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Monday, August 8, 2011

August Goals

I promise you that I have not been hiding or trying to avoid posting to this page; honestly, I've just been busy. Yes we are back to that same old record, but it's the truth, and I am sticking to it. 

This month is a month where I have to set goals and stay on top of them. It is imperative at this point. Thankfully Chris has set up CEDA 2 (Create Every Day in August) (It was originally April and since August also starts with 'A'... Check out Chris's blog for the details). And suggested this fabulous challenge from Laurie Halse Anderson prompting us as writers to commit to writing for 15 minutes everyday in August. Together I think these two items will help me reach my goals for the month. Chris I am on board and will you all the way!

My goals for the month are simple - finish revising my MFA Thesis (my current WIP), meet my monthly freelance writing goals (I have them set in the individual Excel Sheets where I keep track of my time and earnings = too boring to share them here), work with Chris on our co-writing projects, and come out alive at the end of the month. That's it.

So, Chris, thank you for deciding to do CEDA again this month. I look forward to a month of healthy productivity.

Friday, June 24, 2011

So It's Finally Friday!

I made it through the week! OK that in and of itself is a relatively small accomplishment. However, I feel like celebrating, so I am; sort of. I'm working while watching TV that I have had recorded for months (this also serves the alternative purpose of making room on the DVR for additional recordings that I will wait months to watch), drinking a favored diet beverage of old, despite the unwelcome side effects that my body produces as a result of this consumption and taking a moment to publish a new post. In this case, I'm willing to endure the pain and suffering of the soda. ;)

So, how about you, you also made it through the week, what are you doing to reward yourself?

Now I must get back to work. Have a fantastic weekend.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Taking Action - Day 2

Ok, so maybe it is more like day one as yesterday was more preparation than action, but you get the idea. So far, today has been relatively productive. There are still plenty of items on my to-do list, but I feel motivated to hack away at them. I hope it's not just the coffee...

Have you ever found yourself wondering about your motivations? Lately, I've been pondering the notion of how my desire and often need to get certain projects started and then completed never quite seems to match up with the time I have available to get them done. I started taking a look at my activities and I have found that if I really want to get ahead of the game, then I need to be more diligent about my hourly activities. After all, I only have 24 of them to spend each day.

A friend I have only met virtually, @viviborne (Vivi's Blog) suggested taking life in two-hour blocks of time. I have found that it really does make a difference. Focusing on two hours versus 24 gives you a better perspective on what needs to be done in a more manageable chunks of activity. I have found that my tendency to focus on the big picture has left me overwhelmed and unmotivated. The big picture presented itself as a looming impossibility rather than something within my sphere of control. So I adopted Vivi's time management technique and started working on getting more accomplished in the 24 hours I have to spend. At least in theory.

The actual implementation of this practice has proven difficult. I found my family didn't really want to adhere to a time schedule, especially during the summer, and children under the age of 5 are neither predictable nor able to be placed into a rigid schedule. So, I have needed to be flexible, largely keeping my hidden time management to myself sneaking it in here and there as best I could.

The long and short of it is, as per my post yesterday, I have spent a majority of the hours waiting for my life to settle down, waiting for my children to allow me the time to work, waiting for the right moment to begin without ever actually beginning. That ceased being the case yesterday.

I have to say that I haven't been rigid in my scheduling today, but I have at least been working, I mean really working to the best of my abilities. It is in reality all I can do. Recognizing this fact, I have gained a greater sense of sanity. I can be a hard taskmaster and I am often toughest on myself. I've decided to give myself a break, to cut me some slack and like in the rest of the working world, this boost of morale has resulted in greater productivity.

So, my challenge to you is this: How do you spend your time? What do you want out of life? Do you have a plan to make your desires and dreams a reality? Maybe it's time to start...

Monday, June 20, 2011

To Pass the Time Away

Ok, so it has been far too long since I have published a post. However, in my defense, I'd like to say, I've been busy. I know, I hear you. You've been busy too. I didn't say it was a good defense. So, you might ask, with what have you been busy? Well there is a lot to that answer, but to summarize...

