Sunday, October 15, 2017

taking some friend-time

Yesterday, I went out of town for the day and night with three of my former co-workers. We had such a blast! Just got back, which is why I am posting this so late. Needless to say, that cut into some of my time to work on goals, but hey, time with past friends is way more important than pretty much anything else, except maybe family. 

I still did okay. Here are my goals for the past week and as usual, green highlight is goal accomplished, yellow highlight is at least worked on and red print is a total failure.

1) Promote the new book, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” five times.
a.     Contact Janke bookstore regarding doing a signing. Went and talked to them. Hmm? Let’s just leave it at, they said no.
b.     Start promoting the two signings I already have scheduled, finalize the third one. 1. Shared the flyer for the book signing on November 17 on all my social media 2. Finalized the signing on November 15. 3. Have been sharing a flyer of all three November dates I have signings.
c.      This might not really be about book promotion, but I think I want to come up with a spread sheet for sales. Done.
2) Write three thousand words on the new novel, which should be close to finishing it. 1,444 words, another chapter. Should only have three chapters or so left.
3) Tweak the poem on aging and submit it. Done.  
4) Post three times to my other blog, The Dino Chronicles. Only posted twice.  
5) Read four other blogs and comment on three of them. I think it was three and two.
6) Clean up and organize my emails. Nope, not so much. I just keep looking at those emails and going, huh?
7) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer. Scanned 23 pictures.
b. Get one box of stuff out of that spare bedroom. Work on selling some of the stuff in that room. Nope, not so much.
c. Work on three things for the nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers. I think the only thing I did was promote our two upcoming craft shows.

Next week:

1) Promote the new book, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” five times. Right now I don’t have any thoughts, other than to keep promoting those book signings and researching other venues. I’ll see what else I can come up with.
2) Write three thousand words on the new novel.
3) Post three times to my other blog, The Dino Chronicles.
4) Read four other blogs and comment on three of them.
6) Clean up and organize my emails. I’ve always tried to keep my inbox less than 50, but it’s gotten out of hand the last few months. I need to put those emails I don’t want to lose into their own files for posterity.
7) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer.
b. Get one box of stuff out of that spare bedroom. Work on selling some of the stuff in that room.
c. Work on three things for the nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers.

 And that’s it folks!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Yikes, just Yikes

 It is three a.m. as I am writing this. I had some new pains in my leg when I went to bed, so thought I would try something different for pain, thinking it wasn’t bad enough for Vicodin. Not gonna try this pill again. I slept a few hours and now have been awake for two, dizzy as all get out, wide awake, and now as I write this, am getting sick to my stomach, getting the shakes and breaking out in a sweat. Nuts.

The past week started out pretty slow as far as the goals go. Well, actually pretty slow in all ways, as I can’t remember doing anything the first couple days of the week. I got up the gumption by Thursday though and accomplished a few things.

Goals for the past week and as usual, green highlight is goal accomplished, yellow highlight is at least worked on and red print is a total failure.

1)    Promote the new book, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” five times. Hmm? I know that I sold a bunch of them, so that should count for something, but other than that I don’t remember doing anything.
2) Write three thousand words on the new novel. This is where I really shined this week, writing 4,748 words. That could be a record for me, at least since the last NaNoWriMo I attempted a couple years back.  
3) Write a poem about aging for the Oct 20 deadline. Finally. My problem was that I had so many thoughts on the subject of aging, that I didn’t know where to begin. Between my patients and my family, I could write a book of poems about aging.
4) Post three times to my other blog, The Dino Chronicles. Yep.
5) Read four other blogs and comment on three of them. I kinda lost track, but I know I was at least close.
6) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer. Nope.
b. Work on three things for the nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers. I don’t remember, so I guess not.

