First Quarter Down

It’s hard to believe how fast this year is flying by. We just ended the first quarter already. It doesn’t seem like it was too long ago that we run in this year. Wow!

What’s in store for me this coming quarter? Creating, writing, and more reorganizing. I’m also toying withy the idea of returning to Toastmasters. I’ve been to a few meetings this year and they’ve also got some big changes coming.

2018 is proving to be an intense and exciting year for me. Some folks would think I’m just sitting on my rump at the computer. Isn’t that what writers do? LOL

Seriously, don’t be fooled. There’s a lot going on inside this grey matter. Having a planner to work with, geared towards writing, has been a HUGE help. Rather than sitting here thinking what to work on first, I’m organized and decided on what to prioritize. Yup, I’m taking the simple route- going by the number of files in each folder, from smallest to largest. Before long, my writing folder will be totally organized and I will be done with the cloned files. That’s just a side benefit though.

I can hear it now, you know who you are- saying “I knew it, she’s still going after those blasted clone files!” It’s all part of the process in reorganizing. In the mix, I am making time for new writings. I’m able to find the time thanks to the planner.

This is just the beginning of how excited I am. The progress that I’ve made this year out-weighs what I did the last 2 years combined (2016 – 17). The biggest part is that I have gone through things I have been meaning to get to for years. I’m hoping to be able to keep this momentum going through the rest of 2018.

Advertisements

What’s In Your Library?

This is my response to the lists being posted about “what belongs in your personal library”. Some of these lists are articles that would have us believe that if we don’t read what’s on their given list- we’re not well read, or learned readers. People need to keep in mind that these lists are based on opinions and should be taken as such.

That said- this is my list of books that I enjoy and recommend. I would love to hear / read what’s on other people’s lists.

Note- Companion books are listed together

Non-Fiction

1. Holmes Manual, Mike Holmes

2. Life Strategies, Dr Phil McGraw

3. From My Heart to Yours, Robin McGraw

4. Is it Just Me? Or Is It Nuts Out There?, Whoopi Goldberg

5. The Total Money Makeover + workbook, Dave Ramsey

6. Common Errors in English Usage, Paul Brians

7. When You Can You Will, Lynne Bernfield

8. Emily Post on Etiquette, Elizabeth Post

9. Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Album

10. Ann Frank, The Biography, Melissa Müller

11. Have You Seen My Country Lately?: America’s Wake-Up Call, Jerry Doyle

12. Writing From Personal Experience, Nancy Davidoff Kelton

Fiction

13. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

14. Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

15. Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison

16. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

17. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

18. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

19. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

20. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis

21. Death of A Salesman, Arthur Miller

22. Tailchaser’s Song, Tad Williams

23. Dracula, Brahm Stoker

24. The Dragon Hunters Series, Paul Genesse

25. America 2040 series, Evan Innes

26. The Kinsey Millhone Series, Sue Grafton

27. The Wind in The Willows, Kenneth Grahame

28. Mars, Ben Bova

29. Moonbeams, LaKisha Spletzer

30. My Sweet Audrina, V.C. Andrews

31. The Iliad / The Odyssey, both by Homer

32. The Boxcar Children, series, Gertrude Chandler Warner

33. The Nancy Drew Mysteries, Carolyn Keene (pseudonym)

34. The Hardy Boys, Franklin W. Dixon. (pseudonym)

35. A Study in Scarlet, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

36. Dragonriders of Pern, Anne McCaffrey

37. Harry Potter, series, J. K. Rowling

38. The Phantom of the Opera, Garston Leroux

39. The House of The Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorner

40. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson

41. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

42. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

43. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austin

44. The Immortal Unicorn, 2 book anthology by Peter S. Beagles

45. Jonathon Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach

46. The Illuminatus! Trilogy, Robert Shea, Robert Anton Wilson

47. Blackstone Chronicles: 6 Novels in 1 volume, John Saul

48. The Tyrant’s Daughter, J.C. Carleson

49. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

50. Sweet Valley High, series, Francine Pascal

For Writers – top 10

1. Self Editing for Fiction Writers, Renni Brown & Dave King

2. Elements of Style, Strunk and White

3. On Writing Well, William Zinsser

4. Notes to a science fiction writer, Ben Bova

5. Writer’s Craft Series, Rayne Hall

6. The Ultimate Hero’s Journey, Neal Soloponte

7. The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, Christopher Vogler

8. Busy Writer’s Guide, Marcy Kennedy

9. The Writer & The Hero’s Journey, Rob Parnell

10. The 90-day novel / the 90-day rewrite, Alan Watt

Why is Ben Bova listed twist? One, he’s talented, two, he knows what he’s talking about. Three, few authors release books to help others, aspiring writers in their genre. Ben Bova has a collection of works that helps sci-fi writers achieve the dream he has acquired.

Thanks Ben!

For those looking for that book that will put you through the gauntlet of emotions- I recommend: Dewey, The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, Vicki Myron

For those asking

Who is Mike Holmes? Canada’s #1, and most popular building contractor.

What is this?

So rather than try to explain what the problem is- I opted to take a screen shot.

Getting rid of the text isn’t a problem, however, I would like to know what it is and why it’s on several copies of various manuscripts.

junk

If you know of an easy way to clear / get rid of this sort of content. please let me know. I’m open to suggestions.