My Busy List

1) Children.
2) Writing
3) Working
4) Cleaning
5) Thinking
6) Visiting
7) Errands. The never-ending-frustrating-to-a-point-past-exhaustion errands!
8) Listening
9) Creating
10) Cooking
11) Thinking. (It takes a lot of time to think about the things that I think about, trust me, I know.)
12) Revising
13) Reading
14) Watching
15) Planting
16) Driving to nowhere in particular.
17) Seeing
18) Washing
19) Watering
20) Waiting

That last one has perhaps consumed the largest quantity of time. Waiting. We spend so much of our lives waiting for something to happen. Wishing that it would happen faster. Hoping that it will happen. Pleading for it to happen in our way in our time - exactly how and when we want it to happen.

I have decided that today is the day that I stop waiting and start doing. The time has come for action. So I'm finding my bootstraps, giving them a good tug and marching onward!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A New Month - Time For April Showers

We made it to the mad, mad month of March. Thanks to Denise Jaden and crew for the March Madness Writing Challenge for an awesome month of setting goals and working together to achieve them. But just because the month of March has come to an end, our writing and goal setting needn't end as well. We all have personal goals that we have set, and Denise Jaden has extended the invitation to continue to check in at her blog on Mondays throughout the month of April. As we all know, anything that we are working toward is easier to do when you don't feel like you are left alone out in the cold dark night. Having a like-minded community to share your successes, your set backs, and your stresses with helps us all continue on the path toward reaching our goals. Thank you again Denise for encouraging us to continue working with one another.

There are so many ways that we can work together. The internet is full of chat cafes, blog-speheres, community forums, twitter feeds, facebook pages... The list could go on forever. It is important to find a group that fits your style and work together to hold each other accountable and keep each other encouraged and motivated. That is why I am working with Chris this month and beyond to co-write a screenplay for Script Frenzy. The motivation behind  Script Frenzy, like National Novel Writing Month in November, is to get kids and adults writing. The idea is to get behind an premise and simply work on it. Chris has come up with an AWESOME notion that she has titled CEDA. Chris has defined CEDA as Create Every Day in April. In her post she outlines the whys and wherefores, I suggest that you give it a read. It's an awesome idea, and I am 150% behind it. While we are not ready to extend it to a larger community, please don't let that stop you from finding a place to call home. Find a creative partner, a buddy, a community of like-minded individuals and go CREATE SOMETHING every day in April.

As for April showers, I am looking for the rain to gently wash away the snow and make everything fresh and green again. Metaphorically, I am certain that the showers of ideas that will aide me as I work through my goals for the month will help bring about the blooms of May flowers of completed (or growing) works in progress.

I will post my goals for CEDA and for Script Frenzy here in a later post. If you want to know more about my thoughts on either of these, please check back soon or check out my comment over at Chris's Blog.

What are you doing in the month of April? Do you have goals for the month? Are you the type of person who sets goals? Not a goal-setter, how do you feel about the month of April? Is spring in the air? Or are you ready for the rain to wash away the mud and grime and bring us one month closer to summer?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So, I've Been Thinking...

See, there I go again. I'm getting distracted by my thoughts. I can't help myself though, it's what makes me human. It's also what makes you human... No, not my thoughts. Yours... Oh, you get the idea.

Anyway, I have been trying out new ways to link together all of my profiles, all of my thoughts, all of my social arenas in one place. I've found a few, I'm not ready to move into any of them just yet. So, I was wondering if you have any one place that you log into where you can check it all and keep tabs on it all without having to open several windows at once. I think this is the new equivalent to trying to be in more than one place at the same time. It doesn't work in reality and it isn't working here. It is driving me and my computer insane. (Don't worry, it was a short trip for both of us.)

Please let me know if you have found a way to connect it all. Who knows, maybe we'll be neighbors soon.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Biggest Distraction=My Thoughts!