Goals for next week:
1) Promote the new book, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” five times. I seriously need to do this. Here are a few thoughts:
a.     Contact Janke bookstore regarding doing a signing.
b.     Start promoting the two signings I already have scheduled, finalize the third one.
c.      This might not really be about book promotion, but I think I want to come up with a spread sheet for sales.
2) Write three thousand words on the new novel, which should be close to finishing it. Super yeah!
3) Tweak the poem on aging and submit it.  
4) Post three times to my other blog, The Dino Chronicles.
5) Read four other blogs and comment on three of them.
6) Clean up and organize my emails. I’ve always tried to keep my inbox less than 50, but it’s gotten out of hand the last few months. I need to put those emails I don’t want to lose into their own files for posterity.
7) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer. Though I have boxes of pictures to work on, I found another old, old photo album that I’m excited to do. Maybe that will motivate me.
b. Get one box of stuff out of that spare bedroom. Work on selling some of the stuff in that room (such as this love seat/sofa sleeper, like new and asking $250, if anyone is in northern Wisconsin and want to come get it).
c. Work on three things for the nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers. We are currently in between things to work on which could be why I haven’t done much with it lately. I might start working on a procedure manual. 

I need to go back to bed now. Even if I won’t be able to sleep, as least I won’t have to worry about the blurred vision that is settling in. Yikes! 
 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Do you want a little background?

For those you who follow my blog, but don’t follow ROW80, let me give you a little background. 

Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) is the writing challenge which knows you have a life, and being such, you come up with your goals to accomplish in 80 days, four times a year. Today started the fourth Round of this year. Because I don’t always color within the lines, I don’t always follow guidelines of ROW80 – keep in mind the premise is still the challenge which knows you have a life, so there is a lot of leeway.

So these are my guidelines: 1) I post a blog here once a week, letting you know what I accomplished that week and what my goals are for next week. 2) I try to read and comment on the blogs of as many fellow ROW80’ers as I can. Hmm? I think that’s it.

Now you know as much as I do. Here we are the first day of the new Round and this is what I want to accomplish by the end of the next 80 days (or the end of the year, more likely.)

     1)    Finish writing “The House by the River”.
     2)    Participate in three book-signings of “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”.
     3)    Submit three pieces somewhere.
     4)    Clean out the spare bedroom and turn it back into a spare bedroom.

So that’s that. Because I can’t pace myself with a three month-long list, here’s what I want to accomplish by next Sunday, when I will be posting here again.

1)    Promote the new book, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” five times.
2) Write three thousand words on the new novel.
3) Write a poem about aging for the Oct 20 deadline.
4) Post three times to my other blog, The Dino Chronicles.
5) Read four other blogs and comment on three of them.
6) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer.
            b. Work on three things for the nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers.

Oops, I just checked the last thing I posted here and I was heading off on a week’s vacation. If you don’t follow my other blog, The Dino Chronicles, where I’ve been chronicling that vacation, I should let you know that I had a great week. Didn’t rejuvenate as much as I had hoped (and did spend way too much money), but I still found lots of time to relax and unwind and bond with the Hubby.

Have a great upcoming week and I hope you find time to relax and unwind too.  
I don't usually relax in a dress, but hey, a girl's gotta have fun. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Time to Rejuvenate

Last week was stellar. This week? Well, sometimes you just gotta add the color yellow with a sprinkle of red. As usual Green highlight is goal accomplished. Yellow highlight is at least worked on. Red print is a total failure.

1) Promote the new book, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” once every day, or a total of seven tasks for the week.  Since I did ‘b’ five times, I count an accomplishment of seven. 
a) emailed five more chapters to my internet-slacking friend earlier in the week and then gave her an actual copy yesterday.   
b) the Goodreads Giveaway is up and running, so I promoted that five times on all my various social media.
c) I got an email from the publisher of my memoir asking me if I had ever written a study guide for that book because he had gotten an email from someone inquiring about it. I emailed her back my thoughts on that (that I thought it was a good idea and I wish I had time to write one), and did mention the novel in the email.
2) Write three thousand words on the new novel. 1,704 words, a little over half.
3) Work on the poem on aging for Oct 20 deadline. Or work on a piece for “The First Line” for Nov 1 deadline. Actually, I wrote a poem on horses and submitted it to Wilda Morris’s monthly poetry challenge. So, I’m so totally counting that.
5) Post three times to my other blog, The Dino Chronicles. Only posted twice. What is up with that?
6) Read four other blogs and comment on three of them. Read five and commented on two, close enough to count.  
7) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer. Nope.
b. Go through one box of my mom’s stuff and discard what I can. Nope.
c. Start contacting the college kids I mentor through our church. Not really, but I did at least get my records out and updated them.
d. Work on three things for the nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers. Gosh, I can’t honestly say it was three things, but I know it was a couple. It had to be, though I can’t remember what.

