Saturday, December 28, 2013

Out with the Old...

So here is where I ended up for the Round. I took out my daily and weekly goals, just because I wanted to keep it short and simple. Turns out I have more yes’s than no’s. Yeah me.

I. READING – Goals for the Round           
1. Have finished reading five books. YES.     

II. WRITING - Goals for the Round.
1. Have published “The Christmas Story in 40 Days”. YES.
2. Have finished the first draft of “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”. No.   
3. Have finished my novel.  No.

III. REACHING- Goals for the Round.
1. Have submitted three pieces somewhere.  YES.
2. Have booked three speaking engagements or book signings. No.  

IV. PERSONAL – Goals for the Round.
A. Exercise - Continue exercising three times a week. YES
B.  Tumani Volunteers – Have applied for tax exempt status. No.
C. Sewing - Finish three projects by the end of the year. YES
D. Church Christmas Program - By December 21, have written, organized, rehearsed and held our church’s Christmas program. YES       
E. Armageddon - By the end of the year, have gotten together supplies for most any conceivable crisis, natural or man-made, which could cause life as we know it to come to a crashing halt. No, but I will blame that on the hubby, since this was a joint project.

I will be thinking of what to do next, how to make my goals more attainable or what goals I really should cut out for next year so that I don’t have a coronary.



Think that my hubby will have to get me a new board next year? Maybe not my best picture, but I really couldn't believe the hubby had this made for me.  

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Winding Down and Checking Off Goals

I. READING –
A. Daily goal
1. Read two other blog posts a day. Na, I don’t think so.            
2. Read in at least one of the many books I am reading. Again, I don’t think so.       
B. Goals for the Round                           
1. Have finished reading five books. YES.     

II. WRITING
A. Daily goal
1. Work on something for two hours a day. Definitely not.   
a. Work on “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”, the second book in the Bible Stories in 40 Days series. No.         
b. Write on my novel. No.     
c. Write my blog posts. Yes.
B. Goals for the Round.
1. Have published “The Christmas Story in 40 Days”. YES.
2. Have finished the first draft of “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”. No.   
3. Have finished my novel.  No.

III. REACHING
A.      Weekly goal.
1. Have promoted either one of my books on one other site or in person. No, I have not. I am bummed out because sales are down on both books, but I really haven’t been doing any marketing on either one of them.  
2. Comment on two other blog posts. I think so.   
3. Research markets for an hour.  Umm, no.
4. Keep up on social media, responding to all messages.  Yes.
5. Have contacted one organization about a speaking engagement. No.
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have submitted three pieces somewhere.  YES. For the Round I submitted my book, “A Time to Every Purpose Under Heaven” to the Xulon Press Writers Contest. I submitted my snow poem to Wilda Morris’s monthly poetry challenge. (I heard back already, by the way, and I did not win this month’s challenge.) And today, I submitted my piece about my angel encounter to “Chicken Soup for the Soul”.
2. Have booked three speaking engagements or book signings. No.  

IV. PERSONAL
A. Exercise - Continue exercising three times a week. I exercised three or four times. I got this totally crazy idea to run in a Mudder this summer. It is an obstacle course with running, ropes, climbing, crawling through mud. It sounds like fun but they say it is both a physical and mental challenge. I have to think on this some more and really get serious about training if I am going to do this.  
B. Nonprofit - Continue working on Tumaini Volunteers, Inc. No, but Izzo, our Kenyan contact, finally was able to get a Visa, so he is coming to the states this week. We hope to get together with him somehow, somewhere.  
C. Sewing - Finish three projects by the end of the year. YES. I sewed a scrub top for work this week (pictured below), as well as several teeny tiny Christmas projects.      
D. Church Christmas Program - By December 21, have written, organized, rehearsed and held our church’s Christmas program. YES. The program was last night and I have to admit it went off without a hitch.       
E. Armageddon - By the end of the year, have gotten together supplies for most any conceivable crisis, natural or man-made, which could cause life as we know it to come to a crashing halt. I did buy a few supplies for the box. As soon as the hubby and I have a day off and no Christmas stuff going on, we will get this done.  


The new scrub top
The Christmas Program

Sunday, December 15, 2013

“When life hands you garbage, write about it”

I really want to share the long story of the car accident I had the other day, but you really are going to have to check on my other blog in a few days, where I plan to post all the sordid details when I have the time. Or if you follow me on Facebook, some of the story is there too. But what do we do when life hands us things like this, we write, right?

I. READING –
A. Daily goal
1. Read two other blog posts a day. Probably close.           
2. Read in at least one of the many books I am reading. Also probably close.      
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have finished reading five books. YES.     

II. WRITING
A. Daily goal
1. Work on something for two hours a day. Definitely not.   
a. Work on “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”, the second book in the Bible Stories in 40 Days series. No.         
b. Write on my novel. No.     
c. Write my blog posts. Yes.
d. Write a piece to submit somewhere. YES, two if you can believe it! See III.B.1 below. I also wrote a parody of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” as a going away present for a co-worker.   
B. Goals for the Round.
1. Have published “The Christmas Story in 40 Days”. YES.
2. Have finished the first draft of “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”. No.   
3. Have finished my novel.  No.

