Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

We had company tonight until almost midnight. I woke up at 9:00 AM and immediately started baking. I took a break to get some supplies from Costco and Whole Paycheck – er, I mean, Whole Foods – and then cooked some more. I made a lovely cake roll filled with pudding and whipping cream, Chocolate Revel Bars, Lemon Bars, Caprese Skewers, and beef stuffed crescent rolls. A rather good spread, if I do say so myself especially since we didn’t know we were hosting until yesterday. It was really fun actually to focus on some baking. I do love it and I rarely do it now that I am ALWAYS on a diet.

But anyway, although it is now almost 1:00 AM I did my 10 minutes of editing! I am on page 50 of 104, so not nearly as far along as I originally thought. I think this section focuses far too much on telling rather than showing, but I haven’t quite figured out how to “show” something when it is one person struggling through realizations as opposed to conversations. I wonder if other authors have trouble with that too?

ediing

Read Full Post »

I did it! I edited my book for 10 minutes – a little over actually. It is hard to stop once you start and I probably would have kept going if I didn’t need to put together a plan for tomorrow, since we are unexpectedly hosting a small group. I partially re-wrote this very awkward scene, and I am not sure I am happy with it yet. . . . but I think it is at least better. I partly want to delete it – but I feel like sometimes the awkward argument that shouldn’t be an argument is important for establishing characters and relationships with each other. They also have a way of making characters of different statuses more even as they figure out the other person isn’t perfect. I’m still not sure how important the scene is, but I’ll leave it in for now and hopefully find a way to make it flow more smoothly.

Rewriting

Read Full Post »

I am supposed to be working right now, but apparently after working 9-10 hour days all week to make up for being sick last week, and being extremely productive while I was at it, my brain is a little tired now. No, it has nothing to do with being up until 12:30 last night. Nothing at all. So I decided to talk to you all instead for a few minutes.

And yes, you caught that right, I was sick AGAIN last week – this time with influenza so I was definitely out and it was especially not fun since my mom was here again for training. Daniel had to take care of most hosting duties. Which means this is the first “normal” week since like early February, and we’ve been trying to work back up to the whole diet/working out/getting up on time thing again.

Unfortunately, the need to make up the 8+ hours I had to take for being sick (and that was with working from home!) has really taken away most of my writing time. I keep meaning to sit and work on stuff, but then I am catching up on food prep and cleaning the house and trying to fit in devotions (how wrong does that sound? I know it is supposed to be the first priority in my life, but sometimes it is difficult to rearrange my brain), and all the other things that go along with rejoining the human race after being sick.

Anyway. I am tired of sitting around and thinking of writing as a second priority (doesn’t that sentence sound familiar? How many times does a person have to come to the same realization before it actually sticks?) and am once again going to give myself a challenge. This challenge is to work every day for at least 10 minutes on editing my book God’s Masterpiece (You know, the light-hearted, sappy, hallmark-like book?). And I am going to do the same thing I did on my last challenge – check in on here every day to briefly say whether I did it or not – since that worked well for keeping me on track for my 15 minutes a day challenge.

My goal is to finish editing it (I actually think it will only take me like a week  if I work on it regularly), send it to one more person to read (this person says she will actually get me feedback, unlike most people I sent it to the first time), implement any edits, and then submit it. Soooo, instead of limiting myself to a week, I am going to say I will do this until I FINISH EDITING IT! Keep me accountable, guys, keep me accountable.

PeanutsEditing

Read Full Post »

So we went on a week-long cruise the week of February 18th. It was a very fun, very busy vacation what with islands, snorkeling, an excursion that was cancelled and replaced by a different one, and in general staying up until 2 AM every night playing games with my brother and sister-in-law. But for once I didn’t get sick ON vacation. No, my normal cold that loves to accompany me on time off arrived late the last day of the cruise, for which I was mostly grateful. The only reason I wasn’t grateful was that we had all of one day before my mom and her boss/friend arrived to stay at our house for the rest of the week because of training in DC.

So I spent the rest of the week being mildly entertaining, but mostly just abandoning everyone and going to bed early and getting up as late as I possibly could get away with to try and survive the dreaded, mind-clouding head cold as I prepared for three briefings at the end of the week.

Thankfully I could talk normally again by the time my first presentation happened Thursday, and Daniel and I had a brief but awesome weekend before I left at 5:00 AM Monday for a business trip. We made the most of the weekend by going to see Sleeping Beauty by the Washington Ballet company at the Kennedy Center. It was simply lovely. Sometimes, and as a writer and a romantic I am hesitant to admit it, the ballet sequences get a little long and I want them to move on in the story, but I guess that is bound to be the case in a world where we are used to fast-moving movies, internet, and even books in which writers are instructed to waste no time getting to the point. I really think we miss something of life by always being in a hurry to get to the point.

