Starting Over

WEEK 1 Day 1: Determined to complete it before moving on.

WEEK 1 Day 1: Determined to complete it before moving on.

Couch 2 5k:  (C25k) I finally made it through Week 1 Day 1 without walking through half of the running prompts. If you haven’t tried it, and are looking to get in shape to run long distances, I recommend it. For me, I don’t move forward until I can complete the Week and Day that I’m currently working. It’s a little embarrassing that it took me almost a month to get through the first day, even though I’ve already completed two 5k races…you can imagine how long it took.

A new school year starts in just one week. Our students return in two. I’m ready to get things rolling. I’m sure it will pass as quickly as my summer seems to have passed.

A new challenge begins when I have to figure out a way to write part-time while working full-time.  I’ve been toying with this for 8 years, but I always seem to put the writing on the back burner until the next break in the school year. This morning, I found an old journal with many breaks in the posting. It’s like I stop thinking about queries as soon as I start writing lesson plans.

This year will be different. I am determined to earn income from writing while I am teaching others to write. Stay tuned for updates.

Oh, speaking of updates: I’ve started another blog: A Beach, A Book, and a Breeze where I am reviewing books and movies. I’ll be posting there about every other week; I read slowly. You never know what kind of books I’ll be reviewing, so sign up to be notified of new posts.

Setting Goals and Holding Yourself Accountable

VACATION 2010 Grand Canyon

Mridu Khullar Relph has been an inspiration to me since I became interested in writing for a living a few years ago. I even keep a folder on my desktop of her most useful posts. Whenever I run into a writing snag, I think, “What would Mridu say?” and then I look for the solution in my files.

So this morning, I was scrolling through recent blog posts and ran across this idea about setting goals and holding yourself accountable. I decided now would be a good time to set some goals of my own for the next five years.

In my wildest dreams, what  five goals do I want to accomplish over the next five years? Some of these may sound a little ambitious, but hey, I’m dreaming here, okay!

1.       Make a six-figure income a year, from writing.

2.       Become a prolific photographer and travel writer.

3.       Publish my first children’s book: Tommy’s T-shirt.

4.       Run a 5k race in every state in the USA. Use the experience to fulfill goal #2.

5.       DRIVE from North America to the southern tip of Argentina (and back, of course).   Again, using the experience to fulfill goal #2.

 

Check back to see how it goes, and feel free to share your thoughts.

Numbers

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Moving on to First grade

Woke up with numbers running through my head. Many people believe in numerology. I’ll have to check that out when I get more time. Right now, I just want to get this out. At first, I was dreaming. I just saw flashes of dice, a calculater, and a list of numbers on a sheet of paper. I’ve never paid a lot of attention to numbers, but then I started thinking about the significance of different numbers in my life. That’s when I decided to write this down.

One – Number of times I’ve been married; number of husbands I’ve had in 31 years.

Two – I feel like I live a double life: two kids, two grandkids, two cats, two dogs, two cars, two dollars to my name.

Three – Heaven; Father, Son, Holy Ghost; Good things happen in threes, bad things happen in threes.

Four – My best friend’s favorite number, even has it in her email address. It’s been her favorite number since we were in elementary school.

Five – My new favorite number, see below for my old favorite number. I have five 5’s in my (government issued tracking) number. I hope that’s not enough information for the scam artists to steal my identity.

Six – Use to be my favorite number, the reason for this goes back to elementary school when my best friend told me her favorite number was four. See, we both had Shetland ponies; hers was named Shorty (6 letters), mine was named Tiny (4 letters). Since she had chosen 4 as her favorite number, I figured 6 should be mine. Later, I decided I did not like the number 6 because of the connection with the devil (666) and a sex act (69), so I changed my favorite number to 5, since I was surrounded by them, except that I hate writing the number 5 because I can’t make them look pretty. It’s a love/hate relationship.

Seven – According to my mother, this is my lucky number, along with 11 and 21. At birth I was 7 lbs, 11oz. and 21 inches long. I’ve tried playing those numbers in the lottery, but so far they’ve been a bust.

Eight – I use to coach cheerleading. All of the competitive routines are set to 8-counts. It starts out 5, 6, 7, 8, and then 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, with emphasis on the odd numbers. Most routines have 40 or more 8-counts. I got to the point where everythng I did had an 8-count. Straightening my hair in the morning, running,  listening to music, waiting in line, listening to a boring conversation, everything was set to an 8-count.

And thenumbers keep adding up and multiplying. I never noticed how important numbers could be. I hated math in school, but this isn’t math, at least not the math I remember.

Do you have a number story?

Romance or Reality?

The idea of contemplating your life while sitting at a desk in front of a picture window overlooking a busy street (or country lake, or pounding ocean) sounds romantic and serene. However, the reality of it is when your income depends on you generating multiple ideas, marketing those ideas, and producing articles that entertain and amaze editors and readers, your life will be anything but serene, at times.

The stress created by deadlines and phone calls isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I prefer to work under a strict schedule, with frequent deadlines to keep me pushing forward. I am a procrastinator by nature, and when left with too much time to sit and think, I become lazy and depressed. As long as I know someone is expecting me to produce a product that is well researched, concisely written, and utterly mesmerizing to read, I can resist the temptation to put things off for a later time.

Unfortunately, there can be stretches of time when you will not have editors beating down your door to have you write that mesmerizing piece, what then? How can you fill the time when there is no strict schedule?

During the time between deadlines and commitments, I take time to read, to write lists of things I want to accomplish, some day, and to send query letters to potential clients. I set up my own “schedule” for each of these activities, to keep from lapsing into depression and procrastination.

There are those days though, when sitting at a desk in front of a window that overlooks a busy street, I find myself contemplating the past, present, and future. It’s a beautiful life, and I wouldn’t change a minute of it.

What do you do when your romantic ideals and reality clash? Please share your thoughts.