Sunday, May 21, 2017

Getting my Mojo back

I apologize for posting this so late. We just got home from my daughter’s house. Last week she pulled back the nasty carpet in her living room and discovered that the hardwood floors hiding there were in much better shape than she could have imagined. She spent the rest of the week cleaning and refinishing the floors and was anxious for us to come see. They had just finished putting down the last coat of poly shortly before we got there. 
 Shouldn’t it be illegal to cover up something so beautiful with carpeting. Makes me crazy. 

Anyway, we had just gotten home from camping, jumped in the car and ran to her house. Camping was wonderful, cold and rainy, but that’s why we don’t tent-camp. The popup has its limitations, and taking it down in a mist wasn’t the funniest thing. Nor was putting it up in more rain when we got home – we better have a clear day soon so it can dry out inside. 
The good news is that with the less than optimal weather this weekend, we spent our evenings holed up in the camper, the hubby reading and me? Working on my WIP. Finally. Friday and Saturday night I read through the 38,000 words I had already written, as it has been so long that I forgot where I was with it. Then I wrote 747 words this morning. I know, not record-breaking or anything, but I was pretty pleased with myself.

I have a few things going on a couple evenings this week, but I hope that my mojo has returned, that I can write at least another thousand words this week.

I also got my first draft of the interior design of my novel, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”. If anyone would like to read a copy of it, so that you can be ready with a review of it as soon as it is available on Amazon, send me your email address and I will send it to you.

It seems like forever ago (October!) that it was accepted for publication. I don’t know how authors wait 18 months to two years to have a copy of their book in their hands. I’ve already kind of lost my excitement over it. Talk about needing some mojo. I’ll really need to get my act together to start promoting this baby.

Right now, just waiting for the cover design and a release date. Then I will turn into marketing queen (or demon, we’ll have to see). 

Have a great week, everyone, and a safe upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Important Stuff

Well, so much for getting back in action. I just noticed that I didn’t post here last week. I was hit with some medical issues, nothing serious, but enough to derail me, as if I was actually back on track.

I can’t say it was a productive week, but I actually did bring up my work-in-progress and read a few chapters. I also bought a memoir of the Viet Nam war, the era my novel is set in, for research. So, not leaps and bounds, but forward movement.

I have two doctor’s appointments this week, as well as the full work schedule, so I don’t plan on doing much extra. We are also going camping next weekend – super excited, cannot wait. The forecast is for rain on Saturday, but, hey, maybe then I can sit inside the camper and write!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers, fathers who take over for mothers, and all you kids who drive us nuts but love us anyway. And remember what is important in life. 
 My sister and I in the  camper with Mom, many, many years ago.
Where Hubby and I are going camping next weekend. Of all the gifts my parents gave me, the love of camping was one of the best. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Mixed Bag of a Week

 Crossing the Chippewa River, above, and a cool picture of Dino, the Wonder Dog, below.
Here I am still dragging my butt on getting back to a writing schedule. Yet another snag blew in last week.

We were supposed to bury Mom on Friday, but my sister’s mother-in-law passed away Monday night, so her funeral was Friday. I really feel sorry for my sister and her family. Losing two grandmas in a couple of months. Uf-da.

So we moved my mom’s burial back to tomorrow. I was planning on working the day job all day and just taking a long lunch break to join the family at the cemetery. Thursday morning, I found out my boss was taking Monday off, so I said, well, cool, then I won’t be here either. Once in a while things work out.

I am still working on lots of stuff for the nonprofit, though. I updated our donor list and have been reviewing the changes my daughter and son have been making to our business plan and our volunteer handbook. I’m so proud of both my kids, but sometimes I don’t know if it’s so good that they inherited my tenacious spirit.

The other good thing, Hubby, the dog and I took a much-needed ride yesterday. Found a new campground, and I came home and made reservations for it in August. I cannot wait to go camping this summer. Hopefully, I will drag my sister away some weekend for some sister-time too.