Now that the morning coffee is beginning to sink in, I find my self pondering… well, just pondering. I’ve been thinking, admittedly too much, about motivations, distractions, mental road blocks, and life in general. With everything going on out there in the real world, it is hard not to take it all in and internalize the significance of it all, at least for me. (I hope I am not alone)

Lately, I’ve been internalizing the global tumultuous forces, both human and those exhibited by forces of nature. I have to admit, that I whine, I complain and I outright throw tantrums at times over circumstances in my life that in reality I suspect that I really have no business fretting about in the first place. After all, how many people are there that would gladly take my place; that would love to have my problems. In reality, I have it pretty good; I’m sitting here writing this in my easy chair, on my laptop, connected to the world via my wireless internet system. I have a roof over my head, a roof that we own (or are actively pursuing ownership of). I have a family who loves and supports me. I have friends who have helped me create a network of support. Yet, I have the audacity to complain, and sometimes, to feel sorry for myself.

Then after all of this pondering I remember that we are all individuals, we are all unique, and just as we can be motivated by the success of others, we can also be motivated by our individuality. We all have different circumstances, and we cannot individually solve all the world’s ills. Collectively, it’s certainly worth the effort, we can each do our part. We can offer support, offer aide and do the best that we can with what we are given. Being sensitive to the needs of others, we can help make this world a better place - one person/circumstance at a time.

My heart goes out to everyone in Japan affected by the recent forces of nature and subsequent breakdown of man-made resources. I feel for the people of Libya, and Egypt. I pray for those involved in military strategies. (Read Mark Twain’s [a little background info] War Prayer.) However, I have to move on; it is what must be done. I am not an activist, I am not sure I could/or should be; there are other people better suited for the role, but I will do my part. I will do whatever I can to help out when help is needed. I am not a superhero, although there are times that I try.

So, I think, I ponder. While the act of thinking may be dangerous, we all do it, and must be allowed to do so. With that being said, I now find myself wandering. I must put aside my musings, and return to the work at hand; I must set down my distractions and press on toward my personal goals. It’s what we all do, it’s how we survive.

For fear of endorsing something I would not otherwise endorse, I leave you with this: If, having read my post, you feel motivated to do something, to make a donation; then by all means seek out the appropriate avenue to do so. If, you feel like commenting, please share your thoughts.

Do you ever find yourself... distracted?

Having spent the morning thinking, I’d call it productive pondering, but that may be a tad on the dishonest side. Any how, I know that I must put aside the distractions, even the ones in my head, in order to be productive. Yet I persist in the pontificating. In my last post, I asked you to share what motivated you. Today, I ask you to share your distractions. Maybe by sharing them we can work together to avoid them and work toward more productive uses of our time. Until then, I’ll do the best I can to put my thoughts in a box and save them for a rainy day. ;) 

Friday, March 11, 2011

What Motivates You?

Earlier this week I had to reset my goals for March Madness. No, it’s not basketball. I actually know so very little about basketball, other than watching Son #1 play, that I can guarantee that I will not likely be writing about it anytime soon; unless it is about Son #1 activities. Getting to the point, a friend of mine suggested that I check out Denise Jaden’s blog and the March Madness Challenge. The basic premise of March Madness is that we set our book-related goals for the month the intent being that we work in an online community of like-minded individuals checking in each day Monday through Friday at a different colleague’s blog site, tell each other how we are progressing, share areas where we need help or may have fallen short, and support each other through to completing our goals. It’s such a brilliant idea, I have to admit that I am a bit jealous that I didn’t think of it; but I didn’t Denise did, and she and her colleagues get the credit they deserve. Whether you are a writer or not, this is a group worth following, they are, in order of check in day: Denise Jaden, Shana Silver, Angelina C. Hansen, Shari Green, and Craig Pirrall. I recently They are worth the read, they are all very inspiring.

