Tough and thriving

Good news: I didn’t get sick. The OnGuard and Wellness Formula did the trick once again.

Knock on wood that it continues.

Yet, it was pointed out that I may have been what some may call “a little preachy” about my stance on health and wellness. What? No cigarettes? No alcohol? How can a person live?

My answer: how about a lot healthier!

Duh!

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Progress – September 3, 2018

I probably should have written this during the morning when I was all pumped up and ecstatic. I’m starting to feel that this is a Sunday routine for me where I start the day all excited and by the time I sit down to write this, I’m depressed as can be. Yes, honest moment there.

And yes, I often have to pick myself back up to write this blog.

There’s a big fly in my office and I wish it would die. I want it to get trapped in a spiderweb and become dinner for another species I don’t particularly like. Yeah, it’s that kind of depression day.

Maybe it’s the episode of Star Trek: TNG that I had on a little while ago. Maybe it’s just a cycle that I go through. Maybe I feel that I’m not as productive on Sundays as I wish I were and I imagine myself being during the rest of the week. Maybe it’s the story I’m writing that now has me emotionally tapped. Maybe I intuitively feel that I’m not doing something right in my life and this is when it tries to surface. Maybe I need more time off to recharge. Maybe I see all that needs to get done that I haven’t gotten to. Maybe I feel like this is a record of what I got done while I let other things in my life go by the wayside knowing I should be tackling these tasks too.

Yeah, this is how I feel on Sunday evenings. 

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Progress – August 20, 2018

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View while I’m walking of the college campus

While taking my lunchtime walks this week, I finished up listening to Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s audiobook, The Freelancer’s Survival Guide. It’s interesting to see how things have changed in the 5+ years since this book was written as posts on her blog, then published. While there were many good gems in this book (brilliant advise I wish I’d had ages ago and some that I will be delving into myself over the next few years), there was one thing that really struck me and I want to share.

Don’t make the words fancy. Translation into other languages translates the story, not the words.

These were my notes, so I’m certain I paraphrased for me to remember. So often, I know I try to strive for just the right sentence or word. All too often, I feel like I’m just using the same words over and over. Oh look, another THE. How about and AND. Yes, I’m oversimplifying here, but that’s how it feels some days. It’s if I’ve just taken every word I learned in first grade, probably when we were pasting words into the sentences on our sheets, thrown them into a bag and shook them, and now I take them out one by one and line them up all in a row just like I did then.

I remind myself that my purpose it to entertain with a good story, not fancy words. I don’t want to mire my readers in a deluge of words to get through. No slough for them to cut through. 

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Children’s Book Progress – January 19, 2018

More pages done this week. Here’s one of them:

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I am currently over halfway done with the book. I think I have eleven pages left to complete, with four of them needing the rough sketches done. I’m hoping I can get those completed this weekend, but I recall that there was a reason I stopped doing the thumbnail sketches with these last four pages undone. It was probably fear — if I had finished the pages, then I would have had to get to inking and coloring. But now that I’ve been doing just that and have over half the book completed, I hope that I can push through to the finish. I’m excited to get started on my next kids’ book too.

Comics? Ummm, you mean like getting back to Weblinks and Rockin’ Life? Those other projects I’ve started and worked on sporadically.  Um, you mean like working on those too? Okay, yes, I hope I can do that too. I thought I might try rotating my morning time between these three things: kids’ books, Weblinks, and Rockin’ Life — when I finish with this book. I don’t know how my child artist self will handle that (probably happily — she’s already been struggling with focusing on this one project, but  COLORING ! That’s always good for her). So yes, I figure by mid-February, I’ll be done with this project and seeing what hack I can do that that I can keep this up with consistency.

Stay tuned this weekend for some paintings!

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Progress – 2017 official report

I have finally gotten caught up on sleep and my word count for the last two weeks of 2017. As promised, I’m ready to give my official wrap-up of 2017.

Fiction words written in the last week of December: 1,747 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  175 words

Writing month to date total:  18,228 words – this does have some words scattered through the middle of December that I had written but not logged (or those ones I’d referenced that I’d dictated but not transcribed — I went back and placed them on the actual day for a more accurate count.

Drawing/painting last week: I spent 4 hours working on my kids’ book.

Audio: I spent 4 hours recording and editing audio.

So how did the year turn out overall?