III. REACHING
A.      Weekly goal.
1. Have promoted either one of my books on one other site or in person. Hmm? I don’t remember.
2. Comment on two other blog posts. I think so.   
3. Research markets for an hour.  Technically not really but I did revisit the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” website about submitting an angel encounter piece.
4. Keep up on social media, responding to all messages.  Yes.
5. Have contacted one organization about a speaking engagement. No.
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have submitted three pieces somewhere.  Can you believe that for the second week in a row I submitted something? A friend of mine puts out a poetry challenge every month and I have submitted to it in the past, though I admit I am no poet, but I think that it is a great way to hone those writing skills. The challenge this month was to write about snow. Now, doesn’t every one want to write about snowflakes falling softly and gently and use all these metaphors and clich├ęs? Of course and how boring is that! Well, Thursday night I got in a car accident – I know. I plan to blog about that on my other blog next week – but the accident did inspire me to write a poem about the incident and even though the snow wasn’t a factor, it was there at the scene of the accident and was one of the things I noticed as I was standing about in the freezing cold waiting for the police to show up. See, we writers have to take any and all inspiration we can. So there. And I also wrote the piece about angels which I plan to submit this week to “Chicken Soup for the Soul”.
2. Have booked three speaking engagements or book signings. No.  

IV. PERSONAL
A. Exercise - Continue exercising three times a week. I exercised three or four times.   
B. Nonprofit - Continue working on Tumaini Volunteers, Inc.  I honestly don’t remember doing anything on the Nonprofit this week.
C. Sewing - Finish three projects by the end of the year. Ha, ha, ha, I need more material like I need another bowl of ice cream, but I bought some snowmen fabric to make a scrub top for work. I know that doesn’t count, but it is more inspiration.       
D. Church Christmas Program - By December 21, have written, organized, rehearsed and held our church’s Christmas program. Tomorrow morning, I will drop off the final draft of the program for our church secretary to copy. Then Wednesday I will do another walk-through with the gal who is helping me. Then all I can do is hope and pray everyone shows up and that they know their parts.       
E. Armageddon - By the end of the year, have gotten together supplies for most any conceivable crisis, natural or man-made, which could cause life as we know it to come to a crashing halt. Still a work in progress.


Ok, so sorry that I don’t have time to give you details about the car accident, but here’s pictures of my poor baby car. Luckily our body shop guy is a friend and I know he will take good care of her. 


Sunday, December 8, 2013

What's the title of this blog again?

It just dawned on me that I named this blog "writing what I can when I can". That was probably for a reason. right? Go figure. 

I. READING –
A. Daily goal
1. Read two other blog posts a day. No, not a chance.          
2. Read in at least one of the many books I am reading. No, but close.      
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have finished reading five books. Let’s say this is a completed goal for the round. I need to start putting some color on this list. YES.     

II. WRITING
A. Daily goal
1. Work on something for two hours a day. Definitely not.   
a. Work on “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”, the second book in the Bible Stories in 40 Days series. No.         
b. Write on my novel. No, not this week.    
c. Write my blog posts. Yes.        
B. Goals for the Round.
1. Have published “The Christmas Story in 40 Days”. YES.
2. Have finished the first draft of “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”. No.   
3. Have finished my novel.  No.

III. REACHING
A.      Weekly goal.
1. Have promoted either one of my books on one other site or in person. Hmm? I’m sure that I did something….
2. Comment on two other blog posts. I think so.   
3. Research markets for an hour.  Yes, I actually did this and found a contest to submit my book to. See B1 below.      
4. Keep up on social media, responding to all messages.  Yes, but I have an email hanging out there that I have to answer regarding my publishing experience. I need to get on that.     
5. Have contacted one organization about a speaking engagement. No.
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have submitted three pieces somewhere.  Can you believe that finally I submitted something somewhere.  I entered “A Time for Every Purpose” in the Christian Writers Award sponsored by Xulon Press.   
2. Have booked three speaking engagements or book signings. No.  

IV. PERSONAL
A. Exercise - Continue exercising three times a week. I exercised four or five times.   
B. Nonprofit - Continue working on Tumaini Volunteers, Inc.  I honestly don’t remember doing anything on the Nonprofit this week, but our IT guy updated our website, so check it out. Tumaini Volunteers, Inc.  
C. Sewing - Finish three projects by the end of the year. Didn’t I finish sewing one top this Round? The other night I sewed a super simply decoration, but I am counting that too.      
D. Church Christmas Program - By December 21, have written, organized, rehearsed and held our church’s Christmas program. It’s coming along. Two weeks to go. I have lots of time, right?      

E. Armageddon - By the end of the year, have gotten together supplies for most any conceivable crisis, natural or man-made, which could cause life as we know it to come to a crashing halt. Still a work in progress. 

Two of the kids in my Christmas program want to do a piano solo of "Away in the Manger", so I am letting them. (Remember, they want to do a solo, not a duet.) "Silent Night" is the only thing I could play on the piano when I was their age. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

American Gothic - maybe not

Wednesday seems to come around awful fast. Considering that so far this week I have clocked in twenty-eight hours at work and four and a half hours at church I don’t know how I could’ve gotten anything else done. And I haven’t. Plain and simple.  I can’t think of a single one of my goals that I have worked on, except maybe the Christmas program which did eat up some of those hours at church.

