Goals for December 2017

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Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I managed a weekend post. I’ve been having some issues as well as just general laziness, so those are my excuses. They’re not good ones. But there they are.

I was decidedly unmotivated last month. I don’t know if that’s because I forgot to do a goal post, if I did a goal post and ignored it, or found that I just didn’t care because November was a month full of stress and depression for me. I did manage to win NaNoWriMo though. I barely squeaked by with 50,067 words, though if you look at the NaNo website it says 50,167. I heard from a lot of friends that the validator on the site added 100 words to their documents too.

So, here’s December’s goals –

  1. Get back on the weight loss train. – This is getting rather vital as I’ve gained back all the weight I lost and my health isn’t that great because of it. My end goal is 135-140 lbs, which is the “healthy weight” for a 5’3″ woman. At 40, this is going to take a lot longer to get rid of than if I was still in my 20s or 30s, but it is possible.
  2. Document more of my cooking adventures. – My ultimate end goal with a lot of my cooking adventures is to write a cookbook. I can’t do that if I don’t have pictures of the foods I’m preparing. So I need more pictures! I also need to be better about writing down the recipes I make up off the cuff so I can repeat them later if they’re popular.
  3. Finish the first draft of Into the Flames. – I want to be able to start the rewriting process for The Tiger’s Keeper (aka Tiger, Tiger) in January so it’s hopefully ready for publication by June. To do this, I need to get the second draft done and into shape for my beta readers.
  4. Try to get non-fiction posts up every weekend. – Yes, this is still the goal. It’ll continue being the goal even after Tiger, Tiger is done on my blog since you’ll be going back to the short little drabbles of fiction during the week, sometimes supplanted by my “slices of real life” posts as things happen.
  5. Focus some time on personal growth plans. – I have a lot of ideas for what I want to do to and for myself to become a better person. I really need to do this, as some of my less pleasant personality quirks are causing issues for people. So I’m going to be addressing at least one of those this month.

I think this should be enough for me to get through December. We’ll see how everything goes in January. I hope you all have a great weekend and we’ll see you tomorrow!

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The beginning of the rainy season

This is the view from my back deck. The left one is across the river. The right one is directly to the left. As you can see, the river is quite high. Usually there’s a lot more room between the edge of the river bank and the river. Now, there’s another 3+ feet before it even comes close to reaching the deck, but it’s still something we all pay attention to starting around this time of year.

Why this time of year? Well, here on our part of the Oregon Coast, this is the real beginning of fall – the start of the rainy season. Fall and winter are often gray with long patches of rain. Last year we went two months solid where we had maybe five days total of sun. It gets rather depressing at times.

So fall and winter I spend more time playing Sims 4 than writing, which is a big problem for me since I want to publish Tiger, Tiger next spring and Into the Flames next fall. (Yes, I’m ambitious.) So I need to buckle down and get to work.

So here we go on a writing adventure! I plan on writing in the mornings and giving myself permission to play Sims 4 later in the day. I figure that will give me my writing as well as my relaxation.

Let the writing commence!

It’s that time of year again!

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Every year since I discovered it back in 2003, I’ve at least attempted to write a minimum of 50k words in 30 days in November for NaNoWriMo – or National Novel Writing Month. It’s actually international, but NaNoWriMo works better for an acronym. 🙂

For those that don’t know anything about this fun – though stressful – event, it starts at midnight on November 1st and runs to 11:59 PM (in your time zone for both of those) November 30th. You have 30 days to write 50,000 words. Not an insurmountable task, but it can be difficult if you don’t schedule out the time to do it.

As I said, I’ve been doing it since 2003. Guess what, I didn’t finish in 2003. Hell, I barely got a week in. Of course, 2003 is also the year my oldest daughter was born, so you can kind of guess why I didn’t get my 50k that year. XD

I’ve “lost” six of the past fourteen years I’ve participated. I only say “lost” because I didn’t manage to write the 50k words required to get the cute little certificate you can print out. I actually won because I wrote words in November, more words than I’d had to begin with.

I’ve set up this year’s project on the site, but I’m not sure yet if I’ll actually participate. Tiger, Tiger is far more complex than I thought it would be and I don’t know if I’ll finish by the end of October. I hope so, because I’d love to participate in NaNo this year. I started last year, but other deadlines took me out of the running for the validation check mark.

There are official rules to follow, but you can throw them out the window and do just about anything you want, though counting what you wrote before November 1st is still considered “cheating.” You’d just be cheating yourself by not being honest, but it’s still not considered the thing to do.