Anyway, life finally got somewhat back to normal Thursday morning and I got back on my 4:45 AM schedule and even wrote a little, which just felt so good! I stayed up until 4:00 AM last night (this morning?) reading. Which was both because it was hard to put the book down and just because I could. How I love weekends!

So that’s my update and though I certainly have more to say, I know this is going to be long enough that most of you probably won’t bother to read it. 😛

But briefly referencing my earlier comment about  missing stuff in life, here is an inspirational quote for you:

Rushing

Read Full Post »

Having left off last time saying I was getting up at 4:45 AM and “happy” about it, I was thinking it was about time for an update, and a question from one of my friends accentuated the fact.

And the verdict is currently: I am still getting up at 4:45. And I am still at peace. Oh, there are moments – like last night, when I buried my head on Daniel’s shoulder and determinedly cried out that I didn’t want to get up at 4:45 because I wanted to stay up and watch another movie while (sort of) working on my book. Daniel just held me and reminded me that once we got up I would be happy for it and reminded me of my weight loss goals and – more especially – of the cruise we would be taking in a week, and I took a deep breath and reminded myself of my determination to look at it as a challenge, not an obstacle – and cleaned up and went to bed. And he was right; I woke up and, though it was hard, reminded myself that it takes actual work to get what I want – and after I actually did Calisthenics and was on my way to Starbucks to do devotions, I was happy I had forced my way through, as always.

So the long and short of it, it is going well. And I think, if only because of my purposeful integration of God-time into my schedule and my willingness to sacrifice my night-owledness, I might actually do it this year. I might actually meet my fitness goals. And, by default of a good schedule, might also meet some of my writing goals.

Speaking of which, I got a Scribbler box, which is – according to them – the only subscription box for Writers available. It was sooo much fun to unpack! But they had included what they called a writer’s challenge. And the challenge was to write down your writing goals for 2018 and then put it away somewhere to look at in December. And I wrote down the following goals:

  • Get something (anything!) published in Writer’s Digest (really, anything would count, but I figure with their numerous writing contests, they are the most likely candidate.
  • Finish Ethrill (I decided another 50,000 words ought to do it [I think], and did the calculations and realized if I wrote 220 words a day I could get to that by the end of the year no problem. I realized this last Monday. Want to know how many words I’ve written? None. I WILL catch up. I WILL!
  • Finish editing and submit God’s Masterpiece for publication (realizing it won’t be accepted, but at least can say I’ve submitted a book in my life)
  • I feel like there was a fourth bullet, but those are the only three I can remember offhand, so I must not care much about the fourth one.

My new calendar has a writing tracker calendar so I plan to use that to track Ethrill words – and catch up when I do thing like last week and avoid it because I’m afraid I won’t be able to think of what to write.

My husband came up with a great idea to help with this – he suggested I write a short story placed in Ethrill but having nothing to do with my current story to get to know my world better. I Love that idea. I always have the goal of writing a short story a week (because of that one quote that I will post at the bottom), but have only actually accomplished that – um – never. But maybe I’ll try again but this time make the short stories in Ethrill to acquaint myself with my own world. We’ll see.

Good luck all you writers as you try to meet your own goals!

111759-ray-bradbury-quote-write-a-short-story-every-week-it-s-not_kindlephoto-97025305

Read Full Post »

Apparently my previous post was a little too sobering for anyone to read/like/comment on – which is fine – I am still glad I pushed away my fear of confrontation enough to bring it up. It’s what so many introverts/writers struggle with, isn’t it? That fear someone is going to attack you for your beliefs, standards, work, you-name-it.

Anyway, that actually isn’t what I’m writing about today. The day before yesterday I had an epiphany. Well, okay, maybe not an epiphany, but God talked to me about some stuff that has [hopefully] helped with  . . . well, me.  As anyone who has been reading my posts know, I started a new schedule in January (as I do basically every year of my life) to ensure I had time to work out and write and still have a little bit of an evening – it involved getting up at 5:00 AM. I have been having an awful time with it.

My body has been refusing to adjust to this new time frame. I can barely make myself go to bed early as I internally argue that I am a night owl, and it is ridiculous to go to bed at 9 or 9:30, and that is like when the peak of my energy often happens. Which results in little sleep as I very crankily rise at 5:00, and rush through calisthenics/stretches, getting dressed, doing my hair, putting on makeup, finishing assembling my stuff, and rush out the door to beat HOV hours, grabbing lunch and breakfast on the way and feeling generally very disorganized and extremely upset that I have to do this. I usually calm down around 6:15 as I sit down in Starbucks to do my devotions, have a fairly good day, and become cranky again around late afternoon as I realize I have to do it all again the next day.

I felt like I was SERIOUSLY living for weekends, and told myself over and over again I could get sleep then and that that is when I could live, and around Saturday evening, inevitably becoming depressed that the rush and lack of sleep would start again in less than 48 hours. And then thinking ahead to when the next vacation/day off might be that I could be on a “normal” schedule for a day or so.