And looking forward to Sunday’s post, I don’t think the facts are going to change much. I usually have Fridays off from the day job (the paying job!), but I have to work all day this Friday. Both the hubby and I have off on Saturday so we are toying with the idea of doing some Christmas shopping. That’s a crazy idea; Christmas is three weeks away! Heavens, why rush into things. I did get one Christmas present in the mail today, so I guess that is something I achieved. And while the hubby was at the post office, he bought postage stamps. I think he was hinting that Christmas cards should be written. That silly boy.


But, oh, well, life goes on. Remind me next year that I am taking the entire month of December off, ok?
 After a long Thanksgiving day. Apparently my week is getting just as long. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Some days are diamonds, some days are stones

Had some ups and downs this week. But I guess that's how it goes, right?

I. READING –
A. Daily goal
1. Read two other blog posts a day. No, but I came close.         
2. Read in at least one of the many books I am reading. Maybe.     
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have finished reading five books. Last night I finished reading my fifth book, “Tessa – From Fear to Faith”, by Melissa Wiltrout. I suppose I need to finish one of the other books I am reading before I start another.     

II. WRITING
A. Daily goal
1. Work on something for two hours a day. Definitely not.   
a. Work on “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”, the second book in the Bible Stories in 40 Days series. No.         
b. Write on my novel. Yes, yes, yes, finally!   
c. Write my blog posts. I think I posted to this blog twice and my other blog three times.       
B. Goals for the Round.
1. Have published “The Christmas Story in 40 Days”. YES.
2. Have finished the first draft of “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”. No.   
3. Have finished my novel.  No.

III. REACHING
A.      Weekly goal.
1. Have promoted either one of my books on one other site or in person. I took “The Christmas Story in 40 Days” into a local business on Wednesday. She took five copies. She emailed me on Friday and asked me to bring in another ten. When I took them in later in the day, she wrote me a check for all 15 of them, even though she had only sold two of them. She was confident she could sell the rest of them by Christmas.  
2. Comment on two other blog posts. I think so.   
3. Research markets for an hour.  No.     
4. Keep up on social media, responding to all messages.  Yes, just barely.    
5. Have contacted one organization about a speaking engagement. No.
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have submitted three pieces somewhere.  Umm, no.  
2. Have booked three speaking engagements or book signings.  Umm, no.  

IV. PERSONAL
A. Exercise
1. Continue to run outside as weather permits or on the treadmill at least three times a week. I hadn’t run on the treadmill all week and by Wednesday the hubby was bugging me to help him carry it downstairs so our living room would have enough room over the holidays. I am pretty sure this goal will have a big NO the rest of the month.  
2. Continue exercising three times a week. I exercised three, maybe four, times.   
B. Nonprofit
1. Continue working on Tumaini Volunteers, Inc.
a. Work on the IRS form 1023 and other such paperwork. I worked for a couple hours on the 1023. What a horrible form. Everyone keeps saying we need to get a lawyer, but you all know what lawyers charge, right? So I think we are going to do everything on the form that we can and still try to find a lawyer who will look at it once it is finished and not charge an arm and a leg.
b. Work on Fundraising. Yesterday we sold our Kenyan goods at another craft show. Got rid of a lot of stuff and made a few bucks. Now we have enough money to send in our 1023 form, as soon as we get it finished.
                C. Sewing
1. Finish three projects by the end of the year. No, not yet.     
D. Church Christmas Program
1. By December 21, have written, organized, rehearsed and held our church’s Christmas program. Have a few kids signed up, have to start working on more kids. The Sunday School kids have to participate, it’s all our middle and high schoolers that I have to bug.     
                E. Armageddon

1. By the end of the year, have gotten together supplies for most any conceivable crisis, natural or man-made, which could cause life as we know it to come to a crashing halt. Still a work in progress. I asked my kids what skills they had to bring to the Apocolypse Table. They thought I was crazy at first. The son is a good fisherman, so that helps. The daughter seems to think her greatest skill is repopulating the earth; I am so thankful that she hasn’t started doing that already.   
The daughter selling the stuff she brought back from Kenya. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chipping Away

Sunday I posted a picture of the Zamboni, the only picture I had of an ice skating rink. Today I stumbled upon a Hockey Duck. He was only a buck so I just couldn’t pass him up. I was pretty excited. Now I have to continue with the skating theme, even though I don’t have any words of wisdom to go with it.


I have one huge revelation! I actually started working on my novel again. Maybe it’s not as exciting as I claim it is, since I only wrote 830 words, but those are 830 words I didn’t have last week.

Other than that, I am holding my own this week. Chipping away at those goals, like a frustrated hockey player chipping away at the ice. Ha! I knew I could find an ice hockey analogy.


Have a good week, everyone, and a safe and happy Thanksgiving. The family will be coming over tomorrow and I am thankful that I am able to accommodate them and that my husband does the mashed potatoes. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Being a writer means never having to say you're sorry

 “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Really? Do you remember that line – used twice – from the sappiest movie ever made? I think I even read the book, thinking, somehow, it just had to be better than Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw mooning all over each other. Have I ever told you that the one genre I can’t stand to read is romance? Surprise.

