October 16 2017

Invite (Five Minute Friday)

The word this week is invite. So I would like to invite you, if you are reading this post, to take a minute to go back and read another post or two from my blog.

I would also like to invite you to write with me during the month of November when I am doing a new novel for NaNoWriMo.org. I would especially like to invite everyone to help hold me accountable to get my 1,667 words written each day and to strive to write even more so I can actually get to the finish of a new novel.

I would also invite you to check in with me about finishing up the office clean out. There isn’t a lot left to do except to deal with the stacks of paper that I never seem to have room for in the files and never know what to do with.

So, if any of you would like to accept this invitation to be writing accountability buddies, I would love it if you’d email me.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Invite
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

October 7 2017

Story (Five Minute Friday)

Who doesn’t love a good story? I know I do. I love to hear them and read them and I try really hard to write them. That is the reason I am spending the month of October writing prompts for 5 minutes each day. (To get in the habit of writing more regularly) I am also spending some time each day trying to absorb all I can about the craft of writing and the structure of stories.

I have a little over three weeks to get my story planning act together and come up with a really good outline so this year I can and will not only win NaNoWriMo but finish the book. You see while I have won the challenge for the last 4 Novembers in a row, I have never finished any of those stories, YET. I am still learning and practicing the craft of fiction writing and each year I feel like I get a little closer to being able to write a novel worthy of publishing.

I have made a tough decision this year to set aside the Crafty Ladies series of books that I have worked on for the past 3 years and see what I can do with a shiny new idea for a stand-alone novel. All new characters, new setting, new plot…I don’t have the details worked out yet, but I am working on it and I will get there. It is kind of a relief to just have to plan and write one novel this time.

So, if any of you have a great system for plotting a novel or a great book on the craft of fiction novel writing, I would love it if you’d share it in the comments below (or you can email me if you prefer to keep your advice private from the rest of the world who might someday stumble upon my little corner of the blogging world and read it).

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Story
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

September 29 2017

Depend (Five Minute Friday)

When I first read the word for the prompt this week, I wasn’t sure where to go with it. I have the words “You Can Depend On Me” running through my head, sung to the tune of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”. Either way, it made me think of God. Yes, I can depend on Him, but what else do I consider dependable?

I began thinking about the things I can depend on. Death, taxes, God, me writing another NaNoWriMo novel in November. It is a short list. So I dug a little deeper, hunger, thirst, dirty laundry, the need to do basic household chores, the changing of the seasons, the need for more sleep, inflation, that things will eventually wear out and need to be replaced, and that no matter how hard you try you will NEVER be able to make everyone happy.

What can YOU depend on?

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Depend
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

July 13 2017

2nd Quarter Goal Check-in

Way back in January, I shared my 2017 SMART Goals. Half the year is gone and it is time to see how I am doing on those goals. In the past, I have made goals, written them down, shared them with a group, and then forgotten all about them until the end of the year when it was time to make new goals for the coming year.

That system wasn’t working for me at all. Then only goals I got done were the ones that were accidental, never because I planned to get them done. Usually, when I found the list again, I was pleasantly surprised if I managed to get any of my goals accomplished. This year, I am trying something different and if you are reading this, I could really use your help. I need you to ask me about my goals and check in with me from time to time to see if I am getting them done. This is the piece that was missing in the past.

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

FAMILY FUN GOALS: (2/3)
1) Do a cabin weekend DONE!
2) April trip DONE!
3) Annual Hockey Trip for the kids’ birthdays (not scheduled yet)

FITNESS GOALS: (meh, but ongoing)
1) Get 6 hours of sleep a night (85/181 = 47%)
2) Drink 6 cups of water a day (142/181 = 78%)
3) Continue using MyFitnessPal app (180 day streak!)

HOUSE GOALS: (1/3)
1) Clean out my home office (Real progress on the parts that show)
2) Declutter the landing DONE!
3) Declutter my clothes (1st pass done)

PERSONAL GOALS: (1/3)
1) Do some genealogy (Does tidying up the paper files count?)
2) Take three writing classes DONE! (6 so far)
3) Read for thirty minutes a day (Consistent)  (47 books so far)

SPIRITUAL/CHARITY GOALS: (1/3)
1) Pray daily (Consistent & Constant)
2) Read 15 inspirational fiction books (9/15)
3) Crochet 26 hats to donate to charity DONE as of 7/8! Do you want to see photos?

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

OK, I know I am making progress. I have finished 5 out of the 18 goals I set! Two of those not done are not able to be done until a future date. Five goals are ongoing and cannot really be considered done as long as there are still days left in the year.

Editing and revisions to my 2016 NaNo Novel continue to be more difficult than I expected. The writing goals have proven to be much more difficult for me to feel like I am making progress on. I should have made a writing goal to write at least one blog post a week or 52 posts in the year would have been better. Becoming a year-round writer was one of my goals for 2014, 2015 and 2016. It took a long time and a concerted effort, but I am finally considering myself a year-round writer thanks to this blog. It gives me a reason to write and a place to post and the feeling of accountability and accomplishment.

I think the crochet goals was easily accomplished because it was reasonable. I think I made 30 hats last year and knew my carpel tunnel is getting worse, so I thought I would back off what I knew I had done last year. I chose 26 because making a hat every other week seemed completely doable. The reason for the early success is because we took driving trips over new years weekend and the trip in April, both of these gave me hours of riding in a car with hubby driving. I have discovered that keeping myself occupied while hubby drives keeps me from gasping in fear while he drives so I get a lot of crocheting done and even some reading. The reading goal is helped along because I take my nook with me to work each day and read for the 30-minute lunch break. It also comes along when we go to restaurants and on all trips. The best part about reading on my nook is that every book can be read with a large font if my eyes are tired and I can even read in the dark.

How are you doing on your goals for 2017? What have you learned about goal setting? I learned that I need to set more measurable goals and goals that are not ongoing. Those ongoing goals are nice enough, but unless you do them every day for the whole year you feel like you failed at least a little.