Sunday, May 20, 2018

nothing major going on


It was a week filled with ups and downs, but nothing horrendous in my personal life in either direction. Just hanging in there, I guess.

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
J1. 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.    
3. Write eight chapters on my next novel, which I am giving the working title of “New Old Spies.” I wrote about 960 words, not much, but a start.  
4. Write a piece to submit to the Guidepost Magazine Writers Contest (deadline June 10). Yeah! I started it.  
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 (hardly seems fair that I give myself two goals accomplished in green, when it is really only one. I guess that’s why I make the rules on this blog). (Current agent tally - submitted to 3, rejected by 2.) 
2. Submit the polished piece to Guidepost’s Contest. Got 1900 words on it, but it needs major editing.   
J3. 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. Nope, really did not do a thing. But one tiny plus, I have another review on Amazon for "Where the Sand Meets the Sky". 

C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible. Still trying to catch up.   
2. Read the daily devotion in “Jesus Calling”.  Well, my Kindle died around mid-week, and since this book is downloaded there, I haven’t read it in four days. Hubby has offered his Kindle to me and I found a different devotional to read until I decide what to do. So, kind of in the air right now on this one.  
3. Finish reading three other books. Read two books while on the trip to Kenya and haven’t started another one.  

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Increase my water intake. Hmm? Not so much. My goal is 60 ounces a day, and I know the last few days I’ve only been averaging 30.  
b. Cut way back on my sweets intake. Hmm? Definitely not so much. We had yet another ridiculous week at work. For being a medical clinic, we don’t follow the advice we give our patients.    
Jc. Do whatever my specialist says to do that is going to heal my heel.  The foot has started hurting the last few days; I think I really need to back off, wear my brace more or exercise it less. Yesterday, I did buy an expensive pair of shoes and an even more expensive pair of orthotics to stick in them. See if that settles the pain down.  
2. Home fires
a. Clean out my mom’s papers. Well, started working on that Friday and ran into a snag. It’s a long story, but I seem to have lost one rather important paper.
b. Do a major cleaning of one of my closets. Not yet.
c. Plant my garden. I bought my flowers and plan to stick them in the ground today. Also bought vegetable seeds. Just gotta get that garden tilled.    
3. Tumaini Volunteers
a. Write the Policy and Procedure manual. Not started. 
Jb. Host two merchandise sales. Had two of them in April. And have another scheduled for next Sunday.    
Jc. 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.  

And that’s all I have for today.
Hope you have a good week and that you get to enjoy a long holiday weekend next weekend.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Home and needing to buckle down

I arrived home from Kenya last Saturday night, around ten, and on Friday I just first started getting my groove back. Jet lag usually doesn’t affect me this much, but I have not been able to sleep at regular times all week. You would think that since I was only gone a week, my body wouldn’t have switched to Kenyan time so readily. Our second night there, I slept eleven hours and after that, my internal clock was set to their time. Why can’t the same thing happen coming home? But alas, after a week back, my clock has just now adjusted. I’ve heard somewhere that our internal clocks more easily adjust to moving ahead in time and take longer to adjust to going back, for some reason. I don’t know. But whatever the case, my butt got whooped this trip. 

Anyway, we had a good time, got done what we needed to and didn’t have any incidents. Now, it is time to buckle down and get stuff done.  

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
J1. 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. Spent some time looking at it on Friday but need to decide on the next agent to send it to first, so I know what they want.  
3. Write eight chapters on my next novel, which I am giving the working title of “New Old Spies.” I wrote about 960 words, not much, but a start.  
4. Write a piece to submit to the Guidepost Magazine Writers Contest (deadline June 10). Not started.
5. Write three posts per week for my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”. Nope, just one this week. Still decompressing after the trip.  
 
B. REACHING
1. Continue sending that proposal / query to each next agent on my list. I spent a couple hours researching the next agent. Though I already had a list, it needs constant updating. I will try to pick one and submit it this week. (I should make a note somewhere with my tally – submitted to 2, rejected by 2.) 
2. Submit the polished piece to Guidepost’s Contest. Nope. Gotta write it yet.
J3. 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. Nope, not a thing that counts this week. Oh, I suppose I could count that I shared the link to that accepted poem on Facebook.

C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible. I managed to get about two weeks behind on this. Am going to really try this week to catchup by at least one week.   
2. Read the daily devotion in “Jesus Calling”.  Done.
3. Finish reading three other books.  Actually read two books while on the trip. “Rescuing Finley” by Dan Walsh and “The Body” by Stephen King.  