But this is what I at least have learned – or at least what I have stolen – from that piece of literary fodder. “Being a writer means never having to say you’re sorry.” Which means, no more apologizing for not coming close to reaching my goals. We all do the best that we can in any given week, and all those things we don’t accomplish, we just leave out at the ice rink as the snow slowly falls. (You all have seen the movie, right? It’s been a long time, so correct me if there really was no scene like that.)
(I don't have any pictures of an outdoor ice rink, but the solitude of the Zamboni driver must come close to what Oliver was feeling, right?)

I. READING –
A. Daily goal
1. Read two other blog posts a day. No, I don’t think so.        
2. Read in at least one of the many books I am reading. No, I don’t think so either.     
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have finished reading five books. I am holding my own at four books so far.   

II. WRITING
A. Daily goal
1. Work on something for two hours a day. Definitely not.   
a. Work on “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”, the second book in the Bible Stories in 40 Days series. No.         
b. Write on my novel. Still, no.  
c. Write my blog posts. Here is a record, I missed not one, but two blog posts, one in each of my blogs.      
B. Goals for the Round.
1. Have published “The Christmas Story in 40 Days”. YES.
2. Have finished the first draft of “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”. No.   
3. Have finished my novel.  No.

III. REACHING
A.      Weekly goal.
1. Have promoted either one of my books on one other site or in person. I got “The Christmas Story in 40 Days” into another local bookstore. The manager was actually very excited about it. I also personally sold ten copies of “The Christmas Story” and two copies of “A Time for Every Purpose” this week.
2. Comment on two other blog posts. I think so.   
3. Research markets for an hour.  No.     
4. Keep up on social media, responding to all messages.  Yes, just barely.    
5. Have contacted one organization about a speaking engagement. No.
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have submitted three pieces somewhere.  Umm, no.  
2. Have booked three speaking engagements or book signings.  Umm, no.  

IV. PERSONAL
A. Exercise
1. Continue to run outside as weather permits or on the treadmill at least three times a week. I ran three times on the treadmill.
2. Continue exercising three times a week. I exercised three times.   
B. Nonprofit
1. Continue working on Tumaini Volunteers, Inc. Ok, so if you want to know what I did all week, this is probably where most of my time went. I set up all our Kenyan goods at my work on Wednesday. I sold a whole bunch of stuff. Yesterday, I set it up again at a craft sale in my hometown. I didn’t do as well, but I got the word out about Tumaini and got some ideas for making the craft show next weekend go over better. Besides the time setting up and taking down both these days and spending the entire day there yesterday, I spent a few hours making signs, pricing items, packing items, etc.  
                C. Sewing
1. Finish three projects by the end of the year. No, not yet.     
D. Church Christmas Program
1. By December 21, have written, organized, rehearsed and held our church’s Christmas program. Today I really need to start calling people to get them signed up.  
                E. Armageddon
1. By the end of the year, have gotten together supplies for most any conceivable crisis, natural or man-made, which could cause life as we know it to come to a crashing halt. Still a work in progress.   

With the holiday this weekend, and a few days off of the day job, I might get something done this week. And I will not apologize to anyone on Thursday if my turkey doesn’t turn out. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Baby steps are better than no steps

My first book has been out for nearly a year. I finally decided it was time to dissemble the board of Post-it notes which kept me on track during the two years of writing it.

I really just needed the board for something else, but now what am I going to do with the Post-it notes? They don’t take up much space. Can’t I keep them? Baby steps.

Speaking of baby steps, I took a few this week. Looks like I might be back on track.

I. READING –
A. Daily goal
1. Read two other blog posts a day. Yes, maybe, I think so.       
2. Read in at least one of the many books I am reading. Yes.     
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have finished reading five books. I finished reading “The Glass Castle” so I feel I am doing pretty good, having read four books so far.   

II. WRITING
A. Daily goal
1. Work on something for two hours a day. Really? With all the computer time I log in, I certainly had to come close this time.  
a. Work on “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”, the second book in the Bible Stories in 40 Days series. Yes! Can you believe it? I finally worked on it the other night, writing two days of devotions.                  
b. Write on my novel. Still, no.  
c. Write my blog posts. Yes, I finally got back on track with blogging.     
B. Goals for the Round.
1. Have published “The Christmas Story in 40 Days”. Let’s just leave this with a big YES. And I have sold, um, twelve so far from my supply. And my publisher tells me that they are selling on the internet.
2. Have finished the first draft of “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”. I should figure out an estimate of where I am with this. Let me look. Ok, so I have 25 days out of the 40 at least started. It all naturally will need a ton of editing and revising, but I am 25/40 there.  
3. Have finished my novel.  How about if I become realistic and say, “Have looked at my novel at least once in the last six months.”.

III. REACHING
A.      Weekly goal.
1. Have promoted either one of my books on one other site or in person. I took “The Christmas Story in 40 Days” on a tour of local bookstores. The first store took six copies on consignment. The second store was going out of business. The third store had a big sign in the window saying “Building for sale by owner”, so I didn’t even go in. (I am not kidding, it was pretty disheartening.) The fourth store had a big sign in their window saying, “No Solicitation”, which probably means more like “Don’t come peddling your girl scout cookies here”, but it was enough to crush my spirit. I want to support the brick-and-mortar stores and I want them to support me, but it didn’t happen last week. Maybe next week.  
2. Comment on two other blog posts. Yes.  
3. Research markets for an hour.  Kind of. A friend sent me a link to a book contest, so I looked into that. That counts, right?    
4. Keep up on social media, responding to all messages.  Yes. I had one person e-mail that they are thinking about signing with my publisher, so they had lots of questions for me on my experiences. And a writer-friend from out of town called with the same questions and was gracious enough to ask me to mail her my first book as she hadn’t read it yet.   
5. Have contacted one organization about a speaking engagement. No.
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have submitted three pieces somewhere.  Hmm? I don’t know if I can pull this off.
2. Have booked three speaking engagements or book signings.  I know I won’t be able to pull this off.