Lots to look forward to and lots of work to get goin’ on. No promises on the writing front, but I’ll get back in the saddle eventually.
 Wishing everyone else a productive week. 
I thought I should include a picture of the granmas. My mom is on the right. This picture was taken in 2012, at the wedding of their great-granddaughter. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Starting from Scratch

Well, my goodness, it has been a long time since I posted here. I returned from Kenya on April 12 and hoped to hit the ground running, getting right back into the swing of things. I don’t know why I thought that would happen.

Anyway, moving on. Since it has been a while, I thought that I would start from scratch with this blog and answer a few questions first.

What is this blog about? I write another blog, The Dino Chronicles, which tells about the journey of my life. On the other hand, this blog is intended to share my writing journey. I include other goals, like getting in shape and working on our nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers, but overall, this is where I chart the course of my writing career.

What do you write? I write a little bit of everything – poetry, memoir, fiction. I’ve published three books – two devotionals and one memoir. All three books are for the Christian market, but I think that anyone would enjoy reading the memoir as it tells the story of my first trip to Kenya. I’d like to do a second edition with a new epilogue explaining how that trip changed my life, but I think what I should do is publish a whole new memoir of my subsequent trips. Maybe someday. Right now, my first novel, which takes place in Kenya, is in the process of being published. As soon as it is available, you will get sick of me pushing it on you. So just get a copy right away, write a review of it on Amazon, tell six friends about it, buy each of them their own copy, and once the book has sold 20,000 copies, I will leave everyone alone.

What’s the name of this upcoming novel? Oh, sorry. “Where the Sky Meets the Sand.” I had hoped it would be out be now, but life got in the way, for both myself and my publisher. You’ll be the first to know when it comes out.  

So what are your current writing goals? Nothing for right now, except getting that novel out. I am working on my second novel, have it about half written. It takes place in Wisconsin in the mid-1970s, so I’ve done a lot of research on that era and the ethnic groups who are involved. Only other writers understand this, but the main character is so engrained in my brain, that I don’t think I can put off for much longer telling his entire story. He is a very tortured soul and I want to make everything right in his life, or at least in his world. No title for it yet. I have to wait until I’ve finished a thing before a title comes to me.

You mentioned a nonprofit. What’s that all about? In 2013, during my second trip to Africa and my daughter’s third trip, she and I started forming our own nonprofit organization, Tumaini Volunteers, Inc. Even though we have been at it for four years, we are still tweaking our purpose. The plan is geared towards providing self-sufficiency, but there are a lot of questions as to how we are going to continue to do that, if we are going to branch out to other geographical areas, and just lots of other what’s and how’s. We are always looking for help, so follow us on Facebook for more information and message us if you want to get involved. We are also starting to plan our next trip and love taking new people along to show them the country we have fallen in love with.

I think that’s enough for now. Maybe by next week I will have my head on straight and can outline some concrete goals. For now, I am still just taking it a day at a time.

One last thing of note, this coming Friday we plan on burying Mom. I’ll also be closing out her bank account. Maybe I’ll have more closure then and be able to move on. Unfortunately, the boxes of her stuff in the other room are another story, but enough of that. 

I need to get something done today. 
(Looks beautiful, but this place is called Hell's Gate for a reason. I had to hike, crawl, slide and climb to get to this overlook. Kind of like life, I guess.)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

done for four weeks

Not a very productive week. Monday I didn’t get home from work til after 7:30 and Tuesday I got off work at 6:30 but stopped in at my women’s group for a few minutes. Also on Tuesday, a friend called me in crisis, so another friend and I went out to dinner with her on Wednesday night so she could get it off her chest. I know that kind of stuff is important, so I wouldn’t have done anything different. On Thursday, I got home probably around 6:30, but by then I had had it for the week. I was shot.

I had hoped to be ambitious on my day off, Friday, but got a slow start and then my son called, which again, I know is more important than some list of goals. We did talk about the nonprofit, so that was at least helpful.