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Increase my water intake. Hmm? Not so much. My goal is 60 ounces a day, and I think I’ve averaged around 40 to 50.   
b. Cut way back on my sweets intake. Hmm? Definitely not so much. We’ve had a boatload of stress at work all week, so there is chocolate everywhere!   
Jc. Do whatever my specialist says to do that is going to heal my heel.  I was sure that all the walking I did on the trip, plus only wearing my ASO brace instead of the big CAM walker would have really screwed it up. But I saw my podiatrist on Wednesday and she turned me loose, said it was time to keep walking on it, working it, to strengthen it now. So, whoot, whoot for me!
2. Home fires
a. Clean out my mom’s papers. Not yet.
b. Do a major cleaning of one of my closets. Not yet.
c. Plant my garden. I couldn’t believe that when I came home from Africa, all of the snow was melted. Hopefully this week I can get the hubby to till the garden and then I can plant it by Memorial Day. Maybe I should buy the seeds this week.   
a. Write the Policy and Procedure manual. Not started.
Jb. Host two merchandise sales. Had two of them in April. Now it’s time to start scheduling them for the summer.   
Jc. 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.  

Wish me luck in the coming weeks. Spring is here and there is so much to do around the house and in the yard. It will be hard to keep my focus.

Has Spring arrived where you live? Does it make it hard for you to stick to your goals when it is nice outside? 
At the safari camp where we stayed while we were working with the villagers. I'm looking pretty serious here, aren't I? Just hard at work.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Don't expect much


I am posting this late as I got home late last night from my conference out of town for the day job and had lots of catching up of other things to do all day. This is also going to be my last post for a few weeks as I leave from Kenya on Thursday. Even though I will have intermittent internet access, I’m not making any sort of commitment, just going to do the work on this trip that I have to and hopefully still have a little downtime to just relax.

Here’s my list of goals for April, May, and June. I thought I had gotten so much done, but here it is almost the end of April, and I won’t have any progress until well into May. But I need this time off from everything and will get back up and running after the trip.  

Green highlight is goal accomplished, yellow highlight is goal at least worked on, red lettering is goal not even attempted. Maybe I’ll try a Smiley face if the goal is all 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
J1. Finish a final edit on 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. So, even though the first proposal of the Round was mailed April 6, I already heard from them that it’s been turned down. Which means, that even though this goal had been accomplished already and given a smiley face, it is back to square one.   
3. Write eight chapters on my next novel, which I am giving the working title of “New Old Spies.” Not started, but I’m really close. Ok, I typed up the title page. Oh, boy!
4. Write a piece to submit to the Guidepost Magazine Writers Contest (deadline June 10). Not started.
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. Once again, a goal which was met and now is back on the table.   
2. Submit the polished piece to Guidepost’s Contest. Nope. Gotta write it yet.
J3. Submit a poem I wrote a while back to the next issue of Voices on the Wind Poetry Journal (deadline April 20). Submitted on April 12 and just found out that it has been accepted for publication later this month. I guess we win some and lose some.     
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. Hmm? I sold 12 books at our sale this weekend, so I think that counts.

C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible. I think this needs a red this week, as I have not been reading nightly and am way behind.  
2. Read the daily devotion in “Jesus Calling”.  Done.
3. Finish reading three other books.  Didn’t read much of “Escape the Coming Night” by Dr. David Jeremiah.

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Increase my water intake. Hmm? Since I am still fighting this cold – or at least the residual cough - I have indeed really been pushing the water.  
b. Cut way back on my sweets intake. Hmm? Since I am drinking so much water and juice to combat this cold, I don’t have room for much else!  
c. Do whatever my specialist says to do that is going to heal my heel. Really working on it, wearing my boot, icing it, but the whole staying off it thing is pretty tough.
2. Home fires
a. Clean out my mom’s papers. Not yet.
b. Do a major cleaning of one of my closets. Not yet.
c. Plant my garden. Wonder of wonders, despite the two feet of snow we got last week, it has warmed up enough that the white stuff is melting and I can already see my garden.  
3. Tumaini Volunteers
a. Write the Policy and Procedure manual. Not started.  
b. Host two merchandise sales. Had the second one this weekend.  
c. Return to Kenya this Spring! My son has got our rides to and from the airport and booked us a place to stay in Zuirch, where we have a 23 hour layover. He’s also heard from out hosts and has an agenda for the first couple days we are there.  So, I’m thinking I am just along for the ride.   