IV. PERSONAL
A. Exercise
1. Continue to run outside as weather permits or on the treadmill at least three times a week. I ran three times on the treadmill.
2. Continue exercising three times a week. I exercised three or four times.   
B. Nonprofit
1. Continue working on Tumaini Volunteers, Inc. Our board met on Monday and looked at the IRS form 1023 which we need to get filled out to apply for tax exempt status. That form is horrible. We really need to get a professional to help with it, so my daughter has been working connections for that. I signed up for a craft show here in Tomahawk on the 23rd and I am setting up a table at work this Wednesday. If anybody wants to buy Kenyan crafts, let me know. Supplies are limited.
                C. Sewing
1. Finish three projects by the end of the year. I finished that top for work a while back, but that is it.    
    D. Church Christmas Program
1. By December 21, have written, organized, rehearsed and held our church’s Christmas program. I have the program pretty much written. Hope to start roping in some of the older kids this week.
                E. Armageddon
1. By the end of the year, have gotten together supplies for most any conceivable crisis, natural or man-made, which could cause life as we know it to come to a crashing halt. As mentioned in my last post, my husband and I have started making lists and putting together our food, water, tools and other supplies.  


Now it is on to the next week! Full steam ahead!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hump Day Humph

On Sunday’s post I mentioned that I might add two more personal goals. Here are the stories behind each of them.  

First of all, I got roped into working on the Children’s Christmas Program for church again this year. I knew that I would, so I don’t know why I wasn’t working on it months ago. I met with our teacher last week and she gave me some potential programs and I had already looked on the internet and through some books I had found at church. Historically we have always had poor participation at rehearsals, plus we will have maybe a dozen elementary age kids and about the same number of junior high and high school kids. And no budget. Meaning we have to keep it simple.

Last Friday night I talked on the phone with the mom who is going to work on this with me and we at least came up with a theme. I sat down last night, looked at all the material I had gathered so far and said, “I just have to write this myself from scratch.” So that’s what I did until 11:00 last night.

So, the program is 90% written. It needs some tweaking and my music director is going to have to help us pick out what songs to use, but otherwise I think it is ok. The rest of the goal from now until December 21, the night of the program, is to pull it all together.


Second new goal, and now I might lose you. My husband and I have been talking for a few years about getting our emergency supplies together. We want to be prepared for anything, from the realistic (we are hit with a huge blizzard, the power is out for days, we can’t get out of the yard, much less into town, what do we have on hand that we can live off of, can we keep the house warm, etc.) to the barely remotely possible (the US is under nuclear attack, the Twin Cities is targeted, we need to travel as far north as we can to avoid radiation fall-out, do we have stuff ready to throw in the car, do we have enough gas, how fast can we be ready to move out, etc.) to the paranoid sci-fi (the country has made it mandatory that we all have computer chips implanted to be able to do any financial transactions, seek medical treatment, make any purchases, my husband and I are committed that we will not bow down to Big Brother in this way, how long can we last holed up in our house, with the supplies that we have, what is our contingency plan, etc.)

Saturday we started working on our lists and gathering our supplies. My goal by the end of the year is to have everything together and ready for any kind of catastrophe, holocaust or crisis that might bombard us. Anybody else sharing that wavelength with me?


You might also be thinking that these two goals are counterproductive. I am planning a Children’s Program at the same time I am planning for the end of the world? My husband’s rationale is that no matter how much faith a person has you still have a will to live. I don’t know. I believe it is all in God’s hands, but I just rather die warm and cozy with a full belly. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

You can never spend too much time with a teen-age girl.

Can I give you my list of excuses for this week? On Monday, I worked until seven; on Tuesday, I had a meeting of our women’s group at church until almost nine; on Wednesday, I met with our Sunday School teacher to discuss our Christmas program; on Thursday, I went to a Pampered Chef party until eight; on Friday – my glorious day off – I took my mom shopping and to a doctor’s appointment in the city 40 miles away, came home dropped her off, picked up my kinship kid and took her back to the same city 40 miles away to buy her a dress for next Friday’s dance. Oh, but that was the highlight of my week, seeing that beautiful 15-year-old modeling the most beautiful dress. Don’t know why I didn’t get her picture. If she doesn’t send me a picture on Friday when she is all dressed, with hair and makeup, waiting for her boyfriend to pick her up, I will have to disown her.
Bowling with the Kinskid a couple weeks ago. We have to savor every moment with our teen-agers before they are gone. 
So, here, instead of my list of accomplishments, is my list of failures this week.

I. READING –
A. Daily goal
1. Read two other blog posts a day. Yes.       
2. Read in at least one of the many books I am reading. Yes.     
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have finished reading five books. I finished reading “Out of Mormonism” bringing my total to three books this Round. I am almost done with “The Glass Castle” and have started reading “Tessa”.  