Had planned on going shopping in the afternoon, but because I seemed to be behind all day, I didn’t get done nearly as much as I had hoped.

Lastly, Saturday, I got sucked into scanning and organizing my old family picture. While listening to Simon and Garfunkel. You can imagine what state of mind that left me in.

Let me try color-coding my progress again. I like the visual. Green highlight is goal accomplished. Yellow highlight is at least worked on. Red print is a total failure.

1)    Email my manuscript back to my editor and contact the publisher about dates, deadlines and how the cover is coming along. Done.
2)    Research venues for speaking engagements or book-signings and contact one of them. Not at all.
3)    Research places for submissions. Not at all.
4) Post three times to the Dino Chronicles.  I also need to commit to read other blogs.  Posted three times, but really didn’t read too many other blogs.
5) Hem another set of my daughter’s curtains. Hemmed one pair Friday and a single panel last night.
6) Finalize details of trip to Kenya. Ok, let me just come up with a list right now.
a) Go through my clothes and supplies I already have to see what I need. Done.
b) Go shopping. I need a new SD card for the camera, a new USB, comfort-food snacks, and a big bag of Jolly Ranchers for our host. And the few clothes I have to come up with that I need. Went shopping, but only for clothes and a new suitcase for my daughter.
c) Hunt for my Yellow Fever immunization card. I looked for it once again in every conceivable place in this house. No luck. I suppose I should call the clinic which issued the first one. Of course, I made it without it on the last trip, so I don’t think it’s the end of the world. Unless, of course, there is a Yellow Fever outbreak while we’re gone.   
7) Exercise three mornings and four evenings for at least 15 minutes each, including running three times. Sure, coz I’ve had time for this!
8) Try to go to my women’s group meeting on Tuesday night. Stopped in for about ten minutes. Does that count?  

Okay, so here’s the deal. Everything is just gonna be on hold until I get back from Kenya on April 15. That’s just the way it’s gonna be. I’ll let you know then how the trip went and start forward progress once again.

Have a good couple of weeks. 
Isn't this the most ridiculous picture? That's me in the middle with Mom and my sister Pat. (circa 1967) We are in the back of our pickup camper. I can't believe that all of us (with my dad and the dog) lived in the back of that camper for umpteen camping trips. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Gonna Do It

I made some headway this week. Unfortunately, I still put in way too many hours at the day-job. Don’t know when I’ll be able to cut back, but I’m thinking it doesn’t matter – the work is always going to be there and killing myself over it isn’t going to solve anything.

Here’s what I got done:

1) Finish editing the manuscript. Yes, at 8 Saturday morning. I will email it to my publisher sometime today.
2) Post three times to the Dino Chronicles.  Yes. I realized I was starting to be a downer in everything I wrote there, so decided to declare this Merriment March and will only post happy stories during the week.
3) Hem another set of my daughter’s curtains. Nope.
4) Finalize the list of things I need to do for the trip to Kenya and when they need to be done by. Still got the list in my head, but we did a few things this weekend – ordered our Visas and confirmed our ride to the airport and back (my hapless son!).
5) Exercise three mornings and four evenings for at least 15 minutes each. I exercised two mornings and four evenings, but can’t say I reached 15 minutes every time. I did make the crazy decision to start running again, so ran twice on the treadmill, for only about five minutes, but it’s a start.
6) Bonus points! I almost forgot. I updated my website.