Will post an update as soon as I get home in two weeks!
I'm so excited to get to go back to the Land of the Maasai. 


Sunday, April 15, 2018

ready to be put down


Last Sunday morning I came down with a cold. I thought I could power through it, but I have been pretty useless all week. Coming home after work every night and pretty much going to bed with an ice pack on my left foot to try to settle down the pain there. I woke up Thursday morning with a new pain – in my right arm, for no apparent reason. It is continuing to get worse, kept me up half of last night, along with the incessant coughing. Yup, I am a wreck. If I was a horse, they would have shot me a long time ago.
But us humans power through.

Here’s my list of goals for the next three months. I think I need to date each one though when it is accomplished for the Round, so I don’t have it in my head that I did this much each week. It’s all about what’s in my head, I guess (in addition to all the snot).

Green highlight is goal accomplished, yellow highlight is goal at least worked on, red lettering is goal not even attempted. Maybe I’ll try a Smiley face if the goal is all 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
J1. Finish a final edit on my novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.”  Done, on April 5.  
J2. Continue tweaking my book proposal / query, as needed for each literary agent I intend to contact next. Done, and mailed April 6.  
3. Write eight chapters on my next novel, which I am giving the working title of “New Old Spies.” Not started.
4. Write a piece to submit to the Guidepost Magazine Writers Contest (deadline June 10). Not started.
5. Write three posts per week for my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”. Done. And this week posted an extra time on this blog!
 
B. REACHING
J1. Continue sending that proposal / query to each next agent on my list. Mailed out a proposal on April 6.  
2. Submit the polished piece to Guidepost’s Contest. Nope. Gotta write it yet.
J3. Submit a poem I wrote a while back to the next issue of Voices on the Wind Poetry Journal (deadline April 20). Submitted on April 12.    
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. In March, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” was named one of the finalists in the Grace Awards. It is down to three books which the judges will read and decide on. I was asked to send each of them the Kindle version of the book. I wasn’t sure how to do that at first, but I must have gotten it right, as two of the judges replied that they had opened it.

C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible.  Reading nightly, but am still over a week behind.
2. Read the daily devotion in “Jesus Calling”.  Done.
3. Finish reading three other books.  I just started reading “Escape the Coming Night” by Dr. David Jeremiah. It’s a “message of hope in a time of crisis”. These nonfiction books, no matter how good they are, seem to take a long time to get through, but I’m going to give it a shot.  

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Increase my water intake. Hmm? Since I came down with a cold last Sunday, I have indeed really been pushing the water.  
b. Cut way back on my sweets intake. Hmm? Since I am drinking so much water and juice to combat this cold, I don’t have room for much else!  
c. Do whatever my specialist says to do that is going to heal my heel. Really working on it, wearing my boot, icing it, but the whole staying off it thing is pretty tough.
2. Home fires
a. Clean out my mom’s papers. Not yet.
b. Do a major cleaning of one of my closets. Not yet.
c. Plant my garden. What was I thinking with this goal? I won’t even see bare ground in my garden for another two months! And we are in the middle of yet another blizzard right now.
a. Write the Policy and Procedure manual. Not started.
b. Host two merchandise sales. Had one.
c. Return to Kenya this Spring! Just counting the days. Applied for my e-Visa last Sunday and got the confirmation yesterday.   

This week, I have church Monday night and I leave right after work on Thursday for a conference for work. Not sure yet when I will get home. But after I do, I need to start packing for Kenya the following Thursday. Man, why do I put so much on my plate????


Friday, April 13, 2018

"A Major Award"

Got something exciting in the mail on Wednesday and just now have the time to write about it.




The pecan pie is from Yoder’s Bakery in Cecil, Wisconsin. It is payment for the short article that I had written and submitted to Our Wisconsin magazine nearly four years ago. It was finally published in the April/May issue. I haven’t been able to find out the exact value of the pie, but to date, it is probably the highest payment I’ve gotten for a piece of my writing.

I feel like the dad from “A Christmas Story” when he says, “It’s a major award.” My major award probably won't last much longer than his did either. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

On an even keel

Yesterday, I was at a craft show selling both my books and merchandise for our nonprofit and am heading back there for Day 2 shortly after I post this. Which means, this weekend nothing else is going to get done.

I didn’t have too bad a week. I think that one list of goals for the next three months will work out for me. That way I can just stick with that list instead of adding a new list for each coming week.