II. WRITING
A. Daily goal
1. Work on something for two hours a day. Nope, I didn’t come close on this one.
a. Work on “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”, the second book in the Bible Stories in 40 Days series. I didn’t even look at it.    
b. Write on my novel. When is the last time I looked at my novel? Three or four months ago? I am so bad.
c. Write my blog posts. No, I didn’t even do this. I once again missed my Thursday post on my other blog. Argh. I need a swift kick in the back side.    
B. Goals for the Round.
1. Have published “The Christmas Story in 40 Days”. I am still waiting for my supply of copies to sell, other than that I would say this is completed, since both the print book and the eBook are available on all the major websites.
2. Have finished the first draft of “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”. I don’t know about getting this done. I know I have plenty of time, just lacking the motivation.
3. Have finished my novel.  Umm, no, see A1b above.

III. REACHING
A.      Weekly goal.
1. Have promoted either one of my books on one other site or in person. No, not really.
2. Comment on two other blog posts. Yes.  
3. Research markets for an hour.  NO.   
4. Keep up on social media, responding to all messages.  Yes.  
5. Have contacted one organization about a speaking engagement. No.
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have submitted three pieces somewhere.  Hmm? I don’t know if I can pull this off.
2. Have booked three speaking engagements or book signings.  I know I won’t be able to pull this off.

IV. PERSONAL
A. Exercise
1. Continue to run outside as weather permits or on the treadmill at least three times a week. I ran twice on the treadmill.
2. Continue exercising three times a week. I exercised three or four times.   
B. Nonprofit
1. Continue working on Tumaini Volunteers, Inc. Two developments here. One bad – the craft show we were going to have a table at yesterday was cancelled, so no income this week. One good – our website is up and running, no thanks to me, but I will take what I can get.
                C. Sewing
1. Finish three projects by the end of the year. Natta.   

I need more goals like I need a hole in the head, but is it too late to add two more things to my list? I am fully entrenched in our church’s Christmas program, and my husband and I have gotten back to getting our emergency supplies together. Let me dwell on these for the week and see if I add them by next Sunday’s check-in. I will give you more details then if I add these.
 Wish me luck this week! Sounds like I need it!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

You can never spend too much time with old friends.

On Sunday, I posted that I spent the day Saturday at a medical assistant conference, where I was able to get caught up with friends from around the state. Friends which I only see at these conferences a few times a year. I took the scenic route there however, stopping at another friend's house just to visit for a few hours. I've known Susan since my first writers conference in 2010, and though we live only 40 miles apart, we only see each other at the Green Lake Writers Conference. Earlier in the week, I had emailed her and said, if you aren't busy Friday I am going to stop in. We had a great visit.
 
Then on Sunday, more old friends. Three of the women I worked with at my last job descended upon my house. Because they each work weekends, it's hard to find a day we are all able to get together. Last week when Linda called and said, we are all off on Sunday and we are coming over, what could I say? Again, it was another great visit.
 
The bottom line, not much reading, writing or reaching got done this week. But laughing and bonding with old friends is worth more than gold. I'm just sorry that I didn't take pictures of everyone!!!
This is yet another friend, Lisa Klarner. She spoke about social anxiety disorder at our conference on Saturday and it was great catching up with her too.  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Take time to connect with old friends.

I attended a daylong seminar yesterday for my profession of medical assisting. That bit into the goals, but I still did ok. It was also good to get out of town and reconnect with old friends. 

I. READING –
A. Daily goal
1. Read two other blog posts a day. Yes.       
2. Read in at least one of the many books I am reading. Yes.     
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have finished reading five books. Ok, I have finished reading two, and am half-way through “The Glass Castle” and three-quarters way through “Out of Mormonism”.  

II. WRITING
A. Daily goal
1. Work on something for two hours a day. No, not even close. 
a. Work on “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”, the second book in the Bible Stories in 40 Days series. I think I may have looked at it last Sunday but that is it.  
b. Write on my novel. I have decided that I am not doing NaNoWriMo. Who decided to do this novel writing challenge in November in the first place? It is probably the third busiest month, following December and whatever month in the spring (April or May, but sometimes not until June around here) that the weather turns nice. I think it is more realistic for my schedule to challenge myself in January.
c. Write my blog posts. Yes, I got these done this week, posting a day late on my Thursday post.   
B. Goals for the Round.
1. Have published “The Christmas Story in 40 Days”. The first print copy arrived in my mail box on Thursday. I showed it off to eight or ten people at work and another six or seven at my conference yesterday. Got wonderful feedback, so I emailed my publisher and said start the presses. I should have my supply in about ten days.
2. Have finished the first draft of “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”. Umm, not yet, but I might be able to still do this. I think I have 28 days started.
3. Have finished my novel.  Umm, no, see A1b above.

III. REACHING
A.      Weekly goal.
1. Have promoted either one of my books on one other site or in person. Hmm? I know that I did something, I must have, right? Just can’t remember what other than going crazy annoying my social media network that the book is finished. Also, as noted above, I promoted the book in person (and added that to this goal) and half a dozen people want to buy a copy as soon as I have extra for them. So I think that counts.   
2. Comment on two other blog posts. Yes.  
3. Research markets for an hour.  NO.   
4. Keep up on social media, responding to all messages.  Yes.  
5. Have contacted one organization about a speaking engagement. Yes, I emailed a fellow blogger who also hosts a radio show. She did get right back to me that her calendar is full until the first of the year. At least I heard back.  
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have submitted three pieces somewhere.
2. Have booked three speaking engagements or book signings.
  