At today’s check in, Craig Pirrall encouraged us to take a look at our goals and our motivation. He shared the notion that when we see a great work of art, we often fall into one of two groups. Group One: Wow, I think I can do that as well! Group Two: There’s no way I can do that! (I paraphrased a bit). Thankfully, residence in Group Two is often temporary, and we find a way to pick ourselves up and move on toward our goal.

In response to Craig’s blog, today’s check-in, I find that I have a strong tendency to waffle between the two groups. Brilliant works of art inspire me. I see them and say “Wow! Maybe I CAN!”  I remind myself of the fact that some of the greatest artists of various sorts were not necessarily recognized in their time, yet they pressed on, they kept at it, they DIDN'T GIVE UP! And I won't either! Then there are the days where I look at the same work of art and I tell myself, “No way! No matter how hard I work, I will never be THAT good!” I will never be able to achieve so much as shred of the greatness of *insert name here*. Then after some ice cream, chocolate, fizzy beverage, cake, or any number of other guilty pleasures, I realize that there is a major difference between me and *insert name here*. I am NOT *insert name here* and no matter what I do, I can't be *insert name here* because we are two different people. I can work hard, I can be inspired by their success, but I will never do the things they do, because I am not them, we are two separate people. We are all different, and it is through celebrating those differences that we achieve greatness. I am who I am. I can’t be *insert name here*, and I can’t be you. I pick myself up, get back on track, and set to work making me the best me that I can be. I will do the best I can. Who knows, maybe someday, someone will look at me and say, "Wow, look what they did, I can do it too!" or "Wow, I could never be that good!" The truth of the matter is that we are all human, and yes, no matter who you are you CAN do what you put your mind to achieve. The up side of being human is that we can imagine what we will become; the down side of being human is that we can let that the idea of that image control who we become rather than realizing that we are in control of our future. Our inspirations, our motivations, our goals change as we grow. We keep on keeping on.

Thank you for reading. If you have a minute, tell me about what motivates you. What are your inspirations? What keeps you going each day?

What keeps me going each day is the AWESOME support network that I have both here in the real world and in the online virtual world. We are a team. In honor of the season of basketball – GO TEAM!

Monday, February 28, 2011

How Do You Sleep at Night?

You lay there with the events of the day unwinding in your head. Slipping in silently is tomorrow's to-do list. Floating around, sometimes hovering are the appointments and the deadlines for the rest of the week that simply MUST be kept. Amidst all of this, you are supposed to relax and fall asleep. Yeah, right; not me. I can keep it going for hours.

There are people I know who are fortunate enough to fall asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow. I am not one of those fortunate few. Awestruck, I ask myself how they do it, but that leads to more pondering and less sleep.

So, I ask you this: what do you do to unwind? How do you sleep at night?

Starting a Conversation

It is always difficult to start a new relationship. There are always intentions, aspirations and expectations that get in the way. I have found that the best way to begin any relationship is with a clean slate. That is easier said than done, I know, but I want this start off fresh.

That being said, I'll begin by telling you a little about myself. I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone else and what they didn't know they assumed. I went to college and completed a BA in Speech Communication. I like to write, I like to read, and I love getting to know new people. So that brings me to my intentions with this blog. My intent is that we (the greater we) will actually have a conversation.

I believe that a lot of what is wrong with the world today begins with the fact that as a global society we just don't talk any more. We have adhered to technology and feel like we are communicating, but we miss the fact that we are in fact not saying anything at all. Therefore, I think that it is about time that we put that technology to use and we START talking. START communicating. It is my expectation that if we start here, we can spill the conversation over into our real lives and we will resume a conversation with our loved ones that involves sitting down together, picking up the phone to TALK not to text, email, send a picture a comment or whatever else it is we do on the devices we call phones, send an actual letter... you get the idea.

I know this is short, but beginnings often are. I'll start. Hello, how are you? Who are you? Let's get to know one another. Is there something on your mind that you would like to share? Spill it. Share it. Let's talk about it. I won't judge and I don't bite, and I won't let any one else do so either.