I’m going to shoot for an even more productive week this time:

1)    Email my manuscript back to my editor and contact the publisher about dates, deadlines and how the cover is coming along.
2)    Research venues for speaking engagements or book-signings and contact one of them. I’m still not sure when my novel will be out, but I think that early summer is reasonable to set up some gigs. 
3)    Research places for submissions. I haven’t submitted anything since January and really should be working on that.
4) Post three times to the Dino Chronicles.  I also need to commit to read other blogs.  
5) Hem another set of my daughter’s curtains. Her entire upstairs is waiting for these curtains before she can declare it a finished project. I should post pictures of her progress sometime.
6) Finalize details of trip to Kenya. Ok, let me just come up with a list right now.
a) Go through my clothes and supplies I already have to see what I need.
b) Go shopping. I need a new SD card for the camera, a new USB, comfort-food snacks, and a big bag of Jolly Ranchers for our host. And the few clothes I have to come up with from above. 
c) Seek and find my yellow fever card. At least we have found out that we don't need a booster on it. Now I just have to find the proof that I had it.   
7) Exercise three mornings and four evenings for at least 15 minutes each, including running three times.
8) Try to go to my women’s group meeting on Tuesday night, coz it really is time that I start getting out in public again. I have to say the heck with work and just walk out the door at a reasonable time and have a life again.

Sounds ambitious to me. But I’m gonna do it!
My daughter's adorable little house. It needs a lot of work, but she is getting there. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Keeping my head above water

I gave it my best shot, but wasn’t able to do nearly as much as I wanted last week.

     1)    Start reading through “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” again.
Goal – 20 chapters. Actual – 10 chapters.
     2)    Clean off my dining room table, which looks like an episode of Hoarders.
Goal – clean half of it. Actual – cleaned all of it, but unfortunately, I moved most of it into the spare bedroom, so didn’t actually make much headway.
     3)    Get back on track blogging on The Dino Chronicles, as well as here.
Goal – post three times. Actual – Yes, yeah!
     4)    Set up a time table for my trip to Kenya in 31 days!
Goal – time line. Actual – not a genuine time line, but at least a to-do list.
     5)    Hem my daughter’s curtains.
Goal – finish one set. Actual – ¾ of the way done with one set, but need to power through it before morning as I need to take them to my daughter’s to see if they are the right length.  
     6)    The other thing I need to do to get ready for that trip is get in shape.
Goal – Exercise three mornings and three evenings. Actual – Did two mornings and three evenings.  

The thing is I worked 46 hours at the day job last week, which doesn’t leave much time or energy in the evenings. I did some house work on Friday afternoon and was going to get lots more done Saturday afternoon, but two of my former co-workers showed up, out of the blue. We had a good visit, though, and friends always trump goals.

Sunday we have a meeting of Tumaini Volunteers and it will probably take up most of the day. Next week looks like more hours on the day job, but I’m going to push through and try to get back on track with everything. I don’t think I’m going to do anything this week with Mom’s stuff. It is not going to go anywhere and I don’t need that spare room for anything else right now.

1) Finish editing the manuscript.
2) Post three times to the Dino Chronicles.  
3) Hem another set of my daughter’s curtains
4) Finalize the list of things I need to go for the trip and when they need to be done by.
5) Exercise three mornings and four evenings for at least 15 minutes each. (Sometimes I do like 40 situps and a minute of planks and say that I worked out. I need to put forth a better effort.) 

            Other than that, I’m just going to focus on keeping my head above the water. 
The pile of stuff - doesn't look too bad in this picture. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Going to Catch Up

I have been so sadly slacking on posting here that I don’t even know where to begin. I guess you will have to check my other blog, The Dino Chronicles, to catch up. Or click here.

On that other blog, I make it pretty well known that I am a Christian and believe that I have a loving Father in Heaven who has got things covered. Even when everything in my world is unraveling. God keeps me from falling into the abyss at those times.

So I share some of those instances on The Dino Chronicles, as well as in my other writing, but I try to keep this blog focused on what my writing goals are and not necessarily the content.

On January 29, I emailed back to my editor my first round of edits on my novel “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”. Even with everything going on in my life the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking I should email my editor to see where things are at. As if I would have had time to look at the latest update to the manuscript. But I really want to get the ball rolling and get the novel published.

But God was like, “it’s gonna happen in My time and not yours.” So I continued waiting patiently. Lo and behold, Friday afternoon as I was thinking that I really need to check on this, I got an email from my editor with the updated manuscript.