There’s a program – called the Young Writers’ Program – for children and teens. There are many schools all across the world who use it to promote learning, creativity, and writing skills. It’s actually a very interesting program and you can learn more about it by going through the main NaNo site.

You have forums where you can ask questions, visit with people writing in your genre, talk to people in your own age group, and play little time wasting games when you should be writing. You can discover so many new and different things too. It’s just a lot of fun.

I’m sharing the link to my profile, just so you can see what a NaNoWriMo profile looks like – and so if you decide you want to join up you can become one of my “writing buddies” there. 😉

NaNoWriMo can be a lot of fun, and if you’re curious or just want to challenge yourself, come give it a try. Here I am!

Tiger, Tiger – an explanation

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Photo via VisualHunt.com

Hi everyone!

Yes, I know. I don’t usually post on weekends. But I’m sure you’ve all noticed my blog has been consumed by the story Tiger, Tiger. There’s a reason for that.

I’m attempting something that’s been done before, but I don’t really care. I’m doing it in my own style – I’m attempting to post a novella/novel on my blog. You’re getting it in small chunks as I progress through the story.

It’s going to be a little boring in places, and I’m sorry for that. You’re getting the first draft, as you do with just about everything I post here. My plans are to edit/revise/rewrite it and then post it for free on Smashwords in its entirety (since it’s already been up for free on my blog – I’m not going to charge people for it).

I just thought this would be a fun exercise. If you don’t want to read Tiger, Tiger, then just ignore the Monday through Friday posts. I’ll be posting on the weekends as well now. I won’t be doing my usual drabbles. I don’t want to deal with the hassle of trying to come up with something that takes me out of the universe of my current story, entering somewhere else, and then having to try to go back in.

What I will do is post some non-fiction posts. Some random recipes, some discussions on what’s going on in my life, fun things I find on the web, things like that. So there is a break from the story to give you guys a rest once in a while.

If you have any topics you’d like me to cover, leave me a comment. If you want to complain about Tiger, Tiger, feel free. But be warned I’m probably going to ignore you unless it’s a suggestion on how to fix areas in revisions. Then I’ll make a note of your comment and continue on.

I love you all. Thank you for following me, hanging out, and enjoying my stories. It means a lot to me. Now…off to get Manas and Lilavati into even more trouble!

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Goal Post August 2018

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(Photo taken by me of a flowering tree in our yard – no clue what it is though.)

Hi everyone! Racing the Wind will be back tomorrow since you’re all interested (I hope) in the outcome of the contests between Eridan and Angharad. But as this is August 1st, it’s time for the goal post. Yay!

Let’s look at last month’s goals and see how I did. *cringe*

I will blog every weekday, unless there is something going on. If there is, I’ll post a brief explanation of my missed days on the weekend. This way I don’t have to try to get a full post up on the weekends, which oddly enough can be even busier on the farm than the weekdays.

Okay, so this one didn’t exactly turn out like I hoped. Not only did I NOT blog every weekday, I also didn’t post my brief updates on the weekends. *sigh* I’m going to get this blogging thing figured out eventually.

I’m going to post a vlog once a week, a gaming video at least once a week, and do a stream at least once a week. I need to get my digital presence back up and moving.

So, no vlogs, but there’s a reason for that. My phone has been giving me fits for the past month and within the last week or so it has finally crapped out. I can barely make phone calls on it. I can’t record videos and upload them to YouTube since I can’t connect to our wi-fi and I’m not using data (it’s expensive through my phone provider)…if I could even get a signal. Our house doesn’t lend itself for getting any kind of signal. The gaming videos are picking up, though for a while I couldn’t even bring myself to do them. I’ve got a bunch recorded and I’m posting them every day so far. I’m going to do more as I can and keep scheduling them out as far as I can. I managed my first stream last Saturday at 7:30 PM PDT. I’m rather proud of myself on that one. I haven’t touched my Twitch account in months.

I am going to start being more active on Twitter, since I’ve all but vanished off of it lately. It doesn’t do me much good to ignore a good social media platform if I plan on developing relationships with friends and finding fans.

I started this at the beginning of the month. I really did. And then…….I kinda quit. Facebook is much easier to engage with people on. Conversations happen much quicker and it’s easier to follow them.

I’m going to finish chapter 3 in Into the Flames and at the very least start chapter 4. If I finish it, that’ll be a bonus. But I at least want to get it started.