IV. PERSONAL
A. Exercise
1. Continue to run outside as weather permits or on the treadmill at least three times a week. I ran twice on the treadmill. I even tried to get my dog to run on the treadmill. At least he doesn’t freak out being on, but he just doesn’t understand that he needs to stay on it and run instead of running up and over the frontend. He tries to make his mommy happy.    
2. Continue exercising three times a week. I think I exercised three times, twice for sure.  
B. Nonprofit
1. Continue working on Tumaini Volunteers, Inc. I continued posting to our Facebook page at least a couple times this week. I also got the information for another craft show the end of the month.  
                C. Sewing
1. Finish three projects by the end of the year. Natta.   

At my work conference yesterday. Julie and I go waaay back, probably to 1988. She's a sweetie. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Another Baby Leaves the Nest

I don't feel as if I have done much this week. Instead I must give credit to my publisher. The e-book version of "The Christmas Story in 40 Days" has been released today!! How exciting is that!!! Now I just hope that I receive my first paper draft yet this week. 
As exciting as this is, however, sometimes it was more fun to just hole up in my office, surrounded by the Snoopy collection that I have filled the room with, and write whatever and whenever I wanted. Believe it or not, I spent one semester in college as a marketing major. What was I thinking? It sounded fun at the time, and maybe it still would be fun if it wasn't one or the other of my babies that I was constantly pushing on people. 

Sigh. It will all come together, I know that. The fun in writing will return and it will stop being like work. And at least I still have the day job! 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Looks like I actually did something.

Another week for the log books. I'm finding this list of goals to be very helpful. At the end of the week, when I am feeling sorry for myself and berating myself as lazy, I can go over the list and say, "Hmm? Looks like I actually did something."

I. READING –
A. Daily goal
1. Read two other blog posts a day. Yes.       
2. Read in at least one of the many books I am reading. Yes.     
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have finished reading five books. Ok, I have finished reading two, and am half-way through “The Glass Castle”.  

II. WRITING
A. Daily goal
1. Work on something for two hours a day. Close.
a. Work on “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”, the second book in the Bible Stories in 40 Days series. I worked on it for a couple hours yesterday and the day before.                 
a. Write on my novel. I still think I may jump on this for NaNoWriMo starting on Friday. I don’t think I will do it officially though. I just have too much going on to make that sort of commitment.
b. Write my blog posts. I missed Thursday’s blog post again this week. What is wrong with me? No excuses this week.  
B. Goals for the Round.
1. Have published “The Christmas Story in 40 Days”. The final draft has been sent to the printer and I should have it in my hot little hands by the end of the week. Once I review it and give the OK to my publisher, this goal will be on record as achieved.
2. Have finished the first draft of “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”.
3. Have finished my novel.

III. REACHING
A.      Weekly goal.
1. Have promoted either one of my books on one other site. I don’t even know what I mean by this goal anymore. I am so tired of eating, sleeping and walking around saying, “promote the book, promote the book.” I know I have to do something to keep selling them both, but I am so burned out.  
2. Comment on two other blog posts. Yes.  
3. Research markets for an hour.  Yes. I looked at the Chicken Soup for the Soul website. I have a great story for them, I just have to find the time to write it.  
4. Keep up on social media, responding to all messages.  Yes.  
5. Have contacted one organization about a speaking engagement. No, another thing I am just burned out on.  
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have submitted three pieces somewhere.
2. Have booked three speaking engagements or book signings.


IV. PERSONAL
A. Exercise
1. Continue to run outside as weather permits or on the treadmill at least three times a week. I ran twice on the treadmill. Already, it is dark out when I get home, so even if the weather was decent (which it is not), I am not running when I can’t see where I am going. My boss manages to run in the dark, he wears a head light and all sorts of reflectors. He admits he probably looks like a dork. I could only nod my head and smile.   
2. Continue exercising three times a week. I think I exercised three times, twice for sure.  
B. Nonprofit
1. Continue working on Tumaini Volunteers, Inc. I am trying to post to our Facebook page at least a couple times a week, so that is about all I did this week. Oh, and print off the 1023 application for tax-exempt status. What a bear that is! Holy cow. I told my daughter we really need to get help with it.
                C. Sewing
1. Finish three projects by the end of the year. Does it count that I patched a co-worker’s shirt and my husband’s jacket?  


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Quick Little Update

Just a quick update.

I finished reading another book, “Confessions of a Prayer Wimp” by Mary Pierce. Great book, and I would say that even if Mary was not already a writer friend. I’ve been blogging, reading blogs, commenting on a few blogs.

I also got back the final file of my newest book, “The Christmas Story in 40 Days”. I read that over, for hopefully the very last time and sent it back to my publisher last night. He said my actual paper copy should be in my hands in less than two weeks, which means two weeks or so after that, it should be available to the masses. Yippy! Out well before Christmas, in time to be bought up in bulk for everyone to give as Christmas presents.