Next week? I am not making any goals for myself. I am on vacation. The Hubby and I are taking a few day trips (going to the Renaissance Festival today!), doing a little bombing around, gonna try to keep it low key and just relax. It will be my last chance all year and I’m gonna really try to rejuvenate.

How about you? Have you taken any time off to just unwind?
I at least had a copy of the new book in my possession for a day before I gave that one and only copy to my best friend. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

a stellar week

Last Sunday, after I posted my goals for the upcoming week, I looked at that list and thought, “have I lost my mind? What makes me think that I can do all this?”

Friday morning as I was looking that list over, I thought, “this is going to be a post full of red.” Then I started really looking at it, and went, “no way!” Lots of talking to myself this week. 

As usual Green highlight is goal accomplished. Yellow highlight is at least worked on. Red print is a total failure.

1   1)    Promote the new book, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” once every day, or a total of seven tasks for the week. Anything from signing up for a book signing to giving someone a flyer about it.  I didn’t think I could pull this one off, but here ya go:
a)    Signed up for a Goodreads giveaway of the book. 
b)    Emailed five more chapters to my friend who has internet even slower than mine so I can’t send her anything as an attachment.
c)    Emailed the book information and media kit to:
1))  Christian Lighthouse Books
2))  UW-MC, my alma mater
3)) UW-Madison, campus in the novel
4)) UW-Stevens Point, next closest campus to me
d) My other three books are being offered as e-books for free this weekend, so I have been promoting that on my social media, so I am counting that as I’ve been mentioning the novel with the other three (ie get four books for the price of one!).
2) Write three thousand words on the new novel. I wrote a startling 2,134 words. Not quite my goal, but pretty darn good, don’t you think?
3) Commit to the new title for the new novel. It’s not going to be the title in the end, but I’m gonna start calling it “The House by the River.”
4) Work on the poem on aging for Oct 20 deadline. Also write a poem about horses for Wilda Morris’s poetry challenge, deadline Sept 15. I wrote the horse poem.
5) Post three times to my other blog, The Dino Chronicles. Done.
6) Read four other blogs and comment on three of them. Time to get back in the community of writers. Read five, commented on three.   
7) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer. Scanned 38. Holy cow! I just love looking at them and once I get started, it’s hard to stop.  
b. Go through one box of my mom’s stuff and discard what I can. Nope. But I did finish washing my house’s windows.
c. Work on the nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers.
1)) write up the agenda for today’s meeting and send it out. Done.  
2)) make a poster for the talk the end of September.     Done.
3)) made an event on Facebook for my daughter’s talk at my work the end of the month. Done.
4)) frame the remaining paintings we have to display today at my daughter’s work. Did the best we could.  

Bonus points: I submitted a piece of flash fiction to Gathering Storm Magazine.

One other thing I’m going to do is get out a calendar and keep track of just how many hours I spend on all of these things (actual writing, promotion, and the nonprofit). That will probably explain why I don’t get any sleep. I could add in the hours I spend away from home for the day job too I suppose. But that would turn out depressing.

Anyway, so is anyone willing to take bets on whether or not I will have an equally stellar week this week?

1) Promote the new book, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” once every day, or a total of seven tasks for the week. 
2) Write three thousand words on the new novel.
3) Work on the poem on aging for Oct 20 deadline. Or work on a piece for “The First Line” for Nov 1 deadline.
5) Post three times to my other blog, The Dino Chronicles.
6) Read four other blogs and comment on three of them.
7) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer.
b. Go through one box of my mom’s stuff and discard what I can.
c. Start contacting the college kids I mentor through our church.  
d. Work on three things for the nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers.

Hoping that you have a stellar week this week!
I'm pretty sure my mom is on the right, but don't know about the other two ladies.
I just think this is a cute picture, from around 1945. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Getting my life back

Since I posted here on Wednesday, an unprecedented event for me, I must have had a good week. Right? Meh, as my son would say. The mix of color on this week’s goals works for me though. A little bit of balance.

As usual Green highlight is goal accomplished. Yellow highlight is at least worked on. Red print is a total failure.

