy cat lady.

How are your goals coming along? Have you completed most of them for this Round? Or are you finding that you need to have a writing marathon to accomplish them? Or are you saying, “what the heck, I’ve done what I could, it’s time for a break, maybe I'll just chill with the cat”? 


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Got through a rough week

I had a rough week. I can’t pin it on any one thing. Just – bleah! So hot and humid last weekend and now this weekend it has been cold and cloudy, started raining last night and doesn’t look like it will stop soon. No in between weather. Throws me completely off. It shouldn’t, but it does, so I got little done last week.

Here’s my list of goals for April, May, and June. Green highlight is goal accomplished (for the week at least), yellow highlight is goal at least worked on, red lettering is goal not even attempted. A Smiley face marks a goal completely done for the Round. If I didn’t give it any color, it’s because I couldn’t really work on that goal for whatever reason, and I just didn’t want to drag in another color. 

A. WRITING
J 1. Finish a final edit of my novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.”  Done, on April 5, but really? When is the editing ever done? I’m feeling I need to go through it again. Argh!   
2. Continue tweaking my book proposal / query, as needed for each literary agent I intend to contact next. Tweaked that query and first chapter and emailed it May 16 to the third agent on my list.    
3. Write eight chapters on my next novel, which I am giving the working title of “New Old Spies.” This is going very slowly, added just another 400 words, so up to 1817, and still just into the second chapter.
J 4. Write a piece to submit to the Guidepost Magazine Writers Contest (deadline June 10).  It’s written and edited. But see #1 above.   
5. Write three posts per week for my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”. Oops, coz of that bad week, I only posted twice. Thinking that I have enough going on and should think about cutting back to twice a week.   
 
B. REACHING
1. Continue sending that proposal / query to each next agent on my list. As mentioned above, I emailed another query to another agent on May 16. (Current agent tally - submitted to 3, rejected by 2.)    
2. Submit the polished piece to Guidepost’s Contest. Think I will read it through one more time today and send it out tonight.    
J 3. Submit a poem I wrote a while back to the next issue of Voices on the Wind Poetry Journal (deadline April 20). Submitted, accepted and published!      
4. Promote myself or a piece of my writing (whether it be promoting one of my books, submitting a piece somewhere, saying something brilliant about my writing on my social media, etc.) once a week. As a friend reminded me, sometimes the simple stuff works the best.  I posted this picture to my social media. It was one of the meals we ate on this last trip to Kenya, similar to what Jenny ate in my novel.    

C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible. A couple weeks ago I got way behind but have been trying to catch up. Had gotten so close but now have fallen another week behind.    
2. Read the daily devotion in “Jesus Calling”.  I broke down and ordered the new Kindle and it should be here Tuesday, so then I will get back on track. In the meantime, am being bad. Have not been reading another devotional daily.
3. Finish reading three other books. Read two books while on the trip to Kenya and still haven’t started another one.  

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Increase my water intake. One thing that the heat did last week was to force me to drink a lot, like to the point of being nauseous. Will I ever get things right?  
b. Cut way back on my sweets intake. Hmm? Definitely not so much.
c. Do whatever my specialist says to do that is going to heal my heel.  This is turning out to be a stupid goal. That’s all I can say about it. I think I will just say I am done with it. Ok, Chris, get a grip. So, I am wearing my expensive pair of shoes and expensive pair of orthotics at work and trying to wear the cheaper shoes with cheaper orthotics around the house, but in the summertime – ok, anytime – I just hate wearing shoes!    
2. Home fires
a. Clean out my mom’s papers. I found the important paper which I had lost but decided to bite the bullet and see a lawyer about getting this finished. It is all about her land, which is in the names of us kids already, but it sounds like it is a bunch of bureaucracy to get her name off the deed. Thought I could do it myself, but the papers are all in legal mumbo-jumbo, so I gave up. Otherwise, the papers are cleaned up, but after we see that lawyer I will give this one a Smiley face!
b. Do a major cleaning of one of my closets. Not yet.
c. Plant my garden. Flowers are planted, vegetable garden is planted.   
3. Tumaini Volunteers
a. Write the Policy and Procedure manual. Not started. 
J b. Host two merchandise sales. Have had three of them – all successful – since the first of April.    
J c. Return to Kenya this Spring! As you already know!
J d. Bonus – A new craft shop opened downtown and the owner invited me to sell some of our stuff there, so I dropped a few items off there yesterday.

I’m not making any projections for the week. It is summer and I just want to chill. Not going to put myself under any more pressure. This Round will be winding down soon, and I have had a fair amount of green goals here.