I don’t know why I think I always have to be in charge. I need to remember to trust in God’s timing. Anyway, so what about my goals for the next week.

     1)    Start reading through that manuscript again. I actually think it is a good thing that there is the lag time there is, so every time I read it my eyes are little bit more fresh to it.
     2)    Clean off my dining room table, which looks like an episode of Hoarders.
     3)    Get back on track blogging on The Dino Chronicles, as well as here.
     4)      Hem my daughter’s curtains. She has finally finished remodeling her upstairs and only needs the final touches.
     5)  Set up a time table for my trip to Kenya in 31 days!
     6)    The other thing I need to do to get ready for that trip is get in shape. I don’t know if I can do it in a month, but I have to give it my best shot. 

Since I haven’t written in nearly a month, have only exercised sporadically, and can’t seem to remember what day of the week it is, these are some power house goals. Wish me luck. 
I don't usually like roses, because they die so quickly. 
But this one is still beautiful almost a week later. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

what is going on?

Last week was a continuation of the stressfulness which began the week before. It’s been pretty unrelenting. And though it has been some major stuff, it is the little things which plow a person right under.

When I went to pick up my glasses a few weeks ago, the prescription wasn’t right. I couldn’t see small print at all - like a font size 10. They told me that it was because I had asked for a prescription to use while on the computer, but if I can’t see print in a book, how can I see print the same size on the computer. I kind of let it go, coz I didn’t want to deal with it.

I finally called back on Friday and they were like, we can get you bifocals. I already have three pair of bifocals, I need something to read with. But you wanted something to read with on the computer and that’s what we gave you. But I can’t see with them. But you can see the computer with them. I didn’t try the computer with them. Then how do you know they wouldn’t work? Are you telling me I need three pair of glasses – bifocals for driving and being out and about, reading glasses for reading, and computer glasses for computer work. Yes, that’s what we are telling you. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, cancel the glasses I ordered and refund my deposit. Argh! That kind of stuff makes me go out of my skull.

I thought I would find something relaxing to take my mind off things, so I looked up the state parks in Michigan on line, in anticipation of going camping this summer. Apparently, the park we always stay at has been washed into Lake Superior. Or at least enough of it has that they can’t guarantee services to the remaining sites, whatever that means. But it doesn’t sound good.

Let me try one more thing. After a friend of mine died unexpectedly last spring, I wrote up a list of friends I have lost contact with, planning to try to track them down. I thought I would do another internet search for one of them.

Yup, you got it. I haven't seen Mary since 1993, but I finally found her. In North Carolina. Where she died in 2015.

I know! Right! What is going on???

Anyway, I did take a break from the mess called My Life and watched my deer in my yard for a while Friday afternoon. Last summer and all fall, I only ever saw one doe and her yearling and occasionally a little six point buck.  Eleven of them came in yesterday. So pretty.  



So with all this nuttiness going on, here is what I accomplished, with green highlights meaning a success, yellow highlights at least worked on and red print a total fail.

1)    Write a chapter in the new novel, “The Big House” and think about a real name for it. Nope, nothing.
2)    Send that first round of edits on “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” to my editor. I sent it out on Monday morning. Now it’s time to wait again.  
3)    Post to The Dino Chronicles three times. Yes, I believe I did.
4)    Raise the final thousand dollars for our trip to Kenya. I am working hard on this. I’ve sent out 41 personal emails and three private Facebook messages. Will probably send a few more Facebook messages tomorrow. I also started an event page on the Tumaini Volunteers Facebook page to countdown how many days before we leave. I also have one thing packed! My Baby Wipes!
5)    Get on track with the Foundation Training exercises. Did the exercises four times this week and started working in a few aerobics. I haven’t gained back the five pounds I lost due to not having time for any meals the week before, so that’s good, especially since I have found time during the last week to eat most meals.
6)    Put away the Christmas decorations! Yeah! Yes and cleaned the entire house.
7)    Bonus Points! The poem I submitted to the online journal Voices on the Wind was accepted and published on line the end of the week. Find it here.