Lifestyle Reset

In my week off from social media I came to realize something. As much as I like connecting with people, I like my life with piece and quiet. I like my life with a little less social networking, So, I won’t be around as much as I used to be.

The way I see it, we’re too connected, we don’t need to be connected at every moment. I believe that social networking is a tool not a life-style.

The other day, when I was at Walmart, I saw a number of people not paying attention to their surroundings, they had their focus on their devices. I can only assume that they were either playing a game or on social media. In other words- they were making technology the priority, a lifestyle.

For those who remember life before social media, remember what we used to do? We should do it again, and more often. For those who don’t remember- I’m talking about getting together, in-person, face-to-face, off-line

In my opinion, we should reset social media sites, the internet, as they tools they’re supposed to be. Stop using them as the lifestyle they’ve become.

As for how my week off went-

I got a lot of editing done, watched a few movies, and got caught up on the shows I like. And Athena, my cat, got lots of attention.

Taking a Break from Society

So here’s the why- this last week has been a bad one. While I’m trying to focus on my writing, I’ve got people needling me about BS from left and right. I’ve come to one determination- there’s only one way to prove that I can make progress on my writing to prove where the stress is coming from that I’m enduring.. And that’s to take a break from society. This includes both in-person and social media. One week of just me, my cat Athena and my writings. Unless something major happens that I have to share- I’ll be back on the 4th to let you all know how things went.

The Body Diet

First, I have struggled with my weight since I hit puberty. I have this hormone problem called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It causes a lot of problems and if not dealt with it can lead to things like diabetes or worse.

On to the diet- First, for years, it was The Debt Diet, then last month I started with the Writer’s Planner-at the same time I also started The Body Diet!

I had decided that 2018 was going to be my year. The year I make progress in my writing, the year I concur my budget to save, and the year I fight back against the PCOS. I am tired of getting my butt kicked- so this year I’m finally fighting back.

So far I’ve made considerable progress in my writing, I’ve made headway with my finances allowing me to save for my move. And today, I learned that I’ve lost 10 pounds!

For the last 30 days I have been on the GNC Total Lean diet plan. This is a meal replacement shake diet. Two shakes a day with one square meal. It doesn’t matter when you have the meal as long as the other two are shakes. I like breakfast foods so this was a no brainer for me. Sure, it sounds like Slim Fast but there are major differences. There are more nutrients in the GNC products, it’s more filling, and after drinking one, I don’t have that craving to grab something sweet and sugary- ala CARBS- unlike I did with Slim Fast. Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT saying that this is what will happen if you use Slim Fast- I’m saying that this is what happened with me with it.

GNC Total Lean appears to be the diet for me. I love the flavors. There’s French Vanilla, Banana, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Mixed Berry, Orange Cream, Rich Chocolate, Snickerdoodle, Cookies N Cream, and Shamrock Cream.

I have tried the: French Vanilla, Banana,  Mixed Berry, Orange Cream, Rich Chocolate, Cookies N Cream, and Shamrock Cream.

Most people mix them with water. I tried this and it didn’t appeal to me. I tried orange juice with the Orange Cream and 1 % milk with the others and I’m hooked. I’m thinking about trying the French Vanilla with Orange Juice- see how that tastes.

I really think that I’ve found the diet for me.

There are no quick fixes, and no one diet will work for everyone. People and their bodies are not cookie cutter designs- so, if you’re trying to lose weight talk with your doctor- get full physical exam and have your blood work done. Know your levels with cholesterol etc. Look into things like alternative exercises. I’m looking into Tai Chi, meditation, and I’ve found a stationary bike that I like.

The key is that you have to find what works for you- both with your body and your wallet.

To everyone who is trying to lose weight, thinking about it, or needs to- I wish everyone of you the very best of luck- and may you find what works for YOU.

Fussing With My Writer’s Planner

I think I’m done fussing around with my Writer’s Planner. I’ve been tweaking it to make it my own. I haven’t taken anything away from it sans the calendar. What I’ve done is add things to it. For example: the original has pages dedicated to listing things to treat yourself with. I added a page to track me treats- so I don’t repeat myself. I also added an Achievements page. This way I can look back and see what I’ve done. A reminder for those times when I’m feeling like a slug and wonder if I’m making any progress.

Of all the planners I’ve seen, I think I like this one the best. This is not because it came from IFW or because it was free. It’s because I can tweak it to add things that I feel I need.  I’m satisfied for now, although, I won’t be surprised if something comes to mind that I’d want to add.

That said, I have kept the original PDF as well as the file I created from it. Plus I’m keeping a copy of the one I made adjustments to. I have also created files specific for each quarter. This is so that any year 2018 I can just open the file and save it to new and I’m good to go for that quarter. Sure, I might have to make some minor tweak, but not so much so since I took the calendar out. I set this to its own file. It’s just easier for me, this way.

I do honestly believe that I am going to enjoy working with this planner. It’s the  start of week 6 and I’m off to a good start. It’s like Jerry Doyle used to say “your attitude controls your altitude.” It’s a pilot’s saying but it can apply to your emotional and mental attitude just as easily as a plane’s.

Thank you IFW, I needed this.