Writing year to date total: 373,833 words. I don’t know if I mentioned it anywhere along the way, but my writing goal for 2017 had been to do 500,000 words. I knew that writing half a million words would be a stretch when I started, but I wanted something that would push me. By October, I was hoping to get to 400,000 words at least. I fell short of that too, but I still averaged over 31,000 each month so I think that’s pretty spectacular, especially all considering what happened in 2017. Talk about failing forward. I honestly think that having this huge goal kept me focused and in my habit of writing when my dad died. Without it, I would have stopped writing any probably wouldn’t have gotten back to it yet. It would be the middle of 2018 probably before I thought about writing again.

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Progress – October 16, 2017

I spent a majority of my time last week getting up publications for October and November dates. Not everything is in place yet, so I don’t want to say too much, but very soon. Hopefully this week.

I’ve also spend some time playing around in Adobe Audition this week. I’ve been teaching myself how to use the multi-track feature. I think it’ll make everything more level in my recordings. Maybe give me some good options for the voice work too. I’m looking forward to learning more.

I also took Saturday off to go to Pocatello for the marching band competition and to watch my son perform. Between driving and sitting all day, I was exhausted on Sunday,

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Progress – 08/21/17

Happy eclipse day! If you are somewhere with a good viewing position, please stay safe and sane out there. All of your senses are worth taking care of.

Fiction words written last week: 8,535 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  3,956 words

Writing month to date total: 22,107 words

Writing year to date total: 248,536 words. I am less than 2,000 words short of my word goal that I had set for last year (250,000), which means I’m about 12,000 behind what I actually accomplished for last year (260,108). If I have another good week like this last one, I’ll hit it next week. I’m still far off on my word goal for this year — I’m not sure I’ll make it, but one never knows. Maybe I’ll really buckle over the rest of the year and knock it out of the park!

Drawing/painting last week: 5 5″x7″ paintings completed (175 square inches) and I got started on two larger pieces. I spent about 6 hours painting, maybe a bit more.

Audio: I spent 5 hours recording and editing audio.

Week’s happenings: I hit my streak again for 6 out of 7 days for the word goal. Saturday I spent doing business related tasks, so I didn’t quite meet my word goals on that day. However, I did meet my word goal for the week, so I’m on a streak of 1 week

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Hope versus intent – which do you have?

I realized that “my last post” mentioned in my last post didn’t post! Confused? Yeah, me too. Technology is great until it doesn’t work correctly. Strangely enough, my scheduler still showed it as scheduled. Weird!

Anyway, without further delay, here’s the post that should have come before the last one.

Do you hope that your dreams come true, or you do you intend to make them come true? Does this seem like the same question, or do you see the difference?

Hope is a wish waiting for the fairy godmother to grant it. Intent is the decision to do it. You can either want to be an artist (hope) or you can be an artist (intent). You can either want to write a book, paint a picture, make a clay scultpture, lose the weight, whatever, or you can go forth and write, paint, sculpt, exercise, whatever.

The fear that comes from that boundary between “want to be” and “doing” seems like a 100 foot drop off a cliff. I am hear to tell you that it isn’t. There is a glass floor that you can’t see. The drop is only 2 inches. But you have to make that leap of faith forward and go from hope to intent.

Don’t just intend to commit!

Commit.

Seth Godin recently wrote a blog about commitment. Very insightful, so I thought I’d share it. Especially following my last blog about intent (update: due to issues, this did actually come out on schedule- it will be released tomorrow, I hope!). My “intent” is his “commit.” I especially liked his last line.

To me, this makes a lot of sense. In fact, I’m currently listening to Chris Oatley’s ArtCast where he talks about goal setting (or not) in the new year. He talks about not setting goals, but rather deciding on what projects to finish.

I’m joining the band wagon. Don’t just make a plan to get more done (and this isn’t a once a year kind of thing either – I believe this to be ongoing). Don’t weight yourself down with guilt you don’t need. Don’t stress because you want to be better and therefore you get nothing done while waiting to be better. Set up a project, something you’ve really wanted to get done and commit to doing it. Have a deadline if you really want to push yourself. I have a publication date in mind for Sacred Knight book 2. I even have a schedule of milestone completion dates that I’d like to hit. I’m afraid I’m going to miss the first milestone date because it’s coming up far too quickly! Am I worried? No, not really. I will have to make it up somewhere, but I know my main commitment is to the publication date. I see the steady progress I’m making. Even I’d I took some time off to work on another project or because life happened, I wouldn’t panic. I am committed to making the project. It is, as Seth Godin would put it, my project I’m going to ship. I don’t need more of a plan. I don’t need to write 10 pages a day or bust. I just need to commit to ship!

So what projects are you going to commit to this year? What will you ship?