I don’t think I’m going make any promises for next week, or the week after. On February 14, work switches over to the new electronic medical record at work, so the rest of the month is not looking good either.

I just have to keep telling myself, Kenya March 29, Kenya March 29. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Like an Avalanche

My personal life has continued to feel like an avalanche bearing down on me. I honestly don’t see an end in sight, but if this is what life has handed me, there’s no reason to put that life on hold. I had a meltdown one night last week, but have gotten a grip on things and am going to plow forward.

Here’s what I had hoped to accomplish this past week and how I actually did. Green highlights were a success, yellow highlights were at least worked on and red were epic fails.  

     1)    Write a chapter in my new novel, “The Big House”, but only after I have finished the edits in #2. Since I only finished #2 in the wee hours of this morning, I did not get to this.
     2)    Finish the first round of edits on “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”. Finished at three this morning.
     3)    Post to The DinoChronicles three times. Only wrote new posts twice.
     4)    Make those plane reservations for the return trip to Kenya. Yes and got them at a great price with good connections.
     5)    Start those Foundation Training exercises to cure my back pain. Have slowly been working into them. Hey, and with all the stress of the last week, I have lost that five pounds I’ve been working on for six months. Probably not the way to do it though, huh?

That actually doesn’t look too bad considering I didn’t get home until after six each night all week. It was past seven thirty the night of my meltdown. Of course, something has to give, so my house is in dire need of a good cleaning. It doesn’t smell yet, though, so I’m not going to kill myself and who says the Christmas decorations have to come down before February?  

Next week my plan is to:
1)    Write a chapter in the new novel, “The Big House”. I also really need to start coming up with a name for it. “The Big House” is just the working title that I’ve been using coz I need to call it something.
2)    Send that first round of edits on “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” to my editor. I’d like to whip through it one more time tomorrow before I email it on Monday, but we’ll see how much time I have.
3)    Post to The DinoChronicles three times.
4)    Raise the final thousand dollars for our trip to Kenya. We have enough money in the bank to pay for the project we will be doing, but the policy of our nonprofit is to pay the expenses of our team leader, who is going to be my daughter Val this trip. I know she would pay her own way if she needs to, but with all the work she is already doing, I really want her to not have to worry about money on top of everything else.
5)    Get on track with the Foundation Training exercises. The plan states I am supposed to be doing these exercises for 15 minutes just three times per week. I am still muddling through learning them, so doing them for just a few minutes a day to get them straight in my head. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, but it’s how I have to do it. Hopefully this week, I can get on that 15 minute/three times a week schedule.
6)    Put away the Christmas decorations!


If you would like to give a tax-deductible donation to send my daughter to Kenya, you can mail it to: Tumaini Volunteers, Inc., PO Box 726, Wausau, WI  54402 or donate directly through our website. Thanks and have a good week. 
My beautiful daughter with her brother and her husband, at my mother-in-law's house. At least I don't have as many Christmas decorations as she has. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Starting Over . . .Kind of

I started my original blog, The Dino Chronicles, in the spring of 2010. I’d always wanted to be a writer and my daughter suggested it as a way to start sharing my story. It also has been a great motivator in getting me to write something at least a couple times a week.   

A few years later, I decided that I should start a separate blog in which to share my writing progress. About the time I had made that decision, I had discovered the blog Round of Words in 80 Days, a community of other writers. It was a great way to post my writing goals and progress twice a week – on Sundays and Wednesdays - and to keep me accountable.

For various reasons, I have decided to break from the Round of Words in 80 Days group. I’ll still post my writing progress here, at least once a week, but probably on Saturdays instead of Sundays. I’ll post mid-week if I have something exciting to share.  

********************
Here’s what I had hoped to accomplish in the last week. What actually happened is highlighted in green, what was worked on is highlighted in yellow and what I never even looked at is in red.