It hit a peak on Wednesday. Having gotten started on calisthenics about 5 minutes too late, I didn’t have time to even do makeup, and as I walked out, I looked at Daniel and said, “I can’t keep doing this.” I knew I had to figure out something that wouldn’t make me dread every day of every week.

As I sat down to devotions about 25 minutes later, I had a hard time concentrating, the frustrations still welling up inside me overwhelmingly and the obvious suddenly occurred to me – this was NOT temporary. Not if I planned to remain in this job, keep early hours, and wanted to work out and write. I would be doing this for the foreseeable future, and my heart sank like a rock. I just couldn’t. I rather distractedly finished devotions and went to work halfheartedly.

Now, my work has a wellness program – you get points that translate to money if you do things that they consider good for you. One of those things is watching weekly short videos on how to improve your health and your life in general. I began this week’s video as I scanned my e-mails and thought about how I didn’t want to work – and that is when God decided to use a secular means to hit me with a 2×4. This video has nothing to do with Christian life or ethics, but as I listened to their “pep talk” on being healthier, they asked, “What are your excuses in life? It can be anything that might convince you not to work out or eat healthy.” And that is when it occurred to me. My excuse was that I am a night owl. Therefore I shouldn’t be forced to get up early. I should be able to stay up late all I want. As I reluctantly conceded this internally, they continued, something along the lines of (significantly summarized):

Change is not fun. It is not easy. It takes sacrifice and courage to keep going. If it was easy everyone would do it. What type of attitude/emotional reaction do you have to your challenges? Negative reactions will elicit [insert multiple bad physical reactions]. But when you look at something as a challenge instead of an obstacle, you have a different reaction – your hormones rise to the challenge and seek to overtake it. So instead of letting excuses and negative emotions get in your way, look at it as a challenge and rise to meet that challenge.

It was a lot longer than that, obviously, but that was the essence of it. And as they talked, I recalled the verses I am currently memorizing in Philippians 4. Whatsoever things are [honest, true, just, lovely, of good report] . . . think on these things. And I realized that the same thing they were trying to teach – that you should look at challenges in life as a positive instead of as obstacles to get frustrated with – was essentially what God teaches us to do as well. In the same chapter we are instructed to be content in any state of life. So at that moment, I decided to change my thought pattern. I would view my weight loss, writing, and working goals as challenges to achieve –  challenges I would have to work hard for, sacrifice for, and in general act like one of those heroes and heroines I love so much from books who always (somehow in a few paragraphs or pages!) overcome physical difficulties through sacrifice and striving.

I recalculated and realized I would only need to rise 15 minutes earlier (yes, 4:45 AM) to still accomplish all I wanted to, get  home in a timely manner, and not be rushed. So, VERY long story shortened-a-tiny-bit, I have implemented that, along with a more joyful attitude, since Thursday morning (yay! Two days!) and what an incredible difference it has made already. While it is has been difficult to go to sleep early because my body is so used to later hours, I haven’t been chafing inside at the need to do so, and, it is probably partially God’s strength, but getting up at that insanely early hour really hasn’t been bad. I’ve even been cheerful. And I have the appropriate amount of time I need to accomplish everything I need. And when I start to feel that familiar dread, I remind myself that it is a challenge I am trying to overcome, not an obstacle.

Now, I totally realize it has been all of 2 days and next week I could be right back where I was before – but I pray I am not. I pray I take this to heart, because I am pretty sure God is firm on having a good attitude, no matter the situation, and especially when you are trying to be wise with your time and health. Being happy or unhappy is a choice. My choice. And I choose joy.

Joy

 

 

Read Full Post »

I almost sat down to write last week, but to tell the truth, I was so upset over New York’s recent legislation allowing abortions up to birth that I couldn’t. I debated for awhile about writing a long article talking about abortion – but I don’t know. I feel like there are already so many articles out there and those that are pro-life read them and those that are pro-choice don’t, no matter who writes them. So, I will mention only one thing that stuck out to me. One girl responded to a post about it on Facebook and said something along the lines of, “I go back and forth on the abortion thing, but this is just horrible!” And I couldn’t help but blink and shake my head. Because – I want to ask – actually the same thing I want to ask so many people – at what point do you deem the “magic moment”? At what point does that baby suddenly become a baby instead of just a fetus? Why do you think it might be okay to do abortion earlier, but later is no good because THEN and ONLY THEN it is a baby? Do you seriously believe that one millisecond it is a fetus and then suddenly a millisecond later it becomes a baby to be protected? That’s absurd. No, life begins at conception. There is no magic moment. Abortion is killing children just the same earlier as it is later – it is only more clear later that it is a child being torn to pieces. No one can ever convince me that the picture below is not of a child, killed because it was inconvenient.

aborted-child

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »