April 13 2017

Quarterly Goals Checkin

Back in January, I told you all about my 2017 SMART Goals.

Well somehow the first quarter of the year has come and gone and it is time to see how those goals are coming along.

Here are the goals I set at the beginning of the year:

1) Do a cabin weekend  DONE!
2) April trip (on track)
3) Annual Hockey Trip for the kids’ birthdays (not scheduled yet)

1) Get 6 hours of sleep a night (Getting Better)
2) Drink 6 cups of water a day (Fairly Consistent)
3) Continue using MyFitnessPal app (Ok, so I only enter my weight each day)

1) Clean out my home office (Not much progress)
2) Declutter the landing  DONE!
3) Declutter my clothes (1st pass done)

1) Do some genealogy
2) Take three writing classes  DONE!
3) Read for thirty minutes a day  (Fairly Consistent)

1) Pray daily  (Fairly Consistent)
2) Read 15 inspirational fiction books (4 read so far, so on track)
3) Crochet 26 hats to donate to charity (17 of 26 done)

Do you want to see photos? Let me know if you want to see photos of the hats I have made so far in the comments below. If more than 10 people show and interest, I will post pictures.

1) Finish one of my previous NaNoWriMo novels (working on edits and revisions during April)
2) Publish something (see writing goal #1 above)
3) Participate in NaNoWriMo (and hopefully win again)

How do you tackle making sure your goals get done each year? Do you schedule them into your monthly goals and then further yet into weekly goals? How does that work for you? I know I am finding that editing and revisions to my 2016 NaNo Novel have been even more difficult than I originally expected. I have amazed myself how far I have gotten on the crochet hats goal, but I attribute the success to getting a jump on it while at the cabin over New Year’s weekend.

How are you doing on your goals for 2017? You haven’t given up already, have you? I sure hope not, we still have nearly 3/4 of the year to get them done.

March 31 2017

Fear of Finishing

I have only recently figured out that a good part of the reason I have yet to finish one of my novels is because if I finish the first draft, I will actually have to figure out how to edit the thing. Now one would think that knowing this is an issue would be a big part of overcoming the fear and doing something to fix the problem. Yes, I am willing and able to admit it IS a problem.

I felt marginally better after hearing the keynote speaker at a recent writer’s conference acknowledge that it is a common problem among writers. He said it was kind of like while you are writing the book, writing is your job, so when you finish it is like losing your job or being fired. Once you finish the book, you have to tackle a new job, that of being an editor. Hopefully, an editor who will finish revising the first draft into something worth reading. It is a huge commitment.

So, now that it is almost April, it is time to figure out what project I want to tackle for Camp NaNoWriMo. The nice thing about camp is that you can choose your own goal and one of the things you can choose is to edit a previously written manuscript. So, I am planning to tackle overcoming the fear and seeing how much progress I can make on revising one or two of my partially written novels.

I have started/written six books in five different genres since November 1, 2013. Yes, I am still experimenting trying to figure out what works best for me. No, I still haven’t found my writing niche. I have written one book twice using just the characters and the basic ideas and setting from the first version of the book. I consider the second version to be the second draft. I know the first version I wrote is almost entirely crap because I had no idea at all how to plot or write fiction.

So I recently took the plunge and picked two of my books to print out, read through and revise during April. No, I don’t expect to get either one completely revised in the 30 days, but I want to have options. The options may be good for times when one of the books is just making me crazy and so I can switch to the other.

Book 1 is the first NaNoWriMo novel I wrote in November 2013 and the working title at this point is, “The Roller Coaster We Call Parenting”. It is creative non-fiction and basically a parenting memoir. When I compiled it I used only half inch margins so it printed out at 116 pages double spaced.

Book 2 is draft two of the novel I tried writing in November of 2014 and wrote the second draft of in November 2016. The novel is inspirational fiction mystery, has one-inch margins and printed out at 177 pages. It is the first of seven books planned in the Crafty Ladies Series, this one being “Marni’s Story”.

I chose these books because I feel like they might be in the best shape of any I have begun writing thus far and this alone might keep me focused on the revision process instead of giving up before I finish. In November 2015, I wrote “Lu Ann’s Story” another book in the Crafty Ladies Series, but this one was written as an inspirational fiction romance. During Camp NaNoWriMo in April 2016, I started writing an inspirational historical fiction novel, but only got about thirty thousand words into that one, so it is the least ready for revisions at this point. In case you are keeping track and realized that was only five books, I have also written a non-fiction book about how to use Excel. I have begun revising it and it doesn’t need that much more work so wasn’t enough to tackle for a Camp NaNoWriMo project. Maybe that can be option three and the one that actually makes me feel like I am getting something done if I finish the first round of revisions on it.

So my actual goal for April 2017 is to spend an hour a day or thirty hours total for the month reading through and revising one or both of the books I have printed out. I may also compile and print out the others just so I have them in case all the electronic backups somehow fail me. Oh man, that didn’t sound at all paranoid now, did it?

If any of you have any great tips, tricks or advice for how exactly one goes about revising a novel, PLEASE comment or email me and do share. I have read a few craft books on the topic, watched countless videos on YouTube by others who have done this, but still feel somewhat unprepared to actually tackle this job as editor. I do know enough to know they are a hot mess and nowhere near ready for anyone else’s eyes yet, so tackle them I will, because in 2017 I am doing everything I can to be FEARLESS.

February 17 2017

Bullet Journal – January Flip Through

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I originally began bullet journaling back in October 2016, but because I was using the Lime Green Leuchtturm1917 A5 Hardcover Lined Journal that I had on hand, I didn’t feel like I could really do the spreads right without having the dots or graph lines to help me. I did the best I could but in the back of my mind I kept telling myself that maybe I should/would treat myself to a dotted Leuchtturm1917 in Purple with Christmas money and start the new year fresh in a new journal. As it turns out my son somehow ordered exactly that for me as a gift so all I had to do was wait not so patiently for it to show up at my door. It came just in time to take it on our weekend cabin getaway over the new year.

I know how much I like seeing what other people choose to out in their permanently-bound bullet journals. The fact that it was important enough to use one of the pages in their journal means it is worth looking at in my opinion. So I thought maybe I would share mine too.

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February 15 2017

Karen’s Mugs and Stuff

Karen’s Mugs and Stuff


I need your help dear readers. I am trying a great experiment. I don’t known how it will turn out but I am trying it anyway.

I designed a bunch of sayings to put on coffee mugs and maybe eventually other things like T-shirts. Right now I have launched 5 designs. Two geared toward writers and three geared toward bullet journalers.

Here is where you come in. I need help getting the word out Continue reading

February 9 2017

Take A Chance on Me…

Is there something you have been thinking about doing, but just haven’t quite been willing to take the leap of faith and just do it? Come on, be honest! You know, that one thing you haven’t had the nerve to even tell anyone else you are thinking about doing. Maybe there are lots of things like that for you.

For me it was taking my blogging more seriously and to the next level. I had been quietly reading up on it and researching what it would involve, even making lists just in case, someday, I got up the nerve to act on the idea. Don’t get me wrong, I have a perfectly good blog site already and I have been making a concerted effort to post to it more regularly and more often. Checking the dates on the side bar will prove that while I have had this particular blog, (which is not my first or even my second blog) for a long while, I have been somewhat less than committed to posting to it regularly. Lately I have been adding one or two posts a week to it. At one point, it occurred to me that I could easily add Amazon affiliate links to my blog because I often mention specific products and most of the time those can be found readily on Amazon.

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