1)        Work on my current novel, “The Big House”.  Not at all.
2)        Work on edits for “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”. I am through 100 pages out of 280.  Not nearly as far as I had hoped, but at least I made progress..
3)        Post to my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles” three times a week. Only posted twice this week.    
4)        Submit a piece to some place for publication.  I submitted a poem to “Voices on the Wind” poetry journal.
5)        Work on scheduling a book signing or presentation. Nope.
6)        Finalize return trip to Kenya with our nonprofit Tumaini Volunteers.  Nope, but we are making our plane reservations today! Yeah!   
8)        Begin working out using the techniques from The Foundation Training book. I haven’t read far enough in the book to start the workouts yet, but I am at least getting close. Next week. Haven’t we all heard that before?

In the coming week, I hope to:

      1)    Write a chapter in my new novel, “The Big House”, but only after I have finished the edits in #2
      2)    Finish this round of edits on “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”
      3)    Post to The Dino Chronicles three times
      4)    Make those plane reservations for the return trip to Kenya
      5)    Start those Foundation Training exercises. I just found some of YouTube videos of them, so may try some of those as well

With the crazy schedule I have been keeping, and with all the chaos in my personal life, I think I am going to look at my goals on a week to week basis for a little while. Sometimes looking at the big picture of months or a year is exhausting.  

I’ll keep you posted as to all this pans out. 
 These pictures have nothing to do with what I just wrote. I just thought they were cute. Buddy, above, and Wesley, below. My grand-puppy Christmas elves.
Dino, the wonder dog, wanted no part of the elf photo shoot. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A setback and forward progress

I am going to make this quick.

I’ve had another setback as my mom’s health has taken a sudden slide. We had her in the ER on Monday afternoon and had hoped that they would keep her overnight. She’s so weak, fatigued, confused, not eating, but her labs were all normal enough that they couldn’t justify admitting her (stupid insurance). So I didn’t get home until 6:30 Monday night, after making sure she was okay getting herself ready for bed. Then my cousin called at 7:30 worried about her because she picked up the phone when he called her, but then didn’t talk. So I ran back to her apartment, let myself in, and found her all tucked in bed, sound asleep.

Last night, I stopped to see her after work and sat with her again until she was ready to go to bed (this is after a nine-hour day on the day job of course.). I feel bad that tonight I didn’t stop because I worked until nearly 6:30.

I do have good things to say though too.

I’m up to page 100 on editing “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”, out of 280 pages. I am happy with that progress, considering how my week has been going.

I’m also holding off on getting back to my exercise regimen as my hubby got a book for Christmas called “Foundation . . .something, something”. It spells out an entire workout program geared to fixing bad backs. I want to start using those exercises and totally ditch the ones I’ve been doing for years. From what I’ve read so far, those exercises are no doubt making my back worse instead of better. 


Lastly, it’s a date this Saturday to make our plane reservations to Kenya in the spring. Yeah!

And another Christmas picture, as I haven't taken any others since then. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ending the Christmas Season and Moving On

I finally had some progress this week. I hope I can keep the ball rolling. I think now that the holidays are finally officially over (we had our last Christmas get together just this past Friday), I can get my focus back on these goals.

Green highlights are ones which met the quota for the week, yellow highlights were at least worked on and red were a fail.