1)    Send emails to the rest of my contacts regarding the new book and asking for reviews. I sent emails to the final ten people on my contact list. Heard back from one of them, and also from three of the people I had previously emailed.   
2)    Set up two more book signings. Umm, first of all, why is the word more in that sentence. I didn’t think I had any book signings scheduled. Oh, that’s right. My daughter’s talk on September 25 and the craft show in November. So, then, no.  
3)    Write three thousand words on the new novel. I wrote 2,048 words, so that was pretty good, I think. I also spent about an hour doing research on-line while I was coloring my hair Friday night. A year ago, I promised myself that I was done coloring my hair, but it is just taking too long for it to completely grey. I have about six different shades in my hair, so I added some frost, a seventh shade.
4)    Pick a better working title for the new novel. I have come up with about six titles, but they all have been taken already. I want to use the word river because the river plays a big part in the novel, but evidently everyone uses river in their title. So far the only one I can come up with is “The House Beside the River”, but that seems very dull to me. I am going to come up with a better list this week and post all my options here for you to vote on.  
5) Work on two items to submit:           
a) favorite quote and reflection for work calendar, Sept 15 deadline. Done. I picked a quote by Mother Teresa – “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” It really shouldn’t be that hard to add a few sentences reflecting on that.
                        b) poem on aging, Oct 20 deadline. Not done.
6) Post three times to my other blog, The Dino Chronicles. Done. I also changed the theme of the blog to match more closely my website. I’m seriously thinking it is time to hire a professional to set all my social media up with the same theme. But I hear cha-ching, cha-ching when I think that.
7) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer. Scanned 23 of them. I scored Mom’s photo album from the 1940s, so looking at all those oldies makes it more fun.
b. Wash two or three more windows. I only have five left! And hope to do them today!
8) Bonus goal! I ordered new business cards for myself and bookmarks for the novel.

With Labor Day tomorrow, I should be able to get extra stuff done this week. Also, extra staff has been hired at the day job, and now that they are nearly trained, they are actually lessening my work load. Hopefully, I’ll start coming home from work with some energy left at the end of the day. It’s been a grueling year at the day job and I’m ready to get my life back.

But that doesn’t mean I’m going to load myself up with goals here. I want to get my rhythm back first.
1)        Promote the new book, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” once every day, or a total of seven tasks for the week. Anything from signing up for a book signing to giving someone a flyer about it.    
2)        Write three thousand words on the new novel.
3)        Commit to the new title for the new novel. 
4)        Work on the poem on aging for Oct 20 deadline.
5)        Post three times to my other blog, The Dino Chronicles.
6)        Read four other blogs and comment on three of them. Time to get back in the community of writers.
7) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer.
b. Go through one box of my mom’s stuff and discard what I can.
c. Work on the nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers. Not sure yet what I will do on it this week, but there is always something.
Have a great week and a great start to fall, wherever you live. 
One of the scanned pictures. My mom (on the right) with a friend in 1942.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Getting things rolling

Here is an unexpected mid-week post. I haven’t done too much on the list of goals I posted on Sunday, but things have been going on that I wanted to share.

A dear writer-friend, Beth Camp, posted an author interview of me and my novel on her blog. I so appreciate it and wanted to send her out another thank you.

I’m also up to six reviews of it on Amazon, all five stars and I wanted to give a shout-out to those kind people as well. The release date for the paper version is this Friday, so my marketing efforts will step up a notch then. I just so badly want to have that physical copy in my hands before I go too crazy with promotion.

Regarding our nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers, we had a sale on our Etsy Store. That’s always exciting, especially when it comes from out of nowhere. Like so many other things on the internet, there are so many vendors on Etsy that it’s hard to rise to the top and get noticed.

We updated the Tumaini website a few weeks ago and now are working on finalizing a new logo and business cards.

Finally, it’s been two weeks since I worked on the new novel. I pulled it up tonight, took an inventory of it and have set the bar at finishing the rough draft by October 13. That means an average of 500 words a night, which will be more like 1500 words a couple times a week, but I want to keep it all in perspective. I just wrote a 310 word scene on it, before I decided to write this quick post.

Yup, time to move on and get things rolling.

Hope you are having a good week as well. 
You know how I always have to include a picture. This is the first one that bounced up when I opened my file of pictures. My daughter took it while she was in Kenya for six months in 2010. I love this picture. Always reminds me that we all need friends and it doesn't matter who they are.