Here is how last week panned out. Green highlight is goal accomplished, yellow highlight is goal at least worked on, red lettering is goal not even attempted. 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
1. Finish a final edit on my novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.”  Done.
2. Continue tweaking my book proposal / query, as needed for each literary agent I intend to contact next. Done, for this time.
3. Write eight chapters on my next novel, which I am giving the working title of “New Old Spies.” Not started.
4. Write a piece to submit to the Guidepost Magazine Writers Contest (deadline June 10). Not started.
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. Mailed out a proposal on Friday.
2. Submit the polished piece to Guidepost’s Contest. Nope. Gotta write it yet.
3. Submit a poem I wrote a while back to the next issue of Voices on the Wind Poetry Journal (deadline April 20). Nope.  
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. I would have to count the craft show I am at this weekend. Sold seven books yesterday. Not stellar, but better than a sharp stick in my eye, as Hubby would say.

C. READING
1. Read the daily assignment in “Today’s Light” Study Bible.  Reading nightly, but am still over a week behind.
2. Read the daily devotion in “Jesus Calling”.  Done.
3. Finish reading three other books.  Haven’t started a new one yet.

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Increase my water intake. Hmm? On an even keel, I would say.
b. Cut way back on my sweets intake. Hmm? Not so much.
c. Do whatever my specialist says to do that is going to heal my heel. Really working on it, wearing my boot, icing it, but the whole staying off it thing is pretty tough.
2. Home fires
a. Clean out my mom’s papers. Not yet.
b. Do a major cleaning of one of my closets. Not yet.
c. Plant my garden. What was I thinking with this goal? I won’t even see bare ground in my garden for another two months!  
3. Tumaini Volunteers
a. Write the Policy and Procedure manual. Not started.
b. Host two merchandise sales. Had one.
c. Return to Kenya this Spring! Just counting the days. I do have to apply for my Visa TODAY.

I have church tomorrow night and a meeting after work on Wednesday. On Friday, my day off, I really need to start tackling Mom’s paperwork. Don’t know how much else I will get done this week, but I will give it my best shot.

Have a great week yourself and join me in hoping that spring eventually arrives. 
The buffalo painting is still my favorite. Anyone interested in buying him? 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Welcome to Round 2


If you follow me as part of ROW80, you realize this is the first post of the second round for 2018. If you don’t know what ROW80 is, it stands for Round of Words in 80 days and is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Each round begins on the first Monday of January, April, July and October and runs for 80 days. I usually don’t keep track of those days, because – well – one of the first rules of ROW80 is that we can kind of make up the rules as we go along.

This round, however, I am going to try to count those 80 days. Up until now, I have been posting and tracking only weekly goals here. I’ve found, previously, that if that deadline is 80 days out, I will procrastinate and not do much until day 75 or so. I did better with only weekly goals. I have a lot coming up in the next three months, however, so decided to go back to the 80-day deadline. Let’s see how it works.

So, without further ado, here are the goals I wish to accomplish in the next 80 days.

A. WRITING
1. Finish a final edit on 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 eight chapters on my next novel, which I am giving the working title of “New Old Spies.”
4. Write a piece to submit to the Guidepost Magazine Writers Contest (deadline June 10).
5. Write three posts per week for my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”.
 
B. REACHING
1. Continue sending that proposal / query to each next agent on my list.
2. Submit the polished piece to Guidepost’s Contest.
3. Submit a poem I wrote a while back to the next issue of Voices on the Wind Poetry Journal (deadline April 20).  
3. Promote myself or a piece of my writing (whether it be 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. Finish reading three other books.  

D. REMAINING
1. Physical
a. Increase my water intake.
b. Cut way back on my sweets intake.  
c. Do whatever my specialist says to do that is going to heal my heel.
2. Home fires
a. Clean out my mom’s papers.
b. Do a major cleaning out of one of my closets.
c. Plant my garden (thinking 80 days out here, perhaps our snow will actually have melted by then. We got 9 inches the other morning and another 6 to 10 is forecast for tomorrow.).  
a. Write the Policy and Procedure manual.
b. Host two merchandise sales.
c. Return to Kenya this Spring! Yes! This is the big news – my son and I booked our flights! Going back the end of this month! Just for a week, will be a quick exhausting trip. Watch my other blog or our Facebook page for updates.

And that’s it, folks. Best wishes to all my fellow ROW’ers as we dive into Round 2.  Oops, and I almost forgot, I will also continue to support you by following your blogs and commenting on them.