Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

Wow, two posts in two days. See I do write when I'm stressed. Actually I was looking for the date that Jim quit his job last year and thought it might be in my blog, but no luck. So what I thought I'd comment on was my two new years resolutions for 2007 and see how I did.

1- Be healthier at the end of 2007 than I am in the beginning. Steps to include limiting worry, losing weight (at least 20 pounds this year), exercising 3-5 times weekly, limiting alcohol and sweets, and eating healthy foods, like fruits and veggies 3-5 day and 3 servings of dairy a day.

Well, I am healthier. The cancer is gone ( I hope) and I am feeling stronger by the day. I didn't realize how much chemo and radiation took out of me. So this goal of losing 20 pounds needs to be uped to 40 and put back on the list for 2008.

and 2-Write more! I have set up a writers notebook with a calendar and writing opportunities listed on each month. I have joined the Open Doors newsletter staff at work and had one article published. I think this will teach me more about real journalism processes. I have drafted a children's mystery story for the Highlights contest due this month. And I will pick one novel I've started to finish this year.

I had forgotten the reason I set up the notebook. I used it so much for doctor appointments and keeping myself on track with medications. But I had three Open Doors articles published and was asked to be co-editor for 2008.

I had one essay published in Grit. And I have one in the final consideration stage for a Chicken Soup book.

I mentioned I sent three chapters of a middle school book to Highlights for their scholorship contest and maybe I'll get the mystery story written for next month.

Finishing a novel, nope. But I have four good chapters and a theme/plot for my romance. Hunt Road is still just sitting there. And of course I started a new one based in Cambia which I actually wrote in yesterday.

The other project I will finish within the next three months (see a deadline, I can set them, I just have problems with the execution), is a story for True Confessions.

This one is still in my brain but not on paper or sent off. Funny I've been thinking about doing this for years. Just can't get it on paper.

Anyway, those are my focus goals. Of course, I set getting my budget under control (not totally in my court), increasing my pay at work and getting a promotion?
I have a pretty good budgeting system going. This month is a little off due to Christmas. Jim's on layoff so until he gets his first unemployment check I'll be a little freaky. I got a lot of tests completed (have three left), took the truck course and now am working on Senior. So I jumped my pay 5k in a year and a half.
So I think even with the breast cancer, I did pretty good on my focus goals for 2007. Now to reevaluate 2008. I know I want to write more and submit what I write. I made under $200 for writing in 2007, this year I want to make it four figures.
I want to get back in my health in 2008. Lose weight, start exercising, build muscle back.
As far as work, I want to make senior in the first quarter and have a promotion by the end of the year.
But I will be adding to those focus goals as I rethink them in the next week.
What are you doing for the next year?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

Well two days of my Christmas Holiday are gone already. Today seems to be packed with to do's as well. Jim's still not finished with his shopping. I have to make a salad for tomorrow. No desserts as everyone is on a diet. Maybe I'll make some cookies to send off to Alex.

I'm not writing. I'm dreaming a lot but not writing. It's like I sit down and all the ideas that I've had over the week just fall out of my head only to return while I'm driving the hour into work. I'm thinking about trying the switch to 4 10's. It would save me almost $50 a month in gas and a full day in driving a month. I wonder if I would be less tired and more available to write on Friday's.

JIm is on lay off until the first week of March. This should be interesting.

We have two upcoming dart weekends one in January in Sullivan MO and one in Springfield IL in February. Both should be fun and we should be able to win at least enough money to pay for the weekends. I'm hoping.

Friday night darts is really fun as I get to play with Jim every game. He's working with me on some of my strategy issues and I think it's helping, especially with my 01 game. We will play mixed cricket in February so we'll see what I've learned.

Merry Christmas to all.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Update from the cold

So, I sent off my Thanksgiving essay to an online contest. Didn't win. But I have one more essay done for possible submission later. I finished three chapters of my children's novel, Hannah Rides the Pony Express and sent it off with a scholarship application for the Highlights Convention next summer. Then I let someone from work read it. I was nervous about the comments but they were good. And then she said something else.

"I know you know how she travels in time and it was very effective when I read it, and I don't want you to tell me, but it got me thinking how is she going to get back."

Now as much as I loved the comment about Hannah's move to the 1860's was effective and believable, it got me worried since I don't have this whole story in my head and frankly I'm not quite sure how she gets back. But this friend thought I did. Am I starting writing too soon before I plot out the story? Do I let my characters tell their own story too frequently? All I know is after we talked, I was excited to get back to Hannah in Martha's cabin and finish the story so I can find out how she finally gets back to her families vacation to Utah.

So it's the first week of December and I have a four day weekend at Christmas. Yea! We have darts this weekend and then I think we are done with darts except league until the first of the year when the traveling season starts. And it doesn't end until May!

So if I'm going to write at all today, I better get going.