1)        Finish writing my current novel, “The Big House”.  I wrote 968 words, but unfortunately I won’t get back at it for another week or two. (See #2)
2)        Have “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” published. I finally got the first round of edits back from the editor. Yeah! I’ve been playing around with how I want to do my own track changes, so have only gotten through chapter 3. I plan on barreling into it later today and getting it done this week.
3)        Continue posting to my other blog, “TheDino Chronicles” three times a week. Nope, only posted new posts twice this week.    
4)        Submit three pieces to various places for publication. Nothing, but hope to submit one poem this week and have another poem in mind. (Exactly the same as last week. Argh.)
5)        Schedule a book signing. Nope, nothing. But now that I am back on track with my publisher, I am going to start working on this.
6)        Book a presentation either on my books or my trip to Kenya. Nope, same reason as #5. (Do I know why I put these as separate goals? They are so much the same.)
7)        Finalize return trip to Kenya with our nonprofit Tumaini Volunteers.  Did some stuff. I posted on all our social media asking for donations and also have been working with my daughter on looking at flights. Still also working on those donation letters.  
8)        Get my body in better shape than it is now. I worked out three mornings and two evenings. I’ve had something going on with my ankle, so didn’t want to overdo it. I ran out of turmeric, so bought another bottle of that yesterday along with some more glucosamine, which I’ve been out of for many months. I thought I would try it again. I gotta get this pain under control.

Looking at the week ahead, I should be able to get off work from the day job early on Monday (early for me is 5:00pm), but have to go in for training on Friday (which is normally my day off). I ordered new glasses, so I have to find the time to go pick them up. Also, I would like to book our flights to Kenya next weekend, so should get together with my daughter to do that. I also have a meeting at church on Tuesday night. Anything else on my schedule that is going to slow me down this week? I don’t see anything, but things do have a way of popping up. 


What things get in your way that slows down your progress? Are you able to plow through them or do they completely stall you? 
 My son - "Christmas is all done."
My daughter - "Oh, really?"

Sunday, January 8, 2017

why is there so little color this time?

I had hoped to come up with a more exciting list of goals, but here is the one I posted last week. Green highlights are ones which met the quota for the week, yellow highlights were at least worked on and red were a fail.

1)        Finish writing my current novel, “The Big House”.  I didn’t get any writing done on it, but since I haven’t worked on it in a while, I started rereading what I had written so far. So it was at least looked at.
2)        Have “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” published. I hadn’t heard anything from my publisher since I bugged them a month ago saying “I haven’t heard anything”. They got back to me saying, “sorry, we will get that first round of edits to you in a few days.” I emailed them again this week saying their lack of communication is unacceptable. They emailed me right back, again, saying sorry, we will get back to you with those edits in a few days. I’m kind of at my wits end. I looked at my contract and there’s nothing in it which can get me out of it at this point. They have a year to publish the book, which is still nine months away. If I don’t hear by mid-week, I will email them again and just ask if I can cancel the contract as I feel they are dropping the ball. It’s not so much the delay right now, but if this is how they operate, I don’t want to continue a relationship with them. Sigh.
3)        Continue posting to my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles” three times a week. Yes, complete.   
4)        Submit three pieces to various places for publication. Nothing, but hope to submit one poem this week and have another poem in mind.
5)        Schedule a book signing. Nope, but did some research. Also, I shouldn’t pursue this right now until I have a better idea the future of the book.
6)        Book a presentation either on my books or my trip to Kenya. Nope, same reason as #5.
7)        Finalize return trip to Kenya with our nonprofit Tumaini Volunteers.  Nope, didn’t work on the trip at all. Right now I am updating our 2016 donation list to start sending out 2016 donation letters to donors for income tax purposes.
8)        Get my body in better shape than it is now. Didn’t eat much better, but did work out three mornings and three evenings. Finally some green.

You’ll notice some goals didn’t even get a color. Instead of being worked on, they were actually fretted over, so I couldn’t say they were a fail yet were not progressed on.

The one thing which took up a lot of time however was the sweaters which I put together for a Christmas party we went to last night. I was still finishing them as we were about to walk out the door, so they don’t have all the cute things on them that I had planned on. There’s always next year, I guess.
 Plain sweaters from St Vinnie's. Mine was $3, Hubby's was on the clearance rack for $2.
 All laid out, this was my goal for what they were going to look like. 


 Running out of time!
 At the party. 
 Didn't get around to the snowman's hat or the jingle bells on the tree. Question - do I add them quick now or wait until I drag them out next year?