How about you? Do you find it impossible to be productive during the summer months? Or do you have more time this time of year to devote to your goals? 


Sunday, May 27, 2018

One advantage of not sleeping


I always write this on Saturday night before I go to bed so that I don’t have to stare at a blank screen on Sunday morning trying to get this together. As it is, as soon as I post this, I’m taking off for another craft show for our nonprofit. The forecast is for sun all day and highs in the 90s. Unseasonably warm for our neck of the woods. I hope that doesn’t keep the tourists away. This craft show is being held in conjunction with a car show downtown, so I hope I get lots of new people checking out our stuff.

Anyway, I didn’t think I had worked on my goals all week. It was a massively stressful week for me. I only slept a few nights and when I did sleep, I had crazy dreams and nightmares. Would wake up at two a.m. thinking it would be better not to sleep at all. Argh.

So, with all of that, it was at least good to see lots of green and yellow here. I guess the night I spent on the computer from 11:00 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. was good for something.

Here’s my list of goals for April, May, and June. Green highlight is goal accomplished (for the week at least), yellow highlight is goal at least worked on, red lettering is goal not even attempted. A Smiley face marks a goal completely done for the Round. 

A. WRITING
J 1. Finish a final edit of my novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.”  Done, on April 5.  
2. Continue tweaking my book proposal / query, as needed for each literary agent I intend to contact next. Tweaked that query and first chapter and emailed it to the third agent on my list on May 16.    
3. Write eight chapters on my next novel, which I am giving the working title of “New Old Spies.” I’m up to 1424 words and just started the second chapter. So, slowly pounding it out.
J 4. Write a piece to submit to the Guidepost Magazine Writers Contest (deadline June 10). Well, I wrote it, now just need to edit it some more (but still am giving it the smiley face).  
5. Write three posts per week for my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”. Done.   
 
B. REACHING
1. Continue sending that proposal / query to each next agent on my list. As mentioned above, I emailed another query to another agent on May 16. (Current agent tally - submitted to 3, rejected by 2.) 
2. Submit the polished piece to Guidepost’s Contest. Totally rewrote it actually from last week, but it’s done, just needs editing.    
J 3. Submit a poem I wrote a while back to the next issue of Voices on the Wind Poetry Journal (deadline April 20). Submitted, accepted and published!      
3. Promote myself or a piece of my writing (whether it be promoting one of my books, submitting a piece somewhere, saying something brilliant about my writing on my social media, etc.) once a week. I started sending a private message about my writing to each new contact on my LinkedIn account. It’s time-consuming and I don’t think it really helps much, but it’s at least something.   

C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible. A couple weeks ago I got way behind but have been trying to catch up. Just checked and I am only two days behind!    
2. Read the daily devotion in “Jesus Calling”.  Still don’t have my Kindle, on which I had been reading this. Trying to read the other devotional I found, but it’s just not working as well for me. Which makes me feel like such a schmuck. Here’s the problem. My Kindle has the light on it so I can read it in bed in the dark and also I can make the font as big as I need to for my nearly blind eyes. In an effort to power through this set-back, I am reading this other devotional with two pairs of glasses on – I kid you not! It’s that kind of stuff – that tiny sacrifice which, well, I don’t know. If Jesus is calling me, I shouldn’t complain and instead should do my best.    
3. Finish reading three other books. Read two books while on the trip to Kenya and still haven’t started another one.  

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Increase my water intake. Hmm? Not so much. Though some days are better than others.
b. Cut way back on my sweets intake. Hmm? Definitely not so much.
c. Do whatever my specialist says to do that is going to heal my heel.  I’ve been trying, am wearing my expensive pair of shoes and expensive pair of orthotics, but only at work. Have to behave more around the house.   
2. Home fires
a. Clean out my mom’s papers. Well, still working on that.  I still have not found that rather important paper which I lost, but I did go through all her papers yet another time. If I haven’t found it by Friday I will just have to get another one signed.
b. Do a major cleaning of one of my closets. Not yet.
c. Plant my garden. I planted my flowers, and am still waiting for someone to till my vegetable garden. Oh, I did turn over a small section of the garden, so I could get my peas planted.      
3. Tumaini Volunteers
a. Write the Policy and Procedure manual. Not started.
J b. Host two merchandise sales. Had two of them in April. And have another today, as you know.    
J c. Return to Kenya this Spring! As you already know! If you follow my other blog or follow me on Facebook, you may be reading more about it.  

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.  
My artsy little pot with red, white and blue flowers in it.