I can’t think of much else that has been going on since my last post. I think this was news enough. 

Oh, and also someone had asked if I would post pictures of what I sew. These are a few of my past projects. I haven't been doing much sewing for the last three years - way too busy with other stuff - but I hope to get back at it yet this year.
Pillow with pockets
Table runner 

Kindle Keeper

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Plowing Ahead

I. READING –
A. Daily goal
1. Read two other blog posts a day. Yes.       
2. Read in at least one of the many books I am reading. Yes.     
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have finished reading five books. Ok, I have finished reading two, “A Beggars Purse” by Toni Nelson and “The Secret Holocaust Diaries” by Nonna Bannister. I have also started reading another book, so as usual I have four of them going at one time.

II. WRITING
A. Daily goal
1. Work on something for two hours a day. No, not every day. 
a. Work on “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”, the second book in the Bible Stories in 40 Days series. I worked on it for a couple hours yesterday. It is about half written.                          
a. Write on my novel. I am trying to decide if I want to tackle this during NaNoWriMo in November. I probably could finish it then if I just made the commitment.  
b. Write my blog posts. Buggers, I didn’t do my Thursday blog this week. I had a lot of late nights and early mornings at work this week and it seemed like I didn’t do much at home but crawl in bed each night .
B. Goals for the Round. We have a long ways to go yet.
            1. Have published “The Christmas Story in 40 Days”.
2. Have finished the first draft of “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”.
3. Have finished my novel.

III. REACHING
A.      Weekly goal.
1. Have promoted either one of my books on one other site. Since my book trailer came out for “A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven”, I have been posting that wherever I can, so that should surely count for something.
2. Comment on two other blog posts. I think I did this.
3. Research markets for an hour.  Umm, no.
4. Keep up on social media, responding to all messages.  I think so.
5. Have contacted one organization about a speaking engagement. I know I did not.
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have submitted three pieces somewhere.
2. Have booked three speaking engagements or book signings.


IV. PERSONAL
A. Exercise
1. Continue to run outside as weather permits or on the treadmill at least three times a week. Since my back went out last week, I haven’t done anything physical that I didn’t have to absolutely do.
2. Continue exercising three times a week. Not this week. 
B. Nonprofit
1. Continue working on Tumaini Volunteers, Inc. Friday afternoon, my daughter and I met with her best friend from high school. I teared up seeing them together; it was just like old times. When did they both grow up? Anyway, Katie has been working for a huge nonprofit, so had lots of thoughts and insights to share with us. She feels we are on the right track. She is moving out of town next week, but we hope to stay in touch by internet.  
                C. Sewing
1. Finish three projects by the end of the year. I just added this one this week, right after I finished sewing a work top for myself, so I am counting that as one of the three projects. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

This has got me excited.

I don't know where I am at with my goals for the week. I think I've gotten a good start on things. The most exciting event that happened is that my publisher finished the book trailer for my first book. I really kind of like it.


The final edits for the second book have been submitted and as I type this, they are working on typesetting the pages to see how the book is going to come together. I think we are way ahead of schedule so that the book will be out well before Christmas. Which means I can spend most of December beating the pavement to get it sold everywhere as Christmas presents.

I also need to add to my personal goals that I hope to get some sewing done this round. As I write this, a scrub top for work is just waiting to be hemmed. I'd like to make some tops out of the material I have from Africa too. And lastly I have enough quilt squares cut out to make a quilt big enough to cover my house. So, look for those goals when I post the whole list on Sunday.

For now? I have to be to work at seven am both tomorrow and the next day. I better get that top hemmed if I plan on wearing it tomorrow and than get to bed.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

First CheckIn of the Round

Is it really time to post an update already? I just don’t know where the days go.

I. READING –
A. Daily goal
1. Read two other blog posts a day. Close.      
2. Read in at least one of the many books I am reading. Yes.     
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have finished reading five books. Ok, I already finished reading one, “A Beggars Purse” by Toni Nelson. Great book, and short too, an easy read.

II. WRITING
A. Daily goal
1. Work on something for two hours a day.
a. Work on “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”, the second book in the Bible Stories in 40 Days series. No.                         
a. Write on my novel. No.
b. Write my blog posts. Yes.
B. Goals for the Round. We have a long ways to go yet.
                1. Have published “The Christmas Story in 40 Days”.
2. Have finished the first draft of “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”.
3. Have finished my novel.

III. REACHING
A.      Weekly goal. Ok, I think all of these were epic failures. I know, I will get it together soon.
1. Have promoted either one of my books on one other site.
2. Comment on two other blog posts.
3. Research markets for an hour.  
4. Keep up on social media, responding to all messages.  
5. Have contacted one organization about a speaking engagement.
B. Goals for the Round
1. Have submitted three pieces somewhere.
2. Have booked three speaking engagements or book signings.

IV. PERSONAL
A. Exercise
1. Continue to run outside as weather permits or on the treadmill at least three times a week. Honestly, I think it was only twice in the last week.
2. Continue exercising three times a week. Yes.
B. Nonprofit

1. Continue working on Tumaini Volunteers, Inc. We had another meeting yesterday. We elected our Board of Directors. Yeah. Our next step is to finalize the Bylaws and the Budget, and open a bank account. 

One of the many reasons we are working so hard on the nonprofit.