Well I did that. Then I scrapped that whole version and started over with the book. My characters gave a new shiny idea for their story that fits with their personalities better. So we’ll see how this one goes. I have reached chapter 2 with it, so I’m having fun.

I will do 20 minutes of yoga every day and go for a walk at least three times a week. My goal is to get down to 200 lbs by the end of the year (I’m at 240 lbs right now), so I need to get my ass in gear and get moving.

*sigh*

I don’t even want to talk about this one. Not only have I NOT done any yoga, but I’ve gone on maybe three walks the entire month of July. I’ve also regained 10 lbs, so I’m up around 250 again. I doubt I’ll get down to 200 lbs by the end of the year now, since a healthy weight loss is around 8 lbs a month. I just fell off the bandwagon.

So…THIS month’s goals.

1. Blog every weekday. If I miss a day, oh well. Life happens. Shrug it off and move on. Also on Fridays post a goal update so I can hold myself accountable. (I’m lazy and this should be a good motivation for me. Though I may not get one posted on the 4th…that’s our big grocery trip into Salem. If I do get one done, it won’t be until late in the afternoon/evening.)

2. Get back on Twitter for an hour every day and limit my Facebook time to one hour a day. I seriously spend way too much time on Facebook, and that cuts into my work time. So I’m going to see if I can cut back on all my time wasters.

3. Continue working on Into the Flames. No set chapter goal this month. This is a whole new story to me with the same characters so I’m working slowly to make sure I get everything down. Of course, this is a first draft so it’s definitely not perfect. We’ll have to see if I continue liking it or if I’m going back to the other version.

4. Vlog once a week, post YouTube videos weekly (daily if possible), and stream every week (if possible). My phone problem will be solved (hopefully) on Wednesday. A kind friend (from Facebook XD) is mailing me her husband’s Nexus 5. He upgraded and it was never used that much anyway. So as soon as it gets here I’ll get a vlog up. My weekly streams are tentatively scheduled from 7:30 PM PDT to 8:30 PM PDT on Saturday nights. It may change, I may add more. I don’t know yet. We’ll have to see.

5. 20 minutes of yoga every day, one walk every day, and whatever other physical activity I can get in. Also, cut back on my food portions and cut out soda completely. I sit too much on my butt at my computer. I know it. I need to get out and do more physical activity since that’s one of the contributing factors to my weight. I also eat too much. I know this too. So I’m going to cut my portion sizes down. I also have to cut soda out completely. I keep saying I’m going to do it, and then I go and buy a 1 liter Mountain Dew when I’m depressed. I’m going to force myself not to do that because going cold turkey is the only way I’m going to stop myself from drinking it.

So that’s it for today’s post and this month’s goals. Anyone want to take bets on how much of this I’m going to actually accomplish? *grin* I am DETERMINED TO SUCCEED!!!!!!!!!

Rewrite hell…but I’m having fun!!!

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So…I think I’m making more work for myself with Into the Flames now.

While I was working on baking snickerdoodles this morning (this was at 4:30 AM, mind you) I let my mind wander. I’ve been struggling with the rewrite, finding the characters stiff and not willing to comply with what I’m trying to get them to do. They’re resisting like nothing else and since I’m a pantser, uncooperative characters make it really difficult to do anything.

As far as I’m concerned, Fury & Co. are sadistic assholes. They’re demanding several new major plot points (and one character is asking me to write her out and put a new character in – she could have her own book in the series, she’s so fascinating to me) which would require so many character changes, plot detail changes, and massive dialogue changes that it would take forever to get it done.

The current rewrite is only 5 chapters in, so it’s not like I’d lose that much – just around 30k words. Given that this thing is over 400k right now, that’s not a bad thing. And if it improves the story, it’s not such a bad idea. But what if it is a bad idea? What if my characters are guiding me down the wrong path?

I save all my drafts. No matter how many I make, I save them. I have emailed copies of each version in my sent folder (I email them to my husband, who stores them in a folder on his email as a form of backup for me) as well as storing them in Google drive. As soon as I figure out where it went (again) I’ll be saving them on a thumb drive too. So if this doesn’t work I won’t lose everything I’ve already done and can pick up where I’m leaving off.

But what if I don’t want to? What if I like the new version? Well then, we’ll go from there. Let’s see what happens. Fury and Kuen haven’t done much to lead me astray so far. We’ve had some instances where I’ve had to pester them until I got the whole situation from them, but we’ll see what happens.

*waves and wanders off to do farm work and some writing*